Archives For Revelation

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Past Lessons

B. Text of Rev 9:13-21

“13Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet and I heard a voice from the corners of the golden altar before God. 14The voice said to the sixth angel (the one who holds the sixth trumpet), ‘Release the four angels which have been bound at the great Euphrates River.’ 15The four angels which were ready for this hour, day, month, and year were released in order to kill one-third of mankind. 16The number of their calvary army was 200,000,000 troops. I heard their number. 17Then I saw horses in a vision and the ones riding the horses had breastplates that were fiery colored, violet, and yellow. The heads of the hourses were like the heads of lions. Fire, smoke, and sulfur came from their mouths. 18From these three plagues one-third of mankind was killed. This was due to the fire, smoke, and sulfur which came from the mouths of the horses. 19For the power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails. For their tails were like snakes which had heads that hurt people. 20The rest of mankind which was not killed by the plagues would not repent from the work of their hands because they did not want to stop worshipping the evil spirits nor the gold, bronze, stone, or wooden idols. These idols do not have power to see nor hear nor walk. 21And they would not repent from their murders or magic or sexual immortality or from their stealing.” (Rev 9:13-21) 1

The Sixth Trumpet Releases the Second Terror in Rev 9.13 to 9.21

Photo Credit: Phillip Medhurst “Four Angels Let Loose”

C. General Remarks

“It is as though John is systematically saying, ‘Think of your worst nightmares; now double them; and then imagine them coming true all at once together. That’s what it’s going to be like. This is God’s way of letting evil do its worst, so that it may eventually fall under its own weight.’” (Wright, Revelation for Everyone, 92)

“It is poor hermeneutics to try to see them [the plagues] as prophetic modern weapons of war like tanks, planes, or nuclear missiles. John was thinking of ancient warfare, and the terrible fire and smoke caused by the siege engines of the Roman army. By giving each a separate place John is trying to capture the terrible devastation of the demonic cavalry as it goes to war again the peoples of the earth” (Osborne, Revelation, 384).

II. THE SIXTH TRUMPET RELEASES WRATH (9:13-16)

A. A Voice from the Altar (v. 13)

“Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet and I heard a voice from the corners of the golden altar before God.” (Rev 9:13)

B. Instructions for Release (v. 14) Continue Reading…

Notes:

  1. Unless otherwise noted, all translations are my own based on the NA28 Greek Text.

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Review of Past Blog Posts

B. Text of Rev 9:1-12

“1The fifth angel blew his trumpet and I saw a star which had fallen from heaven to the earth. He was given the key to the shaft of the abyss. 2He opened the shaft to the Abyss and smoke ascended from the abyss like the smoke of a great furnace. Then the sun and wair were darkened from the smoke of the shaft. 3Locusts come out of the smoke into the earth. They were given power like scorpions of the earth. 4The locusts were told not to injure the grass of the earth, any green grass, or any tree, except the people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5The locusts were not allowed to kill them, but only to torture them for five months. Their torment was like the torture of a scorpion whenever it strikes a person. 6During that time people will want to die but they will not. They will want to die but death will escape them. 7The form of the locusts were like horses prepared for battle, and their heads had crowns like gold, and their faces were like human faces. 8They had hair like women’s hair and teeth like a lion. 9Their chests were like iron breastplates, and the noise of their wings was like the noise of many horse war chariots advancing toward battle. 10They had tails and stingers like scorpions. Their power was in their tails to injure people for the duration of five months. 11They had over them the king angel of the abyss. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek is Apollyon. The first woe has come. Look! Two more woes are coming after this. (Rev 9:1-12) 1

The Fifth Trumpet Releases the First Terror in Rev 9.1 to 9.12

Photo Credit: Phillip Medhurst

C. General Remarks

The fifth trumpet is unique because John uses much more space to explain this trumpet. For the first four trumpets only seven verses are used while John uses twelve verses to describe the fifth trumpet.

“The stuff of horror movies, or nightmares, or both. We can only assume, when John wrote down this vision of the locusts, that he was intending to produce a similar effect. He lavishes more details description on these super-locusts than on any other creature in this vivid book” (Wright, Revelation for Everyone, 85).

II. THE FIFTH ANGEL AND AN OPEN BOTTOMLESS PIT (Rev 9:1-2)

A. A Fallen Star Opens the Bottomless Pit (v. 1)

“The fifth angel blew his trumpet and I saw a star which had fallen from heaven to the earth. He was given the key to the shaft of the abyss.” (Rev 9:1)

1. A Fallen Star Continue Reading…

Notes:

  1. Unless otherwise noted, all translations are my own.

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Review of Past Blog Posts

B. Text of Revelation 8:6-13

“6Then the seven angels who were holding the seven trumpets prepared themselves so that they could blow their trumpets. 7The first angel blew his trumpet and there was hail mixed with fire and blood thrown down on the earth. One-third of the earth was burned up, one-third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned. 8The second angel blew his trumpet and something like a great mountain engulfed in flames was thrown into the sea. As a result, one-third of the sea was blood, 9one-third of the creatures living in the sea died, and one-third of the ships were destroyed. 10The third angel blew his trumpet and a great star engulfed in flames like a lamp fell from heaven on one-third of the rivers and springs of water, 11The name of the star was ‘Wormwood.’ As a result one-third of the waters became wormwood/bitter and many people died from the water because it was bitter. 12Then the fourth angel blew his trumpet and one-third of the sun was struck, one-third of the moon was struck, and one-third of the stars were struck. Therefore one-third of them were darkened. One-third of the day did not shine and the night was the same way. 13Then I looked and I saw one eagle which was flying in the midheaven saying in a loud voice, ‘Woe, woe, woe to those who live on the earth who are left after the noise of the trumpets. Three angels are still about to blow their trumpets.’” (Rev 8:6-13)[Unless otherwise noted, all translations are my own.[/ref]

The First Four Trumpets in Rev 8.6 to 8.13

Matthias Gerung: “The Opening of the Seventh Seal and the First Four Sounding Trumpets, Revelation 8:1-13”

C. General Remarks

“These four [trumpets] set in motion forces of nature to achieve their destructive effects on natural objects.” (Thomas, Revelation 8-22, 13).

“However great the contrary evidence, this modern myth of the eradication of evil through ‘enlightenment’, leaving only a few minor mopping-up operation (preferably in far-away places) before Utopia finally arrives, has taken such a hold on popular imagination that any idea of God having to do anything powerful and destructive to address the problem is regarded as far too drastic, far too dramatic.” (Wright, Revelation for Everyone, 81).

“The vision [of Rev 8:6-12] reminds us that we live in a seriously flawed creation. Humanity attempts valiantly to bring the adverse powers of the created order under its control, but to no avail. El Nino and La Nina events continue to spread disruption and destruction, hurricanes and tornadoes continue to lay waste, earthquakes continue to uncreate human creations, floods continue to wash away human structures and livelihoods, and droughts continue to devastate and wild fires ravage. We live in a creation that has been infected by the rebellion and manifests the inherent destructiveness that is the corollary of turning away from God. John’s vision provides this glimpse of a fallen creation as a point of reference for the vision of a new creation (21:1), which is part of the ultimate consummation of God’s restoration of the kingdom and the fulfillment of the covenant” (Mulholland, Revelation [2011], 487).

II. THE SEVEN ANGELS PREPARE TO BLOW THEIR TRUMPETS (8:6)

“Then the seven angels who were holding the seven trumpets prepared themselves so that they could blow their trumpets.” (Rev 8:6)

III. THE FIRST TRUMPET (8:7) Continue Reading…

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Past Lessons

B. Text of Rev 8:1-5

“1When the Lamb opened the seventh seal there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2Then I saw seven angels who had been standing in front of the throne and they were given seven trumpets. 3Then another angel came and stood near the altar holding a golden censer and a large amount of incense was given to him so that he can give the prayers of the many saints on the golden altar. 4Then the smoke of the incense from the prayers of the saints ascended up out of the hand of the angel in front of God’s throne. 5Next the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire from the altar and threw it on the earth. Then there was thunder, noise, lightening, and an earthquake.” (Rev 8:1-5) 1

The Lamb Breaks the Seventh Seal (Rev 8:1-5)

Matthias Gerung: “The Opening of the Seventh Seal and the First Four Sounding Trumpets, Revelation 8:1-13”

II. OPENING SILENCE (8:1-2)

A. The Seventh Seal’s Silence (v. 1)

Καὶ ὅταν ἤνοιξεν τὴν σφραγῖδα τὴν ἑβδόμην, ἐγένετο σιγὴ ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ ὡς ἡμιώριον.

“When the Lamb opened the seventh seal there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.” (Rev 8:1)

1. The Sound of Silence Continue Reading…

Notes:

  1. Unless otherwise noted, all translations are my own. The Greek text is from NA28.

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Past Lessons

B. Text of Rev 7:9-17

“9After this I looked and behold: A great crowd which no one was able to count. The crowd was from every ethnicity, nation, people, and language and stood before the throne and before the Lamb wearing white robes and held palm branches in their hands. 10They cried out in a loud voice saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God—the one who sits on the throne—and to the Lamb.’ 11All the angels stood around the throne, the elders, the four living beings, and they fell before the throne on their faces and they worshipped God 12saying, ‘Amen! Praise, honor, wisdom, thanksgiving, reverence, power, and strength to our God forever and ever. Amen!’ 13Then one of the elders asked me, ‘Who are these clothed in long white robes and where did they come from?’ 14Then I replied to him, ‘My lord, you know the answer.’ And he said to me, ‘These are the ones coming from out of the great persecution, clothed in their long-flowing robes, and made white through the blood of the Lamb.’ 15This is why they are in front of the throne of God and serve him during the day and during the night in his Temple. The one sitting on the throne will live with them. 16They will not be hungry nor will they be thirsty, nor will the sun fall on them or its burning heat 17because the Lamb in the midst of the throne shepherds them and leads them to the fountain of living water. God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Rev 7:9-17) 1

 

God and the Lamb Are Praised (Rev 7:9-17)

Photo Credit: Nheyob

C. General Remarks

“The verbs in this section are very diverse, combining present, future, aorist, and perfect tenses. There is a great debate as to the temporal orientation of the passages, with some contending for a preterist interpretation (applying to the members of the seven churches), others to a millennial setting, still others to the time just before eternity is ushered in, and finally many to eternity itself” (Osborne, Revelation, 334).

“But, as so often in Revelation (and in Christian thinking generally), present and future overlap and interlock in various confusing ways, and already some of the blessings of the final city are to be experienced by these people – by these people who, John is eager to say, are you, you who are about to suffer in Ephesus, or Smyrna, or Pergamum, or wherever” (Wright, Revelation for Everyone, 75).

II. PRAISE FROM THE HEAVENS (Rev 7:9-12)

A. The Crowd in White Robes (v. 9) Continue Reading…

Notes:

  1. Unless otherwise noted, all translations are my own

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Past Lessons

  • John’s Introduction (1)
  • John’s Letters (2)
  • John’s Vision in Heaven (4-5)
  • First Six Seals (6)

B. Text of Rev 7:1-8

“1After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth. They were holding back the four winds of the earth so they would not blow neither on the sea nor against the trees. 2Then I saw another angel coming up from the east (where the sun rises) and the angel had the seal of the living God. The angel cried out in a loud voice to the four angels who were given ability to harm the earth and the sea 3saying, ‘Do not harm the earth neither the sea nor the trees, until we seal the foreheads of the servants of our God.’ 4Then I heard the number of those who had been sealed—144,000—who were sealed from the descendants of Israel. 5From the tribe of Judah: 12,000 were sealed. From the tribe of Reuben: 12,000. From the tribe of Gad: 12,000. 6From the tribe of Asher: 12,000. From the tribe of Nephtali: 12,000. From the tribe of Manasseh: 12,000. 7From the tribe of Simeon: 12,000. From the tribe of Levi: 12,000. From the tribe of Issachar: 12,000. 8From the tribe of Zebulun: 12,000. From the tribe of Joseph: 12,000. From the tribe of Benjamin: 12,000 were sealed.” (Rev 7:1-8) 1

144,000 People Marked with the Seal of God (Rev 7:1-8)

Photo Credit: Matthais Gerung (1500-1570)

C. General Remarks

“Just when you think you are nearly at the top of the mountain, you crest a ridge and there . . . is another ridge half a mile ahead, steeper than the one you’ve just climbed. This is how it feels to get to this point [Rev 7] in the sequence of the ‘seals’ which have kept the purposes of God, written on the scroll, from being put into effect” (Wright, Revelation for Everyone, 69). Continue Reading…

Notes:

  1. Unless otherwise noted, all translations are my own. Greek text is from the NA28

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Past Lessons

B. Text of Rev 6:9-17

“9And when the Lamb opened the fifth seal I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slaughtered because of the Word of God and because of their testimony. 10Then they cried out in a loud voice: ‘How long, Lord—Holy and True—until you judge and punish those who live on the earth for our blood?’ 11Each of them was given a long white robe and was told they will rest a little longer until the number of their fellow slaves and brothers (who are about to be killed as they were) is fulfilled. 12Next I looked and the Lamb opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake and the sun became like dark sackcloth hair and the whole moon was like blood. 13The stars in the sky fell to the earth as a fig tree throws its unripe figs from a great wind which is stirring. 14The heavens separated like a book being rolled up and the mountains and islands were shaken from their place. 15The kings of the earth, dignitaries, military leaders, rich, strong, every slave and free person hid themselves in caves in the rocks of the mountains. 16They said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the presence of the one who sits on the throne and from the anger of the Lamb.’ 17They said this because their great day of wrath has come, and who has power to stand?” (Rev 6:9-17) 1

 

The Fifth and Sixth Seals Effects on the Earth (Rev 6:9-17)

“The Opening of the Fifth and Sixth Seals” Matthais Gerung (1500-1570)

C. General Remarks

“The book of Revelation discredits those who teach that God is so loving and kind that He will never judge people who have not received His Son. Though the modern mind is reluctant to accept the fact that God will judge the wicked, the Bible clearly teaches that He will. The Scriptures reveal a God of love as clearly as they reveal a God of wrath who will deal with those who spurn the grace of Christ. The passage before us is a solemn word that there is inevitable judgment ahead for those who will not receive Christ by faith.” (Walvoord, Revelation, 135)

II. THE FIFTH SEAL’S MARTYRS (6:9-11) Continue Reading…

Notes:

  1. Unless otherwise noted, all translations are my own. Greek text is from Nestle-Aland 28

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Past Lessons

John’s Introduction and Vision of the Son of Man
Letters to the Seven Churches
John Taken to Heaven to See the 24 Elders (Rev 4:1-6a)
John Take to Heaven to See 4 Living Beings (Rev 4:6b-11)
The One Worthy to Open the Scroll (Rev 5:1-7)
Why the Lamb Is Worthy to Open the Scroll (Rev 5:8-14)

B. Text of Rev 6:1-8

“1Then I saw the Lamb as he opened the first of the seven seals. I heard one of the four living beings saying like the noise of thunder: ‘Come!’ 2Then I looked and behold: a white horse. The one riding the horse was holding a bow, a crown was given to him, and as a conquerer he went out in order to conquer. 3When the Lamb opened the second seal I heard the second living being say: ‘Come!’ 4Another horse came which was fiery red. The rider was given ability to take peace from the earth so that people will kill each other, so he was given a large sword. 5When the Lamb opened the third seal I heard the third living being say, ‘Come.’ Then I looked and behold: a black horse! The rider was holding a scale in his hand. 6Then I heard something like a voice in the midst of the third living being saying: ‘A quart of grain will be a day’s pay. Three quarts of barely will be a day’s pay. But olive oil and wine must not be affected.’ 7When the Lamb opened the fourth seal I heard a voice from the fourth living beings saying: ‘Come!’ 8Then I looked and behold: a pale green horse! The rider was named ‘Death,’ and ‘Hades’ was following him. Power was given to them to kill one-fourth of the earth with sword, famine, disease, and by beasts of the earth.” (Rev 6:1-8) 1

The Four Horsemen (Rev 6:1-8)

Photo Credit: “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” Matthais Gerung (1500-1570)

C. General Remarks

“From this introduction to the judgments portrayed in Revelation, it should be evident that the world is facing a time of trouble never known before. The dream of the optimist for a world becoming increasingly better scientifically, intellectually, morally, and religiously does not fit the pattern of God’s prophetic Word. The ultimate triumph of God is assured, as Revelation makes plain, Christ will reign over the earth and bring in a kingdom of peace and righteousness after the time of trouble has run its course. First, however, there must be the awful time of the great tribulation” (Walvoord, Revelation, 130).

“In books, in newspapers, in magazine articles, and in radio broadcasts, we read and hear about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, who are riding across the earth today” (Metzger, Breaking the Code, 59).

“Any exposition of Revelation must have presuppositions based upon a study of the entire Word of God and consider the question of whether prophecy should be interpreted with the same degree of literalness as other portions of Scripture. Though Revelation abounds in signs and symbols, it was intended to be interpreted with far greater literalness than has been commonly applied. Such an approach yields a remarkable picture of the end of the age that coincides with other prophetic revelation” (Walvoord, Revelation, 121). Continue Reading…

Notes:

  1. Unless otherwise note, all English translations are my own

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Summary of Past Lessons

B. Text of Rev 2:1-7

“1Write to the angel of the church in Ephesus: This is the message of the one holding the seven stars in his right hand, of the one walking among the seven golden lampstands. 2I know your good deeds, work, and steadfastness. I also know that you do not allow evil, for you tested those who say to themselves that they are apostles (but are not) and you found them to be liars. 3You have perseverance and endured difficulty in my name while not getting tired. 4But, I have this against you: you abandoned your first love. 5Therefore, remember where you have fallen, express remorse, and do the things you did at first. But, if not, I will come to you and I will remove your lampstand from its place if you don’t repent. 6But, you have this: you hate the work of the Nicolaitans whom I also hate. 7The one who has an ear must listen to what the Spirit says to the churches: ‘To the one who overcomes I will give the privileged to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’”

John Writes to the Churches in Ephesus and Smyrna

Bamberg Apocalypse: “John Writes to the Churches in Ephesus and Smyrna” (AD 1000)

C. History and Background of the City of Ephesus

Ephesus was a thriving city at the time of John’s letter (95 AD) that had a population of about 250,000 people (Osborne, Revelation, 108) to 500,000 people (Mulholland, Revelation [2011], 434). In terms of commercial work, it was the largest city in the Roman province of Asia (Thomas, Revelation 1-7, 128). The city was accessible by both sea and land with well built highways connecting it to other cities (Thomas, Revelation 1-7, 128-129). There was no military installment there. Instead, the city was known for its athletic games that it held annually (Thomas, Revelation 1-7, 129). Religious life revolved around the Greek goddess, Artemis (see Acts 19:24, 27, 28, 34, 35). Artemis had a 425 foot long and 220 foot wide temple that is considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world (Thomas, Revelation 1-7, 129).

The city of Ephesus is mentioned several times throughout the New Testament:

  • Paul ended his second missionary journey to Ephesus in AD 52 (Acts 18:19-21)
  • Paul left Priscilla and Aquilla in Ephesus (Acts 18:26)
  • Paul returned to the city of Ephesus in his third missionary journey (Acts 20:31)
  • Paul left Timothy in charge of the church after one of his visits (1 Tim 1:3)

Continue Reading…