Alpha
                                            Omega
                                              Alpha


And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the
throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed
with seven seals.
(Revelation 5: 1) nkj

THE MESSAGE FROM THE THRONE OF GOD !
ALPHA OMEGA ALPHA
Don English


Alpha, Omega, Alpha
Copyright © 2010 by Don English.

Scripture quotations marked (niv) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International
Version ®, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by
permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked (kjv) are taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version,
Cambridge, 1769. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

“The Lord gave the word and great was the company of those who published it.”
Psalm 68:11.

Published in the United States of America
ISBN: 978-1-61566-909-7

Acknowledgments
All acknowledgment, credit, and honor are given to our God and
Creator Although there have been many who guided, taught, and
supported, the guidance, teaching, and support of God and the
Holy Spirit is of such a nature and necessity to this writing that all
acknowledgement is given to Him The Holy Spirit guided me to
the conviction to study Revelation He taught me, verse by verse,
step-by-step, and by thoughts and ideas that were not my own, nor
did I read them from other books For twenty-seven years, God’s
Holy Spirit supported me spiritually, physically, and emotionally
when, often, all hope and resources were gone I could not have done
it on my own or through education, nor with all the resources in
this world Although our Lord has guided in this manner, I am not
infallible and every line is subject to correction and/or a better way
to explain
—Don English

Table of Contents
Introduction 9
Preface 13
Revelation 1 15
Revelation 2 and 3 25
Revelation 4 and 5 33
Revelation 6 and 7 37
Revelation 8 73
Revelation 10 89
Revelation 11 93
Revelation 12 127
Revelation 13 133
Revelation 14 151
Revelation 15 161
Revelation 16 163
Revelation 17 173
Revelation 18 187
Revelation 19 191
Revelation 20 197
Revelation 21 217

9
Introduction
Throughout history, there has been a fascination with and a desire
to know the future We want to know what will happen tomorrow
Will it rain? Will I get a job? Will I meet someone important? Will
I marry? On and on, our human minds search for the unknown
No person can attend a funeral or experience the death of a
family member or friend or even an acquaintance without coming
face-to-face with the reality that they will also die some day and be
placed in a casket and buried That reality gives us a great incentive
to know the future; as a consequence, mankind has studied long and
devised many methods in an effort to learn what the future holds
There are three major areas through which mankind seeks to learn
the future: 1) his own intelligence, 2) the spirit realm through satanic
knowledge, and 3) the spirit realm through God’s knowledge
Through mankind’s own intelligence, he searches the stars and
planet movements, plays the cards, rolls the dice, deciphers emotional
feelings, instinct, intuition, etc , to develop methods to determine
future happenings Every race, color, and tribe of people on
earth has its own variations and particular methods of searching for
knowledge of the future through its own intelligence
Mankind also searches for knowledge of the future through
satanic knowledge satan, being a spiritual being, knows the future–
–in a limited way––and is able to manipulate events and minds to
his advantage He is able, from the spirit realm, to insert thoughts
into the minds of physical mankind and to manipulate the outcome
so that mankind believes he has discovered a method of forecasting
the future Some persons knowingly believe satan is God and
accept and teach satanic knowledge as prophetic satan imparts his
knowledge to mankind through mediums, spiritualists, religious
leaders, cults, the occult, and unsuspecting individuals He is able to
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Alpha, Omega, Alpha
do this by mind manipulation and control of the minds of those who
allow him to do so. satan has knowledge of the future (limited to the
knowledge and power of angelic beings) and uses it to manipulate
and deceive mankind.
Mankind can also know the future through God’s knowledge. God has the knowledge
of the future, for he is the author of the
future. He has imparted to us a limited knowledge of the future
through the Bible. God also reveals the future to individuals as touching
their destiny and, at times, reveals events and circumstances that
will happen in people’s lives. Therefore, it is my opinion and knowledge
that God has, does, and will reveal the future to those whom
God chooses. To those who have a sincere spirit and desire to know
the future, God will reveal all knowledge according to his will and
the capacity of the individual to discern spiritual truths––always and
only within God’s will.
With utmost humility before God, I encourage everyone to read
this book and study further the prophecy of Revelation. You will be
blessed and will come to a fuller knowledge of future events and, most
of all, your own destiny, when that time comes when you will meet
death and enter the unknown that lies beyond this physical life.
Suggested Method of Study
1. Pray before reading and after reading. The holy
Scriptures are spiritually discerned. No person can
fully understand the Bible outside the intervention
and teaching of the Holy Spirit. This is especially
true in the understanding of prophecy. Please pray.
2. Read the book of Revelation from chapter 1 to
chapter 22 without stopping before reading Alpha,
Omega, Alpha. If you have the Bible on tape, listen
to Revelation several times before reading this book. Read with a Bible close at
hand for reference.
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Message From the Throne
3. Study with an open mind to the Holy Spirit, and
draw your own conclusions to the interpretation of
Revelation.
Please note: You will notice as you read this book that the name
satan and other references to him and his work are not capitalized. This is not a
misprint or mistake, nor is it an effort to be sarcastic. I just simply do not wish to
give satan the honor of capitalizing his
name, even if it is the beginning of a sentence.

13
Preface
For many years, I studied and read what had been written about
Revelation I was continually plagued with not being able to fully
understand how all Scriptures on prophecy fi t into what I was reading
One that particularly bothered me was the fourth “Seal,” whose
rider is death It did not seem reasonable to equate death with a
plague when all of mankind dies The Scripture says that it was
appointed once for man to die and then the judgment
As I sought the Lord for understanding, the fi rst thing that
became evident was that the end will come as an act of God, not
as a result of war or atomic fallout or anything that man will do As
a result of that, I became convinced that a book should be written
entitled Alpha, Omega, Alpha; that is, God is the beginning (Alpha);
God is the end (Omega); God will be a new beginning (Alpha) In
this way, the Lord began a long process that brought me to write
Alpha, Omega, Alpha
For several years, I thought the Lord would have me to meet
a writer whom I could help understand some things the Lord was
teaching me so that he could write the book However, I never met
this writer
Finally, after completing a mission project that took two years
of my life, I began to seek my Lord for his direction He gave me
an overwhelming challenge to put into words the thoughts he had
given me about understanding prophecy For approximately six
months, my every thought and all my energy was concentrated on
the twenty-two chapters of Revelation Then two things happened
that gave me the courage and motivation to begin to write
First, I had some ideas of interpretation that needed to be compared
to Old Testament prophecy I turned to Daniel and began
reading I was amazed at how clearly they fi t together, but when I
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Alpha, Omega, Alpha
came to Daniel 12:7–9, the Holy Spirit took hold of me in a powerful
way. Verse 7 says, “When the power of the holy people has finally
been broken.” This clearly fit my thoughts on Revelation. Also, verse
nine says, “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed and
sealed until the time of the end.” It pierced my heart that God’s
prophecy was to be sealed until the end time and then understanding
would come; that is, the Scriptures would be understood through
the Holy Spirit. This was awesome, for I believe the Holy Spirit had
helped me understand things I could not find written by others.
The second event occurred one night as I was driving down an
interstate in a rainstorm. By this time, I had Revelation virtually
memorized. I was thinking through the Scriptures and praying for
the Holy Spirit to help me. I was talking aloud to the Lord and reasoning
about the millennium. I said, in regard to what I was thinking,
if this is right, how do the other Scriptures fit? Suddenly Scriptures
and thoughts began to fill my mind, and there came a flood of
the most wonderful feeling of the presence of God. Immediately,
as I was looking down the road, there came into my vision a horrid
sight. It was suspended in midair at the edge of the lights and to the
left of the road. It was a head with a very grimacing look and snarl. It was looking
directly at me, and I felt it wanted to kill me. What I
saw was so vivid that I could draw it if I were an artist. I knew it was
satan. Though very afraid, I still felt the Holy Spirit’s power in such
a way that I knew although satan was out there, he could not reach
me. Soon I came to understand that my Lord was showing me the
opposition. As the Lord opened the eyes of Elisha’s servant (2 Kings
6:17) to see a spiritual scene, he opened my eyes for a glimpse of the
opposition I was going to face.
These two things have been a driving force that have caused me
to press on for these many years when I often wanted to give up. God knew what it
would take to accomplish the task.
Praise God! Hallelujah!
—D. L. English
15
Revelation 1
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to
his servants - things that must shortly take place And he sent
and signifi ed it by his angel to his servant John, who bore witness
to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all
things that he saw
Revelation 1:1–2
The book of Revelation begins by giving us the purpose of the book,
authorship, and manner of delivery
Purpose
The purpose of the book is stated in the fi rst phrase of verse 1: the
Revelation of Jesus Christ The book is Revelation Webster’s dictionary
defi nes revelation as the act of making known something that
has been secret The book of Revelation, then, reveals the secrets of
the end times The revealing of these secrets explains the end of all
creation, the fi nal pages of the history of mankind, and the eternal
destiny of every nation, tribe, and people (each person) that have
lived on earth
The secrets have been only partially understood throughout history,
but will, in the last times, be revealed by the power and leadership
of the Holy Spirit to the family of God as God determines The
Bible substantiates this statement,
I (Daniel) heard, but I did not understand So I asked, “My Lord,
what will the outcome of all this be?” He replied, “Go your way,
Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time
of the end Many will be purifi ed, made spotless and refi ned, but
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Alpha, Omega, Alpha
the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will
understand, but those who are wise will understand.
Daniel 12:8–10, niv
Again, in Revelation 22:10, John is told, “Do not seal up the words of
the prophecy of this book, because the time is near.”
The Bible also says in Joel 2:28, and is repeated in Acts 2:17, “In
the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your
sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.”
Now let us put these three scriptures together. There was a time
in which the prophecies of the end times were sealed (not understood),
as stated in Daniel; however, it has been possible from the
time of the writing of Revelation to the present time (do not seal
up the words, Revelation 22:10) for God to choose to pour out his
Holy Spirit upon his people as stated in Acts 2:17–21 so that they
could understand. Although Acts 2:18 can be interpreted to refer
only to the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, verses 19–20
clearly speak of the end times as referred to in Revelation. Therefore,
I believe that in the end times (probably the last generation of
Christians on earth) there will be a fuller or more complete understanding
of prophecy as God reveals it through his Holy Spirit to
those he chooses.
Thus, the purpose of the book of Revelation is to reveal to the
entire family of God, and especially to the last generation of the
family of God, the long-hidden secrets as to when and how the end
will come.
Revelation also gives a severe warning to mankind, who rejects
God’s plan for his creation, and enumerates judgments that will
be brought against those who follow the rebellion of satan and the
other fallen disobedient angels.
Authorship
The identity of the author is established in the second phrase of
verse 1, “which God gave him” ( Jesus).
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Message From the Throne
Webster’s Dictionary defines author as an originator, especially the
writer of a book. Within this definition is a two-phase process. First,
an originator is the thought process through which an idea is formulated
in the mind. Second, the writer is the process of transferring
the concept from the mind to the written word. This can easily be
illustrated as an author conceives an idea and content for a book in
his mind and then works for months transferring those thoughts
into the form of a book.
With this definition of author in mind, realize that God is the
author-originator and John is the author-writer of Revelation. In
the same way, God was the author-originator of the prophecies that
came to Daniel, Joel, Zechariah, etc. in the Old Testament. Thus,
the symbolism and messages spanned many generations and numerous
authors-writers, and yet contain the same message. God is the
author.
The fact that God is the author gives this message of Revelation
great power and importance. Whereas all Scripture is inspired of
God and is indeed the Word of God, this message of Revelation is
direct from the hand of God as he sits on the throne. John is shown
this fact as explained in the two scenes of chapter 5.
In the first scene, Revelation 5:1–5, John saw in the right hand
of him who sat on the throne a scroll. A scroll, as biblically used,
symbolizes the Word of God, and it is in God’s right hand ready to
be delivered.
In the second scene in Revelation 5:6–7, John “saw a Lamb looking
as if it had been slain.” He came and took the scroll from the
right hand of him who sat on the throne. The statements of Revelation
1:1–2 and the two scenes of chapter 5 give a strong proclamation
that God is the author of Revelation and that he gave the message to
Jesus, who gave it to his angels to give to John, to send to the seven
churches of Asia, which, in turn, have handed it down to all generations
who hold to the testimony of Jesus Christ.
This book of Revelation
is from the throne of God.
God is the author-originator
John is the author-writer.
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Alpha, Omega, Alpha
John is the servant who receives and writes the message. He is commanded
in Revelation 1:19, “Write, therefore, what you have seen,
what is now and what will take place later.” Although John introduces
himself to the seven churches in verse four, the greeting is from
God, the seven spirits, and Jesus Christ as explained in verses 4–5. So
John, then, was not the originator, nor did he formulate the message
of Revelation from his knowledge of Old Testament prophecies, but
he wrote only that which he was told and shown.
John was instructed by Jesus in verse 11, “Write on a scroll what
you see and send it to the seven churches; to Ephesus, Smyrna,
Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.” In verse
18, Jesus continues to tell John what to write to each of the seven
churches as seen in chapters 2 and 3. Then beginning in Revelation
4:1, John wrote, “After this I looked”; in 5:1, “Then I saw”; in verse
6:1, “I watched”; and 7:1, “After this I saw”; in 8:2, “And I saw”; in 11:1,
“I was given”; and in 16:1, “ Then I heard,” etc. Thus, John was the
author-writer who wrote only what he was instructed, what he saw,
and what he heard.
God, the author-originator from the spirit realm, delivered to
John, the author-writer, a message of revelation to the physical family
of God. It is of great importance that we grasp the power in the
fact that this is the Word of God direct from his throne into the
hands of physical mankind.
Manner of Delivery
Revelation 1:1 states clearly that God gave the Revelation to Jesus,
who “made it known by sending his angel to his servant John.” Thus,
the message is passed from God to Jesus, to his angel, to John, to the
seven churches, to all generations.
God formulated the message and delivered it to
Jesus.
Jesus revealed himself to John on the island of
Patmos, dictated to him seven messages to the seven
churches, received the scroll from the right hand of
1
2
19
Message From the Throne
God, and opened the seals, which delivered the message
to the angels.
The angels blew the trumpets, delivered to John a
scroll (Revelation 10: 8) and a reed, (Revelation 11: 1),
poured out the bowls, and gave various explanations.
John wrote what he was instructed, what he saw,
and what he heard and had it delivered to the seven
churches.
The churches copied the message and handed it
down to each generation.
Each generation has the responsibility of passing the
message down to the next generation.
The visionary message of Revelation has been delivered to us that
we might understand the awesomeness of the events of the end
times, for:
Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and
blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in
it, because the time is near.
Revelation 1:3
This third verse states, “Blessed is the one who reads … hears … and
takes to heart … this prophecy.” So with great diligence and care,
everyone should enter into the study of Revelation. Use diligence
because of the warning of Revelation 22:18–19, which says,
For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of
this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him
the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes
away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall
take away his part from the Book of life, from the holy city, and
from the things which are written in this book.
Before you start to read, while you are reading, and after you have
read, pray that the Holy Spirit of our Lord will help open your
3
4
5
6
20
Alpha, Omega, Alpha
understanding to the message of Revelation and that the words God
is telling us will sink into your heart. You will be blessed. I suggest
that you read from chapter 1 through chapter 22 without stopping, as
this method was invaluable to me in visualizing and understanding
the whole message.
At the time of the writing of Revelation, verse 3 states, “the time
is near,” yet 1,900 years later the world is still continuing as always. That phrase,
“the time is near,” means that any given day or moment
in history may be the time that God has set for the end. Yet, for each
of us that time comes with the coming of death. For at death, our
judgment and destiny has been determined. Thus, the end time is as
near as our next heartbeat.
However, the phrase, “the time is near,” has greater meaning to
us in the last decades of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Possibly, we can
see some signs of the times. Until the 1980s, there
was no knowledge of the viral infection AIDS; however, by 1987, it
was frontline news, with warnings and daily accounts of numbers of
people infected and killed by AIDS. This virus, since it is a living
organism, was created by God, just like rattlesnakes and tigers. And
just like rattlesnakes and tigers, it can be harmful to your health. It
is unique that one of the symptoms of AIDS is that body sores do
not heal and that, as the angel pours out the first bowl in Revelation
16:2, ugly and painful sores broke out on the people. I do not suggest
that we are in the great tribulation of chapter 16, but that this may
be a sign of the times, a sample of what is to come.
In 1986, along the Texas Gulf Coast, there was what was commonly
called the red tide. The effect of the red tide was the death
of millions of fish. Also, people reported experiencing nausea and a
burning sensation to the eyes when exposed to the red tide. Again,
I do not suggest a parallel to Revelation 16:3, but possibly a sign of
which we should take note because “the time is near.”
We need to be careful not to try to impose natural physical
events upon end-time prophecy. The events of Revelation are acts of
God that pertain only to the end time tribulation period. Even so,
21
Message From the Throne
the phrase “the time is near” is a definite, perhaps severe, warning to
mankind. The end of earth and time as we know it may be near, or
it may not be near, but the end of your life can definitely be near, so
be warned; be prepared.
In Revelation 1:4, John addresses the seven churches with his
own name so that those to whom it was sent would know that it was
from John the apostle, whom they knew. Then they would receive
without question the message-vision as the Word of God.
John was instructed to write personal messages, which are
recorded in chapters 2 and 3, to the churches, which are named in
verse 11. The fact that they are written to “seven churches” is significant
in light of the way the number seven is used in Scriptures. Seven, being a complete
number and here referring to seven churches,
means that the message is intended for all the churches and, thus, to
the whole family of God of all generations until the end. If you are
a Christian, part of the family of God, this message is directly from
the right hand of God, written to you.
As John continues in verses 4–7, it becomes more evident that
the greeting is from the throne and from Jesus Christ to the seven
churches. Verse 8 is a statement from the Lord God stating his scope,
authority, and power. In verse 9, John again verifies himself and then
gives the setting of the vision. In verse 10, he states the day of the
week and that he is worshiping in the spirit as the vision begins in
verse 11.
At the beginning of the vision, John saw someone “like a Son
of Man” (verse 13). The same phrase, “like a Son of Man,” is used
in Daniel 7:13–14 in the same visionary manner. In both Daniel and
Revelation, the visions are of a spiritual being that is described to
have appeared “like a Son of Man.” Jesus, while physically on earth,
referred to himself as the “Son of Man,” although he was not a son
of man as far as having an earthly father is concerned. Jesus, being
the Son of God and having come from heaven to earth to be born of
a virgin, was a spiritual being in a body of flesh. When he referred to
himself as a Son of Man, Jesus was speaking from a spiritual standpoint
and was saying that he was like a Son of Man as he was living
22
Alpha, Omega, Alpha
in a fleshly body. In each of these three references (in Daniel, in Revelation,
and here in verse 13), Jesus is referring to himself and speaks
of a spiritual being that has the appearance of a man.
So the phrase, “like a son of man,” is speaking of Jesus in his
glorified spiritual body as he spoke to John, his beloved apostle.
John describes a magnificent Jesus. His dress was elegant. His
appearance was with such authority and power that John fell at his
feet, as though “dead.” This John is the same John who had followed
Jesus day after day for three years. John, with his brother James, had
been so closely associated with Jesus as to desire to sit one on the left
and one on the right of Jesus when he came into his kingdom. He
was the one who, at the Last Supper, had leaned upon Jesus’s breast. This is the
same John who was given the responsibility of Jesus’s
mother as he stood by at the crucifixion. This same John ran to the
empty tomb and saw Jesus numerous times in his resurrected body. This same
John had been a preacher of the gospel for many years. Yet here in Revelation 1:7,
John falls as though “dead” at the feet of
his dear friend, Jesus.
The whole world, as well as we who are Christians, desperately
need to learn a lesson from Revelation 1:17. We need to realize the
awesome magnificence and majesty of our God, that it will be a fearful
thing to come into his presence, and that we will all be judged in
his presence. We Christians of this generation are so often proud and
arrogant, making boastful claims about God’s love for us––which are
true––but we will be as dead men before the throne of Almighty
God. We will be awestruck in the presence of our God.
Although John had great fear at the sight of the resurrected
Jesus, with a touch of the Master’s hand, he was told he need have
no fear. We can realize the truth of the Scriptures from these events. The Scriptures
say the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. The
fear of the Lord is truly the beginning of knowledge, for
when we realize the fear and awesomeness of falling into the hands
of the Almighty God and cry out, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner,”
then we realize the true knowledge of “For God so loved the world
that he gave his one and only Son” ( John 3: 16). Consequently, fear is
23
Message From the Throne
replaced by the overwhelming love of God. So it was with John; that
great fear was overcome by the touch of the hand of Jesus.
John, having recovered at the touch of Jesus, was instructed in
verse 19 to write what he had seen, what is now, and what will take
place later. It is clear from the instruction here and from examining
the book of Revelation that John wrote only what he saw. When
Jesus said, “what you have seen,” he was not only referring to what
John saw with his eyes as pertaining to the vision, but also what he
saw with his ears and mind as pertaining to understanding. What
John saw and understood pertained to “now”––at the time of the
writing––and “later”––what was to come.
When John saw Jesus in verse 12, he was standing among seven
golden lamp stands and he had in his right hand seven stars (verse16). In verse 20,
the stars are explained as representative of the angels
of the seven churches; the lamps, as representative of the churches. Thus, the
messages to the churches are addressed to the angel of the
church, which gives the message a spiritual connotation and a need
for spiritual understanding. The lamp stands are representative of
the churches in that they are a lamp, or light, in a world of spiritual
darkness.
With Jesus’s appearance to John, the explanations, and the command
to write Revelation 1:9–20, John is ready to receive the messages
to the seven churches as recorded in chapters 2 and 3.

25
Revelation 2 and 3
The seven messages to the seven churches are uniquely from the
mouth of Jesus, whereas the majority of the vision is given to John
through visionary scenes and angelic explanation Chapters 2 and 3
present a personal message from Jesus to each of the seven churches–
–all of the true church or family of God
If you are a Christian, there are one or more messages in these
two chapters that will directly apply to your life and where you are
today You would do well to apply a “spiritual ear ” Just as we apply
every word of the Bible to our own lives and times, so our Lord
intended these messages to be applied to every Christian of every
generation, to every fellowship of Christians, the local church and
to the universal church, to all whose names are written in the Lamb’s
Book of Life The application seen in this statement is to every
church: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the
churches” (Revelation 2:7) This verse may be paraphrased: Anyone
who has spiritual understanding must listen to what Jesus, through
the Holy Spirit, is saying to you individually and to your church
collectively
These personal messages contained elements of commendation,
rebuke, warning, promise, and prophecy as the Holy Spirit leads us
to apply them to our own circumstances
Commendation
Our Lord commends those who have persevered and have endured
hardships for his name and have not grown weary (Revelation 2:3)
Have you persevered, continued in your witness, when friends have
invited you to do things that would compromise your faith? If so,
you are commended Have you endured when there was much hard26
Alpha, Omega, Alpha
ship in performing the task our Lord has given you? If so, you are
commended. Have you endured when every Christian you know has
turned back to the things and the ways of the world? If so, you are
commended. Apply the spiritual ear.
Rebuke
Our Lord will rebuke you if you have forsaken your first love (verse 4). Do you love
our Lord so that you continue in his Word and meditate
on it day and night? If not, you are rebuked. Do you love your Lord
so that you worship him daily in spirit and in truth? If not, you are
rebuked. Do you love your Lord so that you continue to search your
life, thoughts, and relationships, striving daily to be the best you can
be for him? If not, you are rebuked. Apply the spiritual ear.
Warning
If you have any of the shortcomings that all Christians possess, our
Lord issues a warning to you in Revelation 2:5, which says, “If you do
not repent, I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its
place.” Although as born-again Christians we are forgiven our sins–
–past, present, and future––as pertaining to salvation, as we continue
to live, we will have sins and shortcomings. Jesus warns us—as he
warned the Ephesian Christians who had forsaken their first love—to
repent, or he will remove our lamp stand. Have you forsaken your
first love? Is the love of Jesus priority to you? Is that priority in your
church? If not, you are in danger of having your lamp stand, witness,
removed by Jesus. In the same manner, apply the spiritual ear to the
other warnings contained in chapters 2 and 3.
Promise
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ also gives us this promise: “To
him who overcomes I will give the right to eat from the tree of life,
which is in the paradise of God” (verse 7). When you have completed
your Christian life and have overcome, Jesus promises that
you will have the right to live in the paradise of God. This is not
27
Message From the Throne
to say that to “overcome” would infer that one must attain a certain
spiritual level for salvation, for the Bible says, “For whosoever calls
on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” I believe that this is a challenge
to press on in one’s spiritual life and overcome the trials and
temptations of this world.
Prophecy
The Lord Jesus also gives words of prophecy to those to whom it
applies, as to Smyrna in Revelation 2:10:
Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you the
devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will
suffer persecution for ten days.
Jesus is prophesying the fact that there will be some faithful Christians
in every generation who will be persecuted by satan and his
followers, until the last two witnesses of Revelation 11 are killed.
Our Lord prophesies that the persecution will be for a given
time (ten days). It is very likely that some Christians in Smyrna were
persecuted for literally ten days and then either released or put to
death (Revelation 2:10). As we make application of the prophecy to
the rest of the history of Christendom, I suggest that the “ten days”
are a limitation of the persecutions from satan, rather than a specific
time period.
For example, in Acts 12, Herod killed James with the sword and,
seeing that it pleased the Jews, arrested Peter and put him in jail. At
that point, the Lord intervened by bringing Peter out of jail and later
disposing of Herod. This example illustrates that Herod, having set
about to persecute the Christians, was allowed to go only so far, and
then God intervened. So Jesus is telling us that some will be thrown
into prison and some will be killed, but God is still in control and
will not allow satan a free hand in persecuting his people.
Chapters 2 and 3 contain numerous messages, as illustrated
in these five examples, direct from the mouth of Jesus that apply
to Christians of all generations. You are encouraged to listen with
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Alpha, Omega, Alpha
“spiritual ears” to what the Holy Spirit says through the messages to
the seven churches.
The messages to the seven churches are prophetic as we apply
them to today’s churches. We find in today’s churches the same
problems that were addressed in the first century churches, and the
same answers are the answers for today’s churches. In the same way,
those answers are for each individual as he or she applies “spiritual
ears” to the messages of the seven churches.
Introduction to the Vision
In chapters 1 through 3, we have been instructed about the visionary
message that is to follow. Jesus has manifested himself in a visual
form to John and has dictated to John seven messages to the seven
churches. Now in chapter 4, the prophetic vision begins to unfold. The vision––one
vision, many scenes––continues nonstop from
chapter 4 through chapter 22, with many scenes and explanations
along the way. Before we enter the vision, let us examine some interpreting
principles and the major participants of the vision.
Interpreting Principles
1. The book of Revelation uses several numbers that
have caused problems with interpretation. The use of
numbers in the Bible needs to be understood as having
two possible interpretations: literal or symbolic. One should make every effort to
interpret numbers
literally. A number should be interpreted symbolically
only when a literal interpretation is not in harmony
with other biblical references.
Literally, the number means its actual value. Example: “seven” equals seven.
Second, symbolically,
the number has meaning other than its actual value. Example: “seven” equals
complete, all, or perfect.
Most theologians agree that the number seven is
used biblically to mean complete or perfect. This is
easily seen in the messages to the seven churches in
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Message From the Throne
chapters 2 and 3. It would have probably been impossible
for John to have handwritten these messages to
all the churches at that time. So, in writing the message
to seven churches, it was understood that the
message was for all churches and was passed on, or
copied, as needed to get the message to all churches
and all Christians.
Seven can also be seen as literal and symbolic. This is exemplified in the seven
bowls of God’s
wrath. The seven bowls represent seven events and
circumstances affected by God’s wrath as described
after the pouring out of each bowl. Also, the seven
bowls represent God’s complete wrath poured out. (“It is done,” Revelation 16: 17.)
The number six, as used in Revelation, is symbolic
and used in relation to the complete number seven. Six is one less than seven, thus
incomplete.
In the same manner, eight is one more than complete. This
can be understood only in the context of
Revelation 17 and is discussed there.
There are two numbers that we interpret as limiting
numbers. A limiting number is a number that
seems to have something other than a literal meaning
when understood in its context and in relationship
to other biblical references. The context and
spiritual conscience have led me to believe that the
number limits the subject referred to. Example:
144,000 equals limited––many but not all; two equals
limited––very few out of many.
Series of three are given to express emphasis. Example: “holy, holy, holy” means
most holy. “Woe,
woe, woe” means the greatest sorrow or greatest
danger.
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Alpha, Omega, Alpha
2. The book of Revelation is one vision, but has many
scenes. The scenes are separated by statements from
John such as, “I saw,” “I looked,” “I heard,” etc. The
scenes are not still life pictures, but moving scenes as
though one were watching a movie at a theater. Some
scenes seem to be a unit within themselves, such as
chapter 4, which shows the participants around the
throne moving and speaking. Other scenes seem to
be in a series. Although each scene gives a complete
picture, a series gives a larger, more complete picture
as to subject and time span. Example: The first scene
of Revelation 7: 1–8 gives a picture of those of the
nation of Israel who have the “seal” of God. The second
scene, 7:9–17, gives a picture of the rest of mankind
who are of the family of God and what happens
to them at the end. Thus, these two scenes portray
1) The subject matter––all the family of God, and 2)
The time span––all of history (Revelation 7: 17; 21:
4).
3. A visionary object picture is the best possible picture
that spiritual God can show to physical mankind to
explain a spiritual circumstance or dilemma. In the
vision of Revelation, there are pictures of objects––
bowls, crowns, etc.––and animal-type characters that
are representative of a spiritual message that God has
put into a physical picture. Examples: crowns represent
authority and horses represent beasts of burden
delivering cargo (a message).
4. God’s time: God sees all of time and history in one
view or scene. To God, one day is as a thousand years
and a thousand years as one day. Also, the Scripture
says that Jesus was the Lamb that was slain before the
foundation of the world. The scenes of Revelation
may pass through history at a very rapid pace. For
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Message From the Throne
example, in chapters 12 and 13, a few verses describe
the entire history of satan’s rebellion against God.
God’s time does not stop or pause at physical
death. As humans, we think of death as an end, but
God sees death as simply passing from physical into
spiritual. There is no stop in time when we die. Thus,
in Scripture, God speaks of his people and the family
of satan in the physical and spiritual with no break or
division between the two.
5. God’s line is the division of mankind into two groups:
the family of God and the family of satan. God’s
line dissects and crosses all national, all language, all
color, and all social barriers. There are persons from
every nationality, language, color, and social position
on each side. Spiritually speaking, there are no other
divisions among mankind. You are either on God’s
side, or satan’s side. Everyone is born on satan’s side
of God’s line, and each person must decide of their
own free will whether or not to cross over to God’s
side.
6. God’s boundaries: certain boundaries that rule all of
creation. There are two worlds that exist side by side:
the spiritual realm and the physical world. The spirit
realm has limited access to the physical world.
Jesus is the only one who has crossed over from the
spiritual world into the physical world ( John 1).
satan can manifest himself for brief intervals to the
physical world but does so in a distorted or deceptive
manner and remains in the spiritual realm.
God reveals from the spiritual realm satan’s true
nature to the family of God as needed to protect
or teach.
1
2
3
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Alpha, Omega, Alpha
Angels can manifest themselves to the physical
world but remain in the spiritual realm.
Demons can manifest themselves, but are limited
and remain in the spiritual realm.
The physical world has limited access to the spiritual
realm:
Physical mankind can learn about the spirit
realm, but remain in the physical world until
the death of the body.
Physical mankind of the family of God can,
from God, experience the indwelling of the Holy
Spirit, leadership of the Holy Spirit, prophecy,
knowledge, miracles, tongues, sightings of spiritual
beings, and being in the spirit, etc.
Physical mankind of the family of satan can,
from satan, experience the indwelling of the
spirit of satan, the leadership of satanic spirit,
limited prophecy, limited knowledge, limited
miracles, demonic tongues, sightings of spiritual
beings, soul travel, astral projection, etc.,
through the demonic powers within the physical
world.
There are two boundaries within the spiritual realm: 1) the boundary
between heaven and hell, which no one can cross over. 2) the abyss
which closes access to heaven, hell, and the physical world; no one
can escape this boundary except as God permits.
4
5
6
a
b
c
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Revelation 4 and 5
Participants of the Vision
In chapter 4, John is introduced to “the throne in heaven with someone
sitting on it,” the twenty-four elders, and the four living creatures;
then, in chapter 5, the Lamb and the angels Each of these is
a signifi cant part of the vision and interact in their different roles as
prophecy unfolds
someone sitting on the throne is central to the whole
vision
about the throne are gathered all the participants of
the vision
from the throne, the scroll (message) is given to Jesus
(Revelation 5: 1)
from the throne comes the decision that fi nalizes the
tribulation (Revelation 21: 5–8)
before the throne are gathered all who ever lived
(Revelation 21: 11–12)
from the throne comes the explanation of the results
of judgment (Revelation 21: 5–8)
The twenty-four elders: are seated on thrones, which signifi es
authority through the Lamb (Revelation 20: 4); are dressed in white
robes, which signifi es righteousness through the Lamb (Revelation
6: 11; 7: 14); have golden crowns, which signify reward, awarded by
God (Revelation 3: 11; 12: 1, 3; 13: 1; 19: 12; 14: 14); bow, worship, and
1
2
3
4
5
6
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Alpha, Omega, Alpha
sing a new song before God (Revelation 5: 8–14; 7: 11–12; 19: 4); give
exclamations to John (Revelation 7: 13–17).
The four living creatures: have places of prominence “in the center,
around the throne” (Revelation 4: 6); have eyes “in front and
in back” (Revelation 4: 6); have an appearance that is exemplary of
God’s creation (Revelation 4: 7); sing and glorify God continually
(Revelation 4: 8; 7: 11, 12; 19: 4); are the voices that present the four
horsemen (Revelation 6: 1–8).
The Lamb ( Jesus) receives honor and glory from God and all
of creation, is the Lion of Judah and has triumphed (Revelation 5:
5); has been slain (Revelation 5: 6); stood in the midst of the throne
(Revelation 5: 6); is the only one who can receive the scroll from God
(Revelation 5:7); opened the seven seals (Revelation 6: 8); has seven
horns––all power, and seven eyes––all knowledge (Revelation 5: 6);
speaks directly to John (Revelation 2, 3).
The angels:
number in the thousands upon thousands, and 10,000
times 10,000 (Revelation 5: 11).
encircle the throne, the living creatures, and the
elders (Revelation 5: 11).
sing and praise the Lamb. (Revelation 5: 12).
are assigned to each of the seven churches (Revelation
6: 8).
are in charge of holding nature within its boundaries
(Revelation 7: 1–3).
signify, at God’s command, the beginning and the
progression of the great tribulation through the
blowing of trumpets and pouring out of the bowls of
God’s wrath (Revelation 8, 9, and 16).
instruct, explain, and deliver messages to John
(Revelation 10; 14: 15, 17; 22: 1–7)
proclaim the Gospel (Revelation 14: 6).
pronounce judgment (Revelation 14: 8).
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
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Message From the Throne
pronounce warnings (Revelation 14: 9–12).
explain visionary Babylon (Revelation 17–18).
chain and imprison satan (Revelation 20: 1–3).
We see from the above descriptions that all of heaven participates
in giving to mankind a vision that informs us of the end times and
eternity in heaven.
The Vision Begins
After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing
open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me
like a trumpet said, ‘come up here, and I will show you what
must take place after this.’ At once I was in the spirit, and there
before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.
Revelation 4:1–2
As in Isaiah 6: 1–3, John, in describing what he saw, does not describe
the features of the one sitting on the throne but describes the glory,
the majesty, the power, the fixtures, and the four living creatures
around the throne of God. Still in the flesh, John could not look
on the face of God, but was allowed to see the things and the glory
surrounding his throne. Doubtless, the one on the throne is God, as
the four living creatures never stop saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the
Lord God Almighty,” and the twenty -four elders fall down before
him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives forever and
ever. They lay down their crowns before the throne and say, “You are
worthy, our Lord and God.”
Chapter 4 sets the stage for the rest of the book. God is on his
throne, with all majesty, honor, glory, and power surrounding him. The four living
creatures and the twenty-four elders are there, each
playing their various parts throughout the rest of the vision.
Chapter 5 opens with a scroll in the hand of God. The scroll
represents a message––instructions from God on the throne to his
10
11
12
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Alpha, Omega, Alpha
creation. God, who is the Creator, the ruler, the sustainer, the judge,
hands down his message on a visionary scroll.
There is only one (verses 5–8) in all of creation (verse 3) who can
receive the scroll message from the hand of God. The Lamb, Jesus,
is the only one worthy to take the scroll because he was slain, and
with his blood he purchased men for God (verse 9). The reality of
God handing the scroll message to Jesus is substantiated in Revelation
1: 1, which states, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ which God
gave him … ”
The scene which sets the stage for the prophetic vision is completed
in verses 11–13 as John “looked” and heard ten thousand times
ten thousand angels encircling the throne and singing, “Worthy is
the Lamb that was slain.”
The stage is set. God is on the throne, the four living creatures,
the twenty-four elders, the angels, Jesus with the scroll, and all of
creation singing to God and his Son, Jesus Christ (verse 13).
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Revelation 6 and 7
Introduction to the Seals
There are some similarities in the fi rst four seals They each have in
common horses, riders, living creatures, and a spoken message
The four horses of this scene, Revelation 6:1–11, symbolize the
carrier, or method of delivery, of the spiritual message to mankind
God does not need horses to deliver his message or to carry out
his will on earth but uses the horse, a beast of burden, as the visual
symbol of his message being delivered to a physical world Horses
are symbolized in the same manner in Old Testament prophecy In
Zechariah, horses with riders are the ones the Lord has sent to go
throughout the earth In Zechariah 1: 5–10, horses are used to give
the best possible picture that God, who is spirit, can give to mankind,
who is physical, to explain the delivery of the visionary message
Jesus said, “I have spoken to you of earthly things and you did
not believe: how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?”
( John 3:12) Thus, it is necessary for God to give to physical mankind
a picture that we can understand
The riders of the four horses are humanlike; otherwise, there
would be further description The riders being humanlike implies
that the message is to mankind All of creation (refer to the four
living creatures) is affected by the message, but the riders deliver the
prophetic message to mankind as a result of mankind’s sin Mankind
sinned, and all of creation has suffered as a result Thus, we believe
that the four horsemen being humanlike simply means that the message
is to mankind, although the message affects all of creation
The four horsemen also symbolize the carrying out of God’s
message, will, or plan in the hearts and minds of physical mankind
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Alpha, Omega, Alpha
This carrying out of God’s will is exemplified in Revelation 6:4,
which states, “Its rider was given power … to make men slay each
other.” Also, Revelation 17:17 says, “For God has put it into their
hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their
power to rule, until God’s Words are fulfilled.” God does not need
a rider on a horse as an implement to carry out in the hearts of
mankind his will or plan on earth. But, the riders symbolize––give a
picture––that physical man can understand the spirit of God carrying
out his will on earth.
For example, it is by the will of God that rulers, whether good
or bad, reign and are given power to bring about the Lord’s purpose. This concept
can be seen in Romans 13:2, which states, “Everyone
must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no
authority except that which God has established.” The authorities
that exist have been established by God. Bad rulers through burdens
imposed, such as corruption, chaos, death, and war, should make
mankind realize the depravity of mankind, the sovereignty of God,
and the need of mankind for repentance. God’s Spirit intervenes in
the mind and affairs of mankind to carry out his will on earth. This
is clearly seen in God’s direction to Babylon to make war against and
destroy Jerusalem because of the sins of Israel, as seen in Jeremiah
24. So the riders and horses symbolize the delivering of the message
as God’s Spirit carries out his will and conclusion to mankind and
his creation as a whole.
The four living creatures that were introduced in chapter 4 as
being in the center and around the throne are part of the first four
seals as each one said to John one word: come. By the word come,
John was instructed to look and see the unfolding message. The fact
that the four living creatures are described as different parts of God’s
creation––“like a lion, like an ox, face of a man, like a flying eagle,”
Revelation 4:7––indicates that the message pertains to all of creation. This
is best exemplified in the fourth “seal” which states its
rider was named death, in that every physical living being will die as
ordained by God (Revelation 6: 8). All of creation is affected by the
scroll message from the hand of God.
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Message From the Throne
A spoken message is given with each “seal” to explain the mood
or result of the message the horses and riders deliver.
The first three riders each have an object to carry. These objects
help to explain the fuller picture of the spiritual message.
The First Seal
When the Lamb opened the first seal, a rider on a white horse
came out of heaven. He held a bow, was given a crown, and had the
appearance of a conqueror bent on conquest.
The “bow” represents to physical mankind three things:
1.         An instrument to aid in putting meat on the table.
2.         Protection from both wild animals and mankind
(defensive).
3.         An instrument used for war (offensive).
Therefore, as we combine horse, rider, and bow, there is the fact from
God, created by God, that gives to mankind the ability and desire to
build tools (instruments out of the things in God’s creation), from
bows to nuclear power, to help fulfill mankind’s needs––make our
lives easier––to protect themselves, and to make war.
As the rider of the first seal came out, “a crown was given to him.”
God crowned him! Mankind was crowned by God, the Creator!
In a dictionary under the word crown, it says, 1) power or authority
of a monarch, 2) Distinction for achievement or victory; honor;
reward, and, 3) to endow with honor or dignity.
The crown represents God-given authority. In Genesis 1:28–30,
God gave to mankind authority over every living thing.
Certainly, God has given to mankind the desire for achievement,
to have honor, reward, and dignity.
God has given to me a “crown” like a king, and that means I have
a choice. I can do what I want to do!
Mankind is given by God a spiritual crown, authority. This
crown represents freedom of choice. Physically, the crown gives
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Alpha, Omega, Alpha
mankind the rule over God’s creation to accomplish all his ability
and opportunity permits.
Spiritually, the crown guarantees to mankind the choice to obey
or disobey their Creator. Mankind was created by God and given
the crown of choice. He has the right to believe in his Creator, or to
believe that his Creator does not exist.
God gave the crown, and guarantees that no one can take your
crown. Mankind was created so that no person or government or
army or anything else can prevent any person from calling out in his
mind to God. Anyone who believes and asks for forgiveness and salvation
will be saved and spend eternity in heaven with the Creator.
Thus, God has given to mankind the ability to make/build from
His creation (the bow) and the authority to choose (the crown) how
he will use his God-given abilities and his eternal destiny.
The rider has an appearance that gives John the impression of a
conqueror bent and determined on conquest. This spirit of conquest
is what motivates mankind to conquer whatever is before him.
The first seal is interpreted as God giving to mankind a spirit
of conquest with the power (bow) to conquer and the authority
(crown) to choose who and what he conquers and how he goes about
it. That spirit of conquest has been evident from the very creation
of mankind. It is contained in God’s command to Adam to subdue
the earth and rule over it. Man has the ability to conquer physical
creation––to improve it or destroy it––and the choice to conquer
according to God’s plan or according to his own desire.
Subduing the earth for good can be illustrated by a man who
takes a barren hill and builds on it a beautiful home with landscaped
grounds––trees, flower beds, rose gardens, vegetable gardens, and
lawns. As he trims, tills, and fertilizes the rose gardens, prunes the
trees, weeds and replants the flowerbeds, tills and reaps the vegetable
gardens, and mows the lawns, man subdues, or brings under control,
rule over the hill. He has taken God’s creation and molded it into a
beautiful place to live.
It seems as though God, in giving to mankind the authority to
subdue the earth, entered into a partnership or land owner/tenant
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Message From the Throne
relationship with mankind. In reality, he has done so, as shown in
the parable of Jesus in Luke 20:9–19. It tells of a man who planted
a vineyard, rented it to farmers, and went far away. A parallel can be
seen in God creating the earth with all its plants and animals, giving
it to mankind to control and then returning to his home in heaven. How real the
parallel becomes as the owner sent his servants and his
own Son, only to have them be killed. The world indeed killed his
Son, Jesus. But God will continue to send his servants until there are
no more who will listen to this message (Revelation 19).
Mankind has responsibility in that he will give account to God. He is commanded to
subdue, not destroy. To illustrate, a tiger in
his natural state is not subservient to mankind. On the contrary,
if confronted, he will attack man, and has even killed humans for
food. To subdue the tiger would not mean to destroy him, but to
control him, to rule over him, in a way in which both man and tiger
are protected. Then God’s creation is preserved and enhanced for
mankind’s enjoyment and to the glory of God. The God-given spirit
of conquest in man must be molded to bring about the betterment
of creation rather than the destruction of creation. Mankind was
given the crown; mankind has the choice.
Another illustration of the spirit of conquest comes from the
account of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. In regard to the
fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, satan told Eve,
“When you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like
God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3: 5). Then in verse 6, “Eve
saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the
eye and also desirable for gaining wisdom. Then she took some and
ate it.” The first two statements––good for food and pleasing to the
eye––pertain to the physical features of the fruit. It was good for
food, but surely Eve was not hungry in the Garden of Eden. It was
pleasing to the eye, but there were many beautiful fruits in God’s
creation. The third statement, “desirable for gaining wisdom,” is different
in that it comes from the desire for self-improvement. Only
the act of partaking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil
had the benefit of gaining knowledge to be like God. So Eve ate its
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Alpha, Omega, Alpha
fruit, even though she knew God’s command not to eat of it and the
severity of the punishment for disobedience (Genesis 3:3). She was
deceived by satan’s manipulative words but still had the choice. The
desire for gaining wisdom overcame the knowledge of the command
and the consequence of punishment from God. How powerful is the
desire for gain, which is the God-given “spirit of conquest.”
The desire for gain is very powerful in all of us. Every human
being has the ability (bow) and the freedom (crown) to choose how
he or she will use this powerful God-given “spirit of conquest.” We
can choose to use it for good, as God directs, or for evil, as satan
directs. When the spirit of conquest is abused and used for selfish
purposes, there is evil. When the misuse of the spirit of conquest
causes mankind to disobey God, sin is the result, as seen in the disobedience
of Adam and Eve.
There is a spirit of conquest given by, ordained by, and within
the will of God that causes men to press on, to achieve, to accomplish,
to do his best to conquer whatever is before him. Jesus said in
Luke 9:23, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.” The spirit of that command
is to press on to be your best in order to conquer, daily, the task
of following Jesus. It incites within you a “spirit of conquest” that
would subdue self and overcome this physical world of sin.
The church also has a spirit of conquest. As our Lord was speaking
to Peter in Matthew 16:18, he said, “I will build my church, and
the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” In another version, it says,
“I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against
it.” Whether one interprets this as satan on the offensive or the
church on the offensive, the gates of hell are conquered by all who
confess to Jesus, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,”
and obey his commandment to go and make disciples of all nations
(Matthew 28:19). Any Christian who has the understanding of the
reality of hell has the desire that all come to know Jesus. The church
truly needs the kind of “spirit of conquest” demonstrated by Paul
when he said, “My heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israel43
Message From the Throne
ites is that they may be saved” (Romans 10:1). What a church there
would be if Christians had that kind of spirit of conquest!
The spirit of conquest truly comes from God, as shown in
Revelation 6:1–2. God initiates, motivates, and directs the “spirit of
conquest” to bring about his will and plan for mankind. A beautiful
example is found in Zechariah 1 and 2 where God prepared his
people to return to Jerusalem. They had been slaves in Babylon for
seventy years (Zechariah 1:12). They were so suppressed that no one
could raise his head (Zechariah 1:21).
In his vision, Zechariah saw a man riding a red horse with three
other horses behind him. He asked the angel, “What are these, my
lord?” The man answered, “They are the ones the Lord has sent
to go throughout the earth.” Afterwards, they reported, “We have
gone throughout the earth and found the whole world at rest and
in peace.”
The report seems to be a good one. It would be tremendous if
we could find the whole world at rest and in peace today. Most likely,
the people who lived in the time of Darius, king of Babylon, were
enjoying the peace and rest. But God’s people were in exile and had
been for seventy years, as Jeremiah had prophesied seventy years of
exile in Jeremiah 25: 11. So the angel said,
Lord Almighty, how long will you withhold mercy from
Jerusalem and from the towns of Judah which you have been
angry with these seventy years?
Zechariah 1:12
God’s people were suppressed until they could not even raise their
heads. God was the only one who could initiate the “spirit of conquest”
that would give the Jews the courage to raise their heads and
go back to Jerusalem and rebuild. God did this by proclaiming to
the people through Zechariah, “I am very jealous for Jerusalem and
Zion, but I am very angry with the nations that feel secure. I will
return to Jerusalem with mercy, and there my house will be rebuilt.”
With the proclamation, the people took courage, raised their
heads, and returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the city, the walls, and
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Alpha, Omega, Alpha
the temple in spite of troubled times. The revealing of God’s will
initiated a “spirit of conquest” that caused the people to rise up and
overcome all obstacles.
As soon as the rebuilding began, opposition from the peoples
around Jerusalem arose to stop or conquer the work. Because it was
God’s will that they rebuild, satan immediately began to manipulate
that same “spirit of conquest” in Sanballat, Tobiah, and others to
oppose the rebuilding, as seen in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. satan can
manipulate, but God is in control. God uses the “spirit of
conquest” to direct his people through tribulation and bring about
his will and fulfill his prophecy.
It is the spirit of conquest that has driven mankind to move
outside of his environment and discover the unknown. Abraham left
his native country to seek the land God promised him. Christopher
Columbus and those who followed him risked lives and fortunes
to conquer unknown lands. It has motivated mankind to drive the
fastest cars, to fly the fastest airplanes, climb the highest mountains,
walk on the moon, and split the atom. Furthermore, mankind will
press on until there are no more horizons to conquer.
The spirit of conquest, with its crown of choice, not only gives
mankind the choice, but demands that we choose. Natural man is
disobedient to God and is on a natural course of confrontation with
God. It is as natural for a child to say “no” to its parents as it is for
the sun to rise in the east. God created both the child and the sun
that way; yet, Ephesians 6:1 states “Children obey your parents in the
Lord for this is right.” Upon reaching the age of accountability, the
child has two options, and must choose one or the other: to obey or
to disobey.
Please note, the age of accountability is a point in the life of
every individual when one understands the difference between right
and wrong. It is the time when wrong becomes disobedience to God,
which constitutes conviction of sin and separation from God. A person
is in the age of accountability from the time of understanding
and for as long as he or she has understanding.
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A child is disobedient long before the age of accountability,
so the mold is set. However, the child will not be judged or held
responsible by God until after that point of understanding of sin. The mold then, set
by nature in disobedience, demands that one
choose obedience to God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “I
am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to
the Father except through me” ( John 14: 6).
If a person refuses, or neglects for whatever reason, to turn to
Jesus, he or she will by nature be controlled by the spirit of conquest,
or self, whereby he or she will be a variance of the following:
disobedient as a child through the age of accountability; continues
rejecting of God’s plan; self-centered, desirous of self-gain, proud,
motivated by lust rather than conscience; and, in the end, angry,
embittered, and without hope.
If, on the other hand, a person during the age of accountability
chooses to follow God’s plan for salvation, the Holy Spirit of God
comes into his or her life and begins to teach and remold that “spirit
of conquest.” As a result, the one who was disobedient becomes obedient,
the one who was controlled by self becomes controlled by the
Holy Spirit, and the one who was bitter and without hope becomes
joyous with the promise of eternal life in heaven after death.
Thus, the rider that is described as a “conqueror bent on conquest”
exemplifies the inherent––from God, built in––spirit of mankind
that motivates and drives mankind to the purpose and conclusion
of God’s plan for his creation.
We, mankind, have attributes and abilities that are created into
us by God. Although we are limited, physically and spiritually, we
have that which our Creator determined we should have. God created
us with our abilities and with our limitations so that we can and
have the ability to be what he, our Creator, determined we should
be. We are not more than God created us to be and will not become
more than intended to be according to God’s plan.
satan best exemplifies the corruption or misuse of the “spirit of
conquest.” Out of his selfish desire to take the throne, satan, having
been created as an angel with the same “spirit of conquest,” rebelled
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against God and was thrown out of heaven. He continued to rebel
against God by warring against God’s creation throughout physical
history. satan will rule (given crowns and authority) the earth after
all of the family of God are in heaven, but then God will destroy
physical earth, and satan will be chained and imprisoned for one
thousand years. Later, satan will be released and will continue his
rebellion until he is finally destroyed forever in the lake of fire.
Jesus best exemplifies one who is obedient to God’s plan. It is
evident throughout the New Testament that Jesus Christ followed
the designed plan that was initiated, beginning with Genesis 1. He
was obedient to the heavenly Father throughout his life, submissive
even to death on the cross, as was the plan of God for his creation. Power, glory,
and honor––many crowns––are given to him by God.
Thus, in satan is the ultimate of rebellion through an uncontrolled
spirit of conquest, and in Jesus Christ the essence of a “spirit of
conquest” obedient to the will of our heavenly Father and Creator.
The Second Seal
As Jesus opened the second seal, the message of the scroll from
God’s right hand took form as a vision before the eyes of John. John
saw a “fiery red horse” on which sat a rider; he “was given power to
take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him
was given a large sword” (Revelation 6: 4).
Just as God created into mankind a spirit of conquest, he created
into mankind the capacity to physically kill other human beings. Killing has been a
major part of recorded history since the very
beginning. Cain killed Abel; Lemech killed two men; David killed
Goliath; Jerusalem was destroyed; Jesus was killed on the cross,
etc. Many wars have been waged throughout history: Roman wars,
Greek wars, the Crusades, the Hundred Years’ war, Napoleon’s wars,
World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, etc. Many famous men
in history have been men of war: David, Alexander
the Great, the Roman emperors, Ghengis Khan, Napoleon,
Hitler. Some United States presidents have also been military men:
Washington, Grant, and Eisenhower. Many great stories and mov47
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ies have been about war and its effects on mankind. Whether fiction
or nonfiction, books and television are centered on killing, and
humans that are killed make headline news daily around the world. Throughout
history, man has had the capacity to kill and has glorified
both war and the warrior.
Most certainly, mankind has the ability to kill each other, and
that was “given” by God. Mankind most certainly has practiced that
ability of killing each other.
But God has also created into our being, our conscience, the
knowledge that to kill another person is not right. God has also given
to us the Ten Commandments, which tell us, “Thou shall not kill.”
The “granted … to kill” in the second seal builds upon and overlaps
the spirit of conquest in the first seal, as in practice, many are
killed as a result of the abuse of the spirit of conquest. This is evident
when one who has built up sins strikes out in anger and kills another,
who stands in the way of his conquest.
Although a misuse of the spirit of conquest can cause a conqueror
bent on conquest to kill to accomplish his goal, there is a
marked difference here in the second seal. Mankind does not have
the authority to choose to kill. He has the power or ability but not
the authority, or “crown” of choice. The choice remains with God. When mankind
takes a life (murder) by his own choice, he is outside
the will of God and in direct opposition to God’s commandment,
“Thou shall not kill.”
God has, in certain circumstances, commanded or allowed that
lives be taken. He prescribes capital punishment in Exodus 21:12–23. God
commanded the Israelites to destroy the Canaanites––men,
women, and children––as a result of their utter sinfulness and God’s
judgment having been passed upon them.
God allowed Job’s children and servants to be killed by removing
his protective hedge, thus allowing satan to take their lives. Still,
God reserves the right of choice, or judgment, in regard to who is
killed. Mankind is given the power to slay men but will be held
accountable before God if he chooses to do so against God’s will.
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I had the privilege of knowing a United States Marine who,
during World War II, fought in the islands of the South Pacific. He
shared this story: The battle was over, and all the enemies had been
either killed or captured. This particular marine, along with another,
was given the task of carrying a wounded enemy soldier down a
mountain pass to the hospital on the beach. As they were carrying
the man along the steep path, one marine said to the other, “He sure
is heavy, and it sure is hot.” The other marine replied, “He sure is.”
Afterward, they threw the wounded enemy soldier over the cliff and
reported that the prisoner had died en route to the hospital.
After telling the story, the marine made these observations: “For
years after the war, I could not sleep in the same room with anyone,
even my wife, because I would have dreams and come up fighting. If there had been
anyone there, I would have killed them before I
realized what I was doing. It’s funny; of all the men I killed in that
war––I don’t know how many––I always see in the dreams the face
of that one we threw over the cliff.”
Although many were killed, the one thrown over the cliff did
not have to be killed. He was murdered; that makes him different. The guilty
conscience of the marine gives evidence that man does
not have the authority to choose to kill, and when he does, he must
give account before God.
The spirit from God that is symbolized by the red horse and
rider that makes men kill each other is best exemplified in a biblical
account in Exodus. In Exodus 7–11, God, through Moses and
Aaron, performed miracles, sending the ten plagues upon Egypt. In
the concluding statements of each miracle (plague), there is a statement
about the heart of Pharaoh. At the transformation of the staff
into a snake and the occurrence of the first plague, it is said, “Pharaoh’s
heart became hard” (Exodus 7:13, 22). In the second and fourth
plagues, “Pharaoh hardened his heart” (Exodus 8:15; 9:32). In the
sixth, eight, ninth, and tenth plagues, it is said, “The Lord hardened
Pharaoh’s heart” (Exodus 9:12; 10:20; 27:11–10). Here, a progression
of sin (disobedience) is clearly shown. Pharaoh rejected God repeatedly. God
took over to determine to what degree Pharaoh would be
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rebellious. Pharaoh was rebellious to the extent that he commanded
his armies to kill the Israelites, which resulted in the destruction
of his entire army in the Red Sea. One may say that God does not
tempt anyone, for James 1:13 says, “For God cannot be tempted by
evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when by his
own evil desire he is dragged away and enticed.”
However, the same effect was accomplished when Pharaoh’s
evil desire prevailed. God removed his protective hand and allowed
satan to take full control. The Bible says, “He gave them over to a
depraved mind to do what ought not to be done.” So whether one
uses the phrase, “God hardened his heart,” or the phrase, “God gave
them over to a depraved mind,” God still sees to it that a rebellious
man has the opportunity to commit the ultimate sin: to kill.
The description of the beast in Revelation 13:5–7 is exemplary of
God in complete control. It says,
The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and
blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. He opened his
mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his
name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. He
was given power to make war against the Saints and to conquer
them.
He was given a mouth, authority, and power. Because all power
and authority comes from God, then God was in control, directing
events and time; for forty-two months, the beast was “given”
(allowed) to blaspheme.
God controls killing, and he is patient and long-suffering toward
those who have both the capacity and the desire to kill. For example,
satan has, as a result of his rebellion against God, warred against
God’s people throughout history, desiring to destroy them (Revelation
12: 17). Despite the mortification of God’s people, God is still
in control, as satan has not yet been allowed to destroy them completely.
Nevertheless,
one day God will allow satan to have his desire
(Revelation 11:7; 13:7). Through his control of the beast, satan will
“attack them, and overpower and kill them.” In this, God is long50
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suffering toward the saints in that they will have opportunity to witness––
in obedience to God’s call––toward unrepentant sinners, in
that they still have opportunity to repent, and toward satan in that,
when he succeeds in his desire, his destruction will be at hand.
Mankind needs to understand that it was necessary for God to
create into mankind the capacity to kill. It was also necessary for
God to create into mankind the ability to commit adultery, to steal,
lie, and covet. That necessity comes from the inherent sinfulness of
mankind. We are born in sin, with a sinful nature. Therefore, it is
natural for us to sin. A baby does not have to be taught to covet a
toy or another baby’s possessions. A child does not have to learn to
lie to its mother. A boy does not need a teacher to learn how to steal. A man does
not need someone else to show him how to commit
adultery or to kill. However, we do need a teacher to teach us not to
do those things.
The five sins mentioned––to kill, to commit adultery, to steal,
to lie, and to covet––are found in the Ten Commandments as given
in Exodus 20. Each of these five relate to mankind’s relationship
to mankind––mankind’s sin against mankind. Therefore, I conclude
that the second seal relates to each of them equally. God chooses to
use the ultimate sin of mankind against mankind (to kill) to illustrate
the reality from God that mankind is born a sinner and those
sins must be revealed.
The revealing, or manifestation, of sin is necessary for all mankind,
both of the family of satan and the family of God. Inherent sin
must be brought forth to provide mankind the opportunity to confess
those sins and be saved. God sent a visionary rider on a horse,
exemplifying sin, helping us to realize our sin nature and our need
for a Savior, Jesus Christ.
The inherent sin of the family of satan must be brought forth so
that they will be without excuse when the books are open (Revelation
20:12). This may seem hard, but not so. They rejected the law that
God wrote on their hearts and rebelled, as did satan. By their own
free will, they chose to ignore sin, which is common to all, and did not
repent and be saved through free salvation provided by Jesus Christ.
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When a person acknowledges his sin––inherent and personal–
–he is saved, or born-again, and enters the family of God. Personal
sins of the family of God must be revealed so that they might be
molded into the image of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
As a person’s inherent sin is revealed, this process should
follow:
1.         The person recognizes their need for God and salvation.
2.         The person confesses sin and is saved.
3.         The person recognizes need for daily prayer.
4.         The person recognizes need for daily Bible study.
5.         The person recognizes need for regular church attendance.
As personal sins are revealed the person should confess sin and
resolve to sin no more. Yet we must recognize/understand that inherent
and personal sins come through conviction of the heart, and thus
must be dealt with between the individual and Jesus Christ/God/the
Holy Spirit. In this continuous process an individual grows/matures
spiritually, being molded into the image of Christ.
Jesus said,
You have heard that it was said to people long ago, do not
murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment. But I tell you that
anyone who is angry with his brother will be
subject to judgment.
Matthew 5:21
Therefore, it is not enough for a Christian to say he obeyed the law
because he did not kill anyone. We must, as convicted, put away
hate, anger, and malice in a process that brings us into a Christ-like
life. Therefore, the Christian is molded into the image of Christ.
God has complete authority concerning the taking of life. He
decides who will be killed, not mankind. Yet, his Spirit controls,
commands, and even manipulates the minds and desires of mankind
to cause them to make a decision whether or not they will kill one
another.
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Jesus is our example. He was falsely arrested, falsely accused,
falsely condemned, despised, cursed, ridiculed, beaten, and killed. He had all power,
yet spoke not a word in his defense. His accusers
already had the potential to sin. God used that potentiality to bring
forth sin in order to establish his will. The purpose was twofold:
1) that they might realize their sinfulness, repent, and turn to God
through Jesus Christ, and 2) that the ultimate sacrifice would be
made through Jesus Christ for the redemption of mankind.
How does this relate to Revelation? The Lord God is sending a
message to his people telling them that the persecution and killing,
which they do not understand, is controlled by him. He wants them
to know that he is still in control and will be even when the killing
becomes worse as the world progresses to the end of time. At the
blowing of the sixth trumpet, Revelation 9:13–19, God removes the
barriers that allow the killing of one-third of mankind. In Revelation
11:17, the two witnesses will be attacked and killed. With the
pouring out of the sixth bowl, the whole world will be gathered for
the battle of the great day of God Almighty when, the Bible says,
“The rest of them were killed” (Revelation 19:21). God is preparing
the world for the horrors that are to come. He wants us to know that
he is in charge, not satan and not mankind.
Why does God allow people to be killed? Why does he allow the
killing of the innocent and the massacres of multitudes of people?
We can justify the death of an evil man, but what about the good?
God created mankind with the freedom of choice and a spirit
of conquest through which mankind can, against the will and commandment
of God, kill each other. Also, God has created us in such
a way and given us this message from heaven to explain that mankind
must choose whether or not he will kill. Pharaoh could have
chosen to obey God, but he chose to disobey. That disobedience
propelled him, by the reality of the second seal, to give his army the
command to kill the Israelites. Thus, God is uniquely involved in
those who kill and who are killed, in that God created mankind as
sinners and the natural progression of sin will come to murder.
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Thus, the message of the second seal uses an illustration of the
greatest sin that a person can commit against his neighbor (to kill
him) to illustrate the fact that all mankind are sinners.
The primary message of the second seal is that “we have all
sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Mankind was created
by God in such a manner that you and I are sinners; we will
be judged. That judgment is spelled out in Revelation 17 and 18 as
the judgments against the woman sitting on the scarlet beast. From
Adam and Eve to the last person on earth, we are sinners; we are so
created according to the message of the second seal.
Remember, Jesus Christ came and died upon the cross to save
sinners from their sins.
This being the plan of God, for the defining of and determining
who, by their own choice, chooses Jesus Christ and thus becomes
part of the family of God.
The family of God equals repentant sinners.
Remember, death to the family of God is not a tragedy to God,
but simply brings his children home to heaven.
The Third Seal
As the third seal was released by the Lamb, John saw a black horse
delivering the message. Its rider was simply holding a pair of scales
in his hand (Revelation 6:5b).
The message of the third seal is that God has created a plan by
which mankind can provide for his needs and physical provision.
Scales, or balances, are the tools of the businessman. Balances as
used in the Bible primarily refer to business, with the exception of being
used to pronounce God’s judgment upon King Belshazzar of Babylon,
who was weighed on the scales and found wanting (Daniel 5:27).
The pair of scales used in Revelation 6:5 clearly refers to business,
not judgment, as the audible message from the fourth living
creature is “a quart of wheat for a day’s wages, and three quarts of
barley for a day’s wages” (Verse 6), implying work/business to provide
daily food.
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In interpreting these references to the price of grain, we usually
speak of the high cost––a day’s wages––and how that high cost
indicates famine and starvation. However, in all of history, the great
majority of mankind has worked each day for his daily provision of
food. It has always been that while one man works in the fields to
put food on his table for that day, another man sells in the marketplace
to put food on the table for that day. That is business.
I believe that the horse and rider with the scales says that God
has created into mankind a system of business that causes man to
work to provide his daily needs. In Genesis 3:19, God pronounces
judgment upon Adam and, thus, mankind. God said, “By the sweat
of your brow you will eat your food.” The laborer works for the
farmer, who sells the grain to the miller, who sells to the baker, who
sells to the grocer, who sells to the laborer’s wife. Thus, a business
chain is developed in which all are working for their food, their daily
provisions.
Mankind has a unique ability to corrupt that system of business
through the sins of greed and disobedience to God’s intended purpose
for the created system of business.
The corruption of God’s plan can be seen in the account of Jacob
and Esau (Genesis 25:29–34). Esau came in from a hunt very hungry
and asked his brother Jacob for a bowl of stew. Jacob demanded a
high price for a bowl of stew. Esau, in his disregard for his birthright,
paid a high price––his God-given birthright––for a bowl of stew. Corrupted business
led to broken relationships within the family.
A broken chain of business can be seen in the world situation
in the twentieth century when thousands of people starve to death
in Ethiopia, Laos, Cambodia, etc. They did not starve because they
could not feed themselves from the land that was available to them
in their own countries, nor was it because the world could not produce
enough food for them. Many countries had enormous grain
surpluses. It was not because the business world could not get the
food to them, for the modes of transportation and the funds needed
for support were available.
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There was a breakdown in God’s plan for business. Political turmoil
and war in those countries kept them from using the resources
available to them. The consequential financial disaster left them
nothing with which to barter for food. The world, for the most part,
failed to share its surpluses with those countries, and, in spite of
thousands of starving people, their own governments often blocked
much of the humanitarian aid that was sent.
In God’s plan, he created a world with great potential, with
many good things to eat, such as vegetables, fruit, meat, nuts, etc. God intended
that mankind would work by the sweat of his brow to
earn the food for his family.
In God’s plan, the rider is carrying a “pair of scales.” The scales
would imply that business should be carried out in an honest, fair,
and correct manner.
Also, in God’s plan, we are commanded to love our neighbor as
we love ourselves.
If God’s plan as exemplified in the third seal was fully implemented
among mankind, there would be plenty and enough for all to
eat and have the provisions that they need. Mankind has continually
failed in implementing the guidelines that God created into his plan.
The voice among the four living creatures also said, “ … and do
not damage the oil and the wine!” (Revelation 6:6).
Oil and wine are luxuries, not essentials. The Lord has provided
luxuries––a great variety of foods and resources for his creation––
and protects those luxuries until the time comes when he chooses to
take them away. The command to not damage the oil and the wine is
given in the same sense as the command given to the four angels in
Revelation 7:3, which says, “Do not harm the land or the sea or the
trees until … ” The command is given to the angels, who had been
given power to harm the land and the sea, so that nature would continue
on its normal course until God says, “It is done!” (Revelation
16:17). Likewise, the oil and the wine, the provisions God has made
for us, are protected, and the chain of business continues. However,
the time will come when God will give the command to destroy the
oil and wine (the vast provisions of earth). This destruction of God’s
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provision is seen in the blowing of the first four trumpets and the
pouring of the second, third, and fourth bowls, through which the
natural resources of earth are destroyed.
How does this God-given plan of business relate to the vision of
Revelation? The use of the plan of business is a major portion of the
accusations against Babylon the great. Revelation 18:3 speaks of her
excessive luxuries, and verses 12 and 13 say,
Cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen,
purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and
articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron
and marble; cargoes are cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh
and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat;
cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and bodies and souls of
men.
Mankind’s desire for material gain and luxuries become so consuming
that he does not acknowledge God, nor does he give God any
place in his daily life. The drive for business and wealth does not
allow a day (Exodus 20:8) to worship the creator, nor does it allow
anyone to love his neighbor as himself. The nations, kings, and merchants
of the earth are warned that their business and luxuries are
spiritual adultery––exultation of self––as they take control of their
lives to the exclusion of God.
How should the Christian of today relate to this plan of business?
The teachings of Jesus are contrary to the corrupted business
that prevails in the world today. Jesus taught,
If anyone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have
your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with
him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn
away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
Matthew 5:40–42
The church has been so permeated by these corrupted business
practices that it has turned more to the way of the world than to
the teachings of our Lord. For example, there were two churches
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in the same small town. One was old, large, established, and very
secure financially. The other church was new, small, struggling, and
greatly in debt. It happened during the same time span that the
large church was remodeling their auditorium and replacing all the
pews. The small church was desperately trying to build an auditorium
that would seat their growing congregation. The small church
made arrangements to purchase from the large church ten pews at
$100 each. After attempting to raise the $1000 and finding it impossible,
the small church informed the large church that they could not
purchase the pews. The answer was that the pews were for sale. If
the big church could not sell them, they would put them in storage.
The pews were their property. Therefore, they had the right to
do as they choose. Correct? In 1 John 3:17, it states, “If anyone has
material possessions and sees his brother in need, but has no pity on
him, how can the love of God be in him?”
Will the church of today follow the teachings of our Lord, or
will it take on the attributes and mannerisms of the world in which
it lives?
In the midst of the description of the excessive luxuries of Babylon
the great, a voice from heaven said,
Come out of her my people, so that you will not share in her
sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues, for her sins
are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.
Revelation 18:4–5
The challenge to God’s people is to be different from the world, to
refuse to take on the characteristics of the world that conflict with
our Lord’s teachings.
The message delivered by the black horse and its riders is that
God has set in the hearts and minds of people a system of business
through which his daily needs are provided.
The parable of the talents rebukes those who are lazy. The man
with the five talents and the man with the two talents gained more
for their master. Therefore, their master commended them for their
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faithfulness and put them in charge of many things. However, the
man with the one talent was afraid and hid it in the ground.
His master replied, “You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew
that I harvest where I do not sow and gather where I have not
scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on
deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have
received it back with interest. Take the talent from him and give
it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will
be given more and he will have abundance. Whoever does not
have even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that
worthless servant outside into the darkness where there will be
weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 25:14–30
To the church today:
You too must work and do business, but take warning that you
do not pattern your business attitudes after the world. God says,
“Come out of her, my people” (Revelation 18:4).
To the world outside of Christ:
God gave you, through creation, a system of business, but you
will be judged as to how you use it. Your wealth is of no value in
the end. The Bible says, “In one hour such great wealth has been
brought to ruin! (Revelation 18:17).
The Fourth Seal
As the Lamb opened the fourth seal, the fourth living creature said,
“Come!” John wrote, “I looked, and there before me was a pale horse!
Its rider was named death, and Hades was following close behind
him” (Revelation 6:8a)
The message is death. Like the others, the horse and rider came
from heaven. Death was a sentence passed upon all mankind in the
Garden of Eden as God said to Adam, “Until you return to the
ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust
you return” (Genesis 3:19).
In the book of Job, satan told God that Job would curse him to
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his face if he stretched out his hand and struck everything that Job
had. God said to satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your
hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger” ( Job 1:12). God
gave satan permission to kill Job’s sons, daughters, and servants, but
not Job himself.
He also will give satan permission to kill the two witnesses, but
only when they have finished their testimony. Revelation 11:7 says,
“Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes
up from the abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them.”
Also, Revelation 13:7 says, “He [the beast] was given power to make
war against the saints and to conquer them.” Thus, God is in charge
of death, both physically and spiritually.
The remainder of the message is, “They [death and Hades] were
given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and
plague, and by the wild beast of the earth” (verse 8b). Throughout
history, mankind has died as a result of men killing men, by sword,
starvation, famine, disease, plague, and wild animals.
Murder, capital punishment, war, abortion, human sacrifice,
etc., are included in the sword. Starvation and disease caused by
improper diets, etc., are included in famine. All diseases that bring
an immature death and natural disasters of flood, storm, earthquake,
etc., are included in plague. Killings by tigers, bear, snakes, etc., are
included in wild beast of the earth. At the end of time, when the
final tally is in, we believe that a fourth of mankind will have met a
premature death from the four causes mentioned in Revelation 6:8.
Since a fourth of the earth is killed by the sword, famine, plague,
and wild beast, there remains three-fourths of the earth to die of
other causes. In Genesis 6:3, God says of mankind, “He is mortal;
his days will be 120 years.” Thus, God created mankind in such a
manner that his body will last no longer than 120 years. As a result
of modern medicine, we know that even though the body is free
from disease, the organs just simply wear out. There is no reversing
the aging process. When kidneys wear out, they cease to function. When a heart
weakens with age to the point that it can no longer
pump blood, it stops and the body dies. God created mankind so
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that we die. The Bible says, “Man is destined to die once and after
that the judgment” (Hebrews 9: 27).
The message of the third seal named death is:
To the Christian:
The one who created you, died for you, loves you, sent his Holy
Spirit to live in you, and has prepared a place in heaven for you. He
is in charge of your death, the time of your death, and he knows if
you will die from the sword, famine, plague, wild animals, or old age. Death for you
should be easily accepted because the one who loves
you and died for you is in charge of your death.
To the rest of mankind (those who do not know Jesus Christ as their
Savior):
You will die either by sword, famine, plague, wild animals, or old
age. You cannot elude nor prevent death, and hell is close behind.
Many writers and interpreters believe that this fourth seal
equates to a plague brought about by war and famine, but as seen
here, death has been a part of physical life since the Garden of Eden. Death that is
common to all mankind is not a plague of the end
times. “Flesh and blood cannot enter the kingdom of heaven” (1
Corinthians 15:50)
The Fifth Seal
When the Lamb opened the fifth seal, John saw, under the altar, the
souls of those who had been slain because of the Word of God and
the testimony they had maintained. This scene of the seals is present
tense––at the time of the writing of Revelation––for not all who are
to be killed had been killed. Revelation 6:11 says, “Then each of them
was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer,
until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to
be killed as they had been was completed.” All who have been killed
because of their testimony are under the altar waiting for those who
are yet to be killed, from Abel in Genesis to the two witnesses in
Revelation 11:7.
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At the very beginning, God prophesied the constant battle
between satan and God’s people. After satan deceived the woman,
God judged satan and said, “Because you have done this … I will put
enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and
hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
The message from God, released with the fifth seal, is very powerful
and reassuring to Christians facing persecution and death as a
result of their faith and testimony. They are given white robes and
a special place in heaven. All of creation can be assured that, even
though God allows his servants to be killed as a testimony to the
unbeliever, it will be worth it all. Death is not to be feared, for the
Bible says, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his
saints” (Psalms 116:15).
Conclusion to Seals One through Five
Thus, the first five seals are interpreted to be conditions that are
created into mankind and that have prevailed under the direction
of God Almighty. These conditions have been, are, and will be the
order of creation until the Lord says, “It is done” (Revelation 16:
17). Mankind has always had 1) Freedom of choice (a crown) and a
spirit of conquest, 2) An ability to kill, sin, 3) A system of business,
provision, 4) Man has always had to die, and 5) God’s people have
always been killed, martyred, because of the Word of God and their
testimonies.
With each message of the five seals comes judgment and
plagues––as prescribed in the vision of Revelation––for those who
abuse those God-given conditions. These judgments are spelled out
in the description of the great prostitute in Revelation 17 and 18. It
is unique that the great prostitute has five accusations against her
and that they correspond in nature with the spirit of the five seals as
interpreted here. They are as follows:
Seal Number 1: You, who with your freedom and spirit of conquest
elevate self to the throne, are a part of Babylon the great
and will suffer her fate. Revelation 17: 2 says, “With her the kings
of the earth committed adultery and the inhabitants of the earth
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were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.” Spiritual adultery
equals self on the throne and self as God rather than choosing
Jesus Christ as Lord. They were given a “crown” of choice and
made the wrong choice!
Seal Number 2: You, who kill in thought or deed and are unrepentant
of your sins, are part of Babylon the great and will suffer
her fate. Revelation 18:24 says, “In her was found the blood of the
prophets and all the saints, and of all who have been killed on
the earth.
They committed the ultimate sin—to kill—and did not repent.
Seal Number 3: You, who the system of business controlled your
life to the exclusion of God, are part of Babylon the great and will
suffer her fate. Revelation 18:7, “Give her as much torture and grief
as the glory and luxury she gave herself.”
Her business and possessions became gods, without salvation in
Jesus Christ.
Seal Number 4: You, who disregard the fact that you will die and
stand before the judgment throne of God, are a part of Babylon the
great and will suffer her fate. Revelation 18:7–8 says, “In her heart
she boasts, I sit as Queen; I am not a widow and I will never mourn. Therefore in one
day her plagues will overtake her; death, mourning,
and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord
God who judges her.”
They did not prepare for God’s judgment before death––judged
guilty, condemned.
Seal Number 5: You, who slander, persecute, and kill God’s
people, are part of Babylon the great and will suffer her fate. Revelation
18:24 says, “In her was found the blood of the prophets and
the saints.
Commit murder, unrepentant equals eternity separated from God.
This interpretation of the seals is very different from that of
other writers. However, I believe that the fact that the great prostitute
is accused of five things that correspond in nature with the five
seals give strong evidence for this interpretation.
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Thus, the abuse/misuse or disregard for the message of the first
five seals are the five judgments declared against the great prostitute
in Revelation 17 and 18.
The Sixth Seal
The sixth seal begins with the phrase, “I watched … ” (Revelation
6:12). This is significant as it indicates a change of scene. Revelation
6:1 also begins with the phrase, “I watched … ,” and, thereafter, come
the conditions that exist: the first five seals. This beginning indicates
a change of scene or a different era or situation. Thus, we conclude
that seals six and seven are different in nature as compared to seals
one through five, seals one through five being conditions created by
God and seal six giving an outline, or preview, of what happens to
the last generation as the result to those seal messages. Then seal
seven explains the tribulation that falls upon those who abused or
disobeyed the message of the first five seals. Thus, the sixth seal is a
new scene and, therefore, different from the first five seals.
John watched as the Lamb, Jesus, opened the sixth seal. Revelation
6:12–14 says,
There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like
sackcloth made of goat’s hair, the whole moon turned blood red,
and the stars in the sky fell to the earth, as late figs drop from
a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The sky receded like
a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was moved
from its place.
This is a description of the time when, under God’s direction, creation
will be dismantled, or taken apart. In Genesis 1, we have the
description of God creating the heavens and the earth. With the
opening of the sixth seal, we have the description of God dismantling
the heavens and the earth. Thus, creation is not destroyed by
man’s atomic bombs or star wars, but by an act of God when he says,
“It is finished” (Revelation 16:17). The two scenes of the sixth seal are
a preview or outline of God’s conclusion.
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The first scene in verses 12–14 is an outline of the destruction
in Revelation 16. This outline of destruction is part of the sixth seal
because, from the beginning of creation, God knew and had the plan
for the end of creation.
The second scene of the sixth seal enumerates and explains that
the family of God will be “standing before the throne of God” as the
family of satan is being destroyed at the end. The messages of the
seven seals were part of God’s plan from the beginning.
Seals one through five are God’s created conditions that correspond
with the outline of judgment in Revelation 17 and 18 against
mankind without Jesus Christ.
Seal six is a preview of conditions––place and circumstance––of
the family of satan and the family of God at the end of physical
creation as we know it.
Seal seven is a description and explanation of the seven-year
tribulation, final judgment, and the eternal destiny of the family of
God and the family of satan.
This preview, in seal six, of God’s conclusion reveals the destiny
of satan’s people and the destiny of God’s people. The destiny of
those––who through the rejection of God’s Word and plan, misuse
and abuse the order of creation set forth in the five seals––is judgment
and death. From the highest—“kings of the earth” (Revelation
6:15)—to the lowest––“every slave”––they will experience God’s
judgment. The Bible says, “For the great day of his wrath has come,
and who can stand?” (Revelation 6:17).
The first scene of the sixth seal opens with “a great earthquake”
(verse 12). An earthquake is referred to in four other scriptures: Revelation
8:5; 11:13; 11:19; and 16:18. Each one seems to mark an important
event. The clearest reference is Revelation 11:13, which says, “At that
very hour there was a severe earthquake.” It occurs immediately after
the two witnesses––a part of the last Christians on earth––are taken
up to heaven, thus clearing the way for God and the Lamb to pour
out their wrath on the rest of mankind who have rejected God’s Word
and God’s plan for salvation. The occurrence, “every mountain and
island was removed from its place,” corresponds clearly with Revela65
Message From the Throne
tion 16:20 (the seventh bowl), which states, “Every island fled away
and the mountains could not be found.”
Thus, we understand the earthquakes to mark the beginning,
or end, of major events. This can be seen in several places during
the tribulation period. The first earthquake marks the beginning of
tribulation in Revelation 8:5 as the angels prepare to blow the trumpets. The
second marks the beginning of the great tribulation immediately
after the raising of the two witnesses (Revelation 11:13). The
third is a severe earthquake, Revelation 16:18, like no other that has
ever occurred. It marks the beginning of the battle of Armageddon
and is also the end of the earth as we know it. The other, Revelation
11:19, is only a possibility in that it may be the same earthquake
referred to in verse 13. If it is a different earthquake, then it would
mark the end of the rapture, as verse 19 says, “God’s temple in heaven
was opened.”
Thus, the first scene of the sixth seal has two purposes. The first
purpose is to give a preliminary outline, verses 12–14, of the great
tribulation from the first earthquake, verse 12, which initiates tribulation,
Revelation 8:5, to the final destruction of physical earth as we
know it (Revelation 6:14 and 16:18). The second purpose is to warn
all mankind, from kings to slaves (verse 15) that they will come under
judgment, condemnation, fear, and physical death (verse 17).
Whereas the first scene, Revelation 6:12–17, of the sixth seal
gives severe warning to satan’s family, who have rejected God’s plan
for salvation, the second (Revelation 7:1–8) and the third (Revelation
7:9–17) scenes give confidence, assurance, and promise to God’s people
“who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood
of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14). Again, a change of phrase indicates
a change of scene, situation, or era. The first scene of the sixth seal
begins with “I watched” (Revelation 6: 12); the second scene with
“After this I saw” (Revelation 7:1); and the third scene with “After
this I looked” (Revelation 7: 9).
In the second scene, John saw,
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Four Angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding
back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from
blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree.
Revelation 7:1
These angels are in charge of holding creation in order. They are
holding back the wind; that is, preventing any wind of destruction
from blowing on creation. When the angel came up from the east,
having the seal of God,
He cried out in a loud voice to the four Angels who had been
given power to harm the land and the sea; do not harm the land
or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the
servants of our God.
Revelation 7:2–3
Since the first scene of the sixth seal describes the destruction of
creation, here God’s people are promised that the destruction will be
held back until a seal is put on the forehead of God’s people.
Many years ago, the Lord allowed me to see the reality that
God is in control of nature and will keep it in its proper order. The
occasion was on the morning of the day when one of my best friends
was to be buried. We had been the closest of friends for about two
years. We had worked together, dated together, and gone to church
together. Through fun times and in serious times, we had been
friends and confidants.
One day my friend and a friend of his stopped at my house, had
lunch, visited a while, and then drove away. About five miles down
the road, they had an accident and my friend was killed.
Two days later as I was up at dawn to milk the cows––I was a
dairy farmer at the time––I opened a barn door that faced the east
and there was one of the most beautiful sunrises I had ever seen. As
I stood there looking at the sun peeking up over the horizon, I asked
myself, How can there be such a beautiful sunrise on the day when my
best friend is to be buried?
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The answer came to my mind immediately: because God made
it so. No matter what tragedy or circumstance befalls mankind, the
earth will continue to rotate around the sun. The sun will rise in the
east and set in the west until God brings it to a halt. This fact should
give Christians great confidence and assurance that we will be able
to carry on our lives in God’s beautiful creation until all of the family
of God has been sealed and saved.
There are two groups that are sealed. They are the 144,000 from
all of the tribes of Israel (verse 4), and a great multitude that no one
could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language (verse 9). God’s
servants are divided into two groups. They are descendents
of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob––Old Testament era––and all Christians,
Jews, and Gentiles alike––New Testament era.
We must either interpret the 144,000 as literal or symbolic. It is
not the nature of Scripture to make statements such as these about
the 144,000 unless they have important meaning. If we interpret the
144,000 as literal, there would be exactly, not one more or one less,
than twelve thousand from each of the twelve tribes of Israel. If this
were true, it would not be true to the nature of salvation as explained
in the Scripture, or true to the nature of the forgiveness of God. The nature of God
has always been forgiving to any who “call upon
the name of the Lord.” Thus, it would be contrary to Scripture and
God’s nature to say only 144,000 of the sons of Abraham, Isaac, and
Jacob would be in heaven.
After much prayer and study, we interpret the 144,000 as being
symbolic, and as symbolic, a limiting number. There are two references
in the Bible that would uphold this interpretation.
1.         In the biblical account of the census in Numbers 1,
it is obvious that there are far more than 144,000
descendents of Abraham living in that one generation. We
can assume that in every generation since
then there has been more than 144,000 descendents
of Abraham. The Germans killed approximately 6
million during World War II.
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2.         There are also several references in the New Testament
that give clearly a message that all the Jews, though
children of Abraham by blood lineage, are not children
of God spiritually. Reference Luke 3:8–9, John
8, and Matthew 23.
These references establish two facts about the tribes of Israel. The
number of them is far more than 144,000, and they are not all spiritual
sons of Abraham.
Thus, we conclude that the 144,000 gives a strong message to
the Jewish people that although they are sons by blood lineage, they
will not all be in heaven as part of the family of God. 144,000 equals
many, but not all.
Throughout history, Jews and Gentiles have been divided on the
basis that Jews are God’s people and Gentiles are not. This distinction
brought controversy in the book of Acts as Gentiles were being
saved. When the apostles and elders met to discuss the matter, Peter
stood up and said,
Brothers you know that some time ago God made a choice among
you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of
the Gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that
he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he
did to us. He made no distinction between us and them for he
purified their hearts by faith.
Acts 15:7–9
The distinction, though erased by God and Acts 15, is carried through
to Revelation 7 in order to show the Jews that the family of God is
those who are washed in the blood of the Lamb. Clarification is made
in the third scene through the conversation between one of the elders
and John. After John had seen the great multitude before the throne
wearing white robes, one of the elders asked, “These in white robes,
who are they, and where did they come from?” (verse 13).
John answered, “Sir, you know” (verse 14). And the elder said,
“These are they who have come out of great tribulation; who have
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washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, they
are before the throne of God” (verses 14–15).
Therefore, it is clear that God’s people are not solely the Jews
because of ancestry, as they believe, but those who have come
through the saving blood of Jesus. Jesus said, “I am the way and the
truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”
( John 14:6).
As the elder said, “They have washed their robes and made
them white in the blood of the Lamb” (verse 14). They, collectively,
the great multitude, have washed their individual robes. The implication
is that they were not saved collectively, nor standing before
the throne because they were members of a particular church or religious
group, nor because of ancestry, nor because they were born
in America, or any other country, but because they had washed in
Jesus’s blood and made their robes white.
In today’s world, we draw all kinds of lines: free world, communist
world; East, West; Israeli, Arab; black, white; North, South;
Democratic, Republican; conservative, liberal; Jewish, Christian,
Protestant, Catholic, Muslim, Hindu. The connotation in which
these lines are drawn is that one is bad, and the other is good; one is
right, and the other is wrong; we are God’s people, and they are not;
God is on one side and not on the other.
The message and point here in the sixth seal is that there is only
one line: God’s line. On both sides of that line, there are people from
every nation, tribe, people, and language (Revelation 7:9; 13:7–8). On
one side are those who rejected God’s plan for salvation through
Jesus Christ, resulting in a life lived for self and abusing the Godgiven
privileges of the first five seals. Thus, they brought upon themselves
the wrath of God and the Lamb. On the other side of the line
are those who have washed their robes and made them white in the
blood of the Lamb.
Inherent in the phrase, “washed their robes and made them
white,” is the necessity of action on the part of every individual who
would be saved through the blood of the Lamb (verse 14). There
is nothing anyone could do that would make them deserving of
heaven, for the Bible says,
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For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and not
of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works lest any man
should boast.
Ephesians 2:8–9
This washing is an act of the heart through which one determines,
makes a decision, to follow God’s plan for salvation through the sacrifice
of Jesus Christ. Thus, through determined decision and action
during the age of accountability, one believes, confesses sin, and asks
for forgiveness and salvation through prayer to our heavenly Father
in Jesus’ name. By that determined decision and obedience to the
commands of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, one crosses over
God’s line and is born again. For by nature, all mankind is on the side
described in the first scene of the sixth seal (Revelation 6:12–17).
As we cross over God’s line, we receive a seal as mentioned in
Revelation 7:3: “Until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants
of our God”; and John 1:13 says, “Children born not of natural dissent,
nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”
Thus, the action of turning from one’s natural self to salvation in
Jesus Christ is initiated by God, yet it is necessary for the individual
person to respond in belief and repentance through Jesus Christ.
Through the Holy Spirit (Spirit of God), God reaches out to
touch, to make known his existence, to make known his presence. He initiates
contact with each individual in such a way that the person
has the opportunity to make a decision whether or not to believe
in God and to exercise his right to accept or reject Jesus Christ as
Lord and savior. If a person by their own free will determines to
believe and invite Jesus Christ to come into their hearts, God, by his
saving power, seals them with the gift of his Holy Spirit.
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the Word
of Truth, the Gospel of your salvation; having believed, you were
marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 1:13
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As pastor of a church, as I was extending the invitation, a young lady
came forward and gave this explanation. “The other night in my bed
as I was listening to the radio, a preacher was preaching. He said
at the close of his message, ‘If there is anyone listening who wants
to be saved, repeat this prayer with me.’” She explained that, in the
prayer, she confessed Jesus as Lord, confessed that she was a sinner,
and asked Jesus to save her. She said that as she prayed something
happened. “Something came into me, and whoever it was told me to
come down here.” Though she did not understand all that had happened
to her, her testimony illustrates so beautifully the washing of
her robe as she made the decision and prayed. Then God sealed her
with his Holy Spirit, who instructed her to come for public commitment
and baptism.
Persons who have not believed in and received Jesus Christ are
unwashed, and thus they are all mankind who have rejected God’s
plan for salvation. All people of all time, all the world, are by nature
sinners. For example, there has never been a normal child who never
said “no” to its mother or father. So the scripture is true that says,
“All have sinned” (Romans 3:23). In Ephesians 6:1–2, God gives the
commandment, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is
right. ‘Honor your father and mother’––which is the first commandment
with promise.” All mankind has broken God’s law; thus guilty,
a sinner, unwashed. If they refuse or neglect to wash their robes in
the blood of Jesus Christ, they are outside God’s plan of salvation
and will suffer under the wrath of God and the Lamb.
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities––his
eternal power and divine nature––have been clearly seen, being
understood from what has been made so that men are without
excuse.”
Romans 1:20
The sixth seal has two distinct parts. They are divided by God
(God’s line). These two parts divide all mankind regardless of race,
color, or creed into either the family of satan or the family of God. Those who do not
wash their robes in the blood of Jesus Christ are
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by nature in the family of satan. A person must choose to be in the
family of God. As the Lord seals those who wash their robes, they
cross over the line and are, thereafter, part of the family of God.
In the divisions of the sixth seal, the first message pertains to
the family of satan; the second, to the family of God. This sets a
precedent for the remainder of the vision of Revelation.
The divisions are as follows:
1.         Revelation 6:12–17 identifies the family of satan
and foretells what will happen to them in the end. Revelation 7:1–17 identifies the
family of God and
foretells where they will be at the end.
2.         Revelation 8 and 9 record in more detail what will
happen to the family of satan through the first half
of tribulation. Revelation 10 and 11 record in more
detail what will happen to the family of God in their
struggle in life and the first half of tribulation.
3.         Revelation 12 and 13 describe spiritual warfare in
regard to the family of satan. Revelation 14:1–6
describes the spiritual work of the family of God.
4.         Revelation 14:8–18:24 gives the account of the physical
disruption and defeat of the family of satan and
why they are to be destroyed. Revelation 19 gives the
account of the victory of the family of God.
5.         Revelation 20 pronounces the final judgment of the
family of satan. Revelation 21:1–22:5 pronounces the
final reward of the family of God.
A key to understanding the book of Revelation is in understanding
the sequence of events that happen. The message of Revelation
is about two groups of people: the family of God and the family
of satan. Thus, the message is two stories meshed together in a
sequence of events. It is necessary to explain what happens to one
group during a time era and then switch to the other group during
that same time era. So, the book of Revelation bounces back and
forth between the two groups, explaining in visionary form what
happens to them.
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Revelation 8
The Lamb opened the seventh seal, and “There was silence in heaven
for about half an hour” (Revelation 8:1) This period of silence represents
a time of waiting, a time in which creation works its way
through history until all are sealed (Revelation 7:3)
“And the earth’s grapes are ripe” (Revelation 14:18)
After the half hour of silence, seven particular angels, who stand
before God, are given seven trumpets (verse 2) These angels waited
until another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the
altar
He was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the
saints on the Golden altar before the throne The smoke of
the incense, together with the prayers of all the saints, went up
before God from the angel’s hand There was silence in heaven
for about half an hour
Revelation 11:3–6
It is implied that the seven angels who were given the seven trumpets
waited until the prayers of the saints had gone up before God
before they could pronounce God’s judgment as follows in chapter
8, and forward
The fi rst six verses indicate that the beginning of tribulation,
the beginning of the end, corresponds with the arrival of the prayers
of all the saints before the throne of God This would say that at
some time in history, all of mankind will have made their decision to
accept or reject God’s plan of salvation At that time, there would be
no more people to be saved; all who will be saved are saved Scripture
substantiates this in Revelation 7:3, which says, “Do not harm the
land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the
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servants of our God.” Although all the family of God is sealed, the
last generation of them will still be physically alive. Also, Revelation
11:7 says, “Now when they have finished their testimony the beast
that comes up from the abyss will attack them and overpower and
kill them.” Therefore, at any time, set only in God’s infinite knowledge
when all of God’s servants are sealed and washed, God “will
give power to the beast” (Revelation 13:7), “to kill the last two witnesses
on earth” (Revelation 11:7). So, there will be no more witness
and satan will be in total control of the earth. No more people will
be saved, and final destruction will begin.
An earthquake will precede that tribulation, as recorded in
Revelation 8:5, which says, “Then the angel took the censer, filled
it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came
peels of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.”
This is the beginning earthquake, which God will initiate. It is not
a natural phenomenon that will happen by chance. It will happen
in a place and time which will indicate the point when, through the
prayers of the last of God’s people, all of the family of God will have
been sealed. After the thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and
earthquake, the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepare to
sound them (verse six).
The First Four Trumpets
The first four trumpets, when blown, will have the effect of destroying
nature, creation. Again, in Genesis 1, there is the description of
God creating the heavens and the earth; here in Revelation 8:7–12
is the description of God taking apart, or dismantling, his creation. The first four
trumpets are the first phase; the first four bowls, chapter
16, are the next phase of the destruction of God’s physical part
of creation.
With the sounding of the first trumpet, hail and fire mixed with
blood was hurled down upon the earth (verse 7). A third of the earth,
trees, and grass were burned up.
With the sounding of the second trumpet, “something like a
huge mountain, all ablaze was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea
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turned into blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died and
a third of the ships were destroyed” (verse 8).
With the sounding of the third trumpet, “a great star, blazing
like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the
springs of water … A third of the waters turned bitter and many
people died from the waters that had become bitter” (verses 10–11).
With the sounding of the fourth trumpet, “a third of the sun,
moon and stars were struck. A third of the day was without light and
also a third of the night” (verse 12b).
Thus, these four trumpets will signal the destruction of onethird
of creation. This partial destruction will serve as a warning to
satan’s family, who will be trusting in their wealth and in the things
of this world. These things will all be destroyed.
In verse 13, a new scene opens and introduces the fifth, sixth, and
seventh trumpets. As John watched, an eagle called out a message,
which gives special emphasis to the last three trumpets. He cried,
“Woe! Woe! Woe! To the inhabitants of the earth, because of the
trumpet blast about to be sounded by the other three Angels!” The
fact that the word woe is repeated three times emphasizes the terrible
destruction and devastation to come. The first four trumpets represent
physical destruction; the last three trumpets, spiritual destruction. Spiritual
destruction is much worse than physical destruction,
which accounts for the three “Woes.” So the Lord God gives special
emphasis to the fifth, sixth, and seventh trumpets as they progress to
the worst of tribulation.
The Fifth Trumpet: First Woe
When the fifth angel sounded his trumpet, the key to the shaft of the
abyss was given to “a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth”
(Revelation 9:1). When he opened the abyss, out of it came smoke,
which darkened the sun and the sky. Out of the smoke came locusts
that were given power to torment the family of satan (verse 4).
The star was either satan himself or one of the angels that were
cast out of heaven with him. Revelation 12:4 says, “His tail swept
a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth.” In
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either case, the fallen star opens the abyss. The locusts have a king. His name is
“abaddon” in Hebrew and “apollyon” in Greek; both
mean destroyer. It is clear that this was an act of God because he was
in control of the fifth angel, who sounded the trumpet, and in control
of the time it was to be sounded (Revelation 8:2–6).
The names abaddon and apollyon (destroyer) are characteristic
and exemplary of the nature of this fallen angel, the king of the
locusts. He is a spiritual being who is leader of the destruction done
by the visionary locusts that have power compared to scorpions on
the earth (verse 3).
The locusts are visionary symbols through which God gives
the best illustration that exemplifies the message from the spiritual
realm to the physical world. This message is described as follows:
At a time in history when God gives the command (trumpet)
there will be unleashed––opened by a key––on earth an evil spirit
from the abyss that will torture the family of satan, “only those people
who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads” (verse 4). This evil spirit, or
spirits, will not harm the earth, trees, or grass as
at the sounding of the first four trumpets, but will torture people. Their suffering,
“like that of the sting of a scorpion” (verse five),
will be so severe that men will “seek death, but will not find it. They
will long to die. But death will elude them” (verse six). Whereas, the
first four trumpets described the destruction directed at creation, the
fifth trumpet describes the destruction (tribulation) directed at the
family of satan (mankind) spiritually.
The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their
heads they wore something like crowns of gold and their faces
resembled human faces. Their hair was like women’s hair and
their teeth were like lion’s teeth. They had breastplates like
breastplates of iron and the sound of their wings was like the
thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. They had tails and stings
like scorpions and in their tails they
had power to torment people for five months.
Revelation 9:7–10
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The physical features of the visionary “locusts,” as in other visionary
beings, indicate or exemplify the message being given to mankind. The described
features of the locusts represent real-life situations in
mankind.
These visionary beings are as “locusts.” Real, physical locusts
are feared by mankind because they eat grass, tree leaves, crops, etc.,
thus destroying man’s food. The visionary locusts are different but
exemplify the same eating destruction: “Lions’ teeth.” Verse 4 says,
“They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or
tree,” but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their
foreheads. Also, they looked like they were prepared for battle (verse
7). Thus, the visionary locusts are an evil spirit that will cause the
family of satan to devour each other and torture each other (verse
5). These locusts, with large teeth prepared for battle, give a physical
picture of spiritual beings (demons) manipulating and partnering
with mankind in spiritually devouring (destroying physical mankind)
only the family of satan.
The locusts wore “something like gold crowns” (verse 7). The
crown represents God-given authority, choice. The phrase, “Something
like crowns of gold,” indicates corrupted or misused “crowns”
(Revelation 6:1–2). In the first seal, all mankind was given a crown
(authority, choice), and the family of satan certainly had made the
wrong choice in the fifth trumpet by rejecting God’s plan of salvation
through Jesus Christ. Thus, God permits to be unleashed on
them a spirit that causes them to torture each other through their
misused “crown.” The fifth trumpet, then, is a manifestation of the
misuse of the God-given crown of choice by the family of satan.
The fact that the locusts’ faces resembled human faces and their
hair was like women’s hair adds credibility to this comparison of
the first seal and the fifth trumpet. The first seal was interpreted as
being a “crown of choice” that was created by God into all mankind
with a spirit of conquest. An element of that spirit of conquest is
the boy/girl conquest through which, by nature, the male searches
for, chooses, pursues, and gains the affection of his mate. Then, by
common consent they are married and the two become one; thus is
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the home and the family developed. The Scriptures and the natural
development of Christian society has taught this process down
through history.
First Corinthians 11:14–15 says, “Does not the very nature of
things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him,
but if a woman has long hair it is her glory?” This scripture says
two things that refer to this comparison. First, the very nature of
things refers to the fact that, by nature, things are done in a particular
way. In the creation account, Adam was created first, then Eve
was created as his helpmate. Man is the head of the home, and the
woman is subject to him. I am not at all chauvinistic or a liberationist,
but the fact remains that both Scripture and nature establishes
man as the dominant person in mankind. Second, the long hair of
the woman being her glory refers to the beauty of womanhood. By
nature, a woman’s hair is often referred to as beautiful and sets her
apart from man. At certain times in history, a woman’s hair would
be cut as punishment for prostitution and short hair was considered
a mark of a prostitute. A woman’s hair, as seen in Scripture and in
nature, has been a symbol of beauty and morality. With this, we
conclude that the woman’s hair of the locusts represents the natural
beauty God gave his creation. As we apply this to the locusts released
from the abyss, the woman’s hair represents God-given beauty that
is misused.
The locust faces “resemble human faces” (Revelation 9:7). No
distinction was made as to whether the faces were male or female. They were
simply human faces. This fact indicates that the characteristics
of the locusts are true for both men and women.
Today, people have abused every aspect of God’s plan for mankind
and will do so even more as time progresses. Adam said, “This
is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh, she shall be called
woman, for she was taken out of man” (Genesis 2: 23). Verse 24 continues,
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be
united to his wife and they will become one flesh.” However, mankind
has abandoned God’s way and has used the spirit of conquest
to pursue the affections of many. The same is true for both sexes.
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The home and the family are being destroyed because mankind is
no longer satisfied with one mate, as was God’s plan, but enters into
ungodly relationships with others.
In the beginning, God established the natural order of relationships. In
Genesis 3:16, God said to the woman Eve as a result of her
sin, “Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you.”
In many cases, women have bypassed God’s judgment and have
ruled over their husbands. By the misuse of the spirit of conquest,
woman has sought to be set free from God’s judgment to be ruled
by her husband.
Here in verse 8, women’s hair symbolizes God-given beauty or
attributes. Mankind, in his conquest for self-gain, uses the beauty,
or attributes, God has given as barter to get what he or she wants. In the business
world today, both men and women use their bodies
to acquire sexual favors and power, an advantage in business, etc. It
is evident that the use of God-given physical beauty to fulfill desires
and gain advantage for self is extremely destructive both physically
and spiritually. Physically, health and life are destroyed by sexually
transmitted diseases, homes are broken, and children are left hurt
and homeless.
Spiritually, mankind is separated from God as they disobey his
plan and break his moral code to gain for themselves at the expense
of others. Revelation 22:15 says, “Outside [the gates of heaven] are
the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the
murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.”
This emphasizes the destructiveness of sexual immorality.
The visionary locusts’ teeth were like lions’ teeth. This symbolizes
ripping, tearing, destruction, devouring, etc. They self-destruct
and destroy each other.
Also, they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, which symbolize
self-protection and hardness of heart, without conscience and
without heartfelt concern for others.
Christians, born-again family of God, have a breastplate of righteousness
as spoken of in the Ephesians 6:14. I have a breastplate of
righteousness, but it is not my breastplate. I am a sinner. I received
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my breastplate of righteousness when I confessed my sins and was
born again into the family of God. My breastplate was given to me
by Jesus Christ, as he is the only one who is righteous.
In contrast, these who have the breastplates of iron have not
received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and, thus, they are protected
from, shielded from, the natural affections, love, and conscience
that God created into mankind.
The biblical description says that “the sound of their wings was
like the thundering of many horses and chariots running into battle”
(Revelation 9:9). This represents a fast, impatient, driving, reckless,
headlong thrust.
Thus, the visionary locusts are prepared for battle. They have
authority (crowns); they possess the beauty God created into mankind
(human faces and women’s hair); they are ferocious and destructive
(lions’ teeth); they are without conscience (breastplates of iron);
they have mobility to rush into battle (wings); and their stings torment
people for five months. This is a description of modern, affluent
mankind, both male and female, who strive to get ahead, pursue
and accomplish their goals, and gain for themselves their desires in
this world’s system.
Recently on television, I saw a documentary about a group of
children, eighth grade and under, who were involved in a special
school project. The commentator explained that these children had
given up their summer vacation from school to enter an intense study
of business, the stock market, and high finance. He emphasized the
fact that they had given up their games and vacation to prepare at
an early age to compete in the business world. As the commentator
was talking, we were shown on television the classroom with stock
market graphs and other teaching aids used by the instructor. As
the children were interviewed, they made statements like these: “I
want to make a lot of money fast”; “I want to get rich”; “I want to
become a millionaire as fast as I can.” Then the commentator closed
the news segment with comments on how today’s young people are
preparing to face the business world of tomorrow.
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The ideology that is promoted and that motivates these children,
their parents, and the news media is creating a segment of
our society that is similar to the description of the locusts. They are
highly educated and trained to compete, prepared for battle (verse
7). They have the freedom to choose their lifestyle and business
endeavors (crowns; verse 7). They possess the God-given beauty and
created abilities necessary to pursue their endeavors (human faces
and women’s hair; verse 8). They are ferocious (lions’ teeth; verse
8) as they pursue their desires. They protect themselves against all
threats and have no conscience of fair play (breastplates of iron; verse
9). They have the mobility of modern technology to propel themselves
headlong into their conquest (wings; verse 9).
Thus, at the sounding of the fifth trumpet, there will be unleashed
on the family of satan (verse 4) a spiritual force such as that which
hardened the heart of Pharaoh that will drive them to use every
resource at their disposal to gain their desires and fulfill their lusts. They will, during
the time of Revelation, devour each other as a
locust devours green plants. Not only will they devour each other
to gain desires and fulfill lust for this world’s goods, but they will
also devour each other in social relationships. Just as they used their
beauty and other God-given traits for business, so they will use them
to manipulate each other socially to fulfill their own desires.
God created man with a natural desire to marry a woman who
is a virgin and who will remain faithful to him all her life. Once I
was teaching a sex-relationship seminar to high school senior boys. Each young
man was asked about his practices and intentions in
dating girls. They stated that their practice and intention was to get
as many sexual favors as possible. Yet each one stated emphatically
that he desired that the girl he married, who would be the mother
of his children, be a virgin. Then one stated, “But there are not any
virgins left.”
In his voice was detected the tragedy of a natural human desire
that had no hope of being fulfilled.
God created woman with a nesting instinct, a desire to have a
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pital, I met in the hallway three tenth grade girls, who, though they
did not attend my church, recognized me as a local pastor. They
began to giggle and, with much embarrassment, asked me the location
of the nursery. They said, “We just want to see the babies.” I
directed them toward the nursery and thought as I continued down
the hallway, One of these three has just acquired a serious boyfriend. Sure
enough, a few days later my thoughts proved correct. One of them
had become very close to a particular boy and in her was awakened
the desires to have a home and family.
It is evident in these two illustrations that God has created into
mankind a social and moral system that is evident in all mankind. Yet, mankind has
the choice to reject and manipulate those Godgiven
traits, which in turn brings guilt. Guilt that is not dealt with
brings, like an inner gnawing, a devouring and a hardening of the
heart. So, through mankind’s rejection of God’s moral laws, the family
of satan is driven by an evil spirit, which is symbolized by the
visionary locust, to devour each other.
Whereas the first woe and the fifth trumpet illustrate, through
the visionary locusts, mankind devouring themselves from within
socially and spiritually, the second woe and the sixth trumpet illustrate
mankind destroying mankind through war.
The Sixth Trumpet: Second Woe
As the sixth trumpet sounded, a voice commanded, “Release the
four Angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates” (Revelation
9:14).
These angels are not bound by ropes nor chains, but by command. In
this sense, they can be compared to the four angels.
After this I saw four Angels standing at the four corners of the
earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any
wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. Then I saw another
angel coming up from the east, having the
seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four
Angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea;
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do no harm to the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal
on the forehead of the servants of our God.
Revelation 7:1–3
The angels referred to in chapter 7 are in charge of holding nature
in order. God sent word for the angels not to harm the land, the sea,
or the trees so as to prevent any destructive wind from destroying
the earth before the family of God are sealed. The four angels in
verse 1 are the same four angels as in verse 2. They are given power
to restrain or release the destructive potential in nature. As the earth
rotates, its surface travels through space at approximately 1100 miles
per hour; thus, there is great potential for destructive wind. These
four angels in chapter 7 were commanded to hold back the destructive
wind. However, they will be released to exercise their God-given
power to harm the land, the sea, and the trees when all of the family
of God is sealed. They are bound by command until released by
another command of God.
The sixth angel sounded his trumpet and a voice said, “Release
the four Angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” The
four angels were released, and the second woe began. The angels
were given power, as recorded in chapter 7, but were commanded not
to use that power until the designated time. Thus, with this comparison,
the four angels of the Euphrates were bound by command,
not by chains or ropes. God gave a command, and they were released
to kill a third of mankind.
And the four Angels who had been kept ready for this very
hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third
of mankind.
Revelation 9:15
As Revelation 9:14 says, “Release the four Angels who are bound at
the great river Euphrates.” There seems to be some significance to
the fact that they were bound “at” the great river Euphrates. Then in
verses 15 and 16, the scripture continues,
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And the four Angels who had been kept ready for this very
hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of
mankind. The number of the mounted troops was 200 million. I heard their number.
Revelation 9:15–16
Since the angels released at the Euphrates River unleash a 200-
million-man army that kills a third of mankind worldwide, then
we can assume that the Euphrates River represents a barrier. It is
not reasonable to think that the Euphrates River itself, or any other
physical barrier, would be a major deterrent for a modern 200-million-
man army. Therefore, there must be an explanation other than
the explanation that the Euphrates River is a physical barrier.
I believe that the great river Euphrates represents a spiritual barrier
set in place by God. There has been one great event in the spiritual
history of all mankind that took place “at” the river Euphrates. That great event is
the covenant between God and Abraham. God
said to Abraham,
I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will
make your name great and you will be a blessing. I will bless
those who bless you and whoever curses you I will curse; and all
peoples on earth will be blessed through you.
Genesis 12:2–3
In his covenant, God said, “I will,” four times. As God made these
promises to Abram at Ur and Haran, both located “at” or near the
great river Euphrates, it was necessary for God to set in place a barrier
that would have the effect of bringing about the fulfillment of
his covenant. Abram would need God’s protection, as seen in the
events of Abram’s life. Refer to Genesis 12, 14, 16, and 20. This need
of protection is spoken of by God in Genesis 15:1b, which says, “Do
not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”
With these scriptures as evidence, it is determined that God
bound four angels whose assignment was to maintain a barrier that
would prevent mankind from killing each other––specifically to prevent
the family of satan from killing the family of God. Also, these
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angels would remain bound until the sounding of the sixth trumpet
in Revelation 9. The binding of these angels that prevents men
from killing each other (Revelation 9:15–16) shows the protective
hand of God as he protects his people from their adversary, satan. satan would have
destroyed God’s plan for the salvation of mankind
through the lineage of Abram had God not put in place a barrier
that held back the onslaught of satan. This is clearly seen from the
history of the family of God beginning with Abram.
Abram had a very great fear for his own life as seen when he
twice denied his beautiful wife because he was afraid he would be
killed (Genesis 12:20). Either Abram was a very great coward or he
had real reason to fear for his life. It can be concluded that Abraham
had reason to fear for his life. Of all the people in the world, he was
the one man God chose to father the lineage, the family or people,
through which Jesus would be born into the physical world. As a
spiritual being, satan would have heard this covenant the same as
Abram did and would have most certainly made every attempt to
destroy Abram and his descendents.
So, to protect his people, God placed a barrier “at” the great
river Euphrates, the place of the covenant. However, this barrier did
not provide complete protection for God’s people. They have been
persecuted and martyred throughout history. If there had been complete
protection, it most likely would have been symbolized by seven
angels rather than four. This assumption is made from the fact that
the releasing of the four angels in the sixth trumpet kills a third of
mankind––partial. Also, the Bible says,
The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates
and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the King’s of
the east. Then I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; they
came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the
beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are spirits
of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the
kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the
great day of God Almighty.
Revelation 16:12–14
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The drying up of the Euphrates River gathers the kings of the whole
world, which results in the death of all of mankind. Therefore God
placed at the great river a barrier that protected his people from
extinction, but not from persecution and death. The barrier is partially
removed by the sixth trumpet and completely removed by the
sixth bowl. Thus, with the consummation of the covenant between
God and Abram, there was engaged a battle royale: satan and his
family versus God and his family.
As this partial barrier is released by the sixth trumpet and the
200-million-man army kills one-third of mankind, the second spiritual
“woe” is unleashed on mankind. This is the time and place in history
where the family of satan takes control of mankind, as explained
in Revelation 13. As they take control, all opposition will have been
destroyed (Revelation 13:15.) All over the world there will be non-
Christians who will fight rather than worship the image of the beast. That will result
in a very great world war. This physical warfare will
be the family of satan fighting against the family of satan, thus fulfilling
prophecy given by Ezekiel “‘I will summon my sword against
Gog on all my mountains,’ declares the sovereign Lord. Every man’s
sword will be against his brother” (Ezekiel 38:21).
The two witnesses of chapter 11 will be part of the one-third of
mankind to be killed. They will be killed separately and under different
circumstances than the family of satan. The family of satan will
be killed in physical warfare. The two witnesses will not fight, but
will be murdered after their witness or testimony is finished. Their
battle will be spiritual warfare, not physical warfare. But the beast
gains control through physical warfare. He will then give the order
for the last remaining opposition, the two witnesses, to be killed. Thus, the sixth
trumpet brings the destruction of one-third of mankind,
leaving satan and his beast in control of all the earth.
The horses and riders I saw and my vision looked like this: their
breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The
heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of
their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur. A third of mankind
was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that
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came out of their mouths. The power of the horses was in their
mouths and in their tails; for their tails were like snakes, having
heads with which they inflict injury.
Revelation 9:17–19
These 200 million mounted troops will be dressed in red, blue, and
yellow––possibly three armies. They will kill by fire, smoke (explosives
and sulfur), chemicals, and will have horses’––war machines
that kill from in front and from behind––mouths and tails. This
greatest of all physical armies through the greatest of all physical
wars will kill one-third of mankind, and the rest of mankind will be
subdued, their hearts hardened against God their Creator.
The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still
did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop
worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone
and wood - idols that cannot see or hear or walk. They did not
repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality
or their thefts.
Revelation 9:20–21
These verses give evidence that only the family of satan will be
involved in this physical war.
Therefore, the first scene of the sixth trumpet, which is the second
woe, describes the family of satan as a mad dog. They will turn
on themselves as a rabid dog bites himself. This entire event will be
directed by God––time and circumstance––although the family of
satan will not even believe in God and will have given their allegiance
to satan.

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Revelation 10
Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven
He was robed in a cloud, with a rainbow about his head; his
face was like the sun, and his legs were like fi ery pillars He was
holding a little scroll, which lay open in his hand He planted his
right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, and he gave a
loud shout like the roar of a lion When he shouted, the voice of
the seven thunders spoke And when the seven thunders spoke,
I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven say, ‘seal
up the things the seven thunders have said and do not write it
down
Revelation 10:1–4
The little scroll, which lay open in the angel’s hand, represents a
message from God The message shouted by the angel and spoken
by the voice of the seven thunders is the Word from God written
on the little scroll John heard and understood the audible message
and was about to write, but a voice from heaven commanded him
not to write
The message from God, as it is spoken by the seven thunders,
may have been the fi nal or completed message to the family of
God This thought could be substantiated by the fact that chapter
11 describes a scenario that shows the plight of the last Christians to
live on earth It would be a blessing, considering the circumstances
of the last days of the family of God as described in chapter 11, if
God has sealed up the message in order to protect the family of God
from the mental agony of knowing all that the future holds
Other Scripture also upholds the possibility that the message of
the “seven thunders” relates to the last days of the family of God
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Then the angel I had seen standing on the sea and on the land
raised his right hand to heaven. And he swore by him who lives
forever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them,
the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it,
and said, there will be no more delay! But in the days when the
seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the ministry of
God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants
the prophets.
Revelation 10:5–7
In the phrase, “I was about to write,” the word about means just prior
to the sounding of the seventh trumpet. The proclamation, “There
will be no more delay!” would refer to the fact that, after the two witnesses
are raised from the dead, there would immediately come, that
same hour, a great earthquake. That would mean that this unknown
event would take place after the time the Bible says, “The second
woe has passed; the third woe is coming soon” (Revelation 11:14),
and before the time the Bible says, “The seventh angel sounded his
trumpet” (Revelation 11:15a). The mighty angel delivered the scroll
message to John, voiced by the seven thunders, and then sealed it to
the last Christians to live on earth. The message of the seven thunders
is probably critical to end-time events because it comes between
the second woe and the sixth trumpet, and the third woe and the
seventh trumpet.
At the end of the second woe and sixth trumpet, the two witnesses
have been killed. Thus, “When the power of the holy people
has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished”
(Daniel 12:7).
And then, the last believers must hide out when they see the
abomination that causes desolation, which is the third woe and seventh
trumpet. “Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains”
(Matthew 24:16).
So, we believe the message of the seven thunders to be critical
to the end-time message and events. But we, as the family of God,
are spared the probable gruesome events of the message of the seven
thunders.
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A glimpse of the nature of the message is seen in the following
verses:
Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me once
more; “Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel
who is standing on the sea and on the land. So I went to the
angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me,
take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your
mouth it will be as sweet as honey. I took the little scroll from
the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my
mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour.
Revelation 10:8–11
John was told to eat the scroll, which means to consume, to devour,
to take in himself the message of the scroll as one would read
intently each word in order to derive the meaning thereof. In his
mouth, the message was sweet as honey. In effect, John reads and
understands the message on the little scroll, and it is great, beautiful,
and as sweet as honey. The Word of God is great, beautiful, and as
sweet as honey when we hear his message of salvation that is a free
gift to all who believe in Jesus’s name and accept his plan for salvation
to live forever in heaven with him; the greatest message ever
told.        After John had eaten the scroll, his stomach, not the message,
turned sour. God used a physical action to explain a spiritual
process. When a person realizes the consequences suffered by those
who reject God’s plan for salvation and the persecution endured by
some Christians, the message takes on a different taste. The Word
of God is as sweet as honey when first received, but with full understanding,
the stomach turned sour. A fuller explanation of why the
stomach turned sour will be covered in chapters 11, 12, and 13 as the
warfare of satan against the family of God is explained.
In Revelation 10:11, John was told, “You must prophesy again
about many people, nations, languages and kings.” John was told to
prophesy again in the midst of the prophetic message. This signifies
to John that, although he has seen and heard some awesome things,
the sweet Word of God will become bitter as there will be many
more horrifying events to come.

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Revelation 11
Revelation 9:13–21 is a description of the events of the second “woe”
that occurs in regard to the last generation of the family of satan
Chapters 10 and 11 are a continuation of the sixth trumpet, which is
the second “woe ” Chapter 10 sets the stage for the events of chapter
11 Both pertain to events that affect the last generation of the family
of God This twofold message of the sixth trumpet is also seen in the
sixth seal Both have a message to the family of satan and the family
of God (Revelation 6:12–7:17) Having received the Word of God
from the angel’s hand (Revelation 10:10) and having understood its
sourness in the stomach, John was ready for the message of chapter
11
I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, go
and measure the temple of God and the altar, and count the
worshipers there But exclude the outer court; do not measure it,
because it has been given to the Gentiles They will trample on
the Holy City for forty-two months And I will give power to
my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1260 days, clothed
in sackcloth
Revelation 11:1–3
John, with a measuring rod in hand, was told to measure the temple
and altar However, there is not a record of the dimensions In the
Old Testament, Israel was given the specifi c dimensions, which are
known and recorded for the tabernacle in the wilderness and also
for the temple in Jerusalem However, these physical dimensions did
not seem applicable in the context of chapter 11 There is another
measurable dimension that has two references within the message of
this chapter It is the element or dimension of time First of all, time
is referred to clearly in verses 2 and 3, which say,
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They will trample the Holy City for forty-two months. And I
will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for
1260 days, clothed in sackcloth.
Revelation 11:2b-3
The Gentiles will trample the Holy City for forty-two months, and
the two witnesses will prophesy for 1260 days.
There are two specific time periods. 1) Forty-two months, during
which the family of satan will persecute the family of God, and,
2) 1260 days, during which the two witnesses will prophesy. They are
the same length of time (30 days equals one month, times forty-two
months equals 1260 days). This period of time has a marked beginning
and ending set by God. The beginning is the time when all of
the family of God has been sealed (Revelation 7:3) and the ending
is when the beast is given power to make war against and conquer
the family of God (Revelation 13:7). Revelation 11:7 says, “Now when
they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the
Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them.” The second
reference to “time” is in verse 18 and 19, which reads,
The time has come for judging the dead and for rewarding your
servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence
your name, both small and great––and for destroying those who
destroy the earth. Then God’s temple in heaven was opened,
and within his temple was seen the Ark of his covenant. And
there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an
earthquake and a great hailstorm.
Revelation 11:18b-19
These verses refer to a specific, designated time that marks the beginning
of the end, when the temple in heaven will be opened to receive
the family of God and judgment will be poured out on the family
of satan. Therefore, it is concluded that John’s measurement of the
temple pertains to time rather than physical size of the temple.
John was instructed to measure three areas of the temple: 1) The
temple, 2) The altar, and 3) The outer court. These three have par95
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ticular meaning and refer to different parts of the family of God and
certain time periods thereof.
First, the temple has reference to the children of Israel in that
the temple in Jerusalem was a Jewish temple. Gentiles were permitted
in the outer court only. The temple itself was given to the Jews. Thus, the temple
pertains to the 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel
(Revelation 7:4–8).
Second, the altar pertains to those who will be in the altar area
as described in the fifth seal. John was told to count the worshipers
and measure the altar (time). The parallel is that there will be a specific
number of Christians that will be slain for their testimony and
a designated time when they will no longer be slain.
Third, the outer court pertains to the Gentiles, since it was
given to them. The Gentiles of the family of God are referred to in
Revelation 7:9 as “a great multitude that no one could count, from
every nation, tribe, people, and language.” Proselytes, or Gentiles,
that were converted to Judaism were permitted only in the outer
court. However, with the advance of the Christian era, “whosoever
believes” ( John 3:16) is permitted into the family of God through the
heavenly high priest, Jesus Christ, and his atoning blood shed for the
sins of the whole world. Also, historically, there was the time, AD
70, when the temple was destroyed and, at approximately the same
time, the gospel, having been rejected by the Jews, was preached to
the Gentiles. Refer to Acts 15 and Romans 9–11. Moreover, the outer
court pertains to the Gentile era during which the gospel has been
and is being preached to the whole world so that the kingdom of
heaven will be filled. Refer to Jesus’ parable about the wedding banquet
found in Matthew 22:1–14, which illustrates this fact.
The fact that John was told to measure the temple, the altar, and
the outer court demonstrates that there will be a specific time era
in which mankind will enter the kingdom of heaven. He was told
to count the worshipers at the temple, which means that there are a
specific number, who have entered in through the era of the Jewish
temple, and at the altar which will be a specific number who will be
slain for their testimonies.
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John was told to not measure the outer court. The outer court
has dimensions, only God the Father knows the measurements or
time. That “time” is not given to mankind. This era of time began
at the preaching of the gospel to the Gentiles and the destruction
of the temple and will end when they have finished their testimony
(Revelation 11:7). Thus, the outer court is the New Testament era to
the end times––from Jesus’s ascension to the closing of the doors
of heaven––and has been given to the Gentiles that “whosoever
believeth” may enter into the family of God.
Time in Prophecy
As we interpret the measurement of the temple and the altar to
pertain to a measurement of time, let us look at other prophetic
references to time. In Daniel 9:20–27, there are precise references to
time spans.
While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the
sins of my people Israel and making my request to the LORD
my God for his Holy Hill––while I was still in prayer, Gabriel,
the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift
flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. He instructed me
and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and
understanding. As soon as you began to pray, answer was given,
which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the
message and understand the vision:
“Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy
city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for
wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up
vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.
“Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree
to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the anointed one, the ruler,
comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty two ‘sevens.’ It will
be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. After
the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will
have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy
the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War
will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. He will confirm a
covenant with many for one ‘seven,’ but in the
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middle of the seven he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And one who causes
desolation will place abominations on a
wing of the temple until the end that is decreed is poured out
on him.”
Daniel 9:20–27
Seventy “sevens” are decreed to put an end, or bring to a conclusion,
God’s work of redemption and revelation. Read verse 24 again. These seventy
“sevens” are divided into three time spans: seven “sevens,”
sixty-two “sevens,” and one “seven” (verses 25–27). I understand
these three time spans to correspond with the answer given by the
angel when he was asked, “How long will it be before these astonishing
things are fulfilled?” (Daniel 12:6). His answer was, “It will be for
a time, times and half a time (verse 7).
Here is a list of the time spans and corresponding explanations.
1.         Seven “sevens” (rebuilding of temple) equals 49 years.
2.         Sixty-two “sevens” (coming of Christ) equals 434 years
3.         One “seven” (end of time) equals 7 years
Seven sevens equals forty-nine years and was approximately the span
of time to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem from the issuing of the
decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (verse 25). Thus, the point of
beginning was the decree to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem; fortynine
years was decreed to rebuild it. History says that it took fifty
years to rebuild the temple.
Sixty-two “sevens,” the time span from the rebuilt temple to the
anointed one ( Jesus), is “cut off.” Sixty-two times “sevens” equals 434
years. I understand this time span of 434 years to be from the rebuilt
temple to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Verse 26a says, “And after
the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself.”
History says that there was approximately four hundred years
between the Old Testament and the New Testament. History also
says that Jesus was crucified at about thirty-two to thirty-four years of
age. Although history does not give us an exact account of the years
during this time era, it is my opinion that the biblical calculation of
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“time” is more accurate than known recorded history. Even so, the
biblical “time” and the historical record are so very close: 434 years.
One “seven”––seven years in which God will confirm a covenant. However,
in the middle of these seven years (three and a half
years), there will be an end of sacrifice and offering (verse 27). This
one “seven” fits into history only at the end of time as described in
Revelation 11. The two witnesses will be protected by a special covenant
by God until their witness is complete, even though satan and
his family will be trying to kill them. Three and a half years equals
1260 days.
These time spans in Daniel relate to the measurement of the
temple in Revelation 11:1 in this way:
The seven “sevens” and the sixty-two “sevens” are the era of the
temple measurement. The time from the decree to rebuild the temple
to the resurrection and ascension of Jesus is the fulfillment of
God’s plan through his chosen people, Israel. Thus, the resurrection
of Christ and the beginning of the Christian era also brings the end
of the temple era.
The one “ seven” is the era of the last generation of Christians
to live on earth, the last generation of the Gentile era, and the era
of the seven-year tribulation, which ends with God’s judgment,
the destruction of all physical mankind and physical creation as we
know it.
In Daniel therefore, there are three “decreed” time eras, but not a
“decreed” amount of time from Jesus’s resurrection and ascension to
the death of the two witnesses. I interpret this to mean that there is a
fourth time era. The fourth time era is spoken in Daniel 9:26, which
says, “After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off
and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will
destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood,
war will continue until the end and desolation’s have been decreed.”
Thus, Daniel 9: 26 and Revelation 11 both attest to the fact that the
“Outer court” (Gentile era or church age) does not have a “decreed”
time. It was not made known to mankind. Jesus said that he did not
know that time, only the Father. The Old Testament “outer court,”
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however, had dimensions. Likewise, there is a measured time for the
“outer court” of Revelation 11, but only God the Father knows it. Just
as the seven thunders of chapter 10 were sealed up that we would not
receive that knowledge, we are also not permitted to know the measurement
of the time from the resurrection and ascension of Jesus to
the beginning of the seven-year tribulation. At the time of the death
of the two witnesses, we can understand that 1260 days prior to that
day the seven-year tribulation will begin.
There are two other very interesting references to “time” in
Daniel 12:11–12.
From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the
abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1290
days. Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the
1335 days. As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest and
then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted
inheritance.
These verses clearly speak of the end times, and particularly of the
last generation of Christians as referred to in Daniel 12:7. I interpret
Daniel 9:27, Daniel 12:11–12, and Revelation 11:1–3 to be the same
time and circumstance. There seems to be a contradiction in the
number of days and their sequence, but after months of prayer and
study, I give the following explanation.
One difficulty comes in reference to the time of the “end of sacrifice
and offering,” and also in regard to the number of days. Daniel
9:27 says, “In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice
and offering.” This verse states plainly that sacrifice and offering
will end after three and a half years––also 1260 days (middle of one
“seven”). Daniel 12:7 says, “From the time that the daily sacrifice is
abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there
will be 1290 days.” This verse speaks of the accomplishment of two
events during a span of 1290 days. The abolishment of sacrifice will
occur first, three and a half to 1260 days, with the establishment
of the abomination following thirty days later. Also, Revelation
11:3 says, “And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will
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prophesy for 1260 days.” This verse tells us that God will provide
protection for his two witnesses, who will prophesy for 1260 days or
three and a half years, the middle of the one “seven”.
It is a fact that the final time span described as one “seven” is
seven years, for it is referred to as the end of sacrifice and offerings
coming in the “middle” (Daniel 9:27) as “half a time” (Daniel 12:7)
and as “forty-two months” and “1260 days” in Revelation 11:2–3. I
also understand that the seven-year period is the time of tribulation
divided between the trumpets during the first three and a half years
and the bowls during the last three and a half years.
Then there is the fact that Daniel 12:11 speaks of 1290 days, but
Revelation 11:3 speaks of 1260 days. Notice that the 1290 days is listed
in relation to both the abolishment of sacrifice and the establishment
of the abomination that causes desolation, whereas the 1260
days speaks only in relation to the time span during which the two
witnesses will prophesy. I suggest that both are correct. The two
witnesses will prophesy for 1260 days and will be killed––sacrificed,
abolished. Then thirty days later, at 1290 days, the beast will, with
the absence of the witnesses, be able to set up the abomination that
causes desolation.
Please note: Old Testament sacrifice equals New Testament
worship. When the two witnesses are killed, satan’s beast takes total
control. Although there will probably still be church, there are no
more true worshipers of the true church because the two witnesses
(leadership) have been killed and the rest of the true church have run
for the mountains (in hiding).
Daniel 12:12 gives another number, which causes us to question. It says, “Blessed
is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the
1335 days.” These 1335 days as recorded is the 1290 days plus fortyfive
days more. Therefore, it is saying that “blessed” are the family of
God who survive seventy-five days after the killing of the two witnesses,
which is forty-five days after the setting up of the abomination
that causes desolation.
There are two Scripture passages that allow this to be so: Rev101
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elation 11 and Matthew 24. In Revelation 11:7, the two witnesses
are killed, then, in verses 11–12, they are resurrected and ascend to
heaven. Then, in verse 13, a severe earthquake occurs, followed by the
sounding of the seventh trumpet in verse 15. With that, God takes
great power and begins to reign as described in verses 17–18, “Then
God’s temple in heaven was opened” (verse 19).
This description of events in chapter 11 allows the possibility
that the rapture (when the last Christians shall meet Jesus in the air)
will occur when God’s temple is open in verse 19.
Possible Timetable:
One “seven” equals seven years, or 2520 days
Middle of one “seven” equals three and a half years,
or 1260 days
1260 days equals two witnesses killed and the sacrifice
ended
1263 1/2 days equals two witnesses resurrected
1263 1/2 days, plus one hour, equals severe
earthquake
“Soon” after (verse 14) 1263 1/2 days plus one hour
equals the seventh trumpet blown and God begins
to reign.
1290 days equals the establishment of abomination
by the beast (Revelation 13:14).
1335 days equals the rapture of remaining Christians
(Revelation 11:19).
2300 days equals “both the sanctuary and the host
to be trampled underfoot … The sanctuary shall be
cleansed” (Daniel 8:13b, 14b).
2520 days equals the end of the one “seven.” satan
is bound and the millennial reign of Christ begins
(Revelation 20:1–4). Also refer to Matthew 24:22:
“Those days were shortened.”










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Jesus said that no man knows the day, not even the angels or Jesus
Christ, only the Father (Matthew 24:36).
But, we are given a pretty good timetable for the seven-year
tribulation period.
The time that we do not know is the beginning date and time
of the tribulation, which begins as recorded in Revelation 8:1 and
following.
Revelation 11 says, “They will trample the holy city for fortytwo
months.” The pronoun “they” refers to the Gentiles mentioned
in the previous sentence, to whom was given the outer court. Here
there is a play on the use of the meaning of the word Gentile. Historically,
the word Gentile had a compound meaning. First, it referred
to all of mankind who were not of the blood lineage of Israel, anyone
who was not a descendent from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel). It is inferred that,
whereas the Jews are God’s people, the Gentiles
are not God’s people, thus, outside the family of God. However, the
New Testament teaches plainly that the natural branches (descendents
of Abraham) were cut off. Therefore, the Gentiles, who have
come to salvation through Jesus Christ, are those of the outer court
and part of the family of God. The Gentiles, who reject salvation
through Jesus, are those who trample the holy city for forty-two
months. Therefore, the pronoun “they” refers to the family of satan.
Note: The difference between “Gentiles” and “they” is that the
outer court is given to those referred to as “Gentiles” (family of
God) and those referred to as “they” trample the holy city (family
of satan).
The Gentiles who have rejected Christ––”they” equals the family
of satan––will trample the holy city for forty-two months, and
God says, “I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will
prophesy for 1260 days clothed in sackcloth” (Revelation 11:3). Here
is presented the two physical entities that are engaged in the greatest
battle ever, the battle for the souls of mankind. It involves physical
mankind, but the battle is spiritual. Those referred to as “they” are of
the family of satan and the “two witnesses” are of the family of God. Thus, the stage
is set for the final spiritual conflict.
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The Two Witnesses?
And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will
prophesy for 1260 days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two
olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord
of the earth.
Revelation 11:3–4
Lampstands are explained in Revelation 1:20 as being representative
of the seven churches. We believe the same reference applies here in
chapter 11. The two lampstands represent two churches.
The two olive trees are explained in Zechariah 4:1–8. Therein is
a peculiar discussion of the two olive trees, which seemed to be of
particular importance because of the nature of the discussion. It is
described as follows:
I (Zechariah) see a solid gold lampstand with a bowl at the top
and seven lights on it, with seven channels to the lights. Also,
there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and
the other on the left. I asked the angel who talked with me,
“What are these, my lord?” He answered, “Do you not know
what these are?” “No, my lord,” I replied. So, he said to me,
“This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor
by power, but by my Spirit’, says the Lord Almighty.”
Zechariah 4:2
The angel seemed to avoid the question by entering into a dialogue
about Zerubbabel. Two more times, verses 11 and 12, Zechariah asked
about the two olive trees. The angel again replied, “Do you not know
what these are?”
“No my lord,” said Zechariah.
After the third time, the angel said, “These are the two who are
anointed to serve the Lord of all the earth.” (Zechariah 4:13–14).
The fact that there is much discussion over the olive trees gives
importance to them. Zechariah’s three questions have a progressive
nature that narrows the question to the olive trees. Verse 4 is a general
question: “What are these, my lord?” Verse 11 is more direct: “What are
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these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lampstand?” Verse
12 is more descriptive: “What are these two olive branches beside the
two golden pipes that pour out golden oil?” Though there are other
elements in the vision––lamp stand, bowl, seven lights, golden oil––
the two olive trees have prominence in the eyes of Zechariah, for he
questions three times to get their meaning.
The two olive trees are finally explained as “The two who are
anointed to serve the Lord of all the earth” (verse 14). They are
anointed. Therefore, they are set aside, instructed, and directed by
God. They are to serve. Therefore, they are to carry out the instruction
as directed by “the Lord of all the earth” (verse 14). God’s will
is carried out in all the earth. The statement that the two olive trees
are anointed to serve and set aside to carry out orders is illustrated
within this text at least four times. First, Zechariah 4:7 says, “What
are you, O mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become
as level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone with shouts of,
‘God bless it! God bless it!’”
Zerubbabel had been given the task of rebuilding the walls and
temple in Jerusalem. He had a mountain of a job to perform with a
small group of Jewish refugees from Babylon. However, because it
was God’s will that the walls and temple be rebuilt, that mountain
would become as level ground. The Spirit of God would carry out
God’s will on earth through Zerubbabel, as he was representative of
the two olive trees in the vision.
The two olive trees, then, represent the one who is anointed
to carry out God’s will on earth through and by the Spirit of God. Another illustration
of God’s will being carried out on earth is found
in Zechariah. It says,
I looked again, and there before me was a flying scroll! He asked
me, “What do you see?” I answered, “I see a flying scroll, thirty
feet long and fifteen feet wide.” And he said to me, “This is the
curse that is going out over the whole land; for according to what
it says on one side, every thief will be banished, and according to
what it says on the other side, everyone who swears falsely will
be banished. The Lord Almighty declares, ‘I will send it out,
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and it will enter the house of the thief and the house of you who
swear falsely by my name. It will remain in his house and destroy
it, both its timbers and its stones.’”
Zechariah 5:1–4
God’s Word (the flying scroll) condemns sin––theft, swearing
falsely––and the sinner’s house. As a result, the sinner’s house will
be destroyed with its timbers and its stones. God’s Word as directed
by his Holy Spirit will accomplish these things through prophets
and ministers, who are anointed by God, to carry out the task that is
representative of the two olive trees as they proclaim God’s Word.
Also, the Word of the Lord came to Zechariah, who wrote,
Take silver and gold from the exiles, Heldai, Tobijah and Jedaiah
who have arrived from Babylon. Go the same day to the house
of Josiah son of Zephaniah. Take the silver and gold and make
a crown and set it on the head of the high priest, Joshua son of
Jehozadak. Tell him this is what the Lord Almighty says; “Here
is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out
from his place and build the temple of the Lord. It is he who
will build the temple of the Lord and he will be clothed with
majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he will be a
priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the
two.” The crown will be given to Heldai, Tobijah, Jedaiah and
Hen the son of Zephaniah as a memorial in the temple of the
Lord. Those who are far away will come and help to build the
temple of the Lord, and you will know that the Lord Almighty
has sent me to you. This will happen if you diligently obey the
Lord your God.
Zechariah 6:9–15
Zechariah was told about “a man whose name is the Branch.” (verse
12). The “Branch” refers to Jesus. It is said of this branch, “And he
will branch out from his place and build the temple of the Lord. It is he who will build
the temple of the Lord … ” The context in
which this statement is made is the vision and directive from God to
the Jewish exiles in Babylon to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the
walls and temple. (Zechariah 1–2). Within the directive to rebuild
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the physical temple, it is revealed that the branch, Jesus, will build
the spiritual temple.
Conclusion to the Olive Trees
1 Therefore, Zerubbabel, as he was moved, anointed,
by the Spirit of God to carry out, serve, the rebuilding
of the temple, was representative of the two olive
trees.
2 The “flying scroll” (Word of God) represents the carrying
out of God’s will in all of history. As prophets,
preachers, evangelists, and witnesses proclaim the
Word of God, sin is condemned and the houses of
sinners are torn down, spiritually. Therefore, those
who are anointed or called to proclaim the Word of
God are the “two olive trees” that stand before the
Lord of the whole earth.
3 The “Branch,” which is interpreted as Jesus, is the
one anointed to provide salvation to the whole world. Thus, in carrying out God’s
will, Jesus fulfilled the
spirit and purpose of the “two olive trees,” just as the
physical Jesus was obedient to the direction and will
of God in his life on earth.
Therefore the two witnesses, as the two olive trees, are physical
mankind who are anointed by God to carry out a particular task that
accomplishes God’s will on earth. Thus, these two witnesses are a
part of the last generation of the physical family of God, who were
given the task of proclaiming God’s Word and of suffering martyrdom
in the end. They bring to a conclusion the witness of the family
of God according to God’s plan.
As we apply the principle of the limiting number, the two witnesses,
the two lampstands, and the two olive trees are a limited
number (very few out of many) of the churches and Christians who
are anointed to serve God in the last generation to live on earth.
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The above discussion about those who are anointed of God is
important because it needs to be understood, in light of the two witnesses
in Revelation 11. This is important because many have supposed
and written that the two witnesses are Moses and Elijah, who
have returned to earth in the last generation to perform miracles as
they did in the Old Testament.
The “two witnesses” are not two individuals, but a very small
number of God’s anointed witnesses out of two churches, meaning
a very small number of the existing churches, who are anointed of
God in the last generation of Christians to live on earth.
The “two witnesses” carry out a most important task, as anointed
by God. They proclaim to the family of satan the final witness with
undeniable miracles and power. So that, when mankind, who has
rejected Jesus Christ, stands before the throne of God, they will have
no excuse. God’s judgment will be just and justified.
The Time of the Battle
The time of the battle will be 1260 days, or forty-two months. In
Revelation, 1260 days is used twice. In each of the two places, the
people involved are God’s family, who are protected by God. Revelation
12:6 says, “The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared
for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1260 days.” Of
the two witnesses, Revelation 11:5 states, “If anyone tries to harm
them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This
is how anyone who wants to harm them must die.”
The fire from their mouths is interpreted as the Word of God,
not a flame. Thus, they are protected by the Word of God. Therefore,
the 1260 days refers to the family of God, who are protected by
him in the midst of persecution for 1260 days.
The forty-two months is mentioned twice in Revelation. The
Scripture says, “They will trample on the Holy City for forty-two
months” (Revelation 11:2). This verse tells of a time when the family
of satan will trample (persecute) the Holy City, the family of God. The Scripture also
says, “The beast was given a mouth to utter proud
words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two
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months” (Revelation 13:5). The “beast,” the family of satan, will be
given by God a mouth to blaspheme God and exercise authority. Therefore, the
forty-two months refer to the family of satan, who
are given particular power to fight against God and his people.
I believed for a long while that not only were the 1260 days and
forty-two months the same span of time, but that they occurred
simultaneously in history. But, I now believe that the best interpretation
is that the 1260 days are the first three and a half years of
tribulation and the forty-two months are the last three and a half
years, or great tribulation.
During the seven year tribulation:
For 1260 days: the last generation of the family of God are still
on earth.
After the 1260 days, for forty-two months: satan, the beast, and
the false prophet are in complete control of earth.
The beast––gentiles, as pertaining to those who are of the family
of satan––will make war against the woman (Revelation 12:6) and
the two witnesses.
Of the two witnesses, Revelation 11:7 says, “Now when they have
finished their testimony.” The two witnesses will be part of the last
generation of Christians to live on earth. Their testimony will not
be finished as a result of a successful witness to all mankind, for
mankind will reject the testimony of Jesus Christ. However, it will
be finished in that no one will receive their testimony and be saved. At that point in
time, when all of every nation, tribe, people, and
language who are going to be saved have been saved, then their testimony
will be finished. Only God knows that point in time.
I believe that this final witness is of utmost importance. When
the witnesses have finished, they are killed by the beast. And then
comes the final destruction of the bowls, and at Armageddon all
those who were witnessed to are killed by God. Thus, this is God’s
final witness to mankind. So, with the illustration in Zechariah, we
are given an overview of God’s determined witness to mankind. The
gospel of Jesus Christ will be preached to the ends of the earth, to all
mankind, and then the end.
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Testimony
The testimony of the “two witnesses” is, in some ways, the same as
that of John’s testimony. Revelation 1:2 says, “He made it known by
sending his angel to his servant John, who testifies to everything he
saw, that is, the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
That testimony of Jesus Christ is given to us from his own mouth
as recorded in Revelation 1:17–18, which says, “I am the first and the
last. I am the living one; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever
and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” Though there
are many doctrines and many religions, the testimony of the two
witnesses is that Jesus is “the way and the truth and the life” ( John
14:6), and there is no other way to salvation and life after death with
God. This is the everlasting gospel spoken of through the three
angels of Revelation 14:6–9.
Now, when they have finished their testimony, the beast that
comes up from the abyss will attack them, and overpower and
kill them.
Revelation 11:17
Who Is the Beast?
1.         The beast has a spiritual nature.
“The beast comes up from the abyss” (Revelation
11:7).
In reading the references on abyss (Revelation
9:1–11; 16:13–14; and 20:1–3, 7), it becomes clear that
the abyss is a prison, not of this physical world, but of
the spiritual realm. Therefore, the beast, who comes
from the abyss, will be of a spiritual nature.
2.         The beast has a physical nature.
“The beast … will attack them, and overpower and
kill them” (Revelation 11:7).
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“One of the heads of the beast seems to have had
a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed”
(Revelation 13:3).
“The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery
lake of burning sulfur” (Revelation 19:20).
Another aspect of the beast, then, is that physical
mankind is part of it. The beast is an entity that is
both spiritual and physical. It receives its authority
and power from satan (Revelation 13:4–8), and has
control of the family of satan. It may be easier to see
how the family of satan and the beast are a spiritual
as well as a physical entity by comparing them to the
family of God and the church.
Please note: This comparison is used only with
the following explanation. When one is born into the
kingdom of heaven, he crosses over God’s line into
the kingdom of heaven. Although he is still in the
world and he is still physically alive, he has become
a part of the spiritual realm as born again. Therefore,
the kingdom of heaven is made up of both the spiritual
kingdom of God in heaven and the physical
kingdom on earth, the true church.
In a similar manner, satan’s realm, described as the
beast, is comprised of both the spirit realm and the
physical world. Revelation 19:20–21 says,
But the beast was captured and with him the false prophet who
had performed miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs,
he deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and
worship his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the
fiery lake of burning sulfur, and the rest of them were killed with
the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse,
and all the birds gorge themselves on their flesh.
These verses speak of the beast and the false prophet being captured
and thrown alive into the lake of burning sulfur and the rest of the
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family of satan being killed by the sword of Jesus. There are divisions
between the beast, the false prophet, and the rest in that the beast
and the false prophet had deluded, (verse 20) those who had received
the mark. So, they, the beast and false prophet, received swifter punishment. The
combined forces of satan’s demons and those of mankind
who give themselves to satan (satanic church) led, entrapped,
and coerced others into following satan’s deceptions. Therefore, the
family of satan has leadership. Just as in many organizations, including
the true church, there are a few leaders, but the majority is followers. Thus,
the satanic church, false prophet, etc., are the physical
portion of the beast and will be thrown immediately into the lake
of fire.
Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that
comes up from the abyss will attack them, and overpower and
kill them.
Revelation 11:7
The beast will indeed attack, overpower, and kill a part of the last
generation of Christians who are called “the two witnesses.” In Revelation
11:2b-7 is a very subtle description of the greatest battle in all
of earth’s history: the spiritual battle between the family of God and
the family of satan in the last generation of mankind.
The Battle
This battle will not be a military battle.
It will not be fought along national boundaries.
It will not be fought according to racial boundaries.
It will not be fought according to ecclesiastical,
denominational, or church boundaries.
It will not necessarily be fought by those in high
positions in God’s churches, nor in satan’s.





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This battle will be fought by physical mankind.
It will be directed from the spirit realm.
It will be fought by Christians who are led by the
Holy Spirit.
It will be fought by satanists who are dominated by
satan.
It will be fought for all mankind and will affect all
mankind.
This battle is not for property, prestige, or any other physical thing. This battle will
be and is for the souls of mankind.
The Nature of the Battle
The nature of the battle, as fought by the family of God, will be for
the purpose of proclaiming a witness of the gospel of Jesus Christ
to the family of satan. The two witnesses will neither purposefully
offend nor be angry with the enemy, nor will they fight physically
with him. Their battle will be somewhat like the one Jesus fought.
As Jesus was being arrested in the garden of Gethsemane, the
disciples asked, “Lord, shall we strike with swords?” And one of
them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. But
Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear
and healed him” (Luke 22:49–51).
The Bible says,
The chief priest accused him of many things. So again Pilate
asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer? See how many things
they are accusing you of.” But Jesus still made no reply, and
Pilate was amazed.
Mark 15:3–5
Although Jesus could have called more than twelve legions of angels
(Matthew 26:53) to his defense, he allowed them to accuse, condemn,
and crucify him on the cross in order to bear witness and
provide salvation for a lost world. Jesus said, “But I, when I am lifted
up from the earth, will draw all men to myself ” ( John 12:32).





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Like Jesus, the two witnesses will not fight back but will, as
result of their witness, be accused, condemned, and killed by the
beast. The nature of the battle proves that God will go to the last
mile to provide a witness to all mankind; even to those who reject
him and fight against him and his people.
The nature of the battle in regard to the family of satan is one of
deception, control, manipulation, prison, and death. This battle has
been in progress since the Garden of Eden; however, the full extent
of it will not be seen until the events described in chapters 11 and 13
have begun.
satan is the great deceiver and the father of lies. As a spiritual
being and prince of the air, he has sufficient knowledge and experience
gained from the time of the Garden of Eden until now to
manipulate and sometimes deceive even the strongest of the family
of God. It has been my observation that satan has been particularly
effective in deceiving Christians in the use of God’s physical
resources (offerings in particular), in desires (materialism), and in
relationships, whether in the family or in the church. It seems all too
often that those whom satan can manipulate are found in positions
of authority in churches and church organizations.
satan is very deceptive, particularly in the United States of
America, through the school systems, movies, television, magazines,
business advertising, and recording industry. With these vehicles
of information, satan has manipulated and led mankind to virtually
discard family, discipline, and morality. He is using television
programs and cartoons, toys, and games to introduce our children to
satanic practices and worship. In many respects, the Christian world
has been asleep and has allowed satan to deceive and destroy even
our own children. Please refer to Matthew 13:24–30.
satan’s ultimate deception is prophesied in Revelation, as it
says,
Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the
first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered
them to set up an image in honor of the beast, who, was wounded
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by the sword and yet was healed. He was given power to give
breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and
cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. He also
forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to
receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no
one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name
of the beast or the number of his name.
Revelation 13:14–17
The day will come when people who have not chosen Jesus Christ
will be forced to worship satan. Though they shudder at the thought,
when satan’s deception is complete, they will either worship him or
die. Thus, the nature of satan’s battle is deceptive so as to control
mankind. When satan’s deception is complete, no one else will be
saved. He will be given power––ordained of God, given by Jesus
(Matthew 28:18)––to blaspheme God, to make war against the
saints, and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every
tribe, people, language, and nation (Revelation 13:6). Thus, satan will
be in control of physical mankind.
He who has an ear, let him hear. If anyone is to go into captivity,
into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword,
with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance
and faithfulness on the part of the saints.
Revelation 13:9–10
The nature of satan’s battle will also be to imprison and to kill. Through his family,
satan has throughout the ages imprisoned and
killed God’s family. satan himself claims that he killed Jesus, that
Jesus is dead, and that Jesus was his ultimate sacrifice. All the apostles
were apparently killed and martyred. John was exiled on the
island of Patmos at the time of this vision (Revelation 1:19). Through
his manipulation of mankind, satan has continued to kill God’s people
throughout history (Revelation 18:24) and will continue to do
so until the time he is allowed to kill the two witnesses (Revelation
11:7–8). This is also referred to in Daniel 12:7b, that says, “When the
power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will
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be completed.” God has never prevented the killing or martyrdom
of his people; although, he has not allowed them to be completely
destroyed.
Why the Battle?
This battle of all battles will be for the souls of mankind. Those who
win the physical battle will lose the war, for the family of satan––the
beast, the false prophet, and those who have rejected Jesus Christ––
will be destroyed very quickly after having killed the two witnesses. Those who lose
the battle shall indeed win the war, as seen as life
returns to the two witnesses and a voice from heaven instructs them
to “come up here” (Revelation 11:12).
This battle will be fought in the physical world but directed
from the spiritual realm. The two witnesses, who “are the two olive
trees and the two lamp stands that stand before the Lord of the
earth” (Revelation 11:4), will be in such communication with God
as to know his will. Their prophesying will bring on earth every
kind of plague, as they have power from God through Jesus Christ
(Matthew 28:19). These two witnesses will not be novice Christians,
but those who have committed themselves totally to the lordship of
Jesus Christ. They are a few out of the last generation of Christians
who have prepared for war and have power to make war against
satan, his beast, the false prophet, and those who follow them. The
two witnesses enter the battle that mankind might not be deceived
by satan and that they may be saved by faith in Jesus Christ. The two
witnesses gain nothing for themselves by entering the battle, but do
so only for the love of the family of satan and their desire that they
might be saved.
The beast that kills the two witnesses is made up of those of mankind
who are directed by satan from the spirit realm (see description
of the beast, chapter 13). These persons will have committed themselves
to satan just as the two witnesses have committed themselves
to Jesus Christ. This commitment to satan is explained in Revelation
13:4, which states, “Men worshiped the dragon because he had
given authority to the beast, and they also worship the beast and ask,
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‘Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?’” Also, Revelation
17:13 says, “They have one purpose and will give their power
and authority to the beast.” Thus, satan, from the spirit realm, will
direct his people to attack, overpower, and kill the two witnesses. The family of
satan enters the battle for their own desire for power. They have rejected God their
creator and chosen the destroyer as
their king (Revelation 9: 11). To the family of satan, having rejected
God, self is god and they desire power over others as did satan in his
rebellion in heaven. It is commonly known that those who come out
of satanism find it very hard to give up the powers they possess as
satan worshipers.
Thus, the reasons for the battle are very different. Although
both sides fight for the souls of mankind, the beast fights for his
own desires for power, but the two witnesses fight only for the salvation
of others.
The Location of the Battle
Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which is
figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was
crucified. For three and a half days men from every people, tribe,
language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse burial.
Revelation 11:8–9
The place where their bodies will lie is commonly interpreted to
be Jerusalem. The Living Bible (paraphrased) even names it Jerusalem. Yet,
interpreting the place as Jerusalem satisfies only one of the
descriptive phrases, “where also their Lord was crucified” (verse 8b). This leaves no
explanation for the references to Sodom and Egypt.
As I prayed and searched for further understanding, my mind
centered on the words figuratively (niv) and spiritually (kjv). It would
have to be a place that would figuratively and spiritually be compared
to Sodom and to Egypt and to where our Lord was crucified.
A place like Sodom, spiritually speaking, would be a place that
is utterly engrossed in physical sin. There were none in Sodom who
were righteous, except Lot and his family (Genesis 19).
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A place like Egypt, spiritually speaking, would be a place that is
completely given to the worship of satan. Egypt in Bible times was
known for its idol worship. There was an idol god for everything.
When the Lord sent Moses to Egypt to free his people, he, through
Moses and Aaron, performed a miracle before Pharaoh. When Aaron
threw down the staff in front of Pharaoh and his officials, it became
a snake. Exodus 7:11–12 says, “Pharaoh summoned wise men and sorcerers,
and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their
secret arts: each one threw down his staff, and it became a snake. But
Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs.” No idol of stone, wood, or
any other earthly material could have turned staffs into snakes. As a
spiritual being, satan is the only one, other than God, who could have
done such a thing. Therefore, Egypt, figuratively and spiritually, represents
a place given to satan worship. Pharaoh and his sorcerers were
not dummies; they knew spiritual powers.
The third descriptive phrase of the great city is “where also their
Lord was crucified” (Revelation 11:8). Figuratively and spiritually
speaking, Jerusalem, where our Lord was crucified, was the place of
the temple and the organized religious structure. The high priest,
Sadducees, scribes, etc., were those who supposedly worshiped God,
yet they falsely accused, condemned, and crucified Jesus. Thus, a
place that would represent where our Lord was crucified would be
a place of high religious fervor but no worship of the Lord Jesus
Christ. It is a place where people ritually worship, thinking they
worship God but they have the wrong message. They reject the true
God and Creator and Jesus Christ our Lord.
So, the great city is a place totally engrossed in 1) sin, 2) satan
worship, and 3) false religion. This city with these three descriptions
is not contained within the city limits of any one city, but is
indeed the whole world. This concept was born out of Revelation
11:9, “Men from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze
on their bodies.” Also, Revelation 18:2–3 says,
Babylon has fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons,
a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean
and hated bird! For all the nations have drunk of the wine of
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the wrath of her fornication and the kings of the earth have
committed fornication with her.
Thus, the two witnesses being a limited number of the last generation
of Christians will be living all over the world, “every people,
tribe, language and nation” (Revelation 11:9). Their identity and the
fact that they are the cause of the plagues that will come upon the
earth will be known to the beast, the family of satan. When the beast
is allowed by God to take control of all the nations, he––satan, the
beast, and false prophet––will give the orders for the two witnesses
to be drug out into the streets and killed. The Bible says,
For three and a half days men from every people, tribe, language,
and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. The
inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate
by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had
tormented those who live on the earth.
Revelation 11:9–10
They will think that their troubles are over when the witnesses are
dead because they will have cleansed the earth of the old system.
But after three and a half days, a breath of life from God entered
them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who
saw them.
Revelation 11:11
God will bring them back to life, and they will ascend to heaven in
full view of the family of satan. The world will have already rejected
God’s plan for salvation, but this worldwide resurrection will prove
to the whole world that God is God. In Ezekiel 38:23, God said,
“And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make
myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know
that I am the Lord.” The family of satan will know that God is God
and not satan, whom they worship.
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At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth
of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the
earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to
the God of heaven.
Revelation 11:13
The fact that they will give glory to God does not mean that they
will be saved after the rapture or at any other time. However, they
will recognize that God did this great miracle in spite of their god,
satan. This brings to light the parables of Jesus concerning the time
when it will be too late to enter the kingdom of heaven.
The parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25:1–13 speaks about
this time. Five virgins waiting to meet the bridegroom with lamps
had no oil; the other five virgins had their lamps and oil. All ten were
waiting for the Lord’s return. All ten went to sleep. While waiting
for the bridegroom to come, the five foolish virgins were forced
to go to buy oil. Meanwhile, the bridegroom came and went into
the wedding feast with the five wise virgins. When the others came
back, the door was shut. They called for the door to be opened only
to hear the bridegroom say, “I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.”
Then Jesus said, “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know
the day or the hour.”
The Results of the Battle
The result of this great worldwide spiritual battle will be the physical
destruction of the family of God by the family of satan, and the
beginning of the end of all physical life on earth. It is difficult for
us in our modern theology of love, forgiveness, success, and happiness
to understand how our loving Savior could allow such an end
to come to his people, but the evidence is overwhelming. Revelation
11:7–10; 13:5–10; 13:15, and Daniel 12:7 each speak clearly of the
destruction of God’s people. Our Lord Jesus also spoke of this in
Matthew 24:9–35 as he told his disciples of the end times. He said
that 1) his followers would be persecuted and put to death (verse 9)
beginning with the apostles and continuing throughout history; 2)
his followers would be hated by all nations (verse 9) and that the
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gospel would be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all
nations (verse 14). These statements substantiate the interpretation
that the battle will be worldwide and will bring to a conclusion the
eternal destiny of all mankind; 3) there would be an increase of wickedness
(verse 12). This statement says and substantiates the fact that
satan will be given more power, power used through the beast (Revelation
13:5); 4) the love of Christians would grow cold as a result of
the pressure from satan’s increased power. This would result in the
limited number (two) of witnesses; 5) the abomination that causes
desolation would be seen standing in the holy place (verse 15a). This
statement reveals the fact that satan, with increased power, will take
complete control of the organized church, the false prophet, thus,
corrupting the church to the point that it is no longer an open door
to salvation; and, 6) those who will be in Judea will flee to the mountains
when the abomination of desolation is seen in the holy place
(verses 15b-24). This description is the same as the occurrence of the
two witnesses being hunted, arrested, and killed, and then the other
Christians, who are not part of the two witnesses, escaping their
enemies and surviving in hiding until they meet the Lord in the air. “Immediately
after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the
sky and the heavenly bodies will be shaken” (verse 29).
This prophecy parallels the prophecy given in Revelation 11,
which says,
At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth
of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the
earthquake and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the
God of heaven.
Revelation 11:13
Please note, the seven thousand people killed in the earthquake are
probably not a literal seven thousand, but the complete “thousands”
who are killed by the quake.
Then a limited number of the last generation of Christians
will be martyred because of their testimony for Jesus Christ, and
the voice from heaven will call them to “come up here” (Revela121
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tion 11:12). Sometime afterwards, those who have escaped the death
penalty, who are silent “believers,” will also meet the Lord in the air. Two will be
working, one will be taken, and the other will be left
behind. (Matthew 24:40–41).
So the family of God will be raptured and will be in heaven with
our Lord. Then comes the earthquake of Revelation 11:19, which will
mark the beginning of the great tribulation.
The Three Woes
The second woe has passed; the third woe is coming soon.
Revelation 11:14
The second “woe” passing and the third coming soon leads us to
enter the discussion and interpretation of the three “woes.” By its
very definition, woe means warning, trouble, danger, or disaster. Therefore, three
woes, or the word woe stated three times, is interpreted
to mean the greatest “woe” or greatest disaster. Since the
death of the physical body is simply entrance into the spirit realm,
then I believe the greatest woe or disaster refers to a spiritual “woe,”
not a physical “woe.” The three “woes” obviously correspond to the
last three trumpets as stated in Revelation 8:13, “Woe! Woe! Woe!
to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blast about
to be sounded by the other three Angels!” Therefore, we are left to
interpret the meaning of the three “woes” from what happens and
from what is said in the three trumpets.
The first “woe” is quite easy to pinpoint since 1) the woes are
introduced in the last verse of chapter 8; 2) Revelation 9:1–11 tells
of locusts from the abyss; and, 3) verse 12 states that the first woe is
passed. Therefore, the first woe is the spiritual destruction caused by
the visionary locusts as the scene depicts mankind destroying mankind
through social and personal relationships.
The second “woe” is not so easily pinpointed in that it begins
with Revelation 9:13 and continues through Revelation 11:14, which
states, “The second woe has passed; the third woe is coming soon.”
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Therefore, it must be determined from this block of Scripture what
constitutes the greatest spiritual destruction. Within this Scripture
passage, two major things happen to the family of satan: 1) through
war, they kill one-third of mankind (Revelation 9: 3–19), and 2) they
kill the two witnesses (Revelation 11:7).
The message is that the second woe comes as a result of the
family of satan killing one-third of mankind and the two witnesses. War, killing, and
death should bring mankind to the reality of their
need for God, but that is not the result of the second woe. Their
rejection of God is stated in Revelation 9:20:
The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still
did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop
worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and
wood idols that cannot see or hear nor walk.
Thus, the second woe comes as mankind’s heart is hardened against
God (spiritual hardening) as a result of their refusing to repent.
The third woe gives the greatest difficulty in interpretation. Revelation 11:14 states,
“ … the third woe is coming soon.” However,
there is no point in the following verses or chapters that signify that
the third woe has passed. So the contextual evidence must be examined
in order to interpret the third woe.
For a time, I thought the third woe was contained in the statements,
“because you (God) have taken your great power and begun to
reign” (Revelation 11:17), and, “And the time has come … for destroying
those who destroy the earth” (Revelation 11:18). This was derived
from the standpoint that God’s judgment and the destruction would
be the greatest woe. I could not be satisfied with this interpretation,
for it was different in nature from the other two woes in that it pertained
to what God did rather than what mankind did. So I continued
to pray and study. Then it dawned on me that, in chapter 13, the
second beast’s taking control of all mankind and causing the whole
earth and its inhabitants to worship the first beast, “the abomination
that causes desolation” (Daniel and Matthew), is the greatest woe. All of physical
mankind, then, will be worshiping satan; there will be
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nothing left to do but to destroy the “natural brute beast, made to be
taken and destroyed” (2 Peter 2:12). The ultimate spiritual destruction
is worshiping, as God, something that is not God.
Therefore, the three woes pertain to the spiritual destruction of
physical mankind. As mankind disregards or refuses God’s plan of
salvation through Jesus Christ, his natural course of life carries him
to spiritual destruction. The first phase of destruction is the destruction
of self, individually, through social relationships; the second,
collective destruction through war, killing, and refusing to repent;
and the third and final destruction of having chosen to and being
forced to worship satan as God.
The three woes illustrate three different but overlapping ways
in which mankind condemns himself before God. As he rejects or
is blinded to God, he creates other gods (self, a system), another
spiritual God.
1.         Self-god
As mankind is born into this world, self is God. A child’s desire and motivation is
only for its wants. If one continues through life in this mode, rejecting
or refusing to choose God’s plan for salvation,
self truly becomes God. The self-god is particularly
manifested in the first woe and in the woman who is
the great prostitute of chapter 17 and 18.
2.         A system as a god
Mankind makes a system God as they give the
control of their lives and eternal destiny to an earthly
system. Around the world, mankind has bound himself,
collectively, in national units, religious organizations,
civic organizations, ideologies, etc. As mankind
holds onto an earthly system to the exclusion
of the eternal spiritual God, their system becomes
their god. This is exemplified in the second woe (the
wars of the sixth trumpet and in the false prophet), a
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person who thinks they are worshiping God but who
has the wrong message.
3) Another spiritual god
When mankind becomes aware of the existence
and reality of the spiritual realm, they must choose
whom they will serve. Mankind is allowed to choose
God or satan to be their God. As one chooses satan,
another spiritual god, he becomes part of the third
or greatest “woe,” which corresponds with the seventh
trumpet as described in the vision of the beast
in chapter 13.
The Seventh Trumpet
When the seventh trumpet sounded (Revelation 11:15), John was
shown a heavenly scene that is the immediate result of the killing
and resurrection of the two witnesses. Throughout history, satan has
enjoyed certain God-given powers, which will be increased at the
time of the two witnesses (Revelation 11:7; 13:5; 13:7–8; and 13:11–17). However,
with the sounding of the seventh trumpet, John heard
proclaimed that God had “begun to reign” (Revelation 11:17).
This scene in heaven (Revelation 11:15–18) signifies the time when
God will close the door to heaven “and have begun to reign” (verse
17). God has been reigning throughout history, but created mankind
with a choice in his own destiny. Mankind has had the privilege of
eternal life in heaven by simply crying out, “God, be merciful to me,
a sinner.” However, when God has taken complete control, no one
else may choose or make a decision. Eternal destiny will have been
set for all of creation. After the sounding of the seventh trumpet,
God’s family, who will be in heaven, will be rewarded, and satan’s
family, who will be on earth, will be destroyed. Jesus’ parables about
the ten virgins and the wedding feast explained clearly this time that
corresponds with Revelation 11:15–18.
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Then, God’s temple in heaven was opened, and there came
flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake
and a great hailstorm.
Revelation 11:19
God’s temple in heaven will be opened to receive the family of
God, who will have escaped the sword of the beast and who will
be raptured to meet the Lord in the air. The occurrence of lightning,
thunder, earthquake, and hailstorm signifies the beginning of
destruction and shows the violence with which that destruction will
be accomplished.
Chapters 12 and 13 are part of the seventh trumpet and that
part which comprises the third woe. They explain the work of satan
throughout history, and especially that which brought about the
killing of the two witnesses.
Since the beginning, mankind has been manipulated, tricked,
and led astray by satan. They had rebelled against God and given
their allegiance to satan; therefore, woe unto them, for they will
receive the judgment and wrath of almighty God.

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Revelation 12
A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed
with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a garland of
twelve stars on her head Then, being with child, she cried out
in labor and in pain to give birth
Revelation 12:1–2
Chapter 12 gives a very short overview of the history of satan’s combative
work against God’s plan for the salvation of mankind from
the covenant between God and Abraham to the coming of the Holy
Spirit at Pentecost, with reference to that continued warfare to the
midpoint (three and a half years of the seven-year tribulation)
“Then the woman fl ed into the wilderness, where she has a
place prepared by God that they should feed her there for 1260 days”
(Revelation 12:6)
The visionary woman is interpreted to be God’s chosen people
God’s chosen people are people who have individually chosen to
believe in God and have chosen and accepted Jesus Christ as Lord
They are God’s chosen because God knew beforehand who
would believe and accept him as Lord
But, because God knew before I was born does not mean that
I knew
I did not know, thus I must make a decision, a choice I must choose
to use my guaranteed freedom of choice (“crown” of the fi rst seal)
I believe that the “woman” of Revelation 12 represents all of
mankind who believe in God, have chosen Jesus Christ as Lord, and
are true believers, born again into the kingdom of God She represents
true believers from all of history
The woman is “clothed with the sun, with the moon under her
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feet.” I believe this means that the woman is the central point of creation,
thus, central to God’s purpose for his creation. I believe that
God’s purpose for his creation is to create a family who has chosen,
been obedient, and has become the true family of God.
The woman had “on her head a garland of 12 stars.” I believe
this characterizes the twelve sons of Jacob (Israel) as the foundation
of the nation of Israel, through whom came the Word of God and
through whom Jesus Christ was born into this physical world.
The woman is characterized as “being with child, she cried out
in labor, and in pain to give birth.” I believe that this illustrates the
difficulty, pain, and hardship that the people of God went through
in order that Jesus Christ be born in the “fullness of time.”
The woman also “bore a male child.” The male child is Jesus
Christ, who will “rule all nations, and was caught up to God and his
throne.”
The woman “fled into the wilderness … was provided for and
protected for 1260 days.” God provides for and protects his people––
limited (they are persecuted, some martyred, but never destroyed)––
until the 1260 days, which is the midpoint of the seven-year tribulation
when their witness is finally complete.
Also, the fact that this visionary woman is seen and described
in this way eliminates interpreting her as a physical woman, such
as Mary, the mother of Jesus. I hold to a spiritual interpretation in
which the woman is not a physical female, but is symbolically God’s
people Israel, who were chosen to be the lineage through which
Jesus Christ was born into the world and then continuing through
the New Testament era of born-again Christians.
The second sign is in the following scene. “Then another sign
appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and
ten horns and seven diadems on his heads” (Revelation 12:3). The
red dragon is satan (Revelation 12:9). He is envisioned (pictured
physically) as enormous, which symbolizes power; and red, which
symbolizes sinfulness and rebelliousness. He has seven heads, ten
horns, and seven diadems. The seven heads are the complete number
of entities––dynasties, kingdoms, nations––that are manipulated
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by satan and that carry out satan’s desires on earth. The ten horns
represent ten last entities (powers) that are the ones who will kill the
two witnesses and who will rule during the tribulation. Revelation
17:12–14 says,
The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received
a kingdom, but who, for one hour will receive the authority as
kings along with the beast. They have one purpose and will
give their power and authority to the beast. They will make war
against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them, because
he is Lord of lords and King of king’s and with him will be his
called, chosen, and faithful followers.
The first phase of satan’s rebellion against God is recorded in a short
overview here in chapter 12.
1.         Verses 4; 7–9: satan rebelled in heaven with one-third
of the angels of heaven following him.
2.        Verse 2: satan fought against God’s people from the
time that God introduced his plan through Abraham.
3.         Verse 4b: satan attempted to destroy Jesus at birth
(Matthew 2).
4.         Verse 5: satan attempted to destroy Jesus’ testimony
(Luke 11:53–54; 22:1–6; 22:47; 23:43).
5.         Verses 13, 15, and 17: satan pursued the followers of
Jesus (Acts 4, 5, 6, etc.).
Therefore, chapter 12 explains the direct opposition of satan against
God’s plan for the salvation of mankind through the chosen people
of Israel and those who hold to the testimony of Jesus.
The description of satan’s activities in chapter 12 and those of
the beast in chapter 13 have a marked difference, but all describe
satan’s “war against … those who obey God’s commandments and
hold to the testimony of Jesus” (verse 17). Chapter 12 is different
from chapter 13 in that it depicts satan as the great red dragon. The
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great red dragon is the best physical picture that God could give to
physical mankind of a spiritual being in rebellion against God and
at war against God’s people.
The dragon of chapter 12 is satan himself (verse 9) and is described
as being personally involved in fighting against God’s angels (verse
7) and “those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony
of Jesus” (verse 17). Chapter 13 describes two beasts––first
beast, verses 1–10; second beast, verses 11–18––which are God’s best
description (all we need to know ) of satan’s work in a different era
than that of chapter 12. The beasts are a manifestation of satan and
his work on earth (Revelation 17:7–8, 11).
satan BC
Chapter 12 points out satan’s rebellion on earth at these times:
1.         Before the birth of Jesus. satan’s rebellion before the
birth of Jesus is related in verses 1–2. The woman,
interpreted as God’s chosen people, as pertaining to
the family of God, is persecuted by satan from the
time of God’s covenant with Abraham until the birth
of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, in Bethlehem’s stable.
2.         During the time of the birth and life of Jesus, satan
did his best to destroy Jesus at the time of his birth
and during his life on earth as related in verses 4–5. In
Bethlehem, Herod had killed all the boy babies who
were two years old and under (Matthew 2:16). satan
himself tempted Jesus in an attempt to destroy his
purpose on earth, but failed (Matthew 4:1–11). satan
and his people condemned and crucified Jesus but
found that it played into the hand and plan of God.
3.         Immediately following the death and resurrection of
Jesus, satan continued his battle against God’s creation
as he influenced rulers, Pharisees, authorities, etc., in
their own rejection of Jesus Christ. The Jews and satan
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became partners in crime as they tried to stamp out the
followers of Jesus Christ. This partnership progressed
to become the beast of Revelation 13.
Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom
of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of
our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night,
has been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the
Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their
lives so much as to shrink from death.
Revelation 12:10–11
This scripture points to a specific time in history. This particular
time was when satan was defeated at the cross and Jesus was glorified
in the resurrection, providing salvation and deliverance from
satan for mankind.
Therefore, rejoice you heavens, and you who dwell in them! But
woe to the earth and to the sea, because the devil has gone down
to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is
short. When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth,
he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given
the two wings of a great eagle, so that she
might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she
would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of
the serpent’s reach. Then from his mouth, the serpent spewed
water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away
with the torrent. But the earth helped the woman by opening its
mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out
of his mouth. Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and
went off to make war against the rest of her offspring––those
who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of
Jesus. And the dragon stood on the shore of the sea.
Revelation 12:12–17
This is a description of satan’s war against Jesus’s followers. Seeing
he was defeated and condemned to death, he lashed out in fury at all
the family of God from the time of the resurrection to Pentecost and
on to the dispersion of the Christians from Jerusalem, which was a
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result of persecution. Because of the power and the work of the Holy
Spirit in the lives of the disciples and believers, satan began to duplicate
that indwelling spirit through his people to combat the believers. As
a created angelic being, satan had all the knowledge (seven
heads) and all the authority (seven crowns) necessary to insert his
thoughts and spirit into physical mankind. However, this can only
be done as mankind allows it, for God created into mankind the
authority to choose.
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Revelation 13
In chapter 13, satan’s character and purpose is explained as he works
through the beasts In verse 1, John said, “and I saw a beast coming
out of the sea ” In verse 11, the beast comes out of the earth,
and thereafter, a false prophet They are the manifestations of satan’s
work Notice that the dragon is not mentioned again until chapter
20 after the beast and the false prophet are cast into the “fi ery lake
of burning sulfur” (Revelation 19:20) Therefore, there seems to be a
different era of satanic activity described in chapter 13 The dragon,
who is satan, is described in chapter 12; the two beasts, in chapter 13;
which continues through the woman on the beast in chapters 17 and
18; and then chapter 20 returns to the dragon
The Era of the Beast: satan AD
The era of the beast began sometime soon after Pentecost and continues
until the family of God, the two witnesses, are defeated and
destroyed (Revelation 11:7; 13:5–10) and until the beast has conquered
the rest of mankind (Revelation 13:14–17) and the King of kings and
the Lord of lords cast him into the lake of burning sulfur (Revelation
19:20) The era of the beast is comparable to the kingdom of
God in that the beast works through the same time era as the Holy
Spirit of God works through his true believers from Pentecost to the
time of the two witnesses in Revelation 11
During the Old Testament period, God related to mankind
through the spoken word, dreams, and visions, etc However, on the
forty-ninth day after the resurrection of Jesus, the day of Pentecost,
the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles and a new era began It
was and is an era in which the Holy Spirit indwells, teaches, and
guides the family of God It is an era in which the church, the bride
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of Christ, is instituted and also directed through the remainder of
history to carry out God’s plan for mankind. In a similar way, the
beast is a spiritual entity of the family of satan during the era after
the resurrection of Jesus Christ until it is destroyed, as recorded in
chapter 19. Meanwhile, it carries out satan’s work on earth. The beast
is satan’s attempt to duplicate the true church. The beast is similar
to the church in that:
1.         It is an entity, not a person (Revelation 17:12–13).
2.         Its leadership is not of this physical world (Revelation
19:20).
3.         It is directed by its master from the spirit realm
(Revelation 13:2).
4.         It is in part the bridge or communication channel
between the spirit realm and the physical world
(Revelation 13:2–4; 17:13).
5.         It has authority.
6.         It is evangelistic.
7.         It is worldwide.
8.         It has human leadership (Revelation 13:3; 17:12–13).
Therefore, the beast is the satanic church in all its aspects and is led
by its head and spiritual leader, satan.
Verse 1 poses somewhat of a question as some Bible translations
say, “And I stood upon the sand of the sea,” and others say, “and the
dragon stood on the shore.” Either translation is all right, for neither
change the message.
If the correct wording is “and I,” then it fits quite well into the
context. The vision of the dragon is past, and the next vision is forthcoming. The
statement, “And I stood upon the sand of the sea,”
would be an interlude, which separates the two visions.
If the correct wording is “and the dragon,” then that wording fits
quite well also. In the text, the dragon lashed out in fury, pursued the
woman, and spewed water like a river to overtake her, but the earth
helped her. Because of this, the dragon was enraged and went off to
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war against the family of God. After experiencing this scenario of
frustration, it is easy to imagine the dragon standing on the shore,
foaming at the mouth in great anger and frustration, wondering
what to do next. In either case, this statement is an interlude that
indicates the change of scene or a different era forthcoming.
satan was indeed frustrated in his attempt to destroy the apostles
and believers. The apostles were thrown into jail, but an angel took
them out (Acts 5:17–20). Stephen was stoned (Acts 7:54–8:1) with
Saul standing nearby in approval. Then God intervened on the road
to Damascus and made Saul, one of satan’s main men, a missionary
for the gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 9). Herod killed James with the
sword (Acts 12:2) and threw Peter into jail. Again, an angel took him
out, the guards were executed, and satan’s man, Herod, died, “eaten
by worms” at the hand of God.
Indeed, the dragon was frustrated! He made an assessment of
his method of war against the family of God and a new era began,
which is symbolized here in the beast––a very vivid picture that God
gives us of spiritual warfare being waged against mankind in the
physical world.
John wrote,
And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and
seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns and on each head a
blasphemous name.
Revelation 13:1
The explanation of this beast is in Revelation 17:7–14.
The Seven Heads
The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits.
Revelation 17:9b.
Traditionally, this has been interpreted as Rome. History tells us
that Rome was built on seven hills. There has been great effort to
impose the seven kings upon seven Roman rulers. They hardly fit,
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for this would involve only a small area of earth and a small era of
time in history.
I interpret the seven hills as being all––interpreting principle
number one––the hills on earth. There is much evidence to substantiate
that interpretation. The beast is a manifestation of satan’s
work on earth (Revelation 13, 17, 19), and it is worldwide. Revelation
13:3b says, “The whole world was astonished and followed the beast.”
Revelation 13:7b-8 says,
And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language,
and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast,
all whose names have not been written in the Book of Life
belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the
world.
Revelation 17: 8 says,
The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written
in the Book of Life from the creation of the world will be
astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is
not, and yet will come.
Revelation 19:19 says, “Then I saw the beast and the kings of the
earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the
rider on the horse and his army.”
Therefore, with these many references to the worldwide work of
satan and the beast as evidence, the seven hills are interpreted to be
the entire earth.
The Seven Kings
They are also seven kings.
Revelation 17:9c.
As we continue to interpret the number seven as a complete number
or a number meaning all, then the seven kings would be all the kings
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of all the world who have been led by satan and who have furthered
the work of satan. Throughout history, there have been kings, men
in places of authority, who were used and manipulated by satan. There have been
others who knowingly committed themselves to
satan in order to gain power and control. I interpret the seven kings
to be those who committed themselves to satan during the era of the
beast. They could be religious leaders, as well as political and social
leaders, who are spiritually destructive to mankind and oppose the
family of God and God’s work on earth.
The Ten Horns
The ten horns you saw are ten kings, who have not yet received
a kingdom, but for one hour will receive authority as kings along
with the beast.
Revelation 17:12
These ten kings are ten rulers that rule the world at the end time
or during the time of the last generation to live on earth. They will
rule for a specified length of time. One hour does not mean sixty
minutes, but a very limited span of time.
(Refer to interpreting principle number one.)
These ten kings will have gained control of all the earth when
the testimony of the two witnesses has been finished (Revelation
11:7–9). They will reign through the second half of the great tribulation,
which is recorded in Revelation 16:14, which says, “and they go
out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle of
the great day of God Almighty.” They are the kings of Revelation
19:19, which says, “Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth
and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider
on the horse and his army.” Therefore, the ten horns are the last ten
kings––presidents, prime ministers, etc.––to rule physical mankind
on physical earth.
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The Ten Crowns on His Ten Horns
He had ten horns and seven heads with ten crowns on his horns,
and on each head a blasphemous name.
Revelation 13:1b.
Crowns represent authority, and the ten horns (kings) have authority. satan
is given authority (Revelation 12:3), and he passes that
authority to the beast and to the ten kings as the physical kings of
the family of satan. Revelation 17:12–13 says,
The ten horns you saw are ten kings, who have not yet received
a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings,
along with the beast. They have one purpose and will give their
power and authority to the beast.
All power and authority comes from God. It was given to Jesus as
recorded in Matthew 28:18, which says, “Then Jesus came to them and
said, all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.” satan,
then, is given certain limited authority. The beast also is given certain
limited authority, and the ten kings are given certain limited authority. Thus, there is
established a chain of command of power and authority,
which is given to satan, his beast, and these ten kings.
As John further described the beast, he said, “The beast I saw
resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth
like that of a lion” (Revelation 13:2a). The beast, as resembling a
leopard, is a ferocious, stealthy, in the darkness and wild being lashing
out to destroy everything. This is also shown in Revelation 17:16,
“The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They
will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and
burn her with fire.”
The beast also had feet like a bear. The feet of a bear are very
large as compared to a leopard. The large feet exemplify the fact that
the beast will stamp out the Christians and all opposition. This is
spoken of in Revelation 11:2b which states, “They will trample on
the holy city for forty-two months.”
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The beast is also described as having “a mouth like that of the
lion.” Anyone who has seen American movies in the past generation
has seen a movie or cartoon open with a big, ferocious roar of a lion
on the screen. As I think of that movie picture of the lion’s head, I
see a big, loud mouth that defies everything; satan and his beast defy
and ridicule all that is sacred and good. This image seems to fit the
description of the beast in Revelation 13:5–6.
The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and
blasphemies … He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and
to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live
in heaven.
Revelation 13:5–6
Twofold Image of the Beast
Just as the first beast came into being in a new era after Pentecost,
so the second beast comes on the scene in a new era. The second
beast is the same satan, the same satanic cult, and the same war,
which continues to be carried out as satan promotes the destruction
of mankind and all of God’s creation. (God permits and does not
stop the destroying as a result of mankind’s sin and rejection of his
plan for salvation through Jesus Christ.) satan had desired to rule,
but he “saw that he had been hurled to the earth,” and, “he knows
that his time is short” (Revelation 12:12–13). So the beast is committed
to the destruction of creation. His desire is to take as many as
possible with him to destruction. He cannot defeat God, or even
fight against him, so he makes war against mankind, whom God
created and loves.
After the end of the 1260 days, the second beast will come on the
scene. Until that time, the first beast will have put many in prison
and killed many with the sword as seen down through history. The
testimony of the two witnesses will be completed, and the beast
from the abyss will attack them. (The first beast was given authority
during the 1260 days to make war and conquer, as seen in Revelation
13:5–10.) Thus, the era of the second beast will begin at the end of
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the 1260 days and will conclude after forty-two months, when he is
thrown into the lake of fire in Revelation 19:20. It is a new era, in
that satan and his family are in complete control of the earth.
Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two
horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon.
Revelation 13:11
The first beast is seen by John as “coming out of the sea” (Revelation
13:1b). The context of the coming of the first beast is that of Revelation
12:17, in which satan is enraged and is “off to war against … those
who obey God’s commandments,” whereas, the first beast comes out
of the sea to conquer and does so (Revelation 13:5–8); the second
beast is the recipient of that conquest (Revelation 13:12) and is in
control of the whole earth. Thus, the Bible says, “out of the earth.”
This phrase “out of the earth” denotes a twofold image that is
a very great deception on the part of satan. In the second beast is
satan’s greatest and final effort to deceive and destroy mankind; that
is “everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave,” and he
does so as his beast takes on the traits of the false prophet. Throughout
the Bible, a believer and follower of God is characterized as
a sheep. Jesus is characterized as “the Lamb” throughout Scripture
(Revelation 14, etc.). Thus, the first part of the phrase, “two horns like
a lamb,” is a visionary description of a false church or satan’s attempt
to lead the world astray through a religious system that duplicates
and imitates the true Christian church. (Refer to the false prophet.)
The two horns denote two systems or organizations. There are two
distinct groups of that sort in the world today.
The Christian churches and organizations have today, and have
had throughout history, members and leaders who worshiped the
organization but have no understanding of a personal relationship
with Jesus Christ through which they might be saved (Romans
10:9–10). Thus, after the true family of God is gone (Revelation 11),
the church organizations will still be functioning. There will still
be churches in progress, and there will still be “church.” They will
probably be filled to capacity the Sunday after the two witnesses are
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taken up to heaven. These churches and church organizations are
one of the two horns.
The other horn represents the religious organizations of the
world that believe in a creator God but deny that Jesus is the Christ,
the Son of the living God. These organizations say that Jesus was
a good man, a great teacher, or a prophet, but do not know that he
alone is “the way and the truth and the life” ( John 14: 6) and that no
one can come to the Father except through Jesus Christ.
Thus, the “two horns like a lamb” represent the religious organizations
of all the world that mankind chooses to follow. Through
this part of the false prophet, satan has deceived and will deceive a
great portion of mankind.
The Work of the Second Beast
The second beast has an appearance of good––“two horns like a
lamb”––but is still that ferocious, destructive beast––“spoke like a
dragon.” He has the power, throne, and authority of satan and is led
by satan himself to his destruction in the lake of fire.
The second beast will “exercise all the authority of the first beast
on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the
first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed” (Revelation 13:12). This second
beast is the heir apparent of the first. The first beast is in
power now; the second beast will be in power after the two witnesses
are killed. He will then carry on all of the first beast’s work. There
seems to be an end to the first beast, which brings in the second
beast. Revelation 13:3 says, “One of the heads of the beast seemed
to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed.”
When we couple the head of the beast in this verse with the explanation
of the seven heads of the beast in Revelation 17:9–10, this
head that had a fatal wound is one of the seven kings. Thus, there
will be a king whom satan will set up as a person who will seem to
be the Messiah.
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The Wounded King
The king may or may not be a king or ruler or a great man of importance,
because satan is the one who wants to be great and worshiped. The use of the word
seemed in describing the fatal wound indicates
deception. Also, an image of this king will be set up as an object to
be worshiped. The second beast will be given power to give breath to
the image so that it will be able to speak, thus deceiving the inhabitants
of the earth (Revelation 13:13–15). This king will be a deception,
a fake, and an effort by satan to duplicate the coming of Jesus; his
life on earth; and his death, burial, and resurrection. If the king is
to be this satanic version of the Messiah, he will seem to fulfill the
messianic prophecy of the Old Testament. He will seem to recover
from the fatal wound, and his image will seem to breathe and talk,
deceiving the whole world so that everyone will worship the image
as this false messiah.
Therefore, the purpose of the second beast is to exalt the king
that is wounded, thereby putting into place a false messiah and causing
everyone to worship the image of that false messiah. The beast
will also force everyone to receive a mark. Revelation 13:16–18 says of
the second beast,
He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and
slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so
that no one could buy or sell unless he has the mark, which is
the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for
wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of
the beast for it is a man’s number. His number is 666.
Please note, in the above verse, the phrase, “a man’s number” is singular. But
this does not demand that this means only one man. We
can say a man has two arms; that does not mean that only one man
has two arms but that the condition of mankind is that a man has
two arms. In the same way, “666” is not about one man, but the condition
of mankind at the time of Revelation 13.
Taken literally 666 as an actual number has no significant meaning. The
context does not speak of a number of persons, but only as
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666 being the seal, or a mark, of satan. It will be necessary to put a
seal on the family of satan, for there is a seal on the family of God. So there needs to
be an interpretation of 666.
In the interpretation of 666, we applied two rules of numbers in
biblical interpretation. (These are rules only in the sense in which
we understand their use in the Bible.) The first rule has application
to the number six. It is one less than the complete number seven. Being one less
than complete, we call six an incomplete number. The
second rule has to do with the series of three. A series of three in the
Bible is used to give exclamation to the Word. “Holy, Holy, Holy,”
means the most holy; “Woe! Woe! Woe!” means the greatest woe.
As we put the two number rules together, 666 becomes the most
incomplete. Most incomplete is indeed the reality of mankind as a part
of the family of satan during the era of the second beast. Reality at that
time will be that the two witnesses will have been killed and resurrected
and the remainder of the family of God will have been taken to heaven
with the family of satan left on the earth. Consequently, they will be
controlled by satan, totally without God and totally without choice. They may no
longer cry out, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner,” and be
saved. The gates of heaven will have been closed.
Thus, 666 means mankind without God. It is the number
of satan, his name since he was cast out of heaven, and it will be
man’s number after God closes the gates of heaven. 666 equals most
incomplete, without God, without hope.
With this marking of mankind, the beast will have complete
control. The Bible says, “His number is 666”
(Revelation 13:18c). The mark is satan’s way of exercising authority
over his people at the time when he has complete control. The
marking will be ordered by the beast and carried out by the ten kings
of Revelation 17:12–13. The mark of the beast is satan’s duplication of
the seal of God (Revelation 7:3–4). satan’s falsification of the Messiah
is described in the following statements.
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The Messiah, Jesus Christ:
1.         Has all authority (Matthew 28:18).
2.         Died on the cross.
3.         Was resurrected from the dead.
4.         Performs great miracles (Revelation 11:12).
5.         Rules with power (Revelation 1:15).
The false messiah:
1.         Has limited spiritual authority (Revelation 13:2).
2.         Seemingly died (Revelation 13:3).
3.        Was seemingly resurrected (Revelation 3:3).
4.         Performs deceptive miracles (Revelation 13:13).
5.         Rules by force (Revelation 13:16).
With these similarities, satan builds a case to deceive the whole
world and make them believe that Jesus was a false messiah and
that his beast is the real messiah. He deceives the whole world, who
would “rather believe a lie than the truth.”
Thus, this first beast that comes out of the sea is a beast of conquest. He
makes war against the family of God until he is permitted
by God to conquer them. When he has conquered the family of
God and has brought the rest of the world under his control, his task
will be complete and a new era will begin.
Then I saw another beast coming out of the earth. He had two
horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. He exercised all
the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth
and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound
had been healed. And he performed great and miraculous signs,
even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view
of men. Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf
of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He
ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast, who was
wounded by the sword and yet lived. He was given power to give
breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and
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cause all who refuse to worship the image to be killed. He also
forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to
receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no
one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name
of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight,
let him calculate the number of the beast,
for it is man’s number. His number is 666.
Revelation 13:11–18
The calculation of 666 is best understood from the context in which
it is written. 666 is the last word of Revelation 13 and also the last
word in the description of the seven trumpets of tribulation. Thus
we conclude that the calculation is derived in the explanation of the
seven trumpets.
“Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the
remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are
about to sound.”
Revelation 8: 13b
“Woe woe woe” is synonymous with trumpet numbers five, six, and
seven.
The conclusion of the trumpets is 666.
Therefore, three Woes equals three trumpets, which equals three 6s.
The conclusion of the first woe and the fifth trumpet is seen in
Revelation 9: 11.
The inhabitants of the earth have as their king the destroyer—
not Jesus Christ.
Thus, they are incomplete—a 6.
The conclusion of the second woe and the sixth trumpet is seen
in Revelation 9: 20–21.
The inhabitants of the earth will not repent of their sins.
Thus, they are incomplete—two 6s.
The conclusion of the third woe and seventh trumpet are seen
in Revelation 13: 14–17.
The inhabitants of the earth will be forced to worship the image
of the beast.
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Thus, they are incomplete—three 6s.
Conclusion and calculation of 666:
Please note; every person is born incomplete—a 6. When a person
believes, repents and receives Jesus Christ as Lord they become
complete—a 7.
The beast (satan and his followers) and mankind who have the
destroyer as king, have not repented and are forced to worship the
image of the beast are 666 incomplete—never to be complete.
They will be judged guilty—the doors of heaven will be closed
and they—outside.
satan and all who follow his rebellious ways are incomplete and
at the end of chapter 13, waiting to be cast into the lake of fire—forever
without God, forever incomplete—666.
The Three Children of the Family of satan
The peoples of the earth are so diverse, as created by God, that it
was necessary to divide the family of satan into different entities. So,
to best describe the multiplicity of ways that mankind has rejected
God’s plan for salvation, John was shown through visions and by
word this “Revelation.” He was told to describe three entities, which
I call the three children of the family of satan. They are the beast, the
great prostitute, and the false prophet.
The Beast
The physical beast is made up of individuals or organizations that
are committed to satan or participate in satanic worship and/or
satanic practices. The spiritual beast has as its head satan (Revelation
17:8). It is also comprised of the dead in satan and the living who
have committed themselves to satan. In the beast is satan’s attempt
to duplicate the true church or the bride of Christ. The true church
has as its head Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:23–24), and it is also comprised
of “the dead in Christ” and the living who have committed/
given themselves to Jesus Christ. Whereas, Jesus loved the church
and gave himself for it, satan hates the beast and his other children
and rather than give himself for them, he destroys them (Revelation
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17:16–17). satan worshipers often speak of the bride of satan, but this
not a love relationship. Because of satan’s rebellion against God, he
attempts to destroy everyone.
The Great Prostitute
The great prostitute, the woman riding on the beast, is a visionary
woman who exemplifies that segment of mankind that has rejected
God’s plan for salvation through Jesus Christ. They have chosen to
fulfill their own desires and lusts with the physical things of earth
to the exclusion of God. These men and women fulfill their lusts by
their own abilities, thus making themselves gods.
The woman, as a child of satan, differs from the beast in that
she is not committed to satan, does not worship satan, and, for the
most part, does not even believe satan exists. Within the woman are
those who are deceived by satan and caused to reject what they do
not understand so that they believe that there is no God.
Through deception, satan blinds a large portion of mankind and
causes them to reject God’s plan for salvation because they do not
understand. Many hear the gospel but reject it for lack of spiritual
depth or understanding as shown in Matthew 13:18–19. Many are
deceived because they reject God’s plan as a result of seeing the lifestyles
of Christians and others who claim to be, or are perceived to
be, Christians. Many are deceived and reject God’s plan simply by
neglecting to hear and accept the truth. satan also deceived many by
helping them to choose to believe that there is no God or devil, just
physical mankind (atheist)
The woman is blinded to spiritual realities, rejects God’s plan
for salvation, and places all hopes of a future in the things of this
world. She fulfills her desires and lusts (Revelation 17 and 18) without
considering the consequences of eternity and the destiny of eternal
souls.
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The False Prophet
The false prophet is a child of satan. They, mankind, who make
up the false prophet are those who believe that there is a God and
believe they are worshiping God, but they have the wrong message
( Jeremiah 23:9–40; Matthew 24:24; 1 John 4:1–6; and 2 Peter 2:1–3). Thus, satan,
through the false prophet, deceives, confuses, and misleads
those of mankind who reject God’s plan for salvation through
Jesus Christ. The false prophet is made up of religious systems that
believe that there is a God but deny Jesus Christ as the Christ, the
Son of the living God. The false prophet is particularly destructive,
for it deceives man’s natural yearning for God and leads mankind to
his own destruction.
He was given authority to make war against the saints and to
conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe,
people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will
worship the beast––all those whose names have not been written
in the Book of Life, belonging to the Lamb that was slain from
the creation of the world.
Revelation 13:7–8
This ferocious beast (physical mankind), who is committed to and
controlled by satan, receives his power and his throne and great
authority from satan, who is its head (Revelation 13:2). The result
of the spiritual power astonishes the whole world and men worship
satan because they are at a loss of what else to do. They do not
know God or the power of God for they have rejected him, so they
exclaim, “Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?”
(Revelation 13:4). All of mankind, except those whose names are
written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, are ruled by and, do in fact, worship
the beast (Revelation 13:7–8; 15).
These three entities are stereotypes in which fit all of mankind
as characterized by their individual method of rejecting God’s plan
for salvation, thus making up the entirety of the family of satan. The
beast, the great prostitute, and the false prophet are stereotypes in
that an individual person will not fit all aspects of their stereotype
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but do fall into that category as they reject God by making one of
the three their god.
Stereotypes:
I. The beast
A.         satanic worshipers.
warlocks
witches
High priest of the occult
B.         Practicing occultist
Idol worshipers
Worshipers of creation––the sun, the moon, and
stars, etc.
Certain religious organizations that reject God’s
plan through Jesus Christ
II. The great prostitute
A.         Those that make the things of this world their gods.
Materialists: possessions are god
Those who are completely self-sufficient: self is
god
Nationalist: nation or ideology is god
Those who have no time for God: the thing that
takes their time is their god
Those who are blinded by sin: self is god
Those who are blinded by the desires of the world:
self is god
Those who are blinded by satan: satan is their god
Those who are blinded by hypocritical “Christians”:
ignorance of God
B.         atheists: those who believe there is no God
1
2
3
1
2
3
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
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III. The false prophet.
A.         Those who think they worship the creator God, but
reject Jesus Christ as Messiah.
B.         Those who are church members but have not made
a personal commitment to Jesus Christ, resulting in
salvation (not born again).
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Revelation 14
Chapter 14 is a series of three visions that give an overview of history
from a heavenly viewpoint They show what God did as opposed
to the description of the work of satan in chapters 12 and 13 It is
important to understand the sequence of the visionary scenes as
given in chapters 11–14
Chapter 11 is a series of scenes that show the conclusion of what
happens to the last generation of the family of God It concludes
with God taking control of the situation by his great power We
believe that the last of the family of God is raptured to heaven in
11:19 At the end of chapter 11, God is in control and the doors of
heaven are closed
Interesting situation: satan, his beast, and the false prophet are
in total control of earth At the same time, God takes control!
Explanation: Throughout history God has given to mankind
freedom of choice (crown) When God takes control, there is no
more choice
Chapters 12 and 13 explain from the viewpoint of satan and his
family how mankind came to experience the events of chapter 11 and
how satan brought about the killing of the two witnesses
Chapter 14 explains from the viewpoint of the family of God
what God is doing during that same time span of history
Then I looked and there before me was the Lamb, standing on
Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his
Father’s name written on their foreheads
Revelation 14:1
The lamb is the resurrected Jesus Revelation 13:8 says, “the Lamb
slain from the creation of the world ” Jesus always has been and
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always will be the Lamb, who takes away the sins of the world. In
this respect, Jesus Christ is standing on Mount Zion. Jesus, as standing
here on Mount Zion, is the resurrected and victorious Jesus. He
has proclaimed salvation complete. Salvation for mankind is completed
through Jesus’ sinless life, vicarious death (life given for others),
and the resurrection from the grave. He stands victorious on
Mount Zion, having accomplished God’s plan for the salvation of
mankind and to receive mankind, who comes to him for forgiveness
of sin and salvation.
In Bible times, Mount Zion was the place where God’s presence
was recognized, where God was worshiped, and where mankind
went to meet God. Therefore, the Lamb, the resurrected Jesus,
stands victoriously on Mount Zion and ready to receive all of mankind,
who will come to him for salvation.
There is a place in the city of Jerusalem that is called Mount
Zion. It is where the temple of Solomon stood. However, this particular
spot was not always called Mount Zion. The chain reference
Bible states, “Mount Zion originally meant the city of David, which
was the lower eastern hill of Jerusalem known as ‘Ophel’” (2 Chronicles
27:3; 33:14). Later, when Mount Moriah became temple hill and
the ark of the covenant was brought up out of the city of David to
the temple, the name was transferred here (1 Kings 8:1; 2 Chronicles
5:2), and this became “Zion,” the most significant of all sacred places
to the prophets and others of those centuries. In addition, biblical
references speak of Mount Zion as being the place of God’s presence
and the place where mankind goes to meet or to worship God.
So using chain reference and scriptures Isaiah 4:5, Jeremiah 31:6,
and Zechariah 8:2–3 as evidence, I conclude that Mount Zion has a
spiritual meaning that is of greater importance than its physical location
in Jerusalem. Thus, I interpret that Mount Zion, as used in Revelation
14, refers to a spiritual place rather than a physical place.
Therefore, in this vision, Mount Zion is the place where mankind
meets their Savior standing victorious over sin, death, and hell. Since it is a spiritual
place other than Jerusalem, mankind may be
saved anywhere, anytime they “call upon the name of the Lord.” We
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do not have to face Jerusalem to pray, but we know that our spiritual
Savior hears our prayers wherever we are when we address our voice
to him.
The 144,000 as enumerated in Revelation 14:1 is not the same
144,000 spoken of in chapter 7. The 144,000 in chapter 7 are clearly
described as the descendents of the twelve sons of Jacob, which gives
a strong message that many, but not all, of the descendents of Jacob
are sealed into the family of God. I understand that, just as in chapter
7, the 144,000 of chapter 14 comply with the interpreting principle
of limiting numbers. Therefore, the 144,000 standing with Jesus are
many, but not all, of the family of God. They sing a new “song,” have
been “redeemed from the earth,” have sanctified themselves (verse
3), “have kept themselves pure,” and are “firstfruits to God and to
the Lamb” (verse 4b).
The 144,000 sing a “new song” that no one else could learn. They are a unique group
who have dedicated themselves to the work
of their Lord and, as such, are given a new song.
They have been redeemed, saved from sin by the redemptive
blood of Jesus. These 144,000 are “redeemed” from sin, cleansed,
and keep “themselves pure.” In verses 3 and 4, in two places they
are called “redeemed”: “from the earth” and “from among men.” I
understand this to mean that they were no different from any other
person as born by nature to be sinners, but were saved, washed their
robes, were redeemed, and their sins forgiven. Thereafter, they live
their lives in dedication to God’s anointing upon their lives. They
did not go back to the sins of the world as many do, but kept themselves
pure (verse 4a).
They keep themselves pure from two areas of sin, as related in
verses in 4 and 5: “these are those who did not defile themselves with
women, for they kept themselves pure … No lie was found in their
mouths; they are blameless.” This is not a complete list of sins but
two areas of common sins that illustrate that the 144,000 lived committed
lives pleasing to their Lord.
I need to include the fact that “defile themselves with women”
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does not demand that they be celibate, but that they were not defiled
by women. The plural form of woman is used. Therefore, these did
not have more than one intimate partner. God is the one who instituted
marriage, so an intimate relationship within the bonds of marriage
is not sin. Hebrews 13:4 says, “Marriage is honorable in all, and
the bed undefiled.” Therefore, these 144,000 were not celibate, but
undefiled by sexual sin.
In the same sense, there was no lie found in their mouths. It
was not that these had never told any lie in their physical lives––for
all children have lied to their parents––but that, after the age of
accountability, they confessed their sins, accepted Jesus Christ, and
lied no more. They served the living God and were blameless.
The Bible says, “They follow the Lamb, wherever he goes” (verse
4b). As the 144,000 commit their lives to the Lamb, they are filled
with the Holy Spirit, are led by the Holy Spirit, and follow wherever
he leads.
The Bible also says, “They were purchased from among men
and offered as first fruits to God and the Lamb” (verse 4c). Therefore,
I believe that the 144,000 are particularly strong and moral
witnesses who stand with the Lamb on Mount Zion. As such, they
are preachers, evangelists, teachers, and witnesses who present the
gospel and offer the opportunity for mankind to come to salvation
through the Lamb. Any person who takes the Word of God and
presents the Word of God to a person they meet, sharing with them
the way to salvation, and if that person determines to believe in God
and to receive Jesus Christ as Lord, confessing their sins and receiving
salvation, they are experiencing this event standing on Mount
Zion. On Mount Zion are three persons: the one giving the witness,
the one receiving the witness, and the Lamb, Jesus Christ. Mount
Zion can be any place, a place where mankind meets God.
Throughout history, there has been 144,000––many, but not all,
out of a much larger group––who have followed Jesus Christ in witnessing
the Word of God to mankind to the ends of the earth. They
sing a new song. They have been redeemed and keep themselves
pure in order to be the best witnesses they can be.
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I quickly add that this would not necessarily include all who
call themselves preachers, evangelists, teachers, and Christians. The
Scriptures speak of false prophets and false teachers who are prophets
and teachers for the purpose of filling their own bellies for money. This world is not
out of false prophets and false teachers; indeed, it
seems there are more of them with every passing day.
The vision of the Lamb standing on Mount Zion shows the
completed work through which salvation was accomplished. It also
shows those with the Lamb, who throughout history have kept
themselves pure and who presented the Word of God to mankind.
Whereas chapter 12 describes the dragon warring against God’s
plan for salvation through God’s chosen people, beginning with
Abraham and continuing through Pentecost and the New Testament
era, chapter 14 describes the Lamb standing on Mount Zion
receiving the individuals who come to receive him and entering into
the family of God. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came and a new era
began. In this era, the gospel is to be proclaimed to the whole world
as seen in verse 6. Thus, Jesus Christ stands with his messengers on
Mount Zion receiving the family of God––any place on earth.
The Three Angels
Revelation 14:6–13 gives a vision of three angels who are given three
messages to be proclaimed to the whole world during the time of the
first beast. That time era is outlined in Revelation 13:2–10. It begins
at Pentecost in Acts chapter 2 and continues through the killing of
the two witnesses in Revelation 11:7.
The message of the first angel is to be proclaimed “to every
nation, tribe, language and people” (Revelation 14:6). It seems to
me that the angel has a responsibility of promoting the spread of
the gospel as the Holy Spirit leads God’s messengers. The gospel
message began to be preached at Pentecost by Peter and the other
apostles as the Holy Spirit came upon them. Thus began the new
era, which will be consummated only when the gospel has reached
all peoples and all who will accept the gospel of Jesus Christ have
done so.
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The second angel followed with the message that Babylon the
great had fallen, mankind in spiritual adultery (Revelation 17 and
18). The message literally means that mankind, who has rejected the
gospel in favor of the desires and lusts of the flesh, is destroyed. This
has been a part of the gospel message even from Pentecost until the
present time. Acts 2:40 says of Peter, “With many other words, he
warned them; and he pleaded with them, save yourselves from this
corrupt generation.” Thus, the second angel gives a severe warning
to all mankind that the world system of desire and lust—”maddening
wine”—will be destroyed. Judgment is already pronounced, yet it
will not be carried out until all are sealed either with the seal of God
(Revelation 7:4) or the mark of the beast (Revelation 13:16).
The third angel follows with a similar message of judgment and
destruction upon all who worship the beast. They will be tormented
forever “in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb” (Revelation
14:10b).
The messages of the three angels are to be proclaimed to physical
mankind throughout the era of Pentecost to the harvest of the
earth when God determines that all who are going to be saved are
saved. Indeed, the messages of the three angels are the same message
proclaimed by Isaiah and Jeremiah to the whole known world
of their day, as seen in Isaiah, that says,
They have rejected the law of the Lord Almighty and spurned
the word of the Holy One of Israel. Therefore the Lord’s anger
burns against his people; his hand is raised, and he strikes them
down.
Isaiah 5:24–25
Thus, the message of the gospel has always been to “fear God” and
repent, for those who do not fear him and repent are “fallen” and
will suffer the wrath of almighty God. This is the “eternal gospel” of
Jesus Christ.
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The Harvest of the Earth
In Revelation 14:14–20, there are two scenes depicting the final conclusion
of physical mankind on earth. Each scene speaks of the reaping
of the earth, and that grapes of the earth are ripe. In each scene,
an angel comes from the temple and commands that the earth be
reaped with a sharp sickle.
In Revelation 14:14–16, the first of the visionary scenes depicts
the rapture or the final gathering of the family of God. The one sitting
up on the cloud with a golden crown we understand to be Jesus
Christ. He “reaps” the final members of the family of God who are in
hiding from the beast. This illustrates to physical mankind that God
is in charge of the time and circumstance in which physical mankind
will come to their end––as an act of God, not a war between armies
of physical mankind.
Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud
voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, “Take your sickle and
reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth
is ripe” (Revelation 14:15).
The above verse, Revelation 14:15, is similar in nature to 1 Thessalonians
4:17, which says, “Then we who are alive and remain shall
be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in
the air.”
God designated the time to reap when the angel came out of
the temple and called in a loud voice. The message comes from the
temple, the place where God dwells; thus, the angel came from God
with the message that “the time to reap has come.”
Not only was it the right time for the end of time, but also the
circumstances were also right as related here in verse 15, which says,
“because its grapes are ripe.” The earth will be ripe because the family
of God will have been defeated (Revelation 13). There will be
no more witnesses (Revelation 11). No one else will be saved. The
family of God is complete, thus the final members of the family of
God are taken (raptured) and will not see death, as is common to all
mankind, but meet the Lord in the air.
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With the family of God complete, God’s plan for his creation
is complete and there is no further purpose for physical creation as
we know it.
God, then, determines both the time and circumstance in which
the physical comes to an end. The second scene coincides in time and
circumstance with Revelation 19:11–21, which explains the return of
the victorious Jesus to destroy those who have destroyed the earth. Those who will
be reaped through this second scene, or second reaping,
will be all mankind who are not the family of God, but who have
rejected God and God’s plan for his creation. They will be tread upon
in the wine press of the wrath of God, just as the Bible says in verse
21, “The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of his
mouth.” This passage also coincides in time and circumstance with
the pouring of the seventh bowl in Revelation 16: 17.
After the time and circumstance has been determined by God––
Jesus said that he did not know the time, but only the Father knew–
–then the angel will swing his sickle on the earth and physical mankind
will be no more. The number of those killed by God at the time
of the end can be somewhat determined by verse 20, which says,
They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and the
blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horse’s bridle
for a distance of 1,600 stadia.
Revelation 14:20
Thus, the first reaping is the reaping of the family of God. In time
sequence, I believe that this happens at the point in time of 1335 days
after the tribulation era begins. This is spoken about in Daniel 12:11–
12. It is also after the time that the two witnesses have been killed,
that the image that brings desolation has been set up, and the final
remaining family of God is forced to go into hiding as explained in
Matthew 24. They are reaped from the earth, changed in the twinkling
of an eye, to live with the Lord forever in heaven.
The second reaping is the reaping of the family of satan—those
who have rejected and fought against God. They will be killed by
the sword that comes from the mouth of Jesus Christ as he returns
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on the white horse. Their souls will leave their dead bodies to that
place which God has prepared for them, and that the Bible calls hell. They have
chosen to reject God as their God; thus, they received
their choice: eternity separated from God.
Outside the City
The city is Babylon the great, whose populace is the family of satan. Babylon the
great is the whole world as seen in its description in
chapter 18. Chapter 18:3 refers to “all the nations,” “the kings of the
earth,” and “the merchants of the earth.” Refer to the discussion on
Revelation 17 and 18. Therefore, if Babylon the great comprises all
the peoples of the world, then the city is the earth and outside the
city would be outside the physical earth.
A typology of the crucifixion of Jesus is seen in this passage of
Scripture. Jesus was taken by the family of satan outside of the holy
city Jerusalem––the city of God, Mount Zion, the city he loved,
where God made his dwelling place, etc.––to Golgotha hill, and
they crucified him. In the same manner, the family of satan will be
taken out of their beloved Babylon (earth) and will be slaughtered in
the winepress of God Almighty. This is not a physical war between
two physical armies. It is an act of God as clearly described in three
places: “the angel swung his sickle on the earth” (Revelation 14:19),
the description of the earth’s destruction (Revelation 16:16–21), and
“the rest of them were killed with the sword … of the rider on the
horse” (Revelation 19:21).
Revelation 14:20 says, “Blood flowed out of the press rising as
high as a horse’s bridle for a distance of 1600 stadia.” This picture is
shown to John to illustrate how many people there will be that will
have rejected God’s plan for salvation.
Please note that we are given only two dimensions: height and
length. To determine volume requires three dimensions: height,
length, and width. If we had the width, we would be trying to figure
out by volume how many people would be in the winepress. The
message of the flowing blood is that there will be many millions
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who will experience the wrath and destruction of God. We need to
be busy proclaiming the gospel of salvation.
Many have interpreted this blood flow to be the result of a
physical war with guns and bombs in a valley named Armageddon. There is a battle
of Armageddon. It is not a physical war. There
will be physical wars, fightings, and killings until the very end, but
Armageddon is more than a physical war. It is a spiritual war fought
between the physical family of satan and Jesus with the armies of
heaven. (Refer to the sixth bowl, Revelation 16:16; 19:11–21).
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Revelation 15
John is shown two scenes in chapter 15 Both scenes are in heaven,
and both illustrate that God is in complete control, as was stated
in Revelation 11:15–18 Chapter 15 contains continuing thoughts and
visions that follow a time sequence immediately after chapter 11
Chapters 12–13 are explanatory chapters that relate how the earth
came to be in the conditions stated in chapter 11 As chapters 12 and
13 explain the work of satan and those with him, chapter 14 explains
the work of Jesus, the Lamb, and his followers In chapter 15, we take
up again the sequence of events ending in chapter 11
As John saw the “seven angels with the seven last plagues” (Revelation
15:1), the angels were prepared and were waiting for the command
to pour out upon the earth “bowls” of God’s wrath, as seen in
verse 7, which says, “Then one of the four living creatures gave to
the seven angels seven golden bowls fi lled with the wrath of God ”
The fact that the bowls are fi lled with the wrath of God symbolizes
that God has been angry and has been storing up that anger for
many centuries against “those who destroy the earth” (Revelation
11:18b) God is indeed angry and is justifi ed in his anger For satan,
his demons and the human family of satan have destroyed God’s
beautiful creation from the Garden of Eden and all through history
until God himself puts a stop to it as foretold in chapter 20
The Lord allowed me to see, illustrated in real life, this destruction
of God’s creation Many years ago, my wife and I were shopping
in a Mexican border town where prostitution was an accepted
profession and big business As my wife was continuing to shop, I
stepped out of the store and was standing on a street corner I was
immediately approached by a man who began to show me nude pictures
of a young woman He was soliciting business for this young
prostitute, who was very beautiful As I was turning down his offer,
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my wife came out of the store, and we proceeded down the street. Sometime later,
we were back in our car making our way back to
the international bridge where we passed an old woman sitting and
exposing herself in an effort to promote her profession of prostitution. We
were greatly repulsed by the filth, ugliness, and pitifulness
of this old, worn-out prostitute still trying to exercise her trade.
Having seen this, the Lord pierced my heart with the awful
destructiveness of sin to his creation. On the street corner, I had
seen pictures of a beautiful young woman, God’s beautiful creation,
and a couple of city blocks away, the awful ugliness and the result of
a life of sin that had destroyed God’s creation.
In this manner and in every other way that the mind of satan and
mankind can devise, mankind has destroyed God’s creation. Thus,
God has good reason to be angry as he looks down from heaven and
sees what destruction satan, his demons, and mankind have done. This anger is
stored up in seven bowls full of God’s wrath to be
poured out on those, and only those, who have destroyed the earth.
These bowls of wrath will be poured out only on the family of
satan, for all of the family of God will be in heaven. This is evident
in Revelation 15:2, where John wrote, “And I saw what looked like a
sea of glass mixed with fire and standing beside the sea, those who
had been victorious over the beast and his image and over the number
of his name.” It is very clear in this verse that the last generation
of Christians is in heaven, so only the family of satan will experience
the wrath of God as poured out of the seven bowls, which are
recorded in chapter 16.
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Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven
angels, “Go, pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath on the
earth ”
Revelation 16:1
The command to pour out the seven bowls on the earth came from
the temple, the dwelling place of God, so it is evident that only God
knows the time for judgment and only God can give the command
Then God’s wrath will be complete, as recorded by John, who said,
I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels
with the seven last plagues, last because with them God’s wrath
is completed
Revelation 15:1
The completion of these last plagues brings the end of physical
mankind and the end of the earth as we know it
The fi rst angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and
ugly and painful sores broke out on the people who had the
mark of the beast and worshiped his image
Revelation 16:2
These sores that affect the family of satan are interpreted to be an
act of God, not a result of a natural phenomenon or nuclear radiation,
although both of these may have a dramatic ecological effect
on earth and cause physical problems for the family of satan during
the same time era These sores of the fi rst bowl will be an act of God,
without physical explanation and probably without cure
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The AIDS virus can be an illustration of this type of plague. The
AIDS epidemic was brought about through sexual transmission––
sexual sin––primarily begun in homosexuals, but homosexuality is
not a new phenomenon; note Sodom and Gomorrah. A similar parallel
can be seen as AIDS was not known to mankind until the latter
part of the twentieth century when suddenly it became a very deadly
disease. I believe that in a similar, but more deadly way, the sores that
result from this act of God will suddenly come upon mankind all
over the world and there will be no known medical treatment.
In the same respect, there may be physical problems resulting
from an ever-decreasing ozone layer, from solar storms (note: the
first and fourth trumpets), and from nuclear radiation as a result of
the wars described in the sixth trumpet.
Nevertheless, I believe these sores of the first bowl will be an act
of God at a time when he commands the angel to pour out the first
bowl on the earth.
The second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it turned
into blood like that of a dead man, and every living thing in the
sea died. The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and
streams of water, and they became blood.
Revelation 16:3–4
The second and third bowls are similar in that they, when poured
out, turn the waters into blood. Physical life––plant, animal, or
human––cannot exist without water, as exemplified in the phrase,
“and every living thing in the sea died” (Revelation 16:3). Because
of this fact, the end will be very near for all the living on earth. This
causes us to think that the bowls of judgment will be poured out very
quickly and that the family of satan, in the flesh, will be destroyed
very rapidly. This is evident in the description of the destruction of
Babylon the great: “Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off
and cry; ‘Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in
one hour your judgment has come!’” (Revelation 18:10)
God is just in his decisions as described in this passage:
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You are righteous in these judgments, 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 as they deserve.
Revelation 16:5–6
So as a result of the second and third bowls, the family of satan
will have only blood to drink. When we hear today the reports of
satanists drinking the blood of their victims in their rituals, how true
and just are the judgments of God as portrayed here?
The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun
was given power to scorch people with fire.
Revelation 16:8
The destruction that occurs from the pouring out of the fourth bowl
seems to be a fueling for the sun’s fires that brings intense heat on
the earth. I believe this to be an act of God at God’s determined
time, not a natural phenomenon in which the sun suddenly explodes
into a great fireball that burns the earth. Nor do I believe it to be
anything that mankind can create, such as nuclear fallout. God has
the resources to sustain the sun indefinitely. He declares the time of
the end.
Revelation 7:1–3 substantiates the fact that it will be an act of
God. In these verses, the four angels are instructed to hold creation
in order until such time as the family of God is sealed. So prior to
the pouring of the bowls, all of the family of God will be sealed and
safe in heaven, and then, God will take creation apart; the sun, the
earth, the moon, the stars, etc., that have been held in place since
the beginning of creation will fly apart. God could hold creation in
its place indefinitely through his sustaining power. However, when
the time comes that no one else will be saved or enter the family
of God, there will be no reason for creation to continue. With the
family of satan as the only occupants of earth, it will be fit only for
destruction.
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They were seared by the intense heat, and they cursed the name
of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to
repent and glorify him.
Revelation 16:9
The family of satan will know who has control over the plagues as
seen in verse 9. The rulers and the leaders of the family of satan
today know that they are fighting God and that they are engaged in
a spiritual war, not a physical war fought with guns and bombs as in
the past. This war will be fought with spiritual powers, as seen in the
fifth and sixth bowls, the kind of spiritual power that witches, etc.,
(the beast) have been using and perfecting since time began.
Even though the family of satan will know that God is in control
of the plagues, they will refuse to repent and acknowledge him. It has been the
same continuously over the ages. They harden their
hearts, even more than the Pharaoh did at the time of the Exodus.
The family of satan will know who is in control, and they will
reject him. God will close the door, and they will be outside. They
will have no choice. They must prepare to fight against God.
The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast,
and his kingdom was plunged into darkness.
Revelation 16:10
The “throne of the beast” is representative of the seat of power and
authority, leadership, kings, rulers, etc. As used in the biblical context,
“darkness” is representative of a lack of or void of knowledge
and understanding. Therefore, the leadership––the ten kings and
subordinates (Revelation 17:12–13) of the family of satan and kingdom
of the beast will be plunged (forced by God) into a state of
spiritual and physical ignorance. Mankind will be paralyzed by their
inability to make decisions and will be totally at the mercy of satan
to manipulate their minds. Thus, satan will be in complete control
of his family.
The family of satan will be in agony and curse God, whom they
blame for plunging them into this calamity of darkness and ignorance.
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This blaming of God for troubles has been characteristic of all
mankind from the beginning of time. A person who does not accept
the reality of sin in their own life and repent of it is forever hampered
in the decision-making process by never having learned the
proper process of one’s relationship to God and mankind. This can
be illustrated in the learning process of mathematics. If one does not
learn simple addition, he will have problems with multiplication and
division. It is necessary to learn addition first, then subtraction, then
multiplication, and then division. Life follows the same type of process. God
has put in process a system through which mankind sins,
acknowledges their sins, and repents of their sins. Only then can a
person move into a proper relationship with God and mankind. If
mankind refuses to acknowledge and repent of their personal sins
and rejects God, he is out of order and will continue to be so until
he gets that first step right.
Thus, near the end of time, the family of satan will know about
God (Revelation 16:9) and will refuse to repent of what they have
done (Revelation 16:11). Those unrepentant hearts will bring on the
sixth bowl.
The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates,
and its water dried up to prepare the way for the kings of the
East. Then I saw three evil spirits that look like frogs; they came
out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast
and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are spirits of
demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the
kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle of the
great day of God Almighty.
Revelation 16:12–14
As discussed earlier, the great river Euphrates is a barrier. It is clearly
a spiritual barrier as used here, and it releases spiritual demons when
it is dried up, not a physical army. There is a definite relationship
between the sixth trumpet and the sixth bowl in the usage of “the
great river Euphrates.” The second time a barrier is released through
the great river Euphrates, the result is worse than the first time,
although it is similar.
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At the blowing of the sixth trumpet, four angels are released
from the river, but at the pouring of the sixth bowl, the river is dried
up. The result of the sixth trumpet gathers a 200-million-man army
that kills one-third of the inhabitants of earth. On the other hand,
the result of the sixth bowl gathers all the kings of the earth for the
battle of Armageddon that kills “all the rest” of the inhabitants of
earth (Revelation 19:21).
The great river Euphrates is a spiritual barrier, which God
removes in a two-step process. This removal brings to a conclusion
the family of satan by giving them strong warnings in which God
proves to them that they are fighting against God as seen in the
fourth and fifth bowls. After having proved this and still they continue
to resist, unrepentant, God orders the river to be completely
dried up; thus, no more barrier. This prepares the way “for the kings
of the East.”
By the time of the pouring of the sixth bowl, the situation on
earth will be much worse, which necessitates and also prepares the
way for the kings of the East. This worsened condition on earth
brought about by the first five bowls will make it necessary for the
family of satan to unite for protection––so they will think. The scenario
is as follows:
The trumpet plagues, as directed by God, bring mankind into
a worsening relationship with each other, which is culminated by
a great war in which one-third of mankind is killed (sixth trumpet). This
proves to mankind that, in spite of the fact that they have
cleansed the earth of the old system, by killing the two witnesses,
they cannot attain that world peace or Utopia (new-age doctrine)
that they desire.
As the bowls are poured out, conditions continue to deteriorate
until the family of satan comes to realize that they are engaged in
a spiritual war between God and satan. Yet they still do not repent,
having concluded, by the miraculous feats of the beast, that they can
indeed engage in spiritual warfare against God. This is the greatest
deception. However, they do deem it necessary to unite into a
worldwide front against such an adversary as God.
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Through the barrier of the great river Euphrates, God has prevented
the family of satan from having the ability to rule the world
and to rise up in courage against God Almighty until such a time as
he deems the earth is “ripe” (Revelation 14:8). When the barrier is
“dried up,” all ten kings will be allowed to unite and to be gathered
together for the “great day of God Almighty” (Revelation 16:14) at
“Armageddon” (Revelation 16:16).
John was shown through this vision the process that will gather
the “kings of the whole world” (Revelation 16:14). In the vision, John
saw three evil “frog like” spirits that came from the mouths of the
dragon, the beast, and the false prophet.
The fact that they appear like frogs points to their ugliness
and repulsiveness. A person would be repulsed at their sight. In the
vision, John saw the ugliness and true nature of the demons that will
deceive and gather the kings of the earth by the miraculous signs
that they will be able to perform.
The power to perform these miraculous signs will be given (permitted)
by God and released through the sixth bowl. Because of the
great signs, “even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth
in full view of men” (Revelation 13:13), the ten kings of the whole
earth, followed by the whole world, will be led to believe that they
can do spiritual warfare against God. Therefore, they prepare and
are gathered for the battle of Armageddon on the great and terrible
day of God Almighty.
Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and
keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be
shamefully exposed.
Revelation 16:15
Verse 15 is an interlude of warning to the family of God. This does
not mean that the family of God or any portion of it will be present
at that time in history when the bowls are being poured out. Nevertheless,
it is the family of God (the seven churches) to whom the
message is given. We, the family of God, should take warning that
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such events will occur in the end and remove ourselves from the sins
of this world.
In the midst of the most dreadful part of the message, the family
of God is warned to keep their clothes with them. In chapter 7,
clothing is referred to in regard to the family of God. Those who are
standing before the throne and the Lamb are clothed in white robes. In verse 14, the
robes are “washed” and made white in the blood
of the Lamb. A person does not wash anything in blood, which is
red, and make it white. Therefore, the interpretation is spiritual, and
the elements, symbolic. White is symbolic of purity. Robes are symbolic
of having “put on Christ,” or salvation. Washing is symbolic
of cleansing from sin, or forgiveness. The blood is the blood that
Jesus shed at his death. The clothing referred to, in Revelation 16:15,
is spiritual clothing, which the family of God has” put on” through
the act of salvation through Jesus Christ. This is not to be confused
with works. The work of Jesus is that which washed the robes, yet
each person must choose to believe and repent, and, thus, the robes
are washed.
The warning of the family of God as they read this terrible
account of what will happen to the family of satan is to be careful
that they do not fall back into sin and the things of this world after
they have been cleansed and given white robes. This is referred to
very clearly in the message to the church at Sardis, “Yet you have a
few people in Sardis, who have not soiled their clothes. They will
walk with Me, dressed in white, for they are worthy” (Revelation
3:4).
Then they gathered the kings together in the place that in
Hebrew is called Armageddon.
Revelation 16:16
The last ten kings (Revelation 17:12) will be gathered at Armageddon. Although
there is a place that is commonly understood to be
the valley called Megiddo, I do not believe that Armageddon is a
particular spot on earth where all the kings of the earth will be gathered
for battle on the great day of God Almighty. I believe it is clear
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that the family of satan at that time will be in control of all the earth,
that they will live on all the earth, and that the battlefront will be
worldwide.
Here in the United States of America, we use a common phrase,
“He met his Waterloo.” Most people readily understand this phrase
to mean he met his defeat. It comes from the famed battle of Waterloo,
where Napoleon met defeat. The phrase, “He met his Waterloo,”
does not mean that one met at the place called Waterloo, but that
one met defeat. In a similar way, Armageddon is interpreted to refer
to be a time and circumstance in which the family of satan meets
defeat at the hand of God. This is substantiated by the fact that
many great spiritually decisive battles of Bible times were fought in
the Valley of Megiddo, Jezreel. Megiddo is the root word of Armageddon. “
The kings were gathered together” does not demand that
they were gathered at a particular place, but gathered together in
purpose, direction, and allegiance to satan. The Bible says, “They
have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the
beast” (Revelation 17:13).
The Battle of Armageddon
The battle of Armageddon will be a unique battle. There has been no
other battle like it in the history of mankind. It is a battle in which
physical mankind will think he can wage war in the spiritual realm.
Since the deception of the Garden of Eden, satan has deceived
mankind into thinking they can be like God. In order to do this, he
has used and will use black and white magic, Ouija boards, the Dungeons
& Dragons game, and other games that use or insinuate use of
spiritual powers (witches, warlocks), calling fire down from heaven,
an image that will both breathe and speak, a man who will seem to
be fatally wounded and healed, etc. By the end of the miracles performed
by the three frog-like demons, satan will have convinced his
family that they can, through these miraculous powers, actually fight
against God in spiritual warfare. This will be the ultimate deception,
the ultimate rebellion, the ultimate egotism, and the ultimate
battle––Armageddon.
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The battle of Armageddon is set! satan, the demons, the beast,
and the false prophet, and all of the physical family of satan are in
battle array against the Lamb and the armies of heaven.
The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out
of the temple came a loud voice from the throne saying, “It is
done!”
Revelation 16:17
The explanation, “it is done!” clearly means that “God’s wrath is
completed” (Revelation 15:1). The history of mankind will be completed,
the history of the earth as we know it will come to an end,
and mankind’s rebellion against their Creator will be ended, finished,
“done.” The Bible says, “It is done!” and God will have done
it, not mankind’s wars or bombs or nuclear fallout!
A great earthquake like no other will rip the earth apart. So
the scripture will be true that says, “Every island fled away and the
mountains could not be found.” Thus, the end of the earth as we
know it. “And they cursed God” (Revelation 16:21b).
God spoke, creation was created. Alpha!
God will speak, and creation will be destroyed. Omega!
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Revelation 17
One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and
said to me, “Come I will show you the punishment of the great
prostitute, who sits on many waters ”
Revelation 17:1
The fact that this verse specifi es that one of the angels came and
spoke to John is important to help us understand that chapters 17 and
18 are not just thrown in, but are a continuing thought and explanation
of the entire vision John, having just seen the awful destruction
of chapter 16, was given the explanation of chapters 17 and 18
to show how mankind and earth came to receive the great wrath of
God God has judged and executed judgment and is correct in his
judgment He poured out his wrath, but not without explanation
God would be totally just even if he did not explain his judgments
Nevertheless, because of his grace and his long-suffering, our Lord
has told mankind and given warning many centuries before so that
mankind is without excuse in their rejection of and rebellion against
their Creator
Thank you, Lord, for thoroughly explaining the reason for
destroying your creation! Amen
Who Is the Great Prostitute?
The reason for the awful destruction of the bowls is contained within
the visionary description of “the great prostitute” (Revelation 17:1)
John was given a vision that is the best possible picture to show to
physical mankind a spiritual dilemma It is a spiritual dilemma in
that it is the description of “the punishment of the great prostitute”
(Revelation 17:1)
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The great prostitute is a picture of an anonymous entity that is
both spiritual and physical. It is spiritual in that its leader is satan
and physical in that she is comprised of physical mankind.
The great prostitute has some parallels to the true church, the
bride of Christ.
1.         Both have a spiritual leader: The great prostitute has
satan. The true church has Jesus Christ.
2.         Both, though spiritual entities, are comprised of
physical mankind. The great prostitute, the family
of satan, who has rejected Jesus Christ as Lord. The true church, the family of God,
who repent and
receive Jesus Christ as Lord.
3.         Both are described as feminine. The great prostitute
is a woman on the scarlet beast. The true church is
the bride of Christ.
4.         Both are loose-knit entities of numerous persons
and organizations with the same purpose, direction,
and continuity coming from their respective spiritual
leaders.
The great prostitute: persons who, through organizations,
businesses, and governments worldwide,
teach, promote, sell, and export things that satan uses
to destroy God’s creation. Example: alcoholic beverages,
desire for physical things, the use of beauty with
sexual emphasis, etc.
The true church: persons who, through churches,
businesses, and denominations worldwide, teach,
promote, sell, and export things that God uses to
save mankind from destruction.
5.         Both are evangelistic.
The great prostitute is evangelistic through manipulation
and deception. The true church is evangelistic
through free choice in Jesus Christ.
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6.         Both have knowledgeable leadership.
The great prostitute: beast and false prophet
The true church: born-again Christian leaders
7.         Both contain borderline persons.
The great prostitute has persons who respect
Christians and Christian values, but are not Christians. The true church has carnal
Christians who live more
in the world than in Christ.
Thus, the great prostitute is an anonymous, worldwide entity that is
comprised of the family of satan, directed by satan, and is somewhat
comparative to the true church.
There are seven descriptive phrases of the prostitute that help us
to understand her as that entity which is physical, spiritual, worldwide,
and led by satan.
1.         “Sits on many waters” (Revelation 17:1).
This phrase is clearly explained in verse 15, which
states, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits,
are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages.” Also,
Revelation 18:24 says, “In her was found the blood
of the prophets and of the saints, and all who have
been killed on the earth.” If we couple verse 15 with
Revelation 18:24, then the prostitute is the one who
“sits” on all mankind, and she is responsible for “all
who have been killed,” and then “many waters” represents
all of mankind. So she “sits on” all of mankind
and is also comprised of mankind.
I suggest that the prostitute sitting on many waters,
or all mankind, has the effect of suppressing, or pressuring,
mankind. This can be illustrated through the
effects of peer pressure. Many young people are pressured
into alcohol, drugs, sex, etc., because, as they
say, everyone does it.
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Another illustration of peer pressure can be seen
as teachers and professors, who teach evolution,
pressure students to reject the reality of creation by
God and to believe a theory that satan has injected
into society. Thus, the great prostitute “sits on many
waters” and suppresses all of mankind, both physically
and spiritually. In this way, she molds society
into the same entity: the great prostitute.
2.         “A woman” (Revelation 17:3).
The great prostitute is feminine “woman,” which
is comparative to the true church, the bride of Christ,
but opposite to and opposed to the bride of Christ. Thus, she is somewhat the bride
of satan, whom he
hates (verse 16).
3.         “Sitting on a scarlet beast” (Revelation 17:3).
The beast she is sitting on and also rides is clearly
described as satan in verse eight, which says, “The
beast which you saw, once was, now is not, and will
come up out of the abyss and go to his destruction.”
No other being fits this description––only satan, who
is the head of the beast. One would normally think
of a rider directing the animal he is riding, but here
the opposite is true. The beast directs or takes the
woman where he, satan, wants her to go.
4.         “Dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering
with gold, precious stones and pearls” (Revelation
17:4).
This indicates that she is rich and lavishes on herself
her worldly wealth. Her riches and the accusations
brought against her are thoroughly explained in
chapter 18.
5.         “This title was written on her forehead: Mystery;
Babylon the great; the mother of prostitutes; and of
the abominations of the earth” (Revelation 17:5).
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This title that was given reveals her identity,
“Babylon the great,” and the accusations that warrant
her death penalty. As Babylon the great, she is comprised
of the whole family of satan. As the mother
of prostitutes and of abominations, she is that which
gave birth to, taught, and promoted sin and rejection
of God that brought the destruction of chapter 16.
6.         “The woman was drunk with the blood of the saints,
the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus”
(Revelation 17:6).
This phrase speaks of the multitude of the family
of God whom she had killed worldwide throughout
history.
7.         “The great city that rules over the kings of the earth”
(Revelation 17:18).
This phrase speaks of the influence and power
that is inherent in the woman as she is influenced
and guided by the spiritual mind of satan.
The actual vision that John saw is described in verses 3- 6. The
remainder of chapter 17 and chapter 18 are various descriptions and
explanations pertaining to the woman.
The Vision
John saw “a woman sitting on a scarlet beast” (verse 3). She was
“dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious
stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand” (verse 4). This
portion of the description causes us to see that the woman was very
wealthy with the things of this world. This portrait, which depicts
the family of satan, shows that two of their major characteristics are
their desire for the things of this physical world and their concern
for their outward appearance.
The family of satan, as seen here, has such a desire for material
things that those things control their lives and value systems to
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the exclusion of God and spiritual things. This does not mean that
they are all wealthy or that all who are wealthy are included in this
group. However, regardless of their financial status, their thoughts
and desires dwell totally on the material things of this world.
The woman’s material things are explained in this text as being
a serious problem that results in her condemnation. In Revelation
18:7, judgment is pronounced. It says, “Give her as much torture and
grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself.” Thus, the sin is the
desire for things to lavish on oneself to the exclusion of God from
their lives.
The results of this desire are given in the book of James:
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come
from your desires that battle within you? You want something
but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what
you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you
do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you
ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on
your pleasures.
James 4:1–3
Therefore, the woman on the beast is portrayed as wealthy and as
one who lavishes that wealth on outward appearance (self ).
The woman’s desires were expended in pride of self. She had
gained wealth, which she used to dress and decorate herself in beautifully
colored clothes and expensive jewelry. As we make application
in real life, we realize that not all people are consumed with the
desire for clothes and jewelry. Some desire a luxurious car, a beautiful
home, valuable land, savings, a quality education, prestige, public
office, authority over others, etc.
One of the messages of the woman on the beast is that when
mankind’s personal desires take prominence to the exclusion of
God, it becomes spiritual adultery. When one puts self before God,
self is God. This spiritual adultery pertains to physical mankind
from every walk of life, as explained in verse 2, which says, “With
her the kings of the earth committed adultery and the inhabitants of
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the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.” This is
interpreted to mean all kings, leaders, presidents, dictators, etc., who
are of the family of satan and all inhabitants who are of the family of
satan. The great prostitute portrayed here is the family of satan, as
their personal desires control their lives and as they put self on the
throne of their lives.
This wealthy woman is also seen “sitting on a scarlet beast”
(Revelation 17:3). Again, this scarlet beast is satan, as can be seen in
verse 8: “The beast, which you saw once was, now is not, and will
come out of the abyss and go to his destruction.” There are two other
references to the abyss in the book of Revelation. One is in chapter
9, the other in chapter 20. Each refers to the same abyss. It is a spiritual
prison that God has set aside for satan and his demons.
John describes the beast as “scarlet.” This indicates that the
beast is satan in that scarlet, as red, coincides with the “red dragon”
in chapter 12.
The beast is “covered with blasphemous names” (verse 3). The
scarlet beast, being satan, is the spiritual leader of the false prophet
and the great prostitute (the three children of the family of satan). Being their
spiritual leader, satan is indeed covered with blasphemous
names, filled with the “abominations of the earth” (verse 5),
“drunk with the blood of the saints” (verse 6) having killed all “who
refused to worship the image” (Revelation 13:15).
The scarlet beast had “seven heads” (17:3). The “seven heads”
are described in verses 9 -11 as being “seven hills on which the
woman sits.” If the interpreting principle for numbers is applied,
the “seven hills” are all the hills on which the woman sits. The fact
that the woman is interpreted as sitting on all mankind (verses 2,
15, 18; Revelation 18:24) and on all the hills strengthens the interpretation
of the great prostitute, Babylon the great, as being a
worldwide entity.
The “seven heads” (Revelation 17:3) are also “seven kings” (verse
10). The seven kings are also interpreted as complete, thus, all the
kings of the family of satan. Since the heads of the scarlet beast are
also kings, then satan is the head of the kings. Of these seven kings,
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John wrote, “five have fallen”; at the time of the writing of Revelation,
“one is” the other is “not yet come” (verse 10).
The following explanations about these seven kings are simple
reasoning, not proven facts:
If seven kings represent all the kings of the family of satan––five
before the first century, one at the first century, and one to come––and
1900 years later, that one to come has not yet come, then the seven
kings would not be consecutive kings in historical sequence. Moreover,
when God’s time is applied––interpreting principle number
four––the five kings could have existed anytime from Adam to Jesus.
It may be possible that these seven kings (all kings equal five
plus one, plus one to come) could represent seven eras or times when
satan exercises a particular power or success over the family of God. If this theory
is correct, then a possible interpretation for the seven
kings could be:
Period number one: king at the time of Noah and the flood
Period number two: king at the time of the Tower of Babel
Period number three: king at the time of Egypt and the exodus
Period number four: king at the time of Elijah and the prophets
of Baal
Period number five: king at the time of the exile in Babylon;
story of Esther.
These could be the five who have fallen. At each of these times, God
intervened to change the course of history and save his people from
destruction. The one “who is” could represent the first beast, which
comes from the sea and is in power from the first century until the
two witnesses are killed in Revelation 11. The one “to come” could
represent the beast that comes from the earth and leads the family
of satan in the battle of Armageddon.
At these times in history, God’s people, the family of God, were
in particular jeopardy before the onslaught of satan and his family. The seven kings
are all the kings of the family of satan, but these
are seven times in biblical history in which satan exercised particular
control over the majority of mankind. These times brought the fam181
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ily of God into critical circumstances that required the intervention
of God to save his people.
Please note that the above explanation of the seven kings is simply
a possibility that makes sense to this author, but it is only speculation. Without
a doubt, there have been many kings throughout
history whose lives and action have been controlled by satan. And
there have been some eras in which God’s people have been in great
jeopardy as a result of the work of satan and his beast.
satan himself is “the eighth king” (verse 11a). According to interpreting
principle number one, since seven is a complete number,
then eight is one more. satan is one more because he is spiritual, not
physical; and because he is, in fact, the head of the other seven, he is
one more than complete. Revelation 17:11b says, “He belongs to the
seven and is going to his destruction.” satan, being the eighth king,
would refer to two circumstances. First, as head of the ten kings
after the abomination of desolation is set up and after being released
from the abyss following the millennial reign of Christ as he gathers
his family from the four winds to make war against the family of
God in the final battle (Revelation 20:7–10).
The scarlet beast also had “ten horns.” As the angel continued to
interpret the vision for John, he said,
The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received
a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings,
along with the beast. They have one purpose and will give their
power and authority to the beast. They will make war against
the Lamb.
Revelation 18:12–14
These kings will reign for one hour and do so along with the beast. This means that
they will reign concurrently in history and at a time
when satan has control “as kings along with the beast” (verse 12). They also will
reign at a time when they will “make war against the
Lamb” (verse 14).
These ten kings are the kings of Revelation 16:14, which says,
“Go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the
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battle on the great day of God Almighty.” Also, Revelation 16:16
says, “Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in
Hebrew is called Armageddon.” They are also the same as the kings
described in chapter 19, which says,
Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies
gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse
and his army.
Revelation 19:19
Throughout history, satan has been in a continuous state of rebellion
against God. In that rebellion, he has tried continuously to destroy
God’s witnesses, the family of God. There have been certain time
periods in history when satan cornered God’s people and was about
to strike the final blow to achieve his purpose and God intervened
and rescued them. This is clearly explained in the account of the
Babylonian exile.
God’s people were slaves in Babylon and lived continually under
the possibility of being destroyed. (Refer to the book of Esther). However, in due
time, God’s intervention saved his people from certain
death.
At particular points in history, satan has brought God’s people
to the brink of destruction through his great prostitute and certain
kings who were under his control, but God intervened. At the time
of the seventh king, however, God will not intervene; but the two
witnesses will be killed, leaving no further witness on earth. God
will intervene by resurrecting the two witnesses and removing his
family from the earth.
1. The five kings are the possibilities previously presented.
2.         The sixth king will reign at the time of the first
beast. (Revelation 13:1–8). He will progressively gain
authority over all mankind (Revelation 13:7b-8).
With the conquering and removal of the saints,
God’s Spirit will no longer be at work on the earth. satan will have a free hand since
he will be king of
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the earth. satan, the eighth king, is spiritual––seven
kings and one more. The seven kings are the complete
number of kings who have fought and will fight
to destroy God’s people.
3.         The seventh king will be synonymous with the ten
kings and will rule simultaneously in a kingdom
without God. 666 means mankind without God. (666, interpreting principle number
one.)
The ten kings will be satan’s vassal kings (Revelation
17:12–13), who will be gathered to make spiritual
war against the Lamb (Revelation 16:14, 16; 17:14;
19:17–21).
4.         The eighth king will be satan, the spiritual king of
the earth, who will reign as sole authority after the
midpoint, or three and a half years, of tribulation
after the two witnesses have been killed and the family
of God is all in heaven. “The beast and the ten
horns you saw will hate the prostitute” (Revelation
17:16a).
The prostitute is a visionary, spiritual entity that
is comprised of 1) All of the physical family of satan,
and, 2) The spiritual leader, satan. In spite of the fact
that she is the family of satan, satan and his kings
“will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they
will eat her flesh and burn her with fire” (Revelation
17:16b).
The family of satan will be like a rabid dog, biting and destroying
itself. This is pictured in the scenes of the fifth and sixth trumpets,
which correspond in time with the events that bring the ten kings to
power. These terrible events are the will of God and bring about his
purpose. This is seen in Revelation 17:17, which says, “For God has
put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give
the beast, their power to rule, until God’s words are fulfilled.”
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In 1 Samuel 8, the Israelites desired a king. God said that they
had rejected his leadership and desired an earthly king like other
nations. The last generation of mankind will have truly received
their king, but also will have realized the awesome consequences that
God pronounced in 1 Samuel. Not only will they compromise their
freedom to get their kings, but those kings will also compromise
their power as kings, for they will agree to give their power to satan
so they can rule. (They could not be kings except under satan.) Their
rejection of God––and God’s judgment being carried out as God’s
purpose for those who have rejected him as their Creator––will seal
their destiny as the family of satan. By their own choice, they destroy
themselves as God brings an end to his creation.
The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings
of the earth.
Revelation 17:18
The woman, or the great prostitute––people over all the earth––rule
over the kings. The people rule over the kings. This is a peculiar
statement in view of the fact that the kings are under the control of
satan, which is the purpose of God as explained in verse 17.
It is possible that this peculiar statement can be explained by taking
a look at the current situation in United States politics. A king
could be the equivalent to a president or a prime minister. There are
two things that have primary influence over the statements a US
President makes in public: 1) his perception of what the people want
to hear, and 2) what the news media manipulates him to say.
Therefore, through modern democracy and the mass media, we
can see how the people––that great city––will rule over the kings
in a way not possible before modern technology and communication
systems. The kings themselves will also desire the wealth and
power that is exemplified by the visionary woman and will say or do
anything to get votes to rule. Thus, the people actually rule over the
kings of the earth through democratic form of government.
Please note that a democratic form of government is not evil. Democracy is the best
form of government ever devised by man185
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kind. Democracy is great. It beats a dictator every day. What this is
saying is that at the time of the end the kings will be elected officials,
thus ruled over by the people.

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Revelation 18
After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven He
had great authority and the earth was illuminated by his splendor
With a mighty voice he shouted: “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the
great! She has become a home for demons and a home for every
evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird ”
Revelation 18:1–2
This chapter is a description of the accusations brought against
“Babylon the great” (verse 2), which is synonymous with “the great
harlot” (17:1) The great harlot, or prostitute, is representative of and
descriptive of the people, and Babylon the great is their worldwide
city
I believe that here in this scripture God gives us an illustration
of “Babylon the great” as an example of mankind’s rebellion against
the way and plan of God The root of the name “Babylon” comes
from the story of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11:1–9 At the Tower
of Babel, mankind attempted to build a tower, a way to heaven, different
from God’s plan for his creation Mankind’s attempt to reach
heaven without being obedient to the plan of God is somewhat the
same as the statement by the great harlot in Revelation 18:7, which
says, “I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow ”
In this statement, she defi es death and judgment, which is common
to all and so defi es God’s plan for his creation Thus, God uses
“Babylon the great” as the name of the city of the rebellious; rebellious,
thus the remainder of her name “mother of harlots and of the
abominations of the earth ”
In time sequence, creation will be destroyed and will fall only
after God’s two witnesses have been killed and resurrected by God
After that, no one will have the opportunity to be saved, for there
will be no more witnesses Therefore, there will be no reason for
earth to continue Creation will be destroyed
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It is quite evident today, through movies, television, newspapers,
etc., that satanism is spreading like wildfire. The time is nearing
when the earth will truly be a “home for demons.” Verse 3 says, “For
all of the earth committed adultery with her.” Clearly, all of mankind
at the time of the ten kings will have committed spiritual adultery;
satan will be their god. Through their freedom of choice, they made
the wrong choice, the misuse of the spirit of conquest; the first seal
will have borne its fruit.
The remainder of verse 3 says, “ … and the merchants of the earth
grew rich from her excessive luxuries.” The business community will
have reached its height in greed, accomplishment, and wealth, but
they will have rejected God, all the while believing that their wealth
is all they need. The abuse of the spirit of business (the third seal)
will also have borne its fruit.
Then I heard another voice from heaven say; “Come out of her
my people, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for
her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her
crimes.
Revelation 18:4–5
This plea to the family of God to come out of Babylon the great is in
the midst of her accusations. Why does God warn the family of God
when they will not be there at that time in history? Remember,
The woman sits on all mankind.
The message was written to the family of God more
than 1900 years, at least, before these events.
There has always been a family of satan.
The family of God and the family of satan has always
lived side by side and even together.
The warning is not to be caught up in, nor participate in, the things
that satan promotes and deceives his family to accept. After the
warning to the family of God (verses 4–5) judgment is proclaimed.
1
2
3
4
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Give back to her as she has given; pay her back double for what
she has done. Mix her a double portion from her own cup. Give
her as much torture and grief as the glory and luxury she gave
herself.
Revelation 18:5–7
Thus, judgment is passed on the great prostitute. She receives a
death sentence, not only because of the two preceding accusations,
but also because “In her heart she boasts, I sit as Queen; I am not a
widow, and I will never mourn (Revelation 18:7b).
In effect, she thinks she can escape death. God ordained that all
would die physically, but she has rejected God and refuses to accept
the fact that she must die and face the judgment. Thus, the message
of the fourth seal (death) is rejected, but she does not escape.
Therefore, in one day her plagues will overtake her: death,
morning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is
the Lord God who judges her.
Revelation 18:8
In this verse is the final sentence. Also, verses 9–23 elaborate on the
whole account of the end of physical earth. It is summed up best in
the following verse, “With such violence, the great city of Babylon
will be thrown down, never to be found again” (Revelation 18:21).
In the following verse is the final accusation. It is also the judgment
of the second seal (the rider with the great sword) because
they have sinned. “In her was found the blood of the prophets and
of the saints, and of all who have been killed on the earth” (Revelation
18:24).
With these explanations and judgments, the great prostitute,
Babylon the great, is condemned. Her sentence will be carried out as
seen in chapter 19, as the people are “all killed” with no one to bury
them. The great buildings, museums, statues, homes, estates, factories,
shopping centers, airports, etc., will utterly fall and burn.

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Revelation 19
The fi rst eight verses of chapter 19 are a record of three songs of
praise that are sung by the great multitude of the family of God, the
elders, the four living creatures, and a voice from the throne They all
praise God for his justice in pronouncing judgment upon the great
prostitute All are in agreement and shout “Alleluia! For the wedding
of the Lamb has come” (Revelation 19:1–7b)
After the choruses of praise, the angel instructed John to write
a message that contains the “true Words of God ” (verse 9b) He
wrote, “Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of
the Lamb!” Those who are invited will be given “fi ne linen,” which
stands for the righteous acts of the saints (verse8b) This explanation
corresponds with Revelation 7:14, which states, “They have washed
their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb ” The
blood of the Lamb was shed for all, but each person must choose to
wash their garments in that blood in order to be invited to the wedding
supper of the Lamb
At the awesomeness of the events he witnessed, John fell at the
feet of the angel “to worship him” (verse 10a) At that, the angel gave
him a severe warning, a lesson desperately needed among the family
of God The angel said, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you
and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus Worship
God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (verse 10b)
We need always to be careful to give all credit, glory, and honor to
God and do not glorify each other for the great deeds done here on
earth For of a truth, we could do nothing without our God, not even
exist for one heartbeat
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The Battle on the Great Day of
God Almighty: Armageddon
The last great battle of physical mankind is recorded in Revelation
19:11–21. This battle has been given its name, the place of its occurrence,
and the description of the preparations in Revelation 16:12–16. The pouring of the
sixth bowl will prepare the family of satan for the
battle, in that they will be gathered to the place, spiritually, where
they will meet their defeat.
The preparation of the family of God is described in Revelation
19:11–16. The rider on the white horse is Jesus. He is prepared for
battle with “many crowns”(verse 12) and a “robe dipped in blood”
(verse 13). He has two names: “the Word of God” and “King of kings
and Lord of lords.” He has “a sharp sword” coming out of his mouth. Following him
are the “armies of heaven” who are “riding on white
horses and dressed in fine linen.” All of the armies of heaven are
spiritual beings, not physical beings. Fine linen does not mean army
fatigues. All of God’s armies come from heaven.
Revelation 19:17- 21 tells of the destruction of satan’s family who
are involved in this ultimate battle. The angel calls on the birds to
come and eat the flesh of “all people, free and slave, small and great”
(verse 18). These verses speak of the completeness of the destruction
of mankind, who are the family of satan. They will all be dead, and
there will be no one to bury the dead. Their bodies will lie exposed
for the scavengers to feast upon. No one will escape. A king’s authority
will not save him. A general’s army will not be able to protect
him. The great and wealthy will not be able to buy their way out. The poor or slave
will not be able to beg their way out. All physical
mankind will be destroyed.
Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies
gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse
and his army.
Revelation 19:19
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The armies of satan will be prepared and gathered together in array
against God’s armies. The armies of heaven will be set against the
kings of the earth and their armies––heavenly armies versus earthly
armies; spiritual armies versus physical armies. The mismatch of the
ages! Armageddon!
How could the physical earthly kings, generals, and mighty men
think they could fight the spiritual Jesus and the spiritual armies of
heaven? They will be deceived!
The Great Deception
Physical mankind of the family of satan will be deceived. They will
have listened to the beast and the false prophet, as stated in Revelation
19:20. The false prophet had performed the miraculous signs on
his, the beast’s, behalf. “With these signs he had deluded them, who
had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image.”
The physical armies of the family of satan will have seen “miraculous
signs” and will have been “deluded” and deceived so as to think
they can fight God’s heavenly armies. These miracles, which are
recorded in chapter 13, are as follows:
One of the “heads of the beast” (a king, president,
prime minister, etc.) “seemed” (a deception) to have
had a fatal wound, which was “healed” (verse 3).
The first beast defeated his enemies, the physical
family of God (11:7 and chapter 12).
The second beast caused fire to come down from
heaven in full view of mankind (12:13).
The second beast also caused the image (statue, idle)
of the first beast to both breathe and speak. He seemingly
brought the dead back to life (13:15).
When mankind sees these great signs and wonders, they will think
they can fight God!
1
2
3
4
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At the present time, late twentieth and twenty-first centuries,
there are seemingly unexplainable phenomena taking place before
our eyes. It includes raising tables at séances, speaking to spirits, soul
travel, fortune telling, games––Ouija board, Dungeons & Dragons,
etc.––magic shows, spiritual warfare among witches, etc. Most magic
shows consist of sleight-of-hand tricks; however, many more than
would be imagined consist of feats performed by demonic powers. These magic
arts, in their many variations, are forerunners to the
miraculous signs that are spoken of in chapter 13.
By the time of this final battle in Revelation 19:20–21, these
witches, warlocks, satanic high priests, etc., will have become so
seemingly proficient with their spiritual powers that they will believe
they can fight God and win.
They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and
they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them
for the battle on the great day of God Almighty … then they
gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called
Armageddon.
Revelation 16:14–16
All of mankind, all creation, from all of history who rebelled against
God have waited and prepared for this final showdown. And
finally, the battle is set in array––the great day of God Almighty at
Armageddon.
Instantly It Will All Be Over
The beast and the false prophet will be “thrown alive into the fiery
lake of burning sulfur” (Revelation 19:20c). The interpretation is
that the beast and the false prophet will be the physical leaders of
the spiritual entities that are the beast––who is the ten kings of
13:12–13, plus certain persons who lead rebellion against God––and
the false prophet who is the satanic church, plus certain persons
who lead spiritual rebellion against God. They will be instantly
destroyed, both physically and spiritually. The lake of fire is spiritual
death (Revelation 20:10; 14–15). They will not have their day
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in court, being judged before the great white throne judgment of
God, but will be thrown immediately into the lake of fire; thus, the
eternal death.
The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of
the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorge
themselves on their flesh.
Revelation 19:21
“The rest of the them” will be all the physical armies of the family of
satan after their leaders have been thrown into the lake of fire. The
sword with which they will be killed is the “Word of God.” Jesus is
named the “Word of God” in verse 13. Throughout the Bible, the
sword of God is the Word of God. It is not a physical sword. It is
the Word of God as proclaimed from the mouth of Jesus. They all
die; their hearts stop beating. There is no battle; they just die. This
description of the battle in chapter 19 corresponds in history with
the pouring out of the seventh bowl and the reaping of the earth as
referred to in Revelation 14:14–20.
The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air and out of
the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, “It is
done!” Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of
thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever
occurred since man was on the earth, so tremendous was the
quake. The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the
nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the great and gave
her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath. Every
island fled away and the mountains could not be found. From
the sky, huge hailstones of about one hundred pounds each fell
upon men. And they cursed God on account of the plague of
hail, because the plague was so terrible.
Revelation 16:17–21
Thus, physical mankind and physical earth as we know it today will
be destroyed. There will be no more physical people on physical
earth after the battle of Armageddon.
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In Genesis 1:1–2a, “God created the heavens and the earth, and
the earth was without form and void.”
Then God began to form the earth. He made the Garden of
Eden, but sin came into the garden and brought the destruction of
creation. In the end, God will create a new heaven.
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Revelation 20
And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key
to the abyss and holding in his hand a great chain He seized
the dragon that ancient serpent––who is the devil, or satan, and
bound him for one thousand years He threw him into the abyss,
and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving
the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended After
that, he must be set free for a short time
Revelation 20:1–3
This scene, as with the others, is a vision of physical things that
depict spiritual reality It is doubtful that the angel has a key that
fi ts a lock or a chain large enough to bind a spiritual being such
as satan However, this scene includes a lock and chain that depict
satan’s confi nement to a spiritual prison This is the same type of
imprisonment as seen in Luke 16:26, which states, “a great chasm has
been fi xed ” This is understood to be a barrier “fi xed” by God, and no
one can cross over The abyss, however, is signifi cantly different in
that it will be sealed over satan It is more like solitary confi nement
in nature than an open prison like in Luke satan will be confi ned
to the abyss and will not be able to communicate with those on the
outside satan is imprisoned and sealed by command of God No one
disobeys such a command
I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given
authority to judge And I saw the souls of those who had been
beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the
Word of God They had not worshiped the beast or his image
and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands
They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years
(The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand
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years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy
are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second
death has no power over them, but they will be priest of God
and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.
Revelation 20:4–6
In this scene, John is shown the events surrounding the millennial
reign of Jesus. The family of God will be bodily resurrected and
judged. Then they will reign with Christ for a thousand years. I
believe that the whole family of God will be included in this first
resurrection. Here it states that those who gave their lives “because
of their testimony for Jesus” are priests and will reign with him
(Revelation 20:4).
It could seem as though those who will be priests of God and
of Christ and who will reign with him for a thousand years are set
apart from the rest as more holy because verse 6 says, “Blessed and
holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second
death has no power over them, but they will be priest of God and
of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.” However,
I believe that the emphasis refers more to the fact of the fifth seal,
which gives those who are martyred a special place in heaven under
the altar. All of the family of God will take part in the first resurrection,
for there are only two resurrections, as explained in Revelation
14:14–20. The first includes the family of God; the second includes
the family of satan. In these verses, we are given an illustration of the
most rewarded, of the family of God, but that does not mean that
the rest of the family God will not be there. Indeed, all who have
“called upon the name of the Lord” have not received the mark of
the beast and will participate in the first resurrection as the part of
the family of God.
I believe that the millennial reign of Christ is a spiritual reign,
not a physical reign. I hold to this interpretation, believing that the
whole church, the family of God, will either have died and gone to
heaven or have been taken to heaven, raptured before the great tribulation,
the seven bowls of God’s wrath (chapter 16). I also believe
that, after the great tribulation, physical mankind will be no more
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because Revelation 19:21 states, “the rest of them were killed.” All
of the family of God is physically gone at the end of chapter 11; all
of the family of satan is dead at the end of chapter 19. As a result,
there is no mention of physical mankind in chapter 20. Therefore,
the one thousand-year reign with Christ is spiritual, not physical. This interpretation
is in harmony with the prophecies of Daniel 9
and Matthew 24, etc.
I saw thrones on which there were seated those who had been
given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had
been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because
of the Word of God.
Revelation 20:4
Here the family of God is judged from within. The judges will be
members of the family of God as described in Revelation 14:1–5. There is nothing
written in Revelation as to the nature of this judgment;
however, there are verses throughout the rest of the Bible that
do explain. Ecclesiastes 3:17 says, “God will bring to judgment both
the righteous and the wicked.” Jesus said to his disciples in Luke
22:30, you “will sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Romans 14:10 says, “You, then, why do you judge your brother? For
we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.” The first five verses of
1 Corinthians 4 states,
So, then, men aught to regard us as servants of Christ, and as
those entrusted with the secret things of God. Now it is required
that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. I
care very little, if I am judged by you or by any human court;
indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but
that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge
nothing before the appointed time; wait till the
Lord comes. He will bring to light, what is hidden in darkness
and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time, each
will receive his praise from God.
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These scriptures and many more speak to the fact that the family of
God will be judged. In 1 Corinthians 4, Paul gives some insights as
to the nature of the judgment of the family of God as referred to in
Revelation 20:4.
First, this judgment is not judgment as pertaining to salvation. All who are with
Christ during the millennial reign are saved. They
are the family of God, or they would not be there with him.
Second, each Christian has been given gifts and abilities and
will be judged according to how each used those gifts and abilities. The Bible says, “
… those who have been given a trust must prove
faithful (1 Corinthians 4:2). We need also to apply the teaching of
Jesus from the parable of the talents (Matthew 25), the parable of the
sower (Matthew 13), etc., and realize that we will be held accountable
for what our Lord, through the Holy Spirit, has led us to do
in service to him. During the one-thousand-year reign, we will be
judged to determine whether we were faithful––not to condemn,
but for our learning.
Third, we will be judged to “bring to light, what is hidden in
darkness” (1 Corinthians 4:5b). We understand the phrase “hidden
in darkness” to be a reference to unconfessed sin. That which is in
the “light” is known or confessed. Thus, that which has not been
confessed is secret, or hidden in the dark. All of our unconfessed sins
will be brought to light that we may confess them and be cleansed,
then “God will wipe away all tears.”
Fourth, the motives of the heart will be judged. I believe that
there is an illustration of this in 1 Corinthians. Paul had apparently
been judged or accused by some of his contemporaries (1 Corinthians
4:3). Paul and those who judged him had an unresolved problem
between them. Paul said that his conscience was clear, so God had
not convicted him of sin, yet he was accused. If then Paul was falsely
accused, there may have been a misunderstanding of the motives of
men’s hearts.
I know of a circumstance in which two people that were neighbors,
friends, and leaders in their local church had a misunderstanding. They
became angry, accused each other, and refused to speak to
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each other for years, though each continued to be in leadership positions
in the church. At the judgment of the family of God during
the one-thousand-year reign, these two will have to settle their misunderstanding.
As
they stand in judgment, we may imagine that one
would say to the judge, “She laughed at me and said that my dress
was inappropriate.” The other one would reply, “Well, I didn’t know
what was wrong with you. You just started acting strange toward me. Besides, I didn’
t mean to insult you. I was just having a good time.”
The judge might say to the first one, “The true intention of her
heart was not to insult you in any way. However, since you were hurt
by the statement, you should have shared your feelings with your
friend so that she could have known and apologized.”
Then the judge might say to the second woman, “You also had
the opportunity to ask your neighbor whether there was some problem
or if you had hurt her in some way.”
These two friends would then have opportunity to forgive each
other, ask forgiveness from God for the problems that division had
caused in the church, and then enter into eternity with true joy and
regained friendship. Thus, as the motives of mankind’s hearts are
defined by the judge from the knowledge of God, the family of God
will become true brothers and sisters with love and understanding
and heaven will be heaven.
In these ways, and doubtless in many others, the family of God
will be judged, and we will “know as we are known.” Heaven will
be a wonderful place. It will be without misunderstanding, division,
prejudice, disagreement, or any such thing that would quench the
joy of being with our heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ in
heaven.
When the thousand years are over, satan will be released from
his prison and go out to deceive the nations in the four corners
of the earth––Gog and Magog––to gather them for battle.”
Revelation 20:7–8a
Satan will be released from his spiritual prison and, being a spiritual
being, “will go out to deceive the nations” (verse 8a). There is
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a marked difference between the description in chapter 20 and the
description described in chapters 13, 16, and 19. In these chapters, the
beast and the false prophet, who are comprised of physical mankind
with their spiritual leader satan, deceive physical mankind. Here in
chapter 20, there is no beast, false prophet, or physical mankind. Mankind was either
physically taken away (raptured) or physically
killed, as recorded in chapters 14 and 19. (Mankind, at the conclusion
of chapter 19, no longer exists as physical.) Therefore, the participants––
satan, Gog, and Magog––are spiritual beings.
We know satan well, but who are Gog and Magog? In order to
understand who they are as mentioned in Revelation 20, we need to
understand the interpretation of Ezekiel 36–39. First, read these four
chapters in Ezekiel and then proceed.
Chapter 36 of the Ezekiel says the following:
Israel’s enemies have taken possession of Israel’s
mountains (verse 2).
Israel has “suffered the scorn of the nations” (verse 6).
Israel’s enemies “with glee and with malice in their
hearts” have taken possession to plunder (verse 5)
Israel will be restored for the sake of God’s holy name
(verse 22).
Israel should be ashamed and disgraced for her
conduct.
Chapter 37 says the following through a visionary illustration:
There is a valley of very dry bones (verse two).
These dry bones, through an act of God, will become
alive and breathe.
These “bones are the whole house of Israel” (verse 11).
At that time, the divided kingdom will become one
under one king or one shepherd forever (verses 22–25).
God’s “dwelling place will be with them” (verse 27).










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Chapter 38 says the following:
God will bring Gog and his army of many nations
and prepare them for war (verse 3–7).
At any given time, Gog “will be called to arms” (verse 8).
In future years, Gog will invade a land that has recovered
from war, whose people were gathered from
many nations to Israel (verse 8).
Gog “will be like a cloud covering the land” (verse
nine).
Gog will attack a peaceful and unprotected people
(verse 10).
Chapter 39 says the following:
Gog and his armies will be destroyed by God.
God’s people will plunder and bury Gog and his
armies.
God will gather his people, will not leave any behind,
and will no longer hide his face from them.
There are two questions that need to be answered to correctly interpret
this block of Scripture: 1) who the prophecy is about, and, 2) to
what time era does it refer?
Who the Prophecy Is About?
Ezekiel 38:1 says that Gog is the prince of Magog. In a confederation,
alliance with the prince of Gog and the armies of Magog are
“many nations.” And all their “troops” are prepared for war (verses
5–6). Gog and Magog then are a vast confederated army with Gog
as its leader. They are those who are against God’s people, for they
will attack the land of Israel (verse 18). Thus, Gog and Magog are
those who fight against the family of God. Gog and Magog are the
family of satan.








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Gog does not plan and execute the attack of his own doing, for
God said, “I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring
you out with your whole army” (verse 4). Thus, God directs Gog and
Magog in order to bring creation to a conclusion according to God’s
plan and power. Thus, Gog and Magog are the leaders, and their
armies are the family of satan.
Therefore, we see in Ezekiel 36–39 a message that reveals the
plight of Israel at the time of its Babylonian exile: why they were
destroyed, who destroyed them, and who was in charge. It also
reveals a prophecy that proclaims the restoration of Israel and the
final outcome of all mankind. This final outcome of mankind parallels
the prophecies of Revelation.
The fact that life in God’s eyes does not end at death needs to be
included here. Not only does life not end at death, but there is not
even a break in it. At death, we simply step from physical life into
spiritual life, leaving the body behind. Thus God sees and speaks of
his people’s sins, his judgment for those sins, the destruction of his
people because of their sins, and the forgiveness and the restoration
of his people as a continuing sequence of events. They are a continuing
sequence of events, but some of those events are of the physical
world with the final event in the spiritual realm.
The need to understand this comes from the fact that most people
who write about Revelation prophecy speak about the millennial
reign of Christ as being physical mankind on a physical earth. Many
of the references come from the Ezekiel chapters 36 through 39, and
indeed these chapters give the best explanation to understand the
sequence of events as described in the previous paragraph.
In Ezekiel 36:16–21, God gives the accusations of sin that are brought
against the house of Israel that resulted with their exile to Babylon and
that resulted with the destruction of the temple in AD 70.
In Ezekiel 36:22–38, God gives an explanation of how the house
of Israel will be restored to their land and to him as their God. That
brought about the return from the Babylonian exile. That brought
the establishment of Israel in 1948.
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In Ezekiel 37:1–14, God gives a visionary illustration of the resurrection
of the family of God in the valley of dry bones. This corresponds
with the first resurrection (Revelation 20:4–6).
In Ezekiel 37:15–24, God gives an explanation of the family of
God being brought together as a resurrected family with one leader,
David. This corresponds with the judgment of the family of God
during the millennial reign (Revelation 20:4–6).
In Ezekiel 37:25–28, God explains how the children of Israel will
be returned to the land and they will live in peace with an everlasting
covenant and God’s sanctuary will be in their midst forevermore,
eternally.
God’s time must also be applied to Gog and Magog in the same
way that it is applied to Israel, the family of God. In God’s time,
Gog and Magog have set themselves in array against God’s people:
1) at the time of the Babylonian exile, 2) at the time of the beast and
the two witnesses (Revelation 11 and 13), and 3) at the time immediately
following the millennial reign of Christ in Revelation 20. Also,
in this context, Gog and Magog are destroyed 1) when Babylon was
destroyed in the Old Testament, 2) when the beast will be destroyed
at the physical end (Revelation 19:17–21), and 3) when they, Gog and
Magog, will be destroyed spiritually (Revelation 20:9). Thus, Gog
and Magog represent the eternal enemies of the family of God.
Some interesting observations:
As discussed in Ezekiel 38–39, Gog of the land of Magog is the
“chief prince” of “Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal” (Ezekiel 38: 3; 39: 1). He has with him
in battle array “Persia, Kush, Put, Gomer, Beth
Togarmah and many nations” Also, three other names that are mentioned
in Ezekiel 38:13 are Sheba, the Dedan, and Tarshish. It is
significant that all of these names, except their leader, Gog, are listed
among the sons of Japfeth and Ham, who are two of the three sons
of Noah (Genesis 10). (Persia is not listed in Genesis 10; however,
Nimrod, who is mentioned in verses 8–10, is described as the builder
of cities that are known to be in the area, later, called Persia.)
It is also significant that Abraham came from the lineage of
Shem. Thus, God’s chosen people, through which Jesus was born,
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came from the linage of Shem. Noah said of Shem, “Blessed, be the
Lord, the God of Shem” (Genesis 9:26). Therefore, Shem was recognized
by his father, Noah, as having the Lord as his God.
Please note: All of the forefathers of Joseph and Mary in Matthew
and Luke are listed in the lineage of Shem.
From Shem, Noah’s eldest son, came God’s chosen people,
Israel. From the other two sons descended the enemies of God’s
people. This does not mean that all of the descendents of Shem are
all the family of God or that all of the descendents of Japheth and
Ham are of the family of satan. (Not all of the sons of Ham and
Japheth were named here, thus allowing that not all of them were of
the family of satan.)
I believe these references are made with the same meaning as
when we say that the United States is a Christian nation. The US is
called a Christian nation, but that by no means implies that everyone
who is a citizen of the US is a Christian. Therefore, the sons of
Japheth and Ham are referred to as the enemies of the descendents
of Shem. In general terms in Old Testament times, the Israelites,
who were descendants of Shem, were God’s people; the rest of the
world, as descendents of Japheth and Ham, were not God’s people. In a real sense,
there has been a spiritual lineage that began with the
sons of Japheth and Ham, who did not worship God. This lineage
has continued unbroken throughout history as the family of satan. Gog and Magog
represent the whole family of satan, as referred to
in Revelation 20.
There is also a spiritual lineage that began with the descendents
of Shem who worshiped God, and that has continued unbroken
throughout history as the family of God. In Old Testament times,
this distinction was seemingly perpetuated by blood lineage. (If one
was an Israelite, that one would be of God’s people. If one was not
an Israelite, then that one would be a Gentile and not one of God’s
people.) Since the New Testament era, we understand that the family
of God is entered into by relationship with Jesus Christ as born
again spiritually, not through blood lineage as born physically.
Israel is the whole family of God (Ezekiel 37:11). “Whole” in the
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Ezekiel context is at the time of the resurrection, at the end of time. (Valley of dry
bones is the resurrection; “God’s dwelling place is with
them” is only after the resurrection.) So if the whole house of Israel
in Ezekiel refers to the time of the resurrection, then it is the same
time era as Revelation 20. Therefore, “the whole house of Israel”
refers to all of the family of God from Adam and Eve through the
two witnesses and those raptured.
As the leader of these named peoples and many nations mentioned
above, Gog is forced into obedience to God. God said to Gog, “I will
turn you around and drag you along” (Ezekiel 39:2a). God is in control
of Gog and his armies; God is in control of the family of satan. Therefore, when God
speaks of Gog, Magog, Meshech, Tubal, Persia,
Cush, Put, Beth Togarmah, and the many nations with them,
he speaks of the family of satan, those who have not repented and
accepted Jesus Christ.
Ezekiel 38:7 says, “Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hordes
gathered about you, and take command of them.” This is a command
from God to Gog and his troops. I suggest that the fulfillment
of this command is explained in Revelation 13:5–10. The statement,
“take command of them,” may be exemplified in the statement, “He
was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation”
(Ezekiel 38:7; Revelation 13:7b). He took “command” as instructed
by God and exercised “his authority for forty-two months.” (Revelation
13:5).
Ezekiel 38:8a says, “After many days you will be called to arms.”
The phrase “after many days” may be seen as a parallel to 1260 days
or forty-two months (same time period; 42 x 30 = 1260). The beast
will be given authority for forty-two months; the family of God is
protected for 1260 days. Thus, he will take command and consolidate
his power but must wait the 1260 days until he is “called” by
God “to arms” before he can kill the two witnesses.
Ezekiel 38:8b says, “In future years you will invade a land that
has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many
nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate.”
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The phrase “in future years” is different from the phrase “after many
days” (verse 8a); thus, it is a different era. The people who live in the
“land that has recovered from war” have been brought out from the
nations, live in safety and peace, and do not have walls, gates, or bars. Since, after
many days, Gog and his armies will be called to arms
and given power to kill the two witnesses, after which all physical
life on earth comes to an end––after Armageddon.
Then the verse which says, “in future years you will invade a land
that has recovered from war,” must describe satan’s invasion of the
land of Israel, family of God, on earth at the end of the millennial
reign of Christ as recorded in Revelation 20:1–6. The phrase “in future
years” parallels the one-thousand-year reign on earth when satan is
imprisoned in the abyss. Then after the one thousand years, satan will
be released to attack the family of God again for the last time.
Here in Ezekiel 36–39, the family of God is given an explanation
and prophecy in regard to the fact that they, the family of God, have
been disobedient, rebellious sinners. These, who are the believers in
God, have, as a result of their sins, been judged guilty and experienced
the discipline of God. The discipline of God has resulted in
the enemies of God––those who do not believe nor follow God––
bringing defeat and destruction to the family of God. Those who
are not God’s people have in fact been part of the disciplinary action
of God. As God removed his protection from his people because
of their disobedience, rebellion, sin, this allowed those who are of
the family of satan to persecute and destroy God’s people physically. This message
also tells the family of God that they will be restored,
physically, spiritually, and eternally.
Also, the messages of these four chapters tell the family of God
that this is an ongoing process. They, the family of God, at a time
prior to Babylon had sinned, and they were disciplined by godless
Babylon; and that, this process of disobedience—sin resulting in discipline––
from their God and Creator, was discipline, in many ways
carried out by those who are of the family of satan. This will be a
continuing process until the end of time and end of God’s creation.
Also, we are told in these chapters that those who were not of
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the family of God, who have been the rod of discipline against the
family of God, will be judged by God. Their unbelief and rebellion
against God will be defeated by God. In the end, the family of satan,
those who follow the rebellious nature of satan, will be judged and
judgment carried out by God in the lake of fire.
satan, with the one-third of the angels of heaven who rebelled
against God, along with mankind who followed in that same rebellious
state against God their Creator, will in the final analysis be
judged, condemned, and the death sentence carried out by God in
the lake of fire.
Therefore, the time era of Ezekiel’s prophecy begins with the
Babylonian exile and continues until satan and the souls from hell
come to attack the family of God at the end of the millennium.
We must remember that God sees no break in life at the point of
physical death. He speaks of his family when in a spiritual state, after
physical death, just the same as when they were in a physical state.
The invasion that takes place in Ezekiel 38:1–17 is in the spirit
realm. Ezekiel 38:1–17 coincides in time with Revelation 20:7–10. We
must also remember that in Revelation God ceases to speak of Israel
as the descendents of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and begins to speak
of Israel as those who have repented and believed in the name of
Jesus, the Son of God (Revelation 7:13–15). Then, the invasion above
is of the land of those who inherit eternal life in heaven, being the
144,000 and the great multitude that could not be numbered from
every nation, language, and tribe in Revelation 7 not of the physical
nation of Israel.
And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key
to the abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized
the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or satan, and
bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the abyss,
and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving
the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After
that, he must be set free for a short time.
Revelation 20:1–3
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Understand satan deceiving the nations, as stated above, refers to
Gog and his armies, or the family of satan. satan will be bound in the
abyss to keep him from deceiving the family of satan (many nations),
not the family of God.
It is important to understand that Israel, or the family of God,
are those who are gathered from “all nations, tribes, peoples, and
tongues” (Revelation 7:9). So, the family of God and the family of
satan both come from every people on earth, every nation.
When the thousand years are over, satan will be released for a
short time, during which he will again deceive the nations. This is
evidenced in Ezekiel when the Lord said,
On that day thoughts will come into your mind and you will
devise an evil scheme. You will say, “I will invade a land of
unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting
people––all of them living without walls and without gates
and bars. I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against the
livestock and goods, living at the center of the land.” Sheba and
Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all her villages will
say to you, “Have you come to plunder? Have you gathered your
hordes to loot, to carry off silver and gold, to take away livestock
and goods and to seize much plunder?”
Ezekiel 38:10–13
On the day of the invasion, satan will again be free to deceive the
many nations by injecting evil thoughts, full of lies, into their minds. They will be
tricked into thinking that he can again attack and loot
the family of God. This deception is especially evident in the inquiries
of Sheba, Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, who are descended
from Ham and Japheth and, therefore, of the family of satan. Their
inquiry would be asking satan, “Why are we invading?” For they
are spiritual beings and have no need of the plunder mentioned,
although, in their physical lives, they desired these riches. Here they
are confused, misled, and deceived by satan. Again, this does not
mean that all descendents of Ham and Japheth are of the family of
satan or that all descendents of Shem are of the family of God. God
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uses these names to refer to the family of satan in the same way that
he uses the name Israel to refer to the family of God.
In Ezekiel, the Lord says,
Call out to every kind of bird and all the wild animals: “Assemble
and come together from all around to the sacrifice I am preparing
for you, the great sacrifice on the mountains of Israel. There you
will eat flesh and drink blood. You will eat the flesh of mighty
men and drink the blood of the princes of the earth as if they
were rams and lambs, goats and bulls—all of them fatted animals
from Bashan. At the sacrifice I am preparing for you, you will
eat fat till you are glutted and drank blood till you are drunk. At
my table, you will have your fill of horses and riders; mighty men
and soldiers of every kind,” declares the sovereign LORD.
Ezekiel 39:17–20
These verses foretell the same event as Revelation 19:17, 18, and 21,
which is a call to all birds to eat the flesh of all the people of the family
of satan. There will be no one to bury them. All physical mankind
will be dead. This is not speaking about hungry birds, but an illustration
of the fact that there will be no one to bury the dead.
Please note that these chapters in Ezekiel give us difficulty in
regard to time sequence of events. Chapter 37 gives a visionary picture
of the first resurrection, and then chapter 38 explains of the
attack of Gog and Magog after the one thousand years. Chapter 39
explains the events of the battle of Armageddon.
My explanation: Chapter 37 equals the final events of the family
of God. Chapter 38 equals corresponding final events of the family
of satan. Chapter 39 goes back in time to give fuller explanation.
The above explanation has precedent in Revelation. Chapter 16
is a conclusion, and then we have the explanations of chapters 17 and
18. Nevertheless, as we mesh together these books of prophecy, we
have an excellent timetable of the end time.
Always remember our Lord has the final word; we are trying to
learn.
Therefore, the prophecies of Ezekiel reveal that Gog and Magog
are the eternal enemies of the family of God. They are not only the
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enemy in this physical world, but they will continue to be the enemy
in the spiritual realm.
Please note that it is necessary that the enemies of God be
defeated in every realm.
In the descriptions above from Ezekiel and the overall explanations
in Revelation, it is clearly declared that satan, every rebellious
angel, and every rebellious human being will be utterly defeated.
satan and one-third of the angels of heaven rebelled
against God and were defeated, thrown out, and confined
to the realm of earth.
satan and the demons, along with the rebellious of
mankind, rebelled and fought against God until they
defeated God’s people and took control of earth. Then, God killed the physical, cast
them out, and
destroyed the earth as we know it.
satan, the demons, and the spirits of rebellious mankind
rebelled again after the one-thousand-year
reign of Christ against God and his faithful. satan
was cast into the lake of fire and the spirits of the
rebellious received their resurrected bodies to stand
in judgment and be cast into the lake of fire.
Satan was defeated in the heavenly realm and condemned! satan will
be defeated in the earthly realm and bound! Satan will be defeated in
the eternal realm and the death sentence carried out!
It is necessary for every rebellion to be utterly defeated!
God is God, and there is no other beside him!
I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given
authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been
beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the
Word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and
had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. They came to life
and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life
until the thousand



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years were ended). This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy
are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second
death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God
and of Christ, and will reign with him for a thousand years.
Revelation 20:4–6
The family of God will be resurrected with spiritual bodies, which
will be like Jesus’ body after his resurrection from the dead. This is
called the first resurrection, as stated in verses 5b-6. I believe these
verses to mean that the armies of heaven that accompany Jesus on his
return on the white horse are the souls (in the spirit) of the family of
God. Their bodies (physical remains) are still on earth, in the grave,
in the sea, in the dust of the earth, etc. Their souls had departed at
death and had gone to be with their Lord. After the battle of Armageddon,
their bodies will be resurrected and united with their souls
and spirits. This explanation was given by God to Ezekiel in the
valley of dry bones (Ezekiel 37).
The family of God will reign with resurrected spiritual bodies
for a thousand years. Then Gog and Magog, the souls of the family
of satan, will return to make war against them. This will be somewhat
as the return of Jesus and the armies of heaven. It will be satan’s
last attempt to duplicate what God has done.
Satan will be leading the souls, in the spirit, of his family––those
whose bodies are still in the grave, in the sea, or the dust of the earth,
etc. After satan is destroyed in the lake of burning sulfur (verse 10),
the souls of the family of satan will be judged before the great white
throne and will be thrown, resurrected body and soul, into the “lake
of fire, which is the second death” (verse 14). This is spiritual death
and separation from God for eternity. Thus, all of creation will be
placed “under the feet” and under the authority of Jesus.
Satan rebelled and attempted to rule heaven, the garden of Eden,
and all of earth; he will attempt to rule hell. He was not permitted
to rule in heaven but was thrown out. After satan takes control of
earth, God will immediately destroy it. He will also attempt to rule
in eternity, but God will not permit that, and satan will be cast into
the lake of fire. All will know that God is God and that there is none
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other besides him. “Every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord.” (Philippians 2:10–11).
When the thousand years are over, satan will be released from
his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners
of the earth––Gog and Magog––to gather them for battle (Revelation
20:7–8a).
The Four Corners of the Earth
The “four corners” refer to points in the spiritual realm, not the
physical world. This is substantiated by comparing these statements
in Revelation 7:1, Ezekiel 37:9–19, and Matthew 24:31. The latter is
the clearest, as it states, “And he will send his angels with a loud
trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from
one end of the heavens to the other.” This is obviously a spiritual
gathering of the family of God. The “four corners of the earth” refer
to satan’s family in hell, who are of this world, in the same way that
“the four winds … of the heavens” refer to God’s family, who are not
of this world.
To more easily understand the concept of the four corners of
the earth, let us review what we know about the spiritual realm. Even though we are
physical beings, we can understand that there
is a spiritual realm all around us. We cannot see this spiritual realm
unless God chooses to open our eyes to it or unless satan reveals
himself to us. (Refer to 2 Kings 6:17.) We know that the Holy Spirit
of God is with us and that there are angels. We know that satan
and his demons are present, though we cannot see them. So, we
conclude that the Holy Spirit and the angels exist side by side with
satan and his demons.
We also know that God has fixed “a great chasm” between the
spiritual family of God and the spiritual family of satan, as seen in
Luke 16:26. So we can reason that the Holy Spirit and the angels and
satan and the demons exist side by side. They are present all around
us; however, they are separated by a spiritual “chasm” or division that
neither side can cross over. We can determine, then, that the abyss and
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hell are not necessarily far away in some distant galaxy but around the
earth itself. The Bible calls satan “the prince of the air.”
This will also be true during the millennial reign. When Jesus
and the saints are ruling earth, satan will be released and will gather
his spirit family from the four corners of the earth. As God removes
the spiritual barrier, they will come to attack the family of God once
more, those who are living on earth in resurrected spiritual bodies. satan will be
destroyed, his family will be given their spiritual resurrected
bodies, and the great white throne judgment will be pronounced. The
family of God will be on the right; the family of satan
on the left. The family of God will live in the new heaven and the
new earth; the family of satan will be thrown into the lake of fire. The Scripture says,
If anyone’s name was not found written in the Book of Life,
he was thrown into the lake of fire. Then I saw a new heaven
and new earth, for the first heaven in the first earth had passed
away.
Revelation 20:15–21:1
They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded
the camp of God’s people, the city he loves.
Revelation 20:9a
The family of satan as spiritual beings, as numerous as the sand of
the seashore, will cover the whole earth. Ezekiel helps us to see this,
“You will advance against my people Israel, like a cloud that covers
the land” (Ezekiel 38:16a). Thus, the family of satan will be gathered
from the four corners of the earth, hell, and will cover the earth like
a cloud ready to annihilate the family of God, though they are at
peace and seemingly unprotected while ruling with Jesus during the
millennium. “But fire came down from heaven and devoured them”
(Revelation 20:9).
The “fire” that came down from heaven is the Word of God. Thus, it is finished! It is
completely over; satan cannot rule. satan is
“thrown into the lake of burning sulfur,” and the family of satan is
prepared to stand before the judgment of the great white throne.
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John immediately saw a new scene. He wrote, “Then I saw
a great white throne and him, who was seated on it” (Revelation
20:11a). God is seated to judge all mankind. They will be divided
like sheep from the goats. Indeed, they will be already divided, for
the family of God is with Jesus and the family of satan surrounds
them (verse 9). The books were opened (verse 12) and “each person
was judged according to what he had done” (Revelation 20:13). Thus, God will have
a record of every person and every deed each
person did in his physical life. From these records, judgment will be
made as to the eternal destiny of each person. Revelation 20:15 says,
“If anyone’s name is not found written in the Book of Life, he was
thrown into the lake of fire.”
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Then John saw another scene that showed the fi nal destination of
the family of God It was a beautiful scene It seems to be the clearest
and best described scene of all of Revelation, and rightly so, for
God was showing his people who were suffering persecution, and
who would continue to suffer, that beautiful home that he had prepared
for them I do not want to interfere with this beautiful scene
described in chapter 21 and 22, so I suggest that you read these without
further discussion at this point “I am the Alpha and the Omega,
the First and the Last, the Beginning and End” (Revelation 22:13)
God is God God was in the beginning, the Creator
God will be in the end King of kings and Lord of lords
God will be the new beginning for eternity
Alpha, Omega, Alpha
Is your name written in the Book of Life?
The spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears
say, “Come!” Whosoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever
wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life
Revelation 22:17
Do you need to come to Jesus Christ for the salvation of your soul
and enter into the family of God?
If so, please pray, “Dear heavenly Father, I believe that Jesus
Christ is the Son of God and died on the cross to pay the penalty
for my sins Dear Lord Jesus, I am a sinner I am lost without you
Please, Lord Jesus, forgive my sins and save me I open my heart
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and life to you. Please come into my heart. Please, teach me through
your Holy Spirit. Thank you for hearing my prayer and for your
promise of eternal life. I ask you, Lord Jesus, to be Lord of my life. I
pray in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.”
The Holy Spirit of God invites, draws, and urges each person
to know and accept Jesus Christ as Lord. He is the Son of God, the
Savior of the world, and reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords.
We search for the meaning of life, death, and even our own existence. Why?
Because we yearn for understanding of God, of Jesus
Christ, of the Holy Spirit. Those who have found the answer and
understand realize how wonderful life is in Jesus Christ and how
important it is to know him as Lord and to have the presence of his
Holy Spirit. We realize how dangerous it is to turn to self, satan,
or the things of this world in a cheap exchange for the salvation in
Christ Jesus. That is why the Spirit says, “Come!” That’s why the
bride, those who have already accepted Jesus Christ, says, “Come!”
Some people come in deep need and searching desperately for
meaning in life. “Whosoever is thirsty, let him come.”
Some just want to come to Christ simply, unquestioning, trusting
as a child. “Whosoever wishes let him come, let him take the free
gift of the water of life,” said Jesus Christ.
The price has already been paid for your gift. It was Christ’s
death on the cross, which paid the price for your sins so that you
may have eternal life with God and the Son, Jesus Christ, in heaven
forever. The gift of life through Jesus Christ is a gift obtained just
by accepting what Jesus Christ gladly has done for you through his
death upon the cross for your sins.
All mankind, as created by God, is guaranteed freedom of
choice. Many have chosen not to receive Jesus and will spend eternity
in hell, separated from God (Revelation 20:15), but to all who
choose to receive and believe in Jesus Christ, he gives the right to
become children of God.
A person must first “believe in order to receive” ( John 3:18).
Believe that God is the creator of all things physical.
Believe that Jesus Christ is the only Son of God, that Jesus
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Christ is the only one who came from heaven (the spiritual realm)
into the physical world through the miraculous virgin birth, that
Jesus Christ is “Emanuel, God with us.”
Believe that Jesus, as the Son of God, is God’s plan for the
redemption of sinful mankind ( John 14:6).
Believe that Jesus physically died on the cross, was buried, and
was resurrected from the dead by the power of God.
Believe that Jesus Christ is Lord.
A person must “understand” in order to receive.
Understand that I have personally sinned.
Understand that I am condemned by God because of sin.
Understand that I must confess my personal sin to Jesus Christ.
Understand that I must choose Jesus Christ, turning from my
sins and the things of this world.
A person must make a determined decision and act upon that
decision through prayer.
Suggested Prayer
This must be your decision and your prayer.
Dear heavenly Father,
I believe that you are God, my Creator. I believe that Jesus is
the only Son of God, that Jesus died for my sins, arose from the
grave, and is alive in heaven.
I confess that I am a sinner, and I ask you, Lord Jesus, to
please forgive my sins and save me. Dear Lord Jesus, please
come into my heart and be Lord of my life.
Thank you, Lord, for dying for my sins, hearing my prayer,
and giving me eternal life in heaven.
In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.
I ______________________________on this day ________
_______________ prayed, confessed my sins, and asked Jesus
Christ to come into my heart.