Revelation – Chapter 11

Who are the two witnesses, and what is their purpose?

What happens to the two witnesses in the book of Revelation.

I. Opening Videos’ Speakers. John Ankerberg Show. John Ankerberg (M. Div., D. Min.); Ron Rhodes (Th. M., Th. D.); Ed Hindson (Th. M., Th. D., D. Min., Ph. D.); Mark Hitchcock (Th. M., J.D., Ph. D.)

II. Overview.

A. Dr. John F. Walvoord (Th. B., Th. M., Th. D; 1910-2002) Revelation Commentary,

1. John was instructed to measure the temple and the altar, but not the outer court, meaning he was to measure the holy place and the holy of holies. While others could come into the outer court, only priests could enter into two temple rooms. The explanation was given that this would be under the control of the Gentiles, who would trample on the holy city for 42 months. The times of the Gentiles (Luke 21:24) will not end until the second coming of Christ to the earth to set up His Kingdom. Though Jews may possess Jerusalem temporarily, as they have in this century, they will lose possession in the Great Tribulation.

2. At the same moment of  the rapture of the two witnesses an earthquake occurred in Jerusalem, with 1/10 of the city collapsing and 7,000 people being killed. The survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven. So ended the second woe, leaving only the seventh trumpet, the final and third woe, to come. Though the full results from the sounding of the seventh trumpet are only introduced here, and not brought to finality (as they will be in chap 16), the introduction of the seventh trumpet is dramatic. As the trumpet sounded, voices were heard in heaven: “the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever. (Cf. predictions of the earthly kingdom of Christ in Ezek 21:26-27; Dan 2:35, 44; 4:3; 6:26; 7:14, 26 -27; Zech 14:9). The fact that this will be fulfilled at the Second Coming makes it clear that the period of the seventh trumpet chronologically reaches to Christ’s return. Therefore, the seventh trumpet introduces and includes the seven bowl judgments of the wrath of God revealed in chapter 16. In contrast with previous trumpets where a single voice was heard, here a mighty chorus from heaven joined in the proclamation.

III. Scripture Text. Revelation Chapter 11. NASB. Pasted from Bible Gateway

IV. Verse Examination. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., Litt. D.; 1925-2016) Ryrie Study Bible.

A. 11:1. “the temple of God.” Apparently the temple that will be built during the Tribulation, in which Jewish worship will be carried on during the first part of that seven-year period and in which, at the midpoint, the man of sin will exalt himself to be worshipped (2 Thes 2:4).

B. 11:2. “forty-two months.” This equals 3 1/2 years and probably refers to the last of the tribulation period during which Jerusalem will be under some sort of Gentile (the nations) control. Thus, “the times of the Gentiles” (see Luke 21:24) will not conclude until the end of the Tribulation.

C. 11:3. “1260 days.” This also equals 3 1/2 years and refers to the period of the ministry of the two witnesses. Whether the two witnesses will prophesy during the first half or the last half of the Tribulation is not stated, though the first half seems more likely, since their termination by Antichrist (v 7) fits better at the midpoint of the Tribulation than at the end.

D. 11:4. “two olive trees.” For the symbolism, see Zechariah 4:12 and 14. “two lampstands” that give out a witness (v 3). 

E. 11:5-6. The miraculous powers of the two unnamed witnesses are reminiscent of those of Elijah and Moses (cf. Ex 7:20; 8:1-12:29; 1 Kings 17:1; 18:41-45; 2 Kings 1:10-12).

F. 11:7. “the beast.” The Antichrist, also called “the man of lawlessness”  (2 Thes 2:3). The same person is mentioned in 6:2; 13:1; 14:9, 11; 15:2; 16:2; 17:3, 13; 19:20; 20:10. He can not kill these two witnesses until God allows him to.

G. 11:8. “the great city.” I.e., Jerusalem, which in these coming days will be like “Sodom” (filled with perverted sex) and “Egypt” (persecuting God’s people).

H. 11:9-10. So corrupt are peoples’ hearts that they will refuse burial and have a 3 1/2 day celebration of Antichrist’s victory over the two witnesses.

I. 11:11. “and they stood on their feet.” Imagine the effect the resurrection of these two men will have on those who, only the moment before, were viewing their corpses in the street or were watching TV news!

J. 11:13. “the rest.” Those who were not killed by the earthquake. “gave glory to the God of heaven” momentarily, for soon they would again curse the God of heaven (16: 11).

K. 11:15. The end is near enough now that the announcement of it can be made.

L. 16-19.The announcement evokes praise from the “elders” (vv 16-17) and anger from the “nations;” and soon will come judgment on the “dead” and the rewarding of the “saints.” 

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Revelation – Chapter 10

I. What is the “little book” that John was told to eat?

II. Video Data. John Ankerberg Show. Speakers are Drs: John Ankerberg (M. Div., D. Min.); Ron Rhodes (Th.M., Th.D.);  Ed Hindson (Th. M., Th. D., D. Min., Ph. D.); Mark Hitchcock (Th. M., J.D., Ph. D.)

III. Overview.

Dr. John F. Walvoord (Th. B., Th. M.,Th. D.; 1910-2002) Revelation Commentary.

1. 10:1. Revelation 10:1-11:14 gives additional information as a background to the seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments. Another angel is introduced, but apparently was not one of the seven angels sounding the trumpets. There is no evidence other than his being a mighty angel, (cf. Rev 5:2), perhaps, Michael the Archangel. In contrast with the seven-sealed scroll held by the Lamb (5:1), this angel held a small scroll, also used in 10:9-10. This scroll apparently contained the angel’s written order for the mission he was about to fulfill.

2. 10:5-7. The angel declared, “there will be delay no longer.” Announcement was made that the “seventh trumpet” would bring about the accomplishment of the mystery of God. This mystery had been previously announced to God’s prophets. The reference, therefore, is not to hidden truth, but to the fulfillment of many Old Testament passages which refer to the glorious return of the Son of God and the establishment of His Kingdom of righteousness and peace on the earth.  Here again is evidence that the seventh trumpet introduces the seven bowl judgments of God’s wrath in Revelation 16.

3. 10:9-10. “The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than pure gold, than pure gold; they are sweeter than honey from the comb” (Ps 19:9-10). Though the Word is sweet to believers, it will be bitter to unbelievers when it brings divine judgment to them.

IV. Scripture Text. Revelation Chapter 10, NASB. Pasted from Bible Gateway.

V. Verse Examination. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph., D. Litt. D.,1925-2016) Ryrie Study Bible. 

A. 10:6. “there will be no longer.” I.e., when the seventh angel sounds his trumpet (11:15), the bowl judgments will be poured out. 

B. 10:7. “the mystery of God.” Truth concerning God, Himself, which will not be revealed until His kingdom is established on earth.

C. 10:9-10. The eating of the “little book” (scroll) was to remind John that, although these truths from God may be pleasant to his taste, they were bitter when digested because they spoke judgment. The revelation of God’s judgment, on careful reflection, should always bring heaviness of heart to the child of God. Compare Ezek 2:8-3:3. 

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Revelation – Chapter 9

I. Video. What Happens To The Earth During The Trumpet Judgments. 

II. Video Data. Video Data. Video Data. I. Video Data. John Ankerberg Show. Dr. John Ankerberg,  (M. Div., D. Min.), (Dr. Jimmy DeYoung (M. Div., Ph. D., 1940-2021).

III. Overview. 

Dr. John F. Walvoord (Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., 1910-2002). The Revelation Of Jesus Christ.

A. The rising crescendo of judgments on the earth now introduces the first woe, a dramatic event described by John in the first twelve verses of this chapter. As the trumpet of the fifth angel is sounded, John records that he sees a star fallen from heaven having the key to the bottomless pit. Earlier in the book of Revelation, in connection with the sixth seal (6:12-17) and the fourth trumpet (8:12-13) record is made of unusual disturbances in the starry heavens. In chapter 6, the stars of heaven fall even as a fig tree casts her untimely figs, and heaven itself departs as a scroll when it is rolled together. In chapter 8, a great star from heaven described as “burning as it were a lamp” falls upon rivers and fountains of waters. In these instances it is probable that reference is made to material stars or fragments of them, and their falling on the earth is a form of divine judgment upon a wicked world.

B. The star here mentioned, however, seems to refer to a person rather than a literal star or meteor. The star is described as “fallen” in more accurate translations rather than falling, as indicated in the Authorized Version. The word fall is in the perfect tense which signifies completed action. For the event itself, see Revelation 12. J. B. Smith notes two passages anticipating this: Isaiah 14:12-17; Luke 10:18.The person referred to as the star is given the key of the bottomless pit, or the pit of the abyss, as it is better translated. No explanation is offered in the passage itself concerning the identity of this person, but the occasion may be the aftermath of warfare in heaven mentioned in Revelation 12:7-9, where the devil is cast out into the earth. This act of God, probably at the beginning of the great tribulation, terminates the ability of Satan to accuse the brethren in heaven as he has been doing through previous ages. The first verse of chapter 9 does not record the fall itself, but rather the star is seen as already fallen from heaven to the earth. It would seem likely, therefore, that the person referred to as the star is none other than Satan himself. J. B. Smith believes the star is an angel:

C. That a literal star is not meant is evident from the part that to him was given the key, that is, the authority (Matthew 16:19; Revelation 1:18), to open the bottomless pit. An intelligent being must be intended. It has been observed that a star is used as a symbol of the angel, 1:20. As early as the days of Job, there is a similar use of the word… (Job 38:7).

D. To this personage is given the key of the bottomless pit, or pit of abyss. This is the first instance of this expression in Scripture mentioned three times in this chapter and four additional times later in Revelation. The “bottomless pit” (Gr., abyssos) is the abode of demons according to Luke 8:31. The Greek word is found seven times in Revelation (9:1, 2, 11; 11:7; 17:8; 20:1, 3). Romans 10:7 implies hypothetically that Christ descended into the spirit world between His death and resurrection.From these references, it may be concluded that the pit of the abyss is none other than the place of detention of wicked angels. It is here that Satan himself is confined for a thousand years during the reign of Christ on earth (20:1-3). The opening verse of this chapter, therefore, presents Satan as having the key to the pit of the abyss with power to release those who are confined there.

IV. Scripture Text. Revelation Chapter. 9. Link pasted from Bible Gateway.

V. Verse Examination. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D.; 1925-2016) Ryrie Study Bible. 

A. 9:1. “a star” represents an intelligent creature, apparently “the angel of the abyss” (v 11). Notice the “he” in verse 2. “the bottomless pit.” Lit., the shaft of the abyss. For other uses of this phrase, see Luke 8:31; Rom 10:7; Rev 9:11; 11:7; 17:8; 20:1, 3. Luke 8:31 indicates that this is the abode of the demons.

B. 9:3. “locusts.” That these creatures come from the abyss, and are described in unusual terms in verses 7-11, indicate that they are demonic.

C. 9:4-5. The limitations that God places upon the activities of these creatures show that He is still in full control of these events. Only the 144,000 will escape the torment on people.

D. 9:6. Suicide, though desired, will be impossible.

E. 9:7-10. In describing these creatures John often has to use the word “like.”

F. 9:10. Two glands in the tail of a scorpion emit a poison that produces a painful, but usually not lethal, wound.

G. 9:11. “Abaddon…Apollyon.” Both words mean “destruction.”

H. 9:14-15. These “four angels” (demons) are released in order to kill one-third of the remaining population of the earth. Added to the one-fourth who were killed under the fourth seal judgment (6:4) these two judgments alone destroy one-half of the population, not including those who are killed by wars, famines, and diseases. “the hour” (v 15). Lit., this particular hour.

I. 9:16. “the armies.” The 200,000,000 creatures who compose this supernatural cavalry may be human beings, or demons, or demon-possessed humans. For other supernatural armies see 2 Kings 2:11; 6:14-17; Rev 19:14. 

J. 9:18. “by these three plagues.” I.e., by the fire, smoke, and brimstone. 

K. 9:20. The religion of many will involve demon and idol worship.

L. 9:21. “sorceries.”I.e., magical arts, potions, and poisons (See Gal 5:20; Rev 18:23; 21:8; 22:15) from the Greek word “pharmacies.” This chapter shows (1) the reality  and some of the activity of the unseen world of Satan and demons and (2) the hardness of human hearts.

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Revelation – Chapter 8

I. Video Data. The Seven Trumpets Of Revelation 8-11. Revelation One Three Publishing.

II. Overview.  Dr. John F. Walvoord (Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., 1910-2002) Revelation Commentary.

A. This chapter opens with the announcement that the seventh seal is opened. This is the last of the seven seals marking the prophetic judgments of God. With the opening of the seventh seal the narrative is resumed from the close of chapter 6. Though simply introduced, the seventh seal is obviously the most important development up to this point. Contained in the seventh seal are all the subsequent developments leading to the second coming of Christ, including the seven trumpets and the seven bowls of the wrath of God.

B. In fitting recognition of the important character of this seal, the Scriptures record that there is silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. Though thirty minutes is not ordinarily considered a long time, when it is a time of absolute silence portending such ominous developments ahead it is an indication that something tremendous is about to take place. It may be compared to the silence before the foreman of a jury reports a verdict; for a moment there is perfect silence and everyone awaits that which will follow.

III. Scripture Text. Revelation Chapter 8. NASB. Pasted from Bible Gateway.

IV. Verse Examination. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., 1925-2016) Ryrie Study Bible.

A. 8:1. “broke the seventh seal.” With the breaking of the seventh seal comes the second series of judgments —  the seven trumpets. Apparently, the judgments, announced by the trumpets, follow chronologically those of the other seals.
B. 8:4. The “prayers” likely petition God to judge evil and to inaugurate His kingdom quickly. A token judgment follows (v. 5).
C.8:7. Though the implications are staggering, there is no reason not to understand this and the other judgments plainly.
D. 8:8-9. The impact of this judgment on the world economy is beyond imagination. 
E. 8:11. “Wormwood.” Many species of wormwood (a woody herb) grow in the land of Israel, and all have a strong, bitter (not poisonous) taste, which causes the plant to be used as a symbol of bitterness, sorrow and calamity. This plague will make a third part of the fresh water supply of the earth unfit for human consumption.
F. 8:12. This could mean that the 24-hour cycle of day and night will be shortened to 16 hours, or that the power of the sun, moon, and stars will be reduced by one-third.

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Revelation – Chapter 7

I. Video Data. 

Who are the 144,000, and what power has God given to them? 

II. Overview. Dr. John F. Walvoord (Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., 1910-2002) Revelation Commentary.

A. In contrast to chapter 6 which seems to give the chronological sequence of major events of the great tribulation, chapter 7 does not advance the narrative but directs attention to two major groups of saints in the tribulation. The opening portion of the chapter pictures the 144,000 representative of the godly remnant of Israel on earth in the great tribulation. The latter part of the chapter describes a great multitude of martyred dead in heaven, those who died as a testimony to their faith from every kindred, tongue, and nation.

B. The question has often been asked, “Will anyone be saved after the rapture?” The Scriptures clearly indicate that a great multitude of both Jews and Gentiles will trust in the Lord after the church is caught up to glory. Though the children of God living on earth at the time will be translated when Christ comes for His church, immediately a testimony will be raised up to the name of Christ through new converts among Jews and Gentiles. Though these are never described by the term “church,” they are constantly called saints, that is, those set apart as holy to God and saved through the sacrifice of Christ.

III. Scripture Text. 7. Link pasted from Bible Gateway.

IV. Verse Examination. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., 1925-2016) Ryrie Study Bible.

A. 7:3. The judgments are delayed until these 144,000 Jewish people can be “sealed;” i.e., protected supernaturally.

B. 7:4. “one hundred and forty-four thousand.” These are Jews from the 12 tribes (12,000 each) who are protected in order to perform service for God during those days.

C. 7:9. “a great multitude.” This magnitude is composed of many racial and geographic groups who will be redeemed during the Tribulation (v. 14). In those difficult days, many will find Christ as Savior. 

D. 7:15-17. Having died or been martyred during the Tribulation, this great multitude are seen in heaven enjoying the blessings.

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Revelation – Chapter 6

What happens during the Seal Judgments?

I. Video Data. I. Video Data. John Ankerberg Show. Dr. John Ankerberg,  (M. Div., D. Min.), (Dr. Jimmy DeYoung (M. Div., Ph. D., 1940-2021)


II. Overview.

A. Dr. John F. Walvoord  (Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., 1910-2002). Revelation Commentary.

The opening of chapter 6 of the book of Revelation marks an important milestone in the progressive revelation of the end of the age. In chapter 5 John is introduced to the seven-sealed book in the hand of Christ. In chapter 6 the first six seals are opened with the resultant tremendous events occurring in the earth. The interpretation of these events depends upon the understanding of other portions of the prophetic Word. If the events portrayed are taken in any literal sense, it should be clear that they describe an event yet future, in the words of Christ, “the things which shall be hereafter” (1:19). Van Ryn expresses the common pre-tribulation position: The opening of the seals ushers in the terrible judgments to fall upon this earth after the Church has been caught up to glory, as we saw in chap. 4:1.

B. Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost (Th. B., Th., D., 1915-2014) Things To Come, p 215.

Of the Book of Revelation, Chapters 1-3 present the development of the church in this present age. Chapters 4-11 cover the events of the entire seventieth week period, and include the return of Christ to earth to reign in 11:15-18. Thus, the seals are the events of the first three and one-half years, and the trumpets events of the last three and one-half years. According to the instructions given John in 10:11, chapters 12-19 survey the seventieth week, with a second time, this time with a view of revealing the actors on the stage of the drama. This chronology makes a mid tribulation view of the rapture impossible, for the so-called mid tribulation rapture of 11:15-18 is seen to be the post tribulation return to the earth, not the rapture at all. This gives supporting evidence for the pre-tribulation rapture position.

III. Scripture Text. Revelation Chapter 6. Pasted from Bible Gateway.

IV. Verse Examination.  Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., 1925-2016) Ryrie Study Bible.

A. 6:1. Here begins the first of three series of judgments in the book (seals, chap 6; trumpets, chap 8-9; bowls, chap 16). Some see the later series as recapitulating the earlier series. But, more likely, the three series are consecutive, each succeeding one following the preceding one.

A. 6:2. “he who sat on it.” Evidently a reference to Antihrist. His method of conquest at first does not seem to include open warfare, since peace is not removed from the earth until the second seal is opened (v. 3). This corresponds to the description of delusion in 1 Thes. 5:3.

B. 6:3-4. Everything about the second seal judgment indicates bloodshed (e.g., “red horse, take peace from, sword”).

C. 6:6. “a denarius.” A Roman silver coin that had a normal purchasing power of 10 qt (9.5 lit) of wheat, or 30 qt (28.5 lit) of barley. One qt (.95 lit) of wheat was the daily ration for a soldier. Thus, a daily wage will buy food for only one person, who will have to share with his family.

D. 6:8. “ashen”= a sickly, yellowish green. Probably representing the inevitable result of disease that accompanies war and famine. “Death” claims the bodies, and “Hades” the souls and spirits, of one-fourth of the world’s population in this single judgment (cf. 9:18).

E. 6:9. “the souls of those who had been slain.” Evidently the martyrs of the first months of the tribulation period.

F. 6:10. Notice that these martyrs are alive and conversing with the Lord in His presence.

G. 6:11. “rest for a little while longer.” I.e., wait a little while. It is difficult for these martyrs to understand why God would allow their murderers to live; yet, God asks these saints to trust Him. 

H. 6:12. These cosmic disturbances are predicted elsewhere in Scripture (Isa. 34:4; Joel 2:30-31; Matt 24:29). 

I. 6:16. When the Tribulation comes, men will act as if they believe the end of the world is at hand, not simply talk as if it were.

V. Additional Thoughts.

A. Notice that it is Christ (the Lamb) who breaks open these seals which brings judgment on all who reside on the earth. The seal judgments are not a source of Satan, the Antichrist, mankind, or anyone other than Christ. Those, who are left on the earth after the Rapture takes place, are left because they have not been born again, having the Spirit of Christ dwelling within their spirits, making their spirits as righteous as the Spirit of God (2 Cor 5:17, 21). Those who are left behind are known as “earth dwellers,” or “those who dwell upon the earth” (Rev 3:10; 6:10; 8:13; 11:10; 13:8, 14; 17:8). Even as judgments on “earth dwellers” become increasingly more severe, many earth dwellers will continue to defy God. Earth dwellers chose earth over citizenship in Heaven (Phil. 3:20). 

B. We who are believers in Christ have been told, “God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9 is conclusive evidence:  “For God has appointed us not to wrath, but unto the obtaining of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, but unto the obtaining of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. ‘Wrath for others, but salvation for us at the Rapture, whether we wake or sleep.’ ” (J. Dwight Pentecost, Th. M., Th. D., “Things To Come,” p 195).

C. “According to the observation that John announced (Rev 6:16-17) that the program there being unfolded is related to the ‘wrath of the Lamb.’ ” The aorist tense in verse 17, elthen (has come) signifies, not something that is about to happen, but that which has taken place. Thus, in unfolding the program of the seals, John announces that these represent “the wrath” that has already come (J. Dwight Pentecost, Th. M., Th. D., Things To Come, pp 183-184).

D. In addition to the above comments that relate to the breakdown of the events of the tribulation, the Ryrie Study Bible shows a division of the tribulation in the Olivet Discourse of Matthew chap 24 (Charles Ryrie, Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., 1925-2016) (See my note in the following notes, D.4-10).

  1. 24:3. “the disciples.” In this discourse Jesus answers two of the three questions of only Peter, James, John, and Andrew, that these disciples asked. Mark 13:3 states, “Peter and James and John and Andrew were questioning Him privately.” Jesus does not answer “when will these things happen?” He answers “what will be the sign of Your coming?” in verses 29-31, and He speaks of the signs of the end of the age in verses 4-28. Verses 4-14 list the characteristics of the first half of the tribulation period, whereas, verses 15-18 deal with the second half.
  2. 24:29. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days.”
  3. 24:29. “THE SUN…THE MOON…THE STARS.” These astral phenomena, which will accompany the return of the “Son of Man,” are foretold in Isa 13:9-10 and Joel 2:31; 3:15.
  4. Notice that it will be “after the Tribulation” that Jesus will return to earth, which is not the same event as the Rapture (John 14:2-6; 1 Cor 15:50-54; 1 Thes 4:13-18).
  5. Notice that the discussion is with only four of the disciples, and was not a proclamation to Gentiles.
  6. Notice that the events of the tribulation are caused by Jesus or His angels (Rev 6:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9-11, 12-17; 8:1-6, 8:2-6; 8:7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13; 9:1-12; 9:13-21; 11:15-19; 15:1, 6-7; 16:1-2, 3, 4-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-16, 17-21). Notice that the judgments of the tribulation are not caused by Satan, the Anti-Christ, mankind or “mother nature.” Notice, also, that in 6:17, the earth dwellers recognize that they have been coming under “the wrath of God,” and that 6:17 this is not the beginning of “God’s wrath.”
  7. All of the Tribulation is of “God’s wrath.” The flood of Noah’s time (Genesis 6) was of “the wrath of God.” The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18-19) was also of “the wrath of God,” whether the words “wrath of God,” were (or were not) written in those passages.
  8. The stated purpose of the tribulation (Jacob’s distress) is for unsaved Jews (Jeremiah 30:7, 606 B.C.). God’s love for Israel had been stated in Gen 12:1-3 (Ca 2100 B.C.), Deu 14:2 (1451 B.C.), and elsewhere. In spite of the tribulation, of which unsaved Israel (and Gentiles) will endure, God’s love for Israel is restated in Jer 31:1-4 (606 B.C.), “I have loved you with an everlasting love.”
  9. The tribulation will not begin until after the Anti-Christ confirms a peace treaty with Israel, as prophesied in Daniel 9:27 (538 B.C.). The duration of the Tribulation will be 7 years (Ryrie note: Dan 9:27).
  10. All unsaved Jews and Gentiles will be left behind from the rapture. Per Revelation 7:9, of those who are left behind and find themselves in the Tribulation, a great multitude of many racial and geographic groups will be redeemed during the Tribulation (Rev 7:14). In these difficult days, many will find Christ as Savior (Ryrie Study Bible). God’s eternal plan for the redemption of mankind, as stated in Gen 3:15 (4004 B.C.), will not be thwarted (Rev 20:10 (A.D. 96).

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Revelation – Chapters 4 & 5

When we get to heaven will we see God with our own eyes?

I. Video Data.

John Ankerberg Show.  Speakers: Drs. Ron Rhodes (Th. M., Th. D.), Ed Hindson (Th. M., Th. D., D. Min., Ph. D.), Mark Hitchcock (Th. M.; J. D., Ph. D.).

II. Overview.

Dr. John F. Walvoord  (Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., 1910-2002). Revelation Commentary. 

Chapters 4 and 5 are the introduction and background of the tremendous sweep of prophetic events predicted in the rest of the book. If chapter 4 and succeeding chapters relate to the future, they provide an important clue concerning the interpretation of the vision and the prophetic events which unfold in those chapters. One of the principal reasons for confusion in the study of the book of Revelation has been the failure to grasp this point. If Revelation has no chronological structure and is merely a symbolic presentation of moral truth, its prophetic significance is reduced to a minimum. If, as others hold, the predictions of this section of Revelation are already fulfilled in the early persecution of the church, it also robs the book of any prophecy of the future.  

III. Scripture Text. Revelation Chapters 4 and 5.

IV. Verse Examination. 

Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., 1925-2016). Ryrie Study Bible.

A. 4:2. “I was in the spirit,” as in the 1:10 post.

B. 4:4. “24 elders.” Some understand these to be angelic beings, though it is likely that the 24 elders represent redeemed people, who are glorified, crowned, and enthroned. Angels are never said to be given crowns, though believers are (2 Timothy 4:8; James 1:12; 1 Peter 5:4; Revelation 2:10). 

C. 4:5. “7 Spirits of God,” as in the 1:4 post. 

D. 4:6. “4 living creatures,” or living ones. These may be angels, probably cherubim (cf. Ezek. 10:15-20), or they may be representations of the attributes of God, Himself (since they are said to be “in the center” of the throne).

E. 4:7. Many see a similarity between the 4 living ones and the fourfold manner in which Christ is portrayed in the Gospels. In Matthew He appears as the Lion of the tribe of Judah; in Mark He is the Servant who became the sacrifice for sin (the calf was a sacrificial animal, Heb 9:12, 19); Luke’s emphasis is on the Son of Man; and “a flying eagle” links Him with heaven, as does John’s gospel. 

F. 4:8-11. Here is a great anthem of praise by the 4 living ones and the 24 elders to God as creator. In 5:11-14 the focus of worship is on God as Redeemer.

G. 5:1. “a book.” Lit., a scroll. This may be called the “Book of Redemption,” as it contains the story of man’s fall through sin, and rise through Christ (Heb. 2:5-9). 

H. 5:5. “the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah.” The noblest and victorious of the kingly tribe (cf. Gen. 49:9). “the Root of David.” The one who fulfills the covenant with David (cf. Isa. 11:1, 10). The messiah, John is assured, is competent and worthy to break the 7 seals and open the scroll to release the plagues.

I. 5:6. “as if slain.” Christ, the Lamb, bears the marks of His death (See Luke 24:40; John 20:20, 27) even in His glorified state. “horns” are a symbol of strength (cf. 1 Kings 22:11; Zech 1:18). 

J. 5:8. “bowls,” like saucers.

K. 5:9-10. The Lamb is worthy because He died in the past to pay the ransom price for the sins of the world, positioned  us in the present as a kingdom and priests before God, and gave us a promise of reigning on the earth in the future. A few mss. read “us” and “we” in verse 10 instead of “them” and “they.” In either case, the elders could be singing of their own redemption in either the first or third person. 

L. 5:13. All creation joins in praise to God and the Lamb.

M. 5:14. The heavenly scene of chaps. 4 and 5 give heaven’s perspective on the need for the awful judgments to follow, for Christ’s right to reign must be realized, and sin must be punished.

V. Summary. Dr. Orville J. Nave, Nave’s Study Bible, 1978 (D.D., LL. D., 1841-1917). Orville J. Nave (Editor), Anna Seamans Nave (Editor)

In these fourth and fifth chapters of Revelation we considered: 4:1 John’s vision of the throne of God in heaven, 4:4 and of the twenty-four elders around it. 4:10 The elders worship him that sits on the throne. 5:1 The book sealed with seven seals. 5:3 No man is able to open it. 5:5 The Lamb that was slain takes the book; whereupon the elders and angels around the throne join in thanksgiving and praise to him. 

VI. Additional Thoughts. The “redeemed” of Revelation 4:4.

A. Job spoke of his redeemer (Job 19:25-27). vs 25 follows.

“As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.

B. The Old Testament redeemed have already been taken to Heaven, per Ephesians 4:8-10 (Dr. John Phillips (D. Min; 1927-2010) Revelation Commentary.) 

C. The New Testament redeemed consists of those whom will be caught up in the resurrection and rapture of believers in Christ (John 14:2-6; 1 Corinthians 15:50-54; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 2 Corinthians 2:1-3, Titus 2:14; 2 Thessalonians 2:3). 

VII. Imminency. 

A. The term “imminency” is key to a proper understanding of the Rapture, which means that the Rapture can happen at any time of the day, week, month, or year. The Rapture could have taken place at any time in history, from day of the writings of the verses that relate to the rapture, until the day that the Rapture actually takes place. Consider the following verses that show that the Rapture is not confined to the fall months of the year during the Jewish feasts, or to any events that occur that will make it appear that “it is time for the rapture to take place,” or that something must happen on earth among God’s creation to make God act, or react.

1. Galatians 4:4 tells of God’s plan for the time that Jesus would come to earth. “4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman…” God had a plan that would not be altered, or deleted, regardless of mankind’s lifestyle.

2. Romans 11:25 tells of the time that the Rapture of the Church will take place.  “a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.” The time of the rapture of the church has already been determined by God which is not determined by anything, or anybody, other than by God’s sovereign plan, which will be completed in spite of the sinfulness of mankind.

3. “The Fullness Of The Gentiles” (Romans 11:25) must occur before the Rapture takes place. Until the point in time that “the fullness of the Gentiles comes in,” the Holy Spirit will be dealing with unbelieving Jews and Gentiles, drawing them to belief in Christ. When that “number of Gentiles” has been achieved, the church will be full, and will be taken to Heaven through the Rapture, “in eternal, undefiled bodies,” (1 Cor 15:50-54). At the time of the ascension of Christ to heaven after His death, burial, and resurrection, “Christ took the souls of the Old Testament Saints, with Him to Heaven, with many of them being united with their bodies (Ephesians 4:8-10; Ephesians Commentary, Dr. John Phillips, D. Min.,1927-2010). As will be the fate of unbelieving Jews, unbelieving Gentiles will be left behind on earth, from the time of the Rapture, to come under the oppression of the Anti-Christ and the Judgments of God during the Tribulation; then, God will be drawing such unbelievers to belief in Christ as Messiah. God’s Holy Spirit will be calling unbelievers to belief in Christ during the church age (John 1:9-13); the church age will end, and the church will never be mentioned again in the Bible. The primary purpose of the Tribulation will be for God to deal with Israel (Jeremiah 30:7).

a. Consider the comment of Dr. John MacArthur, in the MacArthur Study Bible, which discusses “the fullness of the Gentiles.”

until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. “Until” refers to a specific point in time; “fullness” refers to completion; “has come in” translates a Gr. verb often used to speak of coming to salvation (cf. Matt. 5:20Mark 9:434547John 3:5Acts 14:22). Israel’s spiritual hardening (which began with rejecting Jesus as Messiah) will last until the complete number of elect Gentiles has come to salvation.

b. Consider the comment of Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., 1925-2016) in the Ryrie Study Bible, which discusses “the fullness of the Gentiles.”

“the fullness of the Gentiles.” I.e., the full number of Gentiles who will be saved (Acts 15:14). After that, God will turn again to the Jews and will save “all Israel” at the Lord’s return (v. 26).

c. Consider the comment of Dr. John A. Witmer (B.A., M.A., M.S.L.S., Th. M., Th. D.) in the Bible Knowledge Commentary, which discusses “fullness of the Gentiles”

There is a fullness for Israel (Rom. 11:12) and a fullness for the Gentiles. God is now “taking from the Gentiles a people for Himself” (Acts 15:14).

d. Consider the comment of Dr. Michael G. Vanlaningham (M. Div., Ph. D.) in The Moody Study Bible, which discusses the “fullness of the Gentiles.”

“Fullness of the Gentiles” refers to the “full number of Gentiles” who God has determined to be saved prior to Him lifting the hardening from Israel.

B. The Imminent Rapture. Consider the following verses that show that the Rapture can occur at any time.

1. John 14:2-3,  “2 I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I am coming again and will take you to Myself, so that where I am, there you also will be. (Note. Jesus was talking to Jews, If he had a plan to return on a feast day, this would have been the perfect occasion for such a discussion).

2. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who remain, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. (Note. Paul explained the rapture without making any mention of a time of the Rapture).

3. 1 Corinthians 15: 52, “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” (Paul makes no statement of a time for the rapture.).

4. Titus 2:13, “looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,” (Note: The early church was looking for the appearance of the Lord in the rapture, and not for a particular time of year. 

5. We will now discuss a Scripture teaching on the Rapture that has been taught incorrectly ever since the KJV1611 was published, and the word “departure” was translated as “apostasy.” Dr. Ice points out that the first eleven or twelve English translations of  the Bible translated 2 Thessalonians 2:3 to show a “departure,” to show the catching away of the church. Beginning with the KJV1611, the word “apostasy”  was used. A video that goes into proper context on this subject can be seen by searching youtube, as follows (by Blue River Bible Church): Dr. Tommy Ice on Revelation, Part 11, beginning at 1:14:00. The credentials for Dr. Ice (Th. M., Ph. D.) are as follows: 

Dr. Ice founded The Pre-Trib Research Center in 1994 with Dr. Tim LaHaye to research, teach, and defend the pretribulational rapture and related Bible prophecy doctrines.

6. Consider that the following translations did not use “apostasy,” to describe the catching away of the church:

a. 486, Latin Vulgate, departure; 1384, Wycliffe Bible, departure; 1388, Wycliffe-Purvey Bible, departure; 1526 Tyndale Bible, departure; 1535 Coverdale Bible, departure; 1539, Cranmer Bible, departure; 1540 Great Bible, departure; 1560, Geneva Bible, departing; 1576. Breeches Bible, departing; 1582, Rheims Bible, Revolt; 1583, Berea Bible, departing; 1608, Geneva Bible, departing.

b. Video note: The Geneva Bible was the Bible that the Puritans used;  they would not let the KJV “get off the boat” in America. The KJV was viewed as a Catholic Bible because there were Anglicans on the KJV translation committee. The Puritans used the Geneva Bible that was translated by the Protestants in Geneva. The Rheims Bible, which was produced by Catholics, was the first Bible to change the translation tradition from departing, to the word “revolt” to mean the “protestants,” with the revolt being against the mother church. The KJV translators used a created word, “baptism,” to mean ” baptizo, immersion. “The same creation of the word “apostasy” took place when the KJV translators chose to not use “departure,” to mean the departure of the church from earth in the “catching up” of the saints in the rapture. 

c. The Greek “harpazo” means to “catch up,” as of a harpoon effect. Such, as in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: “harpazó: to seize, catch up, snatch away.” 

d. (The Douay-Rheims Bible is a translation of the Bible from the Latin Vulgate into English made by members of the English College, Douai, in the service of the Catholic Church). 

e. Consider two of the proper translations for 2 Thessalonians 2:3:

(1) Tyndale (1526): Let no man deceive you by any means, for the Lord cometh not, except there come a departing first, and that that sinful man be opened, the son of perdition.

(2) Geneva (1560): Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a departing first, and that that man of sin be disclosed, even the son of perdition.

f. Consider the incorrect translation 2 Thessalonians 2:3 of the KJV 1611:

KJV (1611): Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

7. God’s Plan vs Apostasy. The teaching that “before an apostasy,” or a falling away of the church must occur before God acts, makes God a servant of the actions of God’s created mankind, which puts God’s plan under the control of mankind. 

8. The catching up of the born again believers in Christ has been set in “God’s plan for the ages,” from ages past. See 1 Cor 15:51-52.

51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 

a. A mystery is part of God’s plan that had not been revealed until God revealed such a plan to the apostles. (Ryrie note: Rom 16:25-26, “the mystery:” A definition of a scriptural meaning unknown in times past but revealed in the NT. God’s plan is not contingent upon anything that takes place by human beings. God does not wait to fulfill prophecy until something happens by the actions of human beings, whether, “good or bad.” God’s plan does not have a “Plan B.” GOD’S PLAN is GOD’S PLAN, and is not delayed, or alterable, based on the actions of humanity.

b. The church is made up of born again believers in Christ. God will not force the church, His born again believers in Christ, to act “as apostates” in order for Him to fulfill His plan. 

(1) Each born again believer in Christ is a member of the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27; Colossians 1:24); (2) with the Spirit of Christ dwelling within each of their spirits (Col 1:27); (3), with each believer being a new creature (2 Cor 5:17); (4) with each believer being the righteousness of God in him (2 Cor 5:21).  

c. Tomorrow may be a good day, and the Rapture may take place. Tomorrow may be a bad day, and the Rapture may take place. At the time of the “fullness of the fullness of the Gentiles coming in” (Rom 11:25), is the day that the Rapture will take place. 

VIII. The Key to understanding the events of the Rapture is found in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4. as is shown in the Geneva translation, as follows:  

3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a departing first, and that that man of sin be disclosed, even the son of perdition. 4.  Which is an adversary, and exalteth himself against all that is called God, or that is worshiped: so that he doth sit as God in the Temple of God, showing himself that he is God. 

The rapture of the church will take place. Then,  the antichrist will be revealed to the world. Then, the antichrist will exalt himself above God in the temple, claiming that he is God.

IX. My Bucket List shows the references, of people and documents, that I use when I write my articles.

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Revelation – Chapters 2 & 3

I. Video Data. Are the letters to the seven churches relevant to us today? 10

II. Introduction.

 Dr. John F. Walvoord  (Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., 1910-2002). Revelation Commentary.

 In chapters 2 and 3 the messages to the seven churches are referred to as “the things which are” (cf. 1:19). These messages, therefore, contain divine revelation and exhortation pertaining to the present age; and, having special pertinence in the present situation in the church, they constitute one of the most incisive and penetrating exhortations in the entire New Testament in relation to church doctrine and Christian living.

III. Overview. 

A. These are letters dictated by the risen Lord to seven literal churches in western Asia Minor toward the end of the first century of the first century of the Christian era. 1

B. Chapters 2-3 are devoted to describing practical standards of behavior for the seven churches, and that the Apocalypse was written for a distinctively practical purpose. 2

C. The seven churches are addressed here. They have a common structure that includes:  (1) a greeting, (2) commendations , (3) corrections, (4) an exhortation to repent, and (5) a promise of reward for those who overcome. Most are also encouraged by some aspect Christ’s character from 1:4-20. 3 

D. The seven churches addressed in chapters 2 and 3 were actual churches of John’s day. But, they also represent conditions of churches of all generations. This idea is supported by the fact that only seven were selected out of many that existed and flourished in John’s time and by the statement at the close of each letter that the Spirit was speaking to the churches (vv 7, 11, etc.). 4 

E. The things that are said about each of these churches is a message intended for all churches. There are seven problems or descriptions to which all churches may at one time or another subscribe.  These troubles affect all Christians and churches not only when such matters specifically begin to influence us, but also when a given period of time is generally characterized by these problems. 5 

F. The seven letters are, with minor exceptions, organized in the following general pattern: (1) a description of Christ derived from the vision of ch. 1; (2) a commendation of the congregation; (3) a rebuke for spiritual deficiencies; (4) a correction for what is wrong; and (5) a promise to overcomers. The seven churches were congregations in Asia Minor in John’s day. Sometimes they are interpreted as representing seven stages of church history. But this interpretation is unlikely, since there is disagreement among interpreters about what part of Revelation represents which period in history. More likely, these seven assemblies are examples of the kind of churches that exist throughout history (2:7). This means that all seven letters are warnings to every church in every age (see 2:7). (HCSB. Dr. A. Boyd Luter (M.Th., D. Th., Ph. D.) 6

G. In the second chapter of the book of Revelation the second major division of the book begins. As previously mentioned, chapter 1 seems to fulfill the command of 1:19, “Write the things which thou hast seen.” Beginning in chapter 4, the material deals with “the things which shall be hereafter” (1:19). In chapters 2 and 3 the messages to the seven churches are referred to as “the things which are” (cf. 1:19). These messages, therefore, contain divine revelation and exhortation pertaining to the present age; and, having special pertinence in the present situation in the church, they constitute one of the most incisive and penetrating exhortations in the entire New Testament in relation to church doctrine and Christian living.  7

H. Some people hold that these churches, in general,  represent the history of the church – the idea that the church in Ephesus represents the apostolic church, the others the progress of the church through the centuries, and the church at Laodicea as the final church at the time of Christ’s coming. There is, however, no scriptural verification of this type of interpretation.  8

IV. Scripture Text. Revelation Chapters 2 and 3. 12

V. Verse Examination. 11

A. 2:1-7. Ephesus. the church that had forsaken its first love (2:4).

B. 2:8-11. Smyrna. the church that would suffer persecution (2:10).

C. 2:12-17. Pergamum. the church that needed to repent (2:16).

D. Thyatira. 2:18-19, the church that had a false prophetess (2:20).

E. Sardis. 3:1-6. the church that had fallen asleep (3:2).

F. Philadelphia. 3:7-13. the church that had endured patiently (3:10).

G. Laodicea. 3:14-22. the church with the lukewarm faith (3:16).

VI. My Thoughts.

As was mentioned in the Overview, there were problems in the churches that existed during the time of John, that also exist during the time in which we live now; such problems can interfere with the work of the church in evangelizing and in teaching the love of Christ. In every congregation, the love of Christ should be visible, and without anyone being forced to look for it.  Also, in every congregation, the Bible should be taught, and in its proper context. 

VII. Additional Thoughts.

A. Rev 1:19, per Dr. Ryrie’s note:  (2) “things which are;” i.e., the present state of the churches (chaps 2-3). There is much teaching on the churches of Revelation Chapters 2 and 3, as to future date periods for each of the mentioned churches, from the date forward of the Revelation, such as:

The Church of Ephesus era occurred from 33-100 A.D.
The Church of Smyrna era, the Persecuted Church, occurred from 100-313 A.D.
The Church of Pergamos era occurred from 313-538 A.D.
The era of the Church of Thyatira, the Pagan Church 538-1514 A.D.
The Church of Sardis era, the Dead Church, occurred during the 1514 – 1798 A.D.
The era of the Church of Philadelphia occurred from 1798 – 1866 A.D.
The era of the Church of Laodicea, the Lukewarm Church, 1866 A.D. – present

B. Based on such flawed assumptions of when certain church periods will occur, the rapture of the church could not have been possible until present day. Per Paul’s writing of Titus 2:13, “l
ooking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,” Christians were looking forward to the return of Christ, from the time of Paul’s writing of Titus in the year 65 A.D. John Walvoord had a sign in his office at Dallas Theological Seminary with the words, “Maybe Today.” As in the time of the writing of the New Testament, until all years forward, there has always been a teaching of imminency in regard to the Rapture of the Church. However, if the above suggested church periods were true, the Rapture could not have occurred until sometime during the “present”? Laodicean Church age. Chapters 2 and 3 address churches as they were functioning at the time of John’s writing. As we move on to chapters two and three of Revelation, we will see that every church problem that The Revelation addresses, has been common to the churches of every era of time, from the time of the Revelation, through present day churches. 

C. In addition to the “church ages” incorrect teachings, it is important to address another incorrect teaching in reference to the Book of Revelation. Many people relate to “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, ” as to “the book of revelations.” But, per Rev 1:1, the correct wording is “The Revelation.” The Book of Revelation is “one revelation” (singular) that Jesus gave to the Apostle John, and “not many revelations” (plural).

VIII. Summary. 9

In these second and third chapters of Revelation we considered: 2:1 Christ’s message to the angel of the church in Ephesus. 2:8 in Smyrna. 2:12 in Pergamos. 2:18 in Thyatira. 3:1 in Sardis. 3:7 in Philadelphia. 3:14 Laodicea.

IX. Footnotes.  

1. Dr. John Phillips (D. Min; 1927-2010) John Phillips Revelation Commentary. 
2. Dr. Robert L. Thomas (Th. M., Th. D.; 1928-2017). Revelation Commentary, 1992.
3. Dr. Daniel Green (Th. M., D. Min.). The Moody Bible Commentary, 2014.
4. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., 1925-2016). Ryrie Study Bible, 1986, 1995.
5. Dr. David Hocking. Bachelor of Arts in Bible, Greek and Ancient History; Master of Divinity in Biblical Studies & Systematic Theology; Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical Studies and Languages; Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Studies.
6. Dr. A. Boyd Luter (M. Th., D. Th., Ph. D.) Holman Christian Standard Bible,  2010. 
7. Dr. John F. Walvoord  (Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., 1910-2002). Revelation Commentary, 1974. 
8. Dr. John F. Walvoord  (Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., 1910-2002). Every Prophecy Of The Bible, 1990, 1999, p 526
9. Dr. Orville J. Nave, Nave’s Study Bible, 1978 (D.D., LL. D., 1841-1917). Orville J. Nave (Editor), Anna Seamans Nave (Editor)
10. John Ankerberg Show. Dr. Jimmy DeYoung (M. Div., Ph. D., 1940-2021). 
11. Got Questions. 
12. New American Standard Bible, 1995, pasted from Bible Hub.

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XI. My Websites To Follow. Eternity Commentary Preparation Thy Kingdom Come

Revelation – Chapter 1

How Is Jesus Described In Revelation Chapter 1?

I. Video Data.   John Ankerberg Show.  Dr. John Ankerberg (M. Div., D. Min.), Dr. Ron Rhodes (Th.M., Th. D.)

II. Introduction.

 Dr. John F. Walvoord (Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., 1910-2002) Revelation Commentary.

The opening verse of the first chapter introduces immediately the central theme of the book of Revelation, namely, Jesus Christ in His present and future glory. The futuristic and prophetic character of the book is indicated in the words “a revelation of Jesus Christ” in which God will declare to John “things which must shortly come to pass.” The word revelation is the translation of apokalypsis without the article, meaning a “revelation, disclosure, or unveiling.” It is a revelation of truth about Christ Himself, a disclosure of future events, that is, His second coming when Christ will be revealed. It is as well a revelation which comes from Christ.

III. Verse Examination.

Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., 1925-2016). Ryrie Study Bible.

A. 1:1. “of Jesus Christ” = from Jesus Christ. Jesus gave this revelation from God, by means of an angel, to John. “soon.” This word does not indicate that the events described in this book will necessarily occur soon but that when they do begin to happen they will come to pass swiftly. (The same Greek word is translated “quickly” in Luke 18:8.)
B. 1:3. ‘Blessed.” There are seven beatitudes in Revelation. This is the first; the others are found in 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7, 14. John wanted the book read at once, and preferable aloud, in the churches.
C. 1:4. “seven.” The number seven is associated with completion, fulfillment and perfection. In Revelation there are seven churches and seven spirits (1:4), seven lampstands (1:12), seven stars (1:16), seen seals on the scroll (5:1), seven horns and seven eyes of the Lamb (5:6), seven angels and seven trumpets (8:2), seven thunders (10:3), seven heads of the dragon (12:3), seven heads of the beast (13:1), seven golden bowls (15:7), and seven kings (17:10). “the seven spirits.” Many understand this to refer to the Holy Spirit in His perfect fullness (see 4:5a; Isa 11:2), though some take this as a reference to seven angels who are before God’s throne.
D. 1:5. “firstborn of the dead.” I.e., Christ was the first to receive a resurrection body that is immortal. See Col 1:15, where He is designated the firstborn of of every creature (cf. Ps 89:27). 
E. 1.6. “a kingdom, priests.” Description  of both Israel (Ex 19:6) and the church (1 Pet 2:9-10), indicating that we shall minister to Him forever.
F. 1:7. On “pierced” see Zech 12:10. “all…will mourn.” See Matt 24:29:30). 
G. 1:8. “the Alpha and the Omega.” The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, indicating that the Lord God is the beginning and end of all things. 
H. 1:9. “Patmos.” A small island in the Aegean Sea, SW of Ephesus.
I. 1:10. “in the Spirit.” I. e., in a state of spiritual “ecstasy.” “on the Lord’s day.” Likely not a reference to Sunday (which is called the first day of the week in the NT) but literally a “lordian day,” or an “imperial day” (the same adjective is used elsewhere only in 1 Cor 11:20), referring  to the contents of the vision that reveal the future time when Christ will judge and rule.
J. 1:12. “lampstands.” These represent the seven churches mentioned in verse 11 (see also v 20). 
K. 1:13. Christ’s clothing designates Him as priest and judge. Notice the description of the Ancient of Days in Dan 7:9. 
L. 1:14. “like white wool…..snow.” Pictures Christ’s wisdom and purity. “His eyes were like a flame of fire.” Piercing and penetrating in holiness. Compare the figure used in 1 Cor 3:13 in relation to judgment. 
M 1:15. His “feet” walked through the trials and limitations of His earthly life. No one will talk back to one who has such a “voice.”
N. 1:16-20. “In His right hand he held seven stars.” The right hand is the place of honor (cf. Eph 1:20). The stars are the “angels of the seven churches” (v 20). The word “angel” may mean “a superhuman being,” implying that each church has a special guardian angel or, more likely, it refers to the human leader of each local church. (See Luke 9:52 and James 2:25, where the word “angels,” translated “messengers,” is used of human beings.)  “sword.” A symbol both of the truth and of the severity of the Word of God (Heb 4:12). 
O. 1:17. “I am the first and the last.” In verse 8 God is called “the Alpha and the Omega.” Here, Christ gives Himself a similar title. 
P. 1:18. “the keys of death and of Hades.” The keys denote the authority of Christ over physical death and Hades, the place that temporarily holds the immaterial part of the unbeliever between death and the ultimate casting into the lake of fire (see 20:14).
Q. 1:19. This verse gives the basic outline of the book:  (1) “things which you (John) have seen,” as recorded in chap 1; (2) “things which are;” i.e., the present state of the churches (chaps 2-3); and (3) “things which will take place after these things.” The third section clearly begins with 4:1, since the same phrase is used there.
R. 1:20. “the….stars are the angels.” 

IV. My Bucket List shows the references, of people and documents, that I use when I write my articles.

Bucket List

V. My Websites To Follow. Eternity Book Prep Thy Kingdom Come

Revelation – Introduction

What Are The Three Main Themes In The Book of Revelation?

Video Data.   John Ankerberg Show. Dr. John Ankerberg (M. Div., D. Min.), Dr. Jimmy DeYoung (M. Div., Ph. D., 1940-2021).
I. Introduction

A. You may have opened a Bible to the opening page of the Book of Revelation, and have seen the words, “THE REVELATION OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE.” You may have also seen written comments about “The Book of Revelations.” Both of these examples are incorrect. The words of Revelation 1:1 open with, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ,” which shows that the Revelation, which is singular, was “of Jesus Christ.” The significance of “the Revelation,” is that the entire book of Revelation is one, and only one, Revelation, that “John received from Jesus” (Rev 1:9-18). In Rev 1:19, Jesus instructed John to write the Revelation (of Jesus) to “the seven churches” which are identified in Rev 1:20-3:22. In Rev 1:3, we are told that “those who read, and those who hear, and those who heed (keep, guard, observe, watch over)” the things that are written in “the Revelation,” will be blessed. John was directed by Jesus to write the Revelation to the following churches, “Ephesus (2:1), Smyrna (2:8), Pergamum (2:12), Thyatira (2:18), Sardis (3:1), Philadelphia (3:7), Laodicea (3:14).”

B. Consider Revelation 1:19. This verse gives the basic outline of the book: (1) “the things which you (John) have seen,” as recorded in chap. 1; (2) “the things which are;” i.e. the present state of the churches (chaps. 2-3); and (3) “the things which will take place after these things.” The third section clearly begins with 4:1, since the same phrase is used here. The seven churches addressed in chaps. 2 and 3 were actual churches of John’s day. But, they also represent types and conditions of churches in all generations. (Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., 1925-2016). Ryrie Study Bible.)

II. Preview. The following scholars preview the Book of Revelation, in varying depths of comment.

A. Dr. Tim LaHaye (D. Min., D. Litt.; 1926-2016). Revelation Illustrated & Made Plain..

The  book of Revelation is the only book in the New Testament that presents Jesus Christ as He really is today. The gospels introduce Him as the “man of sorrows, acquainted with grief” during His incarnation. Revelation presents Him in His true glory and majesty after His resurrection and ascension into heaven, never again to be reviled, rebuked, and spat upon. No wonder John entitled it “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.”

B. Dr. Davod Hocking (B. A. in Bible, Greek and Ancient History; M. Div. in Biblical Studies & Systematic Theology; Ph. D. in Biblical Studies and Languages; D. Min. in Pastoral Studies).

The correct and complete title of this amazing book is THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST! The word “revelation” is a translation of the Greek word “apocalypse,” a word meaning “unveiling” or to “take the cover off.” While there are many fascinating events in the book, its primary purpose is to reveal the glory and majesty of the Messiah!

C. Dr. Kendell H. Easley (M. Div.; Ph. D.) The Book of Revelation, Holman New Testament Commentary.

While the letter is largely prophetic, the original audience for Revelation comprised persecuted Christians living in the seven cities mentioned. Like a modern congregation, they included mature and immature believers, some of whom were faithful, others faithless. Many were true to Christian teachings, while others had drifted into error. The letter records four spectacular visions that Christ instructed the author to record and send to the persecuted churches in Asia. The purpose of the letter was to encourage and challenge Christians. The central theme is: Jesus, the Lord of history, will return without fail to earth to bring history to its proper conclusion (Rev 1:7).

D. Dr. John F. Walvoord (Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., 1910-2002). The Revelation of Jesus Christ.

The climax of human history was to involve a period of great suffering which would be worse than any of the trials which afflicted the church previously. The ultimate triumph of the saints and the final victory of our Lord Jesus Christ are plainly written in the book of Revelation for all to comprehend. Saints of all ages can be assured of the certainty of their hope which today shines brighter than ever in view of the approaching end of the age. The book of Revelation, like all other unfulfilled prophecy, provides particular instruction to the generation which will see its fulfillment, and it constitutes general exhortation and encouragement for those who await the coming day.

E. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., 1925-2016). Ryrie Study Bible.

This is the revelation of Jesus Christ, and He is the center of the entire book (1:1), in His risen glory (chap. 1). He directs His churches on the earth (chaps. 2-3). He is the slain and risen Lamb to whom all worship is directed (chaps. 4-5). The judgments of the coming seven-year period of tribulation on this earth are the display of the wrath of the Lamb (chaps. 6-19); see especially 6:16-17), and the return of Christ to this earth is described in 19:11-21. The millennial reign of Christ is described in chap. 20, and the new heavens and new earth in chaps. 21 and 22.

F. Dr. Robert L. Thomas (Th. M., Th. D.; 1928-2017).  Revelation Commentary. 

Through the centuries since its writing, the book of Revelation has captured the fascination of the Christian church. Earliest Christians were unanimous in understanding its prophecies as descriptions of events surrounding the premillennial second advent of Jesus Christ, but alongside their exclusively futuristic and premillennial view, other hermeneutic approaches to the book began to emerge in the third century. These clouded, and added complexity to, the task of explaining the book’s meaning. For most of the Christian era, consequently, many readers have viewed the last of the NT writings as though it were hopelessly embedded in an aura of deep mystery. An avalanche of interpretive literature has evidenced remarkable interest in the book’s contents, but along with the interest has come widespread bewilderment. In post-Reformation times, detailed commentaries on the Greek text of Revelation from a futurist and premillennial perspective have been scarce, and perhaps even nonexistent.

 G. Dr. C.I. Scofield (D. D.; 1843-1921) Scofield Study Bible (1909, 1917, 1937, 1945, 1984, 1998, 2002, 2006, Editor, C.I. Scofield, Editorial Revision 1967 Committee Members: Charles L. Feinberg, Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., John F. Walvoord, Th. B., Th. M., Th. D.), and others.

Revelation WRITER: The Apostle John (1:1) 

DATE: A.D. 96 

THEME: The theme of the Revelation is Jesus Christ ( 1:1), presented in a threefold way: 

1. As to time: “which is, and which was, and which is to come” (1:4); 
2. As to relationships–the churches (1:9-3:22), to the tribulation (4:1-19:21), to the kingdom (20:1-22:21); 3. In His offices–High Priest (8:3-6), Bridegroom (19:7-9), King-Judge (20:1-15). 

But while Christ is thus the central theme of the book, all of the events move toward one consummation, the bringing in of the covenanted kingdom. The key-phrase is the prophetic declaration of the “great voices in heaven” (11:15), “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. .” The book is, therefore, a prophecy (1:3). 

The three major divisions of Revelation must be clearly held if the interpretation is to be sane and coherent. John was commanded to “write” concerning three classes of “things” (1:19): 

1. Things past, “the things thou hast seen,” i.e. the Patmos vision, 1:1-20. 
2. Things present, “the things which are,” i.e. things then existing–obviously the churches. The temple had been destroyed, the Jews dispersed: the testimony of God had been committed to the Churches (1 Timothy 3:15). Accordingly we have seven messages to seven representative churches, 2:1-3:22. It is noteworthy that the church is not mentioned in chapters 5-18. 
3. Things future, “things which shall be hereafter,” lit. “after these,” i.e. after the church period ends, 4:1-22:21. The third major division, as Erdman (W.J.) has pointed out, falls into a series of six sevens, with parenthetical passages, making, with the church division, seven sevens. The six sevens are: 

1. The seals, 4:1-8:1. 
2. The seven trumpets, 8:2-11:19. 
3. The seven personages, 12:1-14,20. 
4. The seven vials (bowls), 15:1-16:21. 
5. The seven dooms, 17:1-20:15. 
6. The seven new things, 21:1-22:21. 

The parenthetical passages are: 

1. The Jewish remnant and the tribulation saints, 7:1-17. 
2. The angel, the little book, the two witnesses, 10:1-11:14. 
3. The Lamb, the Remnant, and the everlasting Gospel, 14:1-13. 
4. The gathering of the kings at Armageddon, 16:13-16. 
5. The four alleluias in heaven, 19:1-6. 

These passages do not advance the prophetic narrative. Looking backward and forward they sum up results accomplished, and speak of results yet to come as if they had already come. In 14:1, for example, the Lamb and Remnant are seen prophetically on Mount Sion, though they are not actually there till 20:4-6. The end of the church period (2-3) is left indeterminate. It will end by the fulfillment of 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17. Chapters 4-19 are believed to synchronize with Daniel’s Seventieth Week. The great tribulation begins at the middle of the week, and continues three and a half years (11:3-19:21). The tribulation is brought to an end by the appearing of the Lord and the battle of Armageddon (Matthew 24:29,30; Revelation 19:11-21). The kingdom follows (20:4,5); after this the “little season” (20:7-15), and then eternity. 

Interpreters of the Revelation should bear in mind two important passages: 1 Peter 1:12; 2 Peter 1:20,21. Doubtless much which is designedly obscure to us will be clear to those for whom it was written as the time approaches. 

H. Dr. A. Boyd Luter, (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D.)  Holman Christian Standard Bible. 

A. As outside persecution against Christians increased, the first-century church also faced internal problems. They struggled with suffering, spiritual warfare, heretical doctrine and practice, and spiritual apathy. Christ had promised to return—but when? And how? And what would He do about the problems facing the church when He did come back?

1. Confronted with these circumstances, the original readers of Revelation needed to be both encouraged and exhorted. On the one hand, Revelation was intended to be a promise of divine protection from God’s judgment on the world. On the other hand, those who read the book were to take it to heart and obey, worshipfully standing for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus, as the apostle John had. In recording the Revelation of Jesus Christ, John wanted to reassure his readers that Jesus Christ controls the course and climax of history.

2. God’s overriding purpose in all of history is the establishment of the promised messianic kingdom. Associated with this ultimate divine objective is the opportunity for believers to persevere by faith in a life of obedience. The prospect for these overcomers or victors is the destiny of reigning with Christ as co-heirs in His kingdom.

B. Historical Background. From about a.d. 53 the apostle Paul used the great city of Ephesus as a center for evangelism and church planting throughout the Roman province of Asia (see Acts 19:10). Probably the seven churches of Revelation were founded during this time or shortly thereafter.

1. While imprisoned in Rome (around a.d. 60–62), Paul wrote his letters to the Ephesians, the Colossians, the Philippians, and Philemon. Colossians was to be read “in the church of the Laodiceans,” and “the epistle from Laodicea” was to be heard in the congregation in Colosse (Col 4:16)). Apparently the practice of writing epistles for wider circulation than a single individual or group was an accepted one, as seen in chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation.

2. Reliable historical sources dating from the second century a.d. place the apostle John in Ephesus and ministering throughout the province of Asia from about a.d. 70 to 100. It is likely that 1, 2, and 3 John were written by the apostle to Christians in that region around a.d. 80–100. During the latter part of this period, the emperor Domitian intensified his persecution of Christians. John was undoubtedly placed on the island of Patmos because of his Christian testimony. He was released after 18 months by Emperor Nerva (a.d. 96–98), after which the apostle returned to Ephesus to resume his leadership role there.

C. Christ In The Scriptures.

One thing the author conveys about Jesus is that He continues to lead and interact with His church. In addition, He alone has received authority to judge the earth. This “letter” to the universal church comes from Him and centers on Him. It begins with a vision of His glory, wisdom, and power (ch. 1) and portrays His authority over the entire church (2-3).. He is the Lamb who was slain and declared worthy to open the book of judgment (ch. 5).. It is this same Jesus who will pour out His righteous wrath on the whole earth (chs. 6-18). It is this same Jesus who will return in power to judge His enemies and to reign as the Lord over all forever (chs. 19-22).

III. Parting Thought.

A. Even though the Revelation was written to each of the seven churches that are mentioned in chapters 2 and 3 in the Book of, the Revelation might be the most neglected book in the Bible. Many Christians often ignore the Revelation. Even pastors often avoid preaching or teaching from Revelation except for the first three chapters. This reality is tragic since this 66th book gives us the end of God’s great story that he began telling us in Genesis. The absence of study in the Revelation is obvious, in that there is a great lack of basic understanding of the Book. III. Parting Thought (Our Ministry Life. Keys For Unlocking The Symbols In Revelation).

B. In the revival of interest in eschatology in the twentieth century there has been a partial remedy of the previous neglect of the book of Revelation including special attention to the messages to the seven churches. Recent studies such as The Postman of Patmos by C. A. Hadjiantoniou have helped to dramatize the living character of these letters in the modern church, and the attention to their contribution has been duly given by competent New Testament scholars. It remains true, however, that many casual worshipers in Christian churches today who are quite familiar with the Sermon on the Mount are not aware of the existence of these seven messages of Christ. Their incisive character and pointed denunciation of departure from biblical morality and theology have tended to keep them out of the mainstream of contemporary theological thought. Many of the evils and shortcomings which exist in the church today are a direct outgrowth of neglect of the solemn instruction given to these seven churches (John Walvoord, The Revelation of Jesus Christ, Introduction).