ALPHA  OMEGA  ALPHA





                                                       Revelation  Chapter 1



The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His servants, what
must soon take place.  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.     Revelations 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 first phrase of verse one, the Revelation of
Jesus Christ.  The book is Revelation.  Webster’s dictionary defines 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 final pages of the history of mankind, and the eternal
destiny of every nation, tribe and people ( each person) that has or will live 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 purified, made spotless and refined, but the
wicked will continue to be wicked.  None of the wicked will understand, but those
who are wise will understand."  (Daniel 12: 8 - 10).  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 and Joel 2: 28 and 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 man 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, versus 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).

Webster's dictionary defines author as an originator, especially, the writer of a
book.  Within this definition is a two-phase process.  First, in 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, Zachariah, etc. in the Old
Testament. Thus, the symbolisms and messages spanned many generations and
numerous author - 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 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.

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 wrote
only that which he was told and shown.

John was instructed by Jesus on 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.


Manor 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 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 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, 1900
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 20th and 21st century. 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 front-line 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 brake 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, 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.  (Interpreting principle number 1)  Seven, being a complete number and
here referring to seven churches means -- that the message is intended for all the
churches, 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 direct 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 eight is a statement
from the Lord God stating His scope, authority and power.  In verse nine, John
again verifies himself, and then gives the sitting 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 own 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 in a
freshly 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 is 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 “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’ breast.  This is the   same John
who was given the responsibility of Jesus’ 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 and 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 -TRUE –
but, we will be as dead men, before the throne of Almighty God.  We will be awe-
struck in the presence of our God.

Although John had great fear at the sight of the resurrected Jesus, with a touch of
a 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 realized 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 only begotten Son”.  
John 3: 16.  Consequently fear is 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 you have 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.  Verse 16.  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 lampstands are representative of the
churches in that they are a lamp, or light, in a world of spiritual darkness.

With Jesus' 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








Chapters 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 live 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 Lambs 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 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 hardship 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 live, 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; repent -- or He
will remove our lampstand.  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 lampstand – 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 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 live 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, which says, “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 10 days.”  Jesus is prophesying the fact that there will be
some faithful Christians in every generation, until the last two witnesses of
Revelation 11 are killed, who will be persecuted by satan and his followers.  
Revelation 12: 17.  Our Lord prophesies that the persecution will be for a given time
-- 10 days.  It is very likely that some Christians in Smyrna were persecuted for
literally 10 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 ‘10 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, 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 applies to Christians of all generations. You are
encouraged to listen, with spiritual ears to what the Holy Spirit would say to you
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 -- 1 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 principle

1. The book of Revelation uses several numbers that have caused problems with
interpretation.  Numbers in the Bible need 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; 7 = seven.  Second,
symbolically -- the number has meaning other than its actual value.  Example; 7 =
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 chapters 2
and 3.  It would have probably been impossible for John to have hand written 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, represents seven events and
circumstances affected by God's wrath as described after the pouring out of each
bowl.  Also, the seven bowls represent Gods 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.  Examples -- 144,000 = limited, -- many but not all.  2 = 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.

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. Visionary object picture -- 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 which are representative of a spiritual message that God has put into a
physical picture.  Examples; crowns represent authority.  Horses represent beast of
burden delivering cargo – 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
example; chapters 12 and 13 in 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 -- -- the division of mankind into two groups -- the family of God and
the family of satan. God's line dissects -- crosses all national, all language, all color
and 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 exists 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.
-- -- angels can manifest themselves to the physical world as God directs, 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. (Humans are sometimes deceived to think they are doing magic etc, when in
fact the demons are controlling them).

There are two boundaries within the spiritual realm:
-- -- the boundary between heaven and hell -- -- no one can cross over.
-- -- the abyss which closes access to Heaven, hell and the physical world - no one
can escape this boundary except as God permits.



                         

Chapters 4 and 5

Participants of the vision

In Chapter 4, John is introduced to “the throne in heaven with someone sitting on
it,” the 24 Elders, and the four living creatures, then, in Chapter 5, the Lamb and
the Angels.  Each of these are significant parts 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 finalizes the tribulation.  
     Revelation.  Rev. 14: 14 – 20 &   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 24 elders:

-- -- are seated on thrones which signifies authority through the Lamb.  
     Revelation 20: 4.
-- -- are dressed in white robes which signifies 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 sing a new song before God.  
     Revelation 5: 8 -- 14; 7: 11 -- 12; 19: 4.
-- -- give explanations 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 all 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 - chapters 2 and 3.

The Angels:

-- --  the number of them was 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.
-- -- 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 24 elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worships 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 24 elders are there, each having 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 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...  10,000 times 10,000 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 24 elders,
the Angels, Jesus with the scroll, -- and all of creation singing to God and His Son
Jesus Christ.  Verse 13.

The over-all message of chapters 1 – 5 declares that God is the author of this book
of prophecy !!!  

THE SCROLL FROM THE HAND OF GOD IS PROPHESY !!!
JESUS OPENING THE SEALS REVIELS THE PROPHETIC MESSAGES.

SEALS 1- 5 DESCRIBE CONDITIONS COMMON TO ALL MANKIND – AND
PROPHESIES THAT THESE CONDITIONS WILL BE THE BASIS OF JUDGMENT AT
THE GREAT WHITE THRONE.  Rev: 6: 1 – 11. (Refer to Rev. 17 – 18 & 21).

SEAL 6 PROPHESIES THE COMING PHYSICAL DISTRUCTION OF ALL MANKIND OF
THE LAST GENERATION – WHILE ALL THE FAMILY OF GOD ARE SAFELY BEFORE
THE THRONE OF GOD.  Rev.6: 12 – 7: 17.

SEAL 7 PROPHESIES THE TIME WHEN THE FAMILY OF GOD IS COMPLETE – THUS
INITIATING THE 7 YEAR TRIBULATION WITH DISCRIPTIONS AND
EXPLANATIONS.   Rev. 8: 1 – 22 – 21.  


Chapter 6

Introduction to the seals


There are some similarities in the first 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 horses, a beast of
burden, as the visionary symbol of His message being – delivered -- to a physical
world.  Horses are symbolized in the same manner in Old Testament prophecy.  In
Zachariah horses with riders are the ones the Lord has sent to go throughout the
earth.  In Zachariah 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 human - like, otherwise there would be further
description.  The riders being human-like, implies that the message is to mankind.  
All of creation, (refer to the four living creatures), is effected 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 human-like simply means -- that the message is to
mankind, although the message effects, 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.  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 -- gives 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 realized
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,
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.

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 provide
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. 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 – WE HAVE - 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 from God, a spiritual crown, authority.  This crown represents
freedom of choice.
Physically the crown gives to 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 are 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 ask for
forgiveness and salvation will be saved and spend eternity in heaven with their
creator.

Thus, God has given to mankind the ability to create from God's creation -- the bow
-- and the authority to choose -- the crown – and the choice of, 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,
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
-- 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 flower beds, tills and reaps the
vegetable gardens, and mows the lawns man subdues -- brings under control --
rules 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, or tenant 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 -- 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, 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 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 own, 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
Israelites 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 70
years.  Zechariah 1: 12.  They were so suppressed that no one could raise his
head.  Zechariah 1: 21.

In his vision Zachariah 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 70 years.  Jeremiah had prophesied 70 years
of exile.  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 70 years?”

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 Zachariah, “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 this proclamation, the people took courage, raised their heads, and returned
to Jerusalem to rebuild the city, the walls and 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 risk
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 own until there are
no more horizons to conquer.

The -- spirit of conquest, -- with its -- crown -- of choice, not only gives mankind the
choice, but it 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 -- a point in the lives 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 they have understanding.

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 the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father
except through Me.”  John 14:  6.

If a person refuses, or neglects for what ever 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, continued rejecting 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”, whereby the one who was
disobedient becomes obedient, the one who was controlled by self become
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, yet, 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 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 & 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 1000 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.
etc. Many wars have 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 the
men of war; David, Alexander the great, the Roman emperors, Ghengis Khan,
Napoleon, Hitler, etc. etc. Some United States presidents have also been military
men; Washington, Grant, Eisenhower.  Many great stories and movies 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 10
Commandments, which tell us -- -- “Thou shalt 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 -- ability -- but not the authority, ‘crown’ of choice.  The choice remains with
God.  When mankind takes a live -- murder -- by his own choice, he is outside the
will of God and in direct opposition to God's commandment – “Thou shalt not kill.”
Deuteronomy 5: 17.

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.

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’.  Afterwards they threw the wounded enemy
soldier over the cliff and reported that the prisoner had died in 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.  Its 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.  
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 and that makes
men kill each other is best exemplified in the biblical account of Exodus.  In Exodus 7
– 11, God, through Moses and Aaron, performed miracles, sending the 10 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
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 42 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
42 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
killed them.”  In this, God is long-suffering toward the saints in that they will have
opportunity to witness -- in obedience to God's call –- and toward unrepentant
sinners in that they still have opportunity to repent, and towards 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 a
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 -- nor 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 10 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 of, 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 had written 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.

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.

Personal sins revealed -- -- confesses sin and resolves to sin no more.

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.”  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 lives.  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.

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 two
fold:  1). That the ultimate sacrifice would be made through Jesus Christ for the
redemption of mankind.
2). That, they might realize their sinfulness, repent and turn to God through Jesus
Christ,

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 allows 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 free 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.

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 & 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.

Remembering -- that 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 == 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 as the audible message from the fourth living creatures is; “a
quart of wheat for a day's wages, and 3 quarts of barley for a day's wages.”  
Verse 6.

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, while one man works in the fields to
put food on his table for that day, and other 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 which causes man to work to provide his daily needs.  
In Genesis 3: 19, God pronounced judgment upon Adam – 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 -- daily provisions.

Mankind has a unique ability to corrupt that system of business through the sin 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 on the 20th 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.

There was a break down 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 to 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 -- vegetables, fruit, meat, nuts, etc. and 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 our self.

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 which 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 will 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 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 verse 12 - 13,
“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 tonic, let him have your
cloak as well.  If someone forces you to go 1 mile, go with him two miles.  Give to
the one who ask 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 this 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 in the same small town.  One was old, large,
established and very secure financially.  The other church was a new, small and
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 10 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; the pews are for sale.  If we cannot sell them we will
put them in storage.

The pews were their property.  Therefore, they have the right to do as they
choose.  Correct??  In I 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 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 10 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.”  Revelations 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 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's 11: 7 says, “Now when they have finished
their testimony, the beast that comes up from the abyss will attack them and
overpower and killed 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 – 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 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 forth seal equates to a plague
brought about by war and famine, but as seen here, death has been a part of
physical live 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."  
I Corinthians 15: 50


The fifth seal

When the Lamb opened the fifth seal, John saw, under the Alter 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    

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 1 – 5


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, -- to commit 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 testimony.

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
Revelations 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 # 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 were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.”  Spiritual adultery   =
self on the throne -- -- self as God -- rather than choosing Jesus Christ as Lord.  
They were given a ‘crown’ of choice and made the wrong choice!!

Seal # 2 -- You, who kill – guilty of sin -- 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 # 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 says,
“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 # 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 # 5 -- You, who slander, persecute and kill God's people, or 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 = eternity and hell -- 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.  Five seals == five judgments against the great prostitute in
Revelation Chapter 17 and 18.  

THE MESSAGES OF THE FIRST 5 SEALS – EQUATE TO THE JUDGMENTS AGAINST
THE WOMAN IN CHAPTERS 17 & 18 – AND WILL BE THE BASIS OF JUDGMENT AT
THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT.  

THE MAIN POINT / PURPOSE OF REVELATION PROPHECY IS TO PROPHESY THE
JUDGMENT AT THE GREAT WHITE THRONE – THAT ENVOLVES EVERY PERSON –
FROM ADAM TO THE LAST PERSON CONCEIVED.

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 1 -- 5.  Seals 1 -- 5 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 7 explaining 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 six seal are a
preview or outline of God's conclusion.  

The first scene in verses 12 – 14, is an outline of the destruction of Revelation 16.  
This outline of destruction is prophecy and part of the 6th seal because, from the
beginning of creation, God knew and had the plan for the end of creation.

The 2nd scene of the 6th 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 was, part of God’s plan from the
beginning.

Seals 1 – 5 = God’s created conditions correspond with the outline of judgment,
               in Revelation 17 and 18, against mankind without Jesus Christ.
Seal 6 = 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 7 = description and explanations 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 6, 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, -- thus, judgment and death.  From the highest,
‘Kings of the earth’, Revelation 6: 15, to the lowest, ‘every slave’, they will
experience God's judgment, for 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 marks an important event:

1).  In Revelation 8: 5 the earthquake occurs at the time when all of the family of
God is complete – resulting in the beginning of tribulation.

2).  In Revelation 11: 13, it says, “At that very hour there was a severe
earthquake...”.  This   occurs immediately after the two witnesses -- a part of the
last Christians on earth -- are taken up to heaven, marking the end of sacrifice
(worship) and the end of witness on earth.  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.   

3). The earthquake spoken of in Rev. 11: 19 occurs 75 days after the 2 witnesses
are killed – and as the remainder of the family of God are raptured, being part of
the events of the 7th trumpet.

4).  The forth and last earthquake is explained in Rev 16: 20, ‘Every island fled
away and the mountains could not be found.’  This earthquake was prophesied in
the 6th seal – Rev. 6: 12 – so the earthquake prophesied in 6: 12 is the same
earthquake that will occur in 16: 20.   

Thus, we understand the earthquakes to mark the beginning 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 had ever occurred.  It marks the
beginning of the Battle of Armageddon and is also the end of the earth as we know
it.  

Thus, the first scene of the sixth seal has two purposes.  The first purpose is to give
a preliminary outline, versus 12 -- 14, of the great tribulation.      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 six 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; the third scene with “After this I looked”.  Revelation 7: 9.

In the second scene, John 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.”  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.” Verse 2 -- 3.  Since the first scene of the six 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 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 at a friend of his stopped at my house, had lunch, visited
awhile and then drove away.  About 5 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 could there be such a beautiful sunrise on the
day when my best friend is to be buried?

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 - saved.

There are two groups which are sealed.  They are the 144,000 from all of the tribes
of Israel, verse four, and a great multitude that no one could count, from every
nation, tribe, people and language.  Verse nine.  God's servants are divided into
two groups.  They are descendents of Abraham, Isaac & 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 except they have
important meaning.  If we interpret the 144,000 as literal there would be exactly,
not one more or one less than 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel.  If this
were true, it would not be true to the nature of salvation as explained in the
Scripture, nor 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.

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 established 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 = many -- but not all.

Throughout history Jews and Gentiles have been divided on the bases 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 washed their robes and made
them white in the blood of the Lamb.  Therefore, they are before the throne of
God...”  Verse 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’ 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,
etc. 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, they are not;
God is on one side, and not on the other, etc.

The message and point here in the sixth sealed is -- -- 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 God-given 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, “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 a determined decision -- 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 --
-- 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.  God makes this initial contact in such
a way that it leaves the individual with the freedom to choose and to exercise his
right to accept or reject – God.  If a person by their own free will, determines to
believe and invite Jesus Christ to come into their heart, -- God, by His saving power
seals them with the gift of His Holy Spirit.  Ephesians 1: 13 says, “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.”

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 listing 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 I 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, 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 have 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.  Romans 1:
20 says, “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.”

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 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 fore-tells what will
happen to them in the end.

Revelation 7: 1 -- 17 identifies the family of God and fore-tells where they will be at
the end.

2. Revelation 8 and 9 records in more detail what will happen to the family of satan
through the first half of tribulation.

In Revelation 10 and 11 records 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 describes spiritual warfare in regard to the family of satan.

Revelation 14: 1 - 16 describes the spiritual the work and the reaping of the family
of God by Jesus Christ.

4. Revelation 14: 17 - 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 time 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.


Chapter 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 God determines that no else will repent and be sealed.  Revelation
7: 3.  The ‘silence’ means that the angels are not singing – thus no one is being
saved. The prayers of ALL the saints have gone up as sweet smelling savior before
God.  “And the earth's grapes are ripe.”  Revelation 14: 18.

After the half hour of silence, seven particular angels -- who stand before God --
were 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 first six verses indicate that the beginning of tribulation, the beginning of the
end, correspond with the arrival of the prayers of all (the last) 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 servants of our God”.  
Although all the family of God is sealed, the last generation of them will still be
physically alive.  That last generation will remain on earth through the trumpet
tribulations, as  Revelation 11: 7 says, “Now when they have finished their
testimony (1260 days after the events described In 8: 1 – 6) 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, only God will know when all of God's
servants are sealed -- -- washed, God “will give power to the beast,” Revelations
13: 7, (allowing the beast) “to kill the last two witnesses on earth.” Revelation 11:
7.  So, there would be no more witness and satan will be in total control of the
earth.  Thus, after the explanation of Rev. 8: 1 – 5 no more people will be saved
and final destruction will began.

An earthquake will precede 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 or second 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 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.” Verse 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 signal / prophecy the destruction of one third 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 that of 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 more severe / more
destructive times of tribulation.

The fifth trumpet

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 four.

The star will be one of the fallen angels that were cast out of heaven.  Revelation
12: 4 says, “his tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the
earth”.   The fallen star opens the abyss.  The locusts have a king, his name is
“abaddon” in Hebrew -- and “apollyon” in Greek – both means 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.    He is a spiritual being who is leader of the
destruction done by the visionary locust -- 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 rebellious, “only those people who did not have the seal of God on their
foreheads”.  Verse four.  This evil spirit, or spirits, will not harm the earth, trees, or
grass as at the sounding of the first 4 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 rebellious mankind -- spiritually.

Revelation 9: 7- 10 says, “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.”  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 four 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
seven.  Thus, the visionary locusts are an evil spirit that will cause the family of
satan to – devour -- eat each other and torture each other.  Verse five.  These
locusts with large teeth prepared for battle gives a physical picture of spiritual
beings (demons) manipulating and partnering with mankind in devouring /
destroying physical mankind spiritually -- only those rebellious against God.

The locusts wore “something like gold crowns”.  Verse seven.  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 rebellious
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 / example of the misuse of the God-given
crown of choice by the rebellious.

The fact that the locust faces resembled human faces and their hair was like
woman'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 is 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 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 first, then, Eve was created as
his help mate.  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 which is misused.  The misuse /  /
immoral use of God given beauty often brings great heartache and trouble among
mankind – stings like a scorpion’s strike.  

The locust’s faces “resembles 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 traits or 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.  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-- 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 or 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 destruction of sexual immorality.

The visionary locust’s 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, 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 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 rushing into battle.  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 – ‘lion’s 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; and, 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.

The ideology, way of thinking, 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 seven.  They have the freedom to choose their
lifestyle and business endeavors -- crowns.  Verse seven.  They possess the God-
given beauty and created abilities necessary to pursue their endeavors -- human
faces and women's hair.  Verse eight.  They are ferocious – lion’s teeth --  Verse
eight, as they pursue their desires.  They protect themselves against all threats and
have no conscience of fair play -- breastplates of iron.  Verse nine.  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 rebellious,
verse four, 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, would 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 home and family.  
Once while doing pastoral visiting at a local hospital, I met in the hallway 3 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 hall way, 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 God-given traits which in turn brings guilt.  Guilt that is not
dealt with brings -- like an enter gnawing, a devouring and a hardening of the
heart.  So, through mankind's rejection of God's moral laws the rebellious are
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.  

Rebellious mankind as depicted in the 5th trumpet have as their king – the
destroyer.  (An evil spiritual being).  They did not choose nor would not have
chosen the destroyer as their king.  They believe that they rule their own lives.  

BUT THEY REJECTED JESUS CHRIST --- THUS THE DESTROYER IS THEIR KING.  



The sixth trumpet and the 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 in Revelation 7: 1 -- 3.  “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; do no harm to the land or the sea or the trees
until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.”

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 thus preventing
any destructive wind from destroying the earth before the -- the family of God are
sealed.  The four Angels in verse one are the same four Angels as in verse two.  
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 mph,
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.  So, 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 begins.  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 as stated in Revelation 9: 15, which says, “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”.

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.  Versus 15 and 16 says, “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.”  Since the Angels released at the Euphrates
River unleashes 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 another 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 live. 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 the family of satan from killing the family of God.  
Also, these angels would remain bound until the sounding of the sixth trumpet in
Revelation nine.  The binding of these angels, that prevent 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 live 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, Revelation 16: 12 - 14 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.”  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 protects 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 royal -- satan and his cohorts -- -- 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 then 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 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.  Versus 20 -- 21 says, “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.”  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.



Chapter 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 fiery 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
final, are 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.

Revelation 10: 5 - 7 also upholds the possibility that the message of the “seven
thunders” relates to the last days of the family of God.  The Scripture says, “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.

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 will 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 / 6th trumpet and the third woe / seventh
trumpet.
At the end of the second woe / 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 / 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.

A glimpse of the nature of the message is seen in Revelation 10: 8 - 11, “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 ask 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.”

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 consumes, 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' 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 -- message -- 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.



Chapter 11


Revelation 9: 13- 21 is a description of the events of the second “woe” that occur 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 effect 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 42 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 specific 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 too clearly in
verses two and three which say, “They will trample the Holy City for 42 months.  
And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1260 days,
clothed in sackcloth.”  The Gentiles will trample the Holy City for 42 months, and the
two witnesses will prophesy for 1260 days.

There are two specific time periods; 1).  42 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 in time.  30 days = one month x
42 months = 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 & 8: 1 - 6 and the ending is when the beast is given power
to make war against and conquer the family of God.  Revelation 13: 7.  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.”

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 particular 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, 70 A. D. 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 has 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 testimony.  

John was told to not measure the outer court.  The outer court has dimensions, but
God, 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’ 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.  We believe that the Jews would be included in the New
Testament era as part of every nation language and tribe – all who call upon the
name of the Lord will be saved.  



Interpretation of biblical ‘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 and 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:
70 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: 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
desolation's have been decree.  He will confirm a covenant with many for one
“seven”, but in the 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.

70 “sevens” are decreed to put an end, or bring to a conclusion, God's work of
redemption and Revelation.  Read verse 24 again.  These 70 “sevens” are divided
into three time spans; seven “sevens”, 62 “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 = 49 years.
2.) 62 “sevens” -- coming of Christ = 434 years
3.) 1 “seven” -- end of time = 7 years.

Seven sevens = 49 years, 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 -- 49 years was decreed to rebuild it. History says that it took
50 years to rebuild the Temple.

62 “sevens” -- -- the time span from the rebuilt Temple to the anointed One – Jesus
-- is “cut off”.  62 x “sevens” = 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 62 weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself; …”
History says that there was approximately 400 years between the Old Testament
and the New Testament.  History also says that Jesus was crucified at about 32 to
34 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 “time” is more
accurate than known recorded history.  Even so, the biblical “time”, and the
historical record is so very close -- 434 years.

3. One "seven" -- 7 years in which God will confirm a covenant.  However, in the
middle of this seven-year, (3 1/2 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.  3 1/2 years = 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 62 “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’ 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 62.  "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" 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 so that we would not receive that
knowledge, also, we are 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 began.

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 3 1/2 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, 3 1/2 – 1260 days, with the establishment
of the abomination following 30 days later.  Also, Revelation 11: 3 says, "and I will
give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1260 days...." This
verse tells us that God will provide protection for His two witnesses, who will
prophesy for 1260 days or 3 1/2 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 "42 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 3 1/2 years and the
bowls -- during the last 3 1/2 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 -- sacrifice abolished. Then
30 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 = = 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 45 days more.  Therefore, it is saying that
‘Blessed’ are the family of God, who survives 75 days after the killing of the two
witnesses which is 45 days after the setting up of the abomination that causes
desolation.

There are two scripture passages that allow this to be so; Revelation 11, and
Matthew 24.  In Revelation 11: 7 the two witnesses are killed, then in verses 11 –
12 they are resurrected and ascended 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" = seven years or 2520 days

Middle of one "seven" = 3 1/2 years or 1260 days.

1260 days = two witnesses killed -- sacrifice ended.

1263 1/2 days = two witnesses resurrected.

1263 1/2 days, plus 1 hour = severe earthquake.

"Soon" after, verse 14, 1263 1/2 days plus 1 hour = seventh trumpet blown and
God begins to reign.

1290 days = establishment of abomination by the beast. Revelation 13: 14.

1335 days = rapture of remaining Christians. Revelation 11: 19.

2300 days = "both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled underfoot….. then
                     the sanctuary shall be cleansed.” Daniel 8: 13b & 14b.  

2520 days -- end of the one - "7" = satan is bound & the millennial reign of Christ
                    begins.  Revelation 20: 1- 4.
                    Also refer to Matthew 24: 22.  "Those days were shortened."

TIME ---- 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 -- time of the tribulation,
which begins as recorded in Revelation 8: 1 and following.

Revelation 11: 2b says, "They will trample the holy city for 42 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 too 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 or 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 -- part of the family of God.  The Gentiles, who reject salvation
through Jesus, are those who trample the holy city for 42 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" = family of satan will trample the
holy city for 42 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.


Who are 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 Zachariah 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 (Zachariah) 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."  Zachariah 4: 2.

The angel seemed to avoid the question by entering into a dialogue about
Zerubbabel.  Two more times, versus 11 & 12 Zachariah asked about the two olive
trees.  The angel again replied, "Do you not know what these are?  ‘No my lord,"
said Zachariah.

After the third time, the angel said, "These are the two who are anointed to serve
the Lord of all the earth."  Zachariah 4: 13 - 14.

The fact that there is much discussion over the olive trees, gives importance to
them.  Zachariah's three questions have a progressive nature that narrows the
question to the olive trees.  Verse four is a general question; "What are these, my
lord?"  Verse 11 is more direct; "What are 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 -- lampstand, bowl, seven lights, golden oil - the two
olive trees have prominence in the eyes of Zachariah, 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 -- set aside to carry out orders -- is illustrated within this text at least four
times.  First, Zachariah 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 Zachariah 5: 1 - 4.  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, 30 feet long and 15 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, 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."

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 Zachariah, who wrote, the word of the Lord
came to me; “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 for 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."  Zachariah 6: 9 -
15.

Zachariah 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.  Chapters 1 - 2.  Within, the directive to rebuild 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, evangelist and witnesses proclaim the Word
of God, sin is condemned, and the houses of sinners are torn down -- spiritually.  
Therefore, those who or anointed -- 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, -- the Branch
-- fulfilled the spirit and purpose of the “two olive trees”.   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 are two
lampstands and 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.

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 the
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 have rejected Jesus Christ stand 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 42 months.  Again, this is the same
amount of time, 42 months x 30 days = 1260 days.  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 states, "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 42 months is mentioned twice in Revelation.  The Scripture says, "They will   
trample on the Holy City for 42 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 42 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 42 months refer to the family of satan, who
are given particular power to fight against God and His people.

I believed for long while that, not only were the 1260 days and 42 months the same
span of time, but that they occurred simultaneously in history.  But --- I believe that
the best interpretation is that the 1260 days are the first 3 ½ years of tribulation
and the 42 months are the last 3 ½ years or – great tribulation.
1260 days – the last generation of the family of God are still on earth.
42 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.  At the
same time, the two witnesses and the rest of the family of God, though persecuted,
will be protected from annihilation as the battle intensifies during the 1260 days
until their testimony is finished.

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 all of every nation, tribe, people and language who is going to be
saved, have been saved, but their testimony will not be finished until every
opportunity has been given to mankind.   Only God knows that point in time when all
have been saved – then tribulation begins and still God continues His witness even
though no one is receiving the Gospel – giving proof positive evidence that no one
will repent.

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 too are killed by God.  
Thus, this is God's final witness to mankind.  So, with the illustration in Zachariah,
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.  
THE REBELLIOUS OF MANKIND WILL HAVE NO DEFENSE OR ARGUMENT AT THE
GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT !!   

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.
"... 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 -- 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.  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 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 / deceived , 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, they are a
few leaders, but the majority is followers.  Thus, the physical beast -- false prophet
etc. (leadership of the rebellious) -- 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 but spiritual.  It began in the 1st family and
has continued through all of history.  Every human being, of a sound mind, is in the
battle and all are effected by it.

--- 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 .

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 rebellious 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 rebellious mankind.  The two
witnesses will neither purposefully offend nor be angry with the enemy, nor will
they fight physically with them.  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 Pilot asked
Him, aren't you going to answer?  See how many things they are accusing you of.  
But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilot was amazed."  Mark 15: 3 - 5.

Although Jesus could have called more than 12 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.

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 -- 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, televisions, 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.  Matthew 13: 24 -
30.

satan's ultimate deception is prophesied in Revelation 13: 14 -- 17, which 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 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."  

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 will be 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 too imprison and to kill.  Through his family
-- the beast etc., 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 - 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: 7
which says, "When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these
things will be completed."  God has never prevented the killing -- 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 (two,
referred to interpreting principle, # 1), 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 gained 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 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, 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.  
Self is God, and they desire power over others.  It is commonly known that those
who come out of satanism find it very hard to give up the powers they possessed 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 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 3 1/2 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 Lott and
his family.  Genesis 19.

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 sorcerer's, 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 "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 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 thus they 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 3 1/2 days Men from
every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refused 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 3 1/2 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 world-wide 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.

Revelation 11: 13 says, “At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a
tenth of the city collapsed.  7000 people were killed in the earthquake, and the
survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven."  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 10 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 10 were waiting for the Lord's return.  All 10 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 speaks 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 gospel
would be preached in the whole world is 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.  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.  Then the
remaining Christians, who are not part of the two witnesses escape their enemies
and survive in hiding until they meet the Lord in the air.

Revelation 11: 13, says, "At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a
10th of the city collapsed.  7000 people were killed in the earthquake and the
survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven."

Please note;  The 7000 people killed in the earth quake is probably not a literal
7000, but the complete ‘thousands’ who are killed by the quake.

Then a limited number (2) 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."  Revelation 11: 12.  Some time afterwards, (at 1335 days)
those who have escaped death, who are silent ‘believers’ will meet the Lord in the
air as part of the rapture and simultaneous resurrection of the family of God. --  
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."  Having passed and the third coming soon lead 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 that the greatest woe or disaster -- to refer to spiritual "woe"
not 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."  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: 13 - 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 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 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 evil that 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),
-- that is the greatest woe.  All of physical mankind, then, will be worshiping satan;
there will be nothing left to do but to destroy the "natural brute beast, made to be
taken and destroyed,..." II 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 and also being forced to worship
satan as God.

The three woes illustrate three different but overlapping ways in which mankind
condemns themselves before God.  1).  As mankind rejects Jesus Christ – they
receive a god, the destroyer – thinking that they are God, self becomes god.  2).  
Through great tribulation they harden their hearts – refuse to repent – follow a one
world system.   3). They completely reject the creator God and are forced to
worship an idol – an evil spirit as 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 -- 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 themselves,
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 should cause mankind to realize this worlds
system will not work --- but they refused to repent.  

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 given choice and must choose.  
Having rejected God they must worship satan.  As one chooses or is forced to
worship satan -- he becomes part of the third or greatest, "woe" and lives the
consequences of the 7th trumpet.   


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 after God has closed
the door to heaven, "and have begun to reign."  (Complete control) Verse 17.  God
has been reigning throughout history but created mankind with a choice in his own
destiny – ‘crown’.  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 10 virgins and the wedding
feast explained clearly this time that corresponds with Revelation 11: 15 -- 18.

"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.


Chapter 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 12 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 -- 3 1/2 years of the seven-year tribulation.

Revelation 12: 6 -- “Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a
place prepared by God, that they should feed her there for 1260 days.”

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 choose and except Jesus Christ as Lord.
*** They are God's chosen, as each one chooses – who chooses to believe
   and except Jesus Christ as Lord according to God’s plan.
*** But -- because God knew before I was born -- does NOT mean that I knew.
*** I did not know, thus -- I must make a decision -- choice. I must choose to use
   my guaranteed freedom of choice – “crown” of the first seal.

I believe that the “woman” of Revelation chapter 12 represents all of mankind, who
believe in God, have chosen Jesus Christ as Lord -- 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 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 become the true family of God.

The woman had "on her head a garland of 12 stars." I believe this characterizes
the 12 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 which
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 10 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, 10 horns and
seven diadems.  The seven heads are the complete number of entities -- empires,
dynasties, kingdoms, nations -- that are manipulated by satan and that carry out
satan's desires on earth.  The 10 horns represent 10 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 10 horns you saw are 10 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, 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) Versus 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). Versus 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 describes 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 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 nine, and is described as being
personally involved in fighting against God's Angels, verse seven, 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 / explanation
of satan and his work on earth.  Revelation 17: 7 - 8, 11.


satan B. C.


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
referred to in versus 1 - 2.  The woman, interpreted as God's chosen people, Israel
-- 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 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 became partners in
crime as they tried to stamp out the followers of Jesus Christ.  This partnership
progressed to become the beast of Revelation Chapter 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' 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 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 -- 7 heads and all
the authority -- 7 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 – first seal – ‘crown’.

Chapter 13


In Chapter 13 satan’s character and purpose is explained as he works through the
beasts.  In verse one John said, "and I saw a beast coming out of the sea."  In
verse 11, the 2nd beast comes out of the earth, and there after, 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 of the false prophet are cast into
the "fiery 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 beast in Chapter 13, which continues
through the woman on the beast in Chapters 17 and 18, then Chapter 20 returns to
the dragon.

The era of the beast
satan A. D.

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 king's 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.  God works through His true believers from Pentecost to the time of
the two witnesses in Revelation 11 and until the last of the family of God is
raptured. Rev 14: 14 – 16.

During the Old Testament period, God related to mankind through the spoken
word, dreams and visions, etc. however, on the 49th 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 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 / spiritual.  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 rebellious / and the satanic church in all its aspects and
is led by its head and spiritual leader -- satan.

Verse one 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 up on 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 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 in 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 in 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 10 horns and seven
heads, with 10 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 -- 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 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 10 Horns


"The 10 horns you saw are 10 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 10 kings are 10 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 may not mean -- 60 minutes, but a very limited span of time.
(Refer to interpreting principle number one.)

These 10 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 also 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 10 horns are the last 10 kings -- presidents, prime ministers, etc.  --
who rule physical mankind on physical earth.  



The 10 crowns on his 10 horns


"He had 10 horns and seven heads with 10 crowns on his horns, and on each head
a blasphemous name.  Revelation 13: 1b.

Crowns represent authority and the 10 horns -- kings -- have authority.  satan is
given authority, Revelation 12: 3, and he passes that authority to the beast, and to
the 10 kings as the physical kings of the family of satan.  Revelation 17: 12 - 13
says, "The 10 horns, you saw are 10 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 – so, the beast also is given certain limited authority and the 10 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 10 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 a wild being lashing out to destroy everything.  This is also shown
in Revelation 17: 16, "the beast and the 10 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 42 months."

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 mouth and a loudmouth that defies everything -- satan
and his beast defies and ridicules 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.




Two-fold 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, nor 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 the 1260 days and will
conclude after 42 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 two-fold 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, the believers and followers of God are
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 leadership 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".  Churches will probably be
filled to capacity the Sunday after the two witnesses are 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 who 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
make 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 may be one of the seven kings.  The 1st beast is
idolized by the 2nd beast as he sets up the image of the 1st beast and forces the
whole to worship the image.  Thus, there will be a king -- whom satan will set up as
a person who will seem to be the Messiah – indeed will be a false messiah.  

      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 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.  

The interpretation of ‘666’ ---;  
The last verse of Rev. 8 says there are coming 3 ‘woes’ that correspond with the
remaining 3 trumpets.  
The 1st ‘woe’ is summed up – they have a king over – the destroyer.  
The 2nd ‘woe’ is summed up – they still did not repent of their sins as enumerated.
The 3rd ‘woe’ is summed up – in that they were forced to worship the image of the
beast.  

Thus --- 3 ‘woes’ ---  equals 3 ‘666’s ---- equals incomplete, without God, without
choice – doors of heaven are closed – they are outside.  

Thus, the last generation of the rebellious family of satan will be unique in all
history.  They will be the only generation of mankind who have NO CHOICE.   

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 = 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 10 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.



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 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 three children of the family of satan


The peoples of the earth are quite diverse, as created by God, and yet all peoples
basic nature is much the same.  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 given instructions that 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.  Thus, three ways or manners that mankind
rebelled and through which satan enhanced their rebellion.  

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 / given 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 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 lust by their own abilities, thus, making themselves to be 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 and rejects God's plan for salvation and
places all hopes of a future in the things of this world.  She fulfills her desires and
lust, Revelation 17 and 18 without considering the consequences of eternity, and
the destiny of eternal souls.

The false prophet


The false prophet is a child / or product 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; I John 4: 1 - 6; and II 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 are committed too and controlled by
satan -- receives their 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, nor 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 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.
1. warlocks.
2. witches.
3. High priest of the occult.
B. Practicing occultist.
1. Idol worshipers.
2. Worshipers of creation – the sun, the moon and stars, etc.
3.  Certain religious organizations, who reject God's plan through Jesus Christ.

II. The great prostitute.
A. Those, who make the things of this world, their god's.
1. Materialists -- possessions are god.
2. Those who are completely self-sufficient -- -- self is god
3. Nationalist -- nation or ideology is god.
4. Those who have no time for God, -- the thing that takes their time is their god.
5. Those who are blinded by sin -- -- self is god.
6. Those who are blinded by the desires of the world -- -- self is god.
7. Those who are blinded by satan -- satan is their god.
8. Those who are blinded by hypocritical "Christians" -- ignorance of God.
B. atheist -- -- those who believe there is no God.

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 who have not made a personal commitment
to Jesus Christ, resulting in salvation – not born again.

Chapter 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, but the actual event is explained in Rev. 14: 14 – 16.
(The 7th trumpet is sounded in verse 11: 15 and the message of the 7th trumpet
continues through chapter 14.)   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 ---

Yet, 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 there
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 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 – (live 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
come 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’.  
II 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, I kings 8: 1; II 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; Zachariah 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 rather than
Jerusalem, mankind may be saved anywhere, anytime they "call upon the name of
the Lord."  We do not have to face Jerusalem to pray, but we know that our
spiritual savior hears our prayers were ever 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 descendants of
12 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 -- redeemed -- 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 in two areas of sin, as related in verse 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.

To include the fact that they did not “defile themselves with women” 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 sin, excepting Jesus
Christ and lied no more.  They serve the living God and were blameless.

The Bible says, "They follow the Lamb, where ever 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 where ever 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 is
particularly strong and moral witnesses who stand with the Lamb on Mount Zion.  
As such, they are preachers, evangelist, 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 -- -- if that person
determines to believe in God -- and to receive Jesus Christ as Lord, -- confessing
their sins receiving salvation --- they are, in 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.

I quickly add that this would not necessarily include all who call themselves
preachers, evangelist, teachers or 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 they 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 -- 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 in which three Angels give their messages that
are to be proclaimed to the whole world.  These messages are to be proclaimed
during the time of the first beast, Revelation 13: 2 - 10, that is the time in history
from Pentecost to 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 finished, only when the Gospel has reached all peoples and all who will
accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ has done so.

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 lust of the
flesh, are 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 5: 24 - 25a.  It 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."  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.  


The Harvest of the Earth


In Revelation 14: 14 - 20 there are two scenes depicting the 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 1st 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 a more complete description of the event in  I
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 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 -- will not see death, as is common to all mankind, but meets the
Lord in the air.

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 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 trodden 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 -- 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 1600 stadia."

** 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 the that
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 on the white horse.  Their souls will leave
their dead bodies to that place which God has prepared for them 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 Revelation 17 and 18 discussion.  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.  On
Golgotha hill they crucified Him.  In the same manner, the family as 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:  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 wine-
press.  The message of the flowing blood is that there will be many millions 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).



Chapter 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 filled with the wrath
of God."  The fact that the bowls are filled 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
justified in His anger.  For satan, his demons, and the human family of satan has
destroyed God's beautiful creation from the Garden of Eden, through all  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 excepted 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, 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 destructfullness 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 live 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 are 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.  



Chapter 16


"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, bring the end
of physical mankind and the end of the earth -- as we know it.

"The first 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 effect 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 first bowl will be an
act of God, without physical explanation, and probably without cure.

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 20th century, when suddenly it became a very deadly
disease.    I believe that in a similar, but even more deadly -- these 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 resulted from an ever-
decreasing ozone layer, from solar storms – (note: the first and fourth trumpets) --
and from nuclear radiation as 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 1st 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:
"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.  GOD 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.  

Interesting Note ;;  On the 4th day of creation the sun, moon and star were created
– at the 4th trumpet the sun, moon and stars were effected – at the 4th bowl the
sun, moon and stars were effected.   God had an order to His creation and there
will be an order to its destruction.

"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 knowledge Him.  It has been the same continuously over
the ages.  They harden their hearts, even more than Pharaoh, king of Egypt 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 10 kings and subordinates, Revelation 17: 12 - 13, of the
family of satan -- 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, Who will have plunged them so
they think, as they blame God into this calamity.  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.  They have not 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, etc.  Life follows the same type of
process.  God has put in process, a system through which mankind sins,
acknowledges their sin's, 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.

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 physical family of satan -- by
giving them strong warning 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 continued 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 bow, 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, brings 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.

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 10 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 -- 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 is 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
10 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 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 were "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 10 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 that the family of satan at that time will be in control of all the earth; that,
they 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 think they
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 and 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.

The Battle of Armageddon is set!  satan, the demons, the beast and the false
prophet -- 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 nor bombs nor nuclear fallout!

A great earthquake like no other will rip the earth apart.  So that 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!! --- and creation was created -- ALPHA;

God will speak, and creation will be destroyed -- OMEGA!!



Chapter 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 specifies that one of the angels came and spoke to John is
important to help us understand that Chapter 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 in chapter 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

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 -- satan.

    The true church -- 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 -- woman on the scarlet beast.

    The true church -- 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.

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 then in
    Christ.

Thus, the great prostitute is an anonymous, worldwide entity that is comprised of
the family as satan and directed by satan 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," then "many waters" represents all of
mankind.  So, she "sits on" all of mankind and is also comprised of mankind.  This
visionary entity uses peer pressure, coercion, manipulation, threats, bribery, etc &
etc to enlist and control 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.

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
-- bride of Christ, but -- opposite too and opposed too the bride of Christ.  Thus,
she is - some-what - the bride of satan, whom he hates.  Verse 16.

3). "Sitting on a Scarlet beast."  Revelation 17: 3.

The beast she is sitting on -- also rides, verse eight, 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 forehand:
Mystery; babylon the great; the mother of prostitutes; and of the abominations of
the earth.

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 too, 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 three.  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 four.  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 system to the exclusion of God and spiritual
things.  This does not mean that they are all wealthy or that all who are wealthy or
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 one’s self to the
exclusion of God from their lives.

The results of this desire are given in James 4: 1 - 3, "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 in 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."  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 live, 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 two, which says,
"With her the kings of the earth committed adultery and the inhabitants of 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 life.

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 eight, "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 five, and "drunk with the blood of the saints,” verse six, and 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
verse 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,
versus 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" 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, John wrote, “five have fallen” -- at the time of the writing of
Revelation, -- “one is”, the other is “not yet come...." verse 10.

Reasoning: -- -- if 7 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 4 -- the five kings could have existed anytime from Adam to Jesus.

Possibility: -- -- it may be possible that these kings -- 7 kings, or (all kings = five plus
1 plus 1 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 # 1 -- King at the time of Noah and the flood.

Period # 2 -- King at the time of the Tower of Babel.

Period # 3 -- King at the time of Egypt and the exodus.

Period # 4 -- King at the time of Elijah and the prophets of baal.

Period # 5 -- 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 which 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 family of God into critical circumstances that required the intervention
of God to save His people.

PLEASE NOTE:
The above explanation of the seven kings is simply a possibility, which 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 time eras, in which God's people have been in great
jeopardy as result of the work of satan and his beast.

satan, himself, is "the eighth king."  Verse 11a.  According to interpreting principle #
1, since ‘7’ 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, therefore, 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 10 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 "10 horns."  As the angel continued to interpret the
vision for John, he said, "The 10 horns you saw are 10 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 10 kings are the kings of Revelation 16: 14, which says, "... go out to the
kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle of 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 Revelation 19: 19, which says, "Then I saw the beast in the kings
of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on
the horse and His army."

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, when
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
intervened and 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.

Explanation: -- 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
the earth.  satan, the eighth king is spiritual -- 7 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 10 kings and will rule
simultaneously in a kingdom without God.  666 – means =  mankind without God.  
(666 interpreting principle # one)

The 10 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 3 1/2 years, of tribulation -- after the two
witnesses have been killed and the family of God is all in heaven.

"The beast and the 10 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 10 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."

In first Samuel eight, 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 I 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, rules 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 king's 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:

A democratic form of government is not evil.  Democracy is the best form of
government ever devised by mankind.  Democracy is great.  It beats a dictator
every day.  What this is saying is that at the time of the end, the king's will be
elected officials --- thus, ruled over -- by the people.


Chapter 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 defies death and judgment
which is common to all and so – defies 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 -- will fall -- only after God's two
witnesses have been killed and resurrected by God.  After that no one else will have
the opportunity to be saved for there will be no more witness.  Therefore, there will
be no reason for earth to continue.  Creation will be destroyed.

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 10 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:
1). The woman sits on all mankind.
2). The message was written to the family of God more than 1900 years -- at least
    -- before these events.
3). There has always been a family of satan.
4). 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,
versus 4 - 5, -- judgment is proclaimed.

"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, sentence -- 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 boast, 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 elaborates 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 -- 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. and etc. will utterly fall
and burn.
   



Chapter 19


The first eight verses of chapter 19 are a record of three songs of praise that are
song 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 "fine linen" which stands for the righteous acts of the saints.  Verse 8b.  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.

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 – worldwide, 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 and they are the whole family of GOD.

Revelation 19: 17- 21 tell of 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, -- as result, -- 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 alike 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.

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 can 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 who had performed the miraculous signs on his -- the beast -- 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" -- deceived -- so as to think they can fight God's heavenly
armies.  These miracles, which are recorded in chapter 13, are as follows:

1). 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.

2). The first beast, defeated his enemies -- the physical family of God.  11: 7
    and chapter 12.

3). The second beast caused fire to come down from heaven in full view of man.
     12: 13.

4). The second beast also caused the image -- statue, idle -- of the first beast to
     both breathe and speak.  He seemingly created life.  13: 15.

When mankind sees these great signs and wonders, they will think they can fight
God!

At the present time, late 20th century and 21st-century, 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 and dragons, etc., magic shows, spiritual warfare among witches, etc.
Most magic shows consist of sleight of hand tricks however, many more then would
be imagined consist of feats performed by demonic powers.  These magic arts, in
their many varieties, 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 priest, 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 King's together to the place that in Hebrew is
called Armageddon.  Revelation 16: 14 - 16.

All of mankind, all creation, from all of history, has waited and been prepared.  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 probable interpretation is that the beast and the
false prophet will be the physical leaders of the spiritual entities that are the satanic
church -- beast -- and the false church -- false prophet.  They will be instantly
destroyed -- killed -- both physically and spiritually.  The Lake of fire is spiritual
death.  Revelation 20: 10; 14 - 15.  They will not -- have their day in court -- as
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 100 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.


Chapter 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 1000 years.  He threw him into the abyss,
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 fits 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 satans confinement to a spiritual prison.  This is the same type
of imprisonment is seen in Luke 16: 26, which states, "... a great chasm has been
fixed."  This is understood to be a barrier "fixed" by God, and no one can cross
over.  The abyss, however, is significantly different in that it will be sealed over
satan.   It is more like solitary confinement in nature than an open prison like in
Luke.  satan, will be confined 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 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, 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, even though it states here that those who gave their lives, "Because
of their testimony for Jesus" and those who had not worshiped the beast, or his
image nor received his mark are described as being priest and will reign with Him.  
Revelation 20: 4.  Although verse 4 describes the last generation of God’s people,
that does not mean they are the only ones there.  Indeed, with the last generation
present – that means that the whole family of God is present.

Rev. 20: 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.   All the family of
God will take part in the first resurrection, for there are only two resurrections.  
The first includes the family of God, as they are delivered from the persecution of
the beast, then later the second includes the family of satan, as they are gathered
for the final battle and receive their resurrected bodies for the judgment of the
Great White Throne.   In these verses we are given a vision of the of the family of
God.  but that does not mean that the rest of the family God will not be there. In
fact, all who have ‘called upon the name of the Lord’ have NOT received the mark
of the beast.

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 at the time of
the 7th trumpet -- 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, because Revelation 19: 21 states, "the rest of them were killed ..."  
All 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 1,000-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 12 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 first 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."  These Scriptures and many more speak to the fact
that the family of God will be judged.  In first 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 realized 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 1,000-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 ..." first
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 our
unconfessed sins will be brought to light that we may confess them and be
cleansed.  Then, "God will wipe away all tears".  There will be many tears.  

Fourth -- -- the motives of the heart will be judged.  I believe that there is an
illustration of this in first 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, who were neighbors, friends and
leaders in their local church, who had a misunderstanding.  They became angry,
accused each other and refused to speak to each other for years, though each
continued to be leaders in the church.  At the judgment of the family of God during
the 1,000-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.  
THUS 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 8 a.  There is 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 -- are physically killed as recorded in
chapters 14 and 19. (Mankind at the conclusion of chapter 19, no longer exist 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
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 five.

-- -- 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.  Versus 22 -- 25.

-- -- God's "dwelling place will be with them ..." verse 27.

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 eight.

-- -- 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.

-- -- 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.

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 four.  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 as the leaders
and their armies are the family of satan / all the rebellious / all mankind & angels
who rebelled against God.  

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.  Therefore, the Old Testament prophecies are
glimpses of the end times, then Revelation gives us a fuller prophesy, but not
everything about the end time plan of God for HIS creation.  

Please note ;;;  
Many times / many people have asked – if God is a God of love, then why do bad
things happen to good people.  (Or even bad people).  
In God’s plan for His creation His design and purpose was to build a family to whom
He could intelligently communicate and relate / have fellowship.  Thus, He did not
want to make puppets.  As we humans struggle with the trials of hardship, pain,
tragedy, disease, death, etc., we learn and are molded -- to know right from wrong
– to choose right, to understand physical and spiritual – to believe in God and
choose God’s way, to learn that God is love – then choose to love God with all our
heart, mind and soul & our neighbor as our self.    


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.  God is not confined to time, nor does
He work by our physical clock.

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 is brought against
                  the house of Israel:

                   That resulted with their exile to Babylon.
                  That resulted with the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D.

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.
                 That will bring the resurrection of the family of God.

In Ezekiel 37: 1 – 14; -- God gives a visionary illustration of the resurrection of
                 the family of God in the valley of dry bones:

                 Corresponds with the first resurrection.  Revelation 20: 4 – 6.

In Ezekiel 37:15 – 24; -- God gives an explanation of Israel being
                 brought together as a resurrected family.

                 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 –-- eternal.

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.  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 facts:

As discussed in the 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 the 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 Japheth 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 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.  So – Shem was the more spiritual of the 3 sons of Noah and thus establishes a
spiritual linage that extended throughout the history of Mankind.  

Please note: All the forefathers of Joseph & Mary in Matthew & 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 the
descendants of Shem are part of the family of God, nor that all of the descendents
of Japheth and Ham are of the family of satan.  (Not all 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.  In the
same way, under the Soviet Union Russia was known as atheist but that by no
means determines that all Russians are atheist.  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 descendents 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 represents 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 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 the family of God from Adam and Eve through the two
witnesses and those raptured.

Time era:

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 exemplified in Revelation
13: 5 – 10, but is fully realized in the final battle as described in Rev. 20: 7 – 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 42 months."  Revelation 13: 5.  Then, in Rev. 20: 7 – 8, ‘--- satan will
be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations --- .’

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 42 months (same
time period, 42 x 30 = 1260.) The beast will be given authority for 42 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."  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 1000-year reign
on earth when satan is imprisoned in the abyss.  Then after the 1000 years saten
will be released to attach 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 -- has 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, thus
allowing 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 and spiritually --- eternally.

Also, the message 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 various ways -- carried out by those who are of the family of satan.
This will be a continuing process until the end of time --- end of God's creation.  God
is teaching / purifying / disciplining his people.  

Also, we are told in these chapters that those who were not of 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 -- destroyed 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 and 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 millennial.

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 the 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  
above invasion 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.  They are from every
nation language and tribe in Revelation Chapter 7.  They are not of the physical
nation of Israel, but the true believers from the entire world including the 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.

Understand, -- satan deceiving the nations, as stated above, refers to gog and his
armies, or the family of satan / all the rebellious.  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, he 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 apparently part 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 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:
These chapters in Ezekiel give us difficulty in regard to time sequence of events.
Chapter 37 gives a visionary picture of the first resurrection – then --
Chapter 38 explains the attack of gog & magog after the 1000 years – then –
Chapter 39 explains the events of the battle of Armageddon.

My explanation; Chapter 37 = final events of family of God.
                          Chapter 38 = corresponding final events of 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 & 18.  Nevertheless, as we mesh
together these books of prophesy we have an excellent time table of the end time.

Always remember – our Lord has the final plan – we are trying to learn / trying to
fit it all together.


Therefore, the prophecies of Ezekiel reveal that gog and magog are the eternal
enemies of the family of God.  They are not only the enemy in this physical world,
but they will continue to be the enemy in the spiritual realm.

"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 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.

The family of God will be resurrected with spiritual bodies, which will be like that of
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 -- in
the spirit – and are all the family of God.   Their souls had departed at death and
had gone to be with their Lord. (In the bosom of Abraham).  At the rapture their
bodies were resurrected and united with their souls and spirits.  At Armageddon
they were, ‘---- the armies clothed in fine linen, white and clean.  Thus clothed –
they had bodies – resurrected bodies.  This explanation was given by God to
Ezekiel, a glimpse, 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 receive their resurrected bodies, 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, all of Earth and
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 other beside
him.  "Every knee shall bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is
Lord."

"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," in Rev. 20: 8 refer
to satan's family – in hell.  In the same way "the four winds ... of the heavens" in
Rev. 7: 1 refer to God's family -- who is 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 II 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 hell are not necessarily far away as in some distant galaxy, but is 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, who are living on earth in resurrected spiritual
bodies.  satan will be destroyed, and 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 and 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, who 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 receive their resurrected bodies to stand before the
judgment of the Great White Throne.

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 thus 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."


Chapter 21


Then John saw another scene that shows the final destination of the family of God.  
It is a beautiful scene.  It seems to be the clearest and best described scene of all of
Revelation, and rightly so, for God is showing to His people who are suffering
persecution and who will continue to suffer -- that beautiful home that He has
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 in 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 King's 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
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 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 --
Jesus Christ."

The price has already been paid for your free gift.  It was Christ 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
free gift -- 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 chose 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 physical.

Believe that -- -- Jesus Christ is the only Son of God.  That Jesus Christ is the
                  only one who came from heaven -- the spiritual realm -- into the
                  physical world by 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 -- -- -- they have personally sinned.

Understand that -- -- they are condemned by God, because of sin.

Understand that -- -- they must confess their personal sin to Jesus Christ.

Understand that -- -- -- they must choose Jesus Christ, turning from their sin 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 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 ask Jesus Christ to come into my heart.