Week #155; Wed, Dec 16: Revelation 4:1–14:20


Revelation 4:1; I. The Throne in Heaven

I. KEY TEXT (The Throne in Heaven): “After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.’” (4:1)
A. INFERENCE: “At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne.” (4:2) “The occupant of the Throne was no other than God Himself.” (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)
1. FINDINGS: “And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal.” (4:3-6)
2. CRITERIA: “And around 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 an eagle in flight. And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, ‘Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!’” (4:6-8)
3. CONDITION: “And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, ‘Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” (9-11)
4. CAUSE: “It appears that the statement ‘After this I looked, . . .’ (4:1) follows the ‘Vision of the Son of Man in the midst of the Seven Lamp-stands (1:9-20)’ and ‘the things which are messages to the seven churches (2:1-28 and 3:1-22).’ This chapter dwells on the things which are hereafter until chapter 19. So, chapter 4 begins a vision of the ‘Glorified Church’ with the Lord after it has been caught out (1 Thess. 4:13-17).” (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)
5. EFFECT: “Else we have no ‘prophetic view’ of the Church during that period, for she disappears from the earth at the close of chapter three, and is not seen again until she reappears with her Lord in chapter nineteen.” (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Retain this: that chapter 4 describes events after the ‘Rapture’ and includes the seven seals, trumpets, personages, vials, dooms, and new things hereafter.” (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)

Revelation 5:1; I. The Scroll and the Lamb

I. KEY TEXT (The Scroll and the Lamb): “Then 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?’” (5:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “And no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it.” (5:3)
1. FINDINGS: “And one of the elders said to me, ‘Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” (5:4)
2. CRITERIA: “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.” (5:5-6)
3. CONDITION: “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 golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.’” (5:7-10)
4. CAUSE: “Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders of 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 honor and glory and blessing!” (5:11-12)
5. EFFECT: “And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!’ And the four living creatures said, ‘Amen!’ and the elders fell down and worshiped.” (5:13-14)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Retain this, the portion of the Book from chapter three to the end of chapter nineteen is largely made up of symbols taken from the Old Testament, as the Tabernacle, Ark of the Covenant, Altar, Censer, Elders, Cherubim, Seals, Trumpets, Plagues, etc., is conclusive evidence that we are here back on Jewish ground, and that the Parenthetical Dispensation of the Church is complete, and that the last or ‘Seventieth Week’ of Daniel’s ‘Seventy Weeks’ is in course of fulfilment (a knowledge of Daniel is needed).” (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)

Revelation 6:1; I. The Seven Seals

I. KEY TEXT (The Seven Seals): “Now I watched when the Lamb (Jesus) opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, ‘Come!’ And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came 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 people 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 looked, and behold, a black horse! And its rider had a pair of scales 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, and do not harm the oil and wine! When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, ‘Come!’ And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority 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 you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on 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 brothers 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 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.” (6:1-13)
A. INFERENCE: “The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.” (6:14)
1. FINDINGS: “Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves 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 (God Himself) and from the wrath of the Lamb (Jesus), for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” (6:15-17)
2. CRITERIA: “This is the ‘Due Time,’ when the ‘Man’ Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ‘Ransom’ (on the Cross) for the redemption of the lost inheritance, will be testified to before the Throne of God, by redeeming mankind, angels, and every creature in Heaven and Earth, and under the Earth. 1 Timothy 2:5-66; Rev. 5:8-14.” (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)
3. CONDITION: “When the Lamb leaves the Throne to take the Book, His Mediatorial Work ceases, and His Redemptive Work begins.” (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)
4. CAUSE: “When our ‘Kinsman Redeemer’ is handed the ‘Book,’ the ‘Title Deed’ to the ‘Purchased Possession,’ He has the right to break its seals, and claim the ‘Inheritance,’ and dispossess the present claimant Satan.” (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)
5. EFFECT: “This He will immediately proceed to do, as He breaks the seals. Satan is not evicted at once. He contests the claim and it is only after a prolonged conflict that he is finally dispossessed and cast into the Lake of Fire.” (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Retain this, as the ‘Seals’ are broken, certain things happened. They doubtless were preliminary to the Lamb’s taking possession of the Purchased Possession. It is not until chapter 10:1-6, that Christ, as the ‘Mighty Angel,’ puts His right foot upon the sea, and His left foot on the earth, and cries–“There shall be time no longer,’ that is ‘No Longer Delay,’ that he takes formal possession, but as the claim is disputed further steps, as we shall see (chapter 7 pertains), are necessary to secure possession. Events recorded in Rev. 6:1 to Rev. 19:21, are connected with the last, or ‘Seventieth Week,” of Daniel’s ‘Seventy Weeks,’ and it is necessary that a review of the Book of Daniel be conducted if needed to facilitate greater understanding.” (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)

Revelation 7:1, I. The 144,000 of Israel Sealed; II. A Great Multitude from Every Nation

I. KEY TEXT (The 144,000 of Israel Sealed): “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.” (7:1)
A. INFERENCE: “Then I saw another angel ascending 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, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.’” (7:2-3)
1. FINDINGS: “And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel: 12,000 for the tribe of Judah were sealed, 12,000 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 were sealed.” (7:4-8) (Note that the tribes of Dan and Ephraim are not listed, but Joseph and Levi are listed. This is because the man, woman, or family, or tribe that introduces idolatry into Israel, should have their or its name ‘blotted out’ from under heaven, and be separated out of the Tribes of Israel. This is just what the Tribes of Dan and Ephraim were guilty of when they permitted Jeroboam to set up ‘Golden calves’ to be worshipped, one at Dan in the ‘Tribe of Dan, ‘ and the other at Bethel in the ‘Tribe of Ephraim.’ These tribes must pass through the Great Tribulation unprotected by sealing.) (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)
2. CRITERIA: “The definiteness of the number sealed indicates the perfectness and greatness of this first fruit sheaf of souls. If the first sheaf be so full and heavy, what will not the harvest be!” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Beyond human count in number; representing every country under heaven; spotless in character; victorious in their conflict with evil; ascribing all glory to the Lamb as the result of His travail of soul.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “In the figurative language of Scripture, the blowing of the four winds together, means a dreadful and general destruction. But the destruction is delayed. Seals were used to mark for each person his own possessions. This mark is the witness of the Holy Ghost, printed in the hearts of believers. And the Lord would not suffer his people to be afflicted before they were marked, that they might be prepared against all conflicts.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “And, observe, of those who are thus sealed by the Spirit, the seal must be on the forehead, plainly to be seen alike by friends and foes, but not by the believer himself, except as he looks steadfastly in the glass of God’s word. The number of those who were sealed, may be understood to stand for the remnant of people which God reserved. Though the church of God is but a little flock, in comparison with the wicked world, yet it is a society really large, and to be still more enlarged. Here the universal church is figured under the type of Israel.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Retain this, SIX of the seven Seals have been opened by the “Lamb,” who is likewise the “Lion of the tribe of Judah.” They have dealt, in brief but pregnant sentences, with the whole history of the Church and of the world throughout the Christian age. No details of history have indeed been spoken of, no particular wars, or famines, or pestilences, or slaughters, or preservations of the saints. Everything has been described in the most general terms. We have been invited to think only of the principles of the Divine government, but of these as the most sublime and, according to our own state of mind, the most alarming or the most consolatory principles that can engage the attention of men.” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (A Great Multitude from Every Nation): “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, 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 on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (7:9-10)
A. INFERENCE: “And all the angels were standing around the throne, and around 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 honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.’” (7:11-12)
1. FINDINGS: “Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, ‘Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?’ I said to him, ‘Sir, you know.’ And he said to me, ‘These are the ones coming 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 shelter them with his presence. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; 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.’” (7:13-17)
2. CRITERIA: “They are a vast multitude saved by the preaching of the ‘Gospel of the Kingdom (by the Jews).’ Those who are converted (and transformed) during the Tribulation period will be converted by the Holy Spirit. The Jews will be converted as a Nation in one day.” (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)
3. CONDITION: “The ‘Blood Washed Multitude’ appear to be Gentiles that could not serve in an earthly Jewish Temple; while the New Jerusalem is not heaven, there is a Temple in Heaven. (11:19; 15:5-8; and 16:1)” (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)
4. CAUSE: “They serve God day and night in the new ‘Millennial Temple’ on the earth because there is no day or night or Temple in Heaven. While that is true of the Holy City, New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:22-25), it is not true of Heaven, for they are not the same.” (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)
5. EFFECT: “The sight of this ‘Blood Washed Multitude’ will so thrill and rejoice the Angelic Hosts that they will fall upon their faces and worship God, saying, ‘Amen: Blessing, and Glory, and Wisdom, and Thanksgiving, and Honor, and Power, and Might, be unto our God forever and ever. Amen.” (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “To Him may all his people come; from him they receive every needed grace; and to him let them offer all praise and glory.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Revelation 8:1, I. The Seventh Seal and the Golden Censer; II. The Seven Trumpets

I. KEY TEXT (The Seventh Seal and the Golden Censer): “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.” (8:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, and the smoke of he incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel.” (8:3-4)
1. FINDINGS: “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, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.” (8:5)
2. CRITERIA: “The ‘Seventh Seal’ includes all that happens during the sounding of the ‘Trumpets,’ and the pouring out of the ‘Vials,’ and so extends down to the ushering in of the Millennium.” (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)
3. CONDITION: “The Lord Jesus is the High Priest of the church, having a golden censer, and much incense, fullness of merit in his own glorious person. Would that men studied to know the fullness that is in Christ, and endeavored to be acquainted with his excellency. Would that they were truly persuaded that Christ has such an office as that of Intercessor, which he now performs with deep sympathy.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “No prayers, thus recommended, was ever denied hearing and acceptance. These prayers, thus accepted in heaven, produced great changes upon earth.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The Christian worship and religion, pure and heavenly in its origin and nature, when sent down to earth and conflicting with the passions and worldly projects of sinful men, produced remarkable tumults, here set forth in prophetical language, as our Lord himself declared, Luke 12:49.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Pray on, believer, though your voice be feeble, and so much imperfection mingles with your efforts to serve God. The incense of Christ’s intercession is fragrant enough to make even you acceptable.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (The Seven Trumpets): “Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.” (8:6)
A. INFERENCE: “The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and all green grass was burned 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 springs of water. The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many people died from the water, because it had been 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 might be darkened, and a third of the day might be kept from shining, and likewise a third of the night.” (8:7-12)
1. FINDINGS: “Then I looked, and I heard an eagle crying with a loud voice as it flew directly overhead, “Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, at the blasts of the other trumpets that the three angels are about to blow!” (8:13)
2. CRITERIA: “There is no need to spiritualize this, It means just what it says. These things have happened before why not again (i.e., Egypt)?” (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)
3. CONDITION: “The difference between this Egyptian Plague, and the Plague of the First Trumpet, is that the situation will be reversed. The children of Israel escaped, now they will suffer. The Second Trumpet is on the sea (possibly the Mediterranean Sea) due to a meteor or volcanic activity. The Third Trumpet initiated the fall of a great burning star–Wormwood. The Fourth Trumpet is like the Sixth Seal. These are some of the ‘Signs” spoken of by Christ, in Luke’s Gospel, that shall precede His Second Coming. Luke 21:25-28” (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)
4. CAUSE: “The Judgments of Egypt were directed against Pharaoh, the Judgments of the Tribulation Period will be directed against Israel.” (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)
5. EFFECT: “In Egypt man and beast suffered with vegetation, while only the trees and the green grass will suffer when the First Trumpet sounds, and the hail and fire will be mingled with blood.” (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Believe literally; if God could make Balaam’s ‘ass’ to speak, He can use an ‘Eagle’ to announce a message.” (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)

Revelation 9:1, I. Trumpets–continued

I. KEY TEXT (Trumpets–continued): “And the Fifth Angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key to 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.” (9:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth.” (9:3)
1. FINDINGS: “They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree, but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were allowed to torment them for five months, but not to kill them, and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings someone. And in those days people will seek death and will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them.” (9:4-6)
2. CRITERIA: “In appearance the locusts were like horses prepared 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 lion’s teeth; they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the noise of their wings was like the noise of many chariots with horses rushing into battle. They have tails and stings like scorpions, and their power to hurt people for five months is in their tails.” (9:7-10)
3. CONDITION: “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 (destroyer). The first woe has passed; behold, two woes are still to come.” (9:11-12)
4. CAUSE: “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, who had been prepared for the hour, the day, the month, and the year, were release to kill a third of mankind.” (9:13-16)
5. EFFECT: “The number of mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand; I heard their number. And this is how I saw the horses in my vision and those who rode them: they wore breastplates the color of fire and of sapphire and of sulfur, and the heads of the horses were like lions’ heads, and fire and smoke and sulfur came out of their mouths. By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed, by the fire and smoke and sulfur coming out of their mouths. For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails, for 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 see or hear or walk, nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.” (9:17-21)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “A 200,000,000 army is a supernatural army that is part of Satan’s force.” (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)

Revelation 10:1, I. The Angel and the Little Scroll

I. KEY TEXT (The Angel and the Little Scroll): “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.” (10:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “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.’” (10:4)
1. FINDINGS: “And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven and swore by him who lives forever 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 would be no more delay, but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.” (10:5-7)
2. CRITERIA: “Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, ‘Go, take the scroll that is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.’” (10:8)
3. CONDITION: “So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll. And he said to me, ‘Take and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.’” (10:9)
4. CAUSE: “And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it.” (10:10)
5. EFFECT: “It was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter. As I was told, ‘You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and languages and kings.’” (10:10-11)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Most men feel pleasure in looking into future events, and all good men like to receive a word from God. But when this book of prophecy was thoroughly digested by the apostle, the contents would be bitter; there were things so awful and terrible, such grievous persecutions of the people of God, such desolations in the earth, that the foresight and foreknowledge of them would be painful to his mind. Let us seek to be taught by Christ, and to obey his orders; daily meditating on his word, that it may nourish our souls; and then declaring it according to our several stations.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Revelation:11:1, I. The Two Witnesses II. The Seventh Trumpet

I. KEY TEXT (The Two Witnesses): “Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, ‘Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months (3 1/2 years). And I will grant authority to my two witnesses and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” (11:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. And if anyone would harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes. If anyone would harm them, this is how he is doomed to be killed.” (11:4-5)
1. FINDINGS: “They have the power to shut the sky, that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying, and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague, as often as they desire.” (11:6)
2. CRITERIA: “And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that rises from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them, and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city that symbolically is called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified.” (11:8)
3. CONDITION: “For three and a half days some from the peoples and the tribes and languages and nations will gaze at their dead bodies and refuse to let them be placed in a tomb, and those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry and exchange presents, because these two prophets had been a torment to those who dwell on the earth. But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood up on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them.” (11:9-11)
4. CAUSE: “Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, ‘Come up here!’ And they went up to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies watched them.” (11:12)
5. EFFECT: “And at that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe has passed; behold, the third woe is soon to come.” (11:13-14)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “God still continues to graciously offer salvation through men who genuinely mourn the evil state of the earth. The months and days mentioned in 11:2–3 may refer to the last three and a half years of the Tribulation. (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary) The two witnesses can be no other than Moses and Elijah. (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)

II. KEY TEXT (The Seventh Trumpet): “Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.’” (11:15)
A. INFERENCE: “And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, ‘We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign. The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.'” (11:16-18)
1. FINDINGS: “Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and earthquake, and heavy hail.” (11:19)
2. CRITERIA: “The kingdom is even now Christ’s, but it is hidden, even as He is. One day it will be manifested. For a long time David was the anointed king of Israel, but Saul sat on the throne until the predestined hour came when the tribes of Israel made David their chosen monarch. This surely is a type of that which will one day become apparent to the whole creation. The kingdom of the world will wholly and permanently become Christ’s. Suffering and sorrow will then flee away, as birds of ill omen at dawn. War will cease to the end of the world. The glad populations of mankind will walk in the light of life, and the long night and travail of nature will be ended.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “The covenant (11:19) appears to be the archetype of all God’s earthly covenants; it is the eternal covenant that asserts his right as Creator to be obeyed, to judge, and to redeem. (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Revelation 11:18 records different aspects of judgment based upon Christ taking his dominion over the nations. The wicked dead will be judged (cf. 20:11–15); the prophets and Old Testament saints will be rewarded (cf. 20:4–6); and the destroyers of the earth will be destroyed (cf. 19:19–21). (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary)
5. EFFECT: ““The kingdom (sovereignty) of (over) the world is our Lord’s and His Christ’s. The kingdoms of the world give way to the kingdom of (over) the world exercised by Christ.” (Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “What comfort is derived from this vision of the Ark of God’s Covenant, which abides in the inner sanctuary!” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

Revelation 12:1, I. The Woman and the Dragon; II. Satan Thrown Down to Earth

I. KEY TEXT (The Woman and the Dragon): “And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun (Mary? The Church? and/or Israel per Larkin), with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars (see paragraph VII.E in page 7 of the home page for a presentation (The Star of Bethlehem video) that displays this sign even today).” (12:1)
A. INFERENCE: “She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth. And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems.” (12:2-3)
1. FINDINGS: “His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon (Herod?) stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it.” (12:4)
2. CRITERIA: “She gave birth to a male child (Christ), one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.” (12:5)
3. CONDITION: “As soon as Mary had given birth to our Lord, Herod sought to destroy Him, and this is characteristic of all the ages. But God’s care is always at hand to deliver His own. He has His prepared places, where He hides those who trust in Him. He keeps them in the secret of His pavilion from the strife of men.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Sin has brought conflict, not on our earth only, but throughout the universe; but from the heavenly places it has been driven, and the last stand is made on our earth. Is it not possible that the awful war which has desolated mankind may be one of the last phases of this age-long conflict? There is but one talisman of victory. We overcome only in so far as we take shelter in the blood of the Lamb and wield as our weapon the Word of God.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “To the end there must be war between the seed of the woman and the dragon, and there must be bruising. But the final outcome is sure. As Satan was cast out of heaven, so he shall be cast out of earth, and Christ shall see of the travail of his soul and shall be satisfied.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Revelation 12 presents the persecution of Christians (12:17) by Satan. Its point is to stress the ultimate defeat of the devil and the triumph of faithful Christians (12:10–12). (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Satan Thrown Down to Earth): “Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world–he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” (12:7-9)
A. INFERENCE: “And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.’” (12:10)
1. FINDINGS: “And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!” (12:11-12)
2. CRITERIA: “And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.” (12:13-14)
3. CONDITION: “The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood. But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God (Orthodox Jews who observe the Old Testament law) and those who hold to the testimony of Jesus (converted by the preaching of the ‘Gospel of the Kingdom’  by the ‘Two Witnesses.’) And he stood on the sand of the sea.” (12:15-17)
4. CAUSE: “The devil, defeated in his designs upon the church, turns his rage against persons and places.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Being faithful to God and Christ, in doctrine, worship, and practice, exposes to the rage of Satan; and will do so till the last enemy shall be destroyed.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Know that before Lucifer rebelled in heaven, heaven was a pure kingdom. Following his final defeat with another fall into the lake of fire, God will achieve another pure kingdom for eternity. (Addison, Where Will You Be When You Get Where You Are Going?–see references page to this blog)

Revelation 13:1, I. The First Beast; II. The Second Beast

I. KEY TEXT (The first Beast): “And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads.” (13:1)
A. INFERENCE: “And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear’s , and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast.” (13:2-3)
1. FINDINGS: “And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?’” (13:4)
2. CRITERIA: “And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven.” (13:5-6)
3. CONDITION: “Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation., and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.” (13:7-8)
4. CAUSE: “If anyone has an ear, let him hear: If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain.” (13:9-10)
5. EFFECT: “Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.” (13:10)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “If you are enduring hatred and persecution, be of good cheer, for your name is written in the Lamb’s book of life, Rev. 13:8. This may well compensate us amid the most violent opposition.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (The Second Beast): “Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed.” (13:11-12)
A. INFERENCE: “It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, and by the signs that it is allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain.” (13:13-15)
1. FINDINGS: “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, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.” (13:16-17)
2. CRITERIA: “This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.” (13:18)
3. CONDITION: “He is called the ‘False Prophet’ or ‘Anti-spirit.’” (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)
4. CAUSE: “Those who understand the first beast to denote a worldly power, take the second to be also a persecuting and assumed power, which acts under the disguise of religion, and of charity to the souls of men. It is a spiritual dominion, professing to be derived from Christ, and exercised at first in a gentle manner, but soon spake like the dragon. Its speech betrayed it; for it gives forth those false doctrines and cruel decrees, which show it to belong to the dragon, and not to the Lamb.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The second beast (13:11–18) functions to witness to the Antichrist (2 Thess. 2:4). He is referred to as the “false prophet” (19:20). This would serve as a warning against false prophets to the original readers of John’s revelation, just as it is for believers today. When God’s purposes are finished through the beast, he will be judged (20:10). The assurance that God will punish evildoers sustains the faith of the persecuted. (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Follow the Holy Trinity and God’s word.

Revelation 14:1, I. The Lamb and the 144,000; II. The Messages of the Three Angels; III. The Harvest of the Earth

I. KEY TEXT (The Lamb and the 144,000): “Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.” (14:1)
A. INFERENCE: “And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpist playing on their harps, and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders.” (14:2-3)
1. FINDINGS: “No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.” (14:3)
2. CRITERIA: “It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes.” (14:4)
3. CONDITION: “These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb, and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless.” (14:4-5)
4. CAUSE: “The Lamb here is Christ, and the Mount Zion is not Mount Zion of the earthly Jerusalem but of the Heavenly of which Paul speaks in Heb. 12:22-23.” (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)
5. EFFECT: “The 144,000 ‘Sealed Ones’ are in Heaven, either having been translated or died a Martyr’s death, and they are the ‘First-Fruits of the restored nation of Israel, not the ‘First-Fruits’ of the Church for that is represented by the ‘Elders’ and was gathered out long before.” (Larkin, The Book of Revelation)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “See NOTE in comment below.”

II. KEY TEXT (The Messages of the Three Angels): “Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. And he said with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.” (14:6-7)
A. INFERENCE: “Another angel, a second, followed, saying ‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality. And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, ‘If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.” (14:8-11)
1. FINDINGS: “Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.” (14:12)
2. CRITERIA: “And I heard a voice from heaven saying ‘Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Blessed indeed,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!’” (14:13)
3. CONDITION: “The gospel is the great means whereby men are brought to fear God, and to give glory to him. The preaching of the everlasting gospel shakes the foundations of antichrist in the world, and hastens its downfall. If any persist in being subject to the beast, and in promoting his cause, they must expect to be for ever miserable in soul and body. The believer is to venture or suffer any thing in obeying the commandments of God, and professing the faith of Jesus.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Observe the description of those that are and shall be blessed: such as die in the Lord; die in the cause of Christ, in a state of union with Christ; such as are found in Christ when death comes. They rest from all sin, temptation, sorrow, and persecution; for there the wicked cease from troubling, there the weary are at rest.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Their works follow them: do not go before as their title, or purchase, but follow them as proofs of their having lived and died in the Lord: the remembrance of them will be pleasant, and the reward far above all their services and sufferings. This is made sure by the testimony of the Spirit, witnessing with their spirits, and the written word.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “We cannot understand the torment of those who are depicted in Rev. 14:9-12, except it be the remorse at having refused the love of the Lamb of God. Even Christ Himself cannot save a soul from its self-condemnation.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

III. KEY TEXT (The Harvest of the Earth): “Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand.” (14:14)
A. INFERENCE: “And another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, ‘Put in your sickle, and reap, for the hour to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.” (14:15)
1. FINDINGS: “So he who sat on the cloud swung his sickle across the earth, and the earth was reaped.” (14:16)
2. CRITERIA: “Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over the fire, and he called with a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, ‘Put in your sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe.’” (14:17-18)
3. CONDITION: “So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.” (14:19)
4. CAUSE: “And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse’s bridle, for 1,600 stadia.” (14:20)
5. EFFECT: “. . . the grapes of the earth are ripe . . . ” (14:18)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “See NOTE in comment below.”

One thought on “Week #155; Wed, Dec 16: Revelation 4–14

  1. NOTE: Our “Church Age” of today ends at the Rapture, then Tribulation, Armageddon, Millennium, and Eternal State. The Rapture should be taken literally and it is described in First Thessalonians 4:16-17; know that our Judgement is NOW. Sin separates us from God. His grace is free. Our will is free. Come to believe in Jesus. Confess you are a sinner. Ask for forgiveness of your sins. Choose to turn to God’s way. Nurture a personal relationship with Jesus–be “Born Again.” Be “Baptized.” Commune with Him always. Be ready.

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