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Monthly Archives: July 2019

Opening the Seventh Seal

Seventh Seal

from Google Images

One is almost tempted to look upon the opening of the seventh seal as a type of celebration. I am reminded of the fireworks we see on occasion at weddings and the celebration of our nation’s birth and independence etc. First, comes one explosion and then another and still more after it, but, when the end comes, we have the celebratory Grand Finally, where explosion after explosion lights up the night and colors the darkened sky. So, too, are the opening of the seven seals. The first four reveal the vision of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, then the fifth and sixth seals, but the seventh and final seal explodes into seven trumpets, which, like the seals, are unveiled one after another, until the seventh trumpet, itself, explodes into seven final vials. When the vials are poured out, so ends the wrath of God, and the judgment upon the Great Harlot is over. Then comes the end, when each man is rewarded according to his works. Perhaps some wouldn’t see it this way, but I have to wonder, if we could ask believers in the first century AD, would they have looked for and longed for the appearing of the Lord at which time judgment would occur? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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Regathering Israel

Regathering-of-Israel

from Google Images

At this point I’m concluding my study of chapter seven of the Apocalypse. Having discussed the identity of the 144000 and the great multitude, and discovering when the Great Tribulation occurred, I am now ready to discuss the service of the multitude, standing before the Throne of Christ, where they serve him day and night in the Temple (Revelation 7:15). It is from this place that the Messiah rules, i.e. from the Most Holy Place of the Temple. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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These Came Out of the Great Tribulation!

Great Tribulation - 1Many Bible students believe the Great Tribulation is in our future, but this idea simply isn’t true. If we truly believe that only Jesus (the Lamb) was able to open the seven sealed book (Revelation 5:5-7), which God gave to him to disclose to his disciples (Revelation 1:1), then we need to simply stop prognosticating our own ideas, thinking they are true, when all we have shown ourselves to be is newspaper exegetes. Nevertheless, Jesus told his disciples in the Olivet Discourse that at least some of them would see the beginning of the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:15; cf. 16:27-28). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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The Great Multitude Standing Before God

Great Multitude

from Google Images

Presently, I am discussing what John had seen in his heavenly vision just after the opening of the sixth seal. After the sealing of the 144000, John saw a great multitude stand before the Throne (Revelation 7:9). These came out of all nations, and tribes, and people, and tongues. The multitude included Jews, but, obviously, were not entirely Jews in the physical sense (cf. Galatians 3:28). They were clothed in white robes, which indicates they were righteous (cf. Revelation 19:8), having washed their robes in the blood of Christ (Revelation 7:14; 19:14). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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Sealing the Israel of God

Israel of God

from Google Images

The sealing of the one hundred and forty-four thousand in Revelation, chapter 7, has been a point of interest to many Bible students throughout church history. In fact, some even interpret this group of believers to point to their own denomination, believing they are the most faithful of the faithful. The predominant view, however, is that the number is symbolic of a complete group of disciples of Christ with none missing. Yet, even this point of view is divided into two interpretations. The first explanation is that the group is made up of only believing Jews, i.e. the complete group of Jews with none missing, while the second understanding includes gentiles, pointing to the spiritual understanding of the Israel of God in the New Testament (Romans 2:28-29; 9:6-7). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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The Composition of the 144000

144000

from Google Images

If we are to understand what is happening in Revelation 7:5-8, there are several things we need to consider about how this group of people is comprised. First of all, Levi is numbered with the tribes that were sealed, and Levi was never numbered with his brethren (Numbers 1:49), because he had no inheritance in the Land. Rather, the Lord was his inheritance. Secondly, Dan isn’t mentioned at all among the tribes that were sealed, and finally, Ephraim isn’t specifically mentioned, although Joseph is, but Joseph includes the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, yet Manasseh is specifically mentioned by itself. Knowing this, it doesn’t seem as though we should look to this group of people in the same sense that we understand the group that Moses took out of Egypt, which we find recorded in the book of Exodus. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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The Wrath of the Lamb

Wrath of God

from Google Images

When the sixth seal was opened and the heavenly signs were seen, the kings of the earth and their nobility, the commanders of the military, the wealthy and the powerful men of society, both slave and free – all hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains (Revelation 6:15). If this were literally true, it would indeed have been an event worthy headlining any newspaper or television newscast throughout the world. Nevertheless, the phraseology is simply a metaphor that pointed to the world’s response over Jesus’ judgment upon Jerusalem and the Temple. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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The Sixth Seal – Heavenly Signs

sixth seal

from Google Images

When Jesus opened the sixth seal (Revelation 6:12-14), there was a great earthquake, signs in the heavens and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. Apocalyptic language doesn’t fit the normal manner of communication. Obviously, the language points to and emphasizes other realities that were represented in nature. For example, earthquakes are a sign of God’s power (Job 9:6), his presence (Judges 5:4; 2Samuel 22:8; Psalm 18:7; 68:8; 77:18; 97:4; 104:32; Isaiah 13:13; 29:6; Amos 8:8; Habakkuk 3:10), and of the Second Coming of Jesus (Revelation 11:13-15; Matthew 24:3-7, 29-30). They also express a time of political upheaval, when kingdoms tumble to their ruin (cf. Isaiah 24:19-23; Haggai 2:6-7, 21-22; Hebrews 12:26-27). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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The Fifth Seal – Persecution

fifth seal

from Google Images

When Jesus opened the fifth seal, John’s attention was drawn toward the Altar of Incense, where the prayers of the saints were offered to God by the High Priest. There John was given a vision of those who were martyred for the testimony they bore, concerning the Word (Logos, G3056) of God (Revelation 6:9). Martyr vindication is a major theme found throughout the Bible (Matthew 23:29-33, 35-36), and it is this very matter that is referred to in the question the souls asked the Lord. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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The Fourth Seal – The Pale Horse

fourth seal - 1

from Google Images

With the opening of the fourth seal, the fourth living being commanded the fourth rider: “Go!” (Revelation 6:7; cf. 4:7). What John saw was a pale or greenish horse, whose rider was called Death. It is the only rider that is named among the four, and Hades followed him. Obviously, both Death and Hades are personified in the vision. In chapter one we are told that Jesus had the keys to Death and Hades (Revelation 1:18), so did Jesus actually send out Death and Hades upon the land, or does the opening of the fourth seal point to something else? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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The Third Seal – The Black Horse

Second Seal

from Google Images

As Jesus opened the third seal, John heard the command of the third beast (Revelation 4:7), “Go,” and John saw a black horse, and its rider carried a pair of balances (Revelation 6:5). Then he heard a voice that came out of the midst of the four living beings saying, “A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine” (Revelation 6:6). A measure of wheat was what one would expect to satisfy one person for one day. A penny was considered a day’s wage for an unskilled laborer (Matthew 20:2), so if a person worked about 12 hours for only what amounted to what he could use to feed himself for a single day, the demand for food was exceeding greater than the supply, so famine conditions seem to be indicated. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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The Second Seal – The Red Horse

second seal - 1

from Google Images

Keeping in mind that the book that Jesus was unsealing in chapter six of the Apocalypse is the same book the Father had given him that would unveil Jesus to his disciples (Revelation 1:1-3), the second seal was removed by Jesus who sat upon the throne (viz. Revelation 5:1-5). When the second seal was broken, John saw the second living being, probably the one who was like a bullock (Revelation 4:7), who then commanded the second rider to “Go!” (Revelation 6:3), and John saw a fiery colored horse, and its rider was given a huge sword (Revelation 6:4). This is the vision, but what does it mean? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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The First Seal – The White Horse

First Seal -2

from Google Images

As we enter chapter six of the Apocalypse, it almost seems as though we are projected elsewhere to a scene where four horsemen are sent to the earth to wield destruction, according to their specific purposes. However, John is still in the Throne Room, and still in the Most Holy Place. The Lamb is still on the throne, as he removes the seals of the book. Moreover, we need to keep in mind that the seals are probably not literal seals. For example, if the book were sealed on the outside with seven literal seals, one would be unable to open the book at all until the seventh seal was removed. Yet, with the opening of each seal, some of the contents of the book were revealed. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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