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Revelation Speculation

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Loyal
The book of Revelation is sometimes a hard book to read. Yet, I personally feel it is probably the most relevant book of our current time. It is interpreted a hundred different ways, and I don't know all the answers. But maybe it would help to at least know the questions?

Revelation chapters 2 and 3 talk about seven churches. Only two of the seven Jesus didn't have anything against. (Smyrna and Philadelphia).

Some of the other churches He has some things against, they allow false teachings of the Nicolaitans, or the false prophetess Jezebel. They have left their first love, some hold to the teachings of Balaam, etc...
As a consequence He tells them to repent of He will remove their lampstamp. There are some who have soiled their "garments", and some who are lukewarm, and some who say they are Jews (but are not). There are some He says need to "overcome" so He won't erase their names from the book of life.

I believe the seven churches are a representation of the church today. The church you belong to is likely one of the seven churches. The question is... which one?

After the seven churches, John writes about the seven "seals". Also known as the seal judgments.
This is mostly in Revelation 6. There is a lot of talk about the four horsemen of the apocalypse and who they are and what they mean. I admit some of it is vague to me. But some of it is pretty straight-forward.
The white horse, the red horse, the black horse, the ashen horse and of course the riders upon them could mean several things, But for example Rev 6:6 is pretty straight forward.

(NLT) And I heard a voice from among the four living beings say, “A loaf of wheat bread or three loaves of barley will cost a day’s pay. And don’t waste the olive oil and wine.”

(NIV) Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, "Two pounds of wheat for a day's wages, and six pounds of barley for a day's wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!"

(NASB) And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine."

Depending on what Bible translation you have it may say a loaf of bread, loaves of barley, two pounds of wheat, etc... But the thought here is... food will be very expensive. A loaf of bread will cost a days wage.
If it's going by the "average" wage of say $20.00 an hour, that's $160.00 for a loaf of bread. (120 British pounds)

I would like to talk more about the seven seals later.
In Revelation 8, John writes about the seven trumpet judgments. I'm not sure of how this chronologically compares to the seven seal judgments, but they are obviously different. Rev 8:9; is also pretty straight-forward.

(NLT) one-third of all things living in the sea died, and one-third of all the ships on the sea were destroyed.

(NASB) and a third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed.

As bad as the first four trumpets are, it seems the last three are worse.

Rev 8:13; Then I looked, and I heard an eagle flying in midheaven, saying with a loud voice, "Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!"

The last three trumpet judgments are also known as the "three woes" or woe judgments. ( Rev 9:12; )
If the trumpets are really in chronological order (it seems they are) then the two witnesses would come between the sixth and seventh trumpet (the second and third woe).

It seems that the earth will be given to Christ at the seventh trumpet.

Rev 11:15; Then the seventh angel sounded; 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 will reign forever and ever."

also an interesting note here, is the ark of the covenant reappears.

Rev 11:19 And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm.

In Rev 15 John writes about seven angels with seven plagues. Again these appear to be different from the seven seals and the seven trumpets.

In Rev 16 John writes about the seven bowl judgments. (The seven bowls of God's wrath).
These are probably the most severe in the series of judgments. For example...

Rev 16:21 And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, *came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague *was extremely severe.

I will attempt to break down each of the judgments one by one. The seven seals, the seven trumpets, the three woes, and the seven bowls.

The first seal.

Rev 6:1; Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, "Come."
Rev 6:2; I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.

There has been debate over whether this rider on this white horse is the same rider on the white horse in Rev 19:11;
I personally don't believe they are for a few reasons. But mostly it has to do with the timings of when things happen.

Not much is said about the first seal, in fact only two verses.
There is a lot of speculation about who the "four living creatures" (full eyes all over them) are.

Rev 4:6; and before the throne there was something like a sea of glass, like crystal; and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind.
Rev 4:8; And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, "HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND WHO IS TO COME."

Also see Rev 5:6; Rev 5:8; Rev 5:14; Rev 6:1; Rev 6:6; Rev 7:11; Rev 14:3; Rev 15:7; and Rev 19:4 for more about these creatures.

But it is one of the four living creatures which calls forth the first rider on the white horse after the first seal is opened.

I am open to any suggestions or comments as to what the crown and the bow signify in these verses. But a clue may be in the statement..
"he went out conquering and to conquer. " This doesn't sound like war quite yet, but rather conquering by threats or perhaps economic sanctions
or perhaps "conquering" the prevailing thoughts of society?

.. thoughts anyone?
 
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Active
My thoughts are the Book of revelation is written for believers to reveal to us what heaven is like. It is not just for believers today but Jesus asked John to write down all that he revealed to him as he was the last apostle who wasnt matyred. This is why it is the last book of the Bible.

The 7 churches were actual churches at the time that were planted. The 7 plagues were at the time, Gods warning, which also Jesus warned what would happen to the existing temple in Jerusalem. He already purchased it with his blood and then it was eventually destroyed, and millions of people died in 70 ad. The book of revelation was written prior to these events.

The firstfruits were israel at the time. After that the gospel spread to the ends of the earth...Paul did the groundwork for gentiles to come to faith. He went to all the synagogues of the diaspora at the time and set up churches..and the gospel just keeps spreading right up to today. That is why the letters in the new testament are still read today, even though they applied to those specific churches in the early days..galatia, colossae, phillipi, ephesus, corinth.

The two witnesses are a picture of the transfiguration that happened when it was revealed Jesus was the Messiah..they were moses and Elijah. The dragon etc is the picture of what has been happening in the spiiritual realm, right from eve then to Mary.

Everything that is written in the new testament has spiritual application for today, there is no doubt but when it was first written it was for the people alive on earth then.

There has always been wars, if you havent lived through the last one and never experienced the threat of your entire world crashing down then be thankful however this has been happening over the centuries, and it willl keep on happening, because kingdoms and such pass away but Gods kingdom will never pass away its eternal.

What do the crowns signify? The messiah, or christ. Victory.
The bow ... weapon of warfare. Remember the victory has been won. We just need to keep proclaiming the good news...Jesus has opened the gates of heaven.

As for timing, John saw these things happen in a vision. Remember in heaven it eternal but on earth things are finite. The things im not sure about is the thousand year thing, and gog and magog. But you do need to remember that the important thing about the book of revelation was written specifically for those seven churches and that Jesus did come back for them because they 'shortly came to pass' and 'the time is at hand' and then it talks about the 'hereafter' of course when you enter heaven you wont be on the same standpoint as someone still on earth. So many interpet revelation from their flesh point of view when its actually Jesus revealing to us the battles that are taken place in the spiritual realm and how it impacts the saints from HIS heavenly perspective.

Just want to add I love the Book of Revelation. Because of the happy ending.

People focus on the doom and gloom all the time but its a book all about Heaven. To me. And what lengths Jesus goes to secure a place for us.
 
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Loyal
Rev 6:3; When He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come."
Rev 6:4; And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him.

Here we see the second seal, and the "second" living creature calling the red horse and it's rider out. "Come".
It the first horse wasn't war quite yet, then this one sounds a like more like real war. Peace is gone and men are slaying one another. The first rider was given a crown and a bow, but this rider is given a sword.

So many interpet revelation from their flesh point of view when its actually Jesus revealing to us the battles that are taken place in the spiritual realm and how it impacts the saints from HIS heavenly perspective.
When Bible says "earth" it mean the earth. It's doesn't mena some spiritual dimension. Yes there is spiritual war fare going on right right.
That's because the events of Revelation haven't happened yet.

There isn't a new heaven and new Earth yet. Jesus hasn't reigned over the entire earth "with a rod of iron" for 1,000 years yet.
Depending on whether you believe in the rapture of the second coming, neither one of them has happened yet. The New Jerusalem
hasn't come down from heaven yet. The Beast hasn't been revealed yet. The two witnesses haven't appeared yet.
A third of seas haven't turned to blood, a third of mankind hasn't died yet. There has no no great war at Armageddon yet (especially
one where the blood is up to the horses bridle for a distance of 200 miles). Satan certainly hasn't been released from the pit and defeated
once and for all by Jesus yet. Jesus hasn't handed over the keys to the kingdom back over to God the Father yet.

Hardly anything in the book of Revelation has happened yet. It does talk about heaven and the New Jerusalem. It's interesting that no
where in the book of Revelation does it say believers will go to heaven. Most go to the New Jerusalem which comes down "out of heaven".
The only happy ending in the book of Revelation is for those who "overcome".

Rev 6:5; When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, "Come." I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand.
Rev 6:6; And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine."

The third seal, which correlates to the black horse and it's rider may either be famine or at least very expensive food. A days wage for a loaf of bread.
Again I would be interested in any ideas as to what the scales in his hand might signify? Perhaps unlike the first two seals, the voice here comes from
the center of the living creatures. Perhaps it is not one of the living creatures? Do not damage the oil and wine. I am guessing in this context, "oil" means
food substance. Sunflower oil? Olive oil? Vegetable oil? Perhaps at least wine drinkers will be happy during this time.
 
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Active
Yea I know but many of these things have happened that the 7 churches of revelation which were actual churches on earth experienced!!!!
Why do you think the twelve tribes were named? Why were they warned..they are not there now! Who are the nicolatians? You missed all that.

People say the ten plagues never happened back in exodus but theres evidence they did.
Also, we can see that theres no temple anymore, so something obviously did happen, and lots of things in revelation describe the spiritual realm. It will come down to earth but you cant say its not happening because time in eternity is not like time on earth. And how can you say Jesus hasnt won over satan? He did that at the cross. We just need to apply it.

Also if Jesus isnt your King then who is your allegience to? We not in limbo here just waiting around for him to come back. Hes ALREADY ruling from Heaven. Its just we arent there yet because we havent been resurrected, and for that obviously we need to die. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom..we need to be born again.

Sorry Bac its your thread dont mean to crash your speculations. Speculate away. Theres this evangelist named Barry Smith who made a convincing case of endtimes related to current events but that was back in the 80s. Well now we have RFID and microchips and everyone has a price on their head.
 
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Active
Lots of interesting ideas so far. May I mention a couple of general Bible reading principles that help us avoid falling down theological rabbit holes when reading the Book of Revelation.
  1. First, consider the original audience and the meaning of the book for them. Who were the first readers? what were their concerns? what pastoral or doctrine issues was the writer addressing? Once we have a working understanding of the original circumstances, we can make a better assessment of its meaning for us today. (This is different to relativism, or saying that the Word of God is not eternal -- it means that God speaks to people according to both his eternal nature and their circumstances)
  2. Take note of the literary form of the Word of God. The Bible is made up of history, law, prophecy, poetry, letters. For example, we don't have a problem reading in Psalm 114 "The mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs". It's poetry, and we appreciate it is a powerful visual metaphor. If we found this sentence in the middle of one of the historical passages in Exodus, we would find it troubling. Revelation is mostly Apocalyptic literature. We need to understand something of how this form of literature works and why it is used if we are to get to grips it properly.
 
Active
This is my take on the pastoral significance of the vision for the original intended audience in the seven churches and beyond. For many of them their situation looked bleak: they were suffering persecution, poverty and hardship. The most common repeated phrase in the letters to the churches in chapters 2 and 3 is "patient endurance". So, many of them needed encouragement not to lose hope, to be assured that God's plan had not been somehow derailed, or that he had forgotten them.

The vision describes in the most vivid terms what none of us can see: God's plan of salvation and redemption from the perspective of the heavenlies. The assurance given for all those churches is that through all the tribulations God will triumph, and he will reward all those who persevere.

Chapter 14 says:
This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently, obeying his commands and maintaining their faith in Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this down: Blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, they are blessed indeed, for they will rest from their hard work; for their good deeds follow them!”
For me, this is the most clear and direct summary of the whole book.
 
Loyal
First, consider the original audience and the meaning of the book for them. Who were the first readers?
I think this is a point many so-called "Bible scholars" miss today. In order for something in the Bible to be true, it has to be as true for todays audience
as it was back when it was written, unless it specifically states otherwise (the old covenant for example).

Who was the audience back then?

Rev 1:1; The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John,
Rev 1:2; who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.
Rev 1:3; Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.

There was no "book of Revelation" at the time Jesus was walking with the disciples on the earth.

For me, this is the most clear and direct summary of the whole book.
I think I agree. As you said much is written in "eschatological" language (is that a real word, or did I just make it up?)
But even so, God gave it "to show to His bond-servants" (us Christians)... so what can we learn from this?

Rev 6:7; When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come."
Rev 6:8; I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.

The last of the four horsemen is on an "Ashen" horse. The rider is identified as "death" and Hades (hell) follows after him.
He has the authority over a fourth of the earth, not the entire earth yet. Death kills with the sword (I assume man-made weapons of war).
Also famine and pestilence will kill people. There is famine an pestilence now, but it doesn't affect 25% of the people of the earth. Also
"wild beasts" of the earth will kill people. It happens from time to time that a wild animal will kill people, but again, not on a scale
that affects one fourth of the earth.

To me, this goes along with Matt 24.

Matt 24:5; "For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many.
Matt 24:6; "You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.
Matt 24:7; "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.
Matt 24:8; "But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.
Matt 24:9; "Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.
Matt 24:10; "At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another.
Matt 24:11; "Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.
Matt 24:12; "Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold.
Matt 24:13; "But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.
Matt 24:14; "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

Most of the things on this list are happening now... but it says here "the end is not yet" ... "these are merely the beginning of birth pangs".
( Also see Mark 13:3-13; )

The mark of the beast is coming, perhaps computer chips as posted in another forum here... but the whole world isn't forced to take it yet.
We can still buy and sell freely right now. The end hasn't happened yet.

Mark 13:14; "But when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.
Mark 13:15; "The one who is on the housetop must not go down, or go in to get anything out of his house;
Mark 13:16; and the one who is in the field must not turn back to get his coat.
Mark 13:17; "But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!
Mark 13:18; "But pray that it may not happen in the winter.
Mark 13:19; "For those days will be a time of tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will again.
Mark 13:20; "Unless the Lord had shortened those days, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom He chose, He shortened the days.
Mark 13:21; "And then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ'; or, 'Behold, He is there'; do not believe him;
Mark 13:22; for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect.
Mark 13:23; "But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance.

The abomination of desolation is a telling sign. We can talk more about that if necessary. This first happened in the book of Daniel.

Dan 11:31; "Forces from him will arise, desecrate the sanctuary fortress, and do away with the regular sacrifice. And they will set up the abomination of desolation.
Dan 12:11; "From the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days.

(There is that 1,290 days again... 3 1/2 years). Where is the "regular sacrifice"? In the temple. There is currently no temple in Jerusalem, so many take
this to mean the temple will have to be rebuilt a third time.

I also see it says this will be the worst time of tribulation ever in the history of the earth.
There have been many times when the earth had much more devastation going on than we currently do. Some people thought world war I and world war II would be the end.
It also says "the elect" will be around for this tribulation.

If there is a "pre-trib" rapture, then these must be those who get saved during the tribulation.
If there is a "mid-trib" rapture, then they only have to endure for 3 1/2 years.
If there is a "post-trib" rapture, then the elect have to endure through it all, or at least until
they are beheaded. (more about that in the next post).
 
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I think this is a point many so-called "Bible scholars" miss today. In order for something in the Bible to be true, it has to be as true for todays audience
as it was back when it was written, unless it specifically states otherwise (the old covenant for example).

Who was the audience back then?

Rev 1:1; The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John,
Rev 1:2; who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.
Rev 1:3; Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.

There was no "book of Revelation" at the time Jesus was walking with the disciples on the earth.



I think I agree. As you said much is written in "eschatological" language (is that a real word, or did I just make it up?)
But even so, God gave it "to show to His bond-servants" (us Christians)... so what can we learn from this?
What can we learn from this? What takes place in HEAVEN. (The hereafter) No other book in the Bible gives so much detail.
On order for the Bible to be true it just has to be Gods word. You dont have to tie yourself up in knots trying to make everything fit to current events today!

Do we all live in the isle of Patmos? Are we part of ephesus, lodecia...are any of us the people mentioned and named in johns letters? Well no. Who is Antipas? Is he a marytr that you know in your church? no.
Doesnt mean its not true. Are any of us the elect or part of the twelve tribes? No.

John writes that if anyone has wisdom - the Kings mentioned were the kings of israel..which is why Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. They had given their kingdom to the beast as remember in OT many of the kings were evil. They commited adultery with the *****. As mentioned in OT.
 
Loyal
When Bible says "earth" it mean the earth. It's doesn't mena some spiritual dimension. Yes there is spiritual war fare going on right right.
But, each one of is a little lump of "earth", is he/she not? Are not our wanting to still follow the ways of this little bit of earth a a big part of us our continuing to get into trouble with God?

Planet earth, does not I believe have a individual life or soul of its own, but we do, even if it has been corrupted. According to scripture there is a "new man" within the believer already, is there not? Isn't this what being "born again" is all about"?

The warfare is going on within us and will continue until hopefully the enemy within us [the "old man"] is finally and completely dead:

"From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?" James 4:1

That's because the events of Revelation haven't happened yet.
Does this not depend upon what God's message in the Book of Revelation is to each of us? Is it the same for everyone? If we do not understand it all, isn't it possible that those areas of misunderstanding when and if they are caused by holding too tightly to some wrong things will cause us to falter and even fall?

There are certainly some things that each of us must understand in order to please God and receive His best reward, but do those things really include the perfect understanding of all that will be happening around us in this outer world [planet earth and its inhabitants]?

There isn't a new heaven and new Earth yet.
Is there not? What is it that is being constructed in the hearts of surrendering believers?

The only happy ending in the book of Revelation is for those who "overcome".
And who and/or what and/or how does a person need to overcome in order to receive the rewards of the overcomer?

My point with this post and my comments or questions is hopefully make you and me and others who read consider what God would like to have from each one of us and why or how...
 
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I enjoy the book of revelation very much, especially better on TJ studying it with the members.

I believe the seven churches are a representation of the church today. The church you belong to is likely one of the seven churches. The question is... which one?
Just a small note according to my recollection, it's the churches in all 7 continents. Off the top of my head.

I remember listening to an awesome sermon by David Jeremiah on this subject. He said that the book of revelation actually explains itself. I never realized that until I heard him say it and it made perfect sense because it's true.

Similar related thread

Book of Revelation: Bible Study
 
Loyal
Well, we are up to the fifth seal. No more horsemen of the apocolypse.

Rev 6:9; When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained;
Rev 6:10; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"
Rev 6:11; And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.

It would seem these are all the martyrs of the faith since the beginning. I believe those mentioned in Rev 20 are the ones "until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also." I believe those beheaded during the tribulation will be the last martyrs.

Rev 20:4; Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Rev 6:12; I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood;
Rev 6:13; and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind.
Rev 6:14; The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Rev 6:15; Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains;
Rev 6:16; and they *said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb;
Rev 6:17; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"

Up here in Washington state a rather famous mountain blew it's top on May 18th, 1980. There was dust and ash in the air for hundreds of miles.
For people near Mount St. Helens the earth shook. The sky was black hundreds of miles away. For many who could see through the dust, the moon
appeared blood red. A popular local legend says many churches in this state were full of people (it was a Thursday) who expected to see Jesus appear
at any moment.

I've never been near a fig tree during a great wind, but the thought of stars falling to the earth could mean several things.
Possibly meteors falling to the earth. Could anything be much more frightening than every mountain and island on the entire earth being moved?
It seems that many people will come to realize the power of God on that day. There will be no place to hide from God. (there isn't now, but
it will be evident on that day).

We have to skip over Rev chapter 7. It doesn't have much to do with the seals. It's about the 144,000 and the great multitude before the throne.

Chapter 8 gets back to the seventh seal.

Rev 8:1; When the Lamb broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
Rev 8:2; And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.
Rev 8:3; Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne.
Rev 8:4; And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel's hand.
Rev 8:5; Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.

Part of the seventh seal is the 7 angels each being given a trumpet. The seven trumpet judgments are coming up next since this is the last seal judgment.

The golden censor which is "filled with the fire from the altar" may have multiple meanings. The most obvious would be the fire on the old testament altar
for sacrifices. (Exod 29:18; Exod 29:25; Exod 30:20; Lev 1:7-9; etc... (actually mentioned in 30 verses in the old testament). This is thrown to earth and then there
is thunder, lightning and an earthquake. The extent of this particular earthquake is not mentioned.

Next the seven trumpet judgments.

The first trumpet.

Rev 8:6; And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound them.
Rev 8:7; The first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.

There have been a lot of natural disasters over the centuries, but nothing on this scale. A third of the earth is burned up! Wow!
A third of the trees and a third of the grass. Hail mixed with blood and fire. This could be symbolic or it is often taken literally.
If it is symbolic, what could it be that burns up a third of the earth?

Rev 8:8; The second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood,
Rev 8:9; and a third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed.

Something like a great mountain? burning with fire? thrown into the sea? Possibly a large meteor? Whatever it is, it causes a third of the sea to become blood. A third of all the creatures in the sea die. A third of all the ships are destroyed.

This is another one of those things that has never happened since recorded history of mankind.

The third trumpet

Rev 8:10; The third angel sounded, and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters.
Rev 8:11; The name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter.

It's interesting that this bitter (poison?) only affects fresh water sources like rivers and springs. Again, one-third of them.
But we can't live on sea-water in the oceans (you would eventually die of dehydration). Again this is something failing from the sky.
A nuclear weapon? A meteorite? Whatever it is, it causes "many men" to die.

Rev 8:12; The fourth angel sounded, and a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were struck, so that a third of them would be darkened and the day would not shine for a third of it, and the night in the same way.
Rev 8:13; Then I looked, and I heard an eagle flying in midheaven, saying with a loud voice, "Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!"

The fourth trumpet talks about the sun and moon and stars. The sun is darkened for a third of the day, and the moon and stars are darkened for a third of the night.
This is taken many different ways, but I personally assume a day will still last 24 hours, it will simply be pitch dark part of that time.

This is often taken in conjunction with Mark 13:20;

Mar 13:19; "For those days will be a time of tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will.
Mar 13:20; "Unless the Lord had shortened those days, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom He chose, He shortened the days.

Are the days themselves shorter, or is the daylight simply shorter? I guess we will find out when the time comes. Again, this is something that
has never happened before since the history of mankind. (Although the opposite happened in Joshua)

Josh 10:13; So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, Until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies. Is it not written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day.

After the fourth trumpet we are warned of the remaining three trumpets which are also called the three woes. What is a woe?

woe
wō/
nounhumorous
noun: woe; plural noun: woes

great sorrow or distress.
"they had a complicated tale of woe"
synonyms: misery, sorrow, distress, wretchedness, sadness, unhappiness, heartache, heartbreak, despondency, despair, depression, regret, gloom, melancholy; More
adversity, misfortune, disaster, suffering, hardship;
literarydolor
"a tale of woe"
antonyms: joy, happiness
things that cause sorrow or distress; troubles.
"to add to his woes, customers have been spending less"
synonyms: trouble, difficulty, problem, trial, tribulation, misfortune, setback, reverse
"financial woes"

It seems that a woe isn't a fun situation.

The first woe. (the 5th trumpet)

Rev 9:1; Then the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven which had fallen to the earth; and the key of the bottomless pit was given to him.
Rev 9:2; He opened the bottomless pit, and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit.
Rev 9:3; Then out of the smoke came locusts upon the earth, and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
Rev 9:4; They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.
Rev 9:5; And they were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment for five months; and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man.
Rev 9:6; And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them.
Rev 9:7; The appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle; and on their heads appeared to be crowns like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men.
Rev 9:8; They had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions.
Rev 9:9; They had breastplates like breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots, of many horses rushing to battle.
Rev 9:10; They have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months.
Rev 9:11; They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon.
Rev 9:12; The first woe is past; behold, two woes are still coming after these things.

This has been one of the most studied passages of scripture. Like other parts of Revelation, it is often taken several different ways.
Is this symbolic language? Are these mechanical/robotic drones of some sort? Are is this literal language and there will actually be flying scorpions?
Whatever these things are, they have the power to "sting" people who don't have the "seal of God" on their foreheads. This sting torments people
for five months. This isn't just those who have taken the mark of the beast, this is anyone who doesn't have the mark of God. It also seems these
do not harm any plant life.

"in those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them."

How bad will things be for men to seek death? Worse, they will not be able to find it.

The sixth trumpet (second woe)

Rev 9:13; Then the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,
Rev 9:14; one saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates."
Rev 9:15; And the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released, so that they would kill a third of mankind.
Rev 9:16; The number of the armies of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them.
Rev 9:17; And this is how I saw in the vision the horses and those who sat on them: the riders had breastplates the color of fire and of hyacinth and of brimstone; and the heads of the horses are like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths proceed fire and smoke and brimstone.
Rev 9:18; A third of mankind was killed by these three plagues, by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which proceeded out of their mouths.
Rev 9:19; For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents and have heads, and with them they do harm.
Rev 9:20; The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk;
Rev 9:21; and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts.

It seems there are four angels.. bound... "at the river Euphrates. The Euphrates river still exists today and is prominent in modern day Iraq, Syria and Turkey.
These four angels kill a third of mankind.

Have you noticed a theme here? Everytime a new disaster happens, it kills a third of mankind. It seems that we are down to two/thirds, of two/thirds, of two/thirds.
The population of the earth will shrink rapidly at this time.

There is also an army of 200 million horsemen. Depending on whether you tend to take these verses symbolically or literally this could be a real army of
jeeps and tanks, or it could actually be supernatural horsemen roaming around the earth. 250 million is a lot. If it is a "real" earthly army, only a couple
of countries could field an army this size. China and India. The US could not do it, neither could Russia.

The thing many people miss about this army, it isn't Satan's army or the army of the beast, in fact this army is killing those "who did not repent" of worshiping
demons and idols. If anything, it's God's army.

We have been talking about the seven seals and seven trumpets, so I will briefly mention the "seven peals of thunder". It seems this
is between the sixth and seventh trumpet.

Rev 10:3; and he cried out with a loud voice, as when a lion roars; and when he had cried out, the seven peals of thunder uttered their voices.
Rev 10:4; When the seven peals of thunder had spoken, I was about to write; and I heard a voice from heaven saying, "Seal up the things which the seven peals of thunder have spoken and do not write them."

Whatever happens during the seven peals of thunder, we don't know. John was forbidden to write about it.

Rev 10:7; but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, as He preached to His servants the prophets.

We still have the seventh trumpet (third woe) coming up.

Also... for whatever reason, (maybe chronologically?) the two witnesses are talked about between the sixth and seventh trumpets as well. ( Rev 11:1-14; )

The two witnesses, I was tempted to leave this out because it's easy to get side-tracked, but it seems they are part of the second woe.

Rev 11:1; Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, "Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it.
Rev 11:2; "Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months.
Rev 11:3; "And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth."
Rev 11:4; These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth.
Rev 11:5; And if anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies; so if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way.
Rev 11:6; These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain will not 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 plague, as often as they desire.
Rev 11:7; When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them.
Rev 11:8; And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.
Rev 11:9; Those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb.
Rev 11:10; And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.
Rev 11:11; But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them.
Rev 11:12; And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here." Then they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them.
Rev 11:13; And in 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.
Rev 11:14; The second woe is past; behold, the third woe is coming quickly

Therer has been a lot of speculation about who these two are. It has been debated here on TJ several times.
Maybe Moses, maybe Elisha, or maybe someone else. Two favorites are Enoch and Elijah because they never "died" a natural death like everyone else.
Some believe they have already came and went, but this cannot be so for several reasons.

If anyone else besides Jesus was dead for three days, and then came to life, everyone would have heard about it.
These two witnesses "prophesy" for 42 months, or 1,260 days or 3 1/2 years however you look at it. We would have heard about this also if it happened.
Some symbolists says the two witnesses are the Holy Spirit and the Bible... but if so, they only have power for 3 1/2 years, and then they die.
Also if anyone tries to kill them or even harm them, fire comes out of their mouths and kills this person. It also says they will be clothed in sackcloth.
A common practice of prophets of the old testament.

"These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain will not 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 plague, as often as they desire.

The city where they are testifying is "mystically" called Sodom and Gomorrah. But it is where the Lord was crucified. That would make this city Jerusalem.

It seems they have the powers of the plagues of Moses (when he was opposing Pharaoh in Egypt) and also stop the rain like Elijah.

After the two witnesses are "resurrected". There is a great earthquake in the city, causing a tenth of it to fall. Seven thousand people will be killed.
We would have also heard if this ever happened in Jerusalem. But it hasn't happened yet.

That's the end of the second woe.

The seventh trumpet, third woe. Also known as "the culmination of the age".

Rev 11:15; Then the seventh angel sounded; 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 will reign forever and ever."
Rev 11:16; And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God,
Rev 11:17; saying, "We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign.
Rev 11:18; "And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth."
Rev 11:19; And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm.

The kingdom of the earth is finally completely taken over by Jesus/God. Jesus already has authority over the earth now, but the "prince of the powers of the air" still lurks around. Jesus isn't exactly reigning with a rod of iron yet. ( Psa 2:9; Rev 2:27; Rev 12:5; and Rev 19:15; ) there are still plenty of non-believers, dissenters, and followers
of other religions running around. There is still pain, sorrow and death. No one has had to take the mark of the beast yet. But on "that" day, every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. (Even if they don't want to during this life).

The final judgment happens here. For the bond-servants and saints, but also the unsaved, those who to destroy the earth.
I'm going to skip over chapters 12, 13, and 14 for now. This is about the 144,000, the harlot on the beast, the greater beast and the lesser beast. We will likely get
back to those eventually.

But coming up next are the seven angels with the seven plagues. Also know as the seven bowl judgments.

Rev 15:1; Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels who had seven plagues, which are the last, because in them the wrath of God is finished.
Rev 15:2; And I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, holding harps of God.
Rev 15:3; And they *sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, "Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations!
Rev 15:4; "Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy; For ALL THE NATIONS WILL COME AND WORSHIP BEFORE YOU, FOR YOUR RIGHTEOUS ACTS HAVE BEEN REVEALED."
Rev 15:5; After these things I looked, and the temple of the tabernacle of testimony in heaven was opened,
Rev 15:6; and the seven angels who had the seven plagues came out of the temple, clothed in linen, clean and bright, and girded around their chests with golden sashes.
Rev 15:7; Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever.
Rev 15:8; And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power; and no one was able to enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished.

The seven bowl judgments are the last ones. "because in them the wrath of God is finished".

The first bowl.

Rev 16:1; Then I heard a loud voice from the temple, saying to the seven angels, "Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God."
Rev 16:2; So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth; and it became a loathsome and malignant sore on the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image.

Loathsome, painful, malignant sores on everyone who takes the mark of the beast and worships his image. It doesn't get much plainer than that.
I'm not exactly sure this could be symbolized or spiritualized.

Up until now, most of the judgment have only affected a "third" of things like the fish in the sea for example. But now things get a little more serious.

Rev 16:3; The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became blood like that of a dead man; and every living thing in the sea died.

Everything in the sea dies at this point. No more sushi and lobster. The sea itself becomes red like blood.

The third bowl

Rev 16:4; Then the third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of waters; and they became blood.
Rev 16:5; And I heard the angel of the waters saying, "Righteous are You, who are and who were, O Holy One, because You judged these things;

Again, it's not just a "third" of the river and springs ( like Rev 8:10; ). Now it's all the rivers and springs. The eliminates most of the fresh water
on the earth. A lot of people think God forgives because He is righteous... but they have the wrong idea about what righteousness is.
In the old testament, the law said.. an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Someone had to die for sin. In the new testament someone still
has to die for sin. The good news is... it doesn't have to be us. Jesus died for your sins. Because of Jesus you don't get what you "deserve".

Now these people who have continued to reject Jesus are getting what they rightfully deserve. Some of these people have killed Christians
for their beliefs. Justice comes here.

Rev 16:6; for they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. They deserve it."

According to a few articles on the internet, less than one percent of all the water on the earth is fresh spring and river water.
About 2 percent is frozen in ice at the north and south poles. The other 97 percent is all undrinkable salt water. But the sea has already
been turned to blood by this time ( Rev 16:3; )

The fourth bowl.

Rev 16:8; The fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun, and it was given to it to scorch men with fire.
Rev 16:9; Men were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues, and they did not repent so as to give Him glory.

I don't think this just a bad sun-burn. You would need some SPF 10,000 for this sun-burn. You would think with all of these obvious things that are mentioned
in the Bible, people would repent. But no, they just blaspheme God. Even though they know He is the one who has the power over these plagues.

The fifth bowl

Rev 16:10; Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became darkened; and they gnawed their tongues because of pain,
Rev 16:11; and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they did not repent of their deeds.

The sixth bowl.

Rev 16:12; The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up, so that the way would be prepared for the kings from the east.
Rev 16:13; And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs;
Rev 16:14; for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty.
Rev 16:15; ("Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.")
Rev 16:16; And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon.

One of the mightiest rivers in the world will dry up. There is actually something about this in the news this week. Some countries want
to start damming the river for hydro-power. Other's want to start using using it to irrigate previously un-irrigated farm land.

Who are these kings of the east? Why do they need to cross the Euphrates? It seems these armies will be gathered together at Armageddon. ( Har-Magedon ).
This will be the bloodiest war of all time. There is more said about it later.

It seems these three frog-demon spirits will have power to perform "signs" (possibly miracles) and deceive "the kings of the whole world" (presidents, chancellors,
czars, etc... ) to gather them together "for the war". What happens at this war? It tells us a little later.
Will these kings be willing to follow the beast? Revelation tells us the answer to that also.

The seventh bowl

Rev 16:17; Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl upon the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, "It is done."
Rev 16:18; And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty.
Rev 16:19; The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath.
Rev 16:20; And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
Rev 16:21; And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, *came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague *was extremely severe.

This is another hotly disputed area of scripture.
Lightning, thunder and a great earthquake.. in fact the greatest earthquake of all time.

The greatest earthquake of modern times was 1960 in Validivia Chile. It' was estimated to be about a 9.5 scale earthquake.
It's unknown exactly how many people were killed by this, but it left 2 million people homeless, and tsumani's from this went as far as Asia,
even people in the Philippines were killed by this. But even that won't be as large as this earthquake.
It seems the great city could be several. Some say Rome, some say Jerusalem, other's say somewhere in the US, possibly Washington DC or New York.
The last "great city" mentioned in the context here was Jerusalem, but that was two chapters ago. It also mentions Babylon the great here.
Babylon is no longer a nation, but Babylon was a kingdom in ancient Mesopotamia (Modern day Iraq). Much of the terrorism from ISIS originates here.
Could it literally be the ancient nation of Babylon? Babylon was already long gone when Jesus was on the earth.

Every island disappears... every mountain disappears. This has never happened before, along with many of the other things that have been mentioned in these
passages. Huge hailstones, 100 pounds each. No record of this in history either. In South Dakota in the US in 2010, there were hailstones that weighed
almost 2 lbs. That is considered pretty large, but it is a long way from 100 pounds!

Well, we've covered the seven seals, the seven trumpets, the seven peals, and the seven bowls.
Not to mention the two witnesses and the three woes.

How about the seven churches of Asia? John writes an intro of sorts to these churches.

Rev 1:4; John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,
Rev 1:5; and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood—
Rev 1:6; and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Rev 1:7; BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.
Rev 1:8; [COLOR=red]"I am the Alpha and the Omega,"[/COLOR] says the Lord God, [COLOR=red]"who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."[/COLOR]

As we will see, most of these churches were in modern day Turkey. From "Him who is... and who was... and who is to come." This is of course Jesus.
We see another seven here, who are the seven spirits? There are usually several interpretations of this.

1. Some believe "seven" is the number of perfection, the number of God. They take this to mean it's the "perfect" Spirit or simply a reference to the Holy Spirit.

2. Some believe it is the seven angels. Who possibly blow the seven trumpets and pour out the seven bowls.

3. Yet others believe this is a reference to Isaiah 11.

Isa 11:2; The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.

We then see sort of a list of who Jesus is.... the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead... the ruler of the kings of the earth.
..and of course.. he released us from ours sins by His blood.

Then we see a smaller list of who we are ( to be ). He made us to be a kingdom. Jesus was what you would call a "kingdom teacher".
Almost all of His parables and teachings make reference to a kingdom. The other thing He has made us to be.. "priests" to His God and Father.

This verse is taken along with 1 Peter 2:9; ...

1 Pet 2:9; But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

... to support something called the "priesthood of believers". This is a major doctrine of the protestant church. It's one of the things that separates
protestants from Roman Catholics and other eastern religions. As well as some cult religions like Mormonism.
We are all priests. There is no longer an office of priesthood needed. The main purpose of priests in the old testament was to perform sacrifices.
The ultimate sacrifice has been made, there is no need for anymore sacrifices. So there is no need for priests anymore.

Verse 7 is usually taken as a reference to the second coming. This is similar language to Matt 24:30; Matt 26:64; Mark 13:26; and 1 Thes 4:17;
It says here... "every" eye will see Him. Even those who pierced Him. When Jesus comes back, the whole world will see Him, the whole world will know.
Finally we see Jesus calling Himself the Alpha and Omega, the first and last so to speak. There is another reference about this we will see again shortly.

There are some things here we don't have to guess about. Jesus tells us exactly what they are.

Rev 1:20; [COLOR=red]"As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. [/COLOR]
 
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Loyal
I have also herd some say the seven churches represent time periods in history, and the Church of Laodicea which is the 7 th church is the last of the time period before Christ return. I know America represents the Church of Laodicea well in the description, but I do not know about the rest of the world, Like the house Chuch's in China I have herd are very similar to the church that was started in the book of acts. So I am not so sure about that the theory that the churchs represent periods in history. But they do represent different attitudes we see in today's church's all over the world.

I do understand that they were literal churches of the time first and foremost.
 
Loyal
Ephesus

Rev 2:1; [COLOR=red]"To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands, says this: [/COLOR]
Rev 2:2; [COLOR=red]'I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; [/COLOR]
Rev 2:3; [COLOR=red]and you have perseverance and have endured for My name's sake, and have not grown weary. [/COLOR]
Rev 2:4; [COLOR=red]'But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. [/COLOR]
Rev 2:5; [COLOR=red]'Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent. [/COLOR]
Rev 2:6; [COLOR=red]'Yet this you do have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. [/COLOR]
Rev 2:7; [COLOR=red]'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.' [/COLOR]

This is of course the same church that the book of Ephesians was written to. At the time the new testament was written Ephesus was in Ionia,
a part of Greece. This territory is now part of Turkey. Ephesus was near modern day Selcuk in Turkey.

I personally feel that to understand the church of Ephesus, you would do well to read Ephesians. For the most part Paul doesn't have bad things
to say about the church in Ephesians. This book is known for instructions on how husbands and wives should live together, ( Eph 5:22-33; )
but also the passage about putting on the armor of God. ( Eph 6:10-20; ). Many scholars believe there was about 20 years between the writing
of Ephesians and the writing of Revelation. So what happened to Ephesus?

We already found out what the seven stars and seven golden lampstands were back in Rev 1:20; Jesus is talking to John here.

I know your deeds and your perseverance. He praises them that they do not tolerate evil men. So much for the "tolerance" doctrine that
some churches are preaching today. He says they test "those who call themselves apostles". This is often debated, were there more than
the 12 apostles? (13 if you count Judas). Barnabas is called an Apostle in Acts 14:14; Matthias was added to the eleven apostles in Acts 1:26;
So there were at least 15. Possibly more. But there were also some "false" apostles. I think there are still some of these false apostles in the world today.
The church was smart enough to test them back then. I wonder if some churches are smart enough to do that today?

You have persevered... and have endured... and have not grown weary. There are several other verses in the new testament about those who "overcome"
and do not grow weary, and those who "stand firm" and do not lose hope. A whole sermon could be written about this. But these are things we
have do individually as believers as well as corporately as a church body.

.. to be continued ...
 
Active
I have also herd some say the seven churches represent time periods in history, and the Church of Laodicea which is the 7 th church is the last of the time period before Christ return. I know America represents the Church of Laodicea well in the description, but I do not know about the rest of the world, Like the house Chuch's in China I have herd are very similar to the church that was started in the book of acts. So I am not so sure about that the theory that the churchs represent periods in history. But they do represent different attitudes we see in today's church's all over the world.

I do understand that they were literal churches of the time first and foremost.
People have theories that they put onto revelation all the time, sadly, many of them focus on america as if its the only nation thats important to God. They probably get this from scofield who perpetuated some wacky theories as he had an agenda.

The church in antioch, where people were first called christians is actually still there today. But there is practically no active church left in ephesus. So maybe they didnt repent. Those seven churches were all in the mediterranean ie, they were all greek I think they were part of the first wave of pauls missions that he planted.
 
Loyal
Rev 2:4; [COLOR=red]'But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. [/COLOR]
Rev 2:5; [COLOR=red]'Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent. [/COLOR]
Rev 2:6; [COLOR=red]'Yet this you do have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. [/COLOR]
Rev 2:7; [COLOR=red]'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.' [/COLOR]
Even though this church had some things going for it. Perseverance, testing false apostles, hating evil men, good deeds, etc...
Jesus says.. "I have this against you".... You have left your first love. It seems to me, that a lot of churches have left their "first love".
That phrase "first" love could be taken a couple of ways. It could mean the very first love you ever had. But it could also mean
the love that is "first" in your life. That one thing or person you love most. It seems some "Christians" love other things more than they
love Jesus.

So Jesus has this against them... well OK, how bad can that be? He tells them, remember from where you have fallen.
.. and repent. There's that dreaded repent word again. Otherwise I will remove your lampstand. I will remove you from being a light
to the world. I will remove you from being a church. I will remove you from being a part of the body of Christ.

Yet.. you have this going for you. You hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans. Hmmm.. who were these people?

A quick search on google gives several different answers. Hardly any two are the same.
Some believe these are people who followed Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch. ( Acts 6:5; ) but it is listing people "full of faith"
in this verse, so maybe not. The Nicolaitans are also mentioned in Rev 2:15; Whoever they are, Jesus also hates their deeds. So much for the
idea that Jesus loves everything that everyone does.

But Jesus promises them.. "those that overcome"... will be able to eat from the tree of life.

It wasn't like the church never had the Holy Spirit. At least 12 men from Ephesus received the Holy Spirit from Paul. ( Acts 19:1-7; )
The city of Ephesus doesn't even exist anymore.
Paul did many miracles in Ephesus. This is where the seven sons of Sceva were attacked by a demon. ( Acts 19:11-20; )
 
Loyal
sadly, many of them focus on america as if its the only nation thats important to God.
I have to say I agree with this. Corrupt powerful nations have come and gone over the centuries.
The Roman Empire, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Egyptians, the Ottoman Empire, the Turks, the British Empire, Nazi Germany,
Alexander the great, Napoleon, etc... I personally believe the US just another powerful nation in a long line. I believe that if Jesus
taries much longer, another nation will step up in power.
 
Loyal
Smyrna

Rev 2:8; [COLOR=red]"And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this: [/COLOR]
Rev 2:9; [COLOR=red]'I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. [/COLOR]
Rev 2:10; [COLOR=red]'Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. [/COLOR]
Rev 2:11; [COLOR=red]'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.' [/COLOR]

Smyrna is one of the two churches (out of seven) that Jesus doesn't have anything against them.
Smyrna is another city that was in Greece when the new testament was written, however it would be located in Turkey today.
We don't know a lot about the church in Smyrna, in fact it has the fewest verses about it out of the seven churches. Only four verses.

The one who is the first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life... this would be Jesus of course.
This church is going through some tribulation, and also some poverty. I suppose that could go to show that a good church doesn't have to have
a lot of money necessarily. Also there are those who call themselves Jews, but are not. This is taken a number of ways.
Some say this simply means "Christians". But more generally this is taken to mean biological descendants of Jacob. It says these people
who "say" they are Jews, even though they really aren't, are a synagogue of Satan. Jesus doesn't hold back much on this subject.

He tells them not to fear what they are about to suffer. Some will even be cast into prison.. "so that you will be tested".
I believe sometimes God allows us to be tested. Sometimes the prayer we should be praying isn't for God to remove us from the trial,
but rather to help us through the trial. He says they will have tribulation for ten days. It is a matter of opinion of whether it is a literal ten
days, or this is a figurative time period. But however long it is... if they are faithful until death... He will give them a crown of life.
This goes along with the next verse. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.

Pergamum

Rev 2:12; [COLOR=red]"And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: The One who has the sharp two-edged sword says this: [/COLOR]
Rev 2:13; [COLOR=red]'I know where you dwell, where Satan's throne is; and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. [/COLOR]
Rev 2:14; [COLOR=red]'But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality. [/COLOR]
Rev 2:15; [COLOR=red]'So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. [/COLOR]
Rev 2:16; [COLOR=red]'Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth. [/COLOR]
Rev 2:17; [COLOR=red]'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.' [/COLOR]

The one who has the sharp two edged sword... who could this be? We have a few clues other places in the Bible.
Heb 4:12; talks about the Word of God being sharper than a two edged sword. But Revelation 1 tells us who this is.

Rev 1:13; and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash.
Rev 1:14; His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire.
Rev 1:15; His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters.
Rev 1:16; In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.
Rev 1:17; When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, [COLOR=red]"Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, [/COLOR]
Rev 1:18; [COLOR=red]and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.[/COLOR]

...again we see this is Jesus. There is similar language about the sword in Rev 19:15; and Rev 19:21;
He says I know you dwell where Satan's throne is... ( where in the world would that be today? I'm sure we all have a few ideas about that. ) but even
though they dwell in this place. They hold fast to His name and do not deny His faith.

Who or what is Antipas? Many scholars believe this was a Martyr. Some eastern churches such as the Roman Catholic church have churches named
after "St. Antipas". Other's believe this was just a period of time, or perhaps a leader in Rome who persecuted Christians. This person was killed, but
he was a witness, he was faithful to Jesus. (Where Satan dwells) .. and yet even though they have this going for them.. Jesus has some things against them.

Some to the teachings of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak. We mostly hear about Balaam and Balak in Numbers chapters 22 thru 24;
It seems they are teaching "the sons of Israel" to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality.

Also some are holding on to the teachings of the Nicolaitans. We heard about the Nicolaitans back in the passage about Ephesus, but unlike
Ephesus who hated the deeds of them, Pergamum is holding on to their teachings. Jesus tell them to repent.
I wonder how many churches today are holding onto the teachings of Balaam, Balak and the Nicolaitans? It seems many churches
today are OK with sin, and teach those in the church that God is OK with it.

Unlike the church at Ephesus, where Jesus said to repent or I will remove your lampstand.. Jesus goes a little further with Pergamum.
He actually says He will make war against them (if they do not repent) with the sword of His mouth. Could Jesus actually make war
with some in the church?

Again He says... "to him who overcomes".... I will give some of the hidden manna, and a white stone... ( what is the significance of the manna, and
the stone?) There has been a lot of talk about this as well. Jesus is the bread of life. Manna from heaven came down to feed the Jews while
they were wandering around in the desert.

This stone with our new name on it. No one knows this name but the person who receives this stone (and I assume Jesus who gives it to us).

Thyatira

Rev 2:18; [COLOR=red]"And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze, says this: [/COLOR]
Rev 2:19; [COLOR=red]'I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first. [/COLOR]
Rev 2:20; [COLOR=red]'But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. [/COLOR]
Rev 2:21; [COLOR=red]'I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality. [/COLOR]
Rev 2:22; [COLOR=red]'Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. [/COLOR]
Rev 2:23; '[COLOR=red]And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds. [/COLOR]
Rev 2:24; [COLOR=red]'But I say to you, the rest who are in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not known the deep things of Satan, as they call them—I place no other burden on you. [/COLOR]
Rev 2:25; [COLOR=red]'Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come. [/COLOR]
Rev 2:26; [COLOR=red]'He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS; [/COLOR]
Rev 2:27; [COLOR=red]AND HE SHALL RULE THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON, AS THE VESSELS OF THE POTTER ARE BROKEN TO PIECES, as I also have received authority from My Father; [/COLOR]
Rev 2:28; [COLOR=red]and I will give him the morning star. [/COLOR]
Rev 2:29; [COLOR=red]'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.' [/COLOR]

Once again we have a city in Turkey, that used to be in Greece. This city is now called Akhisar.
Again, this church some things going for it. Deeds, love, faith, service, perseverance, and their later deeds are better than their earlier deeds.
It seems the deeds that we do matter to God. Some churches preach that they do not. But the scriptures that say they do far out weigh
the few that seem to say they don't. There are dozens of them.

But again, He has something against this church... but He realizes this church is divided.
You tolerate the woman Jezebel. Who is Jezebel? Again it seems we aren't supposed to tolerate everyone.
There was an evil King named Ahab in the old testament married to a woman named Jezebel. She is mentioned quite a bit in 1 Kings chapter 16
to chapter 22. She is also mentioned in 2 Kings 9 several times. Jezebel was famous for being rebellious against God.
Of course in the end she died, but the Bible says this about her...

1 Kin 21:25; Surely there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do evil in the sight of the LORD, because Jezebel his wife incited him.

Between Eve, Delilah and Jezebel, I'm not sure what this says about wives... :smile:
But seriously she was a very evil woman. In my opinion, the most evil woman in the Bible. Could it be that some churches are allowing this
same spirit of rebellion against God in them? In fact, has there ever been a time history when many churches were more rebellious?

This Jezebel calls herself a prophet and leads Jesus's bond-servants (Christians) astray. They commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed
to idols. Jesus gave her time to repent, but... "she does not want to". Sadly there are many Jesus is calling to repent, but they simply...
"do not want to". So she and those who commit "adultery" with her are thrown onto a bed of sickness and great tribulation.... "unless,
they repent of their deeds". The patience and grace of Jesus is overwhelming to me in this passage that He would still give them a chance
to repent. "I will kill her children". Who are children? Those who follow you and perpetuate your line. "I will give to each one one of you
according to your deeds". Again we see even those in the church will be judged by their deeds. Again several other verses support this.

Then Jesus says... but to the rest of you (the other half of the divided church) who do not hold to this teaching, and who have not
known the deep things of Satan.... I have no requirement for you. What are the deep things of Satan? Have you ever known them?
I am sad to say, I have known them in my past.

"Nevertheless, hold on to what you have until I come"
There are still Christian churches in Akhisar even to this day. Jesus had been ascended back to heaven for over 20 years when this was written.
But He says... "until I come". He is coming back for the church.

He who overcomes.. and.. keeps the deeds of Jesus (many leave this part about keeping the deeds of Jesus out for some reason).
Jesus gives this person authority over the nations. Like Jesus, they will rule with a rod of iron. ... and Jesus will give him the morning star.
What is this star and what is the significance of it?

He who has an ear.... are you listening to what the Spirit says here? There are many ignoring what the Spirit is saying to the church today.

Sardis

Rev 3:1; [COLOR=red]"To the angel of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: 'I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. [/COLOR]
Rev 3:2; [COLOR=red]'Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. [/COLOR]
Rev 3:3; [COLOR=red]'So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you. [/COLOR]
Rev 3:4; [COLOR=red]'But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. [/COLOR]
Rev 3:5; [COLOR=red]'He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. [/COLOR]
Rev 3:6; [COLOR=red]'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.' [/COLOR]

If one of these churches does indeed represent the US, I would have to think this is the one.
Jesus knows the deeds they done in the past. The name of the church has a good reputation that they do many great things.
But that was yesterday... today you are dead. Wake up!!!

Remember what you heard and what you used to do. Keep doing it!! Don't rest on yesterdays laurels. It seems so many in the church today
are thinking "well I did some great stuff for God 20 years ago, isn't that enough?" Jesus says, if you do not wake up... I will come like a thief,
you won't be ready when I come. This is taken a couple of ways, I personally take it both ways.

Jesus comes around to see what the church is doing every day, every week. Some churches don't even acknowledge Him. It seems they could
care less whether He shows up or not. But it's also talking about the second coming, the return of Christ on the last day when the trumpet sounds.
What you did 10 or 20 years ago won't matter on that day. It's what you're doing now and how you are living now that matters.

But He says... you have a few people... who haven't soiled their garments. Think about that for a moment. Many Christians today think
"I'm saved, I'm good." "I'm washed in the blood, I'm clean". But they don't realize it's possible to soil your garments again.
It's possible to be like a dog and return to your vomit, or a swine and return to your pig sty. Even after you have been washed.

2 Pet 2:22; It has happened to them according to the true proverb, "A DOG RETURNS TO ITS OWN VOMIT," and, "A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire."

But He who "overcomes". Have you noticed.. this phrase is spoken to most of the churches. But wait, didn't Jesus already overcome?
Yes He did, but are you walking in victory with Him, or are you walking in sin and the past life you lived before you met Him?

Here is a quick recap of what He says to some of the other churches...

Rev 2:7; [COLOR=red]'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.'[/COLOR]
Rev 2:11; [COLOR=red]'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.'[/COLOR]
Rev 2:17; [COLOR=red]'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.'[/COLOR]
Rev 2:26; [COLOR=red]'He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS;[/COLOR]
Rev 3:5; [COLOR=red]'He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.[/COLOR]
Rev 3:12; [COLOR=red]'He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.[/COLOR]
Rev 3:21; [COLOR=red]'He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.[/COLOR]

Yes Jesus overcame. You can't do it without Him, but even with Him helping you, the choice to overcome is up to you.

1 Jn 5:4; For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
1 Jn 5:5; Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

Some people take this verse as a guarantee that you "will" overcome. But what it is really saying here is that no one will
overcome the world without Jesus. Our faith is the victory that overcomes the world... You may say "I have faith". Perhaps,
but have you passed the test of faith? When was the last time? 20 years ago?

The people who keep passing this test will not have their names erased from the book of life. Those who didn't just "overcome"
one a long time ago in the past, but are still overcoming today.
 
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Active
Bac I was at church on sunday and a brother I didnt know as I hadnt seen him before asked me if I knew the angel of my church. I said well I dont know the name of the angel but sure every church has an angel right..? Watching over it, in revelation.

He said he was just told to go there. I think thats kind of cool. Its a special church. I was kinda led there too. Tell that testimony another day.
 
Loyal
Philadelphia

Rev 3:7; [COLOR=red]"And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says this: [/COLOR]
Rev 3:8; [COLOR=red]'I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name. [/COLOR]
Rev 3:9; [COLOR=red]'Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you. [/COLOR]
Rev 3:10; [COLOR=red]'Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. [/COLOR]
Rev 3:11; [COLOR=red]'I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown. [/COLOR]
Rev 3:12; [COLOR=red]'He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name. [/COLOR]
Rev 3:13; [COLOR=red]'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.' [/COLOR]

Philadephia is known Alaşehir in modern day Turkey. It's name means "city of brotherly love". This comes from the greek work "Philos".
It's also the name of the a city in the state of Pennsylvania in the US.

This is one of the two churches that Jesus doesn't have anything He holds against them. Still, like the other churches, He does leave them with a warning.

Verses seven and eight above have references to Isa 22:22;

Isa 22:22; "Then I will set the key of the house of David on his shoulder, When he opens no one will shut, When he shuts no one will open.

These are the only two verses in the Bible that talk about the "key of David".
The other obvious references mentions a door that He (Jesus) opens and no one else can shut. This is still true today, God controls our circumstances.
There are doors that only He can open and only He can shut.

Unlike Sardis which was completely dead, this church still has "a little power". They have "kept His word", and have not denied His name.

Rev 3:9; is similar to Rev 2:9; (the passage about the church of Smyrna). It's interesting that these "false Jews", (people who say they are Jews,
but are not really) are only mentioned in the two churches that He doesn't have anything against. Again in both passages He mentions they
are of "the synagogue of Satan". It's obvious Satan has his followers as well, his own church if you will. A great promise here is that Jesus
will cause these false Jews to bow down at their feet.. "and make them know that I have loved you".

Perhaps there are people in the world who don't know Jesus, much less that He loves the true church. But one day... some of them "will" know.
It will be too late for them on that day.

Verses 10 is another one of those controversial verses that is taken a number of ways, but possibly it means some in the church will not have
to face "the hour of testing", which will come upon the "whole" world. To test those on the earth. This is usually taken as the great tribulation.

Jesus says He is "coming quickly". Since this was written many years after His resurrection and ascension back to heaven, this is usually taken
to mean the second coming. Jesus tells this church "hold fast to what you have". This is another obvious passage (there are many that are similar)
that it's at least partially up to us... "to hold on". Jesus doesn't do all of the "holding on" for us. ... so that no one will take your crown.

Again like the church of Smyrna, He says if they hold on.. they will get "a crown of life". ( Rev 2:10; ) but he says "hold fast" to what you have...
so that no one will take your crown. Some Christians take verses like Eph 2:6; and Col 3:1; to mean that since you are "already" in heaven
with Jesus in a manner of speaking, that you already have your crown and you already have your reward. However, even if that's true...
your crown can still be taken away from you. At least while you're still walking in this life.

You used to hear a phrase in many churches... that we will all cast our crowns at Jesus's feet one day. There is even a Christian music group
who's name has reference to this. However the Bible doesn't actually say this anywhere. It does say the 24 elders will do this. ( Rev 4:10; )
But it doesn't say anyone else will have to.

"He who overcomes".. again we see that phrase, as we see to the other churches. There are things in our walk that it's up to us to overcome.
Unlike the people of the old testament, who didn't have the Holy Spirit and the scriptures to help them, we do. Jesus overcame the world
so that we could also. But we have to choose to do this... we have to take our cross "daily". ( Luke 9:23; )

We also see reference to the New Jerusalem here, which hopefully will cover later. Some in the church will be "a pillar" in this place, and
they will never go "out from it anymore". It sounds like this will be their permanent dwelling place.

... one church left ...

Laodicea

Rev 3:14; [COLOR=red]"To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this: [/COLOR]
Rev 3:15; [COLOR=red]'I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. [/COLOR]
Rev 3:16; [COLOR=red]'So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. [/COLOR]
Rev 3:17; [COLOR=red]'Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, [/COLOR]
Rev 3:18; [COLOR=red]I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. [/COLOR]
Rev 3:19; [COLOR=red]'Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. [/COLOR]
Rev 3:20; [COLOR=red]'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. [/COLOR]
Rev 3:21; [COLOR=red]'He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. [/COLOR]
Rev 3:22; [COLOR=red]'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'" [/COLOR]

So we finally come to the last of the seven churches. Laodicea.
I saw earlier that Sardis was completely dead, Laodicea is called lukewarm, neither hot or cold. Jesus says I would rather that you were hot or cold than be lukewarm.
..and yet "lukewarm" Christian seem to be the most common type in the world today. They aren't completely spiritually dead yet, but they aren't exactly on fire for
Jesus either. They are just going through the motions, but have no power or conviction in their testimony.
This may be the biggest church in the world today.

These churches say "I am rich", I have become wealthy and need nothing. There are a lot of large wealthy mega-churches in the world today. Especially here in the US.
Some of these churches have thousands of members and collect offerings of several millions of dollars every year. The staff gets paid very well, they have large elaborate
buildings, television ministries, and great bands. Now there is nothing wrong in some of these things in themselves... but when you become so rich you need nothing,
not even Jesus... you are really wretched miserable poor and blind. I've been to a few of these churches. There is a lot of flash, loud music, but very little substance.
Most of what is taught comes from opinions and society rather than scripture.

I advise you to buy gold from Me. What kind of gold is Jesus selling here? This is usually interpreted as love and grace.
So that you may become rich.... rich in.. (money?) or in spiritual things that matter to God? This is a tricky passage with many different interpretations.
But whatever it is, you can only get it from Jesus. What should you do with this "gold"? Buy white garments and clothe yourself. Cover your nakedness
and eye salve... so you may see.

We've already talked about white robes a little previously, we've also mentioned "soiled" garments (church of Sardis). It seems those who "overcome"
get these garments. So why is this church naked? No love? No grace? No overcoming. Why are they blind?

There are a few other verses that may hold the answer.

2 Cor 4:4; in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

These are unbelievers... is it possible there are un-believers in the church?

1 Jn 2:11; But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Finally a real.. practical reason. This goes back to the "no love" mentioned above.

Rev 3:19; [COLOR=red]'Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. [/COLOR]

Unfortunately not everyone who is reproved and disciplined truly repents. "therefore".. be zealous .. and repent.
Be zealous.. what does that mean? It means have passion, have fire, have purpose. Make God matter in your life. Don't lose your first love.

Rev 3:20; [COLOR=red]'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. [/COLOR]

It may be that no man comes to Jesus unless the Father draws him. ( John 6:44; ) but even so.. we have to answer the door when Jesus comes knocking.
He doesn't bust the door down. How many times are we too busy for Jesus?

Finally He promises.. those "that overcome" (how many times have we heard this by now?) get to sit with Jesus on His throne.

Next: armageddon...
 
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I wonder why Jesus, the Living Son of God, had to forget or couldn’t have enough time to reveal in person the new things (seen very important to many people) that the man who wrote the book of ‘Revelation’ did in much detail.

For instance, I am usually told that one cannot find the Way and the Truth of his life from Jesus sayings only.

So what could I do? The revelations, that Jesus did in person only, happen to be more than enough for me to help me answer, logically and practically, all the important questions that I was looking for about my existence (now and after life). So I am sorry if I look rather weird in this respect.


Kerim
 

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