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Sitting in Heavenly Places

Karl Wagner January 5, 2013 thru March 29, 2013

Structure of the Book of Revelation To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. Rev. 3:21 1) Classical prophets and Eschatological prophets
1) Classical prophets and Eschatological prophet a. Local prophecy vs. end-time prophecy: type and antitype a. Amos 5:18, 20, 27 i. Judgment re: Deut. 28, Lev. 26 ii. Cosmic judgment in Amos 1. 8:9; signs in the sky 2. 8:8: land will tremble 3. 7:4: sudden darkness, earthquake and fire iii. In Amos eschatology (order of final events), the Day of the Lord would be an imminent judgment on Israel by her national enemy Assyria (in 722 B.C.). But Amos announced a further catastrophe (sic) in which God would judge an apostate world-society and deliver His faithful ones in all nations. 1 b. Double focus of Gods judgments in other prophets i. Zeph. 1:2-3 ii. Like Amos, Zephaniah views the immediate historical future against the background of the final judgment, because it is the same God that visits Israel and the world for judgment and salvation. Ibid c. Typological nature of the historical local prophecy doesnt require that every feature of the prophecy be fulfilled in the type. i. By definition the antitype is always greater than its type. Ibid, 9 d. Characteristic of classical prophecy is its ethical concerns. i. The prophets challenged Israel to repent and obey God. ii. Only the faithful and purified remnant of Israel will enter the end-time kingdom. 2) The eschatological aspects of the classical prophets find their center in the Throne Room (Rev. 4 & 5) and 7 seals (Rev. 6). The entire book of Revelation continues to look back and contextualize the throne room scene. e. The culmination of Bible prophecy is the restoration of the kingdom and reconciliation of humans back to God and becoming members of that eternal kingdom. f. John gives us the text on which the rest of the book swings on. It is a dual-directional verse. Pointing back and forward to the next section. i. Rev. 3:21 is the promise to the whole church, not just the seventh church. 1. It serves as the conclusion of the seven churches as well as the introduction to the throne room of Rev 4 & 5 where we see Jesus taking His position on the throne with the Father because He has overcome. See also Eph 2:6 where we sit (de facto) in heavenly places. 2. The Seals in Chapter 6 is the Church overcoming during the church age 3. The 144,000 (chapter 7 interlude) show the saints having overcome a. Cf: Rev. 14:1-5 & their context to the three angels messages

Hans LaRondelle, How to Understand the End-Time Prophecies of the Bible (Sarasota, FL: First Impressions1997), page 7.

Revelation Structure

Rev 8:1

Overview of Rev. 4 & 5


II. The Enthronement of Christ
1) The Throne Room a. Rev.4 & 5: What event is in view here? b. Springboard passage of Rev. 3:21 c. The Enthronement Ceremony i. Key phrases: 1. Throne 2. At the right hand 3. The Lion from the tribe of Judah 4. Shoot of David and worthy Jer. 23:5-6 & Isa. 11:1 d. OT coronation and enthronement ceremony i. Deut. 17:18-19 and 2 Kings 11:12-19, cf: 2 Chron. 23:11-20) 1. Rev 4: Received crown (stephanos) and testimony, (the scroll) a. Testimony is always used with reference to Gods law and instruction. (Ex. 31:18; 32:15; Pss. 19:7; 119:13-16, 35-36, 143-144). b. Clearly an exposition law of the book of Deuteronomy, cf: 4:45; 6:17, 20. 2. Kings: Received crown and testimony (copy of Law) a. Testimony refers to Deut. 17:18-19 3. Both end with celebration and applause. a. Jesus takes his place, even though there is no text specifying it. Contrast the praise at the end of chapter 4 with that of 5. 2) The place of Rev. 4 & 5: What event is this? a. Is this 1844 judgment or an inauguration ceremony? i. Apparent parallels with judgment in Dan. 7 1. Only time the Greek words for judgment (krisis, krino, krina) are used in the first half of Rev. is in Rev 6:10 and here it looks forward. ii. Does injustice to the chiastic structure of the book when viewed as 1844 judgment 1. Also makes the seals come after the 1844 judgment, which would make some modern day Adventist Futurists happy. 3) The Right to Rule: The Scroll

Revelation Structure

a. When Jesus takes the scroll, He exercises His right to rule i. Search for who can open the scroll: Rev. 5:2-7 1. Transfer of the kingdom (see Dan. 7: 13-14). a. New song, Rev. 5:9,10 ii. Because of this, worship now extends to the lamb as noted earlier. (vs. `12 and end of 13). b. Like the seven sealed scroll of Roman culture: when the seals are broken and the scroll unrolled, it is then read in front of the witnesses and then executed. i. Puts us at the beginning of the church age where Christ takes His rightful place ii. The contents that were once sealed, are now opened, verifies the gospel and authenticates the right for Jesus to rule. 4) The Saints Overcoming (chapter 6 & 8:1) a. The opening of the seals is the saints overcoming during the church age. i. The Four horsemen 1. Seal 1: White Horse 2. Seal 2: Red Horse 3. Seal 3: Black Horse 4. Seal 4: Pale Horse ii. The last seals 1. Seal 5: Saints under the altar 2. Seal 6: The second coming: Who is able to stand? a. Asked by Joel 2:11; Nahum 1:6; Malachi 3:2. i. Based on true repentance: Joel 2:12-27; Nah. 1:7; Mal. 3:3-4. b. Followed by the interlude of chapter 7: the 144,000 3. Seal 7: Silence in Heaven a. We are to keep silent while God acts-Zeph 1:7 b. God is silent after He acts, because it has been said/done. i. Isa. 62:1; 65:6,7; Ps. 50:3-6 ii. 4Ezra 7:30 And the world should be turned back to primeval silence for seven days, as it was at the first beginning; so that no one shall be left. And after seven days the world, which is not yet awake, shall be roused, 5) The Saints have Overcome (chapter 7) a. Who are the 144,000? i. The army of God, sealed. ii. Only the sealed are saved in the end. iii. Not a group to evangelize the great multitude 1. Though they are to give the Three angels messages of Rev. 14 b. Their relation to the great multitude i. John heard the number, but saw the great multitude 1. See Rev. 1:9 and Rev. 5:4,5 for the literary device John uses c. Standing before the throne. Vs. 9 d. Those who came out of great tribulation. Vs. 14 and therefore can stand before the throne, vs. 15. i. And He who sits on the throne shall spread His tabernacle over them vs. 15. ii. The promise is consummated in the kingdom promise and blessings in the last verses, for the Lamb in the center of the throne shall be their shepherd and shall guide them to springs of the water of life; iii. Remember, that overcoming is living by faith, not works. The work of Christ condemning sin in the flesh is what the law couldnt do, we being found weak.

Revelation Structure

His righteousness is fulfilled in those who believe in what Jesus did because we couldnt do it see on Rom. 8:3

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- - - - - - - - - - Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the lamb. (Rev. 7:10)

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For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. (Rev. 7:15 NASB)

III. The Seals (Rev. 6)


1) The Four Horses a. Seal One: The White Horse (Rev. 6:1-2) i. The Gospel to the World, winning and conquering hearts for the kingdom b. Seal Two: The Red Horse (Rev. 6:3-4) i. The resistance to the Gospel, in that they (Church) slay one another. c. Seal Three: The Black Horse (Rev. 6:5-6) i. Famine for the word of God d. Seal Four: The Pale Horse (Rev. 6:7-8) i. Persecution of the Church to those holding to the Gospel ii. The four sore judgments: type in OT language 1. Sword 2. Famine 3. Pestilence 4. Beasts 2) The Last Three Seals: Pleas and judgment a. Seal Five: Saints under the altar (Rev. 6:9-11) i. Cry of the martyrs, How Long O Lord?!. . until you judge? ii. Looks back to the four horsemen and looks foreword to the seven trumpets, (judgments tempered with mercy) b. Seal Six: The Signs in the Heavens and the Earth (Rev. 6:12-17) i. Signs in the heavens and the earth ii. Those who did not know Christ hid from the face of one sitting on the throne and from the wrath of the lamb. iii. The seal is in an inverse parallelism and does not project two different earthquakes, one local and one cosmic.

A There was a great earthquake. B Sun, moon, and stars malfunction. B1 The Sky receded like a scroll rolling up. 1 A Every mountain and island was removed.
iv. Who is able to stand? answered in chapter 7 by the 144,000 c. Seal Seven: Silence in Heaven (Rev. 8:1) i. There remains no more to be said, it is finished. The calm after the storm

III The 144,000 (Rev. 7)-who are able to stand


1) The Four angels at the four corners of the earth and the sealing angel (Rev 7:1-3) 2) The 144,000 sealed (Rev 7:4-8) a. I heard the number

Revelation Structure

b. The army of God; 12,000 from each tribe of Israel 3) The Great Multitude (Rev 7:9-17) a. I looked and beheld b. The people of God, unable to be numbered and multi-ethnic i. The saints, having overcome, are before the throne (v.15) 1. and the One sitting on the throne will tabernacle over them. 2.

The Saints are Delivered: Part 1-Answered Prayer


The Seven Trumpets [8:2-11:19] I-Introduction to the Seven Trumpets, (Rev 8:2-5). 1. Seven Angels stood before the throne to receive seven trumpets, (Rev. 8:2). a. They are to announce a new series of woes being sent on the earth. 2. The offering of Incense. a. John sees an angel take coals from the brazen altar and mix it with incense and put it into a golden censer mingled with the prayers of the saints. b. He offers it at the altar of incense. i. Based on the Hebrew temple, a special service that announces the end of the daily (tamid) service by the blowing of trumpets. ii. After the lamb was sacrificed, and its blood was poured out at the base of the brazen altar, the priest would then take the golden censer into the Holy place before the altar of burnt incense and offer it. The people were waiting quietly in prayer in the court. At the moment the priest came out to bless the people, the seven priests blew their trumpets, marking the end of the daily sacrifices. 1. 1 Chron. 15:24 for seven priests with seven trumpets 3. Coals from off the Brazen altar, mixed with incense, thrown into the earth. a. Then he throws it into the earth, where thunder and voices and flashes of lightning and an earthquake follow. (Rev. 8:5). b. The Trumpets are the response of God to the suffering saints and an answer to their prayers (Rev. 6:9-10; the saints under the altar in the 5th seal). i. The trumpets are for those who dwell on the earth (Rev. 8:5) which links them to the prayers of the saints. ii. The text indicates that even though catastrophic in nature, the seven trumpets are not natural calamities and disasters. They are rather a manifestation of the presence and reality of Almighty God in history. They reveal Gods reaction to the injustice and harm being done to his people.2 1. They are directed against those who do not have the seal of God upon their foreheads, (Rev. 9:4). 2. Those who have rejected God and His gospel, and remain enemies, receive the foretaste of the judgment of Rev. 16 and 20. iii. The trumpets are not retributive. They have a twofold reason: 1. Intended to bring repentance

Ranko Stefanovic, Revelation of Jesus Christ, 1st Edition, (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 2002), page 277.

Revelation Structure

2. Intended as a divine warning that time is running out for repentance. a. It is their failure to repent (Rev. 9:20-21) that makes the pouring out of the seven bowls inevitable.

V. The First Six Trumpets, (Rev. 8:6 - 9:21).


1. The Angels prepare to blow their trumpets, (Rev. 8:6). a. The angels with trumpets in 1 Chron. 15:24, but may be based on traditional view as found in the pseudepigraphical book of 1 Enoch. b. Trumpets in Time i. Follows the sacrifice of the cross, where both grace and judgment are offered. ii. Both throne room (Rev 4 & 5) and Altar of Incense scenes (Rev. 8:2-5) are progressive. They start at the beginning of the Christian era, but are not finished before we read of the opening of the seals and blowing of the trumpets, respectively. iii. They follow an arranged parallelism. 1. Both are in groups of four and three 2. The first four differ from the last three in form and weight a. The first four seals are the horsemen; the last three trumpets are the three woes. 3. The seventh seal and trumpet refer to the time before the execution of the final judgment. c. Trumpets in the Bible i. Sounding for battle (Judg. 3:27; 6:34; Jer. 51:27). ii. Announce a coronation of a king (2 Sam. 15:10; 1 Kings 1:34, 39; 2 Kings 9:13; 11:14). iii. A call for gathering the holy assembly. (Num. 10:2-7; 1 Sam. 13:3-4; Neh. 4:20; Joel 2:15-16). iv. Warning of approaching danger, (Jer. 4:5, 19-21; 6:1-17; Ezek. 33:3-6; Amos 3:6). v. Used in most cases for temple liturgy and holy wars (Lev. 25:9; Num. 10:9-10; Josh. 6:4-20). vi. Also to organize the Lords army on tour of duty, (Num. 31:6; 2 Chron. 13:1215; 29:26-28; Ezra 3:10). vii. The key text for the meaning of the trumpets is Numbers 10:8-10. 1. And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets; and they shall be to you for an ordinance for ever throughout your generations. And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies. Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I [am] the LORD your God. a. Trumpets used a call on God to remember them, or provided Israel with the assurance that God had remembered them. (2 Chron. 13:14-15) d. Symbolizes the intervention of God in history

Revelation Structure

i. The giving of the law at Sinai: the Israelites experienced thunder and lightning, a thick cloud on the mountain, and a very loud trumpet sound. (Ex. 19:16; 20:18). ii. An integral part of the Day of the Lord: gather the scattered (Isa. 27:13); announce the coming Day of the Lord (Joel 2:1; Zeph. 1:16). Paul spoke of the last day when the trumpet will sound (1 Thess. 4:16-17). iii. In other words, the blowing of the seven trumpets is a series of interventions by God in response to the prayers of his people.3 2. The First Four Trumpets a. The First Trumpet (Rev. 8:7) i. Hail & Fire mixed with blood 1. See seventh plague of Egypt (Ex. 9:23-25) 2. Ezek. 38:22-23, in prophecy against Gog 3. Though hail (Isa 30:30; Ezek. 13:11-13) or fire (Ps 80:14-16; Jer. 21:1214), were sometimes used against Israel as judgment from God, Hail mixed with fire was only used as judgment against the enemies of Gods people. (Ps. 18:12-14; Isa. 10:16-19; 30:30; Ezek. 38:22-23). ii. Third of the earth and third of the trees 1. In the prophecies of Zech. and Ezek., against apostate Israel effect 1/3. 2. The Four horsemen of the Seals and 4 angels of 7:1 effect of the earth. 3. The Dragons tail of Rev 12:4 sweeps 1/3 of the stars, and symbolic Babylon of 16:19 is split into three parts. 4. This use of 1/3 would be appropriate to say 1/3 of Satans kingdom is affected by the divine judgments of the trumpet plagues. iii. trees, and all grass burned up 1. These are symbols used often to as Gods covenant people. (Trees: Ps 1:3; 52:8; 92:12-14; Isa 61:3; Jer. 11:15-17; 17:7-8), (Grass: Ps. 72:6; Isa 40:6-8; 44:2-4). iv. The first trumpet portrays the consequences visited upon those who rejected and crucified Jesus and opposed the gospel.4 b. The Second Trumpet (Rev. 8:8-9) i. A great mountain burning with fire 1. Often mountains represents kings/empires. Mountains always in prophecy representing nations are always objects of Gods judgment, never the agents. ii. Cast into the sea 1. Ancient Babylon is judged as a destroying mountain and sinks into the sea. (Jer. 51: 25a, 63-64). iii. Third of creatures died, third of ships destroyed 1. See first trumpet. This brings to mind the first Egyptian plague. iv. Babylon is the cryptic name for Rome at the time John wrote this, also the name for the enemy of Gods people. (1 Pt. 5:13; Rev. 17:18). Here, in order of time, is the destruction of the Roman Empire, both social and economic. c. The third Trumpet (Rev. 8:10-11) i. Great Star, burning like a torch. 1. Angels are often symbolized as stars-both good and demonic ii. Rivers, springs and waters

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IBID. IBID, page 289

Revelation Structure

1. Symbols for spiritual nourishment. (Isa 12:3; Prov. 13:14; Jer. 2:13; Ps. 1:3; and Jesus in John 7:38-39). iii. A third (see notes on first trumpet) iv. Wormwood 1. From the Greek apsinthos, a herb in the Middle East noted for its bitterness. (Deut. 29:17-18). 2. Not poisonous, but the effects were associated with it. (Deut. 29:18; Jer. 9:15; Amos 6:12). 3. In Jer., because of the people rejecting God, He threatened to give them wormwood to drink (Jer. 9:13-15; cf. 8:14). 4. An OT symbol for divine punishment for apostasy, as well as of suffering and sorrow. v. This trumpet blows after the fall of the Roman Empire, during the Dark Middle Ages. Spiritual decline and apostasy was the result when the church departed from the gospel and replaced it with tradition and dogma. d. The Fourth Trumpet (Rev. 8:12) i. A third (see first trumpet) ii. Became darkened (third of the sun, moon and stars) 1. Rooted in creation when God created the heavenly bodies to give light. 2. Darkening of the heavenly bodies is consistent with the judgment of God (Ezek. 32:7-8; Isa. 13:10; Amos 5:18; Joel 2:2, 10; 3:15; spoken of by Jesus, Matt. 24:29; Mark 13:24-25). The opposite is a token of Gods favor (Isa. 30:36) a. Jesus is the true light (John 1:9). Note that John here roots the coming light of Jesus with the creation story also (In the beginning was the word Jn 1:1). iii. This trumpet is understood as the darkening of spiritual sources of the true light, namely the Bible gospel. 3. The Three Woes (Rev. 8:13) a. The first four trumpets are in pairs. i. The first two (against the Jewish nation and Rome) are against those who crucified Christ. The second two deal with apostate Christianity. ii. Divine warnings that precede the woes for those who dwell on the earth. A term used for unbelievers. 1. The vulture (eagle) was a sign of impending judgment (Hab. 1:8; Ezek. 32:4; 39:17; Hos. 8:1). 2. woe, woe, woe: the first of seven times used in Revelation, which corresponds to the seven beatitudes of the book. a. The next three judgments are an intensification of judgment and mercy-the last chance for those who dwell on the earth to repent. b. The fifth Trumpet (Rev. 9:1-12) i. A fallen Star-perfect tense. Fell before the 5th trumpet blows. (see 3rd trumpet) ii. Was given the key to the abyss. 1. See Luke 8:31, cf. Rev 1:18 2. He is the angel of the abyss. (Isa. 14:12; Lk 10:18; Rev 12:7-10) iii. Smoke from the abyss. See smoke of Sodom and Gomorrah, Gen 19:28. 1. Darkens the earth. Fourth trumpet darkens the earth, this one becomes total. (Ex. 10:22-23). iv. The Locusts (9:3) come out the abyss and torments those who reject the gospel, but doesnt kill them. Does it for 5 months.

Revelation Structure

1. See locusts of Joel 2:2-10, and locusts plague of Ex 10:15. 2. Like horses prepared for battle with human faces and hair like a women, teeth like a lion, and wearing crowns of gold. a. Reminiscent of Joels prophecy about the invasion of the day of the Lord. b. They wore breastplates and the noise of their wings dounded like battle chariots (Joel 2:2-5). c. The enemy of Gods people came from East, beyond the Euphrates. From the 6th century B.C., they were the Persians, who also wore breastplates and had long hair. 3. Doesnt hurt the grass or green tree, the sealed people of God (cf. Lk 10:17-20). Only those who have not the seal of God, (cf. Rev. 9:10). a. Not a physical, but spiritual and mental, even to suicidal anguish. (Rev. 9:6; cf. 8:3). 4. Five months a. Reference to the 5 months of the flood. (Gen. 7:24; 8: 3). b. Problems with using year/day principle or just referring to the five month life span of the locust. 5. Tails like scorpions and stings, and authority in their tails (9:3). a. The tail is a symbol of deception by means of persuasion which Satan uses to mislead human beings to rebel against God and follow him (cf. Rev. 12:4).5 6. The angel Abaddon, and Apollyon\ a. The names mean destroyer, and refers to the head of the abyss. The king over the demonic locusts is Satan. Paul calls him the prince of the air (Eph 2:2). i. His followers are the destroyers of the earth, who themselves will be destroyed by the seventh trumpet. ii. The sixth trumpet is the organization for the most decisive battle against God and his people in history v. The fifth trumpet is the spiritual condition in the secular world and the consequences of such conditions from the eighteenth century to our time. 1. Result of living by mans philosophy while living apart from God. Warns against any religion apart from God. a. Religion based on emotions b. New Age movements c. Growing activity of Islam 2. When Israel chose a life of sin and turned justice into poison and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood, God sent locusts upon their land. (Amos 6:12). 3. Whatever a man sows, this will he also reap. (Gal. 6:7). 4. The first woe is past, two more yet to come. (Rev. 9:12). The wicked are to suffer more dreadful sufferings. c. The Sixth Trumpet (Rev. 9:13-19) i. The golden altar which is before God (v. 13) 1. The altar of incense mentioned in Rev 8:3-4
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Stefanovic, page 305

Revelation Structure

a. It is before God (cf. Ex 30:6) ii. The great river Euphrates (v. 14) 1. Called the great river (Gen 15:18; Deut. 1:7; Josh 1:4) stood as a boundary between Gods people from their enemies. (see also Isa 8:87-8; Jer 46:10 and Isa 7:10) 2. Also, eastern boundary of the Roman Empire, the way of the Parthian empire. Rome lost three major battles against the Parthian armies in 53 & 35 BC, and 62 AD. (see Ezek 38-39 as applied to Gog) a. John didnt see the Romans or the Parthians as literal fulfillment anymore than the 200 million horsemen, but rather a demonic force from the river (contrast to the abyss of the locusts). John utilizes the Ezekiel prophecy against Gog and Romes anxiety of Parthian invasion. 3. Four angels a. The same as the angles in Rev. 7:1-3. Demonic angels let loose and seen as the horsemen going forth. iii. The four angels were released (v. 15) 1. Passive form used here, functions as the divine passive (see on 9:1) iv. Horsemen (v. 16) 1. Suggests they are the same as the locusts of the fifth trumpet. See Stefanovic, page 309. 2. Two hundred million a. Symbolic for the demonic army in contrast to the 144,000 army (sealed saints) of God of Revelation 7. v. prepared for the hour and day and month and year 1. Sixth trumpet ends at the appointed time6 2. It is God who allows this act, he releases the demons at the river (see v. 15) a. This has already begun with the fifth trumpet in the restraining of the locusts that can only harm, but not kill. 3. Before the moment arrives, God removes the protection and restraints (cf. 2 Thess. 2:5-8). a. Explore Aug 11, 1840 date of Millerite movement predicted by Josiah Litch and propagated in U. Smiths book on Daniel and Revelation.

Chiasm of Rev. 9:17b-18 A from their mouths B were coming out C fire and smoke and sulphur D From these three plagues were killed the third part of humankind C from the fire and the smoke and the sulphur B Coming out A from their mouths

Roy C. Naden, The Lamb Among the Beasts, (Hagerstown, M D: Review and Herald-1996), page 152.

Revelation Structure

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vi. Fire and smoke and sulphur ((vs. 17-18) 1. Linked with judgment. Gen 19:24,28: Sodom and Gomorrah 2. Elements used for punishing the wicked (Ps 11:6; Isa. 34:9-10; Exe. 38:22). 3. Rev 14:10-11, receivers of the mark of the beast will be tormented by the same things these three plagues vii. Mouths (v.19) 1. People are killed by the fire and smoke coming out the mouths of the horses. a. Mouth is a symbol in Rev. of a mighty weapon in the spiritual battle between good and evil. i. Note: Rev 1:16, a two edged sword is coming from the mouth of Christ. ii. The two witnesses and fire out of their mouths to destroy those who would harm them (11:5) iii. Dragon sends water out of his mouth (12:15) iv. See also blasphemies of the sea Beast of Rev 13:6 and spirits like frogs in 16:13-14. 4. No Repentance (Rev. 9:20-21) a. This is clearly the time of the end and the preparation for the battle of Armageddon. i. Intercession ends because the wicked will not repent. This triggers the final the final gathering for the battle. ii. The last proclamation of the everlasting gospel is described in the interlude of chapters 10 and 11 and portrayed in the three angels messages of Rev. 14:6-12. b. Those who have rejected the blood of the atonement and the incense of Jesus righteousness have no protection against the doctrines of devils. c. The last thing now is the full wrath of God poured out without mercy. The seven last bowl plagues of Rev. 15 and 16 and the final confrontation of Armageddon in 16:16.

VI. The Open Little Scroll (Rev. 10:1-11)


1. The Strong Angel (10:1-7) a. The great gathering for the battle of Armageddon has begun, but our attention shifts to a very different scene. A description of a strong angel coming down from heaven. b. Another strong angel seems to correspond to the angel in Rev. 5:2: both strong and both associated with a scroll. i. Called another, hence not one of the seven angels that blew the trumpets ii. The angel sent by God functions as in authority of God (cf. Gen 31:11-13; Ex. 3:2-6; Judg. 13:6; 21-22) iii. In some details parallels the glorified Christ in Rev. 1:13-157 1. Another strong angel coming down from heaven 2. Clothed in a cloud 3. Rainbow 4. Face was like the sun 5. Feet like pillars of fire c. The little scroll-note that this scroll was little and open in contrast to the scroll in chapter 5, which was large, closed and sealed.

Stefanovic, page318; believes this angel is not Christ himself, but one commissioned by Christ to act as Christ. Reference the angel in Rev. 22:6-16 who articulates the words of Jesus.

Revelation Structure

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i. Some research suggests this scroll is the opened scroll of chapter 5. Others, that it is a portion of the opening sealed scroll of chapter 5. (cf. Isa. 8:16; 29:9-14; Dan. 12:4, 9). ii. This scroll is related to the angel with the open scroll in Dan 12. It is not limited to Daniel because its contents are broader than that of that of the sealed portions. Revelation 12-22 is the disclosure of this open scrolls contents. d. The opening of the scroll is in the perfect passive participle which indicates the little scroll was opened at some previous time. The passive form here likely functions as the divine passive (cf. 9:1). e. The seven thunders-one of the most mysterious in the book. The background to it seems to be Psalms 29. i. Later Jewish tradition held the voice of Yahweh on Sinai was heard as seven thunders 8 ii. When God speaks, He is often heard as thunder (Job 26:14; 37:5; Ps. 18:13; cf. 1 Sam. 7:10; John 12:28-29). 1. In Johns gospel, note especially John 12:30-31, where the judgment of the world and the expulsion of its ruler, Satan, are proclaimed. 2. Note also that the number symbolically shows completeness. f. There will no longer be time- or there shall be time no longer (KJV). Most scholars understand this to mean no more delay, but better is, time is up, or no more time. i. Better understood in light of Dan. 12:4-9. Until the time of the end. ii. Daniel was told that the end would come when the prophesied time was completed. 1. EGW notes from here that after 1842 to 1844, there can be no definite tracing of prophetic time. The longest reckoning reaches to the autumn of 1844.9 g. The mystery of God-Symbolically portrayed in the sealed scroll of Rev. 5. The sounding of the seventh trumpet declares that the mystery of God is finished. (cf. Rev 20:11-15, the opening of the book of destiny at the end-time judgment reveals all and brings history of this planet to its foreordained conclusion). i. See Paul (Rom 16:25-26; Eph 3:4-12; Col 1:26-27), shown in the gospel. ii. Regards Gods salvation of mankind, not just a particular people. The coming in of the Gentiles. The mystery of God is complete when salvation history is finished and the kingdom of God has all, Jew and Gentile, who claim the blood of Jesus. 1. The mystery referred to here is regarding the gospel of the kingdom; the term in the New Testament refers to all of Gods purposes in the world, his plan of redemption, and his dealings with the sin problem. This mystery has puzzled all creatures in the universe, and was presented in the symbolic portrayal of the sealed scroll in Revelation 5. 10 Commission to prophesy concerning the nations (10:8-11) a. Sweet like honey in my mouth; and my stomach was made bitter. (10:10) i. Similar experiences by Jeremiah and Ezekiel. (Jer 15:16; Eze 2:10-3:3) ii. A God-given message to be given to a unresponsive people. The bitter effect is the disappointment that the prophet experienced in giving the message.

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Aune, Rev. 6-16, 560. Ellen White, 7SDABC, 971. 10 Stefanovic, page 325.

Revelation Structure

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1. The gospel is good news, but often brings disappointment because of those who reject it. b. Concerning many people (10:11) i. This message concerns the nations, not just the people of God ii. Before the end comes, there is a final proclamation of the gospel (Rev 14:6-12; Matt 24:14). iii. Rev 11:1-14 gives us the clue to what is going on in Revelation 10. 1. Rev 11:1-2 provides a clue to the content of the final gospel message that is to be prophesied to all nations before the sounding of the seventh trumpet. It is the message of the restoration of the heavenly temple and its services in the context of judgment.11 c. Peoples and nations and tongues and kings. i. Reminiscent of the book of Daniel (3:4, 7, 29; 4:1; 5:19;6:25; 7:14) ii. Mentioned several time in Revelation (5:9; 7:9; 11:9; 13:7;14:6; 17:15) iii. Between the close of Daniels prophecies and the second coming, this final preaching of the gospel must go foreword to those who dwell on the earth. (Rev 14:6-12).

Revelation 1:1-3: Chain of Transmission in 4-10


Jesus receives the message from God-Chapter 5 Jesus discloses the message to John through the angel-10:1-10 Finally, John communicates the message he receives to the churches-10:11 The contents of which is found in Rev. 12-22:5
iv. The chain of transmission of the divine revelation from God through John to the church has been concluded. The rest of the book is that message.

VII. The Two Witnesses (Rev. 11:1-14)


1. Measuring the Temple (11:1-2) a. John called to measure the Temple, not the court i. Court given over to the Gentiles for 42 months. (Dan. 7:7, 19, 23; Rev 13:1-10 is key to understanding the trampling of the holy city by the Gentiles. 1. Jerusalem trampled underfoot until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled, Luke 21:24, linked to Rev. 11:2. ii. Ezek. 40:1-4; In Ezek 40-48, judgment (Measuring) in relation to three things: 1. The Temple Ezek. 40:3-43:12) 2. The Altar of sacrifice (43:23-27) 3. The People (44-48:35)-included the priests in the earthly Temple iii. Same time as the two witnesses and women in the wilderness in Chpt 13. b. Reed-measuring device. Judgment, cf. 2 Sam 8:2 (David measures Moab) i. Judgment First measuring of the Temple (People of God) was the Day of Atonement. ii. D.O.A. also came with a promise to restore the people 1. Rev. 11:1 linked to the sealing of Gods people in Rev. 7:1-4 a. Only those who are saved are measured-Their prayers offered on the golden altar Rev 8:3-4. b. Who are raised to set with Christ in heavenly places Eph 2:6
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c. They are a kingdom of priests Rev 5:10, cf. 1:6. 2. Those not afflicting themselves are to be cut off-a distinct line is to be drawn based on worship. This issue is outlined in Rev 13 & 14. iii. Based on the Message (Ezek. 40:1-4)-Judgment is based on terms of the message, which is the gospel 2. The Two Witnesses (11:3-14) builds on Rev. 10:8-11; the eating of the little scroll and giving of the message. a. My two witnesses-Moses and Elijah. i. If anyone wants to harm them, fire comes out of their mouths. Cf. Elijah 2 Kings 1:9-14; and 1 Kings 17:1 (see also Rev 13:13) 1. Also have authority over waters to turn them to blood and strike the earth with all matter of plagues. See the plagues in Egypt, initiated by Moses (Ex. 7-11). ii. The word of God (Moses, the Torah and Elijah, the Prophets) 1. By two witnesses, (cf. Deut. 19:15; cf. Num. 35:30; Deut. 17:6; Heb. 10:28. Also cf. Matt 18:16; 2 Cor. 13:1; 1 Tim. 5:19) 2. From the verses we looked at, we could also say that the two witnesses represent the people of God. a. They may also represent the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus. This is the identity of the message and the people of God who hold to these, cf. Rev. 12:17 and the remnant i. These two ideas should not be exclusive. (4T, 594-595). b. The Two Olive trees and two lampstands i. Reference from Zech. 4. 1. The two olive trees (the anointed ones) here represent Joshua and Zerubbabel who restored the temple in Jerusalem 2. When they complete their witness, vs. 7. Refers to the 1260. c. The abyss-the beast coming up from i. After the 1260days/42mths, and identified with beast coming out of the sea in Rev. 13:1-10. We are linked also to the beast and his work in Dan 7:21. 1. Same period designated to the Gentiles to trample and oppress Gods people. (cf. Rev. 11:2; 12:6, 14; 13:6). ii. In verse 3, and I will commission my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days clothed in sackcloth. 1. Rev. 10:11; commissioned to prophesy again concerning many nations. 2. Rev 11:3-14; this was given to John to extend to the church...the gospel. a. The contents of the little scroll is Rev. 12-22:5 3. Linked with Acts 1:8, you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth. d. 3 days their dead bodies laid in the streets. i. After the 3 days, the beast from the pit will make war on them and kill them. 1. Lay in the streets of Sodom and Egypt, and also where their Lord was crucified. These are the rejecters of Gods gospel, even by those who profess Christianity. ii. As Gods people were delivered from their enemies in Est. 9:22, the wicked, by killing the two witnesses (the word of God) are delivered from Gods word and reminder of their great need. Note, as in Esther, they also gave gifts and made a

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holiday of it. The word of God always brings torment to those who hear the Word without surrendering to it.12 1. Identified as the people and tribes and tongues and nations who are those who dwell on the earth. Note relation to first angels message in Rev. 14:6-7. 2. Rejection of the gospel here is not unlike a. King Ahab (1 Kings 18:17; 2 Kings 21:20) who claimed Elijah troubled Israel b. Ahab hated Micah because he didnt prophesy good concerning him, but evil (1Kings 22:8, 18). c. Felix refused to hear Paul (Acts 26:25). d. Jesus said to His disciples, You will be hated by all on account of My name (Mark 13:13). 3. The breath of life from God entered them. Breath of life here references Gen. 2:7. God brings them back to life. a. (Cf. Ezek. 37:1-10); The valley of dead bones for the restoration of Israel. b. Taken up to heaven, cf. Act 1:9 and the ascension of Jesus. e. And at the same hour there was a great earthquake i. This takes us full circle, back to the sixth seal (Rev. 6:13-14). ii. Causes 1/10 of the city to perishabout 7,000. Its total destruction occurs in Rev. 18. 1. Reminds us of the 7,000 who remained faithful in Israel (1 Kings 19:18). 2. The rest of the people who survived the earthquake became afraid and gave glory to the God of Heaven. Cf. Rev. 14:7, fear god and give glory. a. Rev. 11 is the proclamation of the gospel. Which is the three angels of Rev 14:6-12. 3. The second woe has passed; behold, the third woe is coming quickly.

VIII. The Seventh Trumpet (Rev. 11:15-18)


1. There will be time no longer-the seventh trumpet is understood beginning with Rev. 10:5-7, the mighty angel. a. The gospel proclamation will completed at the sounding of the seventh trumpet. b. The mystery of God is finished. i. Rom 16:25-26; Col. 1:26-28; Eph 3:9-11). c. The kingdom of this world has now become the kingdom of our Lord and His Christ. d. At this time the nations were enraged (see Ps 2:2) and your wrath came time to judge the dead. Note that this takes place at the second coming. i. Destroyers of the earth is not a reference to ecology, but to sin. See the Antediluvians in Gen 6: 12-14. ii. Babylon in Jer. 51:25 destroys the whole earth. iii. This will climax with the battle of Armageddon (Rev 16:16) e. The Hymn of thanksgiving by the 24 elders praises God who is and who was, but not who is coming because He is already here. Its not in the future anymore. f. Jesus has come, and has taken His great power and begun to reign. 2. The dual-directional introduction to the next section (Rev. 11:19)
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a. The story ends with the opening of the temple of God in heaven showing the ark. i. The ark of covenant is the reminder of Gods protection over His covenant people. Looking back over the trumpets, we see God protecting His people, while we also look forward to the next section (Rev. 12-14) which declares Gods faithfulness to His end-time church. b. The story picks up after the middle climatic section (Rev. 11:19 Rev. 14), in Rev. 15:1ff where the seventh trumpet is unfolded into the seven bowl plagues.

Four Major Approaches


Interpreting Bible Prophecy 1) Preterits a. Luis de Alcasar 1614 2) Futurist a. Francisco Ribera 1592 i. All end-time prophecies meet there their fulfillment right at the end ii. Year-day principle is not valid iii. The Pope is not anti-Christ b. Dispensationalist i. All Dispensationalists are Futurists. Not all Futurists are Dispensationalists. ii. Secret Rapture and seven dispensations in which God gives man a test in which he must fail in order that Gods sovereignty may be revealed. 3) Historicist a. abbot Joachim of Floris 1190, though essentially used from the 3rd century b. The Bible prophecies unfold in history from the time of the prophet to the consummation. 4) Idealist a. A spiritual interpretation given to prophecy that is relevant today as present truth. This can be very different from what the prophecy meant years or centuries before, but does not invalidate it for those people at that time.

Bible Patterns
How God works through the Bible 1) God is Consistent a. Gods past actions foretell what he will do in the future. 2) God is not Predictable a. Gods later activity may carry out much of the pattern, but not necessarily all. 3) God is Creative a. God Himself grows as His people are able to handle it. 4) God meets people where they are a. God reveals Himself to people within their time, place and circumstances. 5) There is a spiritualization of the biblical type a. The language of Gods successive actions alters from literal to spiritual, or symbolic.

Bible Study
Study the Bible by beginning at the beginning

Exegesis What did the Author say?


Revelation Structure

Biblical Theology What did the Author mean?

Systematic Theology What does this mean to me?


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