The Revelation of St. John the Divine

PART I

Introduction

Part 1 - The first hour of the 'Revelation' video gives an overview of the Revelation and the history of the Roman Empire.

PART II

Chapter 1

The Revelation of John was written in approximately 96 A.D.

V. 1-3

The word 'Revelation' = 'the unveiling'. The purpose is, "To show unto Christ's servants things which must shortly come to pass."

"And He sent and signified it (to make known by signs or words) by His angel." The signs used (vision, symbols) are generally found elsewhere in the Bible, where the contexts help us to understand their application in the Revelation.

 

Things which shortly come to pass, events fulfilled and still being fulfilled. The Book or Scroll sealed with seven seals.

V. 4-9

A general introductory statement embracing Jesus Christ's authority, the saints' calling, and the Lord's return.

V. 10-20

The Lamb has become the Lion. A vision of Jesus as Head of the Church, full of Wisdom and Righteousness and Power, with authority to Judge, having the Keys of Hell and Death.

The Lord sends messages to seven selected churches. The number seven is often used in the Bible to symbolise completion and here it possibly conveys that the messages are to the whole church whose condition at various times is represented by the characteristics of the selected churches.

Chapters 2 and 3

Messages to the Seven Churches

There is probably a threefold application of these messages:

  1. Messages specifically to the churches named;
  2. Warnings and directions to the universal church, with application throughout the New Testament age;
  3. Because of the assertion that these things must shortly come to pass, a prophetic message is implied. This is found in that the characteristics of the churches, in the order listed, appear to describe the historical stages through which "Christianity" would pass, up to the time of the return of the Lord. Table 1 (See appendix - page 19), illustrates a possible prophetic fulfilment of the messages to the churches.

Chapter 4

V. 1

The door standing open perhaps signifies that the message is for those who now have access to God through the Lord Jesus Christ. Again, we are told that the revelation applies to "things which must be hereafter."

V. 3

Precious and semi-precious stones represented the tribes of Israel in the Old Testament: Jasper = stone of Benjamin, whose name means 'Son of my right hand'; Sardius = Reuben, means 'behold a son'; and Emerald = Judah, means 'Praise'. Thus, the one on the throne appears to be identified as Jesus, the Right Hand of God, the Son of God, who is to be praised.

V. 4

24 elders; perhaps representing the twelve tribes, plus the twelve apostles?

V. 5

See COLOSSIANS 1:16-17; HEBREWS 1:3 (upholding all things by the Word of His power); and ISAIAH 11:1-2.

V. 6-8

The "beasts" = living creatures. These faces are the same as those on the standards used by Israel. See NUMBERS 2:3,10,18 and NUMBERS 2:25. According to Jewish historians the standards are Judah, the Lion; Ephraim, the Ox (calf); Reuben, the Man; and Dan, the Eagle.

V. 9-11

These verses, along with the foregoing, seem to look forward to a time when Israel shall be 'saved' and together with the church, be worshipping the Son of God.

PART III

Chapter 5

V. 1-4

This 'book' speaks of the mind of God on the future of mankind (from 96 A.D.). Sinful man had no insight into the mind of God.

V. 5-6

Jesus, the Lamb of God, has made a way for man to come to understand the Word of God.

V. 8-14

The beasts (living creatures) and elders represent mankind (in particular Israel and the church) because they speak of being redeemed, and made into kings and priests, through Christ.

Chapter 6

The first four seals represent stages through which the Roman Empire passed from 96 A.D. to c.300 A.D. 

Seal 1:

White Horse = Roman peace until about 180 A.D. "A laurel leaf crown."

White Horse = Roman peace until about 180 A.D. "A laurel leaf crown."
Seal 2:

Red Horse = Civil War. 29 Emperors in 67 years (180-284 A.D.).

Red Horse = Civil War. 29 Emperors in 67 years (180-284 A.D.).
Seal 3:

Black Horse = Huge taxes for the Army and Civil Servants (200-250 A.D.).

Black Horse = Huge taxes for the Army and Civil Servants (200-250 A.D.).
Seal 4:

Pale Horse = Death came by war, famine and plague (250-300 A.D.).

Pale Horse = Death came by war, famine and plague (250-300 A.D.).
Seal 5:

Severe persecutions broke out against the Christians. In particular, that by the Emperor Diocletian from c.303-313 A.D.

Severe persecutions broke out against the Christians. In particular, that by the Emperor Diocletian from c.303-313 A.D.
Seal 6:

One of the greatest political upheavals in history was occasioned through the Emperor Constantine, who began the process whereby Christianity became the State religion of Rome, thus overthrowing Paganism and resulting in an entirely new political 'heavens' for the Roman Empire.

One of the greatest political upheavals in history was occasioned through the Emperor Constantine, who began the process whereby Christianity became the State religion of Rome, thus overthrowing Paganism and resulting in an entirely new political 'heavens' for the Roman Empire.

Chapter 7

A message to encourage the persecuted church and to emphasise Israel's place in God's plan. The Roman Catholic Church was to claim to be the Kingdom of God with the Pope as Christ's representative - King of kings. This, despite Paul's warning in ROMANS 11:27-21. Twelve in numbers = government. 144,000 = 12 x 12,000; symbolic numbers which represent perfect government of the Kingdom of God - based upon organisation of restored Israel. Many from Gentiles to come into the Kingdom of God and become part of the commonwealth of Israel (EPHESIANS 2:12).

Chapter 8

The Seven Trumpets "Third Parts of Roman Empire conquered A.D. 400 - 1453"Answer of God to prayer of saints is the seven trumpets pronouncing further judgments. In 395 A.D. the Empire divides into the Western Roman Empire based on Rome, and the Eastern Roman Empire with Constantinople as its capital. The Middle-East and Egypt constitute the third part of the original empire.

The First Four Trumpets

Four Gothic Trumpets  A.D. 400 - 476One third of the Roman Empire falls to the Barbarians.

  1. Trumpet, Verse 7. The Goths overrun Gaul (France) and Spain (400-410 A.D.).
  2. Trumpet, Verses 8-9. The Vandals ravage the Mediterranean coasts (425-470 A.D.).
  3. Trumpet, Verses 10-11. The Huns, under Atilla, conquer the Rhine, Danube and Po river valley areas.
  4. Trumpet, Verse 12. The Heruli conquer Rome and banish the last Emperor, Romulus Augustulus. Thus the ruling 'heavens' over one third of the original Empire is darkened. (The sun, stars and moon are symbols of Government).

 PART IV

Chapter 9

V. 1-2

The Saracen Trumpet A.D. 612 - 762As the 5th angel sounds his trumpet some spiritual event takes place (verses 1-2).

V. 3-5

The action moves to the southern portion of the Empire, North Africa and the Middle-East, which comes under assault by the new religion of the 'Prophet' Mohammed.

He received his vision in 612 A.D., united the Arab peoples and by 762 A.D. Islamic forces had conquered the whole southern third of the Empire. This is the 5 month or 150 day/year period referred to in verse 5.

V. 6-10

We are told the vision is of horsemen as a swarm of locusts. An apt description of Mohammedan armies arising out of the deserts.

V. 11

Tells us the 'Destroyer', Satan, is the god of Mohammed.

V. 13

Turkish Trumpet A.D. 1062 -1453The 6th angel sounds his trumpet: This Identifies the source of this next scourge, of apostate Eastern Christendom, for the Seljuk Turks swept out of the Euphrates area (c.1071 A.D.) into Eastern Europe and by 1453 A.D. had captured Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern Roman, or Byzantine Empire. The Turks were the first to use gunpowder and this is probably referred to in verses 17 and 18.

V. 15

The Eastern third of the Roman Empire was overrun by the Seljuk Turks and formed the Ottoman Empire.

V. 20-21

Refers to the apostate state of the Eastern Orthodox Church which failed to repent of its idolatry

 Chapter 10

A combination of events resulted in the Bible being available in large numbers in the common tongues of people for the first time in human history. This was the little book of verse 2 which was to spread all over the earth and seas. The circumstances were:

(a)

The knowledge of paper-making (a Chinese invention) came into Europe via the Moors (part of the Mohammedan scourge of chapter 9:1-11), who invaded Spain;

(b)

Greek scholars were driven from Eastern Europe to Western Europe by the Turkish scourge of chapter 9:13-21, and thus brought the knowledge to translate the original scriptures;

(c)

The printing press was invented in Mainz in 1397.

The coming together of these three essentials made possible the printing of the Bible in the common tongues of the people of Europe. This sounded the death knell for the blasphemous claims of the Papacy.

V. 9-11

Those who read the newly available Word of God indeed found it sweet to the taste, but it resulted in severe persecution, as the Papacy attempted to defend its power and dominion by burning all Bibles and slaying millions who opposed it. Millions of believers, who no longer accepted the Pope and the church as the highest authority, were slaughtered. The Inquisition took the lives of approximately 65 million people.

 

Holy Bible - sweet - bitter

sweet  -  bitter

PART V

Chapter 11

V. 1

The Word of God is the rod measuring the True Church, not the claims of the Papacy.

V. 2

The temple is the true spirit-filled church. The 'Holy City' is also the true church. 42 months = Papal dominion from 606 to 1866 = 1260 years. (See DANIEL 7:21,25-27).

V. 3

The Papacy was responsible for martyring millions who opposed them.

Church - Nation

Church  -  Nation

V. 4

The true church is filled with the Spirit (oil) and gives light (candlestick).

V. 5-6

Reference to the ministries of Elijah and Moses. The first challenged the false prophets; the second delivered God's people from bondage.

V. 7-11

Rome is called Sodom and Egypt in a spiritual sense. Sodom = depths of unfaithfulness to God. Egypt = bondage for all under her sway.

The 3½ days probably equals the 3½ years when Rome thought it had silenced all opposition.

Declaration of the 5th Lateran Council on 5th May, 1514, that all opposition had been silenced was followed by Luther's 95 theses on the 31st October, 1517. The Reformation followed.

V. 12

The reformers were now protected by princes and kings, whereas previously, the ruling "heavens" were persecuting those who opposed the Papacy.

V. 13

Earthquake = political upheaval. Probably England being taken out of the Pope's dominion by Henry VIII.

V. 14-19

The seventh trumpet brings the "third woe". Much tribulation is to come and then Christ is to return.

Chapter 12

Having covered major events affecting the "Roman earth" for some fifteen centuries, there is now a change to consider - mainly spiritual events:

V. 1

The Woman is identified as Israel, for the symbolism used here is found in Joseph's dream (See GENESIS 37:9).

V. 2

Like Abraham's wife Sarah, Israel brings forth the promised Son.

V. 3

The dragon is a development from the fourth beast of Daniel 7, where we learn that the beast symbolises the Roman Empire. This chapter tells us how the Devil (Verse 9) uses the kingdoms of man in his attempt to destroy the plan of God.

WYCLIFFE'S WORKS WERE BURNED

"And the dragon stood before the woman ... for to devour her child as soon as it was born."

The Devil seeks to destroy,

(a) the Son of God (Verse 4);
(b) the true church (Verses 11 & 17);
(c) the nation Israel in the wilderness on the way to the prepared place (Verses 6, 13 & 15).

V. 6

Israel is on her way to the prepared place and is to be strengthened (fed) there for 1260 years.

V. 7-12

Probably speaks of Christ's victory in opposing and defeating Satan and giving us His victory; so Satan can no longer accuse us. We now dwell in heavenly places (EPHESIANS 2:6); but woe to the earth!

V. 13

Because God's victory over Satan, through Christ in us, has defeated Satan's plan, the future of God's creation is assured.

V. 14

Again we see 3½ times = 1260 prophetic days (Verse 6). It is implied that, after regathering strength in the prepared place, Israel will again be assailed (GENESIS 49:23-25). (1 Time = 360 days = 360 years).

V. 15-16

Perhaps the Barbarian hordes that flooded into Europe from Asia from the 2nd to the 5th centuries A.D. During this time we understand the "lost" ten tribes of Israel were entering the British Isles as the Angles, Saxons, Danes, etc. The Barbarians were diverted to attack the Roman Empire and were swallowed up in the downfall of the Empire and subsequent development of the nations of Europe.

V. 17

The severe persecutions of the Christians, firstly under Pagan, then under Papal, Rome.

FOUR HUNDRED YEARS (1558 - 1958) OF CONFLICT
BETWEEN PROTESTANT BRITAIN AND THE PAPAL REGIME IN EUROPE

God's Chosen"Woman"  -  The False"Woman"

"And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." REVELATION 12:17

Chapter 13

V. 1-2

A continuation of the beast of DANIEL 7. Satan is the spiritual force behind this beast = Roman Empire and subsequent European kingdoms and nations. The beasts of Daniel represent empires or kingdoms constructed by man, inspired and used by satan, and opposed to God's plan. The seven heads would thus probably be Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Pagan Rome and the Hun-Gothic Empire.

V. 3

The overthrow of Pagan Rome in 476 A.D. followed by the re-emergence of Rome under the Papacy and as the Holy Roman Empire.

 

The Lictus.

Symbol of pagan power.

The Lictus - The threefold Crown

The threefold crown.

Symbol of papal power.

V. 4-10

A development of DANIEL 7:17-28.

V. 5

The Papacy is the mouth of the beast. Papal dominion is for 1260 years (42 prophetic months = 1260 years, on a day/year principle from NUMBERS 14:34; EZEKIEL 4:6).

V. 6

Papal opposition to the true church which is God's tabernacle.

V. 7

Papal persecutions resulting in millions being martyred.

PART VI

V. 11-17

Some suggest this beast is the Holy Roman Empire, the two horns representing the Popes and the Emperors. Another view that the Roman priesthood is intended, is that favoured here. In either case, the Popes, Emperors and priesthood were so closely intertwined that probably either interpretation is equally relevant.

V. 12

"Thus in its old age the Roman Empire bequeathed its constitution to the young church." [Sohm's - 'Outlines of Church History']. The hierarchical organisation of the Catholic priesthood was modelled upon the constitution of the Empire. "To this day the diocese of the Catholic bishop is the copy of the Roman 'civitas'; and province of the Catholic archbishop the copy of the imperial province; and the Catholic Church, under a Pope declared omnipotent by law, the copy of the ancient Roman Empire, with its Caesars who claimed the world as their possession." [Sohm]

V. 13-14

He (the Roman priesthood) claimed powers of excommunication, meaning powers of divine judgement. He claimed powers to create God in the office of the mass without which the common people could have no salvation. The image is probably the concept of the City of God on earth - being the Holy Roman Empire, with the Pope as head, with absolute power over the souls of men and the priesthood exercising those powers.

"Sometimes papal Rome was a den of corruption and uncleanness, as it had been under John XII; sometimes it was pervaded by the influence of ... nobly thinking men. But behind the Pope was the assembly of the cardinals, priests,... who never, even in the darkest and wildest days, lost sight altogether of the very grand idea of a divine world dominion." (H. G. Wells' - 'Outline of World History').

V. 15-16

As slaves were marked by their owners, so those who are subject to the Pope are spiritually marked. "The Roman Empire staggers, sprawls, is thrust off the stage, and reappears, and - if we may carry the image one step further - it is the Church of Rome which plays the part of the magician and keeps this corpse alive." [Wells].
 

V. 17

The Roman concept of world dominion expressed through the Holy Roman Empire was that none be permitted citizenship unless they were subject to the Pope, i.e. received his mark.

V. 18

The numerical value of the Roman letters in the Pope's title of 'Vicarius Filii Dei' add up to 666!

Chapter 14

The fearful dominion and persecution by the Papacy described in Chapter 13 is now followed by encouragement to the saints to endure and be confident of the judgment of God. Similarly, Chapter 7 is encouragement to the saints following the severe persecutions foretold under Pagan Rome in Chapter 6. Chapter 6:6 connects the two persecutions: Pagan and Papal.

These persecutions were terrible to endure. The faith of many was tested unto death, most often a terrible death. The question must have arisen many times, "Why does God allow the Papacy to continue?" These martyrs have certainly borne the heat of the "day" and we have only come to labour for the Lord in the last hour. (See MATTHEW 20:1-16).

V. 1-3

144,000: Symbolic of the perfect organisation of the Kingdom of God. Father's name = 'seal of the Spirit'. The new song is probably REVELATION 5:9-12. Only the Spirit-filled can truly sing this song.

V. 4

Figuratively speaks of sanctification of Christ's sheep.

V. 5

1 JOHN 3:9

V. 6-7

A restatement of the great commission of Christ in contrast to the perversions of the Papacy. Probably also speaks of age of missionary expansion.

V. 8

Babylon - the Old Testament city which, in particular, opposed God. Now the name is applied to the Roman Catholic system.

V. 9-11

The certain judgment of God on the Papacy and all who follow it.

V. 12

The saints' endurance is strengthened by the knowledge of the righteous judgment of God.

V. 14-20

Two reapings: The first being the overcomers who are to be with the Lord forever; the second is the judgment of the Lord on those who obey not the gospel.

Chapter 15

V. 1

Seventh TrumpetThe seventh angel's trumpet is now developed through seven vials (bowls) of judgment upon Papal Rome and the Beast.

V. 2

The sea of glass like crystal (Chapter 4:6) contrasts with the wicked who are like a "troubled sea" ... whose waters cast up mire and dirt (ISAIAH 57:20). It probably symbolises the peace and light of our fellowship. The mingled fire may be the Holy Spirit's refining presence.

V. 3-4

Moses, the servant, is the greatest prophet of the Lamb of God, and his ministry is fulfilled in Jesus to the glory of the only true God who is just in all his ways. Perhaps these judgments are to be seen as God's final plagues on Egypt (=Rome, see Chapter 11:8) and this song of praise is in anticipation of the final overthrow of the Babylonian succession of world empires.

V. 5-8

The four beasts (living creatures) represent national Israel. The handing of the vials by one of these to the seven angels may indicate that Israel is to be used as God's rod of judgment (ISAIAH 41:15-16; DANIEL 2:34-35,44; MATTHEW 21:43-44).

Chapter 16

V. 1

Seven vials (bowls) of anger of God to be poured on the "earth" (countries of Roman Empire), i.e. Papal Europe from end of 18th century to present. The judgments were to avenge the blood of the martyrs in earlier centuries.

V. 2    Vial 1:1st Vial French Revolution A.D. 1789 - 1793

The French revolution (1789-1793). The sore was the impurity of Papal power and false doctrines causing an eruption and reaction against the corrupt royalists and clergy.

V. 3    Vial 2:2nd Vial  British Naval Victories over France and Spain  A.D. 1793 - 1805

Defeat and end of French and Spanish power (Papal sea power) at sea.

1793 France declared war on Great Britain.
1793 French defeated at Toulon.
1794 French defeated at Ushant.
1797 Spanish defeated at Cape St. Vincent.
1798 French defeated at Nile.
1805 French and Spanish defeated at Trafalgar.

V. 4-7    Vial 3:3rd Vial Divine Judgment  A.D. 1793 - 1806

From 1790 onwards, France and Napoleon invaded the Netherlands, Germany, Piemont, Sardinia, Lombardy, and Austria (the rivers). Many died in these wars, as many had also died during the Papal persecution (Waldenses, Albigenses, Vaudois, Hussites, Lutherans and Huguenots).

V. 8-9    Vial 4:4th Vial Napoleonic Wars  A.D. 1806 - 1815

The Sun: Napoleon I crowned himself Holy Roman Emperor in 1804, and 'scorched' Europe with armies, from Naples to Berlin and from Lisbon to Moscow.

Napoleon "The figure he makes in history is one of almost incredible self-conceit, of callous contempt and disregard of all who trusted him, and of a grand aping of Caesar, Alexander and Charlemagne, which would be purely comic, if it was not caked over with human blood." - (H. G. Wells - 'Outline of World History').

V. 10-11    Vial 5:5th Vial French Capture Papal States. Pope Exiled . A.D. 1798 - 1848 - 1870

The seat of the beast is Rome. In 1779, 1848 and finally 1870, the Popes were imprisoned and the last Italian states were taken from the papacy and formed into a Kingdom. The Popes were restricted to Vatican city state. The Papacy hurled curses at the various forces, and still did not repent of her false doctrines, but rather pronounced two more:

  1. Bull "Ineffabilis Deus" of Pius IX: 'The Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception (of Mary)' - 1854.
  2. Doctrine of 'Papal Infallibility' - Vatican Council, Session IV, 1870. Pope Pius IX.

VIAL No. 5

The Seat of the "Beast"

 

PART VII

V. 12-16   Vial 6:6th Vial - Collapse of Turks

The river Euphrates represents the Turkish empire (See REVELATION 9:13-19) which was finally defeated ("dried up") by British Empire troops in 1917-18.

1917 is also the year of the Russian revolution, and its emergence as a great power, "a king of the East", preparing and soon to move westward and to threaten the whole world (including Israel nations).

In considering the three evil spirits, the following quote from H. G. Wells' 'Outline of World History', is helpful. "The Fermentation of Ideas (1848-1914) ... But after 1848 ... came a great eruption of new social, religious and political ideas into the general European mind. They laid the foundations from which we base our political thought today." In particular, Wells identifies Socialism, Darwinism and its effect upon religious and political thought, and Nationalism.

None of these ideas are based on faith towards God. They form the basis of social, political, religious and international thinking and certainly have contributed to the dreadful wars of the twentieth century.

Some identify Fascism, Nazism and Communism as the three evil spirits, and still others include the Papacy. No doubt all these movements and others have their place in the fulfilment of the prophecy which, in general terms, speaks of the godless thinking of man in the twentieth century.

Armageddon means the "hills of Megiddo", which are in central Israel and the scene of many battles over the centuries. It is probably the same as ZECHARIAH 14:2: "I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle..." Alternatively, as Megiddo means "place of God", Armageddon could symbolise a place of God's choosing. Armageddon = Hill of Megiddo. Megiddo = 'Place of God'.

V. 17-21   Vial 7:

7th Vial - Babylon destroyed

Final judgment on forces opposed to Israel and God. Storm and earthquake represent great war (World Wars 2 and 3). The great city, i.e. Roman Empire, to be harshly judged. Three parts probably means nations and peoples now occupying original Roman 'earth', i.e. Eastern Europe (Communist), Western mainland Europe (basically still Catholic), and the Arab (Islamic) states. Islands and mountain (REVELATION 6:14) barriers removed, signifying submissions to Russia, i.e. Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Balkans, Afghanistan, etc.

The "hail" is probably aerial warfare and invasion of Israel and Babylon (The Papacy) by Russia and allies (EZEKIEL chapters 38 and 39).

Chapter 17

V. 1-3

Judgment of the great whore, who has had spiritual fornication with kings of the Roman earth, and who have been seduced and intoxicated by their lust for power, which the church of Rome was able to offer. The woman (mother church) is fully allied to the beast or papal system.

V. 4-6

Purple and scarlet identify easily with the Papacy, as well as untold riches. The golden cup is full of false doctrine and seducing and intoxicating power. Babylon - woman's name - identifying her as descendent and purveyor of religious system begun in Babylon. The title 'Pontifix Maximus' was given to the Babylon High Priest, later to the Caesars, and then to the Popes, showing a progression through empires, to the Papacy.

 

The Lictus.

Symbol of pagan power.

The Lictus - The Threefold Crown

The threefold crown.

Symbol of papal power.

 

The woman is drunk (intoxicated) with the blood of martyrs she has slain. "The news (Massacre of 70,000 French Huguenots on St. Bartholomew's day - 24th August, 1572) created the most profound excitement in Rome" ['The Cross and Crown' - James D. McCabe]. John is absolutely astonished at this "religious" woman who is absurdly intoxicated with the death of true believers. Some estimate that over 50 million have died through the efforts of the Papacy.

V. 7-9

The mystery of the woman and beast is to be revealed. The beast existed (Pagan Roman Empire), ceased to exist (in the Fourth century from Constantine to Theodosius I - all Romans became Christians), and re-emerged as a combined "Christian-Pagan-Rome" System. The seven mountains (hills) identify the 'seat' of the woman/beast, i.e. Rome. The hills are: 1. Aventines, 2. Capitolines, 3. Palatines, 4. Quirinal, 5. Viminal, 6. Esquilines, 7. Caelian (See also verse 18).

V. 10-15

Seven Kings are: 1. Egypt, 2. Assyria, 3. Babylon, 4. Medo-Persia, 5. Greece, 6. Imperial Rome, 7. Hun-Gothic Empire. Beast that "was and is not", even he is the eighth, i.e. Imperial Rome re-emerging as Papal church-state in 6th and 7th centuries A.D., ruling over and receiving support from the ten Latin-Gothic peoples such as the Ostrogothes, Lombards, etc. The ten Kingdoms existed, like the Papacy, for over 1000 years, and made war against the saints.

V. 15-18

Those nations have turned against Rome, e.g. French Revolution, Spanish Civil War, Communism in Eastern Europe.

Chapter 18

A detailed description of progressive fall and ultimate destruction of 'Babylon'.

V. 1

Similar to angel of Chapter 10:1, this one heralding the last days' reformation and outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

V. 2

Similar to ISAIAH 21:9, foretelling original destruction of Babylon.

V. 3

The Roman Catholic church is one of the richest organisations in the world today. Nations have allied themselves at times, to gain financial advantage.

V. 4-5

The Lord, through the testimony of Spirit-filled people, is convincing people to leave the Catholic church, and other main-line churches who have not the Spirit. In recent times the pope has called the "daughter" churches to rejoin, i.e. the Church of England. The protestants now protest no longer!

V. 6-8

The reward or judgment is to be like a vengeance, carried out by nations (e.g. Russia) who have been led into spiritual darkness by Rome. The Vatican is adorned in riches, like Babylon of old, and does not repent of all the evil deeds of the past.

V. 9-10

Kings, princes, dukes and bishops of the Holy Roman Empire will stand afar off as they watch the burning of the Papacy. The final phase of destruction could begin at any time.

V. 11-19

The merchants of Rome, i.e. bankers, investors, etc., will also mourn. The Catholic Church has controlled trade to a vast degree. It has also traded in the souls of men, by charging a price to stay out of purgatory: "Her (the Roman Church's) crowning folly in the 17th century, was the sale of indulgences, whereby the sufferings of the souls in purgatory could be commuted for a money payment." [H. G. Wells - 'Outline of World History', p.681]. It appears that the destruction of Rome and the Vatican is to be seen and understood afar off; perhaps atomic explosions as well as the total revolt of people against Rome.

V. 20-24

Spiritual people to rejoice, since God has finally avenged the influence of the devil over men. Babylon is left totally desolate and many more discoveries will be made concerning the number of saints and prophets killed, as well as the wars caused by her throughout the ages.

Chapter 19

The Church rejoices in the righteous judgment of God against 'Babylon'.

V. 1-3

The saints rejoice.

V. 4

The 24 elders and 4 living creatures, representing Israel and the New Testament church, also rejoice.

V. 5-6

Great multitudes of people and nations (waters) praise God.

V. 7-9

A strong exhortation for the Church to be pure and ready for the coming of Christ.

V. 10

John saw an angel or prophet and was told to worship God. He is also told that this Revelation of Jesus is true prophecy.

V. 11-13

Appearance of Jesus to defeat all opposition to God, in righteous judgment. The white horse indicates a victor in battle. The Blood represents the wrath of God (as it is in ISAIAH 63:2-3); splashed onto His vesture as the enemies are trodden underfoot.

V. 14-16

Army of the Lord. White horses for victors and white clothing is righteousness of saints (or of Jesus Christ). The "sharp sword" represents the "Word of God" and the "Law of God" which will defeat the nations and set the standard for the future rule. This is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ, who introduces the 1,000 year rule on earth.

V. 17-21

Culmination of Armageddon or end time destruction of all opposition to God. Probably EZEKIEL 38 & 39 apply at this time, where Russia is seen attacking Israel (Britain, U.S.A. and Israel) and God's judgment falls. The beast and false prophet being cast into the lake of fire probably means that the Babylonian political, economic and religious systems will be consumed in judgment.

PART VIII + IX

Chapter 20

The last enemy (satan) bound, and 1,000 year reign of Christ; the two resurrections and final judgment of all people.

V. 1-3

1,000 years often called the "millennium". The power of satan to deceive the nations has been bound for 1,000 years.

V. 4-6

Apostles (MATTHEW 19:28) and saints (REVELATION 5:10) to judge over nations and angels (1 CORINTHIANS 6:3). Those beheaded probably represent all who, by taking up the cross daily, have lost their lives for Christ's sake. These people have all taken part in the first resurrection. The final judgment of God has no power over them.

V. 7-10

The Devil released for a short time at end of 1,000 years, deceives the nations, but finally he is also thrown into the "lake of fire and brimstone". Jesus is finally triumphant over the devil and death (1 CORINTHIANS 15:24-26).

V. 11-15

The former "earth" (Babylon, etc.) has gone forever (fled away). A new heaven made (see Chapter 21:1). All the dead are raised before the judgment throne of God - this is the second resurrection. Same "Book of Life" as in DANIEL 12:1-4, where some will be judged to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. Everyone is judged according to his works, by the Righteous Judge. The unworthy are cast into the lake of fire, whatever that may symbolise! The Old Testament saints probably enter eternal life at this point.

Chapter 21

A description of the New Jerusalem, which has been ruling with Christ during the millennium.

V. 1-2

"New heaven" now comprises the original heavenly hosts, i.e. Father, Son, Holy Spirit, angels, plus spirit-filled people (from Pentecost onwards), plus Old Testament saints (after final judgment).

"New earth" is the everlasting government of the Lord God, beginning at the millennium (with Jesus) and completed at the final judgment. "No more sea" = no more political nations.

"New Jerusalem" is the Spirit-filled church, purified and presented as a bride for Christ. Marriage takes place at start of millennium.

V. 3-4

God had always wanted to be in the midst of His people (LEVITICUS 26:11,12) and from Pentecost this began to happen. For the saints, from the millennium onwards, no more pain or death, but peace and everlasting life. But natural man will still be born and die during the millennium (ISAIAH 65:20).

V. 5-7

A plea from God for all to obey Him now.

V. 8

Those who will not be part of God's kingdom.

V. 9-10

The New Jerusalem again shown to be the saints.

V. 11-21

John saw the beauty of the New Jerusalem. Keep in mind the symbolic nature of the visions. The jewels represent the tribes of Israel, redeemed and precious, the foundation of God's eternal cities; pure gold = the refined faith of all who enter this city by the gates of pearl, which in turn represent the great price of entry. Also, it has number twelve as a base, which is God's number for government.

V. 22-27

The temple is God and Jesus. All who constitute this city are single-eyed and full of light (MATTHEW 6:22). They can see, receive and dwell in the light of God.

Chapter 22

Conclusion of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

V. 1-5

Appears to continue on from Chapter 21. There would appear to still be work to be done - the leaves of the tree - i.e. the knowledge of God is to be ministered to the nations, presumably the nations of Chapter 21:26. No more curse, at least in the New Jerusalem, because there is no longer any separation from God. To see His face is to know Him as He knows us. To be like Him (1 JOHN 3:2).

V. 6-10

This Revelation continues on from the prophets of the Old Testament. A repetition of the immediacy of the application of the Revelation. The time is at hand!

V. 11-13

God forces no man, but He will judge. He had the first word and will have the last.

V. 14

Scientific knowledge will not bring man to everlasting life, but faith and obedience towards Jesus Christ will.

V. 15

Where there is "weeping" and "gnashing of teeth".

V. 16

The message of Revelation is for the "church-age".

V. 17-21

Even so, come, Lord Jesus.


Chapter 2 & 3 - Messages to the Seven Churches 

Church Meaning of Name Corresponding dates in Church History Characteristic of Church Characteristic of corresponding stage in Church History
Ephesus "To let go"  96 A.D. "Thou hast left thy first love." A falling away from the fervour of the early church.
Smyrna "Anointing oil" 100-313 A.D. "Be thou faithful unto death" Persecution under the Roman Empire.
Pergamos "To be married to power" 313-606 A.D.

Doctrine of Balaam and of Nicolaitanes.

Emperor Constantine brought in compromises with paganism and Christianity became state religion.
Thyatira

"To be ruled by a woman"

606-1517 A.D. Then hast that woman Jezebel seduced my servants to idolatry - the depths of satan; Jezebel persecuted the first prophets. Mary, Queen of Heaven, rules the church. Idolatry triumphs over truth of Christ. Severe persecution of those who oppose Rome.
Sardis

"A precious stone"

1517- ? A.D. "Thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead." The Reformation. Did not have the full gospel that makes alive.
Philadelphia "Brotherly love" 1900 - A.D.

"I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it."

The Baptism with the Holy Spirit.

Possibly the Pentecostal Revival of the 20th Century.
Laodicea "Power of the Laity" 1900 - A.D. "I will spue thee out of my mouth." Today's lukewarm church.

 The Division into the Western & Eastern Empire

The Empire in the Time of Trajan 98 - 117 AD

Map showing - "Third Parts" of the Roman Empire

The Drying up of the Turkish Empire

The Seven Seals of Revelation 6 - 8

The Seven Trumpets of Revelation 8-11