Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Revelation Chapter 10

A Study of the Book of Revelation
Chapter 10

We come now to a parenthesis between the 6th and 7th trumpet.  When the 7th trumpet sounds, this will be the second advent of Jesus Christ, and the beginning of the millennial reign.

We have the two heralds of the second advent.  The mighty angel of chapter 10 and the two witnesses, Moses and Elijah.

The 7th trumpet is the second advent.

A king is always preceded by heralds.  In the first advent, Christ had heralds when He came to Bethlehem.  He was preceded in His first advent by a multitude of angels and one human herald, John the Baptist.

In the second advent, He will have as heralds, one angel and two human beings.

The first herald is in chapter 10, and the two human heralds are in chapter 11:1-14.

1. ¶ And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: 

In the first verse John is permitted to see still another mighty angel.  The physical appearance of this angel is significant.

The angel originates in heaven, and because he is clothed with a cloud, has a rainbow upon his head and a face like the sun and feet like pillars of fire, many have thought this angel to be Christ.  This is an unlikely identification, however.

“I saw another mighty angel” – an angel of the same kind.

“Mighty” – means he is operating in the power of God.

“Come down from heaven” – means God sent the angel.

“Clothed with a cloud” – In Psalm 104:3, clouds are called the Lord’s chariots.

“Rainbow…upon his head” – means God always keeps His word. God is always true to His word and the rainbow takes us back to Genesis 9:12-17 when God promised never to destroy the world again by water.

The sun refers to His brightness.

“Pillars of fire” speaks of judgment.

2. And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, 

This book is the same one talked about in chapter 6. It was a sealed book, but here in chapter 10, it is an open book.

This book contains the title deed to the earth.

Because of the work on the cross, Christ has purchased the earth. When He returns, He will bring along the title deed showing His rightful ownership of the earth.

So at the beginning of the Millennium, all unbelievers are taken off the earth and the Millennium begins with only believers.

“Open” is a perfect, passive participle and means the book is open and it will stay open.

“Right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth.” This shows the angel claiming the earth and the sea for Christ.

3. And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. 

Crying with the voice of a roaring lion, the angel stands upon the sea and upon the earth showing his authority in all the earth.

This is the proclamation of the heralds as he claims the earth for Christ.

It is like a lion roaring.  The lion of the tribe of Judah.

This voice is clear, loud and with authority.

This announcement is to be heard world-wide.

Seven thunders utter their voices.  Seven speaks of perfection and there are seven angels.

In John 12:29 thunder is called the voice of angels.

In Psalm 29:3, 4 thunder is called the voice of the Son of God.

4. And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not. 

John was about to write.  John must have known what it was, but we don’t.  God stopped him.
Everything that God revealed to John, was not written down.

5. And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, 

One foot on the land speaks of total possession of the land.

One foot on the sea speaks of total possession of the sea.

Lifted hand toward Heaven speaks of the Lord having total possession of all.

6. And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: 

His authority, however, is apparently not his own.  He swears by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that herein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein (vs. 6).

In swearing by the Creator, Jesus Christ, this angel shows that he has come in our Lord’s authority but is not the Lord Himself.

No one is to swear, but God can because there is no higher power.  This is the announcement of the second advent of Christ.

 “That there should be time no longer” refers to the end of the Jewish age in Revelation 11:15-19

7. But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets. 

When the seventh angel shall sound his trumpet, then the mystery of God will begin to be known, and this sun-faced angel is anxious that there be no delay (time in verse 6) before it is sounded.

The sounding of the 7th trumpet marks the commencement of the end of the age, and all that was revealed by God through His Old Testament prophets and all the mysteries of the kingdom of Christ will be known.

This is the second advent.  The mystery of God is the end of the Jewish age.  The 7th trumpet is the 2nd coming of Christ.

8. ¶ And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. 

In the hand of this angel is a little, previously opened scroll.

It is not the seven-sealed scroll but a much smaller book.  John is commanded to seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not (vs. 4).

Here John takes the open book.  This book is the title deed to the earth. 

The angelic herald is holding the book.

9. And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. 

At this point John is commanded to take the little book and eat it.  The command to eat the scroll is reminiscent of the similar experiences of Ezekiel (Ezk 2:9-10; 3:1-4) and Jeremiah (Jer. 15:16-18). 

This is a symbolic way of saying that John is to devour its contents, become thoroughly familiar with it, assimilate it, digest its meaning.

The message of the book will be bittersweet.  John is delighted with a new revelation but is disturbed with the nature of that revelation.  He rejoices in the final glory that will be his Lord’s, but grieves that so much more judgment must precede the final glory.

John takes the book from the angel.  He is told to eat the book.  He becomes the 3rd one to receive a command to eat a book.

It is a picture of persecution and faith. 

Persecution makes the belly bitter.

Faith makes the mouth sweet as honey.

Taking the book speaks of action.

Eating the book means learning Bible doctrine.

Five points of this command to eat:
1.      This word eat is an aorist, active, imperfect.
2.      The believer cannot serve the Lord apart from learning the Bible doctrine. We must know if we are to serve.
3.      By eating the book, John makes the Word a part of his ministry.
4.      John takes the book from the angel standing up.  If it had been Jesus giving him the book, John would have fallen at His feet.
5.      Eating the book means taking in doctrine.

Bitter in the stomach. This speaks of the bitterness of the Tribulation.

Sweet as honey speaks of the fact there never has been anything too great for God’s grace.

The plan of God is greater than the world of Satan.

We can have peace in the midst of trouble.

Sweetness means that God can provide in the midst of troubles.

10. And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. 

John ate the book.

At first it was sweet, but turned into great pain in his stomach.

This speaks of the terrible judgment of God on the world during the Tribulation.

11. And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.

This means this prophesy is for the whole earth.

The whole earth is warned of the terrible coming judgment.

Chapter 11 continues with the parenthesis between the sixth and seventh trumpet.

Remember, Jesus is coming at the seventh trumpet.

Clark, Neal. Survey of the Book of Revelation. Pensacola, Florida: Thee WFBI Press, 1999. Print.
Falwell, Jerry. Liberty Commentary on the New Testament. Lynchburg, VA: Liberty Press, 1978. Print.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Revelation - Chapter 9

A Study of the Book of Revelation
Chapter 09
In this chapter we have an account of the sounding of the fifth and sixth trumpets, the appearances that attended them, and the events that were to follow; the fifth trumpet (v. 1-12), the sixth (v. 13, etc.). 

1. ¶ And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. 

With the blowing of the fifth trumpet we see the reason for the eagle’s saying, Woe, woe, woe.
This trumpet entails the first of these three woes.  

The word (Gr pipto) translated “fall” should read “fallen” (Greek perfect, active participle, accusative, masculine singular).

Thus, John did not see the star as it fell, but saw an already fallen star. 

The fact that this star is given the key to the bottomless pit must mean it is a being and not an inanimate heavenly body.

The Bible frequently uses “star” as a symbol of an angel (1:20).

Who is this star?  He is the angel over the bottomless pit whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek is Apollyon (9:11).

Both of these names mean “destroyer.” This angel is the king over those of the bottomless pit, a fallen star of supreme authority.

This is Lucifer, the son of the morning (morning star), who was cast out of heaven to the ground for the pride in his heart (Isa 14:12-15).

The devil is going to have three falls.
1.      Once in eternity past (Isa. 14:14)
2.      Here in the middle of the Tribulation (Rev. 9:1)
3.      At the end of the age, his final fall (Rev. 19:20)

2. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. 

When Satan opens the pit, smoke arises out of it like the smoke of a great furnace and the sun is darkened by the black, smoky air.

Out of the smoke come locusts which have been given the power of scorpions.

“Bottomless pit” – place of departed spirits.

Smoke out of the pit refers to vast numbers.

Much of the heavens will be darkened.

3. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 

Locusts came out of the pit.  These are fallen angels.

Power of destruction was given to them.

They are not actually scorpions, but angels.

Scorpions sting, but do not kill.  They will torture with pain.

4. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the 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. 

Given the title “locusts” because they perform a similar function as these marauding pests, those loosed out of the bottomless pit by their leader, Satan, are actually demons.

Here are some restrictions placed on them.

They are not to hurt agriculture.

They are not to persecute believers.

5. And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. 

They gravely torment those who do not have the seal of God in their foreheads.  

They can torture, but not kill.

It was like when a scorpion stings a man.

This is all painful, but not fatal.

The number 5 represents grace.  They were only permitted to torment five months.

6. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. 

These tormented ones are driven to sorceries, witchcraft, fornication, murders, thefts, and other results of pagan idolatry and demon worship and demon possession.  

Here is the perfect final fulfillment of 1 Timothy 4:1-3, which predicts the outbreak of demonic worship in the time of the end.

Purpose of the fallen angels is to torture, but not kill.

People will try to die, but cannot.

“Those days” are the days of judgement.

7. And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. 

Here is a description of the locusts.

“Like unto horses prepared unto battle” means they had mobility like horses.

Crowns on their heads like gold means they had great power and authority.

Not a literal crown, crowns represent power.

“Faces of men” means the fallen angels look like men.

8. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. 

The physical appearance of these locusts is extremely gross.  They are like horses prepared for battle, having crowns on their heads, with faces like men and hair like women, but teeth like a lion (vs. 7-8).

“Hair of women” means they were beautiful.

Teeth of lions speaks of their ability to attack, and of their fierce power.

9. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. 

They will wear breastplates of iron and the sound of their wings will be like the sound of chariots rushing into battle (vs. 9).  

“Breastplates of iron.” This type of armor was worn by the Romans and was the most effective ever used.

Wings was the sound of many horses running. 

This speaks of the force of power they had.

This is a picture of the Roman warrior.

10. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. 

Their tails will be like scorpions’ tails with the power to sting severely and torment those they do sting five months (vs. 10).

Here we see the torture.

They won’t kill, but make people want to die.

Five months tells how long this torture will take place.

Five is the number of grace.  It is only by God’s grace it stops in five months and does not last longer.

11. And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon. 

“King over them.” – This is the devil.

Abaddon is the Hebrew name for Satan and means destruction.

Apollyon is the Greek name for Satan and means deceiver.

The devil is the leader.

He will indwell the dictator of the revived Roman empire (Rev. 11:7, 8).

Satan was created by the Lord and for the Lord, however, Satan rebelled against God and purposed to rise above God (Ezek. 28:17; Isa. 14:13, 14).

Names Given to Satan
a.       Satan – means adversary (Zech. 3:1)
b.      Devil – means slanderer (Rev. 12:9)
c.       Lucifer – means the shining one (Isa. 14:12)
d.      Abaddon – means destroyer (Rev. 9:11)
e.       Apollyon – means destroyer (Rev. 9:11)
f.       Beelzebub – means prince of demons (Matt. 12:27)
g.      Belial – means lawless (2 Cor. 6:15)

12. One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter. 

One woe is past but two are yet to come, even more severe than the first.

The fallen angel released is the first woe.

There are two more woes. – Two trumpet judgments.

13. ¶ And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 

“Sixth angel” one of the seven leading angels.

“Sounded” the sixth trumpet judgment.

“Four horns” speak of power.

Golden altar is where the prayers are received from the martyrs and answered.

This judgment is to punish those in the Tribulation who killed these believing martyrs.

14. Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. 

The Euphrates River was considered to be the eastern extremity of the Roman Empire and the dividing line between East and West.  

Thus, the four loosened angels lead an army arising out of the east.

The four wicked angels cannot move but at the command of God.  

Here is the sixth trumpet judgment.

“Loose the four angels” four super angels.

“Bound in the great river Euphrates.” Many believe this is where the man of sin will arise from.
Cities on the river Euphrates, Ur and Babylon.

15. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. 

Four angels are loosed with power.

Here we find one third of all men killed.

He pinpointed the time down to the hour.

16. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. 

When they are loosed and given permission to move, however, the army of horsemen they lead numbers 200,000,000.  This is an almost inconceivable number.

At the peak strength during World War II the United States had only 12,400,000 soldiers.

But when we consider the hordes of the East, we can believe that an army of 200 million horsemen could easily be reached today.

God not only pinpointed the time, but he gave us the number of this vast army. 200 million strong.

Some think this military is coming from the Orient across the Euphrates River to invade Israel.
Rev. 16:1, 2 says the Euphrates River will dry up.

17. And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. 

“Horses…and them that sat on them,” breastplates speaks of war.

“Heads of lions” speaks of fierce, rapid speed and force of this vast army.

The people die from burning and suffocation.

18. By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. 

Speaks of how they were killed.  1/3 of all men killed.

This horrible army destroys 1/3 of the population.  Under the fourth seal judgment (6:8), ¼ of the earth had been slain.  Now 1/3 is slain.  This means that these two judgments alone, not to mention the multitudes who have died because of famine, poisoned water, etc., have reduced the population of the earth by ½ since the beginning of the Tribulation.

19. For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt. 

This verse tells of their strength. 

Speaks of their torture. 

Tells by what means they brought death.

Whether this mighty army, with its horses having heads like lions, tails like serpents, and fire, smoke, and brimstone issuing out of their mouths, should be considered all human or all demon (equipped with modern weapons of war) is really not important.

What is important is the world’s reaction to the deadly judgment of the sixth trumpet.

20. And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: 

Speaks of the wickedness of the earth.  Here we see the reaction of the invasion.  Man will not repent.

Men hold on to human gods.

1/3 of men killed, yet they would not repent.

21. Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.

This is a description of the horror, death, trial and trouble of Tribulation.

Man hardened their hearts just as Pharaoh did.

In spite of the awful judgment inflicted on the world by this invading army, those who survive are still unrepentant.  Such is typical of hardened human hearts.

They still live in sin and debauchery, they still worship demons and idols, they still murder, practice drug abuse, fornicate, and steal.

Without the redeeming power of God in a person’s life there is no difference between these unfortunate inhabitants and inhabitants of our planet today.

The heart is still deceitful and desperately wicked (Jer 17:9).

Whether living in Old Testament times, New Testament times, the 20th century, or the Tribulation, all men everywhere need to repent and receive the blood of Jesus Christ as an atonement for their sins.

Without it there is no hope.

With the beginning of Chapter 10 comes another parenthetical section providing additional information about the events of the Tribulation Period.

This parenthesis, like that of chapter 7, does not move the narrative forward but simply adds detail to the events of this time of judgment.

Clark, Neal. Survey of the Book of Revelation. Pensacola, Florida: Thee WFBI Press, 1999. Print.
Falwell, Jerry. Liberty Commentary on the New Testament. Lynchburg, VA: Liberty Press, 1978. Print.