Revelation 2 and 3: The seven churches
Introduction of Revelation
The time of the end in Revelation 4 thru 19, gives a description of the time after the first Coming of Christ and the Church (those reborn) was taken away from earth. The laggards (those remaining on earth) were those, who had not accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour and all gentiles and disbelievers.
For an impression, see the video "A thief in the Night". Unfortunately the quality of this video is poor, since it is approx. 25 years old. Those, who remained behind, were forced by the earthly powers to choose between accepting and rejecting God, so much for the earthly powers and Satan. The time that started after the first Coming of Christ was not easy for those who accepted God (they were persecuted by the earthly powers and Satan). The Holy Spirit who dwelt in believers was also removed from earth and consequently Satan and his followers had complete freedom. As for the ones who opted against God, they experienced the wrath of God (which is more severe).
To the apostle John, God revealed what will happen during that time. Since it was a revelation from God and a promise from him in the Bible, we can be sure that these revelations will happen. Some things may seem dubious, still we should not doubt it. Before creation, strange creatures such as dinosaurs lived.
Since the Coming of Christ comes closer some things are more easily explained, than in the time of John. John has described these things with his knowledge and imagination some of which I shall try to translate to the present state of knowledge and science. Thereby it is not my wish to change things myself in any way but just give a true interpretation. Only those who stay behind and who shall live in that terrible period will experience what is described in the Bible.
It IS a serious warning to those who have not yet accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour, as to what they can expect when they stay behind on earth.
For a detailed study of these letters (Revelation), see A Commentary on the Revelations of John by George Eldon Ladd (ISBN 0-8028-3405-1).
Spiritual Life - Letters to the seven churches
The seven letters to the 7 churches are literally addressed to the seven churches. John (apostle who has written and sent this letters, inspired by the Holy Spirit). Since these letters are in the Bible, we cannot say that these letters are only meant for those seven churches in the ancient times, to some cities which nowadays no longer exists.
In some Biblical comments, you see an explanation that each church represents a church (orthodox, Roman Catholic, etc.). But why should we? Why not implicate it upon our phases in the Christian life? During the life of a Christian arises all kinds of situations, time over time the Christian relaxes. I think that yearly we need to test ourselves against these letters, in order to examine our (your) position.
To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. 'I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear evil men but have tested those who call themselves apostles but are not, and found them to be false; I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary.
But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.
Remember then from what you have fallen, repent and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this you have, you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
To him who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
What does this mean?
Impression of the temple of Artemis and the god Artemis
Ephesus was a foremost city of Asia and the home of the most important church in the province. Ephesus was the most important seaport of Asia Minor and was also a religious center. It was the home of the Mother Goddess who identified by the Greeks with Artemis. To this goddess, a huge temple was dedicated which was known as one of the wonders of the ancient world. This temple became the site of the worship of the goddess Roma and of the Roman emperor. Ephesus was well known for its superstitious practices and throughout the world for the magical arts.
The apostle Paul had proclaimed the gospel for two years in Ephesus. After Paul's death, John continued the work.
First there are the words of praise: I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance ....
In Ephesus there were many false prophets, who presented themselves as apostles, who in fact proclaim a false teaching. John praised the Christian community for their persistence to revoke these false teachers and prophets and to show no tolerances for their false teachings. Unfortunately this caused that they abandoned their first love.
John reminds the church to the fact that they too were pulled from paganism and adored idols, before they had become to accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
It is often difficult, to keep a person straight (to rebuke a person for his/her false teaching, ways of living) and at the same time to love the person as human being. But reprimanding does not exclude love.
Nowadays, for the Christians it means persistence in the Bible teaching, and not to become overwhelmed by the liberal churches, Mormons, free masons, etc. Who in their teaching renounced the salvation through Jesus Christ and proclaim it is mystic, something what you need to interpret as spiritually and not as a historical fact, what really happened. The Christian must hang unto the Bible, and rebuke and warn against these false teachings and false meditations (like yoga). But this has to happen with love, the believer was not cast off the false teacher as human being (you can deny the entrance to the church, so that he/she cannot proclaim the false teaching inside the church). With patience and love, the believer must guided the false teacher back to the true Biblical teaching.
Also for the believer himself there is the ruling to maintain the Biblical teaching. Often you hear: "O, but those rules were for the ancient times. You must not take those rules literally, but spiritual." When we take Jesus Christ death and resurrection not literally, then you cannot take eternal life in Heaven literally, and why then believe (in a life after death)? Then praying has also no use, because all is spiritually.
Maintain your neighbourly love, but also maintain rebuking false teaching.
And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write:
'The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life. 'I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear what you are about to suffer.
Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
He who conquers shall not be hurt by the second death'.
What does this mean?
Smyrna too was a prosperous seaport. Its wealth and prosperity led it to contend with Ephesus. Smyrna had supported Rome long before she had become a world power, and as early as 195 B.C. had erected a temple of the goddess of Rome. In 26 B.C. she secured the privilege to build a temple to the Emperor Tiberius. This fact enhanced her claim to be the first city of Asia.
The city contained a substantial colony of Jews who were aggressively hostile to Christianity and who exercised considerable influence with the civil authorities. At a certain period, the Jews joined the gentiles to form a mob and to call for the death of the bishop of the church. They actively assisted in his martyrdom by burning and prevented the Christians from getting possession of his body.
Apparently tribulation and poverty are linked together, and we may assume that the poverty of the Smyrneans was not due alone to their normal economic condition. But to confiscation of property, looting by hostile mobs, and to the difficulty of earning a living in a hostile environment.
This Christian community suffered severely of the persecution, which involved the plundering of their property (Hebrew 10:34). However, they were rich because they had accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour. Despite they suffered persecution and martyrdom and possible death through the Jews, they had not to fear death, because they could await their place in Heaven.
These "Jews" are without question Jews by race and religion, but in reality, inwardly, they were not Jews, because they had rejected Jesus as their Messiah, and became a synagogue of Satan.
Also sometimes Christians have to endure suffering from their fellow Christians. Looking to the fights between the several churches and Roman Catholic Church. Unfortunately, this is a shame for the faith in Jesus Christ, that their is so much hatred between the several believers (churches).
But, also close to home, Christians who wishes to maintain true Biblical teaching, are attacked by those who wish for a more free and liberal teaching.
The Christians in Smyrna are warned to be afraid to be throw into prison. Also Christians today must not fear to be prosecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ, and to be throw in prison and labour camps, and other to be martyred to death. Still today is valid, that one must be faith unto death, for the reward is in Heaven.
And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write:
'The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword. 'I know where you dwell, where Satan's throne is; you hold fast my name and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my witness, my faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice immorality.
So you also have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent then. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth.
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
To him who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone which no one knows except him who receives it'.
What does this mean?
The altar of Pérgamo was excavated in the late 19th century, on its original site, and parts thereof were sent by an archaeological expedition led by Carl Humann to Berlin. The god Asclepius
While Pergamum was not as important a commercial city as Ephesus and Smyrna, was nevertheless more important as a political and religious centre. In 29 B.C. a temple was dedicated to the divine August and the goddess Roma. Observance of this worship became a test of the loyalty to Rome, for the imperial cult was the keystone of the imperial policy, and refusal to take part in the official cult was considered high treason. In the city was an acropolis, upon which had been erected many temples to pagan deities. The acropolis was crowned by a huge altar dedicated to Zeus, and a temple of Athena.
Pergamum was also the centre of the worship of Asclepius, the serpent-god of healing, and was famed for its college of medical priests. So this city was a tremendous difficult environment for Christians to life. Most definitely this Christian community was in the midst where Satan's throne was.
The Christians were/are daily in the midst of very many temptations in this world of Satan. Sometimes, one was no choice and one has to attend social (business) parties, where moral standards are loosened: drunkenness, sexual freedom, partner-exchange, drugs, etc. Here the Christian must draw a line. It is not wrong to participate at a business party, but the Christian must not participate in all these licentiousness. The Christian must remain faithful and steady to the Lord Jesus Christ!
Ultimately these unbelievers will draw short, and Christ will fight against them and their fate will be the lake of fire, where there is eternal weeping and gnashing of teeth.
And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write:
The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze. I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and beguiling my servants to practice immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her immorality. Behold, I will throw her on a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into Great Tribulation, unless they repent of her doings; and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches shall know that I am he who
searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you as your works deserve. But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay upon you any other burden; only hold fast what you have, until I come.
He who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, I will give him power over the nations, and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received power from my Father; and I will give him the morning star.
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
What does this mean?
Thyatira was the least important city of Asia, it was not a religious or political center, but owed its importance altogether to trade. The city had a few temples, but it was not a strong seat of emperor worship and the state cult. Thyatira was noted for her trade guilds, about which we have considerable knowledge from inscriptions. One of these guilds dealt in purple cloth. These trade guilds enjoyed common meals which were probably dedicated to some pagan deity, and from this source arose the problem to the Christians in Thyatira. It would be nearly impossible for a citizen to participate in trade and industry without a membership in the appropriate guild. And the question naturally arose if a Christian could properly participate in such meals. This was complicated by the fact that these meals often ended in unbridled licentiousness.
John starts his letter to Thyatira with praise. Not as with the community in Ephesus where they had lost their first love, here they continued to be faithful in showing love. They persists despite the harsh environment to remain faithful to Christ. Pity, they had fallen prey to tolerance towards evil teaching and prophets - Jezebel, Ahab's queen, had supported idolatry (1 King 16:31). Here in this community, there was a woman who claimed to be a prophetess, but in really her pernicious teaching was leading some away from the faith.
John summon the parish that if despite the love the parish has shown to this prophetess and having given her all the time to revert from her evil teaching, to throw her out of the church. Some of the parish in Thyatira had followed her, other had remain faithful to the true teaching in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ summons us to stay steady to the righteous teaching and promises that then we shall reign with Him as kings upon the pagans.
In this century, the believers are overwhelmed with liberal and evil teaching. What is wrong with a beautiful, luxurious house, yacht, more than one holiday a year, participating in parties, and other lovely enjoyments in life?
Well, everything for Jesus Christ has summoned us to share with the less endowed, to provide for the poor and hungry. Why shall we wealthy Christians live a luxurious life, while there are still so many hungry sisters and breathers? And hardly the church is capable in maintaining their building? And to send out missionaries? Why shall we waste time at parties, while there is a lot of work waiting for us: visiting the sick, Sermoning the gospel, taking care of our beloved ones, children and spouses?
Why flirt at parties, divorce, adultery, impure thoughts and desires, with the man or wife is waiting at home with the children? And get high of drugs at house-parties?
Then you do not need to wonder why Gods wrath is coming, and illnesses becomes your part and children die. AIDS has made its appearance, drug addicts are (emaciated) on the street and their children die. The Lord has warned enough. STILL it is not too late to convert. In Jesus Christ there is always grace and forgiveness of sins possible. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says. BUT who does not convert and turns to the Spirit of God, those will learn the depth of Satan and will be punish with Satan to the eternal punishment of the lake of fire.
And to the angel of the church in Sardis write:
The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. 'I know your works; you have the name of being alive, and you are dead. Awake, and strengthen what remains and is on the point of death, for I have not found your works perfect in the sight of my God. Remember then what you received and heard; keep that, and repent. If you will not awake, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come upon you.
Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy.
He who conquers shall be clad thus in white garments, and I will not blot his name out of the book of life; I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
What does this mean?
Sardis provided the meeting place of several major Roman roads, and was an important industrial centre, the home of woolen and dyed goods. It is significant that nothing is said about Jewish hostility, open persecution or heretical teaching. The main problem was a deep apathy. I know your works; you have the name of being alive, but you are dead.
Here is the portrait of a nominal Christian: outwardly very busy with spiritual activities, but without an inner affection and prayer. It is all duty, but without a heart. How many Christians, do not weekly attend church, visiting the sick, but what happens at their own home? Is there prayer for the sick, for the unbeliever, to they give thanks for their daily food, possessions and health to the Lord?
The Lord calls to awaken, to persist in good works with heart and soul!
Going to church is not sufficient. Pray, read the Bible yourself, understands what the Lord is telling YOU in His Word, the Bible. Are you awaiting Christ Coming? Or are you slumbering? If so, AWAKE! Do not let yourself be surprised by the Coming of the Lord. Because then the Lord will come like a thief in the night and your works will be burnt like wood and hay! Or worse you will stay behind!
However, they who are awaiting Christ's Coming, who continue their good works with heart and soul, who do not slumber in their job. Those the Lord Jesus Christ will no way wipe out from the Book of Life, since they have build on the foundation with gold, silver and precious stones (1 Corinthians 3:11-15).
And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one shall shut, who shuts and no one opens. 'I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut; I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie --behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and learn that I have loved you because you have kept my word of
patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial which is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell upon the earth. I am coming soon; hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown He who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'
What does this mean?
Philadelphia supported the pagan cult of Dionysus, but the main problem faced the church from the Jews rather than the pagans.
This is the only letter, which includes no words of censure or criticism. Apparently this was a small parish (you have but little power), but they had kept the Word of God and have not denied Gods name. This church was faithful in awaiting the Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Is that not typical of today situation. The community who are still looking for Christ's Coming is minor. And the Lord encourages these believers, with the words: Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.
That is a rich promise in the Word of God, if the believer persist in the fruits of the Holy Spirit and Coming of the Lord, then he/she will participate in the Kingdom of God.
And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
'The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's creation. I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing; not knowing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, that you may be rich, and white garments to clothe you and to
keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and chasten; so be zealous and repent.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
He who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
What does this mean?
Laodicea was situated at the convergence of three important roads. It was a prominent centre of banking and industry. The city was famous for a beautiful black woolen cloth used to make clothing and carpets. Laodicea was also the centre of a flourishing medical school. The letter makes no mention of persecution from Roman officials, of trouble from the Jews, or any false teachers within the church. But, it was a lukewarm church, it was not cold, and it was not hot.
I am afraid, that we can easily say these from the believers today. The believer today does not lack richness and wealth. The Christians believe in Jesus Christ as their Saviour, but have not found Him as Lord. They live their own (earthly) life, do not suffer anything, and it is hardly noticeable that they are Christians. They faithfully listen to the Biblical messages in church, pray and give thanks for their food. But they lack the fire to Sermon the gospel and to allow the Holy Sprit to work in them and to bear the fruits of the (Holy) Spirit.
This church is called for to become hot. If they do not, they will notice how miserable they are: wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. Blind for what they could have meant for the Lord Jesus Christ. And how they could have built upon the heavenly foundation and receiving a reward for their works. Poor and naked, because their works will burn like wood and hay (1 Corinthians 3:11-15).
But, it is not too late yet! See Christ stands at the door and knocks, if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him. Christ asks to open your heart and to become hot for Him and to do the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and to build with gold, silver and precious stones (1 Corinthians 3:11-15).
Source Photos: TEAR fund
For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw-- each man's work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
But the fruit of the Spirit is:
Revelation 4 - The 24 elders
After this I looked, and lo, in heaven an open door! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, "Come up hither, and I will show you what must take place after this". At once I was in the Spirit, and lo, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne! And he who sat there appeared like jasper and carnelian, and round the throne was a rainbow that looked like an emerald. Round the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clad in white garments, with golden crowns upon their heads. From the throne issue flashes of lightning and voices and peals of thunder, and before the throne burn seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God. And before the throne there is as it were a sea of glass, like crystal. And round the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like a flying eagle. And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all round and within, and day and night they never cease to sing, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!" And whenever the living creatures give glory and honour and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever; they cast their crowns before the throne, singing, "Worthy art thou, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for thou didst create all things, and by thy will they existed and were created.
What does this mean?
To John, one of the apostles, was given a preview of what will happen at the end of time. This revelation was shown in a vision. I think we can explain this as a vision produced by the Holy Spirit. In this vision John was shown what is going to happen. That is a sure fact, since it was revealed by God Himself, then only to John, but John wrote it down and thus it can be seen by all who wish to take note of it.
Since it was inspired by the Holy Spirit, only those believers who are actively seeking the Will of God will be able to understand it in detail.
Somebody was seated upon the throne surrounded by a rainbow. From Ezekiel 1:28"Like the appearance of the rainbow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness around about. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. "We can accept that by "Somebody seated on the throne" is meant the Lord Jesus Christ.
That is confirmed by the last verses in Revelation 4: The 24 elders threw themselves in front of the throne and worshipped Him, saying: Worthy are Thou, our Lord and God, .... and by Thy they existed and were created.
Who are the 24 elders ? The Bible does not clarify. When we look in 1 Kings 22:19:"I (Micaiah) saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host of Heaven standing beside Him on His right hand an on the left" and in 22:21 "Then a Spirit came forward" it could be explained that the eldest are angels with a dedicated function. That is emphasized in John 20:12: "and she (Mary) saw two angels in white. These 24 eldest were also dressed in white". However another explanation can be: 12 elders are the 12 sons of Jacob (Gen. 35:22-26 or Rev. 7:5-8) and the 12 other elders are the 12 apostles of Jesus (whereby Judas is replaced by the apostle Paul).
The 7 spirits are Gods angels, as described in Ezekiel 1:5-14.
This chapter gives a clear picture of the powers (lightning and thunder) and the beauty (a sea like crystal) in Heaven, where the Lord lives. At the same time, a glimpse is awarded to see who are living in Heaven, the angels (and how they appear) and their functions: worshipping and praising the Lord.
That fact may set the Christian believer to thinking, when they approach God in prayer. Gods angels are holy and without sin, in that quality they can be in the presence of God and praise God. The believer, as a sinner, can only approach to God the Father, after he/she is purified through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and has confessed sins. Believers must also worship and praise God.
Some day the Christian believers will enter into this glory, after they have received a new imperishable body at the Rapture of the Church.
Meantime while the believer is living on earth, he/she must not forget the Holiness of God, for there is written: "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!" (Revelation 4:8).
Three times the word HOLY, remember that fact when you approach the Lord God. The 24 elders threw themselves before God, how do you approach God? Going down on your knees when you approach the Lord God in prayer?
How are you dressed (going to church, prayer meeting) in your daily clothes, or dressed worthily to approach the Holy Lord God?
Revelation 5 - The sealed scroll with seven seals
And I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals; and I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?" And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I wept much that no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. Then one of the elders said to me, "Weep not; lo, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals." And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders, I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth; and he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints; and they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy art thou to take the scroll and to open its seals, for thou wast slain and by thy blood didst ransom men for God from every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and hast made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on earth." Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing!" And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all therein, saying, "To him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honour and glory and might for ever and ever!" And the four living creatures said, "Amen!" and the elders fell down and worshiped.
What does this mean?
The lion from the tribe Judah, the root Davids, is without question the Lord Jesus Christ who is born from the tribe Juda, from king David ( see the genealogy of Jesus Christ in Matthew 1:1-17). The Lord Jesus Christ is the only one, Who is qualified to open the scroll.
The Lord Jesus is also presented as the slaughtered Lamb at the Cross of Golgotha (1 Corinthians 5:7 "For Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed").
The elders, creatures and seven spirits of God we already met in Revelation 4.
A new song is sung in Heaven: For Thou wast slain and by Thy blood didst ransom men for God, from every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and has made them a kingdom and priests to our God and they shall reign on earth. Without question, it must be clear that with "Thou" the Lord Jesus Christ is meant, Who died (was slaughtered) on the Cross of Golgotha, and Who has bought with His blood the believers. The believers come from all tribes of Israel, all languages, people and nations on earth. The believer is made a priest (Revelation 1:6 and He has made them a kingdom and priests to our God). Here is also stated that the Christian believer will reign as king on earth (which is repeated in Revelation 20:4).
Their number was myriads of myriads (total: 100,000,000) and thousands of thousands (total: 1,000,000) a number mentioned before in the Bible, in Daniel 7:9-10. The number 101,0000,000 gives a reasonable impression of the number of angels who are present to praise the Lord Jesus Christ. Can you imagine when a crowd of 100,000,000 praise the Lord Jesus Christ with a loud voice? What a sound that would produce, Yes, indeed: The Lamb be all glory and honour and power forever. Amen!
It also gives an idea of the multitude of angels who are present around the earth to protect the Christian believers against evil, Satan and the power of darkness (his evil angels).
Therefore, do not let us, Christian believers, forget what a power the Lord God has. A Heaven that can accommodate so many persons, that is God's creation for God is Almighty. God is the One Who will conquer Satan and his evil angels, and He is the One Who already reigns through the Holy Spirit, Who dwells in every Christian believer, throughout the earth. Therefore allow the Holy Spirit, to do His work in you, because the works of the Holy Spirit must be seen as God already reigns on earth resisting the evil (Satan and his followers). In order that progressively more people will learn that Jesus Christ is their personal Saviour and he saved them for eternity. Then they will become part of the multitude, who will worship the Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ.
And if you have not yet accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, D O N O T P O S T P O N E! Later it is too late, then the Lord Jesus Christ will have taken up the church (the reborn) into the heaven. And as you remain on earth, then in the Great Tribulation you must opt for or against God in the time of the end. But then there will be no place for you in Heaven. Heaven is only ready for those who have chosen Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord. If you choose for God in the time of the end, then you will live on the new earth and you will not be thrown into the lake of fire. But choosing for God in the time of the end will be very, very difficult and it will be even more difficult to persist until the end. Many will yield and choose in the end for the earthly powers to escape the tortures and torments. From that moment on you have rejected God and your destination is the lake of fire. So your escape will have been only a temporary avoidance of torture and torment, just to enter later into a eternal time of torture and torment.
Therefore do NOT postpone your decision, accept the Lord Jesus Christ, Who comes as a thief in the night (but soon now) no one knows at what time (the Lord comes). But remember an illness, heart attack or accident could mean your decision is made too late. Therefore, do not delay, for your own good. Ask the Lord Jesus Christ to come into your heart and let Him show you how you can come to Him. And keep asking until you have met Him! He is faithful, He is willing to listen to you and to assist you to enter the Christian faith: accepting Jesus Christ as Saviour for your sins.
BUT that first step must be YOURS!
As I (Daniel) looked, thrones were placed and one that was ancient of days took his seat; his raiment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames, its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and came forth from before him a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened.
Revelation 6 - The first six seals
Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say, as with a voice of thunder, "Come!" And I saw, and behold, a white horse, and its rider had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, "Come!" And out came another horse, bright red; its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that men should slay one another; and he was given a great sword. When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come!" And I saw, and behold, a black horse, and its rider had a balance in his hand; and I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; but do not harm oil and wine!" When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, "Come!" And I saw, and behold, a pale horse, and its rider's name was Death, and Hades followed him; and they were given power over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth. When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne; they cried out with a loud voice, "O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before thou wilt judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the earth?" Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been. When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale; the sky vanished like a scroll that is rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the generals and the rich and the strong, and every one, slave and free, hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand before it?
What does it mean ?
The horses (white, bright red, black and pale) we see them too in the Old Testament, revealed in Zechariah 1 and Zechariah 6. It is clear that here the wrath of God is poured onto earth and will bring destruction on earth.
Considering that in both the Old and New Testaments horses are mentioned, I think we can accept this description literally. Father Christmas we imagine riding his reindeer sleigh through the sky. God is so Almighty that no doubt He is just as able to ride horses through the sky, although it goes well beyond our senses. But do not forget that God is the Creator. He has created all living creatures and these horses do not come from earth but from Heaven.
The first white horse comes to destroy with arrow and bow.
Followed by a second bright red horse that shows that people cannot live together in peace and harmony; and will start to kill each other.
Is that unthinkable ? We think not so. One of the biggest concerns in present society is the vast dependence upon electricity and computers. For example, Almere (in the Netherlands) was a city where power failures of 12 hours do occur. The impact is great: Shops must close, because the electronic pay-desks do not work, escalators stop, no illuminations, and so on. Traffic lights out of order, resulting in chaos of traffic. Alarm installations fail resulting in an increase of burglaries. Houses are in darkness, food could not be unprepared, babies could not be fed, since bottle milk could not be heated, resulting in (continuously) crying babies. So as in a large area, the power generators fail for months, chaos will be complete.
In America, millions of people in 24 states have been threatened, due to a software failure. A fire in a chemical factory was not discovered and this small fire, expanded quickly before it was discovered by people and the fire brigade could be informed. By the time the fire brigade arrived the complete factory was burning fiercely.
When a simple human error can have such effects, let alone an Almighty God is able to disturb peace on earth.
The third, black horse heralded the beginning of a famine. In the time of John, a denarius was about a day wages. And a quart of wheat was the amount a family would eat on one day. Under these circumstances when the horse rides, the price of the daily food (prices of bread, rice) increase so much, that no money is left for clothes and other essentials. This is possibly the cause of a food scarcity for no shortage is noted for oil and wine. The oil is available to bake the bread (in the time of John) (oil: nowadays: butter) and the wine as drink.
The fourth, pale horse, brings an even worse period, every fourth of man on earth will die by the sword, with famine, with the pestilence (AIDS or a new disease ?) and by wild beasts (see Ezekiel 14:12-22).
Who were those souls under the altar, when the fifth seal was broken ? We do not encounter them elsewhere in the Bible or Revelation. I suspect that for the meaning we need to look at verse 9 and 11. Verse 9 says that they were slaughtered for the word of God. Presumably these were the persons who remained on earth (after the Coming of Christ). And did not yield to the earthly powers, and had given witness to the Word of God, the Bible, and they were arrested by the earthly powers and killed. Verse 11 indicates that they were witnesses of God on earth, and that those under the altar waiting patiently, until those on earth still witnessing for God were killed by the earthly powers (until the number of their brethren should be complete).
This means that those, who remained behind, and had not accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour, but who went to church (and liberal Sermoners teaching Jesus as a myth) and they who had Biblical knowledge but still delayed the accepting Jesus Christ as their Saviour, probably were going to witness for God.
If God is no longer present (through the Holy Spirit living inside Christian believers) then nothing can stop the earthly powers (under command of Satan and the powers of darkness) from killing those ones who chose for God. This will be the greatest test for those who remain faithful to God, for the Bible states here clearly that ALL will be killed (slaughtered). It is then choosing for the earthly powers, or death and choosing for God. That would not be a very easy decision!!!
The sixth seal. A great earthquake and the sun became black and the moon became like blood. And the stars fell to earth. Symbolically, I do not think so. At present we are familiar with the large (earthquake) areas and complete cities can disappear, like Los Angeles and Tokyo. So it is not surprising, when, due to an earthquake all mountains and islands were removed form their places.
In a documentary of the Grand Canyon in America it was shown the many earth fractures and volcanoes, that are present in this area. Similar as a consequence of these eruptions, the expectation is that within 100 years it is going to occur again. In principle, the complete area of North-America (but it could well be North and South America) will be destroyed and the complete population will choked by sulphur and ashes. This could explain why the nation Israel will not receive any assistance during the Great Tribulation, since America is destroyed.
Seeing from earth, we often see a red sun or red moon. All kinds of nature can cause that we see the sun as black and the moon as blood (red). Think about a volcanic eruption which pollutes the air with ashes and makes the sun appearing black. Or the enormous forest fires (lighted by man) in Indonesia, that polluted the air and blackened the sky. And think about the extinction of the dinosaurs.
Stars felt on earth. When a comet (treating in 2007, comet of about 200 km in diameter) or a meteorite goes through the atmosphere, it looks like a star, giving light due to its burning with a clear tail. And what to think off the many satellites which circle about the earth, when through a disturbance they begin to fall on earth, they too will burn and destroy much on earth. Satellites are increasing in size and what to think of when a space module falls on earth!
John saw the stars fall out of the sky. I suppose a rain of meteorites, satellites fallen from sky fulfills very well the description of what John saw.
One thing is a fact, these things shall happen in the time of the end. What will be the real facts, at present we can only guess. With the present knowledge and science, we are able to increase a possible explanation until it become reality of the things that John described, and also really will happen. How long it takes, before it becomes reality, only God knows!!!
But since we are in the position to explain these matters, it must be clear that we are living very close to the time of the end. One year (day) or tens of years separating from Gods final judgment? Only God knows.
Therefore it is important not to delay your choice for the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour. Unless you willingly choose to live the time under the wrath of God and experiences this tumult and disasters. And risk spending eternity in the lake of fire.
In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah the son of Berechiah, son of Iddo, the prophet, saying, "The LORD was very angry with your fathers. Therefore say to them, Thus says the LORD of hosts: Return to me, says the LORD of hosts, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts. Be not like your fathers, to whom the former prophets cried out, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, Return from your evil ways and from your evil deeds.' But they did not hear or heed me, says the LORD. Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live for ever? But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not overtake your fathers? So they repented and said, As the LORD of hosts purposed to deal with us for our ways and deeds, so has he dealt with us." On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month which is the month of Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah the son of Berechiah, son of Iddo, the prophet; and Zechariah said, "I saw in the night, and behold, a man riding upon a red horse! He was standing among the myrtle trees in the glen; and behind him were red, sorrel, and white horses. Then I said, "What are these, my lord?" The angel who talked with me said to me, "I will show you what they are." So the man who was standing among the myrtle trees answered, 'These are they whom the LORD has sent to patrol the earth.' And they answered the angel of the LORD who was standing among the myrtle trees, 'We have patrolled the earth, and behold, all the earth remains at rest.' Then the angel of the LORD said, 'O LORD of hosts, how long wilt thou have no mercy on Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these seventy years?' And the LORD answered gracious and comforting words to the angel who talked with me. So the angel who talked with me said to me, 'Cry out, Thus says the LORD of hosts: I am exceedingly jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion. And I am very angry with the nations that are at ease; for while I was angry but a little they furthered the disaster. Therefore, thus says the LORD, I have returned to Jerusalem with compassion; my house shall be built in it, says the LORD of hosts, and the measuring line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem. Cry again, Thus says the LORD of hosts: My cities shall again overflow with prosperity, and the LORD will again comfort Zion and again choose Jerusalem.'" And I lifted my eyes and saw, and behold, four horns! And I said to the angel who talked with me, "What are these?" And he answered me, "These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem." Then the LORD showed me four smiths. And I said, "What are these coming to do?" He answered, "These are the horns which scattered Judah, so that no man raised his head; and these have come to terrify them, to cast down the horns of the nations who lifted up their horns against the land of Judah to scatter it.
And again I lifted my eyes and saw, and behold, four chariots came out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of bronze. The first chariot had red horses, the second black horses, the third white horses, and the fourth chariot dappled gray horses. Then I said to the angel who talked with me, "What are these, my lord?" And the angel answered me, "These are going forth to the four winds of heaven, after presenting themselves before the LORD of all the earth. The chariot with the black horses goes toward the north country, the white ones go toward the west country, and the dappled ones go toward the south country." When the steeds came out, they were impatient to get off and patrol the earth. And he said, "Go, patrol the earth." So they patrolled the earth. Then he cried to me, "Behold, those who go toward the north country have set my Spirit at rest in the north country." And the word of the LORD came to me: "Take from the exiles Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah, who have arrived from Babylon; and go the same day to the house of Josiah, the son of Zephaniah. Take from them silver and gold, and make a crown, and set it upon the head of Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest; and say to him, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, "Behold, the man whose name is the Branch: for he shall grow up in his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD. It is he who shall build the temple of the LORD, and shall bear royal honour, and shall sit and rule upon his throne. And there shall be a priest by his throne, and peaceful understanding shall be between them both."' And the crown shall be in the temple of the LORD as a reminder to Heldai, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Josiah the son of Zephaniah. "And those who are far off shall come and help to build the temple of the LORD; and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. And this shall come to pass, if you will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God".
And the word of the LORD came to me: Son of man, when a land sins against me by acting faithlessly, and I stretch out my hand against it, and break its staff of bread and send famine upon it, and cut off from it man and beast, even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness, says the Lord GOD. If I cause wild beasts to pass through the land, and they ravage it, and it be made desolate, so that no man may pass through because of the beasts; even if these three men were in it, as I live, says the Lord GOD, they would deliver neither sons nor daughters; they alone would be delivered, but the land would be desolate. Or if I bring a sword upon that land, and say, Let a sword go through the land; and I cut off from it man and beast; though these three men were in it, as I live, says the Lord GOD, they would deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they alone would be delivered. Or if I send a pestilence into that land, and pour out my wrath upon it with blood, to cut off from it man and beast; even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, says the Lord GOD, they would deliver neither son nor daughter; they would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness. For thus says the Lord GOD: How much more when I send upon Jerusalem my four sore acts of judgment, sword, famine, evil beasts, and pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast! Yet, if there should be left in it any survivors to lead out sons and daughters, when they come forth to you, and you see their ways and their doings, you will be consoled for the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, for all that I have brought upon it.
The dinosaurs were eradicated 65,000,000 years ago in a single blow by a meteorite burst. Is there any proof? Yes, at Spookranch at least 1,000 skeletons were located, these were killed in one instant. The paleontologists found this riddle. What could have caused what the fossils were showing.
- Bones that were still intact and not gnawed by beasts of prey
- The skeletons indicated one dramatic instance
- The skeletons indicated that they were buried alive
- Male, female and young ceolophysis (dinosaurs) skeletons were found
- The event probably happened some 65,000,000 years ago.
Conclusion: The disaster probably was a natural disaster, flood, eruption of a volcano or a meteorite burst. Worldwide skeletons were found indicating an event occurring about 65,000,000 years ago, so the disaster must have been so enormous, that it had hit the complete earth.
An answer came from Ludlow in Colorado from the KT-layer (the period between Cretaceous and Tertiair, a period 65,000,000 years ago). The KT-layer over the whole world told the same story, under this layer lay the skeletons of dinosaurs and other animals, above this KT-layer no skeletons were found.
In this KT-layer a 1000 times higher concentration than usual quantity of Iridium was found. The question rose, where did it come from? For the earthly rocks hardly contained this percentage. But at fragments from space, that high quality was found.
The conclusion was at hand, the eradication of the dinosaurs must have been caused by a meteorite burst, but where ?
The answer came during test drilling and photos from the Gulf of Mexico: the peninsula Yucatan. Here a crater burst showed with a diameter of 240 km around the city Chicxutub.
According to its diameter that indicates a meteorite of 20 km in diameter and an impact speed of 240.000 km/hour.(150,000 m.p.h).
Such an impact causes an energy of 100,000,000 hydrogen bombs exploding at once. What are the results of such a meteorite burst ? The facts in row (that are secured by the excavations):
|The shock waves created a fireball of stones and wreckage that were slung into the atmosphere. Due to the very great heat, the rocks evaporated, giving droplets of silicate and great burning ash residues in the sky, which were carried over the earth by the jet stream and dropped onto the continents.|
- Carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide arose from the minerals in the rocks where the impact had occurred (Had the impact taken place elsewhere on earth, then the results would have been less, this combination is only present on 0.5% of the earth). The sulphur dioxide mixed with the hydrogen in the atmosphere creating sulphuric acid. This sulphuric acid and acidic rain fell on the earth (carried by the jet stream and shock waves) and killed all living creatures and vegetation.
- The sulphuric acid cloud masked the sun for 3 years causing the temperature to drop to about freezing point. When the cloud cooled, again the acid rain and sulphuric acid fell upon earth for about 10 years, so that the new vegetation which began to grow, was killed and the food chain collapsed.
- After this, the sky filled itself with carbon dioxide and the earth became very hot (the greenhouse effect), so that all that which still lived, was killed by lack of air, or by tainted water or by starvation.
Revelation 7 - The 144000 of Israel
After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow on earth or sea or against any tree. Then I saw another angel ascend from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, saying, "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God upon their foreheads." And I heard the number of the sealed, a hundred and forty-four thousand sealed, out of every tribe of the sons of Israel, twelve thousand sealed out of the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand of the tribe of Reuben, twelve thousand of the tribe of Gad, twelve thousand of the tribe of Asher, twelve thousand of the tribe of Naphtali, twelve thousand of the tribe of Manasseh, twelve thousand of the tribe of Simeon, twelve thousand of the tribe of Levi, twelve thousand of the tribe of Issachar, twelve thousand of the tribe of Zebulun, twelve thousand of the tribe of Joseph, twelve thousand sealed out of the tribe of Benjamin. After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb!" And all the angels stood round the throne and round the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honour and power and might be to our God for ever and ever! Amen." Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, "Who are these, clothed in white robes, and whence they have come?" I said to him, "Sir, you know." And he said to me, "These are they who have come out of the Great Tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night within his temple; and he who sits upon the throne will shelter them with his presence. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water; and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes".
What does this mean?
The four angels
They stand at the four corners of the earth, we already met them in Zechariah 6 and Revelation 6.
Every one who chooses for the earthly powers, will get a sign (666 or 0110 0110 0110 in computer language) on their right hand or forehead, as described in Revelation 13:16-17. Every one who opts for God, shall have to refuse that mark. That as a reminder for God, that they have chosen for Him. Those who do not have the mark, will be spared of God's wrath and they will be given with His mark on their forehead.
The number 144 thousand or 12 x 12 thousand from all tribes of Israel. That agrees with Ezekiel 47 and 48. A note here: in Ezekiel 47 and 48 states that Joseph receives two parts. Revelation mentions Joseph and Manasseh. Joseph was the father of Ephraim en Manasseh, this explains why Joseph received two parts. In Revelation we are missing the tribe Dan, which is mentioned in Ezekiel. That could be explained by the supposition that out of the tribe Dan, the Anti-Christ would rise.
If we should take the 12 x 12 thousand symbolically or literally, I do not know. When taking the 144 thousand literally, God will protect them against the earthly powers and the Anti-Christ to witness of God and to proclaim His Word and coming of the Messiah. The rest might fall prey to the earthly powers, but despite they will share in the inheritance of Israel, as described in Ezekiel 47 and 48. The Bible does not give a explanation here, so we must guess.
One thing is a fact, despite that at this moment the Jewish people are trying to establish peace with their neighbours using their own strength, Revelation tells that Israel will not be able to do so, but they will be attacked by the earthly powers. But God will conquer and the 12 tribes of Israel will inherit the Promised Land (including the tribe Dan) and they will live in peace. A peace brought about by God Himself.
The Palestinians are fighting for a hopeless cause, against the God of Israel. Allah is a invention of Mohammed, a deception of Satan, and they will loose in the end to the real existing God of Israel.
The great magnitude for the throne, is explained in verse 14, being those who come from the Great Tribulation (see Revelation 6:11). The time of the Great Tribulation is already mentioned in the Old Testament (Daniel 12:1-2). And what a promise follows, those who refused to choose against God in the Great Tribulation and have resisted against the earthly powers, they will live on the New Earth. They will no longer thirst and have hunger, but the Lord God will feed them and will guide them to springs of living water (see too Ezekiel 47).
Despite the fact that when you choose against the earthly powers in the Great Tribulation, and you cannot buy nor sell without the mark, and you will experience persecution, torments and torture from the earthly powers, this is God's promise, that if you choose the Lord God, you will receive eternal life on the new earth and will NOT be sent to the lake of fire. The lake of fire is destined for those who HAVE received the mark on the right hand or forehead and HAVE chosen against God. This place is much worse than the torments and torture in the Great Tribulation. Those will be eternal.
And again I lifted my eyes and saw, and behold, four chariots came out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of bronze. The first chariot had red horses, the second black horses, the third white horses, and the fourth chariot dappled gray horses. Then I said to the angel who talked with me, "What are these, my lord?" And the angel answered me, "These are going forth to the four winds of heaven, after presenting themselves before the LORD of all the earth. The chariot with the black horses goes toward the North Country, the white ones go toward the West Country, and the dappled ones go toward the south country." When the steeds came out, they were impatient to get off and patrol the earth. And he said, "Go, patrol the earth." So they patrolled the earth. Then he cried to me, "Behold, those who go toward the North Country have set my Spirit at rest in the north country." And the word of the LORD came to me: "Take from the exiles Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah, who have arrived from Babylon; and go the same day to the house of Josiah, the son of Zephaniah. Take from them silver and gold, and make a crown, and set it upon the head of Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest; and say to him, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, "Behold, the man whose name is the Branch: for he shall grow up in his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD. It is he who shall build the temple of the LORD, and shall bear royal honour, and shall sit and rule upon his throne. And there shall be a priest by his throne, and peaceful understanding shall be between them both."' And the crown shall be in the temple of the LORD as a reminder to Heldai, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Josiah the son of Zephaniah. "And those who are far off shall come and help to build the temple of the LORD; and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. And this shall come to pass, if you will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God".
Then he cried in my ears with a loud voice, saying, "Draw near, you executioners of the city, each with his destroying weapon in his hand." And lo, six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, every man with his weapon for slaughter in his hand, and with them was a man clothed in linen, with a writing case at his side. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar. Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherubim on which it rested to the threshold of the house; and he called to the man clothed in linen, who had the writing case at his side. And the LORD said to him, "Go through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark upon the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it." And to the others he said in my hearing, "Pass through the city after him, and smite; your eye shall not spare, and you shall show no pity; slay old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women, but touch no one upon whom is the mark. And begin at my sanctuary." So they began with the elders who were before the house. Then he said to them, "Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain. Go forth." So they went forth, and smote in the city. And while they were smiting, and I was left alone, I fell upon my face, and cried, "Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou destroy all that remains of Israel in the outpouring of thy wrath upon Jerusalem?" Then he said to me, "The guilt of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great; the land is full of blood, and the city full of injustice; for they say, 'The LORD has forsaken the land, and the LORD does not see.' As for me, my eye will not spare, nor will I have pity, but I will requite their deeds upon their heads." And lo, the man clothed in linen, with the writing case at his side, brought back word, saying, "I have done as thou didst command me".
Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead.
Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and behold, water was issuing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east); and the water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar. Then he brought me out byway of the north gate, and led me round on the outside to the outer gate, that faces toward the east; and the water was coming out on the south side. Going on eastward with a line in his hand, the man measured a thousand cubits, and then led me through the water; and it was ankle-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water; and it was knee-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water; and it was up to the loins. Again he measured a thousand, and it was a river that I could not pass through, for the water had risen; it was deep enough to swim in, a river that could not be passed through. And he said to me, "Son of man, have you seen this?" Then he led me back along the bank of the river. As I went back, I saw upon the bank of the river very many trees on the one side and on the other. And he said to me, "This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah; and when it enters the stagnant waters of the sea, the water will become fresh. And wherever the river goes every living creature which swarms will live, and there will be very many fish; for this water goes there, that the waters of the sea may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes. Fishermen will stand beside the sea; from Engedi to Eneglaim it will be a place for the spreading of nets; its fish will be of very many kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea. But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they are to be left for salt. And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing." Thus says the Lord GOD: "These are the boundaries by which you shall divide the land for inheritance among the twelve tribes of Israel. Joseph shall have two portions. And you shall divide it equally; I swore to give it to your fathers, and this land shall fall to you as your inheritance. This shall be the boundary of the land: On the north side, from the Great Sea by way of Hethlon to the entrance of Hamath, and on to Zedad, Berothah, Sibraim (which lies on the border between Damascus and Hamath), as far as Hazerhatticon, which is on the border of Hauran. So the boundary shall run from the sea to Hazarenon, which is on the northern border of Damascus, with the border of Hamath to the north. This shall be the north side. On the east side, the boundary shall run from Hazarenon between Hauran and Damascus; along the Jordan between Gilead and the land of Israel; to the eastern sea and as far as Tamar. This shall be the east side. On the south side, it shall run from Tamar as far as the waters of Meribathkadesh, thence along the Brook of Egypt to the Great Sea. This shall be the south side. On the west side, the Great Sea shall be the boundary to a point opposite the entrance of Hamath. This shall be the west side. "So you shall divide this land among you according to the tribes of Israel. You shall allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the aliens who reside among you and have begotten children among you. They shall be to you as native-born sons of Israel; with you they shall be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. In whatever tribe the alien resides, there you shall assign him his inheritance," says the Lord GOD.
NOTE: A cubit is about 21 inches. Thousand cubits is about 583 yard (533 metres).
These are the names of the tribes: Beginning at the northern border, from the sea by way of Hethlon to the entrance of Hamath, as far as Hazarenon (which is on the northern border of Damascus over against Hamath), and extending from the east side to the west, Dan, one portion. Adjoining the territory of Dan, from the east side to the west, Asher, one portion. Adjoining the territory of Asher, from the east side to the west, Naphtali, one portion. Adjoining the territory of Naphtali, from the east side to the west, Manasseh, one portion. Adjoining the territory of Manasseh, from the east side to the west, Ephraim, one portion. Adjoining the territory of Ephraim, from the east side to the west, Reuben, one portion. Adjoining the territory of Reuben, from the east side to the west, Judah, one portion. Adjoining the territory of Judah, from the east side to the west, shall be the portion which you shall set apart, twenty-five thousand cubits in breadth, and in length equal to one of the tribal portions, from the east side to the west, with the sanctuary in the midst of it. The portion which you shall set apart for the LORD shall be twenty-five thousand cubits in length, and twenty thousand in breadth. These shall be the allotments of the holy portion: the priests shall have an allotment measuring twenty-five thousand cubits on the northern side, ten thousand cubits in breadth on the western side, ten thousand in breadth on the eastern side, and twenty-five thousand in length on the southern side, with the sanctuary of the LORD in the midst of it. This shall be for the consecrated priests, the sons of Zadok, who kept my charge, who did not go astray when the people of Israel went astray, as the Levites did. And it shall belong to them as a special portion from the holy portion of the land, a most holy place, adjoining the territory of the Levites. And alongside the territory of the priests, the Levites shall have an allotment twenty-five thousand cubits in length and ten thousand in breadth. The whole length shall be twenty-five thousand cubits and the breadth twenty thousand. They shall not sell or exchange any of it; they shall not alienate this choice portion of the land, for it is holy to the LORD. The remainder, five thousand cubits in breadth and twenty-five thousand in length, shall be for ordinary use for the city, for dwellings and for open country. In the midst of it shall be the city; and these shall be its dimensions: the north side four thousand five hundred cubits, the south side four thousand five hundred, the east side four thousand five hundred, and the west side four thousand and five hundred. And the city shall have open land: on the north two hundred and fifty cubits, on the south two hundred and fifty, on the east two hundred and fifty, and on the west two hundred and fifty. The remainder of the length alongside the holy portion shall be ten thousand cubits to the east, and ten thousand to the west, and it shall be alongside the holy portion. Its produce shall be food for the workers of the city. And the workers of the city, from all the tribes of Israel, shall till it. The whole portion which you shall set apart shall be twenty-five thousand cubits square, that is, the holy portion together with the property of the city. What remains on both sides of the holy portion and of the property of the city shall belong to the prince. Extending from the twenty-five thousand cubits of the holy portion to the east border, and westward from the twenty-five thousand cubits to the west border, parallel to the tribal portions, it shall belong to the prince. The holy portion with the sanctuary of the temple in its midst, and the property of the Levites and the property of the city, shall be in the midst of that which belongs to the prince. The portion of the prince shall lie between the territory of Judah and the territory of Benjamin. As for the rest of the tribes: from the east side to the west, Benjamin, one portion. Adjoining the territory of Benjamin, from the east side to the west, Simeon, one portion. Adjoining the territory of Simeon, from the east side to the west, Issachar, one portion. Adjoining the territory of Issachar, from the east side to the west, Zebulun, one portion. Adjoining the territory of Zebulun, from the east side to the west, Gad, one portion. And adjoining the territory of Gad to the south, the boundary shall run from Tamar to the waters of Meribathkadesh, thence along the Brook of Egypt to the Great Sea. This is the land which you shall allot as an inheritance among the tribes of Israel, and these are their several portions, says the Lord GOD. These shall be the exits of the city: On the north side, which is to be four thousand five hundred cubits by measure, three gates, the gate of Reuben, the gate of Judah, and the gate of Levi, the gates of the city being named after the tribes of Israel. On the east side, which is to be four thousand five hundred cubits, three gates, the gate of Joseph, the gate of Benjamin, and the gate of Dan. On the south side, which is to be four thousand five hundred cubits by measure, three gates, the gate of Simeon, the gate of Issachar, and the gate of Zebulun. On the west side, which is to be four thousand five hundred cubits, three gates, the gate of Gad, the gate of Asher, and the gate of Naphtali. The circumference of the city shall be eighteen thousand cubits. And the name of the city henceforth shall be, The LORD is there.
At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time; but at that time your people shall be delivered, every one whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Revelation 8 - The seventh seal and the seven trumpets
When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth; and there were peals of thunder, voices, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake. Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets made ready to blow them. The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, which fell on the earth; and a third of the earth was burnt up, and a third of the trees were burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up. The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the fountains of water. The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died of the water, because it was made bitter. The fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of their light was darkened; a third of the day was kept from shining, and likewise a third of the night. Then I looked, and I heard an eagle crying with a loud voice, as it flew in midheaven, "Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, at the blasts of the other trumpets which the three angels are about to blow!"
What does this mean?
To understand the fire, thunder, lightning and earthquake, see Ezekiel 38 and 39.
Consider the fires lit in Indonesia, and the consequences to people and animals of Indonesia and Singapore. We can hardly imagine a natural disaster where fire (lightning) together with hail destroys a third of the forest and houses. And lately on earth we already have seen hailstone with a diameter of 4 inches destroying completely roofs, cars and aircraft.
At the second angel, something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. Presumably John saw a volcano which erupted a great mass of fire and lava into the sea. When this is a large amount of lava, is not surprisingly that a third of the sea became as blood, since all living creatures, fishes, sharks, dolphins, whales ect., living in the sea are killed and their blood becomes visible in the sea. Of course, when the volcano erupts lava, ships also are hit and will sink. Also think of the tsunamie with its greats waves after the volcano ereption near Indonesia.
And a third angel blew the trumpet and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch. I do not think that we must consider literally of a star, but more about a comet, meteorite, satellite or space station. When a comet enters the atmosphere, it burns and looks like a star, blazing like a torch with a light tail. I only heard about a comet with a diameter of 200 km that can threaten the earth in a few years. But this comet had not been named Wormwood by NASA. The expectation is however that if this comet hits the earth, indeed one third of earth will be destroyed. Not only due to the impact on earth, but resulting from the dust that enters in the sky and waters, polluting all.
When a meteorite hides the ocean, that creates a tsunami with waves of 5 to 100 metres in height or more.
And the fourth angel blew the trumpet, and a third of the sun, moon and stars was struck, so that a third of their light was extinguished. Presumably we should not take this literally, a third destruction of the sun, moon and stars, but must interpret what John saw. He saw that the sun, moon and stars only gave two thirds of their light (But of course it can happen literally caused by God Almighty).
Only on the day when it happens, mankind will know what the cause of this event will be. But a darkness of a third of the day is not surprising, we saw the events that preceded this occasion: the burning mountain and the big star. Both will finally pollute the atmosphere in such a way, that the sun, moon and stars are no longer able to send their full light through the atmosphere so that the earth will gets for a third part of the day no light and similarly for the night. We saw already the effects from the ashes out of the volcano in Japan that polluted the atmosphere and blocked out the sun and moon light.
Indeed, Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth. It must be a nightmare. Therefore it is better to accept the Lord Jesus Christ before that period and to be taken up with Him at His first Coming in the sky.
Observing the time in which we live. Maybe the Lord God has already warned the world sufficiently. We hear about the terrible destruction and damage caused by El Ninjo, the many hurricanes occurring in America, causing millions of dollars of damage by flooding areas as large as a complete country Holland. We can also read about the power and destructive forces of the earthquakes in Los Angeles.
God already warns man that the end is near, still He gives man the chance to convert to Christianity. To recognize that they are sinners, and to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. So take the opportunity, before it is too late and you will go into the Great Tribulation. And then you must choose for or against God, but then any way there will be no place for you in Heaven. If you choose for God during the Great Tribulation then you might have eternal life on (the new) earth.
Revelation 9 - The fifth trumpet
And the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key of the shaft of the bottomless pit; he opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and from the shaft rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke from the shaft. Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth; they were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any green growth or any tree, but only those of mankind who have not the seal of God upon their foreheads; they were allowed to torture them for five months, but not to kill them, and their torture was like the torture of a scorpion, when it stings a man. Today a sting of a scorpion causes horrible pains, fever, difficulty breathing, vomiting, twitching, increased heart rate. And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death will fly from them. In appearance the locusts were like horses arrayed for battle; on their heads were what looked like crowns of gold; their faces were like human faces, their hair like women's hair, and their teeth like lions' teeth; they had scales like iron breastplates, and the noise of their wings was like the noise of many chariots with horses rushing into battle. They have tails like scorpions, and stings, and their power of hurting men for five months lies in their tails. They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon. The first woe has passed; behold, two woes are still to come. Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar before God, saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates." So the four angels were released, who had been held ready for the hour, the day, the month, and the year, to kill a third of mankind. The number of the troops of cavalry was twice ten thousand times ten thousand; I heard their number. And this was how I saw the horses in my vision: the riders wore breastplates the colour of fire and of sapphire and of sulphur, and the heads of the horses were like lions' heads, and fire and smoke and sulphur issued from their mouths. By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed, by the fire and smoke and sulphur issuing from their mouths. For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails; their tails are like serpents, with heads, and by means of them they wound. The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot either see or hear or walk; nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their immorality or their thefts.
What does this mean?
Clearly, the star which fell on earth, is something to take symbolically, for it is written: he (the star) was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit. The destructive forces of desert locusts are well known. But here no earthly locusts are described, but locusts like scorpions with a sting. The prick of the sting is not deadly, as with earthly scorpions. The prick of these scorpions has a purpose to torture man (who has not the seal of God on their forehead) during five months. The pain is, however, so fierce that it is like the torture of a scorpion. But now one is not suffering for a few hours followed by death, but the torture will last without the relief of death. No wonder that people will search for death in order to be release from this horrible torture. It seems that suicide was not possible in those days, for in verse 6 states: "and death will fly from them". Woe, woe, woe them who live in those days and have the mark of the earthly powers (the Beast).
The locusts cannot be eradicated looking upon their sizes. Their appearances are like horses arrayed for battle with scales like iron breastplates. Remembering the middle ages, how knights had protected their horses with breastplates and iron shields, and we can images a bit. But let us reading along, these locusts appearing like horses had tails as scorpions and stings. At present we have a good idea how a dinosaur must have looked in the pre-historic times and from the animation film Jurisica Parc. So this description must not surprise us and we can be certain that the description of this locusts in Revelation is accurately. And also REALLY WILL torture man on earth.
At the sixth trumpet, four angels were released, who were bound at the great river Euphrates. Considering that they were bound, we conclude that these angels were not angels of God, but angels of Satan, who were bound by God until then, preventing them from doing evil.
The number of the troops of cavalry was twice ten thousand times ten thousand, so 200,000,000. Looking to the few millions of soldiers who were engaged in the second world war to kill under the guidance of Hitler tenths of millions of Jews and people. We can without question imagine how an army of 200,000,000 is able to kill a third of mankind.
Many are the opinions that we should take these horses with lions' heads and tails like snakes, symbolically. But why should we? For it is God's revelation to John, which describes in human terms what he is seeing. From pre-historic excavations, we have a reasonable view of creature (dragons) which lived long ago. Also with the present animations we are shown similar creatures, especially in science fiction films (like Star Wars). Therefore, take this creature literally as described here in Revelation. These creatures will be released by God on earth during the Great Tribulation.
Despite this very clear warning of God and showing God's Almighty, the people (who remained) do not convert. They continue to worship the idols and the Anti-Christ. What horror for mankind, despite the displaying of God's power, one is no longer able to convert to God.
NOW there is still time, God's Love is visible in the Lord Jesus Christ. And conversion to God is STILL possible, but for how long? Later it is too late, then God's wrath will be inflicted upon those who reject His Love (AGAPE) and God will show His Holiness and Justice. Then it will be revealed what really lives in the heart of man. Rejection now of God's Love in the Lord Jesus Christ by one, then later on during the Great Tribulation one will experience God's anger and wrath.
The word of the LORD came to me: Son of man, set your face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him and say, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; and I will turn you about, and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you forth, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed in full armour, a great company, all of them with buckler and shield, wielding swords; Persia, Cush, and Put are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer and all his hordes; Bethtogarmah from the uttermost parts of the north with all his hordes--many peoples are with you. Be ready and keep ready, you and all the hosts that are assembled about you, and be a guard for them. After many days you will be mustered; in the latter years you will go against the land that is restored from war, the land where people were gathered from many nations upon the mountains of Israel, which had been a continual waste; its people were brought out from the nations and now dwell securely, all of them. You will advance, coming on like a storm, you will be like a cloud covering the land you and all your hordes, and many peoples with you. Thus says the Lord GOD: On that day, thoughts will come into your mind, and you will devise an evil scheme and say, 'I will go up against the land of unwalled villages; I will fall upon the quiet people who dwell securely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having no bars or gates'; to seize spoil and carry off plunder; to assail the waste places which are now inhabited, and the people who were gathered from the nations, who have gotten cattle and goods, who dwell at the centre of the earth. Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all its villages will say to you, 'Have you come to seize spoil? Have you assembled your hosts to carry off plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to seize great spoil?' Therefore, son of man, prophesy, and say to Gog, Thus says the Lord GOD: On that day when my people Israel are dwelling securely, you will bestir yourself and come from your place out of the uttermost parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great host, a mighty army; you will come up against my people Israel, like a cloud covering the land. In the latter days I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me, when through you, O Gog, I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. Thus says the Lord GOD: Are you he of whom I spoke in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel, who in those days prophesied for years that I would bring you against them? But on that day, when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, says the Lord GOD, my wrath will be roused. For in my jealousy and in my blazing wrath I declare, On that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; the fish of the sea, and the birds of the air, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep on the ground, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the cliffs shall fall, and every wall shall tumble to the ground. I will summon every kind of terror against Gog, says the Lord GOD; every man's sword will be against his brother. With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him; and I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples that are with him, torrential rains and hailstones, fire and brimstone. So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD.
And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; and I will turn you about and drive you forward, and bring you up from the uttermost parts of the north, and lead you against the mountains of Israel; then I will strike your bow from your left hand, and will make your arrows drop out of your right hand. You shall fall upon the mountains of Israel, you and all your hordes and the peoples that are with you; I will give you to birds of prey of every sort and to the wild beasts to be devoured. You shall fall in the open field; for I have spoken, says the Lord GOD. I will send fire on Magog and on those who dwell securely in the coastlands; and they shall know that I am the LORD. And my holy name I will make known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let my holy name be profaned any more; and the nations shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel. Behold, it is coming and it will be brought about, says the Lord GOD. That is the day of which I have spoken. Then those who dwell in the cities of Israel will go forth and make fires of the weapons and burn them, shields and bucklers, bows and arrows, handpikes and spears, and they will make fires of them for seven years; so that they will not need to take wood out of the field or cut down any out of the forests, for they will make their fires of the weapons; they will despoil those who despoiled them, and plunder those who plundered them, says the Lord GOD. On that day I will give to Gog a place for burial in Israel, the Valley of the Travelers east of the sea; it will block the travelers, for there Gog and all his multitude will be buried; it will be called the Valley of Hamongog. For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them, in order to cleanse the land. All the people of theland will bury them; and it will redound to their honour on the day that I show my glory, says the Lord GOD. They will set apart men to pass through the land continually and bury those remaining upon the face of the land, so as to cleanse it; at the end of seven months they will make their search. And when these pass through the land and any one sees a man's bone, then he shall set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the Valley of Hamongog (A city Hamonah is there also). Thus shall they cleanse the land. As for you, son of man, thus says the Lord GOD: Speak to the birds of every sort and to all beasts of the field, 'Assemble and come, gather from all sides to the sacrificial feast which I am preparing for you, a great sacrificial feast upon the mountains of Israel, and you shall eat flesh and drink blood. You shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth--of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bulls, all of them fatlings of Bashan. And you shall eat fat till you are filled, and drink blood till you are drunk, at the sacrificial feast which I am preparing for you. And you shall be filled at my table with horses and riders, with mighty men and all kinds of warriors,' says the Lord GOD. And I will set my glory among the nations; and all the nations shall see my judgment which I have executed, and my hand which I have laid on them. The house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God, from that day forward. And the nations shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity, because they dealt so treacherously with me that I hid my face from them and gave them into the hand of their adversaries, and they all fell by the sword. I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their transgressions, and hid my face from them. Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for my holy name. They shall forget their shame, and all the treachery they have practiced against me, when they dwell securely in their land with none to make them afraid, when I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them from their enemies' lands, and through them have vindicated my holiness in the sight of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the LORD their God because I sent them into exile among the nations, and then gathered them into their own land. I will leave none of them remaining among the nations any more; and I will not hide my face any more from them, when I pour out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, says the Lord GOD.
Revelation 10 - Seal the seven thunders
Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire. He had a little scroll open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the land, and called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring; when he called out, the seven thunders sounded. And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, "Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down." And the angel whom I saw standing on sea and land lifted up his right hand to heaven and swore by him who lives for ever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there should be no more delay, but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God, as he announced to his servants the prophets, should be fulfilled. Then the voice which I had heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, "Go, take the scroll which is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land." So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll; and he said to me, "Take it and eat; it will be bitter to your stomach, but sweet as honey in your mouth." And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it; it was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter. And I was told, "You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and tongues and kings".
What does this mean?
The angels have a very important task on earth and in heaven, now invisible to man. In the time of the end, during the Great Tribulation their tasks it seems will increase, and perhaps they might become visible to man. In this case, here John saw a strong angel descend from heaven. Previously, John was in visual contact with Heaven, then apparently he was moved to earth, since he saw an angel descending from Heaven. And what a majestic view. The rainbow was over his head, a face like the sun and his legs like pillars of fire.
But then followed something strange. Until now John was allowed to reveal publicly all what was shown to him, but now he must stop writing it down and he must seal it.
We are very curious what it means. How is it possible to seal something which is not written down? Is there a deeper meaning? Is it written down and this record will be found just in the Great Tribulation and then it will be revealed? This could also explain Daniel 12:9: "Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end".
Also Daniel had received the words from God and had to sealed those until the time of the end. Daniel 12:4: Daniel 12:4 "BUT YOU, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase." In the time we are living, we may certainly conclude that our knowledge about the time of the end is increasing, such as I hope by the explanations I am giving to clarify things.
Only John and the Lord God know the answers if it is written down and be found and revealed during the Great Tribulation. One thing is sure, it is NOT important for Christian believers, otherwise God would have written it down and would not have it sealed.
- There are yet sealed Bible books, which are not (yet) found and just in the Great Tribulation will be found and revealed. We could think of the Dead Sea scrolls which where just found in 1947, heavy damaged and now with the present science of Infrared and DNA are fixed together. Only after many years, these pieces will be fitted together using DNA techniques (Dead Sea scrolls are written on parchment. Parchment originates from animal skin. The pieces of a parchment page are fitted together to one page on the base of similar DNA structure. So far, one has concluded that one or two page(s) have the same DNA (animal DNA)).
- Many will do research. A lot of pre-historic research is done. The hieroglyphics are studied and they confirm the Old Testament cities. The Bible is studied in its original (Hebrew and Greek) languages, this became possible since many old original writings and scrolls are have been rediscovered. And through all this data and modern technical developments of science, technology, space technology and animation films our knowledge increases.
- Despite that the church is taken up in the sky at the Coming of Christ, Bibles remain available on earth. Apparently these Bibles are not destroyed by the earthly powers. And these Bibles are read by the one who stay behind.
- Those who have not accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour (pure church visitors, liberal Sermoners, not living under control of the Holy Spirit?) will stay behind and together (?) with the Jewish people will proclaim the Lord God, His Word the Bible and the Messiah.
- The sealed Bible books will be opened in the time of the end, and God's plan will further be revealed to man.
At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time; but at that time your people shall be delivered, every one whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase. Then I Daniel looked, and behold, two others stood, one on this bank of the stream and one on that bank of the stream. And I said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream, "How long shall it be till the end of these wonders?" The man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream, raised his right hand and his left hand toward heaven; and I heard him swear by him who lives for ever that it would be for a time, two times, and half a time; and that when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end all these things would be accomplished. I heard, but I did not understand. Then I said, "O my lord, what shall be the issue of these things?" He said, "Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end. Many shall purify themselves, and make themselves white, and be refined; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand; but those who are wise shall understand. And from the time that the continual burnt offering is taken away, and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he who waits and comes to the thousand three hundred and thirty-five days. But go your way till the end; and you shall rest, and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days".