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Studies in Revelation - The Beast of the Earth

 

 

 

STUDIES IN REVELATION

The Beast of the Earth

 

Jack Marshall

 

 

 

STUDIES IN REVELATION

 

The Beast of the Earth

 

Jack Marshall

 

Shakespir Edition

 

 

Copyright 2016 Grain of Wheat Publishing

 

 

 

 

Shakespir Edition, License Notes

Thank you for downloading this ebook. This book remains the copyrighted property of the author, and may not be redistributed to others for commercial or non-commercial purposes. If you enjoyed this book, please encourage your friends to download their own copy from their favorite authorized retailer. Thank you for your support.

 

 

To my brothers and sisters in Christ around the world.

 

Table of Contents

 

Introduction

 

Chapter One: The Seven Churches in Asia

 

Chapter Two: Falling Away

 

Chapter Three: The Trumpets

 

Chapter Four: Two Horns Like a Lamb

 

Chapter Five: The Two Witnesses

 

Chapter Six: Dead Bodies

 

Chapter Seven: Three Days and Three Nights

 

Chapter Eight: The End of the Age

 

Chapter Nine: The Seventh Trumpet

 

Bibliography

 

 

Introduction

My inspiration for this study follows my recent revision of “Hell, No! An Alternative View of Hell” which I finished in December of 2016. I would also point out that I have addressed this subject in another study titled, “Studies in Revelation – The Beasts of Revelation,” however the purpose of this study is to shed more light on the beast of the earth found in Revelation, Chapter 13.

A close friend of mine said to me, “Once you know it, it’s easy.” This simple logic is certainly true, isn’t it? And such is the case of those things found in scripture. What we often see on the surface can be misleading, for the Word of God is like the ocean. The beauty of the water that we see from above by no means reveals the life that is teeming below. So, in order to understand and experience His truth in its fullness, we must be willing to seek for “the deep things of God” (I Cor. 2:10). And in order to do that, we must be willing to challenge any and all preconceived ideas that’s been given us by others, especially in this day and age.

There are mistakes in this presentation, not by intention, but out of ignorance. I am still and always will be learning. It has been difficult to put aside what I have inherited in order to see from a fresh perspective.

 

In His Grace,

Jack Marshall

 

Please note: All Hebrew and Greek definitions are taken from the Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary unless otherwise noted. All Bible passages are taken from the New King James Bible unless otherwise noted.

 

 

 

Revelation 13:11[
**]Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth,

and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.

 

Chapter One

THE SEVEN CHURCHES IN ASIA

Revelation 1:1-6 (NKJV)
1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. 3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near. 4 John, to the seven churches which 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, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

 

Those of you who are familiar with my studies know that I place a great deal of importance on the spiritual meaning of numbers. This has been a study technique which has opened up a great many things for me for as long as I can remember.

It should come as no surprise to us that numbers and their spiritual meaning play a very important role in scripture. And why is this? Because numbers are a universal language and transcend every cultural barrier. Due to our differences in language, we may not say and write them the same, but two in English is two in Spanish is two in French is two in Arabic. You get my point.

In our passages above, the Lord gave John the “revelation” or disclosure of “Jesus Christ” His Son, stating, “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.” Here we have a threefold injunction regarding the prophecy of this book, do we not? In his book, “Biblical Mathematics,” Vallowe writes that the spiritual meaning of three signifies “God is in it.” Consider the following from E.W. Bullinger and his book, “Number in Scripture—Its Supernatural Design and Spiritual Significance.”

 

In this number we have quite a new set of phenomena. We come to the first geometrical figure. Two straight lines cannot possibly enclose any space, or form a plane figure; neither can two plan surfaces form a solid. Three lines are necessary to form a plan figure; and three dimensions of length, breadth, and height, are necessary to form a solid. Hence three is the symbol of the cube—the simplest form of solid figure. As two is the symbol of the square, or plane contents (x2), so three is the symbol of the cube, or solid contents (x3).

 

Three, therefore, stands for that which is solid, real, substantial, complete, and entire.

 

All things that are specially complete are stamped with this number three.

 

God’s attributes are three: omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence.

 

There are three great divisions completing time—past, present, and future.

 

Three persons, in grammar, express and include all the relationships of mankind.

 

Thought, word, and deed, complete the sum of human capability.

 

Three degrees of comparison complete our knowledge of qualities.

 

The simplest proposition requires three things to complete it; viz., the subject, the predicate, and the copula.

 

Three propositions are necessary to complete the simplest form of argument—the major premiss, the minor, and the conclusion.

 

Three kingdoms embrace our ideas of matter—mineral, vegetable, and animal.

 

When we turn to the Scriptures, this completion becomes Divine, and marks Divine completeness or perfection.

 

Bullinger also wrote, “The number three, therefore, must be taken as the number of Divine fullness. It signifies and represents the Holy Spirit as taking of the things of Christ and making them real and solid in our experience. It is only by the Spirit that we realize spiritual things. Without Him and His gracious operation, all is surface work: all is what a plane figure is to a solid (John 3:6). He it is who has wrought all our works in us, and by whom alone we can serve or worship (John 4:24).”

Look again at what John wrote. “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.” “The time is near,” John said, and this was written almost two thousand years ago. So what does this mean to you and me? It establishes the fact that the prophecies of this book were given long ago and the fulfillment of said prophecies began long ago as well. Proof? Consider the first message which Jesus spoke to the church of Ephesus.

 

Revelation 2:1-3 (NKJV)
1 “To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: 2 I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3 and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary.

 

What do these passages show us? Is it not the entrance of false apostles into the church? With this in mind, consider what John wrote.

 

1 John 2:18-19 (NKJV)
18 Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.

 

What did the Lord say to Ephesus? “You have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars.” What did John say? “Even now many antichrists have come.” Ah, but when tested by those who were the true apostles, “They went out from us” in order to show “that none of them were of us.” Also consider.

 

1 John 4:1-3 (NKJV)
1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

 

As shown, false prophets and “the spirit of the Antichrist” go hand in hand. John then said, “Which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.” Let’s look at what Jesus said to His disciples.

 

Matthew 24:3-8 (NIV)
3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.

 

In perfect agreement with the Lord’s words to His disciples, false apostles and prophets began to arise in the church shortly after its establishment on the Day of Pentecost. So we find that the first prophecy to the first church, Ephesus, began its fulfillment while the apostles of the Lord were still alive. And friend, the rest of the prophecies which follow have been unfolding ever since.

John was told by the Lord, “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,’ and, ‘What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea’” (Rev. 1:11). So it is that we read, “John, to the seven churches which are in Asia” (Rev. 1:4). Furthermore, John saw the Christ “in the midst” of “seven lampstands” (Rev. 1:13) and “in His right hand seven stars” (Rev. 1:16), which the Lord states, “The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches” (Rev. 1:20).

Why seven churches and not eight or ten? Because my friend, seven is “the great number of spiritual perfection. A number which, therefore, occupies so large a place in the works, and especially in the Word of God as being inspired by the Holy Spirit” (Bullinger). Consider what Bullinger also wrote.

 

But now turning to the number Seven, we must first consider the meaning of the word.

In the Hebrew, seven is שֶׁבַע (shevah). It is from the root ‏ שָׁבַע (savah), to be full or satisfied, have enough of. Hence the meaning of the word “seven” is dominated by this root, for on the seventh day God rested from the work of Creation. It was full and complete, and good and perfect. Nothing could be added to it or taken from it without marring it. Hence the word שָׁבַת (Shavath), to cease, desist, rest, and שַׁבָּת Shabbath, Sabbath, or day of rest. This root runs through various languages; e.g., Sanscrit, saptan; Zend., hapta; Greek, επτα (hepta); Latin, septem. All these preserve the “t,” which in the Semitic and Teutonic languages is dropped out; e.g. Gothic, sibun; Germ., sieben; Eng., seven.

 

It is seven, therefore, that stamps with perfection and completeness that in connection with which it is used. Of time, it tells of the Sabbath, and marks off the week of seven days, which, artificial as it may seem to be, is universal and immemorial in its observance amongst all nations and in all times. It tells of that eternal Sabbath-keeping which remains for the people of God in all its everlasting perfection.

 

In the creative works of God, seven completes the colours of the spectrum and rainbow, and satisfies in music the notes of the scale. In each of these the eighth is only a repetition of the first.

 

Another meaning of the root שָׁבַע (Shavagh) is to swear, or make an oath. It is clear from its first occurrence in Genesis 21:31, “They sware both of them,” that this oath was based upon the “seven ewe lambs” (vv 28, 29, 30), which point to the idea of satisfaction or fulness in an oath. It was the security, satisfaction, and fullness of the obligation, or completeness of the bond, which caused the same word to be used for both the number seven and an oath; and hence it is written, “an oath for confirmation is an end of all strife.” Beer-sheba, the well of the oath, is the standing witness of the spiritual perfection of the number seven.

 

Just as we find six days of creation and the seventh day of rest, the Sabbath, so too we find seven churches in Asia to which John writes. And the reason? Because seven meaning “fullness,” shows that everything is accomplished in the six, and once fullness is reached, we arrive at the seventh and the end of the age.

Now, what do I mean by everything accomplished in the six? Simple. Consider the first six days of creation as compared to the seventh day of rest.

 

Genesis 1:31-2:3 (NKJV)
31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. 1 Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. 2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

 

Do you see it? The work of God only applies to the first six days, for we read, “So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.” This pattern holds true throughout scripture, so whenever we see a seven, we are viewing the “end” result of the Lord’s work among us. Such is the case with the seven prophecies to the seven churches. Consider the following illustration.

 

 

This illustration shows what the golden lampstand in the Holy Place of the Tabernacle of Witness (Moses) may have looked like. The instructions for the lampstand are found in Exodus, Chapter 25, verses 31 through 37. When considering anything related to that which Moses received on Mount Sinai, keep the following in mind.

 

Hebrews 8:4-6 (NKJV)
4 For if He (Jesus Christ) were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; 5 who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” 6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.

 

As the writer of Hebrews shows, the Tabernacle of Witness (or Tabernacle of Moses) served as a “copy and shadow of heavenly things.” So it was that God instructed Moses, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” This shows that there are spiritual realities contained in the physical elements which make up the Tabernacle and its furnishings. The lampstand is one such reality.

 

Matthew 5:14-18 (NKJV)
14 You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. 17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

 

When John heard the voice of the Lord in Revelation, he turned to see the voice that spoke with him. When he turned, he saw “seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man” (Rev. 1:12-13). Clearly, this is Christ in the midst of the seven churches, and all that has been determined by the Father through Christ find their fulfillment in them.

Though we find seven churches in Revelation, we should realize that there is but one church, the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, joined together by His Spirit (I Cor. 12:13-26). The fact that John was told to write to the seven churches in Asia simply reveals the sevenfold purpose of God through the prophecies regarding His people. “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Eph. 4:4-6; KJV).

 

Ephesians 5:25-27 (KJV)
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

 

Titus 2:11-15 (NKJV)
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. 15 Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.

Chapter Two

[]FALLING AWAY

2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 (NKJV)
1 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

 

What did Paul mean by a “falling away”? If I understand it correctly, He is speaking of us, His people, straying from the truth of His kingdom. And our messages to the churches reveal this.

Our phrase “falling away” is defined in the Greek as “defection from truth (properly the state) [“apostasy’].”

Remember, in the first message we find “those who say they are apostles and are not” who were tested and found to be “liars” (Rev. 2:2). Ah, but something happened when they entered. Following the Lord’s praise in verse 3, He says, “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent” (Rev. 2:4-5). Though tested, it appears that the work of the false apostles succeeded in starting a falling away. Now, consider what happens in the second prophecy.

 

Revelation 2:8-9 (NKJV)
8 “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, ‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: 9 I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.

 

In the first message, false apostles in the church. In the second we find “the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.” What do we mean by “Jews”?

 

Romans 2:28-29 (NKJV)
28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.

 

When we bring our passages in Romans together with Revelation, we find that “those who say they are Jews” speaks of those who profess belief in the Lord but are also false. Instead, they are “a synagogue of Satan.” So what begins as a falling away in the first message continues in the second. When we reach the third message, here is what we find.

 

Revelation 2:12-13 (NKJV)
12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, ‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: 13 I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne *is*. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.

 

Twice to Pergamos, the Lord speaks of the presence of Satan in the church. What about the fourth church of Thyatira?

 

Revelation 2:24 (NKJV)
24 Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden.

 

First, false apostles. Second, false Jews. Third, Satan’s throne. Fourth, the depths of Satan, and all of this in the midst of the churches. Should this seem new or confusing to you, consider the following.

 

Matthew 13:24-30 (NKJV)
24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ‘ “

 

It is in the Parable of the Tares that we gain an understanding of what is happening in the seven churches. Here’s the Lord’s explanation of the parable.

 

Matthew 13:36-43 (NKJV)
36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.” 37 He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked *one*. 39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

 

It should be clear by this teaching that what we are considering is true. Since the beginning of the New Testament church, there has been a steady increase of the false among the true, the “tares” among the “wheat.” And what did the Lord ordain? “Let both grow together until the harvest.” In other words, He will not separate the “tares” until “the end of this age.” When He does, He will “gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire.”

Now, let me say this. All the conditions which cause the falling away of the church are found in the first four messages. As a result, consider what the Lord says to the fifth church of Sardis.

 

Revelation 3:1 (NKJV)
1 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.”

When we reach Sardis, we have a “name” that we “are alive,” but we “are dead,” devoid of righteousness. A serious rebuke indeed, but consider what Jesus says just a few verses later.

 

Revelation 3:4-6 (NKJV)
4You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

 

“White garments” signify righteousness (Rev. 19:8, 11) and correspond with the Lord’s teaching about us being the “light of the world” and showing “good works” (Matt. 5:14-16). It is this from which the church falls away. The “few names” in Sardis correspond to those who overcome as shown by verse 5.

 

Chapter Three

[]THE TRUMPETS

If my understanding is correct, the seven trumpets of Revelation represent the seven messages or prophecies to the churches coming to pass. Here’s why I say this.

 

Revelation 1:10 (KJV)
10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet

 

As we can see, a “trumpet” denotes “a great voice.” This is further confirmed in Revelation 4:1.

 

Revelation 4:1 (ESV)
1 After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.”

 

In agreement with Revelation 1:10, John writes that he heard this “first voice” again, “speaking to me like a trumpet.” And whose voice was this? It was the voice of Christ. And what makes His voice great if not the fact that He speaks the truth according to our Father in heaven? (John 8:26, 28, 38; 12:49-50) So in essence, the seven trumpets are the words of Christ which were spoken to the seven angels of each church in Revelation, Chapters 2 and 3. Being prophecies of those things which “must take place after this,” the seven trumpets represent the fulfillment of the prophecies which Jesus declared to each. Please consider.

 

Revelation 2:2 (NKJV)
2 I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars

 

Revelation 8:6-7 (KJV)
6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. 7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

 

Who are the “seven angels which had the seven trumpets” shown in our passages above? Are they different from the seven angels which John saw in the right hand of the Lord in Revelation 1:16, clearly called “the angels of the seven churches” in Revelation 1:20? I don’t believe so. After all, why would the Lord and John point this out if it wasn’t relevant to our understanding? Furthermore, why did Christ address the seven angels of the seven churches? Let’s consider this.

The word “angel” means, “A messenger.” In Hebrews 1:7 we read, “And of the angels He says: ‘Who makes His angels spirits.’” So an angel is a spirit combined with a message, spoken or otherwise. When coupled with the understanding that angels always exemplify the “work” of God in this plane, then we can say that the angel of each church represents the collective “work” or spirit and message (word of God) of each. No wonder the Lord starts each prophecy with “I know your works” (Rev. 2:2, 9, 13, 19; 3:1, 8, 15).

So first, we have a prophecy or message in regard to the spirit of each church representing our “angel.” Then we have the fulfillment of the prophecy or message of each church, symbolized by the angel and “trumpet” (spirit and message manifested or coming to pass as Christ foretold). After all, isn’t that the meaning of prophecy in the Bible? Isn’t it the foretelling of events before they happen? Of course. And once prophesied, don’t they come to pass as predicted? And so it is that the Lord knew beforehand what would come after the establishment of the New Testament church almost two thousand years ago. And proof of these prophecies is clearly before us, for we have most certainly fallen away from the glory, power and truth that was exhibited in New Testament times.

To emphasize, the seven angels of the seven churches are the same seven angels we see sounding the trumpets. The sounding of each trumpet represents the prophecy pertaining to each church coming to pass. So to understand the prophecies and the corresponding “works” contained therein is to understand the trumpets. This does of course tell us that the trumpets themselves are by no means literal but speak of the Lord’s own words being fulfilled in His body, the church. This is true of all the trumpets. Look once more at our passages from earlier.

 

Revelation 2:2 (NKJV)
2 I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars

 

Revelation 8:6-7 (KJV)
6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. 7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

 

In the first church, Jesus foretells the entrance of false apostles in the church. In the first trumpet, we find “hail and fire mingled with blood.” Consider what Jesus said to the seventh church of Laodicea.

 

Revelation 3:15-16 (NKJV)
15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.

 

Hail is cold while fire is hot, and in the message to Laodicea the Lord states, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot.” Clearly, He is speaking of our works or deeds.

 

Matthew 24:12 (NKJV)
12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

 

It should be evident by our passage above that “cold” speaks of the effect of increased lawlessness, of our rebellion against the moral constraints of God’s law. No doubt, the entrance of false apostles and Jews into the church brings this into the church, creating this lack of love among God’s own. Also consider the fact that this began almost two thousand years ago and according to the Parable of the Tares, continues until the end of the age.

If “cold” speaks of lawlessness and a lack of love, then “hot” speaks of the opposite. In Laodicea, we have “lukewarm,” a mixture of both. Hail, cold, fire, hot, “mingled with blood,” i.e. found in the body of Christ which was purchased by His own blood (Acts 20:28). With this in mind, consider the following illustration.

 

Remember, the work of God is accomplished in the first six prophecies and trumpets, and the first four prophecies and trumpets lead to the fifth condition of Sardis which has a name that it lives but is “dead.” Ah, but remember, even in Sardis the Lord has a “few names” considered “worthy” as well as promises to those who overcome in each church. Wouldn’t this be the “hot”? Of course, and this would be represented by Philadelphia. Our word “Philadelphia” means, “Fond of brethren, i.e. fraternal.”

 

1 John 3:14 (KJV)
14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

 

Wouldn’t the works of “death” be cold while the “works” of life be hot? Yes. So we find that Philadelphia speaks of those who pass “from death unto life” because they “love the brethren.” Now, look again at the illustration and note that Sardis, coupled with Philadelphia, shows what is meant by “lukewarm.” Lukewarm defines the understanding that Sardis and Philadelphia “grow together” until the end of the age. What happens then? Consider.

 

Matthew 13:40-43 (NKJV)
40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

 

It should be obvious that at the end of the age the Lord intends to do what He said to Laodicea, that is, vomit them out of His mouth. This would correlate with what Jesus taught concerning the end of the age where He will “gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire.” Just as “antichrist” went out from the true in the days of John (I John 2:19), so too those who are gathered out of His kingdom will do the same, leaving the righteous in their wake, the hot separated from the cold.

Keep in mind that the trumpets are never instantaneous but denote the unfolding or coming to pass of each prophecy, so it comes as no surprise that concerning the fifth trumpet we read, “Then the fifth angel blew [his] trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth; and to the angel was given the key of the shaft of the Abyss (the bottomless pit). He opened the long shaft of the Abyss (the bottomless pit), and smoke like the smoke of a huge furnace puffed out of the long shaft, so that the sun and the atmosphere were darkened by the smoke from the long shaft” (Rev. 9:1-2; AMP). Doesn’t this describe the “furnace of fire” from Matthew 13? I believe it does.

Who is this “star that had fallen”? Would it not refer to one of the “stars” or “angels” of one of the churches, denoting its works? It would (Rev. 1:20). Note that this “star” had already fallen before we reach the fifth trumpet. And where did this happen? Consider.

 

Revelation 8:10-11 (KJV)
10 And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; 11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

 

As we can see, the angel in the fifth trumpet refers to the angel of the third. And, it is the angel of the third which is the “great star” which “fell,” again denoting the falling away of the church which began in Ephesus. For this reason the Lord said to the third church of Pergamos, “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is” (Rev. 2:12).

And what is the “name” of this star? Wormwood. Consider Vincent’s treatment.

 

Wormwood (ἄψινθος)

Used metaphorically in the Old Testament of the idolatry of Israel (Deuteronomy 29:18); of calamity and sorrow (Jeremiah 9:15; 23:15; Lamentations 3:15, 19); of false judgment (Amos 5:7).

 

Look at the following from the book of Amos.

 

Amos 5:1-7 (ESV)
1 Hear this word that I take up over you in lamentation, O house of Israel: 2Fallen, no more to rise, is the virgin Israel; forsaken on her land, with none to raise her up.” 3 For thus says the Lord God: “The city that went out a thousand shall have a hundred left, and that which went out a hundred shall have ten left to the house of Israel.” 4 For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel: “Seek me and live; 5 but do not seek Bethel, and do not enter into Gilgal or cross over to Beersheba; for Gilgal shall surely go into exile, and Bethel shall come to nothing.” 6 Seek the Lord and live, lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and it devour, with none to quench it for Bethel, 7 O you who turn justice to wormwood and cast down righteousness to the earth!

 

“Bethel” means “house of God” (see Gen. 28:9; 31:13).

“Gilgal” means “a wheel; rolling” (see Joshua, Chapter 3 and 4).

“Beersheba” means “well of an oath” (see Gen. 21:22-34).

 

Not surprisingly, Bethel and Beersheba relate to Abraham, the father of faith (Rom. 4:1-3, 9, 12-13, 16). Gilgal relates to Joshua, whom God magnified in the sight of all Israel as He did Moses (Joshua 4:14). Note how the prophet states, “Seek me and live; but do not seek Bethel (the house of God), and do not enter into Gilgal or cross over Beersheba; for Gilgal shall surely go into exile, and Bethel shall come to nothing. Seek the Lord and live.” When I consider what’s said, my mind goes to the following.

 

Luke 17:20-24 (NKJV)
20 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” 22 Then He said to the disciples, “The days will come when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. 23 And they will say to you, ‘Look here!’ or ‘Look there!’ Do not go after them or follow them. 24 For as the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day.

 

Matthew 24:23-27 (NKJV)
23 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe *it*. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand. 26 Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe *it*. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

 

If I understand the spirit and message of the passages in Amos, then I believe they relate to what Jesus said in both Luke and Matthew in regard to the kingdom of God. Since the days of Christ and the apostles, there can be no doubt that we have fallen further from righteousness and deeper into deception than ever before. But remember, this is the fulfillment of those things which Jesus spoke to each of the seven churches.

As we approach the end of this age, there are more false apostles and prophets than ever proclaiming to know the Lord and His word. And how do we recognize them? Would it not be by the fact that they promote their great ministries more than the Lord Himself, constantly pleading for money in order to propagate said ministries? Would it not be by the fact that they exalt their denominations and organizations above that of seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness, so much so that they reject anything outside of their particular faith and doctrines? How many today call their churches the “house of God” (Bethel) when in fact we are the house of God? Our great buildings and edifices mean nothing! There is nothing holy or sacred about brick and wood my friend. We are the light of the world and it is our good works which He desires (Matt. 5:14-16). And it should be apparent to us that many of the major denominations have given in to the influence of a wicked society that is continually clamoring for the removal of the moral boundaries of the holy and righteous law of God.

God is not drawing us to follow great ministries, denominations, or organizations. Rather, He is drawing us to Christ, His Son, and to follow the message of the cross, the spirit of self-sacrifice and self-denial. He is leading us away from the world and its darkness and confusion, from the love of money and the so-called “American dream.” His kingdom is not about prosperity or wealth or great success in the eyes of the world. It is about righteousness, peace, and joy based in humility and servitude to the Lord and others in the midst of a chaotic and troubled world.

 

Chapter Four

[]TWO HORNS LIKE A LAMB

Despite the fact that we see the falling away of the church in the seven messages, Christ has remained in her midst since the beginning and His divine purpose will be accomplished in the end. It cannot be otherwise for the scriptures declare that “He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet” (I Cor. 15:25). Just as Adam’s “fall” into sin and death was determined by our Creator (Rom. 8:20), so too the fall of the church. As Jesus taught, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain” (John 12:24).

The path to life is through death and cannot be any other way. For this reason Jesus taught, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matt. 16:24-25).

It is my belief that we reached the fulfillment of Sardis some time ago. Yes, there have been glimpses of the former power and authority of the New Testament church over the past two thousand years, but this would be attributed to the overcomers in each.

Sardis is the fifth church and the spiritual meaning of five is “grace.” And again, remember that Jesus said, “You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy” (Rev. 3:4). Consider the following from Bullinger.

 

Five is four plus one (4+1). We have had hitherto the three major Offices of the Godhead. Now we have a further revelation of a People called out from mankind, redeemed and saved, to walk with God from earth to heaven. Hence, Redemption follows creation. Inasmuch as in consequence of the fall of man creation came under the curse and was “made subject to vanity,” therefore man and creation must be redeemed. Thus we have:

 

1. Father

2. Son

3. Spirit

4. Creation

5. Redemption

 

These are the five great mysteries, and five is therefore the number of GRACE.

 

If four is the number of the world, then it represents man’s weakness, and helplessness, and vanity, as we have seen.

 

But four plus one (4+1=5) is significant of Divine strength added to and made perfect in that weakness; of omnipotence combined with the impotence of earth; of Divine favor uninfluenced and invincible.

 

How do we attribute grace to a church that is dead? It’s simple. As previously stated, out of death comes life and life can only be derived from the Father through the Son. In Him is life and His life is the light of men (John 1:4). Among the many who are called are the few who are chosen (Matt. 20:1-16; 22:1-14). “Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election (choosing) of grace” (Rom. 11:5).

 

Revelation 13:11 (ESV)
11 Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon.

 

In Revelation, Chapter 13, John has a vision of a beast which rises out of the sea, “having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name” (Rev. 13:1). This “beast” represents the “whole world” which “lies under the sway of the wicked one” (I John 5:19), the seven heads indicative of the six things which God hates, the seventh which is an abomination to him (Prov. 6:16-19). Following this, we find another beast which comes up out of the earth (Rev. 13:11). What does this “beast rising out of the earth” symbolize? Let scripture answer. Please consider.

 

Revelation 16:13 (KJV)
13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon (Rev. 12:3), and out of the mouth of the beast (Rev. 13:1), and out of the mouth of the false prophet (Rev. 13:11).

 

In Revelation, there are three significant entities described for us, beginning with Revelation, Chapter 12. There we find “a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads” (Rev. 12:3; KJV). This correlates with the word “dragon” in Revelation 16:13.

We’ve already mentioned our beast which rises up out of the sea in Revelation 13:1. This is synonymous with our “beast” in Revelation 16:13.

Finally, we have our “beast rising up out of the earth” in Revelation 13:11. This agrees with our phrase “false prophet” in Revelation 16:13. Here’s further proof.

 

Revelation 13:13-14 (NKJV)
13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast (of the sea), telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.

 

Revelation 19:20 (KJV)
20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

 

Clearly, the beast which rises out of the earth is a deceiver, symbolic of “the false prophet” as mentioned in Revelation 16:13 and 19:20, not an individual as some suppose, but of the collective and unified spirit of antichrist as John describes in I John 2:18 and 4:3. Like the body of Christ, it is one body but many members, a “synagogue of Satan.”

“And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast (of the sea).” The “beast” denoting the world at large, agrees with what John wrote in I John 4:5 that false prophets “are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them.”

If we look at our illustration in the last chapter, you will find a part of the passage in Revelation 13:11 at the bottom of the rectangle marked “Laodicea.” Why? Because as long as Sardis and Philadelphia grow together, the church remains “lukewarm” and there is deception. That being said, I believe the “two horns like a lamb” signifies the combined work of these two churches until such time as He separates them at the end of the age. For this reason, we remain a “false prophet” to the world at large, promoting confusion and division until the Lord gathers together the tares in bundles to be burned so that the righteous can shine forth like the sun in the kingdom of our Father.

So think about what I just said. Isn’t it true that there is so much division in Christianity today that it is impossible to know who is preaching the true gospel? And how many today claim that they are while rejecting those who don’t agree with them? Almost all of them my friend. So how does one know? Which church do we give our loyalty to? Haven’t many of us asked the same question of ourselves at one time or another?

 

1 Corinthians 1:10-17 (ESV)
10 I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. 11 For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. 12 What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

 

Jesus plainly taught that “every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand” (Matt. 12:25). And what did Paul say to the Corinthian believers so long ago? “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.” Is this just an empty plea made by the apostle Paul? Or, as I rather believe, is he not recognizing the rise of a sectarian spirit among God’s own?

 

1 Corinthians 3:1-8 (NKJV)
1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? 4 For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal? 5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. 8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

 

Let’s hear this as it stands and make no excuses. When one says, “I am of the Protestants” or “I am of the Catholics,” are we not “carnal” and “behaving like mere men”? Yes we are! Like our brick and wood buildings, there is nothing sacred or holy about the labels we choose and give our allegiance to. And as Paul makes perfectly clear, when we act in this fashion, we are nothing more than “babes (infants) in Christ,” unable to discern spiritual matters. Consider Vincent’s treatment of “babes.”

 

Babes (νηπίοις)

From νη not, and ἔπος a word. Strictly, non-speakers. Compare the Latin infans. Strongly contrasted with perfect; see on 2:6.

 

Vincent tells us to see I Corinthians 2:6.

 

1 Corinthians 2:6 (NKJV)
6 However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.

 

Vincent’s description of “babes” shows that when we are carnal, we are like infants, “non-speakers” if you will, yet, how many of us today are quick to say what’s on our mind without any proof behind what we say? We are like babbling infants, unable to bring together the wisdom of God in our own minds, let alone in others.

Leave it as it stands. We are carnal, and our endless labels prove it. We are so concerned about standing for our particular denominations and organizations that we have left behind what truly matters—righteousness and our love for God and one another.

Ah, but again, all of this was prophesied long before it began. Our Lord Jesus, in Matthew, Chapter 24, made it clear in no uncertain terms that deception would rise and continue to do so throughout the history of the Christian church, bringing us to where we stand today. Could there be any greater evidence of His immutable Word? I think not.

So where is the true church in all of this? My answer? Scattered, and in need of being gathered together.

 

Matthew 24:30-31 (NKJV)
30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

 

Chapter Five

[]THE TWO WITNESSES

Revelation 11:1-3 (NKJV)
1 Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, “Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. 2 But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months. 3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.”

 

Who are the two witnesses? If we pay close attention to our passages above, it’s given to us. They are “the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there” and “the court which is outside the temple.” As we see, the first is measured while the second is not. Keep this in mind.

In this vision, John is seeing the Tabernacle of Moses. Consider the following illustration.

 

 

“The court which is outside the temple” is the “Outer Court” in the illustration. As we see, “the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there” speaks of the “Holy Place” which is situated before the “Most Holy Place.” As my labels show, the “Outer Court” is indicative of the “Called” while the “Temple of God” denotes those who are “Chosen” (as well as “Faithful”).

 

Revelation 17:14 (NKJV)
14 These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.”

 

Here is where we find our threefold mention of “called, chosen, and faithful” which aligns with our illustration. Look again at our passages.

 

Revelation 11:1-3 (NKJV)
1 Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, “Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. 2 But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months. 3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.”

 

John is told to “measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there.” When something is measured, it’s given a number. Please consider.

 

Revelation 7:3-4 (NKJV)
3 … saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” 4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed…

 

Note that John speaks of “the servants of our God” who are “sealed” “on their foreheads” and that he “heard the number of those who were sealed,” which was “one hundred and forty-four thousand.” This agrees with the “measure” of the “temple of God” in Revelation 11.

I don’t believe the 144,000 is literal. When broken down, it’s 12 × 12 × 1000. The number twelve speaking of “God’s perfect, divine accomplishment actively manifested,” denoting “governmental perfection” and “used as the signature of Israel” (Vallowe’s Biblical Mathematics). There are two twelves, two signifying “witness” (Bullinger). Please consider.

 

Revelation 4:4 (KJV)
4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

 

When John is taken to the throne of God in Revelation, Chapter 4, he sees “four and twenty seats: and upon the seats” he saw “four and twenty elders sitting.” Twenty-four is two twelves, is it not?

 

Revelation 21:12-14 (KJV)
12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

 

Here my friend is the meaning of the twenty-four “elders.” They are “the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel” and “the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb,” therefore our first “twelve” represents Israel to whom the law was given and our second “twelve” speaks of the twelve apostles of Christ who established the foundation of the New Testament church (Eph. 2:20). When brought together, we have a true understanding of why Paul wrote, “The law,” given to Israel, “is spiritual,” exemplified in Christ and His apostles (Rom. 7:14).

The number 1000 is indicative of the “day” or light of the Lord (II Peter 3:8), the manifestation of God’s glory (which corresponds to the light of the lampstands). When brought together with our two twelves, we have the “witness” or “manifestation of God’s glory” seen in His “governmental perfection” of the whole house of Israel (both natural and spiritual Israel). Note that the 144,000 are chosen from “all the tribes of the children of Israel,” confirming our thought. Now look at what follows after the servants of God are sealed.

 

Revelation 7:9 (NKJV)
9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands…

 

In agreement with Revelation 11, we find “a great multitude which no one could number,” indicative of the “court which is outside the temple” and the fact that they are not measured or given a number. So the “temple of God” and the “court which is outside the temple” are the two witnesses of Revelation 11, the called and the chosen (elect), and both are shown in Revelation, Chapter 7 (see also Revelation 14:1-5).

 

Revelation 11:2 (NKJV)
2 But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.

 

Now, notice that the “outer court” or called of God are “given to the Gentiles” (nations other than Israel), and “they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.” Would this agree with our understanding of the falling away seen in the seven churches? It would.

 

Revelation 11:3 (NKJV)
3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.”

 

John tells us that “power” is given to His “two witnesses, and they will prophesy.” Our word “prophesy” doesn’t mean that they will foretell future events, but rather that they will fulfill what has already been spoken. This too agrees with the prophecies to the seven churches.

 

Revelation 11:4 (NKJV)
4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth.

 

The understanding of the “two olive trees” is given us in Romans, Chapter 11, verses 16 through 32 and agrees with our present perspective. They are the “cultivated olive tree” (Rom. 11:24), indicative of natural Israel and the law, and the “olive tree which is wild by nature” (Rom. 11:24), indicative of spiritual Israel and the prophets, those who are called out from among the Gentiles or other nations and who are no longer “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” Through Christ Jesus, those of us “who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Eph. 2:12-13).

So what is meant by the “two lampstands”? Since “lampstands” are indicative of the churches or “called,” then it speaks of natural Israel, called “the church in the wilderness” (Acts 7:38; KJV), and spiritual Israel, the mystical body of Christ which began on the Day of Pentecost.

To be even more specific, the “light” of the lampstands or churches denotes the “light” of His word or Two Covenants described for us in Galatians, Chapter 4, verses 21 through 31, for God’s purpose is fully exemplified through them in His people.

Now, remember that all the conditions which cause the falling away of the church are found in the first four messages or prophecies. Is this a coincidence? Not at all! Bullinger tells us that “the number four is made up of three and one (3+1=4), and it denotes, therefore, and marks that which follows the revelation of God, namely, His creative works. He is known by the things that are seen.” Furthermore, “It is the number of material completeness. Hence it is the world number, and especially the ‘city’ number.’” The fact that four is also the “city” number denotes a foundation, for most buildings are constructed on a four-sided foundation, are they not? So in the first four churches we see the rising up of the “foundation of the world” in order to test those “who dwell on the earth” (Rev. 3:10). Now, allow me to give you another perspective pertaining to “cold” and “hot.”

 

Romans 11:5-15, 25-27 (NIV)
5 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6 And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. 7 What then? What Israel sought so earnestly it did not obtain, but the elect did. The others were hardened, 8 as it is written: “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes so that they could not see and ears so that they could not hear, to this very day.” 9 And David says: “May their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them. 10 May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent forever.” 11 Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 12 But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring! 13 I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry 14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. 27 And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins” (see Jeremiah 31:33-34).

 

Consider this. Most of Israel did not obtain salvation, “but the elect (chosen) did,” referring to the disciples which Jesus chose. “The others were hardened” Paul said, given “a spirit of stupor, eyes so that they could not see and ears so that they could not hear, to this very day.” As a result, they rejected the Lord and His chosen, delivering Jesus to the cross and persecuting His disciples afterward. Would their spiritual blindness not make them “cold”? Of course. Ah, but in the midst of this coldness stood the Lord and His elect, demonstrating the power and presence of the kingdom of God in their midst. Would this not be the “hot”? It would. That being said, what happened to those who rejected Christ after His death and resurrection and the outpouring of His Spirit on the Day of Pentecost? Did they continue in their blindness? As Paul makes clear, yes they did. Would this be the reason for the entrance of false apostles and false Jews in the church? I believe so, and this agrees with our “hail” and “fire” of the first trumpet, the “cold” and “hot,” the mixture of the “tares” among the “wheat.” No wonder Paul spent so much time addressing the differences between the Old Covenant and law and the New Covenant and grace.

What this also reveals to us is this—the law is spiritual, therefore, the law, apart from the power and presence of His Holy Spirit, is devoid of life and simply becomes “the letter” that “kills” (II Cor. 3:6).

The fact that the “holy city” or called of God are tread underfoot by the Gentiles for “forty-two months” confirms the falling away of His people as seen in the prophecies to the churches.

Our “forty-two months” is also given as “one thousand two hundred and sixty days.” And what do these two numbers represent? They are the spiritual equivalent of the fulfillment of the seven prophecies to the churches.

 

Revelation 11:7-8 (NKJV)
7 When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

 

Now, notice carefully that John writes, “When they finish their testimony,” “they” speaking of our two witnesses, incorporating natural and spiritual Israel and the work and fulfillment of the Two Covenants through which we are even now moving. Once finished, “the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit” makes war against them, overcomes them, and kills them. Not for a moment do I believe this is literal. Consider the following.

 

Matthew 15:6-9 (NKJV)
6 … Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. 7 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: 8 ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. 9 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ “

 

The killing or death of the two witnesses is described in our passages above, for once traditions and commandments of men supersede “the commandment of God,” then it becomes “of no effect,” essentially “dead” or lifeless. Would this not correlate with the fifth church of Sardis who has a name that it lives but is dead? I believe it would. The fifth trumpet represents the unfolding of this prophecy. Please consider.

 

Revelation 9:1-6 (NKJV)
1 Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit. 2 And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit. 3 Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 4 They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man. 6 In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them.

 

It should be noted that this is called the first “woe” (Rev. 9:12) and follows the falling away of the church in the first four messages and trumpets.

Remember, our “star” in this trumpet had already fallen in the third, and the “name of the star is Wormwood” (Rev. 8:11), indicative of idolatry, false judgment, and the calamity it brings (Vincent’s Word Studies in the New Testament). This “star” or “angel” refers to the message and prophecy to the third church of Pergamos, three defining the fact that “God is in it” and that His living Word is effectually working amongst His people.

The description of the “bottomless pit” shows us that it is the “furnace of fire” which Jesus spoke about in the Parable of the Tares in Matthew 13:42 and 50. And what is meant by this “bottomless pit” or “furnace of fire”? Consider.

 

Genesis 6:5 (KJV)
5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

 

Note our word “continually” in our passage above. Would this not equate to “bottomless”? I believe it would, and this describes what is meant by the “bottomless pit” or “furnace of fire.” It is simply speaking of the madness of the world at large and the darkness thereof. That being said, this would also define what Jesus meant when He spoke of “outer darkness” (see also Matthew 8:12; 22:13; 25:30).

The “smoke” which arises from this pit denotes that which hinders us from clearly “seeing” the truth concerning the kingdom of God. The “locusts” which come out of the smoke denote that which destroys the “fruitfulness” of God’s people (see Joel, Chapter 1 and also Chapter 2, verses 1 through 11).

Finally, in regard to our “locusts” we read, “They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months.” “Five months” is the time between the Feast of Pentecost and the Feast of Tabernacles, so when we read “in those days” in verse 6, it refers to the “last days” of Joel’s prophecy which Peter cited on the Day of Pentecost in Acts, Chapter 2, verse 17. We’ll look into this in more detail in the chapters ahead.

Chapter Six

[]DEAD BODIES

Revelation 11:8-10 (KJV)
8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.

 

“And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations” in verse 8 speaks of “they that dwell upon the earth” in verse 10, indicative of the world in the church which continually resists the holy and righteous nature of the law and the prophets and the living Word of God, that which is even now being fulfilled through Christ as He finishes the work of our Father (Matt. 5:17).

Our phrase “they that dwell upon the earth” is not speaking of everyone who lives on this planet. Rather, it is speaking of the inward, spiritual condition of our heart and mind. It refers to any, religious or otherwise, whose minds are set on “earthly things” (Php 3:19), what Paul calls the carnal mind or mind of the flesh (Rom. 8:5-8). Yes, overall this refers to the world at large, but remember, the world enters into the church, so those that “dwell upon the earth” refers to those who are quite religious but far removed from the reality and truth of the gospel of Christ. They are those who have “a form of godliness” but deny its power (see II Tim. 3:1-5). For further study, see Revelation 3:10, 5:13, 6:4, 6:8, 6:10, 6:13, 7:1-3, 8:5, 8:13, 10:2, 10:5, 10:8, 11:6, 11:10, 12:4, 12:9, 12:12, 13:8, 13:12, 13:14, 14:3, 14:6, 14:15-19, 16:1-2, 17:2, 17:8.

In his first letter, John tells us that false prophets “are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them” (I John 4:5). So what we see in the prophecy to the church of Ephesus as “false apostles” is simply the entrance of “ungodly men” from the world who were never called by the Lord (Matt. 11:27; John 6:44; Jude 1:4). As we have learned, their entrance into the church begins the process of the falling away of His people, leading to the lukewarm condition of Laodicea, a mixture of the wheat and tares, hot and cold, of true and false. No wonder there is confusion.

What is the purpose of a grave? Is it not for remembrance? It is, and its definition reads, “A memorial, i.e. sepulchral monument (burial-place).” It’s taken from the word which means, “To bear in mind, i.e. recollect.”

 

Revelation 2:5 (NKJV)
5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.

 

Revelation 3:3 (NKJV)
3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.

 

Twice in the messages to the churches, Jesus tells us to “remember,” first in Ephesus and again in Sardis. And does He not make it clear that we need to repent?

As we have learned, the two witnesses of Revelation 11 denote natural and spiritual Israel, Jew and Gentile (two olive trees), brought together by the law (natural) and the prophets (spiritual) or Two Covenants, exemplified by the two lampstands of Sardis and Philadelphia (Laodicea). And who is killed by the beast which ascends out of the bottomless pit? Both are, as evidenced by our “dead bodies.” This is not a physical death by any means but a turning from the living Word to believe “fables” (II Tim. 4:4) and the doctrines and commandments of men which make the Word of God of no effect.

Our phrase “shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves” means that the world and those steeped in the mind of the flesh, whether in the church or outside of it, will have absolutely no remembrance of the former glory and truth of the New Testament church as it was in the days of Christ and the apostles. And this is confirmed by the fact that we have chosen to embrace “damnable heresies” (II Peter 2:1), carnal and foolish teachings steeped in pride and separatism.

 

Revelation 11:10 (KJV)
10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.

 

As we have learned, “they that dwell upon the earth” refers to those who, despite being religious, do not embrace the reality and truth of the gospel as it is in Christ. They have “a form of godliness” but deny its power (see II Tim. 3:1-5). For this reason, they are “tormented” by these “two prophets.” And why are they “tormented”? Because of the righteous essence and nature of the law and the prophets, of the living Word of God which condemns our unrighteous behavior cloaked in “sheep’s clothing” (Matt. 7:15).

And why are they called “prophets”? Because as we have learned, Sardis and Philadelphia both give testimony (prophesy) of the Word and will of God, even in its lukewarm position, for this has been ordained by the Lord and is clearly evident in this time in which we live.

The fact that our two witnesses are called “olive” trees refers to the anointing or power of the Word of God which gives it life. When this anointing is not present, then the Word becomes void of life, dead as far as anyone is concerned. This is Sardis, and because she is connected to Philadelphia, it succeeds in stifling the life of God even in those who are seeking to overcome.

So I’ll say it again. When the anointing is not present with the Word, it is dead, lifeless, and the result will always be what it always has been, bondage to those who are taken by it. This is how tradition rises up and takes the place of that which is given by the Spirit of truth.

And why do those who dwell upon the earth “rejoice over them, and make merry,” and “send gifts to one another”? Because they reject the anointed Word in the same way that the Pharisees opposed and rejected Christ Himself. They do not wish to lose their religious positions of power, wealth, and authority that they have gained through their deception.

 

Chapter Seven

[]THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS

Revelation 11:8-9 (KJV)
8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.

 

According to our passages, “They of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half.” What does this mean in reality? First of all, it means that the world in the church will view it as we have discussed, being lifeless and ineffectual, and will embrace it as acceptable before God and each other (II Cor. 10:12). This is our present reality. We my friend are Laodicea and in great need of separation.

So what is meant by “three days and an half”? This cannot be literal since the presence of the major denominations, organizations, and the many branches thereof, began to arise shortly after the days of Christ and the apostles. Please consider.

 

John 2:19-22 (KJV)
19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? 21 But he spake of the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.

 

In these passages, the Jews referred to a literal temple while the Lord was referring to a spiritual one, the “temple” of His own “body” wherein the Father dwelled (John 14:10). Ah, but are we not also His “body,” thus His “temple”? Yes we are (I Cor. 12:27; I Cor. 3:16-17). So I am inclined to believe that Jesus was not only referring to Himself but to His mystical body which would follow after and also be destroyed by the deception that arose in her ranks.

 

Matthew 24:1-2 (NKJV)
1 Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

 

In keeping with our passages from John, Chapter 2, we read that “His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple.” And what did Jesus say? “Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Was He speaking of the literal temple? I believe He was, but again, I also believe He was speaking of His spiritual temple (I Cor. 3:16-17).

 

Matthew 12:40 (NKJV)
40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

 

Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” What did He mean by “three days”? Consider the following illustration.

 

 

Again, I am using the lampstand in the Holy Place of the Tabernacle of Moses to illustrate our principle of three days and three nights. Note that the “days” are represented by the fire or “light” on each branch of the lampstand while the “nights” are signified by the spaces or “darkness” between the branches.

This illustration shows the Three Great Feasts of Israel which was included in the instructions to Moses on Mount Sinai. The first feast was that of Passover, which consisted of three segments; the Feast of Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the Feast of the Sheaf of Firstfruits. The next feast was Pentecost which stood alone. The last and final feast was that of Tabernacles, defined in three segments as the Day of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles proper. Remember, the natural or physical aspects of these feasts reflect a spiritual reality in the body of Christ.

 

1 Corinthians 5:7-8 (NKJV)
7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

 

As most of us know, Christ Himself, appropriately called the “lamb of God” (John 1:29, 36; Rev. 5:6), is the spiritual fulfillment of the natural Feast of Passover. As shown, the “unleavened bread” speaks of “sincerity and truth.” What is the spiritual reality of the third segment of “firstfruits”? Consider.

 

1 Corinthians 15:20-23 (KJV)
20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

 

Not only did Christ fulfill Passover and Unleavened Bread, He also fulfilled “firstfruits,” so too His disciples.

 

James 1:18 (KJV)
18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

 

The spiritual reality of the Feast of Passover is plainly seen in all that we have considered. What followed? The Feast of Pentecost.

 

Acts 2:1-4 (KJV)
1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

 

As we see, the spiritual reality of the Feast of Pentecost is recorded in the second chapter of the book of Acts, and it was on this day that Peter stood up and quoted some passages from the book of Joel that further defines our understanding of three days and three nights.

 

Acts 2:16-21 (KJV)
16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: 21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

 

Note carefully that Peter said first, “last days,” i.e. more than one. He then follows that with “that great and notable day of the Lord.” When we compare this thought with our illustration, we find that it coincides with our last great feast, the Feast of Tabernacles, defined in three segments or “days” if you will (God called the light Day; Gen. 1:5), to end with the third and final “day” of Tabernacles itself.

 

John 2:19-22 (KJV)
19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? 21 But he spake of the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.

 

To reiterate, it’s my understanding that the “last days” of which Peter spoke correspond with our three segments of the Feast of Tabernacles as shown by our illustration of the lampstand.

“Destroy this temple,” Jesus said, “and in three days I will raise it up.” As our illustration shows, the third and final “day of the Lord” is the “great and notable day of the Lord” and correlates with the seventh branch of our lampstand and coincides perfectly with our understanding of the seven messages to the seven churches.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:1-2 (NKJV)
1 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.

 

The Three Great Feasts of Israel were centered around the sowing or planting of seed and the harvest of those things which were planted, so when Paul spoke of “the times and the seasons,” he understood their spiritual application as mentioned in our passages above. Note the reference to His coming “as a thief in the night” and compare this with the following.

 

Revelation 3:3 (NKJV)
3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.

To whom was Jesus speaking? Sardis. For further understanding, I would recommend that you read the 16th Chapter of Revelation which shows the pouring out of the “bowls of the wrath of God on the earth” (Rev. 16:1). What is important to note is what the Lord says after the sixth bowl is poured out.

 

Revelation 16:15 (KJV)
15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

 

I am inclined to believe that the Lord’s statement, “I come as a thief,” refers back to the six bowls of the wrath of God which have already been poured out. To those who do not watch, they do not understand that it is the spiritual fulfillment of the law and the prophets. Look once more at these passages from I Thessalonians.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 (NKJV)
1 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.

 

It is clear. If we don’t watch, the Lord comes “as a thief” and “sudden destruction” comes upon us “as labor pains upon a pregnant woman.” And what does this “sudden destruction” signify? Paul tells us a few verses later.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:4-9 (NKJV)
4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ…

 

“God did not appoint us to wrath,” Paul writes. And what do we find in the 16th Chapter of Revelation? The “bowls of the wrath of God” (Rev. 16:1) and the statement by the Lord Himself, “Behold, I am coming as a thief” (Rev. 16:15). This shows that His coming as a thief is the pouring out of the bowls. And what is the “wrath” of God?

 

Romans 4:15 (NKJV)
15 … because the law brings about wrath

 

Clearly, it is the “law” which “brings about wrath.” And are we not considering the spiritual fulfillment of His law in the Feasts of Israel which is also reflected in the messages to the seven churches? Yes we are, so His coming as a thief is the spiritual reality of the law coming to pass before us, thus it is imperative to understand what this means.

 

Matthew 5:17 (KJV)
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

 

Now, look carefully at what Peter said on the day of Pentecost.

 

Acts 2:17 (KJV)
17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy

 

What did Peter say that God would do? “Pour out” of His Spirit “upon all flesh.” Would this correlate with the pouring out of the bowls of the wrath of God in Revelation 16? I believe so. Does this mean everyone? I believe it does, for he goes on to say, “And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.” In other words, as the messages to the churches have unfolded through the past two thousand years, our sons and daughters in previous generations have all been affected by it, history bearing witness of the fulfillment of God’s word.

 

Acts 2:18 (KJV)
18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy…

 

In direct contrast to our sons and daughters, Peter speaks of His “servants” and His “handmaidens.” Is this different from the “all” of Acts 2:17? I believe so. Now, note how Peter said it. “I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.” In other words, “those days of my Spirit” speaks of those who watch, who “are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake” them “as a thief.” These are the “sons of light and sons of the day” who do not “sleep” or “get drunk” on the spirit of this world and remain faithful to His Spirit.

As our illustration of the lampstand shows, “days” are signified by the fire or light on the branches of the lampstands, while the “nights” by the spaces between. Those “days” of His Spirit coincide with the branches and His “sons of light” while the “wrath of God” coincides with the spaces and our sons and daughters. It is both which give testimony of the living Word of God in this earth.

 

Chapter Eight

[]THE END OF THE AGE

Matthew 13:37-43 (NKJV)
37 He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. 39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

 

Matthew 25:31-34 (NKJV)
31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world

 

The end of the age is plainly marked by a harvest which requires a separation of good and bad (Matt. 13:47-50). What is harvested first? The tares, and the tares coincide with the “goats” of Matthew 25. And what do the tares or goats signify? Those who “offend” and “practice lawlessness.” Consider Vine’s treatment of the word “offend” (bolding mine).

 

Usage Number: A-1

Part Of Speech: Noun

Strong’s Number:

Original Word: σκάνδαλον, skandalon

Usage Notes: originally was “the name of the part of a trap to which the bait is attached, hence, the trap or snare itself, as in Rom. 11:9, RV, ‘stumblingblock,’ quoted from Psa. 69:22, and in Rev. 2:14, for Balaam’s device was rather a trap for Israel than a stumblingblock to them, and in Matt. 16:23, for in Peter’s words the Lord perceived a snare laid for Him by Satan.

 

In NT skandalon is always used metaphorically, and ordinarily of anything that arouses prejudice, or becomes a hindrance to others, or causes them to fall by the way. Sometimes the hindrance is in itself good, and those stumbled by it are the wicked.”

 

Thus it is used (a) of Christ in Rom. 9:33, “(a rock) of offense;” so 1 Pet. 2:8; 1 Cor. 1:23 (AV and RV, “stumblingblock”), and of His CROSS, Gal. 5:11 (RV, ditto); of the “table” provided by God for Israel, Rom. 11:9 (see above); (b) of that which is evil, e.g., Matt. 13:41, RV, “things that cause stumbling” (AV, “things that offend”), lit., “all stumblingblocks;” Matt. 18:7, RV, “occasions of stumbling” and “occasion;” Luke 17:1 (ditto); Rom. 14:13, RV, “an occasion of falling” (AV, “an occasion to fall”), said of such a use of Christian liberty as proves a hindrance to another; Rom. 16:17, RV, “occasions of stumbling,” said of the teaching of things contrary to sound doctrine; 1 John 2:10, “occasion of stumbling,” of the absence of this in the case of one who loves his brother and thereby abides in the light. Love, then, is the best safeguard against the woes pronounced by the Lord upon those who cause others to stumble. See FALL, B, Note (3). Cp. the Sept. in Hos. 4:17, “Ephraim partaking with idols hath laid stumblingblocks in his own path.”

 

Do you see it? Our “offences” are “an occasion of falling,” and it is clear by the messages to the churches that we are guilty, the falling away of the church testifying of this very thing. Our love of money has led us to teach “things contrary to sound doctrine” (I Tim. 1:10; II Tim. 4:3; Titus 2:1) in order that we might please those who listen but do not hear what the Spirit is saying in this hour. And this has been happening for a very long time.

 

Luke 17:1-4 (KJV)
1 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! 2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. 3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. 4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

 

Note the reference to “woe” in our passages above and compare this with the following.

 

Revelation 8:13 (NKJV)
13 And I looked, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!”

 

We see not one, but three woes which relate to the last three messages and trumpets of Revelation. This would align with Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. It would also align with the Day of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles proper (Feast of Tabernacles), the “last days” which Peter spoke about on the Day of Pentecost.

Would our three woes correlate with our offences? I believe so. For a long time now we have had “two horns like a lamb,” but have spoken like a “dragon,” the truth of the gospel mixed with the carnal reasoning’s of men and thus causing confusion among the body of Christ. As a result, we have committed many “offences” over the centuries, placing stumblingblocks before one another and the world in our zeal to hold to our traditions and commandments of men.

We have fought, warred, and murdered others in the name of Christ. We have clung to our prejudices while professing His word, exalting ourselves and our denominations and organizations, and twisted His precious truths to justify our religious reputations and monetary positions in the world.

No doubt, we have been a collective “false prophet,” propagating false doctrines such as the rapture, eternal torment, prosperity, born again, and even the understanding of salvation itself. We have succumbed to the spirit of the world in the church, rising up in our religious pride to condemn each other and the world around us, portraying our heavenly Father and His precious Son as tyrants and dictators and guilty of the same dark and carnal reasoning’s which exist only in our own minds.

Ah, but the Lord has promised that this will end. As we approach the end of the age, He is separating the tares out from among the wheat, the goats from among the sheep, and purging and cleansing His bride that “He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:26-27; KJV).

Rest assured my friend that He will have a light, a true light to the world that will not consist of “enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and power” (I Cor. 2:4; KJV). Then and only then will this “gospel of the kingdom” be “preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matt. 24:14; KJV). It will be the good news of the kingdom, free from all carnal reasoning’s and pure in its own right, proceeding forth from the hearts of those who have freely laid down their lives through His divine grace. It will be the work of His Spirit and truth in those who have overcome and persevered to the end (Matt. 24:13). The ministry of death and condemnation will give way to the ministry of the Spirit and life (II Cor. 3:6-11). “With men, this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26).

 

Chapter Nine

[]THE SEVENTH TRUMPET

The seventh trumpet follows and marks the end of the sixth, indicative of the fullness of God’s purpose in the church. When fullness is reached, the seventh trumpet unfolds, coming to pass as the Lord has determined. It is the third and final “woe” of Revelation (Rev. 8:13).

 

Revelation 11:11-15 (KJV)
11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. 12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. 13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. 14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly. 15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

 

Note the reference to “three days and an half.” Consider the Strong’s definition.

 

Neuter of a derivative from an inseparable prefix akin to (hama) (through the idea of partition involved in connection) and meaning semi-; (as noun) half :- half.

 

Our definition of “half” speaks of “the idea of partition involved in connection.” “Partition” means to “divide in parts” (Google). The definition of “connection” reads, “A relationship in which a person, thing, or idea is linked or associated with something else” (Google). This immediately shows our connection between Sardis and Philadelphia, seen together as Laodicea until the end of the age. Ah, but at the end of the age, the two are severed one from another, separated as Jesus said, so in our “half,” a division takes place. This is confirmed by the following from the book of Daniel.

 

Daniel 7:25 (KJV)
25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

 

Our phrase, “they shall be given into his hand” in Daniel agrees with Revelation 11:2 where we read that the “court” is “given to the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.”

Our “time and times and the dividing of time” correlates with our “three days and an half” in Revelation 11:11. Our phrase “dividing of time” agrees with our “half” and is explained by the following.

 

Genesis 1:4 (KJV)
4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

 

Genesis 1:16-18 (KJV)
16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. 17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

 

On the first day of creation, “God divided the light from the darkness,” but it was the “light” which He saw that was “good.” On the fourth day, He made “two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night” and “to divide the light from the darkness.” These do of course speak of the sun and the moon, but these “two great lights” testify of the Two Covenants of God, the Old and the New, the law and the promise, the purpose of which is “to divide the light from the darkness” (see Revelation 12:1). It is the law or “ministry of death” followed by the “ministry of the Spirit” and the corresponding glory of that which God will do in His servants at the end of the age (II Cor. 3:5-11).

Further proof is found in our illustration of the lampstand and our seventh branch. If we see each branch and space as “day” (12 hours; John 11:9) and “night” (12 hours) and count from left to right, we have six days and nights which end with the seventh branch or “day.” Ah, but at this point, we have no space, giving us “half” of a twenty-four hour segment. This agrees with our understanding of the seventh or Sabbath where the Lord rested from all His works and where we do not find it written that the “evening and the morning” were the seventh day as stated in the first six days of creation. No evening, just morning. No darkness, just light. Please consider.

 

Revelation 21:22-25 (KJV)
22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. 24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. 25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

 

Revelation 22:4-5 (KJV)
4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. 5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

 

Friend, when every “jot” and “tittle” of the law has been fulfilled through our Lord Jesus Christ, there will come a separation which will end in light, for the “righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (Matt. 13:43; KJV). Our phrase “his name shall be in their foreheads” agrees with Revelation 7, verses 1 through 8, and Revelation 14, verses 1 through 5, and speaks of those who overcome and endure to the end of the age to receive the mind of Christ, the mind of the Spirit which is so desperately needed at this time. Let’s look again at our passages from Revelation 11.

 

Revelation 11:11-15 (KJV)
11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. 12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. 13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. 14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly. 15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

 

We read, “After three days and an half.” In other words, after the “last days” of the fulfillment of Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles and He divides the tares from the wheat, then “the Spirit of life from God” will enter into His two witnesses and they will stand upon their feet once more. Not surprisingly, our word “resurrection” means, “A standing up again,” so in verse 11 we see the resurrection of Christ in His elect (Rev. 20:6). Following this resurrection, “they heard a great voice from heaven.” And what does this “great voice” signify? The seventh trumpet! And what happens when they hear this “great voice”? They ascend “up to heaven in a cloud (Heb. 12:10); and their enemies” (Rom. 11:28) behold them. Friend, this is not a physical removal from this earthly plane, but a spiritual ascension from death to life, from darkness to light, from unrighteousness to righteousness, due to the “Spirit of life” imparted by the Lord to His elect. What did Jesus say? “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (Matt. 5:6). Furthermore, “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn (woe), and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matt. 24:30-31).

“And the seventh angel sounded.” Who is this “seventh angel” if not the manifestation of the seventh prophecy and church where the Lord vomits the cold out of His mouth, separating the sheep from the goats in order for His truth to be proclaimed as a witness to all nations? You see my friend, while so many preach a rapture and removal of the church from this earth, the Lord fully intends to not rapture but resurrect, bringing some into the “glorious liberty of the children of God” (Luke 20:34-38; Rom. 8:21) to be a light to the world and show the “good works” of the Christ who abides in them (Matt. 5:16).

Do you see that all is fulfilled in the first six trumpets before the seventh trumpet sounds? And do you see that the sounding of the seventh trumpet is the manifestation of Christ in a people?

Our “great earthquake” is explained by Hebrews, Chapter 12.

 

Hebrews 12:26-28 (NKJV)
26whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” 27 Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.

 

Our “remnant” or “seven thousand” (Rev. 11:13) is explained by the following passages and illustration.

 

Romans 11:4-5 (NKJV)
4 But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

 

 

As shown, our “seven thousand” are illustrated by the “light” or “fire” or “day” of each branch of the lampstand and signifies the “remnant,” the elect or chosen, who have been present throughout each prophecy to each church.

 

Daniel 7:21-22 (KJV)
21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; 22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

 

I cannot help but be excited about what is coming, and in conclusion of all that we have considered, I would ask you to note the numbers 3 and 4 on each of the branches of our lampstand and add them together. These numbers are taken from the following.

 

Exodus 25:33-34 (NKJV)
33 Three bowls shall be made like almond blossoms on one branch, with an ornamental knob and a flower, and three bowls made like almond blossoms on the other branch, with an ornamental knob and a flower—and so for the six branches that come out of the lampstand. 34 On the lampstand itself four bowls shall be made like almond blossoms, each with its ornamental knob and flower.

 

When we add our “three bowels” of each branch to the “four bowls” of the main branch, we have twenty-two. Consider what Vallowe wrote concerning the spiritual meaning of this number.

 

TWENTY-TWO is the number that is connected with LIGHT. There were TWENTY-TWO bowls to hold oil in the candlestick in the Tabernacle. There were THREE branches on each side of the shaft of the candlestick. Each branch had three bowls. This makes six branches, with EIGHTEEN bowls. In the candlestick itself (the shaft) were FOUR bowls. (Exodus 25:31-34) This is a total of TWENTY-TWO bowls serving the SEVEN lamps. The purpose of the candlestick with its lamps was to give light.

In Matthew 5:15-16 Jesus said,

 

“Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick and it giveth Light to all in the house. Let your LIGHT so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

 

The saved are called the children of LIGHT. “Ye are all children of LIGHT.” (I Thess. 5:5) When FOURTEEN for salvation is added to EIGHT for the New Birth, the sum is TWENTY-TWO, LIGHT.

 

Do the “bowls” of the lampstand coincide with the “bowls of the wrath of God” (Rev. 16:1)? I believe they do. And what accomplishes His wrath? The law (Rom. 4:15). So we could say that the “wrath of God” is accomplished through the spiritual fulfillment of every detail of the law as we have considered throughout this study. Once fulfilled, it will end in LIGHT.

 

Revelation 22:1-6 (NKJV)
1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. 4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. 5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever. 6 Then he said to me, “These words are faithful and true.”

 

 

Thank you for reading my book. It is my sincere hope that it encouraged and enlightened you in your walk with Christ. If so, won’t you please take a moment to leave me a review at your favorite retailer? Thank you!

Jack Marshall

 

 

About the Author:

 

Jack Marshall was born in California in 1957, but raised in Oklahoma, where his experience with Christianity began at the age of 19. After several years of attending various denominational and non-denominational churches, his love for the Bible and desire to understand the scriptures became a vital part of his life. Ordained in his twenties, he spent several years ministering in homes, jails, and churches. Through in-depth study for the past 39 years, Jack has discovered that the message of scripture is truly one of hope, love, and encouragement for the entire world.

 

Connect With Me:

 

Friend me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GrainOfWheatPublishing

Grain of Wheat Publishing Website: https://grainofwheatpublishing.wordpress.com/

Favorite me at Shakespir: https://www.Shakespir.com/profile/view/Biblebooks

 

 

Other books by Jack Marshall

 

The Dream – Through the Eyes of Sowing and Reaping

Times and Seasons – An Alternative View of the Day of the Lord

The Rapture – Yes or No?

Hell, No! An Alternative View of Hell

Studies in Revelation – The Beasts of Revelation

The Parable of the Sower

Studies in Revelation – The Second Death

The Unpardonable Sin

 

 

Bibliography

 

Reference:

 

E.W. Bullinger (1837-1913), Number in Scripture: Its Supernatural Design and Spiritual Significance, Public Domain, 1921

Biblical Mathematics, Keys to Scripture Numerics, Evangelist Ed F. Vallowe, 1998

Dr. James Strong (1822-1894), Strong’s Concordance, First Published 1890

Marvin R. Vincent (1834-1922), Vincent’s Word Studies in the New Testament, First Published 1887

W.E. Vine (1873-1949), Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, First Published 1940

 

Reference (Online):

 

Google, www.google.com

 

Bible Translations Used:

 

KJV, King James Version, Public Domain, 1611

NKJV, New King James Version, Published by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Complete Bible 1982

NIV, New International Version, Biblica, Zondervan and Hodder & Stoughton (UK) (licensed commercial rights), 1973 (NT), 1978 (OT)

ESV, English Standard Version, 2001: Crossway Bibles, a ministry of the Good News Publishers of Wheaton, Illinois, U.S.; Apocrypha 2009 by Oxford University Press

AMP, Amplified Bible, Published by The Zondervan Corporation and The Lockman Foundation, First Edition 1965

 


Studies in Revelation - The Beast of the Earth

  • ISBN: 9781370600076
  • Author: Jack Marshall
  • Published: 2016-12-25 13:35:14
  • Words: 20613
Studies in Revelation - The Beast of the Earth Studies in Revelation - The Beast of the Earth