The Revelation (53)

Tuesday, 24 July 2012 22:58

Pt. 39 - The First Trumpet

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Trumpet_1_-_Hail__Fire"Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them."

"The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down upon the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up." (Revelation 8:6-7)

Biblical Symbolism

Biblical prophecy is rich with symbolism that produces hidden meanings, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the text of the seven trumpets. What appears to be a series of literal events that will befall the earth are actually suggestive of something else entirely. When we consider the meanings behind these symbols that were associated with their prior biblical uses, it seems that they describe something far more sinister than mere natural disasters.
Tuesday, 10 July 2012 01:55

Pt. 38 - Silence in Heaven

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Seven_Trumpets_2When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake. (Revelation 8:1-5)

30 Minutes of Silence

This is yet another passage where Hebraic traditions, specifically those that occurred in the Temple, shed more light on what is happening at this point. This silence is not just out of respect for God, rather it reflects something that happened within the Temple during the morning and evening services to knock down the odor from thousands of animal sacrifices.
Saturday, 05 May 2012 22:16

Pt. 37 - Those in White Robes

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White_Robes_2After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”

All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: “Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!”

Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?” I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “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, “they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”  (Revelation 7:9-17)
Sunday, 08 April 2012 22:24

Pt. 36 - Four Winds & 144,000

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Four_WindsAfter this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree.

Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea:  “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.”

Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel. From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben 12,000, from the tribe of Gad 12,000, from the tribe of Asher 12,000, from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000, from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000, from the tribe of Simeon 12,000, from the tribe of Levi 12,000, from the tribe of Issachar 12,000, from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000, from the tribe of Joseph 12,000, from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000.  (Revelation 7:1-8)


Holding Back The Four Winds

On the surface it would appear that the four angels are merely holding back the four winds to prevent them from damaging anything on earth before the appointed time, and that is certainly part of the story. In fact, it‘s openly stated in the text that these angels will be “given power to harm the land and sea.” But first, God’s people will be "sealed" with a mark in the same way that they were sealed in Ezekiel 9:4 before Jerusalem was destroyed. 

When we examined the ‘seven seals’ in earlier posts we noted that the word for ‘seal’ denoted a signature rather than a physical seal, as with the signet ring wax seals that were used on Greek documents of the day.  That fact completely changed our understanding of what the seven seals of the Revelation are all about, since they actually described the seven signatories on Christ‘s ketubah. 
Friday, 16 March 2012 14:37

Pt. 35 - The Sky Receded Like A Scroll

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sky_scrolling_2The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”


“The Sky Receded Like A Scroll”

When the sixth seal judgment is spoken forth by Jesus, not only do the dramatic signs in the sun, moon and stars occur, but mankind will witness another event for the first time; heaven will finally be unveiled for all to see. This is what is meant by the sky “rolling up” like a scroll, because it will roll up to unveil God's throne and the presence of his Son at his right hand. For a world that denies the existence of God and/or his Son, this will be a game-changer. To echo the prophecies of Joel and Peter that were referenced in the last post, it will be a glorious day for God's elect. But for those in opposition to Yahweh, it will be dreadful.
Tuesday, 31 January 2012 01:13

Pt. 34 - The Moon to Blood

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Revelation_Seal_6The Sixth Seal in the Gospels

Each of the synoptic gospels address the seven seals of the Revelation in entirety under the heading ‘The Signs of The End of The Age.’ This account is included in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21, and each account describes the same period of "great distress" that will precede the celestial signs of the sixth seal. Each also identifies the sixth seal as the turning point that leads to the coming of the Lord to gather his saints.

Earlier posts in this series have shown how each of the seven seals of the Revelation are reflected in the gospel accounts, however in this instance our focus is on the sixth seal alone, because it holds the distinction of being the pre-cursor to the Lord’s return to the earth. So let’s take the book of Mark as today’s example with my emphasis added, and then additional commentary will follow;

“But in those days, following that distress (SEALS 1-5), ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky (SEAL 6), and the heavenly bodies will be shaken (SEAL 7; TRUMPETS 1-4).’ At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory (BEFORE 7TH TRUMPET). And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens (7th TRUMPET).” (Mark 13:24-27)
Saturday, 14 January 2012 03:12

Pt. 33 - The Sun, Moon and Stars

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Revelation_Seal_6-2“I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” (Revelation 6:12-17)

If you like biblical symbolism, it doesn’t get any thicker than this.  In fact, there is so much going on in this passage that we‘ll cover it in more than one post so that nothing is missed.  These events are far too important to gloss over because it’s quite possible that they are not that far off in our future.

When Jesus speaks forth the sixth seal judgment, nothing will ever be the same again, and that’s both good and bad depending on what you believe and who you believe in. This ketubah judgment represents a point of no return for mankind since God’s redemptive plan will now require the expulsion of Satan and his angels from heaven. This will begin the time of extraordinary terror on earth that Jesus warned of;

“There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.”  (Luke 21:25-26)
Thursday, 29 December 2011 20:30

Pt. 32 - Those in White Robes

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White_Robes_2“When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Then each of them were given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed.”  (Revelation 6:9-11)


Those in White Robes

When Jesus speaks forth the fifth seal or fifth ketubah provision, we get our first glimpse of the fallout from Seals 1-4 of the Revelation, because here we find countless Christians standing at the base of the altar in heaven, having been martyred for their faith by the Four Horsemen.

Some commentators teach that these are ‘left behind’ Christians that converted after witnessing a pre-tribulation rapture. However, the progressive revelation contained in scripture makes it quite clear that this is not the case, and that the rapture is still to come in Chapter 10. Instead, these are saints that will be martyred when the ‘beast’ empire runs amok during the upcoming ‘great tribulation’;

He gave me this explanation: ‘The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it.” (Daniel 7:23)
Monday, 24 October 2011 00:25

Pt. 31 - A Pale (Yarkon) Horse

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Pale_Horse"When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth." (Revelation 6:7-8)


The Pale ('Yarkon') Horse

In the Greek translations of Revelation, the word for ’pale’ is chloros, which is defined as greenish or yellowish, pale.  So it’s easy enough to see why English translations use the words greenish or pale in their description of this horse. Some also use ashen or putrid, which we'll discuss in a moment. In the end, the whole idea is to describe the colors inherent in death, because Death is the name of it’s rider.

This same basic reasoning is transmitted in the Hebrew New Testament, called the B’rit Chadashah, where the word for pale is yarkon. This is derived from the word Yarak, which means vegetable, from which the greenish color is implied. And as usual in Hebrew, an entire family of words is built around this root, such as the Yarkan, which is the greengrocer. But another member of this word family means putrid, mottled, sickly, rotting, or decaying.

Given all this, it’s interesting that there is a river in central Israel that bears the name of this horse, the Yarkon. And just as the yarkon horse in Revelation is synonymous with death, so the Yarkon river is synonymous with death.
Thursday, 29 September 2011 16:51

Pt. 30 - A Black Horse

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Four_Horsemen_-_Black'When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a day’s wages, and three quarts of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!”'

“Famine” is the name of this black horse rider, and so far in the Seven Seals we have been introduced to the natural progression of war. Consider that the white horse rider is the deceiver and conqueror that will appear in order to unite Islam against Israel and the West. He is followed by the red horse rider of Edom that will attack Israel and elevate the confrontation in the Middle East and the world. And now, the rider on the black horse will usher in the famine and pestilence that always accompanies wide-scale warfare.

Of course, the natural progression of war is not the entire story here, since this specific sequence has been prophesied in the pages of the Bible for thousands of years.  It is the embodiment of the ’birth pains’ spoken of by the prophets, and it is the same sequence revealed by Jesus in his Olivet Discourse; 

Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you (1st SEAL). Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars (2nd SEAL), do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines (3rd SEAL). These are the beginning of birth pains. (Mark 13:5-8)
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