Assuming that you just stumbled onto this blog, we are studying the Revelation.
Because a great majority of the church has no idea what is in this book; and, even if you did manage to read it, do you have any idea who is the rider on the white horse, that we see in Revelation 6? We have already covered the answer to that question in a previous post, and it is fairly well identified so that you can go back and study that subject.
If you choose to understand, not only the Revelation, but any book of the Bible, you would do well to understand that the Bible is a Jewish-centered book. In the case of the Revelation, you can see evidence of that in Revelation 2:9 and again in Revelation 3:9. In both of those cases, the church bodies are referred to as the synagogue of Satan. I, in reading one day, noticed this and thought, most, among the nations (as a Gentile – non-Jew,) may not have a clue as to what a synagogue is, however, the Jewish reader has an immediate understanding. Inferences to God’s chosen people, the Jewish people, and the nation of Israel are in virtually every book in the Bible. If this bothers you, then you better repent of your racism quickly and get used to change.
Chapters 1-3 are a historic and spiritual description of the church as it has gone through the ages. Many of these churches were gone by the time John saw this vision, but in almost every way, these descriptions speak to some of us today.
Revelation chapter four opens with these words, “After these things,” indicating an end of the church age and the migration into the time of God’s judgment of Israel and the nations.
Revelation chapter five seems as if it is going to be filled with grief, as, according to John, there is no one worthy to open the seals. Knowing what is to be revealed by the seals, it is hard to understand why anyone would be anticipating what is to come unless you have an expectancy of Christ’s return for His bride. One of the elders comes to John and tells him, not to worry for the Lion of the tribe of Judah is worthy. Having that piece of information you would think that the next thing John sees would be something like Aslan of the Narnia chronicles, but what he sees is Jesus as the slaughtered lamb. Because of this disclosure chapter, five is one of the most glorious of the chapters.
Revelation chapter six covers the beginning of God’s wrath as represented by the opening of the six seals, which includes the introduction of the antichrist character.
The seventh instrument of judgment, in this case, the sixth seal, is typically the announcement of the next phase of wrath, or, the final judgment, as we will see with the bowl judgments.
Most importantly, you need to know that the wrath of God, was not and is not meant for those who are in Christ. That being said, it does not mean that you will not go through tribulation while you are on this alive on this earth, Jesus, so to speak, guaranteed that aspect. I will show you a verse, but first, let me say that most translated that as tribulations.
John 16:33 NLT I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
How anyone survives the seal judgments is beyond me, and yet there are two more.
End of page one.
Revelation chapter seven gives you details of what has been happening behind the scenes during the seal judgments; and, it points out that a mass slaughter of people who have come to an acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah, during this time of horror has happened. This redemption process continues throughout the time of wrath, to the point that the dead, because of their testimony, become uncountable. Praise God for that.
We are also told, here in chapter seven, that God has the destruction stopped for a moment as they mark/seal 144,000 Jewish young men who have not been tainted by the world’s desires – they are referred to as virgins. By the way, we, who have accepted Christ, have been sealed by the Holy Spirit.
With the opening of the seventh seal, there is a half-hour of silence. One would get the impression that it has been very noisy so far, and the first shofar has yet to sound.
Revelation chapter eight shows us the seventh seal, which portrays, the prayers of the saints, being mixed with burning incense, in one of the heavenly censers; it is then thrown to the earth. What follows is: peals of thunder, sounds, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake. The seven trumpets or shofars begin to sound their judgments.
The first shofar sounds.
Revelation 8:7 NASB The first angel 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.
Revelation 8:8-9 NASB 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, (9) and a third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life, died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
Revelation 8:10-11 NASB (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. (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.
Revelation 8:12 NASB 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.
Revelation eight ends with an eagle, flying in mid-heaven and crying out with a loud voice, saying, woe woe woe to the inhabitants of the earth because of the trumpet blasts that are about to come.
We ended our last post with this verse.
Revelation 9:1 NASB 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.
Pay attention to the choice of words. Scripture does not, as yet, put this angel into the bottomless pit, that comes at the end of the time of wrath and the beginning of the millennial reign.
End of page two.
The fallen angel, does, however, have the keys to Sheol, another name for the bottomless pit, and it should be known that the possessor of the keys controls the fear factor associated with the pit.
So, who is this fallen angel?
Because Jesus tells us that He saw Lucifer, the day-star, thrown to earth, then we are talking about Satan.
Does Satan still have the keys?
Without question, NO!
Revelation 1:17-18 NASB (17) When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, (18) and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.
Because of that statement, we should no longer have any fear of Sheol.
With that introduction, let’s continue on with the fifth shofar.
Revelation 9:1-6 NASB 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. (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. (3) Then out of the smoke came locusts upon the earth, and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power. (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. (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. (6) And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them.
I feel confident that this star that had fallen is Satan.
Things to make note of:
“The key of the bottomless pit was given to him.”
To understand this you have to grasp how much authority Adam had, and how he gave all of it over to Satan, along with the keys, one of which opened the bottomless pit.
“He (Satan,) opened the bottomless pit, and smoke went up out of the pit, …; and the sun and air were darkened by the smoke of the pit.”
But notice in verse 9:2 that it says it is “like the smoke of a huge furnace.” Since we can understand that there is a fire that burns forever, then there must be fire.
It is wise to either do your background homework or, not add or interject thoughts into the mix.
“the sun was darkened, and the sky too, by the smoke from the shaft.”
The word used for Sun is hēlios and means the rays or light. We can often understand this by relating this to an overcast day. Can we see? Mostly, but if I used the aftermath of Mount St. Helens and the ash storm that overtook the city, it turned the day into night and people had to turn on their headlights at midday.
End of page three.
Darkened is the Greek word skotóō and also means to cover with darkness. In Revelation 16:10 it is symbolic of distress, calamity, destruction.
Based upon these translations I can understand this two ways, one being a situation where the light is definitely muted but filled with distress, calamity, and destruction.
“ out of the smoke came locusts”
As annoying and destructive as locusts can be, these are a horror unto themselves.
“ and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power.”
What? In what way are scorpions like locusts? Locusts are eating machines, but they limit their eating to plants. The scorpion on the other hand is a hunter; they sting victims that resist their crushing claws, paralyze and eat them. Scorpions don’t eat people, they defend themselves from people with the same toxic venom; that could kill someone like me.
“ 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.”
Here again, is another wordplay scenario. What did we just discuss? The fact that these LOCUSTS were given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. Revelation 9:4 tells us that they are not here to eat plants, but to attack any human that DOES NOT have the seal of God on their foreheads.
So, how many people have this seal on their foreheads?
If you are a Jehovah’s Witness and believe that your “prophets” are a part of this marked crowd, you will have a rude awakening, for unless these high ranking people among your cult religion have a practical, working relationship with Jesus Christ, they are, in all likelihood, going into Sheol.
Is it possible that some would argue that the antichrist has marked people and therefore, be confused with those that God has marked and therefore, be bypassed by these hellish locusts?
A question like this is entrenched with fear and twisted logic. Oh sure, you can argue, but you are not going to change God’s plan and direction; and, you must remember that these “stinging locusts” are a part of God’s wrath. (Yes, there will be a point in time, in which God will pour out His wrath, contrary to some people’s opinion.)
So ask yourself, are you a part of the family of God – one who has accepted that Jesus died for you, or, are you still conjoined with the nations/Gentiles?
If your answer is the Gentiles, then there is the possibility that you were never a part of the church anyway and, therefore, subject to God’s wrath.
Satan has always mocked and copied aspects of God’s ways. We see this with the marking that the antichrist dispenses, however, there is nothing, that I see, in scripture that indicates anything like this happens.
End of page four.
“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. (6) And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them.”
These things have a mandate to “hurt” the people of the earth.
Who are they hurting?
Anyone they can sink their teeth or stinger into, this includes those who will, in time, get martyred for their testimony, and it includes those who think their money can protect them. For some reason, I can see these things crawling through cracks and door openings as they hunt you.
They ARE NOT permitted to kill anyone. I could be killed by a bee sting simply by going into Anaphylactic shock, and yet these things will NOT kill but merely bring a dreadful torment.
“In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them.”.
Think about this, for five months it would appear that no one can die, merely suffer dreadfully.
Have you ever heard fools say, when it snows in hell I’ll ski there too. You are either so blind, or foolish, to think that God’s wrath and the ensuing hell is something to toy with; obviously, it is not.
It feels that the entirety of my reasons for trying to make the Revelation clear is to keep people from having to endure the wrath that is to come. It seems rather obvious that if you could bypass God’s wrath, that you would bypass hell; and, since followers of Christ are to be caught up to heaven, then, we would be in heaven, with the Father.
An interesting parable is the one about the ten virgins. All of them got an invitation to the marriage supper, and yet, if you know how this story goes, you know that half of them did not take extra oil. I have heard the oil referred to several things, one of which would be the Holy Spirit. But there is a more practical side of this, and that would be, the callous attitude that those without sufficient oil demonstrated to the others. Those without the oil did not humble themselves, nor ask if they could follow after those who had plenty; they demanded that the other give them of what they had.
Since this life, we have in Christ, is, as so many expect, based upon the idea of what would Jesus do, we can assume that He would have had enough, or, at the least, allowed for others to follow Him. If you know the story, then you know that none of those without thought to ask that question.
What did they do?
They went about the dark community scrounging. I suspect that this did not go so well for them.
When they returned, after chasing around the village looking for oil they could buy, were they able to gain entry to the event they had been invited to? The answer is NO.
Why would you take that chance? Fill your tanks now by accepting Christ into your life.