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
E. The message to Sardis. V. 1-6
F. The message to Philadelphia. V. 7‑13
F. The Message to Laodicea. V. 14‑22
3. The things which shall be hereafter. Rev. 4:1‑22:21
1. "After these things" = the heading of this chapter in the Scofield KJV Bible introduces this chapter as a parenthetical, which means "pertaining to a parenthesis" which is defined as certain words inserted in a sentence which interrupt the sense or natural connection of words; this is not a parenthetical; this phrase is God‑breathed (II Tim. 3:16) and means just what it says, "after these things;" what things? those things that happened in Chapter 6 when six seals of the seven sealed book were opened, one seal at a time; these seven seals cover a time span of what is known as the 70th week of Daniel or a seven year period of time.
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. (Rev. 6:1-2)
B. The second horse occurs sometime during the first 3 ½ 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. (Rev. 6:3-4)
C. Then comes famine--the third horse and death--the fourth horse. All four horses seem to be in the first 3 ½ years of the 70th week of Daniel. (Rev. 6:5-8)
D. 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; called the beast in 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 (spiritual Jews). The length of time will not be 3 ½ 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. (Rev. 6:9-11)
E. Somewhere in the last 3 ½ years of the 70th week of Daniel, the rapture will occur. (seal number 6; Rev. 6:12-16)
F. "For the great day of his wrath is come" = (Rev. 6:17) 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).
G. "And who shall be able to stand?"= means who shall be able to withstand His judgments‑‑wrath; saints will not be here therefore not included.
H. Thus "after these things."
I. These same words appear in verse 9 "after this" = therefore, these two events were seen at the same time with both occurring right after seal number 6‑‑the rapture. But John could only tell of these events one at a time.
2. "I" = John the apostle, the human instrument the Holy Spirit used to pen down this book of Revelation.
3. "Saw" = indicates an absolute positive knowledge of the facts John is about to write down.
4. "Angels" = God's ministering spirits; not human beings; the number of them being "four" = which stand on the "four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth."
A. "The four corners of the earth" = may represent the four main points of the compass‑‑north, south, east, and west; whatever this means, the whole earth was included.
B. "The four winds of the earth" = together these mean a dreadful and general destruction; but the destruction is delayed ("holding") for a short period of time until God has accomplished some definite purpose‑‑the sealing of the 144,000 Israelites.
5. The angels had specific instructions‑‑do not pour wrath out right now. This is the same as "the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree."
1. "I saw" = see notes on verse 1.
2. "Another angel" = God's ministering spirit; this may be (do not know for certain) God's announcing archangel Gabriel for "He cried with a loud voice to the four angels" = his cry or announcement is recorded in verse 3.
3. This angel had "the seal of the living God" = this is not the seal used for saints for they are sealed with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13‑14); this seal was for a special group of Jews and it was placed in their foreheads.
4. The angels were messengers of doom for it was given them "to hurt the earth and the sea" = to pour out God's judgment‑‑wrath.
1. This is the fifth angel's message.
2. "Hurt not" = though it was given to the four angels to hurt or damage, the fifth angel commanded them not to begin to injure or damage the earth, the sea, or the trees until, or, "till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads" = a seal indicates ownership and guarantees protection and that is exactly what happens to those sealed; when wrath begins to be poured out, it is upon men (mankind) who have not the seal of God in their foreheads. (Rev. 9:4)
3. "Servants" = sometimes this word is used to identify saints (Rom. 1:1) and it is also used to identify men that the Lord chooses to use to fulfill His purpose even though they may be lost (Jer. 27:6); these men are chosen by God to fulfill His purpose, but they are not saved.
4. When thinking about these sealed, you must remember the rapture had just occurred in Chapter six, seal number six. Therefore, they do not have a second chance to be saved but will be used by the Lord to repopulate the earth in the millennium reign. I Cor 15:22‑23 makes it clear that there are only two times men are made alive with glorified bodies‑‑Christ the firstfruits and the rapture.
1. "I" = John the beloved, the human instrument the Lord used to pen down this book.
2. "Heard the number of them that were sealed" = after they were sealed, John heard the number‑‑ 144,000.
3. These were from all the tribes of the children of Israel‑‑12 tribes of Israel, who was Jacob.
A. "Of Juda" = Judah; 12,000.
B. "Of Reuben" = 12,000.
C. "Of Gad" = 12,000.
D. "Of Aser" = Asher; 12,000.
E. "Of Nepthalim" = Naphtali; 12,000.
F. "Of Manasses" = Manasseh; 12,000.
G. "Of Simeon" = 12,000.
H. "Of Levi" = 12,000.
I. "Of Issachar" = 12,000.
J. "Of Zabulon" = Zebulon; 12,000.
K. "Of Joseph" = 12,000.
L. "Of Benjamin" = 12,000.
1. Joseph had a double portion in his two sons, Ephraim and Manesseh, both of which was a tribe that inherited in Canaan. But here Joseph is mentioned instead of Ephraim. The reason for this is not completely known.
2. Levi, being the priestly tribe, did not inherit in Canaan but were priests to Israel throughout the land and they are mentioned here.
3. Dan is not mentioned here. He was cut off from Israel because of excessive idolatry.
4. In this chapter the purpose is not given concerning the 144,000, but God does not move without purpose or plan. These 144,000 are mentioned again in Rev. 14 and maybe we will have more insight by then concerning these men.
1. "After this" = refers back to the things that occurred in Rev. 6 and is equivalent to "after these things" in verse 1; as soon as the rapture (Rev. 6, seal number 6), John saw two scenes in heaven and the Holy Ghost chose to pen down about the sealing of the men first.
2. "I" = John the Beloved, the human instrument the Lord used to pen down this book,
3. "Beheld" = same Greek word translated "saw" in verse 1; indicates an absolute positive knowledge of the facts John is about to write down.
4. "Lo" = behold; see; word that demands the hearer to attend to what is said.
5. "A multitude" = a crowd or throng; the state of being many; described as "great" = beyond what is usual; this is the total sum of all raptured saints = "of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues."
6. "Stood before the throne" = refers to their position‑‑standing; means they had bodies and were not disembodied spirits; they are no longer under the altar as in Rev. 6:9; they are in the presence of Him who is seated on the throne; to be permitted to stand before His throne as His redeemed ones is an honor, not to be despised.
7. "Clothed with white robes" = revealed their purity, righteousness, and holiness; their righteousness is not self‑righteousness (Mat. 5:20) but the Lord Jesus who is the righteousness of God (I Cor. 1:30; I John 5:12); purity is what the Word of God promised He would do. (Eph. 5:26‑27; Jude 24)
8. "Palms in their hands" = refers to their protection; palm branches express the joy of complete deliverance; palm branches were used in the feast of tabernacles to build booths to show how the Lord protected Israel in the wilderness journey‑‑He brought them out to bring them in and they were protected all the way; when Israel returned from captivity they made booths of palm branches (Neh. 8:17) and "there was very great gladness;" palm branches were used at the triumphant entrance of Jesus in John 12:12‑13; in our text the palms represent victory because deliverance has come for the Deliverer has come and raptured out His saints and John sees them--us, the saved.
1. This verse reveals the praise of the raptured saints.
2. "Cried with a loud voice" = to speak with a loud voice; the Greek construction reveals that each and every saint cried out--not one was silent.
3. "Saying" = to point out with words; their cry consisted of audible words.
4. "Salvation to our God" = this is not saying they desire God to grant them salvation for they already have salvation.
A. The Greek construction gives the idea that their deliverance from sin, danger, persecution, and death was to be ascribed to God and "unto the Lamb" = who is God, slain from the foundation of the world (I Peter 1:18‑20)
B. Salvation is of the Lord:
1) He planned it.
2) He provided it.
3) He initiated it.
4) He produced it.
5) He consummated it.
C. Whatever is included in the word salvation will be to God alone:
1) The deliverance from sin, danger, and death.
2) The resurrection from the grave.
3) The rescue from eternal fire.
4) The admission to a holy heaven.
5) All due to God.
D. In John 12:13 the people cried "Hosanna" which means "O save," but now these raptured saints are crying "Saved;" salvation is something the angels never proclaim because they do not understand what it means to be saved. (I Peter 1:10‑12)
5. "Which" = who; God is a person therefore, this is masculine gender not neuter.
6. "Sitteth upon the throne" = refers to the Father sitting on the throne as in Rev. 4:2; means permanence; it is not like the earthy thrones which topple‑‑no power in the universe can shake it; it represents the universal sovereignty and rulership of God. (Psa. 47:9; 103:19)
7. The praise of the raptured saints caused the angelic host of heaven to fall on their faces and worship God‑‑verses 11‑12.
1. "The angels" = "their" = the unfallen angels; God's created beings; the ministering spirits of God; the position of these angels are given = "stood round about the throne, and about the elders, and the four beast."
2. "The elders" = the same as the 24 elders mentioned in Rev. 4:4:
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 (only one 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) 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.
3. "The four beasts" = the same as mentioned in Rev. 4:6: 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.
4. "Fell before the throne on their faces" = a position of worship.
5. "Worshipped" = to reverence and honor and to serve and praise.
1. "Saying" = to point out with words; their worship consisted of audible words.
2. "Amen" = means it is truth what the saints had said in their praise and worship.
3. Then they gave a seven‑fold doxology‑‑a particular form of giving glory to God.
A. "Blessing" = means to eulogize or make happy; in heaven even the angels make our Lord happy by eulogizing Him.
B. "Glory" = manifestation of that which brings forth praise; to show forth to the world the correct opinion or estimation of who God is.
C. "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.
D. "Thanksgiving" = appreciation; giving thanks to God; grateful acknowledgment of God's mercies; I Thess. 5:18 says "in" not necessarily for; failure to do so leads to idolatry. (Rom. 1:21‑23)
E. "Honour" = an expression of respect and reverence; the esteem due or paid according to worth (Psa. 104:1); to look upon with a deep feeling of respect.
F. "Power" = power or authority to rule over all things; all power was given to the Lamb of God (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 to thy house.)
G. "Might" = translated "strength" in Rev. 5:12; ability to accomplish His purposes; the word emphasizes the might and power of God; nothing and no one are 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)
H. This seven‑fold doxology is similar to Rev. 5:12 where it was given to the Worthy Lamb by the angels. Here it is given to God the Father‑‑the One who sits on the throne and also given to the Lamb (verse 10) who is God.
4. In context this is the angels praising God, but I am sure all the raptured saints are in total agreement with this praise and may have joined in although not recorded here.
5. "For ever and ever" = to the ages of ages; there will be no end to His receiving of praises.
6. "Amen" = means it is truth; the angels got carried away and said two "Amens"‑‑one to what the saints said and one to what they said; it is truth.
1. "One of the elders" = spoke and asked John two questions; this seems to validate what I said in verse 11 concerning the elders‑‑they seemingly are the OT saints, for they are not a part of this multitude just mentioned.
2. "Me" = John the beloved who is the human instrument the Lord used to pen down this book.
3. "What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?" = these questions are no doubt asked to cause John to think; he seemed to think John ought to know who they were.
1. "I" = "me" = John the beloved who penned down this book.
2. "Him" = "thou" = "he" = the elder who asked the questions in verse 13.
3. "Sir" = a title of honor expressive of respect and reverence; a title John called the elder who spoke.
4. "Knowest" = to have absolute positive knowledge of the facts; John respectfully suggested that the elder knew; I think John knew but he wanted the elder to tell him, then he would know for sure who they were.
5. So the elder answered the questions‑‑"These are they which came out of great tribulation and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb:"
A. "These" = "they" = "their" = refers to the multitude of verse 9‑‑the raptured saints; also refers to the whole number of the redeemed who have finished their time of testing on earth.
B. "Came out of great tribulation" = the Greek construction refers to all those who are saved during the entire Church Age; "great tribulation" includes all the tribulations of all time; Acts 14:22b is evidence of the "many tribulations" through which believers must pass.
C. "Have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" = refers to this multitude as putting saving faith in Christ and receiving His redemptive work on the cross; some think these are all martyrs or that they were slain, but the Bible does not say they are all martyrs or that they were slain; however, it is clear that these all are born‑again believers.
1. "Therefore" = in view of the fact that this multitude is saved; looks back to verse 14.
2. "They" = "them" = the multitude of raptured saints.
3. "Before the throne" = reveals the privilege of the saints to be before the throne of "God;" there is nothing standing between them and the Lord.
4. "God" = "him" = "he" = the creator of all things.
5. "Serve" = to minister to one; to worship; the tense is continuous action‑‑habitual lifestyle.
6. "Day and night" = refers to being continuous, because there is coming a time when there will be no night‑‑just one eternal day.
7. "His temple" = possibly refers to the millennial temple to be built and the heavenly temple after the millennium.
8. "He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them" = means that God, who is on the throne, continually spreads His tent or tabernacle over them, a reference to the Shekinah glory (Exo. 40:34‑38); because God dwells in their midst and spreads His glory over them, He will shelter and protect them and they will never again have to be afraid of anything.
1. Verses 16‑17 shows the provision of the raptured saints.
2. "They" = "them" = the multitude of the raptured saints.
3. This verse is a repetition of the promise given to Israel in Isa. 49:10; here the promise is to the raptured saints who make up Spiritual Israel. (Rom. 2:28‑29)
4. "They shall hunger no more" = saints all down through the ages have hungered because of their stand for the Lord; Jeremiah in Jer. 38:6; Paul in II Cor. 11:27; those alive during the great tribulation hungered because they did not accept the mark of the beast and were forbidden to buy or sell; but now they "shall hunger no more." (Psa. 23:1‑2a)
5. "Neither thirst any more" = saints all down through the ages have thirsted due to their stand for the Lord; Jeremiah in Jer. 38:6; Paul in II Cor. 11:27; but now the Shepherd leads beside the still waters. (Psa. 23:2b)
6. "Neither shall the sun light on them nor any heat:"
A. "Light" = strike upon.
B. "Heat" = burning heat.
C. No doubt there were many saints who suffered the burning heat of the sun because they had heavy burdens put upon them because of who they were‑‑saints. John was banished to the Isle of Patmos for the cause of Christ and had to suffer the heat of the sun while there.
D. This does not refer to the fourth vial of Rev. 16:8‑9, for that is the wrath of God and no saint will ever experience the wrath of God.
1. "For" = introduces the reason the saints will not hunger, thirst, or experience the burning heat.
2. "The Lamb" = the Lord Jesus Christ who is the sacrificial Lamb whose blood was shed for the saints; He is also the Shepherd who will continue to feed and lead His own.
3. "Which" = who; the Lamb is a person not a thing; therefore, this is masculine gender not neuter.
4. "Is in the midst of the throne" = He is in the midst of those who surround the throne at the Father's right hand, thus sharing the power and authority of the One on the throne. (Heb. 1:3)
5. "Them" = "their" = the multitude of raptured saints.
6. "Shall feed them" = under the guiding hand of the Lamb every provision will be available to His people; there shall be no want. (Psa. 23:1)
7. "Shall lead them unto living fountains of water" = springs of living water; this is the final fulfillment and fullness of what was promised in John 4:14 and 7:37-38. (Psa. 23:2)
8. "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes" = tears symbolize sorrow; many events in our life causes tears, but God will remove all sorrow after the Great White Throne judgment (Rev. 20:15)‑‑wiping every tear from the saint's eyes (Rev. 21:4); that is in the new heaven.
9. Some would say how could it be heaven if we just saw our loved ones cast into hell? The answer is found in Isa. 65:17. In the new heaven there will be no memory of the former life‑‑you will never know they existed. And the Lord will be the Light, thus, no need for the sun. (Rev. 21:23)
1. "He" = the Lord Jesus, referred to as the Lion of the tribe of Judah and as the Lamb in Rev. 5:5‑7.
2. "Opened the seventh seal" = the opening of this seal reveals the wrath poured out on the lost left behind when the rapture occurred in Rev. 6:12‑17‑‑seal number six; this wrath is spoken of as seven trumpets (chapter 8, 9, and 11), the seven thunders (chapter 10) of which we know very little, and the seven vials (chapter 16); the time of this is somewhere near the end of the 70th week of Daniel.
3. This is the wrath of God and not tribulation as many want to believe. No saint will have to face this wrath, for they were raptured out in Rev. 6, when the 6th seal was opened. (I Thess. 1:10; 5:9; Rom. 5:9) Only the lost were left behind and they all knew what was happening as they declared plainly in Rev. 6:15-17.
4. This is what the OT Prophets call "the day of the Lord." (Isa. 2:12‑21; Zep. 1:14‑18; Zech. 14:1‑3) This is not "Jacob's trouble that Jer. 30:7 spoke of, that is the great tribulation--"Jacob's trouble."
5. "There was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour" = the reason for this silence is because the opening of the 7th seal is most solemn; it is sobering to the angels and saints as they get a glimpse of the trumpets, vials, and thunders about to be poured out‑‑so awesome that heaven can only observe in silence.
6. In chapters 5 and 7 all of heaven resounds with the praises of redeemed men and of angels, giving glory to the Lamb but now there is a silent pause. A half hour is not a long period of time when one is engaged in a joyous occasion but 30 minutes of intense suspense can be nerve shattering. This is the silent, solemn preparation for the most awful judgments ever to come upon the world‑‑God's wrath not tribulation.
1. "I" = John the beloved, the human instrument the Lord used to pen down this book.
2. "Saw" = indicates an absolute positive knowledge of the facts John is about to write down.
3. "The seven angels which stood before God" = all of the angels were standing round about the throne (Rev. 7:11); these seven were chosen as God's messengers and given seven trumpets.
4. "Trumpets" = the sound of the trumpet in Israel indicated the intervention of God in the affairs of men on earth; the blowing of the trumpets called the Israelites together for instruction (Num. 10:3‑4) or for marching (Num. 10:5‑6); it summoned them to assemble for war (Jer. 4:19) and to return from the dispersion (Isa. 27:13); it announced release in the year of jubilee (Lev. 25:8‑10) and here it announces judgment; the trumpet was to give a certain sound. (I Cor. 14:8)
5. This is a fulfillment of Rom. 1:18.
1. "Another angel" = another messenger of God besides the seven angels already spoken of; some believe this to be the Lord Jesus because he ministers both God-ward and man-ward, serving as both priest and judge; the point of emphasis is that the prayers of the saints are made effective through the incense added by the angel‑‑that is what Jesus does now‑‑makes the saint's prayers effective (Heb. 7:24‑25); it does not matter who this angel is but it is God's minister.
2. The order of events followed here, though not given in minute detail, resembles the ceremony of the Jewish OT worship.
3. "The altar" = this seems to be the brazen altar in heaven‑‑the pattern by which Moses built the brazen altar on earth (Exo. 25:9); the altar in the OT was the expression of God's holiness and righteousness in dealing with the sin of the people.
4. "Censer" = a vase or pan in which incense is burned; described as "golden" = this word is used only here with censer, thus, described in the same way that all the furniture of the heavenly realm is described in Revelation.
5. "Incense" = the odors of spices burnt in religious worship; denotes the prayers of the saints; the meaning is that incense was the proper emblem of prayer. (Psa. 141:2)
6. "The golden altar" = the altar of incense of which the type was on earth in the holy place in the OT but now is before the throne in heaven.
7. "Prayers of all saints" = this is not just the prayers of the saints mentioned in Rev. 6:9‑10 but refers to all the prayers of the saved down through the ages.
8. The angel's action shows that the prayers must come before God by way of the altar. The cloud of sweet‑smelling smoke that arose when the angel poured incense on the altar symbolizes God's acceptance of the prayers. Now these prayers, stored up throughout the centuries, are about to be fulfilled.
1. "The smoke" = the visible vapor that escaped when the incense was burned; this came up "with the prayers of the saints."
2. "Ascended up before God" = the language of this verse reveals that these prayers of the saints are accepted in heaven.
1. "The angel" = the same angel who took the golden censer in verse 3 and offered the incense with the prayers of the saints, now fills the censer "with fire of the altar" = this is the brazen altar which had fire upon it and was not ever put out. (Lev. 6:12)
2. "And cast it into the earth" = this is a symbol of judgment upon the earth‑‑the wrath of God.
3. "There were voices, thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake" = these are symbolic forerunners of the divine judgments about to fall upon the earth.
1. "The seven angels" = God's ministering spirits which are always ready to do the command of God (Mat. 18:10); the angels chosen, out from among all the angels, to carry out God's judgment. (verse 2)
2. "Prepared themselves to sound" = made ready to carry out God's will.
1. "The first angel sounded" = blew the trumpet given him; this is not symbolic but literal.
2. "There followed hail and fire mingled with blood" = this is similar to one of the plagues in Egypt and they were literal--7th plague or judgment. (Exo. 9:22‑25)
3. "With blood" = I have not read an explanation of this but I think the mingled blood signifies the blood shed of man and beast, but if not, God can do what He wants; no doubt this was a warning to those left on the earth that judgment (wrath) was coming.
4. "And they were cast upon the earth, and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up" = the result of the judgment of God (wrath) being poured upon this earth; it is not stated that men and beast died but the mention of blood makes me think some died; no doubt some men lost their wealth due to the destruction of their livelihood and some may have taken their life like some did when the stock market crashed.
5. I believe the seven vials of Rev. 16 are poured out when each angel sounds the trumpet of God's judgment. Therefore, we must study the two together to get the entire picture. Vial number one speaks of men having a noisome and grievous sore upon them when this vial was poured out. (Rev. 16:2)
1. "The second angel sounded" = blew the trumpet given him.
2. "As it were" = indicates John trying to describe what he saw, thus his description includes a symbolic figure.
3. "A great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea" = this possibly is a mass of meteorites resembling a mountain ablaze and falling into the sea which caused "the third part of the sea became blood" = something similar happened in Egypt to warn them‑‑1st plague or judgment. (Exo. 7:20‑21)
1. "And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died" = this would naturally occur because the water that was turned to blood did not have enough oxygen supply for the creatures to live.
2. "And the third part of the ships were destroyed" = we cannot see a natural reason for these ships being destroyed except the Lord destroyed them; we do not know how, but He did it because He said so; what the Word of God says is true.
3. The second vial was poured out when the second trumpet sounded (I believe) and it speaks generally while our text is specific‑‑1/3 of the creatures died. (Rev. 16:3)
1. "And the third angel sounded" = blew the trumpet given him.
2. "And there fell a great star from heaven" = a literal star.
3. "As it were a lamp" = not a literal lamp; indicates this star was burning; a shooting star most of which burn out before they hit the earth, but not this one.
4. "And it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the foundations of waters" = as the shooting star sweeps along the surface it affects 1/3 of the rivers, springs, and wells.
1. "The name of the star is called Wormwood" = Isa. 40:26 says the Lord called all the stars (host) by name and put them in place (Gen. 1:14‑16); He knows how many there are and called them by name. (Psa. 147:4)
2. "And the third part of the waters became wormwood" = means the waters became bitter, which caused many men to die because the waters were made bitter‑‑reminds me of the bitter waters of Marah in Exo. 15:23‑25; of course those waters were made sweet so they could drink but not so in our text; these men are under the wrath of God.
3. This is the first time mentioned that men died during this period of wrath known as the day of the Lord, but no doubt it is implied in the preceding judgments.
4. Jeremiah prophesied of this in Jer. 9:14‑15. Do not think it strange because on March 21, 1823 a volcanic eruption on a chain of islands SW of Alaska caused the water to become bitter so as to be unfit to drink. God will use that which He created to affect His ends.
5. When our Lord hung upon the cross, His enemies "gave Him vinegar to drink mingled with gall." (Mat. 27:34) At the sounding of the third trumpet, many wicked men will die from water made bitter by the Divine Judge. But now, in this day of grace, God makes available to men the soul‑satisfying water of life. (John 4:14; 7:37‑39)
6. The third vial was poured out when the third angel sounded (I believe) and it speaks generally while our text is specific‑‑"upon the third part of the rivers." (Rev. 16:4‑7)
1. "The fourth angel sounded" = blew the trumpet given him.
2. "And the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened" = it is interesting to note that on the fourth day of creation He brought forth the sun, moon, and stars into view in order to provide light for man (Gen. 1:14-16); now He shall withdraw the light He Himself created--one third of it.
3. "And the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise" = the sun didn’t shine in Moses' day for three days (Exo. 10:21-23; ninth plague or judgment upon Egypt) and on the cross for three hours (Mat 27:45) and in the sixth seal (Rev. 6:12), but those occurrences were only temporary while our text deals with permanent withdrawal during this period of wrath.
4. The fourth vial was poured out when the fourth trumpet sounded (I believe) and it speaks generally while our text is specific--1/3 of the sun was darkened. (Rev. 16:8) The fourth vial also shows that men were scorched where the sun did shine.
1. "I" = John the beloved, the human instrument the Lord used to pen down this book.
2. "Beheld" = saw; indicates an absolute positive knowledge of the facts John is about to write down.
3. "Heard" = to perceive the sense of what is said.
4. "An angel" = messenger from God; some say this is an eagle but the Greek word used here is only translated angel or messenger; this is a different angel than those already mentioned in this chapter.
5. "Flying through the midst of heaven" = refers to the atmospheric or first heaven where men dwell; this is not figurative but actually will happen.
6. "Saying with a loud voice" = so all the people on the earth can hear; God always warns before He ever does anything in the way of judgment; there have already been four trumpets to sound or announced that the judgment (wrath) of God is coming; now this angel warns that the three trumpets left to sound are even more terrible and horrible than the first four.
7. "Woe, woe, woe" = an exclamation of grief because great and terrible judgment is about to come "to the inhabiters of the earth" = refers to the lost left behind when the rapture occurred in Rev. 6:12‑17‑‑the saints of God will be at the Judgment Seat of Christ in the third heaven.
1. "The fifth angel sounded" = blew the trumpet given him.
2. "I" = John the beloved, the human instrument the Lord used to pen down this book.
3. "Saw" = indicated an absolute positive knowledge of the facts John is about to write down; this literally occurred and John described it as best he could‑‑the Lord moved his hand in writing it down. (II Peter 1:21)
4. "A star" = there are a lot of different thoughts concerning who this star is; a "star" sometimes signifies one high in position; I am inclined to believe that this refers to Satan himself; even though this is an unnamed personality, it is definitely a personage shown by the use of masculine pronouns "him" in this verse and "he" in verse 2; he is verified as the angel of the bottomless pit in verse 11.
5. "Fall from heaven unto the earth" = Isa. 14:12 refers to Satan as one who did that; our Lord said about the same thing in Luke 10:18; the tense of "fall" in the Greek is perfect tense, thus, a completed action in past time with existing results‑‑Satan fell and he still remains in that condition.
6. "To him was given the key of the bottomless pit" = Jesus has the keys of all things (of the kingdom of heaven; Mat. 16:19; of hell and death; Rev. 1:18); therefore, He gives the key to Satan to exercise power for a short season to open the "bottomless pit" = the abode of Satan and his angels (demons); hades; the pit of the abyss; the pit is dreaded by demons (Luke 8:31; Mat. 8:29); Jude 6 speaks of this as a place where the angels which kept not their first estate were chained.
7. This is hard to explain. There are no contradictions in the Bible. The demons in Luke 8:31 were not literally chained in the pit and neither is Satan chained yet. And when he opens the pit, there comes out huge numbers of what some would call demonic forces. How can we explain this? I do not have all of the answers but it seems some demons are chained now, thus let loose when this trumpet sounds and that all will be bound in the future. Still puzzling! When Jesus died on the cross and said "It is finished" He fulfilled what He came for (one thing)--to "destroy the works of the devil." (I John 3:8) Did He? Yes! But you say, "The devil is still working 2000 years after the cross." Yes, but he is a defeated foe and his waterloo is coming. Thus, the Lord is the only One who can say something is finished and it not yet be completed, but it is an good as done. Maybe this is what is happening here. I do not know for certain, but I do know that what the Lord says will come to pass just as He said and if we are familiar with these things when they begin to unfold we will know that His word is right. The best part about this trumpet is that no saints will ever experience any of this wrath for they will be with the Lord at the Judgment Seat of Christ and the marriage supper of the Lamb while wrath is being poured upon this earth.
1. "He" = the star of verse 1‑‑believed to be Satan.
2. "Opened" = exercised the key given him in verse 1.
3. "Bottomless pit" = the abode of Satan and his angels (demons); hades; the pit of the abyss.
4. "There arose a smoke of a great furnace" = like a mighty volcanic eruption which is nothing more than hell erupting and spewing forth that which is thousands of degrees F = "as the smoke of a great furnace."
5. "And the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit" = darkness blots out the sun--the 2/3 that's left when the fourth angel sounded. (Rev. 8:12)
6. This is a sample of hell on earth‑‑God's wrath being poured upon mankind. Some would say this is not fair. But look at what God did over and over again. Because of sin God spared not:
A. The angels. (II Peter 2:4)
B. The world in Noah's day. (II Peter 2:5)
C. Sodom and Gomorrha. (II Peter 3:6)
D. His own Son. (Rom 8:32)
E. And neither will He spare unrepentant man, for all had light and they rejected it.
1. "Locusts" = literal creatures (demons which have no shape but take on any form; Mark 5:12) who take on the form of these unique locusts; different from the ordinary locust that plagued Egypt (Exo. 10:12); these come out of the smoke which comes out of the abyss; in prophetic Scripture locusts are symbols of divine judgment. (Deut. 28:38, 42)
2. "Unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power" = scorpions use their tail to sting and leave victims in severe torture; King Rehoboam said he would use scorpions to chastize his subjects. (I Kings 12:11, 14)
1. "Them" = refers to the locusts.
2. "Commanded" = to charge, which implies authority; commanded not to "hurt the green grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads."
3. These instruments of God's judgment were not to hurt the foliage of earth, but men who have not the seal of God in their foreheads. These men are the 144,000 who were sealed in their forehead in Rev. 7:3‑8. These are not saved because all the saved are sealed with the Holy Spirit in their heart‑‑this is at the point of salvation. (Eph. 1:13‑14)
1. "And to them it was given that they should not kill them" = the locusts were commanded not to kill mankind on the earth‑‑hurt but not kill.
2. "But that they should be tormented five months" = refers to mankind left behind after the rapture to face this judgment‑‑wrath of God; the 144,000 Jews are exempt from this torment. (verse 4)
3. "Tormented" = to vex (to harass; to afflict) with extreme pain and anguish; indicates the utmost degree of misery of the body and mind.
4. "Five months" = these demonic creatures are limited not only how far they can go with tormenting men (canot kill them) but also they are limited to five months of time; we do not know why five months except that the One in control gives them five months to do their work of judgment, at which time it seems they will be sent back into the abyss and imprisoned there until the final judgment.
5. "Their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man" = a scorpion's sting (strike) consist of a painful sting inflicting its victim with a mixture of poison that generally attacks the nervous system.
6. The language of these verses describe a literal creature that inflicts torment like the sting (strike) of a scorpion. There are some who want to discount the book of Revelation as being all figurative. Some things are literal and some are figurative and we must rightly divide as to what is literal and what is figurative to get a better understanding of this book.
1. "In those days" = the five months of time--the duration of this trumpet.
2. "Shall men seek death, and shall not find it" = The victims of this wrath become so weary of the agony that they desire to die and even seek death and canot die; death has always been an enemy (I Cor. 15:26); all mankind tries to evade death, especially the unsaved in their right mind; Jer. 8:3 prophesied that man would seek death during the time of Judah's captivity; how much more will they seek death during the time of this awful judgment.
3. "And shall desire to die:"
A. Men will take poison and it will just eat out their stomach and cause more pain for death flees.
B. Men will head their car toward a tree at 100 miles an hour and will be mangled and torn bodily and all they will experience will be more pain for they canot die.
C. Men will take a gun and blow out their brains but canot die.
D. The Lord is in control and death only comes when He turns the key of death which He possess. (Rev. 1:18)
4. "Death shall flee" = to keep away from.
5. "Them" = mankind experiencing this trumpet of wrath.
1. "Shapes" = likeness; representation.
2. "Like unto" = resembling.
3. "Horses prepared unto battle" = this seems to mean that these creatures looked like war horses arrayed and prepared for battle; this may mean they were quite large and that their appearance would entice people with a false promise of power and victory.
4. "And on their heads were as it were crowns like gold" = John saw something like crowns that looked like gold but they are not real crowns, nor are they real gold; this is symbolic and points to the fact that they will succeed in what they are allowed to do.
5. "And their faces were as the faces of men" = these creatures did not have the faces of real locust but that of intelligent human beings; yet their intelligence must be evil and demonic.
1. "And had hair as the hair of women" = a woman's hair is her glory (I Cor. 11:6‑7)‑‑it is beautiful and attractive to the eye of the beholder; the long hair of these demon locusts suggest that there is something horribly and seductively attractive about them; it seems that they use their attractions to lure men on to their doom.
2. "And their teeth were as the teeth of lions" = woe to those who become their prey; they will rend and tear and fasten on to their victims, and nothing will pry them loose; yet the real hurt comes from their scorpion-like tails; nevertheless, the lion-like teeth add to the fierceness and terror of their appearance‑‑they are capable of rending and destroying like a lion, but they are not allowed to do so.
1. "And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron" = no ordinary weapon, nor weapon available to mankind can stop, kill, or destroy these creatures; they have no vulnerable spot for the breastplates cover all such spots.
2. "And the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle" = this is John's description of what he hears‑‑the beating of the wings of these thousands of demon locusts makes such a great whirring noise that John could only describe it this way.
1 This verse basically repeats verse 5. When the Holy Spirit repeats a detail, especially in so few verses, it is because detail is important. The fact is emphasized that these loathsome spirits have but a single aim‑‑to injure, hurt, torture, and damage but not kill, and that their power and authority to do this will continue for five months. Then they will be gone, undoubtedly back to the abyss.
2. These demon creatures know no mercy. One thing is certain--no saint will have to face this awful wrath for they will have been raptured out just before wrath falls.
1. "They" = the demonic creatures let out of the abyss.
2. "King" = "whose" = "his" = prince; leader; this is Satan who is also called "the angel of the bottomless pit" = the minister and the author of havoc on the earth; this further indicates that these are not real locusts for Pro. 30:27 states that locusts have no king.
3. "The bottomless pit" = the abyss; hell.
4. "Abaddon" = the Hebrew name for this king‑angel; means destruction.
5. "Apollyon" = the Greek name of this king‑angel; means the destroyer.
6. The fifth vial was poured out when the fifth trumpet sounded (I believe), and it speaks generally while our text is more specific. (Rev. 16:10‑11) The fifth vial also shows that men, even though they were in much pain and could not die, would not, in fact could not, repent. This takes a work of the Holy Spirit and all mankind left behind at the rapture had rejected light, and therefore it was not possible for them to repent.
7. I know that many movies made today are designed to cause people to think this wrath is not so because the movies are fake, but this will one day be a reality to mankind left behind after the rapture.
1. "One woe is past" = this is the terrible wrath of the fifth trumpet; this lets us know that trumpet six and seven will not be blown until the five month period of time of the fifth trumpet is completed.
2. "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.
3. "There come two woes more hereafter" = two more trumpets are to be blown announcing great and terrible judgment upon mankind left behind at the rapture.
4. As we look ahead, it seems that the increase in the severity of the judgments matches the increase in the stubborn rebelliousness of mankind against God.
1. "The sixth angel sounded" = blew the trumpet given him; this was after the five month period of time of the results of trumpet five.
2. "I" = John the beloved, the human instrument the Lord used to pen down this book.
3. "Heard" = to understand; to perceive the sense of what is said; John heard distinctly what was said.
4. "A voice" = we are not told whose voice this is and the commentaries do not agree as to who this is; someone has said when the Bible is silent, we need to be silent; one thing about this verse--it is spoken with the authoritative power of God.
5. "From the four horns of the golden altar which is before God" = this is the golden altar of incense which set before the veil of the Holy of Holies where God met man in OT time; the four horns are projections at the corners of this altar; this is the same altar that the prayers of the saints ascended for vengeance upon those who martyred their brethren. (Rev. 8:3, 6:10)
6. "Which is before God" = refers to being in His presence.
7. It seems now their cry for vengeance is being answered. (Rom. 12:19)
1. "Saying" = the voice told "the sixth angel which had the trumpet " to "loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates" = we saw in Rev. 7:1 four unfallen angels restraining judgment until the 144,000 were sealed, and now we see four fallen angels loosed for the purpose of executing judgment.
2. "Euphrates" = we are not told why these angels were bound in the river Euphrates but:
A. It was one of the four tributaries which flowed from Eden. (Gen. 2:10‑14) Now this river flows into the place believed to be where Eden was‑‑probably the change is due to the flood in Noah's day.
B. It was here that Satan began his first diabolical work against the first man and woman in Genesis 3.
C. It was here the first murder was committed in Genesis 4.
D. It was here man's first rebellion against God took place‑‑the tower of Babel in Genesis 11.
E. This is also the boundary of territory which God gave Israel. (Gen. 15:18)
3. The sixth vial was poured out when the sixth trumpet sounded (I believe) and it speaks of being poured upon the great river Euphrates which caused the river to dry up. This prepared the way for the kings of the east to gather them for the battle of Armageddon. This gathering was directed by the unholy trinity‑‑the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. (Rev. 16:12‑16)
1. "And the four angels were loosed" = what the Lord authorizes will come to pass (the voice in verse 14 said loose the four angels and they were loosed).
2. "Were prepared = were made ready to do what the Lord had them prepared to do; they were under Divine control.
3. Lesson: What the Lord wants you to do, He will prepare you and enable you to do it.
4. "For an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year" = there are some who believe this is the length of the sixth trumpet judgment‑‑13 months, and one day, and one hour; but I believe this means that those that had been prepared, in God's foreknowledge, were prepared to operate at the exact period required‑‑the exact year, month, day, and even hour; we do not know when this is but our Lord does.
5. "For to slay the third part of men" = men could not die under the fifth trumpet but now one third of the population of mankind‑‑male and female‑‑will be slain.
6. "Four" = is the number used to denote universality in things of this world, therefore, the four angels implied that the power of these angels is of universal extent‑‑one third of the population of the entire world will die during this judgment.
7. All is under Divine control. God uses Satan's own host to bring to naught the powers of evil. God holds the reins of government in His own hand. (Pro. 21:1, Psa. 75:6‑7)
1. "The army of the horsemen" = speaks of the army gathered together by the unholy trinity in Rev. 16:14.
2. "The number" = "two hundred thousand thousand" = commentaries label this as 200,000,000 but the Greek word implies a great multitude or a vast uncounted number which one could not attempt to number; the Greek word is translated in Luke 12:1 as "an innumerable multitude" = thus, this number is not to be taken literally but as signifying an exceeding great multitude; this represents the combined power of the devil and men acting in their own interest, yet at the same time carrying out God's judicial will.
3. "I heard the number of them" = John may have been told by one of the elders, who had before instructed him (Rev. 7:13); thus he states this, since so vast a multitude would be innumerable by man but known by God.
4. There is no power on earth able to restrain these horsemen.
1. "I" = John the beloved, the human instrument God used to pen down this book.
2. "Saw" = indicated an absolute positive knowledge of the facts John is about to write down; this literally occurred and John described it as best he could; there are some who say this is a vision of one's mind and not literal but John said "I saw."
3. "Vision" = the sense of sight; the eyes; he saw "the horses and them that sat on them" = the riders.
4. "Thus" = refers to the description following not to what he had stated in the last verse about the numbers.
5. "Having breastplates" = armor for the breast; some think that this refers to both the horses and the riders and others to only the riders‑‑the text seems to indicate to me that the latter is correct.
6. "Of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone" = described due to the colors of each‑‑red, deep blue or purple, and yellow; the breastplates may have been painted such, like the knights of England's breastplates; each may have been mingled with the three colors or each completely painted with one color and they were mingled among the army; as to what this means we know not, but they seem to point to the doom in wait for the wicked, whose portion is fire and brimstone. (Psa. 11:6)
7. "The heads of the horses were as the heads of lions" = not literal‑‑"were as"--emphasizing their strength, ferociousness, and destructiveness.
8. "Out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone" = this is the very elements of hell coming out of their mouth.
1. "By these three" = referring to the fire, smoke, and brimstone mentioned in verse 17 and this verse as well; God sent this basic same thing on Sodom. (Luke 17:29; Gen. 19:24,28)
2. "The third part of men killed" = they do not seize with their jaws, nor take flesh into their mouths, nor slay with teeth or claws--they (the horses; "their") stifle and destroy with their sooty, sulphurous, fiery breath.
3. The riders do not have any weapons to kill. The horses do the slaying.
1. First "for" = gives the reason for the fire, smoke, and brimstone of verse 17‑‑"their power is in their mouth" = speaking of the horses.
2. "And in their tails" = for the most part their power is in their mouth but also, to some extent, in their tails "for their tails were like unto serpents" = not like the tails of serpents but like serpents themselves; this describes the reason for them having power in their tails.
3. "And had heads" = serpents have heads but John saw something unusual in their heads to attract special attention; it seems that these serpents appeared to extend in every direction, as the hairs of the horses' tails have been converted into serpents (snakes) presenting a most fearful and destructive image.
4. "And with them they do hurt" = referring to the tails of the horses inflicting some injury by them but not the main injury.
5. There is no power on earth able to restrain these horsemen, for they are demonic supernatural horses and supernatural armies. There have been supernatural horses of fire recorded in II Kings 2:11. Also there was recorded a supernatural army of God in II Kings 6:13‑17. I have heard, but cannot verify it by a written account, that Israel was asked by the Arabs after being defeated in war in six days in 1967, "Where did you get your horses and chariots used in the war?" They said, "We do not have any." This tells me the Lord fought for Israel and they had victory in six days. The Lord uses what He chooses to carry out His purpose with mankind and that is exactly what He is doing in this sixth trumpet as wrath is poured out on mankind left behind after the rapture. This is a demonic army while ther seems to be a real army of men gathered in the valley of Armageddon.
1. "The rest of the men" = refers to 2/3 of men left alive after 1/3 were killed with this trumpet of wrath; those "which were not killed by these plagues" = these were spared not because they deserved to be spared, but because in wrath God remembers mercy (Hab. 3:2); God does not delight in the death of the wicked. (Ezek. 33:11)
2. "Yet repented not of the works of their hands" = refers to idolatry described by the rest of this verse.
3. "Repented" = means to change one's mind for the better with abhorrence of one's past sins; regret accompanied by a true change of heart and attitude as well as mind; turning from sin, self, and the world to take up sides with God against self; negated by "not;" this takes a work of godly sorrow (II Cor. 7:10) and these men had rejected light and had crossed God's deadline; therefore, they not only did not repent, they could not.
4. Since they did not repent, they just kept on worshiping devils and idols. Devil worship has always been around. Even the Devil tempted Jesus to worship him in Mat. 4:8‑10. It is worse today than it was 50 years ago. My! What will it be like when all restraint is gone‑‑no salt, no light? All the saints are in glory having been raptured out of this world just before the wrath of God fell.
5. "Devils" = demons, the devil's host who do his will.
6. "Idols" = a false god worshiped in a image; whatever or whoever that takes the affection of our heart before God; listed as "gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood" = what images were made out of.
7. "Which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk" = describes these images or idols.
8. This verse mentions man's sins against God while verse 21 mentions man's sins against his neighbors. These mentioned are just a partial list, a representative list of the sins which reveal an astounding picture of human depravity.
1. After all the hurt, pain, and agony they experience as this wrath is being poured out on mankind who were left behind, men would not repent of their sins against their neighbors.
2. "Murders" = man‑slaughter; the taking of human life, except that which occurs as the punishment of crime (capital punishment which should be enforced today); Cain was so meek and religious he offered his carrots and "tators" and did not like blood shed, but killed his brother when he got away from the altar; the religious crowd will act pious but will cut your throat (they killed Jesus); he who hates is well on his way to murder (I John 3:15); a sin against the sixth commandment (Exo. 20:13; Mat. 19:18); abortion is murder.
3. "Sorceries" = the use or the administering of drugs; has to do with unlawful drugs and poisonous drugs; witchcraft and magic (demonic) not just slight of hand are included in this word; this word not only deals with cocaine and hard drugs, but alcohol, nicotine, and a rage for cosmetics to increase sexual attraction.
4. "Fornication" = illicit sex acts in general; includes the various types of heterosexual and homosexual immoralities practiced by so many Gentile heathen; word includes adultery; the context reveals whether it is before marriage or after marriage by Biblical standards; here it means the flagrant disregard for the sacred institution of marriage; during this time institutions of legal and sacred wedlock will be denounced and the teaching of free love will prevail; the signs of our time lets us know we are in the last days.
5. "Thefts" = the act of stealing; taking another person's goods with an intent to steal them without the owner's knowledge; during this period of time there will be no regard for another's rights and honesty will be done away with.
6. "Repented" = this is the second time this phrase was used; negated by "neither;" see notes on verse 20; the severest of God's judgments upon guilty men do not soften rebellious hearts.
1. Chapter 10:1-11:13 is called a parenthetical which is an insertion of thoughts that are not connected to the main theme of the context.
2. "I" = John the beloved, the human instrument the Lord used to pen down this book.
3. "Saw" = indicated an absolute positive knowledge of the facts John is about to write down; this literally occurred and John described it as best he could.
4. "Another" = another of equal quality; used in Rev. 7:2 and 8:3; written to show that this angel had not appeared on the scene before this time.
5. "Angel" = God's ministering spirits; described as "mighty" = strong; powerful; indicates one of exalted rank and endowed with great power to be able to do the work that was to be done‑‑that it was a work to the execution of which great obstacles existed and where great power would be needed.
6. Who might this angel be? Some think it is Jesus and others think it is Michael the archangel whose name means "one like God." We do not know for sure who this angel is but we do know that he was "mighty" = and there is no doubt that the presence of the Lord was upon this mighty angel.
7. "Come down from heaven" = it appears that John saw this angel, not from heaven where he was caught up in Rev. 4:1‑2, but from the point of view of the earth; therefore, it seems John is on the earth and the Bible does not explain to us when the change took place; also verse 8 states plainly that John heard a voice from heaven which is another proof he is on the earth.
8. "Clothed with a cloud" = the symbol of majesty; the cloud was in OT time the garment of the Divine presence and was associated with Divine movements:
A. Exo. 13:21: The Lord directed Israel by day in a pillar of cloud.
B. Exo. 16:10: When Israel murmured, the Lord appeared in a cloud.
C. Lev. 16:2: The Lord said He would appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat.
D. Rev. 1:7: Clouds are associated at the second coming of our Lord in the rapture.
E. No doubt about it--the presence of the Lord is associated with this angel.
9. "A rainbow was upon his head" = symbol of God's everlasting covenant with the earth (Gen. 9:12‑13); may refer to the merciful character of this angel's mission, and the faithfulness and patience of God; a rainbow was round about the throne in Rev. 4:3; no doubt about it-- the presence of the Lord is associated with this mighty angel.
10. "His face was as it were the sun" = John said of Jesus that "His countenance was as the sun shineth" (Rev. 1:16); Matthew records the transfiguration of Jesus, where "His face did shine as the sun" (Mat. 17:2); Paul stated in Acts 26:13 that he saw a light from heaven above the sun; no doubt about it--the presence of the Lord is associated with this mighty angel.
11. "His feet as pillars of fire" = John described Jesus in Rev. 1:15 as having "feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace;" no doubt about it--the presence of the Lord is associated with this mighty angel.
12. Who is he? Jesus or Michael? or some other messenger? Our Lord can do what He wants. If we were to look upon the form and figure and glory of Michael, we would think that we had seen God Himself. Even Moses had the glory of God upon him when he came down from the mount that his face shined and he had to cover it. (Exo. 34:29, 33‑35) Thus, this could be Michael, could be Jesus, or could be another messenger. One thing about it, this was a mighty angel and had the presence of the Lord associated with it.
1. "He" = "his" = the mighty angel.
2. "Book" = the Greek word for this is used only four times in the Bible and they are all here in chapter 10; means document or scroll; described as "little" = denotes something that was peculiar in the size or form of the book to distinguish it from that which would be designated by the ordinary word employed to denote a book; this was used to make a distinction between this and that which is indicated by the use of the word "book" in the other parts of Revelation; it was a small volume, so that it could be taken in the "hand."
3. "And he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth" = this indicates that something was to occur which would pertain to the whole world as the earth is made up of land and the sea‑‑the sum total of the material universe.
4. This action expresses God's intention of taking possession of that which is His. The Devil tempted Jesus by offering Him all the kingdoms of the world if He would just worship him. (Mat. 4:8‑9) At that occasion it was not time for Jesus to take possession but here it is about time for the Lord to set up His kingdom and the Devil's time is short.
1. "He" = the mighty angel; the one who "cried with a loud voice" as God's representative.
2. His cry was "as when a lion roareth" = a lion roars as he is about to make his last leap upon his victim; this is not the Devil (I Peter 5:8); this is God's representative; Hos. 11:10 prophesied that the Lord would roar like a lion.
3. "When he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices" = thunder is associated with judgment (Psa. 18:13, I Sam. 7:10); this is the wrath of God; just as the seven trumpets and seven vials are poured out upon those left behind at the rapture.
1. "I" = "me" = John the beloved, the human instrument the Lord used to pen down this book.
2. "I was about to write" = John was about to write down the incidents as they were displayed before him (what he saw and heard) as he had been commanded in Rev. 1:19 but he was stopped by a voice from heaven saying, "Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not;" indicates that some things are going to happen during the end times that have not been revealed.
3. We do not know what is involved in these thunders; therefore, there is no need to speculate. This is the only part which has been sealed. Concerning the rest of what he saw and heard the Lord said "Seal not the sayings of the prophesy of this book." (Rev. 22:10)
4. The command was clear and absolute and John obeyed it.
1. "Lifted up his hand to heaven" = this action was customary among the Jews in swearing (Gen. 14:22); in Dan. 12:7 both hands are uplifted, while here only one which may be due to the little book being in his other hand.
2. This gesture could also declare he recognized God was on the throne.
1. "Sware" = to utter a solemn declaration, with an appeal to God for the truth of what is affirmed.
2. "By him that liveth for ever and ever" = God; refers to the eternality of God; this could let us know that this angel was not the Lord Jesus and yet God can "sware by himself." (Heb. 6:13)
3. "Who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and etc. = refers to the omnipotence of God; His eternality and omnipotence are referred to in order to demonstrate the certainty of the fulfilment of the prophecy which follows, "that there should be time no longer" = time means delay of the judgment of God‑‑the seventh trumpet and the events that follow will rapidly come to pass.
4. At the time this angel made this oath there was in view a considerable time ahead, for the thousand years of the millennium are still in the future at this pointand at the end of the millennium there will be complete judgment by fire upon this earth and the first two heavens where man has been. (II Peter 3:10-12)
1. "But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel" = refers to the period of time embraced by the sounding of the seventh angel‑‑"when he shall begin to sound."
2. "The mystery of God" = means the purpose or truth of God which had been concealed, and which had not before been communicated to man.
3. "Should be finished" = indicates the mystery would be revealed; the plan would be unfolded; the divine purpose, so long concealed, would be manifested and the kingdom would be set up on the earth.
4. "As he hath declared to his servants the prophets" = refers to the OT prophets who prophesied what the Lord disclosed to them, even though they, for the most part, did not understand what they had prophesied.
1. "I" = "me" = John the beloved, the human instrument the Lord used to pen down this book.
2. "Heard" = to understand; to perceive the sense of what is said.
3. "Voice from heaven" = even if this was the voice of the mighty angel, he was God's divine representative, thus it was the voice of God which was also heard in verse 4 thus "again."
4. "Go and take" = take it out of the mighty angel's hand and do with it as you shall be commanded; this command seems to indicate that it was God Himself who spoke.
5. Again it is clear John was now on earth, not in heaven.
1. "I went" = John obeyed what God said and he said "Give me the little book" = he was just obeying God; he was not out of order for God had commanded.
2. "The angel" = "him" = the mighty angel of verse 1.
3. "The little book" = we do not know exactly what was in this open book but no doubt it was in some way representative of the Word of God.
4. The angel said unto John, "Take it, and eat it up" = the Word of God is compared to food (Mat. 4:4; Jer. 15:16; Psa. 119:103; I Peter 2:2); this means John was to possess himself of the contents of the book, receive it in his mind, and apply it as we do food, for the spiritual nourishment.
5. "And it shall make thy belly bitter" = eating the book would be painful or disagreeable, as food would be that was pleasant to the taste, but produced bitter pain when eaten.
6. "But it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey" = represents the pleasure derived from divine truth. (Psa. 19:10)
1. This verse simply states that John experienced exactly what the angel said would happen when he ate the book.
2. This reminds me of the truth about real salvation. It is sweet to our soul but when you see so many rejecting that truth, you also know their outcome and that brings much sorrow and grief. This is basically what Ecc. 1:18 states.
1. "He" = the mighty angel.
2. "Me" = "thou" = John.
3. "Prophesy" = does not refer to the foretelling of future events not yet recorded for all has been recorded (when John finished this book of Revelation); used in sense of making known divine truth to mankind in general.
4. "Again" = once more; John had proclaimed truth before he was exiled to Patmos and now he was told he would do it again; and John did just that‑‑he penned down the completed book of Revelation and went back to Ephesus and pastored the church there; he was the only apostle to die a natural death.
5. "Before" = in the presence of.
6. "Many" = large numbers.
7. "Peoples" = denotes people considered as masses, or as grouped together in masses, without reference to the manner in which it is done.
8. "Nations" = denotes people considered as separated by national boundaries, constitutions, laws, and customs.
9. "Tongues" = people considered as divided by languages.
10. "And kings" = rulers of people; refers to the message of life (truth), being carried with power (before princes and rulers) would influence them as well as the common people.
11. John did this in his life and he did it by being faithful to write the book of Revelations which has ministered 1900+ years to many people and nations and tongues and kings.
12. Every believer who receives the truth is obligated to pass it on to others. (Luke 12:48b)
1. "Me" = John the beloved, the human instrument the Lord used to pen down this book.
2. "Was given" = we are not told who gave John this reed; since there were no chapter divisions in the original manuscripts, the verse seems to connect with the preceding one and suggests that it was given by the mighty angel who had just been talking to him.
3. "A reed like unto a rod" = this could be like a shepherd's or traveler's staff made of a reed‑‑commonly grown in the Jordan valley; because of its light weight, it made a good measuring rod about ten feet long.
4. "Rod" = a term used just a few years ago in writing up deeds in America; this term could have come from the Bible; the term is equivalent to "poles" used also in writing deeds in America; the length used in American deeds was 16 1/2 feet instead of 10 feet in our text.
5. "The angel stood saying" = the original has "it was said" = "Rise, and measure" = these words in the Greek do not give the position of John as sitting down or lying down, thus "rise" simply means "go and measure."
6. "The temple of God" = there are many who say that this is figurative and represents the church and many other interpretations; this is a literal temple; let us look at some facts:
A. In John's day, when he was exiled to Patmos, there was no temple at Jerusalem. It had been destroyed by the armies of Titus in 70 AD, 25 years before the Book of Revelation was penned down.
B. This shows that a temple will be built, I believe, at the beginning of the 70th week of Daniel. The Jews are looking for a third temple to be built. Two temples have been built.
C. Solomon's temple described in I Kings was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC. This is the first temple of God and was built by Solomon.
D. The second temple of God was built by the leadership of Jerubbabel after the 70 year Babylonian captivity and was finished in 516 BC. This temple was badly marred by Antiochus Epiphanes (a type of the Antichrist) in 168 BC during the 400 year dark period of time between Malachi and Matthew.
E. King Herod rebuilt the 2nd temple which was present in Jesus' day and referred to by Jesus in John 2:20. This was destroyed by Titus in 70 AD.
F. And now the Lord shows John this 3rd temple which will be built by the Jews as the Antichrist comes on the scene in the beginning of the 70th week of Daniel and makes a covenant with the Jews who think he is the Messiah.
G. Now the Lord through His mighty angel instructs John to measure that temple of God, so called because that temple will be in the plan of God for the Jews.
7. "Measure" = often a symbol of preparation either for destruction or preservation; preservation is indicated here‑‑preservation of the Jews.
8. "The temple of God" = the temple proper‑‑the sanctuary containing the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies.
9. "The altar" = probably refers to the altar situated in front of the temple, where the daily sacrifice was offered.
10 "Them that worship therein" = indicates John was to measure the sincerity of Jews who worshiped in this temple; no doubt they were sincere but sincerely wrong, because at that time they will have embraced the Antichrist supposing him to be the Messiah.
1. "But" = introduces what John was not to measure "the court which is without the temple" = the court of the Gentiles; this is not to be measured because it is not to be preserved but rejected.
2. "Gentiles" = "they" = refers to those who are not Jews; same Greek word is translated "nations" in Rev. 10:11.
3. "The holy city" = Jerusalem (Neh. 11:1); the city where the Lord chose to put His name. (I Kings 14:21)
4. "They (the Gentiles) shall tread under foot forty and two months:"
A. "Tread under foot" = one word in the Greek; means to trample, crush with the feet.
B. Luke 21:24 speaks of the times of the Gentiles. This began with the Babylonian captivity and ends with Armageddon‑‑the end of the 70th week of Daniel.
C. But there is coming a time when the Antichrist will appear and claim the right to be worshiped. (II Thess. 2:4) This is called the abomination of desolation in Mat. 24:15 and occurs in the middle of the 70th week of Daniel. After he rides the red horse (Rev. 6) of war and has victory, he forces all the world to come under his rule. This comes somewhere in the first 3 ½ years of the 70th week of Daniel and continues for 42 months‑‑3 ½ years at which time the rapture will occur (some time in the last 3 ½ of the 70th week of Daniel).
F. Then he can no longer trample under foot the saints of God who are spiritual Jews. (Rom. 2:28‑29) Thus, there will be no more tribulation or persecution on the saints of God for they are complete body, soul, and spirit in heaven.
G. The Lord will limit his time to 42 months for after the rapture, the antochrist as well as the rest of mankind who were left behind, will have to face the wrath of God. Even though he will be in a position of leadership, he will suffer along with the rest of mankind.
1. "I" = "my" = the Lord speaking through His messenger, the mighty angel.
2. "Power" = in italics, thus supplied by the translators because it is not in the originals.
3. "I will give" = He gives the two witnesses not "power" but the right to prophesy and they will have certain powers.
4. "Witnesses" = word refers to a person who testifies to what he has seen or heard or knows; identified as two, thus meeting the requirement of Deut. 19:15; who are they?
A. I was amazed at how many commentaries said that these are not real but symbolical. I guess these are the same people who say there is not a millennium reign of Christ upon earth, that all you read about it is figurative or symbolical. Not so! These are real. Who are they?
B. They are persons--not law and the gospel, not OT and NT, but persons. They talk, they are heard, they are hated, and they are handled as these Scriptures bear truth to.
C. They are prophets as verse 10 brings out. They "prophesy" = speak forth by divine inspiration; forth telling now for we have the completed book‑‑there is nothing to foretellat the time they come on the scene. (Rev. 22:18‑19) I believe they herald forth the message to the deceived Jews (those who followed the Antichrist), that you have missed the Messiah and the one you are now following is the Antichrist.
C. All who believe these are persons basically agree that one of these is Elijah. He did not experience physical death. (II Kings 2:11) It is prophesied that he would return before the day of the Lord. (Mal. 4:5) John the Baptist did not fulfill this even though he came in the spirit of power of Elijah. (Luke 1:17) He was not literally Elijah and testified he was not. (John 1:21) Elijah is one of the witnesses.
D. Some say Enoch was the other and some say Moses. The reason they say Enoch was because he never died (Gen. 5:24) and use Heb. 9:27 as proof. It is true he was a prophet. (Jude 14‑15) The reason some say one of them is Moses is because they have already been seen together. (Mat. 17:1‑3) Also the miracles that they are able to perform are equal to what Moses performed in Egypt. (verse 6b)
E. I am inclined to believe that these two witnesses are Elijah and Moses. If they are not, the two then, whoever they are, will be God's witnesses and will possess the characteristics described in these verses.
5. "A thousand two hundred and threescore days" = 1260 days, or 42 months, 3 ½ years; I believe the time of their prophesying will coincide with the 42 months of verse 2.
6. "Clothed in sackcloth" = a coarse black cloth commonly made of hair, used for sacks, for straining, and for mourning garments; an emblem of mourning; the idea is that they would prophesy in the midst of grief.
7. The text may indicate that there would be only a few who could be regarded as true witnesses for God in the world during this time and that they would be exposed to persecution.
1. "These" = the two witnesses of verse 3.
2. "Two olive trees" = they are likened to two olives trees just as Zechariah had a vision of two olive trees which represented Joshua the high priest in Zech. 3 and Zerubbabel the prince of David's line in Zech. 4 (Zech. 4:1‑3); these two persons were anointed leaders who ministered "not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord" (Zech. 4:6); these were men who were the means whereby the Word of God was transmitted to the people; the two witnesses of Revelation are not the two witnesses of Zech. chapters 3 and 4, but by using this language, John identified the two witnesses as Spirit filled leaders.
3. "Two candlesticks" = lampstands‑‑that which holds forth light (Mat. 5:14‑16); this language also comes from Zechariah's vision of Zech 4:2.
4. "Standing before the God of the earth" = indicates the prophesy the two witnesses give is from God‑‑the true God who is Lord over all the earth and that the prophesy has such a fullness of light that no one can deny the truth and clarity of their message.
1. "Any man" = any person, male or female.
2. "Will" = desire; to have a purpose to do so.
3. "Hurt" = to do violence to their bodies; the language indicates having a purpose to hurt but not actually doing so.
4. "Them" = "their" = the two witnesses.
5. "Fire proceedeth out of their mouth" = may indicate that all they have to do is speak the word, and the fire appears as if from their lips; this reminds us of Elijah calling fire from heaven on two groups of men (II Kings 1:9‑14); the power of the two witnesses goes beyond the power Elijah had; this language may be related to Jer. 5:14 where the people of Judah spoke a word of treacherous rebellion against God and His prophets and God said, "I will make my words in thy mouth fire." (Jer. 5:14)
6. "And devoureth their enemies" = to utterly consume; to destroy.
7. "Enemies" = those who desired or purposed to hurt the two witnesses.
1. "These" = "their" = "they" = the two witnesses.
2. "Power" = mastery; authority; right; this was given to them by God; used two times in this verse.
3. "Have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy" = Elijah prayed and it did not rain for the same period of 3 ½ years (I Kings 17:1; James 5:17); this seems to be evidence that one of the witnesses is Elijah; both witnesses have this power, and their authority seems to be even greater that Elijah's; we need to remember that seal number 3 is still having its effect‑‑famines, and that occurred about the time the witnesses began to prophesy.
4. "Prophecy" = to preach to men of earth God's message sent from heaven.
5. "Have power over waters to turn them to blood" = Moses did that in Egypt (Exo. 7:20); this seems to be evidence that one of the witnesses is Moses; both witnesses have this power, and their authority seems to be even greater than Moses'.
6. And to smite the earth with all plagues" = Moses did this in Egypt with 10 plagues of judgment. (Exo. chapters 7‑12)
7. "As often as they will" = we do not have a record of them doing this but they had the power to do it and no doubt there are times they will exercise that power; "will" means desire or as they purposed; but we need to remember that Elijah and Moses were just human instruments used to announce the judgments that God sent on the people in their day and the same is true with these two witnesses, whoever they may be, and they would be the first to give God glory.
1. "They" = "their" = "them" = the two witnesses.
2. "Shall have finished their testimony" = refers to completing their prophetic witness as speakers of God; they will have the specified, limited time of 3 ½ years to finish the ministry God gave them.
3. "The beast" = a wild animal; refers to a brutal, beast-like man who is savage and ferocious; this is a different Greek word from that of the living creatures of Rev. chap. 4 & 5; same word is used in Rev. 13:1 where it refers to the antichrist who is a person‑‑a man.
4. "That ascendeth out of the bottomless pit" = speaks of the fact the beast is empowered by the source of the underworld‑‑the devil himself; just as Jesus got His strength and directions from Heaven, the beast gets his directions from the abyss‑‑the bottomless pit.
5. "Shall make war against them" = to endeavor to exterminate them by force which no doubt went on for 3 ½ years; this could refer to their being persecuted which is true of any witness (II Tim. 3:12); "hurt" was spoken of in verse 5 and no doubt the antichrist did all he and his army could to kill the witnesses because they hated the message; verse 10 speaks of the witnesses "tormenting" those that dwelt on the earth‑‑the antichrist and his crowd of followers "tormented" = means to disturb and annoy; truth always disturbs and annoys those who reject it.
6. "And shall overcome them" = to conquer; it seems when their testimony is complete their power to bring fire on their enemies to devour them, and their power to smite the earth with all kinds of plagues will be at an end also; they no longer have the protection they enjoyed for 3 ½ years.
7. "And kill them" = to inflict mortal death; it is not mentioned how the beast made war with them but I believe that he used every means possible‑‑missiles, tanks, scuds, big guns, bombs, bombers, and all kinds of artillery, but could not kill them until God says it is time and their purpose has been fulfilled.
8. The same is true with us. (Isa. 54:15‑17; Rev. 1. 17‑18)
1. "Their" = the two witnesses.
2. "Dead bodies" = a result of their being killed. (verse 7)
3. "Shall lie in the street" = symbolizes, according to Jewish custom, the most intense scorn and hatred.
4. "The great city" = not named here but it is clearly identified as Jerusalem "where also our Lord was crucified."
5. "Spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt" = Jerusalem is the great city, not because of its size or population, but because it has had a great and important place in the plan of God; yet, at this time it has become a city of great sin; in Isaiah's day he called its rulers, Sodom rulers, and its people, Gomorrah people (Isa. 1:10) because of its moral and spiritual degradation; this name reveals the spiritual and moral condition in Jerusalem in that day‑‑as it was in the days of Lot in Sodom, and in the days of idolatrous Pharoahs in Egypt, so it will be in the holy city in that day; I believe that at this time the Jews will have already fled to a place in the wilderness, which some have identified as Petra, south of the Dead Sea in Edom.
1. "They of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations" = refers to:
A. "People" = denotes a people considered as a mass.
B. "Kindreds" = tribes.
C. "Tongues" = people speaking all languages.
D. "Nations" = refers to pagan nations who do not worship the true God‑‑Gentiles of OT time.
E. This verse describes the scorn and contempt to which the Church and God's Word will be subjected by men.
2. "See" = denotes not merely the nations seeing them but their directing their eyes to this great sight and gazing upon them; 70 years ago scoffers laughed at the verse but now it will be made possible by the TV media; the Greek construction indicates that there will be representatives of the world's population come to see this spectacle (couldn't be killed by all means of the world powers) while the rest watch it on the TV; some may already be in the city, others may be in the city on business, and others as emissaries (a person sent on a mission no matter what the mission involved) stationed in the city.
3. "See their dead bodies three days and an half" = their (witnesses) dead bodies had become a spectacle to all the world; 3 ½ days is a very short time compared to the 3 ½ years of their ministry.
4. "Shall not suffer" = shall not permit.
5. "Their dead bodies to be put in graves" = to allow corrupting bodies to be exposed to the view of all is an act contrary to divine law and human decency (Deut. 21:22‑23); to not bury a body is to treat it with contempt; among the ancients nothing was regarded more dishonorable than not to bury a dead body.
6. A Jewish tradition taught that the soul hovers around the body for three days hoping to return to the body, but on the fourth day leaves it. Thus, these bodies were not raised until the fourth day‑‑3 ½ days. This tradition, although probably not held by Martha and Mary, was broken by Jesus in raising Lazarus on the fourth day, thus waiting two days after the news of his sickness came. Jesus broke that Jewish tradition. (John 11:6)
1. "They that dwell upon the earth" = refers to the kingdom of the Antichrist who dwells upon the earth‑‑to abide as a permanent resident; this does not refer to the saints of God who will be present at that time, although few in number, for this earth is not our permanent dwelling place and our citizenship is in heaven. (Phil. 3:20)
2. "Shall rejoice" = to be glad; to rejoice exceedingly; to skip and jump about for joy.
3. "Over them" = over the death of the two witnesses.
4. "Make merry" = one word in the Greek; means to be delighted with; to gladden; to make joyful; their death brought jubilation to the lost world.
5. "And shall send gifts one to another" = in accordance with oriental custom on joyful occasions.
6. "Because" = introduces the reason for their rejoicing.
7. "These two prophets" = the two witnesses just mentioned.
8. "Tormented" = to disturb and annoy; this was probably due to their preaching of the truth more so than the plagues they were able to smite the earth with (verse 6); truth always disturbs and annoys those who reject it.
1. "And after three days and an half" = enough time to refute the Jewish tradition that the soul hovers around the body for three days hoping to return to the body.
2. "The spirit of life from God entered into them" = this is equivalent to the "soul;" when the two witnesses died, their soul and spirit left the body and went to be with the Lord (II Cor. 5:8); and when the Lord comes back in the rapture He will bring back the saints' soul and spirit to inhabit their bodies (I Thess. 4:13‑14; "asleep" = the suspension of the voluntary exercise of the body); therefore, I believe these two witnesses "stood upon their feet" at the same time all saints will be resurrected and raptured out; this is somewhere in the last 3 ½ years of the 70th week of Daniel.
3. "Fear" = that which strikes terror; this was due not only to the two witnesses being raised but also due to the presence of the Lord (Rev. 1:7; 6:12‑16); described as "great" = denotes beyond what is usual.
4. "And great fear fell upon them which saw them" = refers to the people on earth when they saw the two witnesses stand up whether they were present in person in Jerusalem or saw it on TV.
1. First "they" = in context refers to the two witnesses.
2. "Heard" = to perceive by the ear what is announced in one's presence.
3. "A great voice from heaven" = this voice could be the voice of the archangel of I Thess. 4:16.
4. "Saying unto them" = referring to the two witnesses and I believe to all the saints of God, "Come up hither."
5. Second "they" = the two witnesses; could refer to all saints called up at the rapture.
6. "And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud" = clouds are associated with the rapture. (Acts 1:9-11; Rev. 1:7; I Thess. 4:16‑17)
7. "Their enemies beheld them" = the lost earth dwellers saw the two witnesses ascend up to heaven and I believe they also saw all the saints ascend, therefore there is no secret rapture as we have been taught. (I Thess. 5:2-5)
8. I Cor. 15:22‑23 is proof that all saints, except the firstfruits which includes Christ and some (or maybe all) of the OT saints (Mat. 27:51-53), will be resurrected at the same time, including the two witnesses.
1. Scofield divides these verses wrong. This verse is not the second woe as he divided it, but part of the parenthetical which began in Rev. 10:1. A parenthetical is an insertion of thoughts that are not connected to the main theme of the context.
2. "And the same hour" = refers to the same time the two witnesses, as well as all the redeemed saints, ascended up to heaven in a cloud (verse 12) "was there a great earthquake" = this corresponds to Rev. 6:12 which occurs at the time of the rapture.
3. This verse gives the details of this earthquake:
A. "The tenth part of the city fell" = to perish; come to an end; fell into ruin; refers to Jerusalem where the witnesses lay dead for 3 ½ days.
B. "Were slain of men seven thousand" = refers to those who lived in the part of the city that was destroyed.
C. "The remnant were affrighted" = refers to the remaining ones (nine tenths of the city's population) left behind after the earthquake, were thrown into fear‑‑terrified due to the result of the earthquake; Rev. 6:12‑16 seems to give more specifics of this earthquake and the fear of the people.
D. "And gave glory to the God of heaven" = means they praise Him, recognizing His majesty, power, and might; they were not saved for there is no evidence of godly sorrow and genuine repentance; they were most likely compelled by force to recognize divine power in the earth as in Rom. 14:11; Pharoah did this in Exo. 9:27‑28 yet there was no sign of genuine repentance and real conversion; Judas did this in Mat. 27:3‑4 but had no genuine repentance, only remorse‑‑worldly sorrow; the demons were terrified and confessed Christ's deity when they recognized His power in Mat. 8:29, yet there was no change wrought in them; the Pharisees were amazed at the miracles Jesus wrought but were not saved (Luke 5:26); atheists have cried out to the Lord on their death bed many times yet not be saved; Felix trembled in Acts 24:25 but was not saved; and neither are these (the remnant) saved but are left behind for the wrath of God.
4. Now John returns where he left off in Chapter 9 with the 6th trumpet and the second woe.
1. "The second woe is past" = means the wrath of the sixth trumpet is completed.
2. "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 what John is about to say.
3. "The third woe cometh quickly" = speedily; without delay; the final consummation is at hand; the judgment of God is now moving in its final phase (Rev. 10:7); refers to the seventh trumpet of judgment which is described in the rest of this chapter.
1. "The seventh angel sounded" = blew the trumpet given him.
2. "And there were great voices in heaven" = doesn't say who these voices were; they could be angels or the redeemed saints of God; it seems these voices were loud voices shouting out a victory cry in unison rejoicing in the triumph of the kingdom of God‑‑in anticipation of the coming victory.
3. "Kingdoms" = used twice in KJV with the second in italics; the Greek really implies this as singular for there is only one kingdom; there are many kingdoms in this world but all really are one kingdom‑‑Satan's or also the kingdom of darkness. (Col. 1:13)
4. "Are become" = became since this is singular; sounds as though the prophecy was already fulfilled; the tense fixes upon a result yet future as if already accomplished (Rom. 8:30; John 17:4; 19:30); it is as good as done.
5. "Lord" = a title of honor expressive of respect and reverence; Jehovah‑‑the Lord Jesus Christ; supreme in authority; Master; described as "our" = signifying He is Lord of all saints (this occurs at salvation.)
6. "His Christ" = the Christ; the anointed One; the Messiah; this refutes the Jehovah Witnesses' doctrine, for they deny that Jesus is Jehovah but John declares plainly here that Christ, who is Jesus, is the Lord‑‑Jehovah.
7. "And he shall reign for ever and ever" = shall reign to the ages of ages‑‑no end of His reign.
8. The sounding of the seventh trumpet is the official proclamation of the finished wrath of God (Rev. 10:7) and of the coming coronation of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. (I Tim. 6:15; Rev. 17:14; 19:16) His kingdom is described by Gabriel in Luke 1:32‑33.
1. "Four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats" = these notes are from Rev. 4:4; 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 are 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.
2. "Fell upon their faces, and worshipped God" = these notes are from Rev. 4:10; "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. They worship Him. (Rev. 4:10‑11) The tense in this verse (Rev. 4:10) 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.
1. "We" = the 24 elders.
2. "Thee" = "thou" = "Lord God Almighty" = the Father sitting on the throne.
3. "Almighty" = the all powerful; the Omnipotent One.
4. "Give thanks" = to bestow or confer gratitude toward; to be grateful and thankful; they gave thanks to the One:
A. "Which art" = who continually is.
B. "And wast" = who always was.
C. "And art to come" = who is ever the coming One.
5. "Because" = introduces the reason the elders worshiped and gave thanks.
6. "Thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned" = as soon as the voices in Heaven announce the coming kingdom, the elders fall on their faces to worship God and give thanks that the all ruling, omnipotent One has at last assumed His sovereign right in the earth; presently the kingdoms of this world are in Satan's control (Mat. 4:8‑9; our Lord never said they were not his to give); the Lord admitted that the world was his kingdom (Mat. 12:26) and called him the prince of this world (John 12:31); the world kingdom that has been in Satan's hands must come to an end.
7. Again the tense fixes upon a result yet future as if already accomplished (hast reigned).
1. This is a song of anticipated victory of the 24 elders.
1. "And the nations were angry" = those things which cause rejoicing in Heaven stir up anger on earth; the earth dwellers who lived for the things of this earthly life must now relinquish all to the Creator and Owner of all (Psa. 24:1); Christ is merely taking over what is rightfully His own; we should not be surprised at the anger of men. If you interrupt the plans and pursuits of any man who has as his goal the accumulation of wealth, then you will arouse his anger; then take from him all that he possesses and he will become wrathful and fiercely hostile; Psa. 2:1 ask two questions and this verse gives a partial answer‑‑the unbelievers in the earth must stand by as God's servants receive their reward.
2. "Thy" = "thou" = Lord God Almighty, the One the elders were giving thanks to.
3. "Thy wrath is come" = refers to the trumpets, thunders, and vials as judgment is poured out upon this earth.
4. "And the time of the dead, that they should be judged" = refers to the lost who are left behind at the rapture‑‑those physically dead and also those alive; all saints will have been raptured out and all lost will be judged at the Great White Throne of Judgment.
5. "And that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants" = refers to rendering with good in context.
6. "Servants" = bondslave; the most despicable term used by the Greeks to denote slaves; word designated:
A. One who was born as a slave; Paul was born a slave of sin at his physical birth, and a bondslave of his Lord through regeneration--the new birth. (Rom. 6:17-18) The bondslave was owned and totally possessed by his master. (1 Cor. 6:19-20)
B. One who was bound to his master in cords so strong that only death could break them; the cords that bound him to his old master, Satan, were rent asunder in his identification with Christ in His death.
C. One who served his master to the disregard of his own interest; Paul's will, at one time swallowed up in the will of Satan, now is swallowed up in the sweet will of God. The bondslave existed for his master and he had no other reason for existence.
D. These servants are classified by three terms:
1) "Prophets" = one who fore‑told the message God gave them; rewarded yet they paid a great price‑‑Elijah in the wilderness during the famine‑‑Isaiah in his shameful appearance for three years‑‑Jeremiah in the dung and the dungeon‑‑Daniel in the den of lions.
2) "Saints" = to set apart for God; the root idea is "separating from" to "separating to;" God's designation for believers who were born again due to a completed work of Holy Ghost conviction.
3) "And them that fear thy name" = refers to the reverential awe of God with a hatred for evil (Pro. 8:13); this also takes a completed work of Holy Ghost conviction.
4) "Small and great" = refers to all three classifications; indicates how the world looks upon others, by their standards; just remember the ground is level at the foot of the cross.
7. The suffering servants of God will be both rewarded and avenged‑‑"And shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth" = Satan is the great destroyer, thus, Satan and his followers will be destroyed; in what way this is accomplished we are not told here, but it will come to pass because the Lord said they would be destroyed.
1. "The temple of God was opened in heaven" = earthly temples have been destroyed but not the heavenly temple.
2. "His" = God.
3. "There was seen in his temple the ark of his testament" = this is the ark Moses followed the pattern of when he built the ark for the tabernacle and later it was used in Solomon's temple; referred to by five names in the Bible:
A. "Ark of the covenant" = (Num. 10:33); called such possibly because it contained the two tables of the law, which constituted the basis of the Old Covenant.
B. "Ark of the testimony" = (Exo. 25:16,21); called such because by means of it God testified of His own holiness and man's sin, and of Christ in His deity and humanity as the Mediator between God and man.
C. "Ark of God" = (I Sam. 3:3); when God gave instructions for the construction of the tabernacle and its furnishing, He began with the ark and concluded with the gate; this is simply saying that God began from within, with Himself and worked out toward man; salvation is of the Lord; God's way of salvation is the grace way. (Eph. 2:8‑9)
D. "Ark of God's strength" = (Psa. 132:8); because of the miracles and mighty works associated with it.
E. "Holy Ark" = (II Chron. 35:3); because it was God's throne‑‑the place where He dwelled.
4. Now in a few words a summary of the third woe and seventh trumpet is given; "There were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail" = this summary of a few words had a great effect upon this earth as God poured out His wrath.
5. The seventh vial was poured out when the seventh trumpet sounded (I believe) and it gives more details than this verse. (Rev. 16:17‑21)
7. "Great hail" = was about the weight of a talent; a talent weight is not set for sure because scholars varies as to how much it weighs which could be between 75 and 125 lbs; either way this is a large piece of ice.
8. Now if you would skip Chapters 12‑18 and go to Chapter 19, you would find a continuation from this point. Chapters 12‑18 gives us further understanding and description of some things we have already covered or passed over in time sequence.
9. In Rev. 19:1 we see the saints praising the Lord for salvation. If we really knew what the Lord has done for us, we would praise Him more now. If we praised Him more, He just might show up in His manifested presence to enjoy those praises. (Psa. 22:3)