REVELATION 3-6

V. The Message of the Book. V. 1:4-22:21

     1. The Things which thou hast seen. V. 1:4-19

     2. The Things which are. V. 2:20-3:22

          A. The message to Ephesus. V. 2:1-7

          B. The message to Smyrna. V. 2:8-11

          C. The message to Pergamos. V. 2:12-17

          D. The message to Thyatira. V. 2:18-29

 

CHAPTER 3:

 

          E. The message to Sardis. V. 1-6

V. 1

1. These messages to the churches in Chapters 2‑3 have a three fold meaning:

A. Primary application.  They are written to a specific church, having a local and direct bearing upon the church to which it was written.  Each letter was a measuring rod by which each church could know its standing in the sight of the risen Lord.

B. Personal application.  Every message can be applied in some way to our local church.  Also every message applies to every individual Christian.  For example: "He that hath an ear, let him hear." and "To him that overcometh."

C. Prophetic application.  Each message is a prophetic message as to the condition of the churches during that section of time in church history beginning with the church during Jesus' earthly ministry and ending at the rapture.

2. Prophetically, Sardis represents the time in church history from approximately AD 1500 to AD 1750.

3. "Angel" = messenger; the pastor who was responsible for delivering the message to individual members; the Lord delivers His message to His pastors and they in turn, if they are faithful watchmen, pass the message on to the members of the church he pastors.

4. "Church" = ekklesia; a called out assembly of baptized believers who meet together to worship and glorify the Lord.

5. "In Sardis" = speaks of the church's geographical location; one important thing to note‑‑none of these churches had a building to meet in; we do not know where they met--they may have met in homes or in a lean to, but it doesn't matter; the main thing is that they were saved people who met together and had a pastor and now the Lord sends them a specific message.

6. "Sardis" = the city was located about 50 miles S‑SE of Thyatira; it was the ancient capital of the country of Lydia; it would be located in the country of Turkey today; here are listed some facts about this city:

A. It was an important city because it was located on the commercial trade route running east and west through Lydia.

B. Seven hundred years before this writing, Sardis was one of the greatest cities in the world because of its wealth.  The wealth was partly due to a river that ran through the town from which gold was taken.  In Sardis the first gold and silver coins were minted, thus, money was invented there.

C. In 546 BC the Persian Emperor, Cyrus the Great, attacked and captured the city and it was said he took the equivalent of 600 million dollars from the treasury of the city.  Affluence leads to apathy (unconcern) and that is the reason the city was captured.  No one really cared so they were not watching and were caught unaware.

D. The city was ruled by other world rulers and finally by Rome at which time Sardis was still a wealthy city.

E. In AD 17 the city was destroyed by an earthquake and Rome's money help build back the city.  Because of this great indebtedness to the Romans, the city gave itself completely to the cult of Emperor worship.

F. Prophetically this period of church history (1500 to 1750 AD) is known as the Reformation.  "Sardis" means "escaping ones" or "those who come out."

1) In the period of church history, Smyrna was persecuted by Rome, Pergamos was accepted by Rome, Thyatira was controlled by Rome, and Sardis, some of the saints pulled out of Rome and started Protestant churches.  I am inclined to believe that they did not come out far enough.

2) Reformation in its beginning was a Divine work of the Holy Spirit out of which came Protestantism, which is a human system with God left out‑‑does not have truth, believes in works for salvation, and has another spirit.  Baptist are not Protestants.

G. Yet in the midst of all that the Lord had planted one of His churches in this city.

7. "Write" = to express in written characters upon parchment or other material.

8. "These things" = refers to the things He is about to say to the church in Sardis.

9. "He" = "I" = the Lord Jesus Christ who identifies Himself in this introductory message as:

A. "He that hath the seven Spirits of God:"

1) Seven is the Divine number for expressing completeness and fullness.

2) Speaks of the Holy Spirit in plentitude of His power and perfect work.

3) Listed in Isa. 11:2 as prophecy (implied), wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, and fear.

B. "He that hath....the seven stars" = (Rev. 1:20) describes the Lord as He holds the pastors, messengers in His right hand; this was given to remind all who were in the church at Sardis that the pastors are in His right hand and they must take their orders from Him and give account directly to the Lord Himself; the Lord is the sovereign Head of His church and through the Holy Spirit He carries out His program; it could have been that some individual, or group had usurped authority, so He reminds them that He holds the seven stars.

10. "Know" = to have absolute positive knowledge of the facts; absolute certainty; this phrase is spoken to all seven churches and speaks of the Lord's absolute knowledge of the condition and circumstances of the people.

11. "Thy" = "thou" = the church of Sardis; applies to all saints.

12. "Works" = acts; deeds; things done; activities; this church was probably a beehive of organized activity.

13. "Thou hast a name that thou livest" = there was very little lacking in the outward appearance of that church; it had a reputation for being a progressive church, a live church; most people had a high estimate about the church; it was a church that other pastors probably would have recommended someone to join if they were to move in that area.

14. "And art dead" = startling and terrible truth about the church in Sardis was that it was dead‑‑dead spiritually; in English literature you may have read "The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner"‑‑a poem that reflects the strong imagination of its author as most of those poems did; in the poem, corpses of dead men rise to man the ship; dead men pull the oars, dead men hoist the sails, and dead men steer the vessel; this was imagination but such a condition exists in many churches today; dead men in the pulpit, dead men filling the pews, dead men running the machinery‑‑spiritually dead.

A. It would probably have been difficult to convince its members that this was so, but we know it was so because the Lord said it was.

B. It was functioning largely on its reputation of a once glorious past‑‑we used to do thus and so.

C. They were still reciting their beliefs and saying their prayers and paying their bills, but the fire had gone out.

D. They had a form of godliness, but denied the power thereof. (II Tim. 3:5)

E. Prophetically this represents the Reformation Era of Church History.  The Reformers succeeded in breaking the chains and shackles of Rome and Christianity flourished for a season.

1) The reformation began to cool and lapse into formal, lifeless, cold orthodoxy, and legalistic rituals.

2) The great Reformers died and those who replaced them led the church into systems‑‑Protestantism.

3) Instead of searching Scripture, they begin to follow tradition.  Spiritual power was gone and they had lost their zeal.  Soon the church had a name that it was alive, but it was dead.

4) Protestantism did not produce gross corruption and horrible spiritual fornication but produced spiritual slumber that eventually led to other gross sins.

5) The church was asleep‑‑dead.  It was alive in name only.

 

V. 2

1. "Be watchful" = become a watcher‑‑implies a change is needed before the watching can come about; give strict attention to; expresses the idea of being wakeful, sleepless, as the watchfulness of one who is intent upon a thing; same word is translated "vigilant" in I Peter 5:8‑‑the devil is always on the job.

2. Sardis is a prime example of what happens to the church whose watch is slack. (Rom. 13:11; I Cor. 16:13; Mat. 26:41)  Temptation waits for our unguarded moments and then it attacks.  Every saint is under attack by spiritual wickedness in high places which seek to lead you astray. (Eph. 6:12)  Many times these attacks are subtle and concealed and one must be always watchful.  Don't even trust yourself and don't say, "I won't ever do that." (I Cor. 10:12)

3. "Strengthen" = to set firmly; as if to pour concrete around it; to build up.

4. "The things which remain" = refers to the few good elements of faith and practice which still survived.

5. "That are ready to die" = some things about the church were still alive but at the point of death; Sardis was still a church‑‑the candlestick was not yet removed.

6. "I" = the Lord who is a competent and compassionate physician; a competent and compassionate doctor will stand guard over the last remaining evidence of life and nourish it with the greatest of care.

7. "Found" = to find by searching; negated by "not."

8. "Works" = deeds; actions; activities.

9. "Perfect" = fulfilled.

10. "Before God" = in the presence of God; He is an all seeing God and knows all things; they had a name before men that they were alive but before God they were ready to die‑‑Sardis was not carrying out God's purpose for their existence.

11. The Reformation raised up a group of men who came out from Romanism and who rescued much from the mortuary of Rome, but they did not go far enough.  State churches were organized along with Denominationalism with its sacraments, forms, and ceremonies, thus becoming a cold and lifeless formalism.

 

V. 3

1. "Remember" = to be mindful of; to call to mind; the tense is a continuous, habitual life style.

2. "Therefore" = in view of the fact just stated in verse 2‑‑that they are on the verge of dying.

3. "Thou" = "thee" = the church of Sardis; applied to all saints.

4. "How" = refers to the readiness with which they accepted the gospel, rather than to the power with which it was preached to them; notice it did not say "what."

5. "Hast received" = to receive what is offered; not to refuse or reject; the tense is perfect tense in the Greek which means a past completed action with existing results, which implies the permanent result of the act of reception. (John 1:12)

6. "Heard" = to understand; to perceive the sense of what is said; the Greek tense (aorist) applies to the hearing at some definite period in their history‑‑past time.

7. "Hold fast" = to watch carefully; to guard; to keep; to observe; the tense indicates a continuous habitual lifestyle; implies to keep the Lord's commands and observe them day after day‑‑walk continually in the Christian way.

8. "Repent" = to change one's mind, attitude, heart and direction‑‑go God's way; the tense describes one definite action once for all.

9. "If" = in case that; provided that; introduces a third class conditional sentence in the Greek with the condition undetermined, but with prospect of determination; there was a possibility that they would not watch‑‑"shalt not watch."

10. Second "therefore" = consequently; outcome for failure to watch; "I will come on thee as a thief" = we usually think of this as the language of the rapture but the saints‑‑children of light, children of the day‑‑will not be caught unaware (I Thess. 5:2‑5; Heb. 9:28); thus, in context this is speaking of the Lord bringing judgment on this church‑‑the church of Sardis would be a specific object of this judgment; the church of Sardis no longer exists.

11. "I" = the Lord.

12. "Thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee" = they would not know before hand; they would have no warning of His immediate approach; this is often the way in which God comes to men in His heavy judgment; long before His judgment, He admonishes them of the consequences of their sin and warns them to turn from it, but when sinners refuse to heed His warning and still walk in the way of evil, He comes suddenly and cuts them down.

 

V. 4

1. "Thou" = the church of Sardis.

2. "Hast" = have.

3. "Few" = little; small number.

4. "Names" = "their" = "they" = equivalent to persons; the Lord knows them by name.

5. "Even" = indeed.

6. "Defiled" = to pollute; stain; contaminate; negated by "not."

7. "Garments" = a metaphor implying "putting on the new man" (Eph. 4:24) or "putting on Christ" (Rom. 13:14) which means to be clothed with.

8. Even in the midst of a church that was dead or was about to die, the Lord said there were a few names which had not defiled their garments.  This means they lived what they professed and practiced what they preached, even in the midst of the world, when the devil was raging, sin was rampant, and days were dry and dark.

9. It is much easier to live for Christ when you are surrounded by godly Christian people.  But the few in Sardis were:

     A. Spiritual among the unspiritual.

     B. Sincere  among the hypocrites.

     C. Humble among the proud.

     D. Separated among the worldly.

     E. They were saints who were living pure dedicated lives in the midst of corruption.

     F. Prophetically, they were the Reformers (1500 to 1750 AD) who stood at all cost.

     G. They were few--in the minority. (Luke 12:32)

10. "They shall walk with me in white" = white is the emblem of innocence and represented as the color of the raiment of the heavenly inhabitants. (Rev. 7:14; 19:8)

11. "For they are worthy" = they have shown themselves worthy to be regarded as followers of the Lamb or they have a character that is fitted for heaven; the merit is not theirs, but Christ's, in whose blood their robes have been washed. (Rev. 7:14)

 

V. 5

1. "He" = "his" = "the same" = refers to anyone who reads this message to Sardis, whether they were a member of Sardis or not; applies to us today since the message is narrowed down to individuals at this point.

2. "Overcometh" = means to gain a victory; to be a conqueror; the tense is a continuous habitual lifestyle; we usually think this is referring to some supernatural, spiritual person but the Bible makes it clear that this is simply one who has been saved (I John 5:4‑5; Note: "believeth" is continuous action which indicates saving faith which never fails in a person after it is exercised); this phrase is spoken in the message of all seven churches with different privileges added.

3. There are three privileges for being an overcomer given to Sardis.

     A. "The same shall be clothed in white raiment:"

1) White is always the color of saintly attire in heaven.  This is the final robing of all saints.

2) White robes in the ancient world also stood for victory.  On the day when a Roman triumph was being celebrated, all citizens clad themselves in white.

3) White is the symbol of purity.  The white robes stood for purity whose reward was to see God. (Mat. 5:8)

4) It is also suggested that the white robes stood for the resurrection bodies, which the saints will some day wear.

5) Men (ministers) in the ministry are referred to as "men of the cloth" thus referring to those who wore special clothing denoting they were a minister of the gospel.  When a minister was excommunicated from the church he was defrocked‑‑means they made him pull off his ministerial robe or garb.

6)  When John Huss was sentenced to death for preaching the gospel in the 1400's, the first thing they did was pull off his ministerial clothing and burned those first.  Then they tied him to the stake and burned him.  The Lord seems to say here, "They may burn your raiment but I'll clothe you in white raiment and you shall walk with me."

     B. "I will not blot out his name out of the book of life:"

1) "I" = "my" = the Lord Jesus Christ.

2) "Blot out" = to wipe away; to smear out; obliterate; erase and leave no trace; negated by "not."

3) "His name" = that is all that is written in the book of life‑‑names.

4) "Book of life" = the book which contains the names of those who are to live with Him forever; a register of those who will live forever‑‑overcomer.

5) There are some who will use this phrase to promote their doctrine of falling from grace‑‑being lost after being saved.  That is false doctrine.  The Lord never used idle words; thus, this is saying that there will be some names blotted out of the book of life but not those who "overcometh"‑‑saved.  When is your name put in the book of life?  I have heard some say that when you are saved your name is written in the book of life.  If that is so, how do babies names and those who have not reached the knowledge of accountability get in the book of life.  Their names have to be there because Rev. 20:15 states plainly‑‑all not in the book of life will be cast into the lake of fire.  When we look in God's Word we find the wicked will be blotted out of the book of the living. (Psa. 69:28)  God has a book of the living in which every child's name is written when they are conceived.  When a person reaches the knowledge of accountability (age he knows good from evil, not right from wrong), his name is subject to being blotted out of the book of living (called book of life in NT).  John 3:36 states the wrath of God abides on all unbelievers and He, who is longsuffering and full of goodness, holds back this wrath granting a space of time for man to repent. (Rom. 2:4)  If a person sins away God's day of grace or dies without trusting Jesus Christ as his Lord, his name will be blotted out (erased without a trace) of the book of life.  When one is saved (become an overcomer), the blood of Christ permanently seals that person's name in the book of life‑‑never to be blotted out.  This book will be used to reveal to all lost at the Great White Throne that there was a place for their name, provisions were made, but all they will see is a blank because their name had been blotted out‑‑erased without a trace.  So sad!

     C. "But I will confess his name before my Father and before his holy angels:"

          1) "Confess" = to acknowledge openly and joyfully the saved to be His followers. (Heb. 2:11)

          2) "Before" = in the presence of.

          3) "Father" = third "his" = God the Father. (Mat. 10:32)

          4) "Angels" = created beings. (Luke 12:8)

 

V. 6

1. "He" = "him" = refers to anyone who reads this message to Sardis, whether they were a member of Sardis or not; applies to us today since the message is narrowed down to individuals at this point.

2. "He that hath an ear" = this is referring to a spiritual ear not a physical ear; refers to the saved in context because of the promise mentioned; if you have been awakened, the Lord gives you an ear to hear; this phrase is mentioned in the message to all seven of the Churches; Jesus used this phrase during His earthly ministry and it is recorded eight times in the Bible, one of which is Mat. 13:9; you are blessed if you have an ear to hear.

3. "Let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches:"

A. "Hear" = to understand; to perceive the sense of what is said.

B. "The Spirit" = the Holy Spirit, who is the teacher of the churches; He is regarded in the Scripture as the source of inspiration.

C. This phrase is used in the message to all the seven churches.

4. These two phrases together could call for self‑examination; therefore, it is narrowed down to individuals, since every man has to give an account of himself in the judgment. (Rom. 14:11‑12)  Do you have an ear?  Are you saved or have you been awakened?  Examine yourself.

 

          F. The message to Philadelphia. V. 7‑13

V. 7

1. "Angel" = messenger; the pastor who was responsible for delivering the message to individual members; the Lord delivers His message to His pastors and they in turn, if they are faithful watchmen, pass the message on to the members of the church he pastors.

2. "Church" = ekklesia; a called out assembly of baptized believers who meet together to worship and glorify the Lord.

3. "In Philadelphia" = speaks of the church's geographical location; one important thing to note‑‑none of these churches had a building to meet in; we do not know where they met‑‑may have been in homes or in a lean to‑‑doesn't matter; the main thing is that they were saved people who met together and had a pastor and now the Lord sends them a specific message.

4. "Philadelphia" = the word means "brotherly love;" the city was located about 30 miles E SE of Sardis where the three countries of Mysia, Lydia, and Phrygia are joined together; it would be located in the country of Turkey today; here are listed some facts about this city:

A. The city was named after its founder and was built at this specific location so it could be a missionary city‑‑not to spread the gospel but to spread the Greek language, culture, literature, manners, and the way of life into the wild tribes of interior Phrygia.

B. The city had large temples with magnificent columns placed in these temples with a citizen's name placed on them to honor them for some great thing they had done.  Thus, it was a prideful city.

C. The city was built on a place where it was subject to severe earthquakes.  In AD 17 both Sardis and Philadelphia were destroyed.

D. In 1974 I visited the city that stands there now and it was the most friendliest city of any we visited in that country, thus, living up to its name‑‑the city of brotherly love.

E. Prophetically this church represents the period of church history from 1750 to about 1950 with some Philadelphia churches being in existence when the Lord comes.  During this period of time the true church began to fulfill the great commission like they had not done in over 1000 years.  This era is known as a great missionary and evangelistic movement, a time of revival, a time when whole countries were shook for God. Two factors led to this:

1) First factor: The Bible was printed in the language of the people, where they could read it.  Rome had kept the Bible from the people and it still does that today.  The King James was translated in 1611 with chapters and verses.  The printing press was also invented during this era and the first thing printed on it was the Bible in the common language of the people.  Ordinary individuals began to take the Bible literally‑‑took it to mean what it said.  William Carey read the Lord's command of Mark 16:15 and just obeyed it.  In 1792 he went before his brethren and pleaded for the world wide cause of missions.  The leaders said, "Sit down, young man, sit down.  When God wants to convert the heathen, He will do it without your help or mine."  They were blinded by the devil but they did not stop William Carey, for he went to India and had great success in the ministry the Lord gave him.

2) Second factor: There was an increased study of the doctrine of the Second coming.  This doctrine had been laid aside since the third century, after Paul and John's influence had moved off the scene.  Now it was revived. The teaching of the second coming contributed to a consecrated and separated church--one that was revived and willing to do what ever the Lord commanded.  (I John 3:3)  No wonder the Lord chose this church to represent the missionary movement period of Church history.  It was referred to as the "Period of Modern Missions."  This period continued to about 1950.  After World War II General Douglas MacArthur made an appeal to America for 5,000 missionaries to saturate the areas stricken after the war.  The churches of America failed to respond and Communism spread like wild fire and the Laodicean church age began to operate in the church and that spirit exists today in most churches of America.

5. "Write" = to express in written characters upon parchment or other material.

6. "These things" = refers to the things He is about to say to the church in Philadelphia.

7. "He" = the Lord Jesus Christ who identifies Himself in this introductory message as:

A. "He that is holy" = "holy" means different, separate from; Jesus is God; therefore, He is different from men; He has the quality and being which men can never have by themselves and which belongs to Him alone.  This is the name, the title, and description of God Himself‑‑Holy. (Isa. 6:3; Rev. 4:8) Because the Lord Jesus is Holy, every word He ever spoke and everything He ever did was holy.

B. "He that is true" = "true" means real or genuine with an added note of perfection and completeness.

1) Christ as the Holy One means He is right in His "character."  As the true one He is right in His "conduct."

2) He could not be different in His actions from what He is in His attributes.

3) When character is right, conduct will be right.

C. "He that hath the key of David" = this fulfills the prophecy of Isa. 22:22 concerning Jesus; the significance of the "key of David" is clear‑‑it is the rule over David's house (Isa. 9:6‑7; Luke 1:31‑33); Christ is absolute Ruler in His kingdom; the key to the house of David is his by legal right and by linage; the key is a symbol of authority and Mat. 28:18 states plainly that all authority (power) was given to Him.

D. "He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth" = He can do what He wants, when He wants, and how He wants‑‑He is sovereign (chief; supreme); when He opens a door no man can shut it and when He closes a door no man can open it; the Devil cannot shut what God opens and he cannot open what God shuts.

 

V. 8

1. "I" = "my" = the Lord Jesus Christ.

2. "Know" = to have absolute positive knowledge of the facts; absolute certainty; this phrase is spoken to all seven churches and speaks of the Lord's absolute knowledge of the condition and circumstances of the people.

3. "Thy" = "thou" = the church of Philadelphia; applies to all saints.

4. "Works" = acts; deeds; things done.

5. "Behold" = a word used to cause the reader to pay careful attention to what is about to be said; turn your ears to it; listen to me.

6. "I have set before thee an open door" = speaks of a door of opportunity to get the gospel out and fulfill the great commission given to the church; remember three countries joined near this city; prophetically during this period (1750 to 1950) there was an open door to churches to get the gospel out.

7. "And no man can shut it" = no man can shut it but our disobedience, our failure to step through the open door, will cause the Lord who has the key to shut it and then no man can open it.

8. Prophetically, the churches did not respond to the request after World War II of General Douglas MacArthur for 5000 missionaries to carry the gospel to the war ravaged countries.  They did not heed the call probably due to being blinded by greed, selfishness, and the lust for pleasure that they failed to see the open door and the Lord shut the door‑‑the iron curtain went up.

9. "For thou hast a little strength" = this does not mean they were weak and feeble but that they made full use of the strength they possessed‑‑the Lord is commending the church; this is speaking of being little in size or small in number; the Lord's followers were always few in number yet there was always victory on the way when they yielded to the Lord.

A. Abraham defeated the armies of four kings with 318 men. (Gen. 14:14‑16)

B. Gideon had only 300 men and He put the whole army of the Midianties to run. (Judges 7:19‑23)

10. "And hast kept my word:"

A. "Kept" = be watchful; to guard; observe.

B. These people were true to the gospel.  They did not yield to the majority who raised doubt and speculations about His Word.  When they heard the word, they guarded it and kept it even though they may not have understood it, but when more of the word came, it was fitted together and they understood and then they obeyed.

C. To them the Word of God was a treasure, so they kept and guarded it even though there were great disadvantages as far as the world was concerned.

11. "And hast not denied my name:"

A. "Denied" = to renounce; to reject; negated by "not."

B. "My name" = the name of Christ stands for all that He is; His full name is Lord (Master) Jesus (Saviour, Mediator) Christ (Messiah). That name suggests His deity, honor, glory, majesty, holiness, eternality, omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence.

C. In the early churches they were persecuted and brought before heathen magistrates and were required to renounce the name of Christ and to disown Him in a public manner.  Polycarp was told to say, "Casear is lord" and he could go free.  But instead he said, "Hear me, I am a Christian!"  It cost him his life, but he did not deny His name.

D. It seems in context it refers to some professed Jews (verse 9) who tried to get the saints in Philadelphia to deny the fact that Jesus was the Christ‑‑Messiah.

E. Whatever the case may have been, they did not deny His name and our Lord commended them for their actions.

 

V. 9

1. "Behold" = a word used to cause the reader to pay careful attention to what is about to be said; turn your ears to it; listen to me.

2. "I" = the Lord Jesus Christ.

3. "I will make" = means the Lord will arrange matters so that this shall occur; implies that He had power to do this, and consequently proves that He has power over the hearts of man, and can secure such a result as He chooses.

4. "Them" = "they" = those who "say they are Jews, and are not" = they were professing Christian Judaizers probably like the ones Paul had problems with everywhere he went‑‑professors not possessors.

5. "Synagogue" = an assembly of Jews formally gathered together to offer prayers and listen to the reading and expositions of the Scriptures.

6. "Synagogue of Satan" = the assembly of those belonging to Satan, the Lord's and our adversary.

7. "Do lie" = speak deliberate falsehoods.

8. "Worship" = to bow down to; to do homage.

9. "Before thy feet" = in the presence of the saints at Philadelphia.

10. "Thy" = "thee" = the church of Philadelphia.

11. "I will make them to come and worship before thy feet" = means that they would be constrained to show the saints honor and respect; they would be constrained to acknowledge that they were the children of God; this does not mean that they would be converted to Christ nor does it mean that they worshiped the saints--they worshiped the Lord by prostrating themselves in the presence of the saints.

12. "And to know that I have loved thee" = reveals that He means that the enemies of His church will yet be constrained to acknowledge that the church enjoys the touch of God and that instead of being persecuted and reviled, it should be respected and loved.

13. When Phil. 2:9‑11 occurs all saints will be with Him.  Proof text: I Thess. 4:16‑17.  Then all the lost will bow and they shall know He loved me.

 

V. 10

1. "Because" = since.

2. "Thou" = "thee" = church in Philadelphia.

3. "Kept" = "keep" = to attend to carefully; to guard.

4. "My" = "I" = the Lord Jesus Christ.

5. "Word of my patience" = the command to endure; speaks to those who have practiced the same kind of patience or endurance as Jesus practiced and displayed in His earthly life.

6. "I also will keep thee" = in like manner He will keep the saints; this is a promise to those who keep the word of His patience‑‑He would keep them: this is always been God's way‑‑"forgive and ye shall be forgiven, give and it shall be given unto you" (Luke 6:37‑38); now He says, "keep and ye shall be kept."

7. "From" = "ek" in the Greek; implies preservation under trial; if "apo" had been used it would imply exemption from trial; the Bible says every man is tempted. (James 1:13‑15)

8. "Hour" = a particular time for something.

9. "Temptation" = solicitation to evil; trials; testing; this hour of temptation is to be no ordinary kind.

10. "World" = the inhabited earth; refers to mankind.

11. "To try" = to test.

12. "Dwell" = inhabit.

13. This hour of temptation is the great tribulation which occurs just before the rapture. (verse 11)  This verse is not saying we will not face tribulation but will be preserved through it.

 

V. 11

1. "Behold" = a word used to cause the reader to pay careful attention to what is about to be said; turn your ears to it; listen to me.

2. "I" = the Lord Jesus Christ.

3. "Thou" = "thy" = the church in Philadelphia; applies to all saints.

4. "Quickly" = speedily; without delay.

5. "I come quickly" = refers to the first part of the second coming when our Lord comes in the air to gather all saints‑‑rapture (not a Bible word but a Bible principle); these words are an encouragement to the church‑‑her trial will be short and her reward is near at hand.

6. "Hold that fast which thou hast" = refers to truth they now possess; the reason for doing so‑‑"that no man take thy crown." (II John 8)

7. "No man" = no one; nobody.

8. "Crown" = refers to the crown of righteousness that is appointed to all believers at His coming, who "hold that fast which thou hast." (II Tim. 4:8; Rev. 22:12)

V. 12

1. "Him" = refers to anyone who reads this message to Philadelphia, whether they were a member of Philadelphia or not; applies to us today since the message is narrowed down to individuals at this point.

2. "Overcometh" = means to gain a victory; to be a conqueror; the tense is a continuous habitual lifestyle; we usually think this is referring to some supernatural, spiritual person but the Bible makes it clear that this is simply one who has been saved (I John 5:4‑5; Note: "believeth" is continuous action which indicates saving faith which never fails in a person after it is exercised); this phrase is spoken in the message of all seven churches with different privileges added.

3. There are four privileges for being an overcomer given to Philadelphia.

A. "Will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out:"

          1) "I" = "my" = the Lord Jesus Christ.

2) "Pillar" = speaks of stability; one can only have stability in this life in Christ; for one who had little strength (verse 8), in heaven he shall be established and made a pillar of strength; in heaven all of God's children will be made a pillar‑‑stable, strong, and established.

3) "He shall go no more out" = he shall be permanent as a part of that spiritual temple‑‑a perpetual witness to what grace can do.

B. "I will write upon him" = three things are mentioned:

1) "The name of my God" = Rev. 22:4 states His name will be in their forehead; this action is future and will take place upon their entrance in glory; to write the name upon anything is a common figurative expression in Hebrew to denote taking absolute possession of and making completely one's own.

2) "And the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God" = indicates that he belongs to that city, or that the New Jerusalem is the city of his habitation; if you address a package and the US Postal service is faithful to perform its duty, it will arrive safe and sound at the proper destination; this means the saved are addressed to the city of New Jerusalem and they will arrive right on time; Rev. 21:2 states John saw this city coming down from God out of heaven and he described it in Rev. 21:11‑21.

3) "And my new name" = we will be identified with the Saviour who bought us; this name will not be Jesus, nor the scores of other names and titles by which He is identified in the Scripture, but a new name; may be the name that causes men to bow and confess in Phil. 2:10‑11; when we return to the earth for the millennial reign, we will be known and read of all men and when they who are living in physical bodies read that new name, then their knees will bend and their tongues will confess that Jesus is Lord.

 

 

V. 13

1. "He" = "him" = refers to anyone who reads this message to Philadelphia, whether they were a member of Philadelphia or not; applies to us today since the message is narrowed down to individuals at this point.

2. "He that hath an ear" = this is referring to a spiritual ear not a physical ear; refers to the saved in context because of the promise mentioned; if you have been awakened, the Lord gives you an ear to hear; this phrase is mentioned in the message to all seven of the Churches; Jesus used this phrase during His earthly ministry and it is recorded eight times in the Bible, one of which is Mat. 13:9; you are blessed if you have an ear to hear.

3. "Let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches:"

A. "Hear" = to understand; to perceive the sense of what is said.

B. "The Spirit" = the Holy Spirit, who is the teacher of the churches; He is regarded in the Scripture as the source of inspiration.

C. This phrase is used in the message to all the seven churches.

4. These two phrases together could call for self‑examination; therefore, it is narrowed down to individuals, since every man has to give an account of himself in the judgment. (Rom. 14:11‑12)  Do you have an ear?  Are you saved or have you been awakened?  Examine yourself.

 

          F. The Message to Laodicea. V. 14‑22

V. 14

1. "Angel" = messenger; the pastor who was responsible for delivering the message to individual members; the Lord delivers His message to His pastors and they in turn, if they are faithful watchmen, pass the message on to the members of the church he pastors.

2. "Church" = ekklesia; a called out assembly of baptized believers who meet together to worship and glorify the Lord.

3. "Of Laodiceans" = in Laodicea; speaks of the church's geographical location; one important thing to note‑‑none of these churches had a building to meet in; we do not know where they met‑‑may have been in homes or in a lean to‑‑doesn't matter; the main thing is that they were saved people who met together and had a pastor and now the Lord sends them a specific message.

4. "Laodicea" = the word means one who is indifferent or lukewarm; the city was located about 40 miles SE of Philadelphia; it would be located in Turkey today; here are listed some facts about this city:

A. The city was founded by Antiochus in 250 BC and named after his wife.  In building the city they offered free citizenship to the Jews to entice them to come and live in the new area.  This was during the time when Israel had no open revelation (written; recorded) after Malachi's prophecy.

B. The reason they wanted the Jews is because they knew that where the Jews were, there was prosperity whether they were in bondage or free (example: in Egypt).

C. The Jews brought trade with them and trade meant wealth, commerce, banking, and manufacturing.

D. Just 34 years (approx.) before this letter was written in 62 AD the Roman governor of the province where Laodicea was located made a decree which prohibited the exportation of any more gold out of the province.  They were running out of gold and they needed to keep it in order to keep their money strong.

E. Every male Jew 20 years old and above was required to send half a shekel each year to the temple in Jerusalem to support the worship of Jehovah there.  (Exo. 30:12‑14)  So the Jews disregarded the ban of the governor against the export of gold and sent their contributions in gold by ship.  The governor seized it and confiscated it‑‑20 lbs. of gold.  This is about 3750 shekels of gold, which represents about 7500 male Jews above 20 years of age in the city and this was just 34 years prior to the writing of this letter.

F. There was a great population of Jewish families in this city.  Wherever that many Jews work and build and trade, there is always an accumulation of riches.  Laodicea was wealthy and became a legend for the gold she possessed.

G. The city became a base for banking houses and millionaires.  The many millionaires combined to build theaters, a huge stadium, lavish public baths, and fabulous shopping centers.

H.  In AD 60 the city was destroyed by an earthquake and the citizens refused the help of Rome and they rebuilt their city themselves.  This shows how wealthy the city was.

I. Part of their wealth came from the garment industry in the city.  They had a breed of sheep raised in that district that was different from any other in the world.  The wool of the sheep was black and its glossy and raven colored beauty, out of which they made cloth, was superior to any other in the world.  Thus, the city was famous for its manufactured cloth.

J. There was a medical center in Laodicea and one of the things manufactured and exported, among other medical products was a tablet bought all over the Roman Empire.  The users crushed this tablet and put it on their eyes in order to heal any eye ailment.

K. This city was situated in a 10 mile triangle with two other cities, Colosse and Heirapolis.  Laodicea had to get their water supply from nearby Heirapolis by an aqueduct, part of which was underground.  This water came from hot mineral springs, boiling hot when it came out of the ground.  As the water traveled through the aqueduct to Laodicea it had cooled off some, thus becoming lukewarm water.  This was their drinking water in Laodicea.

L. This is a meaningful city and church to us because it represents the last of the churches or the last period in the church age which is in this period of time‑‑approximately 1950 till Jesus comes.

M. Today there is not one building standing where this city was. I visited this place in 1974 and stood on a grassy hillside where Laodicea once was a thriving city and all I saw was a few broken columns and rocks that revealed an outline of their stadiums and theaters.

N. In the midst of this city there was an organized church because our Lord told John to write a letter to her.  Even by the time this letter was written she did not have any influence in the city.

O. The Lord had nothing good to say about this church.  Sounds a lot like our day, doesn't it?  Laodicea reveals the breaking down of their distinctive separation.  Their practice was loose.  The world had entered into the church to take over its work in the community.  The church had become so worldly and intermingled with the world that it caused the world to become so churchy that one could not tell them apart‑‑just like the average church today.  Its membership was made up of a wealthy, wanton, self‑satisfied people.

5. "Write" = to express in written characters upon parchment or other material.

6. "These things" = refers to the things He is about to say to the church of Laodicea.

7. The Lord identified Himself to Laodicea as:

A. "The Amen" = the Greek has a definite article "the;" this is a descriptive title of our blessed Lord; means truth and is equivalent to His words in John 14:6, "I am the truth;"  Jehovah is the God of the Amen‑‑He only can add "Amen" to every word He utters; and to every one of His utterances we are compelled to say, "amen"‑‑so be it or it is truth (II Cor. 1:20); what the church at Laodicea should have been and failed to be, Christ is.

B. "The faithful and true witness" = this presents the idea implied in the word Amen in a more complete form; "faithful" asserts the truthfulness of Christ's work as a witness; "true" signifies real and complete; He is a faithful witness because His witness is true and He is a true witness because in Him is the complete realization of all the qualifications which constitute a real and true witness; "faithful" means that which is worthy of faith; Christ was a witness worthy of faith since He possessed all the attributes of such a witness.

1) To be a true witness one must satisfy three necessary conditions:

a. He must have seen with His own eyes that which He tells.

b. He must be absolutely honest so that He repeats with accuracy that which He has heard and seen.

c. He must have the ability to tell what He has to say so that His witness may take its true impression on those who hear.

2) The Lord Jesus Christ perfectly satisfied these conditions:

a. He can tell of God, because He came from God and is fully God.

b. We can rely on His words for He is the Amen, whose words are true.

c. He is able to tell His message for never man spake as this man. (John 7:46)

3) The Lord Jesus Christ is the perfect witness of the things of God to men:

a. He witnessed to the true condition of fallen humanity.

b. He witnessed to the purpose of God in human redemption.

c. He witnessed to the love, mercy, and grace of God.

d. He witnessed by His birth, His life, His death, His resurrection, and His intercessory ministry above.

e. He shall witness when He comes in power and glory.

f. Every promise He has made and every warning He pronounced shall be sure to come to pass.

C. "The beginning of the creation of God" = this statement does not mean that Christ was the first of God's created beings, but rather the One in whom creation had its beginning:

1) For someone to say that Christ is the first creature created by God is contrary to all Scripture, for He, Himself is "the beginning and the ending" (Rev. 1:8; John 1:3; Col. 1:16‑17)

2) This wealthy and worldly church needed to know this truth.  This wealth, even though known by the world in that day, was as nothing compared with Christ and His wealth. (Psa. 24:1)

3) One may be in Christ and yet be poor as II Cor. 6:10 states, "as having nothing, yet possessing all things."

 

V. 15

1. "I" = the Lord Jesus Christ.

2. "Know" = to have absolute positive knowledge of the facts; absolute certainty; this phrase is spoken to all seven churches and speaks of the Lord's absolute knowledge of the condition and circumstances of the people.

3. "Thy" = "thou" = the church of Laodicea; applies to all saints.

4. "Works" = acts; deeds; things done.

5. "Art" = are.

6. "Neither cold nor hot" = this phrase is used three times in verses 15‑16; the Lord is using terms they understood to make a spiritual application:

A. "Cold" = physically‑‑cold to the point of freezing; spiritually‑‑one destitute of warm Christian faith and the desire for holiness; refers to those that are lost and untouched by the grace of God; those who never come to a point of knowledge and possess not a bit of understanding of the grace of God; the gospel leaves them totally unmoved and arouses no interest or spiritual fervor, until the Holy Spirit stirs.

B. "Hot" = physically‑‑hot to the point of boiling; spiritually‑‑those who show genuine spiritual fervor and leave no question as to the presence of eternal life and the sanctifying power and presence of the Holy Spirit; those who love the Lord Jesus and His church and the brethren.

7. "Would" = what the Lord desires.

8. "Wert" = were.

 

V. 16

1. "So then" = denotes comparison or resemblance.

2. "Because" = since.

3. "Thou" = "thee" = the church of Laodicea; applies to all professors who are in this condition.

4. "Art" = are.

5. "Lukewarm" = physically‑‑refers to lukewarm with a nauseating effect; spiritually‑‑those who have manifested some interest in the things of God; they have received light but accepted counterfeit light and made a false profession, never bringing forth fruit meet for repentance; indifferent; self‑satisfied; full of pride.

6. "I" = "my" = the Lord Jesus Christ.

7. "Spue thee out of my mouth" = to vomit; to throw up; the image is intensely strong and denotes deep disgust and loathing at the indifference which prevailed in the church at Laodicea; the idea is that they would be utterly rejected and cast off as a church.

8. The Lord always put truth in terms that could be understood by the people He was speaking to‑‑parables--windows through which one sees truth or earthly stories with heavenly meanings.  To the farmer He spoke of sowing seed.  To the fishermen He said, "Come, I will make you fishers of men."  To Laodicea when the Lord spoke of hot, cold, lukewarm, and spue out, they knew about the hot boiling water that came from the mineral springs at Heirapolis.  They understood about cold water.  They also knew about lukewarm water since their water was brought by an aqueduct to their city, and by the time it arrived it was only lukewarm water.  To drink that type water would make the stomach turn and give you a nauseating feeling, even to the extent that one would vomit forth‑‑spue out.

9. The lukewarm person is the hardest to reach.  The man who lives in careless ignorance of the existence of condemnation, thinking his mouth profession is enough, his tithing is enough, coming to church on Sunday morning is enough, will never seek God until he has been awakened to a full knowledge of his own condition. (Eph. 5:14) The sad thing is that there is not enough truth in most churches for one to see his real condition.

V. 17

1. "Because" = introduces the reason the Lord was going to "spue thee out of my mouth" ‑‑"thou sayest" and "knowest not" = in these two phrases are summed up the condition of the majority of the church members of Laodicea.

2. "Thou" = "I" = the church of Loadicea.

3. "Thou sayest" = they had spoken outward, not just thought it.

A. "I am rich" = wealthy; abounding in material resources.

B. "And increased with goods" = similar to the word "rich;" to become wealthy, not only in money but items they desired.

C. "And have need of nothing" = do not need one thing; in all respects their wants were satisfied; they were self‑sufficient.

D. All three of these reveal that the church of Laodicea was depending upon their ability, their strength, their money, their talent, and not the Lord.

E. The Bible warns us about riches. (I Tim. 6:10; Mat. 19:23‑24; 13:22; Pro. 27:24; 11:4)  When the Titanic was sinking, entire fortunes were offered for a place on the life boat.

4. "And knowest not" = do not have the knowledge of the true condition you are in (Jer. 17:9); the Lord revealed their true condition‑‑which they did not admit or know about:

A. Wretched" = afflicted; distressed; mean as the devil.

B. "Miserable" = pitiable (deserving pity); a condition caused by being wretched.

C. "Poor" = destitute of the Christian virtues and eternal riches; spiritually poor; they said they were rich but the material things they possessed could not meet the needs of their souls.

D. "Blind" = spiritually blind; they did not see the reality of their real condition; they did not know their lost condition; had eyes but could not see spiritual things; unable to determine what is of God or of the Devil‑‑no perception.

E. "Naked" = naked of spiritual clothing‑‑the righteousness which comes from God, even though they were clothed with rich garments of silk and wool; salvation is often represented as a garment, thus, the majority of the Laodiceans were lost.

5. These five words are a word picture of many church members in this Laodicean church age today.  These words describe the result of sin not being forgiven.

 

V. 18

1. "I" = "me" = the Lord Jesus Christ.

2. "Counsel" = to give advice; He did not command but gave counsel; thus respecting man to make a choice when enabled to do so (Psa. 110:3); His desire is that you will make the right choice.

3. "Thee" = "thou" = "thy" = refers to those in the church of Laodicea who met the conditions of verse 17; applies to anyone who sees himself as the Lord sees him. (verse 17)

 

4. "Buy" = to purchase in the market; buy without money (Isa. 55:1); the Lord gave counsel to obtain true riches from the proper source‑‑from Jesus, contrasted to trust in themselves; the Laodiceans were merchants and were used to buying and selling; therefore, the Lord says, "Buy of me" = three things:

     A. "Gold tried in the fire:"

1) The gold here is not literal but figurative and it speaks of Deity‑‑the Lord Jesus Christ.

2) Fire purifies gold, and Jesus is the gold tried by fire and found to be pure (tested).

3) Gold purified in the fire is what God is to the believer in Christ and that is what you need to desire (Psa. 19:7‑10), "that thou mayest be rich."

     B. "And white raiment:"

1) This is the emblem of purity and salvation‑‑His righteousness‑‑really Him. (I Cor. 1:30)

2) Two reasons are given for buying white raiment.

a. "That thou mayest be clothed" = the Laodiceans prided themselves on their clothing trade; the garments made there were famous over all the world; but those garments, as fine as they were, could not cover their moral nakedness; fig leaves could not cover Adam's moral nakedness or sin in the garden; only white raiment of righteousness could.

b. "That the shame of thy nakedness do not appear" = in the ancient world, to be stripped naked in public was the worst humiliation and shame one could face; Jesus faced that on the cross; the Laodiceans, even though they were ignorant of their nakedness, they would stand in shame one day before the Lord; thus, the Lord's counsel, "Buy of me white raiment" = divine righteousness which God imputes to every believing sinner in Christ.

C. "Anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see" = the Greek construction is saying "buy of me eyesalve to anoint thine eyes;" the Laodiceans were proud of their medical product of a tablet that a person could crush and put on his eyes in order to heal any eye ailment; the Lord said you are blind (verse 17) but your eyesalve is not enough for your spiritual need‑‑if you really want to see spiritually "Buy of me eyesalve and anoint your eyes;" speaks of the Holy Spirit as He illuminates and draws, and if you will yield to Him, He will give understanding, repentance, and faith (saving) that you may be saved.

5. The Laodiceans were lukewarm and could not see that they were poor, blind, and naked.  That is why our Lord said, "I would you were cold instead of lukewarm‑‑I would you realized you were lost so you could see your need."  One will never seek the Lord until he recognizes his need and then and only then will he heed the Lord's advice to buy of Him the three things listed in this verse. The Lord is good to give us advice again and again, even though we do not hear it or heed it many times.  He is longsuffering. (Rom. 2:4)

 

V. 19

1. "I" = the Lord Jesus Christ.

2. "Love" = this word is not agape but phileo, which is a term of affection; means to take interest in someone; to love dearly.

3. "As, many as I love, I rebuke and chasten" = the Lord is saying the ones that are dearest to me are the ones I rebuke and chasten; He is speaking to those in the church that were saved (few no doubt) and had let the influence of the others pull them down.

4. "Rebuke" = to lay blame on sharply and sternly, with authority, for the purpose of correction; it does not mean to scold, storm at, rail at, or unleash a flood of angry words at him however just and righteous the anger may be; it means to so speak to a man that he is compelled 1) to see the error of his ways, 2) to admit how wrong he is, and 3) to amend his life and conduct; the rebuke of God is not so much punishment as it is illumination.

5. "Chasten" = to inflict pain for the purpose of reclaiming an offender; not one whom God loves (refers to those saved; I know the Lord loves the lost but here He is referring to the saved) escapes chastening‑‑if he is not chastened, he is not a son (Heb. 12:8); after rebuke comes the rod of chastening and if that is not heeded, then a casket comes in his life. (I John 5:16)

6. This warning is also for the lost that they may recognize that no chastisement means they are mouth professors and not heart processors.  I want to give a word of warning here‑‑the Devil will try to tell mouth professors that the providential happenings in one's life are chastisement.  Assurance does not come from chastisement, it comes with the gospel. (I Thess. 1:5)

7. "Be zealous" = be hot not lukewarm; be earnest; having a righteous desire to be on fire and continue to be so; this is more than a recommendation, it is a command.

8. "Therefore" = in view of the fact they had let the influence of others pull them down.

9. "Repent" = to change one's mind, actions, and directions and go with the Lord; the Greek construction means repent now‑‑make a once‑for‑all break with lukewarmness.

10. The Lord's love is never so complacent that it condones sin in our lives.

 

V. 20

1. "Behold" = a word used to cause the reader to pay careful attention to what is about to be said; turn your ears to it; listen to me.

2. "I" = "my" = "me" = the Lord Jesus Christ.

3. "I stand at the door, and knock" = this is not dealing with salvation, for the Lord opens one's heart for salvation (Ex. Lydia in Acts 16:14); this is speaking to the church of Laodicea‑‑the Lord is knocking on the door of the church and wanting in; the language here is taken from an act when a person approaches a dwelling, he knocks to announce his presence and is asking for admission.

4. "If any man hear my voice" = refers to a custom that he who knocked, spoke in order to let it be known who it was; it is good to have an ear to hear the Lord speak.

5. "And open the door" = as one would when a stranger or friend stood and knocked; the meaning is, "if anyone will admit me and receive me as a friend."

6. "Any man" = "him" = "he" = just one; no one in the church was right with God; they had shut the Lord out by their plans and programs; this applies greatly to the churches, for the most part, of our day.

7. "I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me" = this is an image denoting intimacy and friendship; "sup" = supper, which was the principle social meal where people sat and talked and lingered over it for a long time because the day's work was done; there was time for unhurried and unlimited fellowship together at that meal.

8. If one will answer, just one, the Lord will come in and linger long with him in the church.

9. Again I want to say this verse is not to be used in the salvation of one's soul.

 

V. 21

1. "Him" = refers to anyone who reads this message to Laodicea, whether they were a member of Laodicea or not; applies to us today since the message is narrowed down to individuals at this point.

2. "Overcometh" = means to gain a victory; to be a conqueror; the tense is a continuous habitual lifestyle; we usually think this is referring to some supernatural, spiritual person, but the Bible makes it clear that this is simply one who has been saved (I John 5:4‑5; Note: "believeth" is continuous action which indicates saving faith which never fails in a person after it is exercised); this phrase is spoken in the message of all seven churches with different privileges added.

3. The Lord only gives one privilege for being an overcomer to the church of Laodicea, "Will I grant to sit with me in my throne" = means they will share His honors and His triumphs.

4. "I" = "me" = "my" = the Lord Jesus Christ.

5. "Grant" = to give right or authority to sit with the Lord upon His throne; this is future; Christ is not yet on His throne but at the right hand of the Father upon His throne.

6. "Throne" = is the symbol of authority and conquest.

7. "Even as I also overcame" = He overcame the world, the devil, death, hell, and the grave.

8. "And am set down with my Father in His throne" = this is the outcome of His overcoming (Heb. 1:3; 10:12); this is the  position He had held before His virgin birth. (John 17:5)

9. But one day the Lord will have His own throne which is a fulfillment of the promise given to David in II Sam. 7:16.  The privilege of an overcomer is that we will sit upon His throne with Him.  What a promise and privilege!

 

V. 22

1. "He" = "him" = refers to anyone who reads this message to Laodicea, whether they were a member of Laodicea or not; applies to us today since the message is narrowed down to individuals at this point.

2. "He that hath an ear" = this is referring to a spiritual ear not a physical ear; refers to the saved in context because of the promise mentioned; if you have been awakened, the Lord gives you an ear to hear; this phrase is mentioned in the message to all seven of the Churches; Jesus used this phrase during His earthly ministry and it is recorded eight times in the Bible, one of which is Mat. 13:9; you are blessed if you have an ear to hear.

3. "Let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches:"

A. "Hear" = to understand; to perceive the sense of what is said.

B. "The Spirit" = the Holy Spirit, who is the teacher of the churches; He is regarded in the Scripture as the source of inspiration.

C. This phrase is used in the message to all the seven churches.

4. These two phrases together could call for self‑examination; therefore, it is narrowed down to individuals, since every man has to give an account of himself in the judgment. (Rom. 14:11‑12)  Do you have an ear?  Are you saved or have you been awakened?  Examine yourself.

 

CHAPTER 4:

 

 

     2. The things which shall be hereafter. Rev. 4:1‑22:21

V. 1

1. Chapters 4‑22 are hard to put in proper order since John, when he was caught up, saw so much that he could not record it all at once.  An example would be going to a three ring circus.  You can see all three rings but can only talk about one at a time.  Wow! Look at that daring leap on the flying trapeze.  Did you see that bear ride the bicycle?  Look at that lion go through the hoop on fire.  Hey, they did a double flip.  You saw it all but telling about it is choppy and out of sequence.  So this book is out of sequence and that's why Paul said you must rightly divide (II Tim. 2:15) and in doing so it must fit the entire Bible.

2. "After this" = after these things; we need to realize where John was; he was banished to the isle of Patmos (Rev. 1:9) for his testimony and stand for Christ and left there to die; he saw the Lord and heard the Lord like no other man had; thus, "after this" refers to after he had seen the vision of Christ walking in the midst of the golden candlesticks and after he had taken the Lord's messages from His mouth and written them and sent them to the seven churches.

3. "I" = "me" = "thee" = John the apostle, the human instrument the Holy Spirit used to pen down this book of Revelation.

4. "Looked" = to perceive with the eyes; the Greek construction implies to have positive knowledge of what he saw.

5. "Behold" = to observe with care; used to call special attention to what John is about to say.

6. "A door was opened in heaven:"

A. "In" = into.

B. In the Greek "heaven" has a definite article "the" = meaning a door was opened into the heaven.

1) This refers to the third heaven, where the saints will go at the rapture.

2) For one to go to the third heaven (where God is), the first and second heaven has to have a door opened to allow them through.

3) The first heaven is the abode of Satan, the atmospheric heaven, 500 miles high.

4) The second heaven is the place where stars and constellations are contained.

5) Satan can hinder passing through this first heaven if God allows him to.  In Daniel 10, Daniel's prayers were hindered for three weeks and Michael the archangel had to contend with him (Satan), thus, a door was opened.

6) Who was this door opened for? Many who hold the pre‑millennial view (Jesus is coming back in the rapture before He sets up His kingdom in what is referred to as the Millennium Reign of Christ; this is the view I believe; I believe this open door is the rapture of the church.  It is necessary for a door to be opened at the rapture but look who this door was open for‑‑John, and not a group of saints.  The language is clear this door was only opened for John.  Note: "Talking with me" "I will shew thee," and verse 2 "and immediately I was in the spirit."

7) Therefore, we conclude that this door was only open for John; thus, this is not the rapture.

7. "And the first voice I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me:"

A. This is the "first voice" John heard after the door was opened for him into heaven.  He had already heard a voice before. (Rev. 1:10) Those who say the rapture occurs here say this is the voice in I Thess. 4:16‑17. Not so, for this voice spoke only to John‑‑"shew thee."

B. "As it were of a trumpet" = "as" is a simile, a figure of speech in which one thing is likened to another; this voice was likened to a trumpet‑‑loud and powerful; this is the way the prophet Isaiah was told to expose sin‑‑"like a trumpet" (Isa. 58:1); those who believe the rapture occurs here say this is the trumpet of I Thess. 4:16‑17 but this is a voice like a trumpet and in the rapture there will be a trumpet blown. (I Cor. 15:51‑53)

C. John made it clear this voice was only "talking with me."

D. "The voice said, "Come up hither, and I will shew thee things to come:"

1) "I" = the one who is speaking with a loud and powerful voice; this seems to be the voice of the messenger (angel) the Lord used to show John the Revelation of Jesus Christ, spoken of in Rev. 1:1; this angel seems to have been a prophet (Rev. 22:8‑9), a fellow-servant--a designation that could not be attributed to the created angels of God, not even the archangel who speaks at the rapture (I Thess. 4:16‑17)‑‑thus another proof this is not the rapture; we do not know who this messenger is‑‑Enoch, Elijah, Moses, or one of the saints resurrected with Jesus‑‑we can only speculate.

2) "Shew" = show; expose to the eyes.

3) "Things which must be hereafter" = refers to the things the messenger would disclose to John that were to occur at some future period of time‑‑there is no mention of a certain time.

4) "Must" = it is necessary.

 

V. 2

1. "Immediately" = instantly; without delay; means just as soon as the voice spoke in verse 1 the action of verse 2 occurred.

2. "I" = John the beloved and him only.

3. "Was" = became; indicates a change took place.

4. "In the spirit" = this is not the same as Rev. 1:10 where this phrase has a capital "S" and refers to being favored with the influences of the Holy Spirit; here there is a little "s" and refers to an out of the body experience John had as he obeyed the voice of verse 1 and went "up hither" (there; heaven) Paul had a similar experience in II Cor. 12:2‑4 and he saw many things like John, but he couldn't write them down; those who believe the rapture occurs here need to look at this wording; at the rapture we will be changed but we will not be disembodied spirits; Jesus had a body and so will we. (I Cor. 15:53; Luke 24:39; I John 3:2)

5. "Behold" = a word used to cause the reader to pay careful attention to what is about to be said; turn your ears to it; listen to me.

6. "Throne" = a royal seat.

7. "Sat" = means permanence; it is not like the earthly thrones which topple‑‑no power in the universe can shake it; it represents the universal sovereignty and rulership of God. (Psa. 47:8; 103:19)

8. "In heaven" = an expression which proves that the scene was not the temple of Jerusalem as some have supposed.

9. "One sat" = the sitter is not named; it is God the Father for we know Jesus is at the right hand of the Father (Heb. 1:3); I, at one time, thought this referred to the Lord Jesus until I read Rev. 5:7 which refers to the Lord Jesus taking the book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne; all Scripture must agree‑‑if you do not think the Scripture agree, you have the wrong interpretation. (I Peter 1:20)

 

V. 3

1. "He" = God the Father.

2. "Was to look upon like a jasper and sardine stone" = "like" = refers to the brilliance and glory of the splendor of God; John does not describe His form but His splendor; the  use of the jasper and sardine stone, referred to as precious stones, was to impress the mind with a sense of majesty of Him who cannot be described.

3. "And there was a rainbow round about the throne" = the rainbow is a token of God's faithfulness in keeping His promises (Gen. 9:12‑13); He will carry out just what He wrote down; He will do what He says, when He said, and how He said, even if we do not understand; on earth we only see one half of the rainbow but John saw it all; suggests promise and hope.

4. "In sight like unto an emerald" = the emerald is green, and this color so dominated the rainbow that it seemed to be made of this type of precious stone.

 

V. 4

1. "Round about" = on all sides; all around.

2. "Throne" = from same Greek word translated "seats" = denotes the seat on which a king sits.

3. "I" = John the beloved and him only.

4. "Four and twenty elders" = who are they?

A. They are saints because they were "clothed in white raiment" = emblem of purity; Rev. 3:4‑5; "overcometh" means to be born again‑‑saved (I John 5:4‑5; Rev. 19:8); also they had been redeemed "by the blood." (Rev. 5:8‑9)

B. "They had on their heads crowns of gold" = symbolic of the fact that they sustained a kingly office; Paul spoke of a crown in II Tim. 4:6‑8 given only when the Lord comes back in the rapture.

     C. They are either:

1) A chosen honored part of the raptured saints that appear in another ring of time, after the rapture.  God can speak of things as if they were done though they are not.  Jesus said, "It is finished" although it was not yet complete in actuality, but it was as good as done.  Also Moses appeared in a glorified body before even Jesus was resurrected. (Mat. 17:1‑3)  If the Lord could do this, He could give a select group the crowns before the judgment seat and John saw them.  Also, we must remember that this was in the future for John and is also in the future for us today as well.

2) Or the OT saints resurrected when Jesus was.  There are already some saints in heaven today with glorified bodies.  They were in John's day. (Mat. 27:50‑53)  These were not ghosts walking around.  Whether this was a select group of OT saints or all of them, I know not, but they had glorified bodies.  I believe the 24 elders are representative of the resurrected OT saints.  I Cor 15:23 fulfills the OT type of Lev. 23:10‑11.  A sheaf implies plurality.   It was a single "corn of wheat" that fell into the ground in the crucifixion entombment of Christ (John 12:24), but it was a sheaf which came forth in the resurrection‑‑Christ and some of the OT saints.  Thus, the 24 elders round about the throne is not the harvest of Rev. 7, but the OT saints.  This is clarified in I Chron. 24 where the priests were divided into 24 groups.  Each group served two weeks each year on a rotation basis.  The priests were the people's representative before God; therefore, the number 24 in connection with the priesthood would speak of complete representation.  Each group of priests had one priest that represented that group and when these 24 priests met together, they represented the entire priesthood and at the same time the whole nation of Israel.

D. They worship Him. (verse 10‑11) The tense in this verse of "fall down" and "worship" is future tense, thus giving indication that crowns in actuality had not been given yet.  Look at their worship in Rev. 5:8‑10, 14; 11:16‑17; 19:4.  The tense of worship in these verses show point action while 4:10 shows future action‑‑verbal inspiration, therefore, no mistakes in God's word.

 

V. 5

1. "Proceeded" = to go forth.

2. "Lightnings and thunderings, and voices" = speaks of the righteous judgment of God upon a sinful world (Rev. 6:17); then God will pour out His wrath and judgments‑‑trumpets, vials, and thunders.

3. "And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God" = refers to the Holy Spirit represented in His sevenfold operation by lamps which illuminate; represents not seven different Spirits but the sevenfold fullness and completeness of the Holy Spirit's omniscience and omnipresence; seven is the number of completion; Isa. 11:2 lists these sevenfold manifestations of the Holy Spirit‑‑prophecy (implied), wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, and fear.

 

V. 6

1. "Before" = in the presence of.

2. "Sea of glass" = an expanse spread out like a sea composed of glass--perfectly clear and transparent like glass; the point of comparison seems to be its transparent appearance‑‑it was perfectly clear, apparently stretching out in a wide expanse, as it were a sea.

3. "Like unto crystal" = used to denote anything that is perfectly clear like ice.

4. In the tabernacle there was a laver with water in it before the holy place.  The priest used it for cleansing before entering the holy place.  In the temple there was a place for the priests' cleansing called the molten sea which was 15 feet wide. (I Kings 7:23)  But in heaven there is no need for cleansing (Rev. 21:27); thus, the sea is solidified‑‑"sea of glass like unto crystal."

5. "In the midst of the throne" = not occupying the throne, but so as to appear to be intermingled with the throne.

6. "Round about the throne" = as they stood they seemed to be on every side of the throne.

7. "Four beasts" = who or what are they?

     A. "Beasts" = living creatures.

B. Some writers say that they are redeemed saints because of Rev. 5:8‑9.  But the Greek construction reveals that the four beasts only fell down‑‑a form of worship, while the 24 elders had harps, and prayers and are said to be redeemed.  The English does not make that distinction.

C. They are guardians of the throne of God and accompany it wherever it goes.  Living creatures are first mentioned in Gen. 3:24 as Cherubims guarding the gate to the Garden of Eden.  In Exo. 25:17-22 they are mentioned as guardians of the mercy seat.  Ezk. 1:5‑10 describes them as having the likeness of a man.

8. "Full of eyes before and behind" = they had intelligence; speaks of spiritual insight.

 

V. 7

1. "Like" = resembling or corresponding to a thing.

2. John, trying to describe these four beasts, gives a description of all four.

A. "First beast" = "was like a lion" = speaks of dominion, authority, and government in general; the three tribes that assembled on the east of the tabernacle did so under the standard or flag of Judah, which was the emblem of the lion.

B. "Second beast" = "like a calf" = symbolizes firmness, endurance, and strength; the three tribes that assembled on the west of the tabernacle did so under the standard or flag of Ephraim which was the emblem of the ox‑‑"like a calf."

C. "Third beast" = "had a face as a man" = symbolizes wisdom; the three tribes that assembled on the south of the tabernacle did so under the standard or flag of Reuben, which was the emblem of a man.

D. "Fourth beast" = "was like a flying eagle" = symbolizes swiftness; the three tribes that assembled on the north of the tabernacle did so under the standard or flag of Dan, which was the emblem of an eagle.

3. These living creatures possess strength like the lion,  render service like the ox, possess intelligence like the man, and they are swift like the eagle.

 

V. 8

1. John's living creatures "had each of them six wings about him" = while Ezekiel's had four.  The difference can only be explained by supposition that there are different orders of living creatures and each are adapted to the service he is created to perform.

2. "They were full of eyes within" = speaks of spiritual insight.

3. "They rest not day and night" = they are tireless and constantly bringing praise to the Lord.

4. "Saying" = to point out with words.

5. "Holy" = repeated three times, thus revealing the nature of the thrice holy God‑‑Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; basically it means separation from what is common or unclean; consecrated to God; when applied to God, it is equivalent to true deity; separating Him from the impotence of the gods of the defeated Egyptians. (Exo. 15:11)

6. "Lord" = a title of honor expressive of respect and reverence; Jehovah‑‑the Lord Jesus Christ.

7. "God" = the sovereign ruler of the universe.

8. "Almighty" = in the Greek there is a definite article "the" in front, thus "the almighty;" means sovereign; chief; supreme; the all ruling, omnipotent One; the all powerful One; this is equivalent of the Hebrew word "Shaddai" which means the multi‑breasted One; the Nourisher, the Strength giver, and Satisfier; the One who pours Himself into the life of the believer; just as a fretful, unsatisfied babe is strengthened and nourished from the mother's breast, the believer is also quieted, rested, and satisfied by the Almighty. 

9. "Which" = who; our Lord is a person not a thing; therefore, this is masculine gender not neuter.

10. "Which was, and is, and is to come" = phrase which reveals the eternal God who had no beginning nor will He have an ending; this applies to the Lord Jesus since John 1:1 states clearly the Word who is Jesus was with (face to face, thus present) God the Father in the beginning‑‑pick any beginning  you want and both the Father and Son were there; also "was" in John 1:1 means existent without origin; this phrase refers to the One who created all things, the One who controls all things, and the One who will consummate all things.

 

V. 9

1. "When" = as often; from time to time, over and over again.

2. "Those beasts" = the four living creatures first mentioned in verse 6.

3. "Give" = to bestow; to confer.

4. "Glory" = a manifestation of that which brings forth praise; brightness; luster; splendor; denotes the highest happiness, as expressing everything that shall be splendid, rich, and grand; to give God glory is to show forth to the world the correct opinion or estimate of who God is.

5. "Honour" = an expression of respect; the esteem due or paid to worth.

6. "Thanks" = to express gratitude toward; to be grateful and thankful.

7. "Him" = "who" = God the Father "that (who) liveth for ever and ever" = reveals the eternality of God who has no end‑‑never cease to be.

 

V. 10

1. "The four and twenty elders" = "their" = see notes on verse 4.

2. "Fall down" = to descend from an erect to a prostrate position; kindred word to "worship" = which means to lie prostrate; to bow down; to reverence and honor and to serve and praise.

3. "Before" = in His presence.

4. "Him" = God the Father "that (who) sat (sitteth) on the throne" and "that (who) liveth for ever and ever" = see notes on verse 9.

5. "Cast their crowns before the throne" = verse 4 reveals they had crowns on their heads = the verbs in the Greek are future tense thus giving indication that these crowns in actuality had not been given yet;  crowns will be given to all OT and NT saints at the judgment seat which will be right after the rapture (II Tim. 4:6‑8); God is showing John the future and that is future for even us today.

6. "Saying" = to point out with words recorded in the next verse.

 

V. 11

1. "Thou" = "Lord" = "thy" = God the Father who is sitting on the throne.

2. "Art" = are.

3. "Worthy" = deserving.

4. "To receive" = tense reveals continuous action‑‑not a one time receiving but now and forever more.

5. "Glory" = manifestation of that which brings forth praise; to show forth to the world the correct opinion or estimation of who God is.

6. "Honour" = an expression of respect; the esteem due or paid to worth; to look upon with a deep feeling of respect; reverence.

7. "Power" = to have power ascribed to God the Father, regarded as having infinite power.

8. "For thou hast created all things and for thy pleasure they (all things) are and were created" = if you read Col. 1:16‑19, it would seem that this verse is referring to God the Son; but God the Father sitting upon the throne is who the 24 elders are worshiping; just remember that God the Father was involved in creation as much as God the Son; all things owe their existence to the desire or will ("thy pleasure") of God; the all things of creation are not self existent‑‑they were formed from nothing.

 

CHAPTER 5:

 

 

V. 1

1. "I" = John the beloved‑‑the human instrument who penned down this book.

2. "Saw" = indicates an absolute positive knowledge of the facts John is about to write down.

3. "In the right hand" = really on the right hand‑‑lying upon the hand, as it was extended in the act of offering the book to anyone who would be able to open and read it.

4. "Him that sat on the throne" = God the Father.

5. "A book" = a small book; a scroll--probably a roll of parchment.

6. "Written within and on the backside" = it was customary to write only on one side of the parchment for the sake of convenience in reading the scroll as it was unrolled; it is not necessary to suppose that John saw both sides of the parchment since it was sealed; he could see the back side or the outside had been written on and he could come to a conclusion that it was written on the inside as usual.

7. "Sealed with seven seals" = it is not stated in what manner the seals were attached to the volume, but it is clear that they were attached so that each seal closed a part of the volume, and that when one seal was broken and the portion which that seal was designed to fasten was unrolled, a second seal would be come to which would be necessary to break in order to read the next portion and so on; the seals must have been on one of the edges (top or bottom) of the scroll for they had to be visible for John to see them and he did, for the word "saw" means to have absolute positive knowledge of what he spoke about.

8. All that is necessary to be supposed is that the seven seals were put successively upon the top or bottom margin of the volume as it was rolled up, so that each opening would extend only as far as the next seal, when the unrolling would occur.  I illustrate this by rolling up continuous sheets of paper and putting a paper clip every so often on the top of the roll of paper, repeating this seven times.

9. This book seems to be the book Daniel was told to seal up in Dan. 12:4 for Daniel had visions concerning the end time.  The contents of this book reveal the complete prophecy extending to the end of the age and John is faithful to record what he saw and what he was told to do.

 

V. 2

1. "I" = John the beloved.

2. "Saw" = indicates an absolute positive knowledge of the facts spoken.

3. "Angel" = messenger; can be a pastor, prophet, human being, a created being, or can even refer to Christ; here it seems to be a created being described as "strong" = mighty; probably used because of the loud voice he sounded forth with; this could be Gabriel, the announcing archangel; we do not know who it is; no doubt he was God sent and not self‑appointed.

4. "Proclaiming" = to announce after the manner of a herald; implies formality, gravity, and an authority which must be listened to.

5. "Loud" = great.

6. "Voice" = the sound of uttered words.

7. "Worthy" = fit morally; worthy in the sense of having rank so exalted and attributes so comprehensive as to authorize and enable him to do it‑‑"open the book, and to loose the seals thereof."

 

V. 3

1. "No man" = no one including the angels.

2. A search was made:

A. "In heaven" = the dwelling place of God; none found among the redeemed saints nor the created beings.

B. "In earth" = the dwelling place of man; none found in all the classes of man.

C. "Under the earth" = the dwelling place of the dead and the spirits of the underworld; none found there either.

3. "Was able" = had the ability; it was a task beyond their power "to open the book."

4. "Neither to look thereon" = that is to open the seals as to have a view of what was written therein; John could see it was written upon (verse 1), but what the writing was no one could know at this time.

 

V. 4

1. "I" = John the beloved.

2. "Wept" = to mourn and lament‑‑to express sorrow; described as "much" = a great quantity or amount; he did not weep because he was disappointed that he could not satisfy his curiosity as to the contents of the book‑‑a man under the influence of the Spirit would not be so foolish.

3. "Because" = introduces the reason he wept‑‑"no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon;" = he knew what the book was (book of redemption‑‑title deed to the earth and mankind) and that if there was no one to open that book of redemption, all hope of the redemption of the earth and of man was gone.

 

V. 5

1. John did not weep long.

2. "One of the elders" = one of the 24 elders he had seen around the throne.

3. "Saith" = spoke; to point out with words.

4. "Me" = John the beloved.

5. "Weep not" = there is no occasion for your tears; the object you desire so much can be obtained.

6. "Behold" = a word used to cause John to pay careful attention to what is about to be said; turn your ears to it; listen to me.

7. "The Lion of the tribe of Juda" = "the Root of David" = titles of the Lord Jesus Christ; He is referred to as:

A. "The Lion" = because the lion is the king of beasts, the monarch of the forest, and thus becomes an emblem of kingly authority and of power.

B. "Of the tribe of Juda" = refers to the fact that the Messiah was of the tribe of Judah; Jacob on his death bed prophesied this. (Gen. 49:9‑10)

C. "The root of David" = not the root of David in the sense that David sprang from Him as a tree does from a root, but in the sense that He, Himself was a "root‑shoot" or sprout from David; this identity strengthens His claim to be heir; it was prophesied that Israel's King was to be of the house of David. (II Sam. 7:12‑16; Isa. 11:1‑2)

8. "Hath prevailed" = conquer; overcame; the tense reveals that Christ had already conquered; therefore, He now has the right and power and authority "to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof."

9. He acquired this power as a result of a conflict or struggle and that occurred at the cross and resurrection.  He overcame death, hell, the grave, and corruption.  It is finished!  He is able to open the sealed book.

 

V. 6

1. "I" = John the beloved.

2. "Beheld" = equivalent to "saw" = verse 2; indicates an absolute positive knowledge of what his eyes looked upon; John turned to see a Lion and saw "a Lamb as it had been slain" = alive but still bore the death wounds, not scars. (Zech. 13:6)

3. "Lamb" = is a symbol identified as a person‑‑"he" in verse 7; symbol of meekness, humility, and sacrifice.

4. John recognized Him because he had stood near the cross and watched Him die.  He later witnessed Jesus' wounds as He displayed them to the disciples. (Luke 24:40)

5. John saw (beheld) Him, "in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders" = that is where Jesus is‑‑at the right hand of the Father who sitteth upon the throne. (Heb. 1:3)

6. "Lo" = a word used by John which seems to indicate John was saying, "Lookie here at what I see!"

7. "Stood" = He is standing ready to claim His inheritance in the earth; He stood to receive Stephen in Acts 7:56.

8. "Having" = possessing.

9. "Seven" = denotes fullness, completion, and perfection.

10. "Horns" = symbolic; stands for power and authority; omnipotence; Christ has all power (Mat. 28:18) and now He is about to exercise that power and authority in redeeming the earth and mankind.

11. "Eyes" = symbolic; stands for perception and intelligence; omniscience.

12. "Which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth" = refers to the manifold operations of the one Divine Spirit with outward objects being made visible to us by the eye which is the symbol of intelligence; so it may well represent the Holy Spirit extending to every part of the earth, whose operations are to be regarded as connected with the work of the Redeemer; Isa. 11:2 lists these sevenfold manifestations.

 

V. 7

1. "He" = the Lamb that was slain; the Lord Jesus Christ; John the Baptist also called Jesus "the Lamb" in John 1:29.

2. "Took the book" = a legal act by which He was given the authority to reign on this earth over this earth.

3. "Out of the hand of him that sat upon the throne" = refers to God the Father.

 

V. 8

1. "He" = the Lord Jesus Christ symbolized by the sacrificial Lamb.

2. "Four beasts" = the living creatures seen by John in Rev. 4:6.

3. "Four and twenty elders" = the 24 elders John saw around the throne in Rev. 4:4.

4. "Fell down" = to descend from an erect to a prostrate position; kindred word to worship and means they worshiped‑‑both the four beasts and 24 elders did.

5. "Before" = in His presence.

6. "Every one of them" = refers to the 24 elders and not the four beasts.

7. "Harps" = a well‑known instrument used in the service of God; described as having 10 strings and as struck with a key; it is interesting to note that if a harp was used in the worship service of God in heaven, it would be alright to use it in our worship services on earth; a piano is really a harp in a box and alright to use in our worship services today.

8. "Golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of the saints" = this vial is a broad shallow bowl with a large open mouth used to offer incense (an aromatic substance, thus odors) which denotes the prayers of the saints; the meaning is that incense was the proper emblem of prayer. (Psa. 141:2)

 

V. 9

1. "They" = "us" = refers only to the 24 elders, not to the four beasts.

2. "Sung a new song" = the song is new because it is following the accomplishment of Christ's work of redemption.

3. "Saying" = to point out with words; the rest of verses 9 and 10 reveals the content of this new song.

4. "Thou" = the Lord Jesus Christ; the Lamb slain.

5. "Art" = are.

6. "Worthy" = deserving; possessing excellence of qualities and moral purity, thus being able "to take the book, and to open the seals thereof."

7. "For" = because; introduces the reason He is worthy:

A. "Wast slain" = language as would be appropriate to a lamb slain as a sacrifice--Calvary.

B. "Hast redeemed" = to purchase; to buy; this denotes redemption being accomplished by the payment of a price. (I Peter 1:18-19)

1) "To God" = refers to God the Father; denotes that the saints become His and are to be henceforth regarded as His, so that He might possess them as His own.

2) "By thy blood" = the price paid; language used by those who believe in the doctrine of the atonement, and not that Christ was just a mere martyr.

3) "Out of every kindred" = of every tribe.

4) "And tongue" = people speaking all languages.

5) "And people" = denotes a people considered as a mass; denotes a larger body of people than the previous words‑‑kindred and tongue.

6) "And nation" = a word of still larger sense; a people or nation considered as distinct from all others.

8. This fourfold classification includes all the bases of classification of mankind, all the circumstances which separate men, and the barriers which were overthrown by the redeeming work of Christ.

 

V. 10

1. "Us" = "we" = the 24 elders singing this new song; applies to all saints‑‑saved.

2. "Hast made" = to become a new creation (II Cor. 5:17); refers to the point of salvation.

3. "Unto our God" = refers to God the Father; reveals we belong to Him; denotes that the saints become His and are to be henceforth regarded as His, so that He might possess them as His own.

4. "Kings" = ruler of a people; one who has authority over others; the saints will rule and reign with the Lord during His 1000 year reign (Rev. 20:6; II Tim. 2:12; Ex. the parable of the pounds‑‑Luke 19:17); the lowliest and humblest man on earth, when he is saved is exalted and lifted up and made a king; you may be a pauper and wear pauper's rags down here, but if saved, you are a king and will reign with the Lord on earth.

5. "Priests" = one who offers sacrifices and in general is busied with sacred rites‑‑the manner of performing divine or solemn service as prescribed by God; called a holy priesthood in I Peter 2:5 which refers to being a recipient of the "sanctification work of the Spirit" (II Thess. 2:13) which is His reproval work of John 16:8‑11; called a royal priesthood in I Peter 2:9 which refers to a body of kings who minister as priests to God; the change of the priesthood through the Bible is listed as follows:

A. Before the law was given, the head of each family was a priest. (Ex. Job in Job 1:5)

B. When the law was proposed, Israel was shut up as a kingdom of priests. (Exo. 19:6)

C. But Israel violated the law, and God shut up the priestly office to the family of Aaron of the tribe of Levi.

D. When the veil of the temple was rent, grace was ushered in and all believers now are unconditionally constituted a "kingdom of priests" as this verse brings out.

E. As priest we have access through the High Priest. (Heb. 4:16)

F. A priest was one who offered sacrifices and so should we, but they are not blood sacrifices like OT priests.  We are to offer:

1) Our bodies (Rom. 12:1) as living sacrifices, not dead.

2) Praise to God. (Heb. 13:15)

3) Our substance. (Heb. 13:16) We are to share what we have been given with others, such as material things and the insight the Holy Spirit has given us from the Word of God.

G. As a priest we should be an intercessor. (I Tim. 2:1)  In Col. 4:12 Epaphras is an example, for he was shut up in prison no longer able to preach, but he was still fulfilling his office as priest for no prison could keep him from the throne of grace.

6. "We shall reign on the earth" = this is referring to the 1000 year reign of Christ upon the earth which is after He sets foot upon this earth and the battle of Armageddon ensues; the beast and false prophet will be cast in the lake of fire (Rev. 19:20), and the devil will be chained (Rev. 20:1‑3); Rev. 20:6 makes it clear we will reign with Him; the parable of the pounds found in Luke 19:11‑19 verifies this.

 

V. 11

1. "I" = John the beloved who penned down this book.

2. "Beheld" = to see with the eyes; indicates an absolute positive knowledge of what his eyes looked upon.

3. "Heard" = to perceive by the ear what is spoken in one's presence; indicates he understood what he heard.

4. "The voice of many angels" = this verse reveals what the angels proclaimed and gave their location = "round about the throne and the beasts and the elders" = only the angels proclaimed the praise of verse 12, not the beasts and elders.

5. "Angels" = a messenger from God; in context this is referring to the created beings of God which are numbered "ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands" = implies there was a vast uncounted host which one could not attempt to number; Daniel saw them in Dan. 7:10.

6. These angels are unable to join in the song of the redeemed because all they can do is desire to look into the mystery of the redemption. (I Peter 1:12)

V. 12

1. "Saying" = to point out with words.

2. "Loud" = great.

3. "Voice" = the sound of uttered words.

4. "Worthy" = deserving; possessing excellence of qualities and moral purity.

5. "Lamb" = the Lord Jesus Christ symbolized as the sacrificial Lamb.

6. "That was slain" = was made a sacrifice for sin; the ground or reason for what is here ascribed to Him, even though the angels could not comprehend the mystery of salvation for they were created beings.

7. "To receive" = the tense reveals continuous action; this is not a one time receiving but now and for evermore; seven things are listed that our Lord is worthy to receive.

8. "Power" = power or authority to rule over all things; all power is given to Him (Mat. 28:18); He demonstrated His power in creation (Col. 1:16), in maintaining an orderly universe (Col. 1:17), over demons (Mark 5), over disease (Mark 5), over deformity (Mark 2), and over death, both physical (Mark 5, John 11) and spiritual. (Luke 19‑‑Zacchaeus‑‑this day is salvation come into thy house.)

9. "Riches" = abundance; wealth; He was rich on His God‑side because He created all things (Hag. 2:8; Psa. 50:10‑11), but on His man‑side‑‑Mat. 8:20; many men have learned and many more need to learn, that they possess only what they have received from the Lord and He can do with it what He wants. (Job. 1:21; I Tim. 6:7)

10. "Wisdom" = means that He should be esteemed as having superior wisdom‑‑that is, that as the result of the work which He has accomplished, He should be regarded as having ability to choose the best ends and the best means to accomplish them.

11. "Strength" = ability to accomplish His purposes; the word emphasizes the might and power of Christ; nothing is able to resist His power; Satan is strong but Christ is able to bind him (Mat. 12:29), and He will bind him. (Rev. 20:2)

12. "Honour" = an expression of respect and reverence; the esteem due or paid to worth (Psa. 104:1); to look upon with a deep feeling of respect.

13. "Glory" = manifestation of that which brings forth praise; to show forth to the world the correct opinion or estimation of who God is.

14. "Blessing" = means to eulogize or make happy; in heaven the angels make Him happy by eulogizing our Lord.

16. He is worthy!

 

V. 13

1. "Heard I " = John heard all of God's creation render praise to God the Father ("him that sitteth up on the throne") and "unto the Lamb."

2. In Psa. 96:11, the universe is called on to render praise and in this verse it is described as actually doing it = "every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them" = the hills, the streams, the floods, the fowls of the air, the dwellers in the deep, the beasts that roam over the earth, the songsters in the groves, and the insects that play in the sunbeam declare the glory of their Creator.

3. "Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power" = this is a slight change from verse 12 but it is substantially the same thing; it is an ascription of all glory to God and to the Lamb.

 

V. 14

1. "The four beast" = the living creatures.

2. "Said" = to point out with words.

3. "Amen" = so be it; of a truth; signifies they agreed with the universal praise rendered in verse 13.

4. "Forever and ever" = refers to the Lamb being worthy of praise for all eternity.

5. "The four and twenty elders" = representatives of the saints of the Lord.

6. "Fell down and worshipped" = they prostrated themselves in worship.

7. "Him that liveth for ever and ever" = the Lamb who is worthy of praise for all eternity; He is worthy to open the book with seven seals and redeem all that were lost by Adam.

 

 

CHAPTER 6:

 

1. To understand this chapter and those following we must understand Daniel's vision in Dan. 9:20‑27. Seventy weeks are determined. (verse 24)  These are weeks of years, thus 490 years are involved in this vision.

2. These seventy weeks of years begin with a command to restore and build Jerusalem. (verse 25)  This command was made by Artaxerxes (title of the king of Persia) to Ezra when he was going to return to Jerusalem in 454 BC. (Ezra 7:12‑13) (See chart on page 73) Some believe this command was given to Nehemiah when he went back to Jerusalem and rebuilt the wall in 444 BC. He had permission only from the king to rebuild the wall, not a decree or commandment, and the date he rebuilt the wall does not fit God's time line for this.

3. Verse 25 speaks of seven weeks and also of 62 weeks.  The seven weeks or 49 years is the time from the commandment unto the time Jerusalem's affairs were restored to it former state.  Then the 62 weeks or 434 years ends when the Messiah is cut off‑‑Calvary which was really about AD 27.  AD is Anno Domini which is Latin meaning "in the year of our Lord."  Our calenders are off about five or six years‑‑proof is that King Herod, who tried to kill Jesus when He was two years old, died in 4 BC. (See chart on page 73)

4. After Calvary, there is a break in the Lord's dealing with Israel but verse 27 states the prince of the people who shall destroy the temple (Rome in AD 70) shall confirm the covenant with many.  This begins the 70th week of Daniel.(See chart on page 73)  Daniel was told to seal up the book (Dan. 12:4) and now in Rev. 6 the Lamb begins to break the seven seals of the book and reveals to John what is going to occur in the future.

5. Most of religion call these seven years the Great Tribulation and in so doing they have not rightly divided the th week of Daniel.  It is true there is great tribulation during these years but there is also the wrath of God displayed.

6. I want us to look at these events and let the Bible clue us in on what is going to happen in the th week of Daniel or in these seven years that are future for even us, today.

 

V. 1

1. This is the beginning of the 70th week of Daniel.

2. "I" = John the beloved, the human instrument who penned down this book. (II Peter 1:21; II Tim. 3:16)

3. "Saw" = indicates an absolute positive knowledge of the facts John is about to write down.

4. "The Lamb" = the Lord Jesus Christ; the One who prevailed (conquered; overcome; had the right, power, and authority). (Rev. 5:5)

5. "Heard" = to perceive by the ear what is spoken in one's presence; indicates he understood what he heard.

6. "As it were the noise of thunder" = "as" is a simile, a figure of speech in which one thing is likened to another; John heard the voice of one of the living creatures ("four beasts") which was loud and powerful like "thunder."

7. "Saying, Come and see" = he was requested to approach and see with his own eyes what was disclosed in the portion of the book now unsealed and unrolled.

 

V. 2

1. "I" = John the beloved; the human instrument who penned down this book.

2. "Saw" = indicates an absolute positive knowledge of the facts John is about to write down.

3. "Behold" = to observe with care; used to call special attention to what John is about to say.

4. Remember this is the beginning of the th week of Daniel‑‑7 years.

5. "A white horse" = first "him" = "white" is a symbol of victory.

6. "He" = second "him" = this is a definite person not a system nor a spirit of wickedness and lawlessness, even though these things will exist; this person is called:

A. The little horn. (Dan. 7:8)

B. The beast. (Rev. 13:1)

C. The antichrist. (I John 2:18) This verse has a definite article "the" in front, thus "the antichrist;" means the opponent of the Messiah.

D. The man of sin and the son of perdition (II Thess. 2:3); means the lawless one, not Satan, but he will do the work of Satan and be empowered by Satan. (Rev. 13:2)

7. "Has a bow" = symbol of peace since he did not have arrows.

8. "A crown was given unto him" = this crown was given unto him by nations that were deceived by him; Dan. 9:27 states he will confirm the covenant with many; Israel will receive him as the Messiah, thus he will have the credentials proving that he was a descendant of the tribe of Judah; Dan. 9:26 reveals he will be a Roman (the people who, under Titus, destroyed the temple in 70 AD) prince; he will be received as the promised Messiah by Israel and several other nations.

9. "He went forth conquering, and to conquer" = since he had no arrows, he goes forth conquering, offering the promise of peace and sets himself up as king (Dan. 11:36); craft has always been the devil's way. (Dan. 8:25)

10. Why did they follow him?

A. They had rejected light and God gave them up to uncleanness, vile affections, and reprobate minds. (Rom. 1:24‑28) 

B. God turned them to fables because they had turned away from truth. (II Tim. 4:4)

C. They shall believe a lie, really "the lie"‑‑that this one on the white horse is the Messiah. (II Thess. 2:7‑12)

11. Part of his craft will be to allow Israel to build the temple on the temple mount (this temple will be built over night) and begin once again the OT forms of sacrifice.  Dan. 9:27 verifies this, because it says that this person will cause the sacrifices to cease in the midst of the th week of Daniel.  For something to cease there had to be a starting point and that is when the first seal for this book is opened.

12. Remember God will allow this to occur, in fact He determined it.

 

V. 3

1. "He" = the Lamb‑‑the Lord Jesus Christ; the One who prevailed (conquered; overcame; had the right, power, and authority). (Rev. 5:5)

2. "Had opened the second seal" = revealed in the book that which had been sealed with the second seal.

3. "I" = John the beloved; the human instrument who penned down this book.

4. "Heard" = to perceive by the ear what is spoken in one's presence; indicates he understood what he heard.

5. "The second beast" = the second of the "four beast" ‑‑living creatures.

6. "Say, Come and see"  = John was requested to approach and see with his own eyes what was disclosed in the second portion of the book now unsealed and unrolled.

 

 

V. 4

1. "Another" = the Greek word means another of the same kind, as the first horse mentioned in verse 2; even though this horse is red while the first is white, both are involved in the same purpose‑‑thus another of the same kind.

2. "Red" = a symbol of slaughter (bloodshed) due to war; this is reinforced by the rider being given a sword and the fact that they should kill one another.

3. "Power" = in italics, thus supplied by the translators because it is implied in the Greek construction.

4. "Was given" = was granted by the Lord, since a person can receive nothing except it be given him from heaven. (John 3:27)

5. "Him that sat thereon" = this is the Antichrist who is a definite person not a system nor a spirit of wickedness and lawlessness; see notes on verse 2 #6.

6. "To take peace from the earth" = he came at the beginning of the th week of Daniel with only a bow, thus promoting peace, but now he begins to show his true color; Rev. 12:3 calls Satan, who empowers the Antichrist, the "great red dragon" and John 8:44 calls him a murderer.

7. The Antichrist goes forth to gain world dominion.  Many nations had made a covenant with him (Dan. 9:27) and now, somewhere in the first three and one‑half years of the th week of Daniel, he moves with force to cause all the other nations to be under his domain.  This probably will result in a world war, possibly World War III; Mat. 24:9‑14 may possibly occur during this seal.

8. "And that they should kill one another" = this is referring to the people of the earth killing each other during this war.

9. "And there was given unto him a great sword" = the Antichrist was given a great "sword" = a symbol or emblem of war and of slaughter.

10. Many during this time will die, slaughtered as a result of the ruthless Antichrist as he forces all the world under his domain.

 

V. 5

1. "He" = the Lamb‑‑the Lord Jesus Christ; the One who prevailed (conquered; overcame; had the right, power, and authority). (Rev. 5:5)

2. "Had opened the third seal" = revealed in the book that which had been sealed with the third seal.

3. "I" = John the beloved; the human instrument who penned down this book.

4. "Heard" = to perceive by the ear what is spoken in one's presence; indicates he understood what he heard.

5. "The third beast" = the third of the "four beast" ‑‑living creatures.

6. "Say, Come and see"  = John was requested to approach and see with his own eyes what was disclosed in the third portion of the book now unsealed and unrolled.

7. "Beheld" = to turn the eyes to; the Greek construction means to have absolute positive knowledge of what he saw.

8. "Lo" = a word used by John which seems to indicate John was saying, "Look here at what I see."

9. "A black horse" = a symbol of famine (Lam. 5:10); black follows red‑‑famine follows war; beating plow shares into swords produces no food (Joel 3:10); war only destroyed the food and prevented the soil from being tilled especially if there is nuclear involvement which will be used in future wars; this also is a symbol of distress and calamity which will also be a result of war.

10. "He that sat on him" = this is possibly the Antichrist or one that represented him; it does not appear that the horseman goes forth to destroy anything or that the effect of his going forth is directly to injure anything.

11. "Had a pair of balances in his hand" = denotes a beam or a pair of scales; the idea is that something was to be weighed; when joined with the symbols of grain (next verse) by weight it becomes the symbol of scarcity; food scarcity and rationing is usually an aftermath of war.

 

V. 6

1. "I" = John the beloved‑‑the human instrument who penned down this book.

2. "Heard" = to perceive by the ear what is spoken in one's presence; indicates he understood clearly what he heard.

3. "Voice in the midst of the four beasts" = this is not one of the four beast (living creatures) speaking but probably God the Father speaking‑‑the One on the throne which was "in the midst of the four beasts."

4. "A measure" = the amount required to feed a man with a moderate appetite for one day‑‑some believe it refers to only one meal.

5. "Wheat" = the seed of a plant which furnishes flour for bread; a grain most generally used by the human race for bread, if available.

6. "A penny" = the usual price of a day's labor; thus, the price of a bushel of wheat at this rate would be about $4.50 and that would indicate great scarcity and give rise to much distress‑‑thus, a great famine.

7. "Barley" = used to make bread in Bible times but it was used for bread for the poor because it was of lesser value‑‑one third of the price of wheat, but not as good quality.

8. By this announcement it reveals that there will be a scarcity and possibly the grain will be dealt out by the government at a high and oppressive price.

9. "And see thou hurt not the oil and wine" = this seems to be a general command to any and all not to injure the olive yards and vineyards; also this could refer to the possessions of the few rich war lords that their oil and wine will not be measured out to the famine stricken.

10. This is true today in many famine countries‑‑the poorer become poorer and the rich become richer.

 

V. 7

1. "He" = the Lamb‑‑the Lord Jesus Christ; the One who prevailed (conquered; overcame; had the right, power, and authority). (Rev. 5:5)

2. "Had opened the fourth seal" = revealed in the book that which had been sealed with the fourth seal.

3. "I" = John the beloved; the human instrument who penned down this book.

4. "Heard" = to perceive by the ear what is spoken in one's presence; indicates he understood what he heard.

5. "The fourth beast" = the fourth of the "four beast" ‑‑living creatures.

6. "Say, Come and see"  = John was requested to approach and see with his own eyes what was disclosed in the fourth portion of the book now unsealed and unrolled.

V. 8

1. "I" = John the beloved; the human instrument who penned down this book.

2. "Looked" = indicates an absolute positive knowledge of the facts John is about to write down.

3. "Behold" = to observe with care; used to call special attention to what John is about to say.

4. "Pale horse" = first "him" = corpse like; appropriate color to denote the reign of death; the Greek construction seems to indicate death in some peaceful manner such as by famine and disease while red denotes the ravages of death in war.

5. "His name that sat on him" = "Death" = second "him" = the idea is that death would reign or prevail under the opening of this seal; death comes because of all forms of diseases and pestilences that are multiplied due to the rotting corpses, thus fulfilling Mat. 24:7.

6. "Hell followed with him" = Hades attended death as he went forth, and gathered souls of victims‑‑the masses who donot know God. (Mat. 7:13‑14)

7. "Power was given unto them" = the devil has to be granted power to do anything (Job 1:6‑12); this comes from heaven‑‑God (John 3:27); this power was given unto them "over the fourth part of the earth to kill:"

A. With the sword" = in war and discord‑‑red horse rider.

B. "And with hunger" = with famine‑‑black horse rider; famine is one of the accompaniments of war, where armies ravage a nation, trample down the crops of grain, consume the provisions laid up, cut off men who would be occupied in cultivating the ground, and shut up people in besieged cites to perish by hunger; all this is magnified if nuclear involvement is used and it will be used in future wars of the world.

C. "And with death" = refers to death in some other form than sword or hunger; seems to denote pestilence, an accompaniment of war; nothing is better fitted to produce this than the unburied bodies of the slain.

D. "And with the beasts of the earth" = when men decrease by being killed, then the wild beast will increase; these beast will be starving due to the famine and they will kill many of mankind.

8. These four horses are what is called by the religious world as the four horses of the apocalypse, which is simply the four horses of Revelation.

9. I will give the basic outline of the time of the things revealed by the opening the seals of the seven‑sealed book.  See the chart in the center fold of this book.

A. The first horse begins the 70th week of Daniel, at which time the Antichrist makes a covenant with Israel and many other nations in the world.  He allows the Jews to build the temple in Jerusalem and begin their OT rituals in offering animal sacrifices.

B. The second horse occurs sometime during the first 3 1/2 years of the 70th week of Daniel.  I do not know the exact time.  It involves war to bring all nations in line with the Antichrist.

C. Then comes famine--the third horse and death--the foruth horse.  All four horses seem to be in the first 3 1/2 years of the 70th week of Daniel.

D. Somewhere in these first 3 1/2 years of the 70th week of Daniel, God's two witnesses come on the scene.  They are spoken of in Rev. 11:3‑12.  I will discuss them more fully in Rev. Chap. 11.  Their purpose is to witness and testify to Israel and the world, "You've accepted the Antichrist, not the Christ."  They witnessed for 3 1/2 years in the middle of the 70th week of Daniel; God has always had a witness.

E. At the middle of the 70th week of Daniel, the Antichrist sets himself up as God in such a way, it is disgusting‑‑abomination. (Mat. 24:15; Dan. 9:27; II Thess. 2:4; Rev. 13:2‑8)  Our Lord has already warned what will happen‑‑great tribulation. (Mat. 24:16‑21)  This is also called the time of Jacob's trouble (Jer. 30:6‑7) which will be upon Israel and all saints.  The length of time will not be 3 1/2 years but the days will be shortened for the elect's sake. (Mat. 24:22; Luke 18:8)  Many will be martyred for their stand for Christ, thus, seal number five.

F. Somewhere in the last 3 1/2 years of the 70th week of Daniel, the rapture will occur (seal number 6) which will be at the same time the two witnesses were caught up after being dead for 3 1/2 days. (Rev. 11:11‑12)

G. Seal number seven is opened after the rapture and the wrath of God will be poured out upon the lost left behind.  The wrath consist of 7 trumpets, 7 vials, and 7 thunders.

H. Then the Lord comes back in Rev. 19 and sets His feet upon this earth and Armageddon occurs.

I. The beast and false prophet will be cast in the Lake of fire and the Devil is chained for 1000 years.  And the Lord ushers in His millennium reign.

J. Then there will be a great white throne judgment for the lost and they will be cast in the lake of fire.

K. Our Lord will wipe away our tears and there will be a new heaven, new earth, and new Jerusalem‑‑Heaven.  And we (saints) will be with our Lord throughout all eternity, which has no end.

L. I have a 11 by 17 chart drawn to put all of this in perspective--best as I can.  You will find a copy of this chart, reduced in size, in the center fold of this book.  I would be glad to send you one just for the asking.

9. Flee now to the Lamb that was slain.  He hath prevailed and He will carry you through all that He allows you to go through.  Whenever the rapture occurs, you will be taken out with Him.

 

V. 9

1. "He" = the Lamb‑‑the Lord Jesus Christ; the One who prevailed (conquered; overcame; had the right, power, and authority). (Rev. 5:5)

2. "Had opened the fifth seal" = revealed in the book that which had been sealed with the fifth seal.

3. "I" = John the beloved; the human instrument who penned down this book.

4. "Saw" = indicates an absolute positive knowledge of the facts John is about to write down; this is sometime in the last 3 1/2 years of the 70th week of Daniel.

5. "Under the altar" = this is a vision of the altar in heaven which was a pattern shown to Moses when he built the tabernacle (Exo. 25:40); this would correspond to the brazen altar where the sacrifice for sin was made and supplications were made in connection with the sacrifice made for sin; the idea is that they who were suffering persecution would naturally seek a refuge in the place where expiation (the means by which atonement for sin is made) was made for sin, and where prayer was appropriately offered; the whole representation is that of fleeing to the atonement, and pleading with God in connection with the sacrifice for sin.

6. "Souls of them that were slain" = these are martyrs who had been put to death by persecution; these included, not only those who were slain in the time of the great tribulation for not taking the mark of the beast, but all who have been martyred, possibly from righteous Abel until the time John saw this scene; notice only the souls of them were there, not their bodies; this is proof:

A. That the soul does not cease to exist at death. (Gen. 2:7)

B. That the soul does not cease to be conscious.

C. That the soul does not sleep but is still in existence, remembering what had occurred on the earth, interested in their blood not being judged and avenged, engaged in prayer, and manifesting earnest desires of Divine intervention to avenge the wrongs which they had suffered.

D. That nobody had been raptured up yet‑‑the rapture had not yet occurred.

7. "Slain" = to butcher; to put to death by violence.

8. "For" = because; introduced the reasons for them being slain.

A. "For the word of God" = on account of the Word of God; refers to their standing for the truth, thus refusing to go along with the compromises given them, such as taking the mark of the beast to buy or sell; an example would be the three Hebrew boys refusing to bow to the image set up in Dan. 3‑‑they would have been slain in the fiery furnace but God intervened in their case.

B. "For the testimony which they held" = on account of their testimony to the truth, or being faithful witnesses to the truth of Jesus Christ; this was done by their life and lip‑‑you will get persecuted for living the truth and there may come a time you may die for living the truth.

 

V. 10

1. "They" = "our" = the martyrs of verse 9.

2. "Cried with a loud voice" = spoke with a loud voice as they prayed.

3. "Saying" = to point out with words.

4. "How long" = a familiar Jewish cry during the time of Jacob's troubles. (Psa. 74:9‑10; 79:5; 89:46; 94:3‑4)

5. "Lord" = "thou" = master; owner; they recognized His divine authority and majesty.

6. "Holy" = means different, separate from.

7. "True" = means real or genuine with an added note of perfection and completeness; these are attributes of our Lord and by using these attributes they were appealing to His character.

8. "How long doest thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?" = this phrase indicates a prayer for coming judgment, not from any vindictive feeling against their enemies, but in a spirit of zeal and love for God's glory and justice, and for the coming of that day when sin, which is rebellion against God, will be destroyed, and their own bodies will be raised; they were also praying for judgment to fall on the earth, which happens just before His kingdom is set up.

9. "Avenge" = means to do justice; to execute punishment; has the idea of securing justice for them; Jesus prayed for His executioners and so did Stephen; but though prayer for lenience has its time, so has the prayer of justice, and now the hour of God's judgment is about to come.

10. These martyrs cried out for the fulfillment of II Thess. 1:7‑9.  This will occur at the end of the great tribulation when the rapture occurs and wrath will be poured out on those who dwell (live‑‑still alive) on the earth.  Notice the two groups of mankind in verse 8 who will be punished.

 

V. 11

1. "White robes" = an assuring token that they are God's redeemed ones and that God will care for His own; this is a fulfillment of the promise to all the saved in Rev. 3:5; an overcomer just means being saved. (I John 5:4‑5)

2. "Were given" = to supply; to furnish; the Greek construction indicates the white robes will never be taken away.

3. "Them" = "they" = "their" = the martyred saints of verse 9‑‑"everyone of them" = not one will be left out.

4. "It was said unto them" = spoken in answer to their prayer, "that they should rest yet for a little season" until it was God's time for the Lord to come back in the rapture‑‑at the end of the great tribulation sometime during the last 3 1/2 years of the 70th week of Daniel, during which time "their fellowservants also and (even) their brethren (those saved; means from the same womb‑‑the womb of Holy Ghost conviction), that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled" = when the number of martyrs will be complete; only God knows the number and the time when the Lord Himself will come back in the rapture‑‑which is what seal 6 reveals.

5. Men have died for the cause of Christ from the beginning. (Heb. 11:35b‑37; Mat. 5:10‑12)  Jesus told the Pharisees they were guilty of shedding the blood of the saints. (Mat. 23:33‑35)  Stephen spoke of slaying of the OT saints.  Rev. 2:13 records a martyr in the early church age.  In the dark ages 50 million died of persecution during that 1200 year period.  In the 16th century, just before the pilgrims came to America, it is said that along one single European highway, 30 miles long, stakes were set up every few feet.  The tops were sharpened, and on top of each stake was placed a gory head of a martyred saint.  Saints have been slain from the beginning and there will be a great number slain in the great tribulation.  These all, OT and NT slain saints, are crying out in seal number five.  But all will be resurrected at the rapture (seal six) and are seen by John in a victorious state in heaven, not just souls but bodies as well, in Rev. 7:9.

 

V. 12

1. "I" = John the beloved who penned down this book.

2. "Beheld" = to see with the eyes; indicates an absolute positive knowledge of what his eyes looked upon.

3. "He" = the Lamb‑‑the Lord Jesus Christ; the One who prevailed (conquered; overcame; had the right, power, and authority). (Rev. 5:5)

4. "Had opened the sixth seal" = revealed in the book that which had been sealed with the sixth seal; this seal reveals the rapture.

3. "Lo" = a word used by John which seems to indicate John was saying, "Lookie here at what I see!" = he saw unusual disturbances on earth and in heaven and he recorded them in verses 12‑14:

A. "A great earthquake" = word denotes a shaking or agitation of the earth; described as "great" = large; used of intensity; sad to say that some commentaries say this is figurative but not so, this is a literal earthquake.

B. "The sun became black as sackcloth of hair" = sackcloth was a coarse black cloth commonly made of hair and used for mourning garments; the idea here is that the sun put on a dark, dingy, doleful appearance, as if it were mourning; it did not shine; this also occurred when Jesus was on the cross paying our sin debt. (Luke 23:44‑45)

C. "And the moon became as blood" = became red like blood; Joel 2:30‑31 prophesied that these things will happen before the day of the Lord comes‑‑day of wrath‑‑verse 17.

 

V. 13

D. "And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth" = some not all; there will be such convulsion‑‑shaking of the heavens‑‑that some of the stars will be loosened and fall from their places‑‑shooting stars.

E. "Even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind" = this speaks of winter figs, or such as grow under the leaves, and do not ripen at the proper season, but hang upon the trees during the winter; this fruit seldom matures, and easily falls off in the spring of the year; a violent wind shaking a plantation of fig‑trees would cast many such figs to the ground; the point of comparison is the ease with which the stars would seem to be shaken from their places.

 

V. 14

F. "And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together" = this refers to unusual disturbances in the heavens; some say it is figurative but I believe it is literal even though I cannot describe exactly what this means.

G. "And every mountain and island were moved out of their places" = this would be the results of a great earthquake.

1. These seven things found in verses 12‑14 denotes the all‑extending nature of God's judgment about to come in answer to the saint's prayer in verse 10.

2. How does all this fit prophecy?

A. Joel 2:30‑31 prophesied these things will happen just before the day of the Lord comes, which occurs just after the rapture.

B. Our Lord spoke of these things occurring in answer to four disciples' question in Luke 21:7 and He called them signs in Luke 21:25‑26.

C. Luke 21:25‑26 corresponds with Mat. 24:29 and Mark 13:24‑25. Notice the words "Immediately after the tribulation." (Acts 14:22)

 

V. 15

1. This verse speaks of men of the earth as being afraid and hiding in caves.

2. "And the kings of the earth" = rulers; all who occupied thrones.

3. "And the great men" = high officers of government.

4. "And the rich men" = their wealth would not secure them from destruction and they were alarmed as others.

5. "And the chief captains" = the commanders of armies‑‑they will tremble like other men when God appears in judgment.

6. "And mighty men" = men of great bravery in battle; they will feel now they have no power to withstand God.

7. "And every bondmen" = slave; servant.

8. "And every free man" = those not in bondage whether master of slaves or not.

9. "Hid themselves in the dens" = among the caves or caverns in the mountains; these places were resorted to for safety in times of danger.

10. "And in the rocks of the mountains" = refers to a strong hold; a fortress or fort; a place fortified with the rocks.

11. Again as in verses 12‑14, the enumeration is sevenfold, thus denoting the universality and completeness of the extent of the judgment.

 

V. 16

1. "Said" = refers to the words spoken by all seven classes of mankind (women included) of verse 15.

2. "To the mountains and rocks, fall on us" = this is the language prophesied in Hosea 10:8 and what our Lord spoke in Luke 23:30 that would come upon the lost; this is language denoting an awful fear of impending wrath.

3. "Hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne" = refers to God the Father who sat on His throne in heaven and is sending forth the display of His vengeance.

4. "And from the wrath of the Lamb" = the Lamb is a proper name used only to designate the Redeemer; but now He comes forth to execute wrath, not as a Lamb, but as the Son of God, who bore that name; Rev. 1:7 says every eye will see Him when He cometh with clouds.

5. How does this fit prophecy?

A. Isaiah prophesied this would happen in Isa. 2:19‑21.

B. Our Lord spoke of these things occurring in Mat. 24:30, Mark 13:26, and Luke 21:27.

 

V. 17

1. "For the great day of his wrath is come" = the anger of God the Father and God the Son will be exhibited in punishment upon the lost--those left behind since the saints of God will be gathered‑‑resurrected. (Mat. 24:31; Mark 13:27; Luke 21:27‑28); this wrath is what is revealed in opening the seventh seal and involves the 7 trumpets, 7 vials, and 7 thunders (these are not great tribulation as most say they are, but wrath).

2. "And who shall be able to stand?"= means who shall be able to withstand His judgments‑‑wrath.

3. Thank the Lord all saints will be raptured out and will not have to face the wrath of God which is called the day of the Lord‑‑the great day of His wrath. (Rom. 5:9; I Thess. 1:10; 5:9) The raptured saints are seen in Rev. 7:9-10

 

 

New Hope Baptist Church
1661 Griggstown Road
Calvert City, KY 42029
Church -270-527-3864
Pastor - 270-559-7135
email: edgarleepaschall@juno.com
The Persuader