Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Revelation - Chapter Fourteen

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty [and] four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.

The 144,000 is a symbolic number representing all of the redeemed of all ages. It is a multiplication of 12 x 12 x 1000. This is all of the fruit of the Lord from the 12 tribes of Israel and the ministry of the 12 apostles. This is the same multitude of people which were spoken of in Revelation 7:9 (read for comparison). No man can number this multitude, neither can any un-regenerated man learn the song of deliverance which they have experienced in Christ Jesus.

In the preceding chapter we saw that the servants of Satan had the mark of the beast in their forehead. In this verse we see that the servants of God had the Father's name written in their forehead. Question to consider: If the false prophets were right about people getting the mark of the beast stamped on their forehead, then why do we not hear them talking about the saints of God being marked with God's name written on their forehead? Answer: It is because they do not have the Spirit of God; therefore, they twist and pervert the interpretation of the scriptures and the symbols of the Revelation.

2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:

Notice the consistent change in subject matter from symbols of evil to symbols of good. The voice of many waters, the voice of a great thunder and the voice of harpers harping are all symbols of good which we have considered in previous Revelation texts. One of the qualities of the voice of the redeemed is that it was as the voice of "great thunder." Thunder represents "understanding." Only the redeemed are given the true understanding of the mysteries and revelations of God. The apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:3, "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost." Jesus replied to His disciples with a similar expression in Matthew 13:11, "He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given." There is a great difference between having an academic understanding of the meaning of words, the construction of a sentence; and having a spiritual understanding by divine revelation. Human reasoning can deduce a certain measure of meaning or definition. However, it takes the Holy Spirit to impart divine revelation. With the help of the Holy Spirit, a passage of scripture or a particular expression becomes crystal clear; the purpose, the interpretation and the application are divinely fixed in the mind and heart of the redeemed. Without the Holy Spirit, the human reasoning leads the searching mind into erroneous conjectures, false doctrines, fables and opinions.

The voice of many waters is the voice of many nations of people who have come to worship God. The voice of harpers harping with their harps are the symbolic terms used to signify the saints of God giving God praise. Praise is a very important part of our worship. The charismatic movement which has permeated our religious society has made a mockery of praising God. They have their "holy laughter", "holy dance", and "unknown tongues." They shout, leap, rock and roll as they profess to do all these things in the name of Jesus Christ. In spite of all this religious fervor, they do not have victory over sin. The works of the flesh are excused because they claim to have been "filled with the Holy Spirit." In reality, they have not been filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will not dwell within an unclean vessel, corrupted with the works of the flesh. Satan has disguised this charismatic experience to discredit the true experience of sanctification, which is a definite second cleansing work of full salvation. The Holy Spirit will always produce the fruit of a holy life. The true saints of God must not let this false praise prevent them from giving God true praise. God is worthy to be praised for all His mighty works and His goodness toward us.

3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred [and] forty [and] four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, [being] the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

The "new song" is the song of deliverance from sin through the saving grace of Jesus Christ. The saints of God, represented by the symbols of the four beast and the elders, are the only ones who can learn or sing this song of deliverance. Religious sinners who know not this deliverance from the bondage of sin can not know, neither can they learn, this song. God does not want his people to be defiled with false religions. God does not want us to commit spiritual fornication with the religious kings and rulers of this earth. We, the church of God, are the virgin bride of Christ. He has called us out to separate us unto himself a peculiar people zealous of good works. Let us be reminded that the church of God is not a religious denomination or man-made organization. It is the collective body of people who have repented of their sins and have been born into the family of God. The church includes those who have taken their stand under the scriptural name “church of God” and those who are living holy and walking in all the revealed light they have. There are innocent, holy people who have not yet understood the will of God concerning the naming His church after His own name (the church of God). Every father wants his children to be identified by his name. The name does not make the congregation holy, but a holy congregation is taught to take the name which the mouth of the Lord has spoken. Isaiah 62:2, “thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name.” Acts 20:28, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” The Seventh Seal/Seventh Trumpet message is for the people of God to “come out” of every religious organization which is dominated by the creeds of men and hinders the unity of all saints.

5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

This must be our goal and desire to come before the throne of God without fault or guile. God will have a people who meet these qualities. Will you be part of them? If the ministry you sit under or the doctrines you hold to do not line up with the word of God, turn loose of what you have and buy the truth and sell it not. Your eternal soul depends upon the truth. You can know the truth and it will set you free from sin, its sorrow, its bondage, its wages and its penalty.

6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

This is the voice of the true ministry, preaching the judgments of God to all those who will give heed to their voice. The time for the judgments of God to be preached is in our present day. The ministry must be faithful to preach the judgments without fear or favor of any person. May the judgments of God be poured out like rain to sweep away the refuge of religious lies propagated upon the world of mankind by many false prophets who preach false doctrines and a false Christ. "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." Matthew 24:24. Satan has power to work great signs and lying wonders in this world. Not all supernatural happenings are of God. Not every religious and spiritual experience builds a relationship with Jesus Christ. They that worship God must worship Him in spirit and truth. A false minister can seemingly work a miracle and deceive those who follow signs more than holiness. Holiness and righteousness must be the criteria by which we judge, not signs. "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment." John 7:24.

8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

In the days of the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet and the pouring out of the Seventh Vial, Babylon is presented to have fallen into utter desolation. There was a time when God ministered to His people in Babylon. But now God calls all of His people out. It is not the will of God that anyone stay in Babylon any longer. The wrath of God is against all those who drink of the false doctrines of Babylon and commit spiritual fornication with her. To be married to a false Christ instead of the true Christ is to commit spiritual fornication. Our responsibility to act upon what God has revealed to us always follows our understanding of the what is the will of God. A person may have knowledge about something and yet not understand the true principle of the subject. It is possible to memorize a fact without understanding the full meaning of the fact. Conversely, Satan is quick to tempt people to lay claim to a lack of understanding when their stubborn, carnal nature recoils in distaste at the Holy Spirits call to obey. Full compliance to the gospel of Jesus Christ is only possible with entire sanctification. Sanctification, the definite, second cleansing work of grace, purges the inner man of the carnal nature and gives the soul power to overcome the resistance of the flesh.

9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive [his] mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

Both the Beast and the Lamb-like beast are present here upon this scene in the Revelation. They are exposed as religious deceptions. Our position upon the timeline of the gospel day must be after these two movements are publicly uncovered as evil. If any man would give honor and praise to the Roman Catholic Church or Protestantism and receive their doctrines and instructions in their mind, then they will suffer the wrath and indignation of God. What a serious and sober warning this is to everyone who is tempted to believe the false doctrines of Babylon. There are some precious and innocent souls, who because of a lack of knowledge, are associated with Babylon; and yet, they do not worship the beast or his image, neither have they received his mark in the forehead or in their hand. When God gives a person the understanding of the nature and spirit of Babylon, He will call them out of her and they must follow the Lamb. They must leave those false religious organizations behind and be separate from sinners. Those who remain in false religion after God has shown them the truth can not justify their membership in those man-made religions.

You can not blame some preacher for your error when you stand at the final judgment bar of God. Ezekiel 33:6 gives us this warning: "But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand." Even if the watchman does not sound the warning of truth, each individual is responsible to listen to the Holy Spirit as He would lead and guide you into all truth. This does not give you permission to be independent and rebellious against a true pastor or refuse to take his godly counsel. It does make you responsible to obey the Holy Spirit in addition to what is preached. If a person who has repented of their sins, believed in Christ to the saving of their soul, becomes weak and lukewarm in their soul, they risk great danger of being deceived and led away from the truth while they still profess to be saved. It is a terrible thing to be snared in Satan’s trap of becoming a religious sinner. A religious sinner must first be convinced that he is not saved before he can become contrite, repentant and be saved.

The “mark of the beast” is the acceptance of man’s judgments and administrative methods as a substitute for God’s judgments and Holy Ghost rule. We must always remember that the government of the church of God is upon the shoulders of Jesus Christ. He is the judge of men’s souls. He is the One who opens and closes the doors of the church. No other person has the authority to take members into the body or to cut members off from the body. When men begin to judge among themselves who belongs in the church and who does not belong in the church, they have received the “mark of the beast.” It is this abuse of authority and power over one another that Jesus warned His disciples about in Matthew 20:24-28, “And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Like the ten disciples who judged the other two, many zealous saints have stepped out of order by taking to themselves the authority to judge other brothers and sisters in the family of God. It is a grave and serious matter to judge another person and condemn them when they believe and testify that they have not sinned against God. In the absence of their voluntary repentance and the conviction of the Holy Spirit, it is wisdom and righteous to leave such an one in the hands of Jesus Christ, the judge of all men’s souls. Those who profess to be sanctified and following the leadership of the Holy Spirit must fall on their faces in prayer and fasting with a heavy soul burden for the erring person to be convicted and broken by the Holy Spirit. A lukewarm, sleepy ministry will fail in their discernment and begin to operate in the flesh. Woe, woe, woe to the lukewarm, sleepy congregations who follow lukewarm, sleepy ministers. When the blind lead the blind, they both will fall into a ditch.

11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

People who have accepted the false doctrines of the beast and his image (Catholicism and Protestantism) will cry out to God in prayer, but they do not find peace. The smoke of their torment is symbolic of their grievous prayers. They pray but they receive no answers. People who worship the beast and his image have no rest from the judgment preaching of God's true ministers. There is no peace to the wicked or the hypocrite. We constantly expose and reprove the false doctrines of every false religion. God has called His ministry to blow the trumpet loud and clear to warn the people about these two great deceptions.

12 Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Be patient, saints. When you are persecuted, mocked, tested and tempted stay true and faithful to the truth that has been delivered to you. All those who love the Lord Jesus Christ will keep His commandments. Here is the patience of the saints, when they come to the end of their duty and responsibility, they will wait upon the Holy Spirit to uncover, reveal, convict, lead and inspire. The minister and the saint who has the discernment to know when to wait upon God will not become guilty of usurping the authority and judgments of Jesus Christ who sits upon the throne and rules the church in judgment, righteousness and mercy.

13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed [are] the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

"Precious in the sight of God is the death of the saints." There will come a day when we will pass from this world into eternity. Our works will follow us and our works will judge us. The word of God and the works of our life will determine whether we are cast into hell's fire or called into the presence of God's glory. 1 Timothy 5:24-25, “Some men's sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after. Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.”

14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud [one] sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.

A white cloud is the symbol of God's people. Jesus Christ will always be found in the midst of His people. Jesus wears the victor’s golden crown. In His hand is the sharp sickle of His Word which is sharper than any two-edged sword. His word will separate the righteous from the wicked and gather into His Kingdom those who are truly the fruit of His planting.

15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.
17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.

I pray, Lord help us to rightly divide the prophetic words of this passage. I suspect that some may have misinterpreted these verses. The seed of the gospel has been sown, harvest time is come. The ministry of Christ have been called, chosen and sent to put in the sickle of truth and reap the wheat (saints) into God's barn (the church). There is a trilogy of divine judgment revealed in this passage. I would draw your attention to this three-fold harvest. First, we have the “harvest of the earth” because the reaping time has come. Second, we have the gathering of “the clusters of the vine” for they are ripe. Thirdly, we have, in verse nineteen, the gathering of the “vine of the earth” which is cast into the “great winepress of the wrath of God.” Although, this vine of the earth in Revelation 14 is not the true vine; there are clusters in this vine. These clusters represent saints who stand for truth in unrighteous surroundings. Jesus said I am the vine, ye are the branches. This vine of the earth is that man-made religious organization in which a false Christ is presented to the people by false prophets. God will reap them into the "great winepress of the wrath of God." But the “clusters of the vine of the earth” will be reaped into God’s Kingdom. Isaiah 65:8, “Thus saith the LORD, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants' sakes, that I may not destroy them all.” If we condemn Babylon and everyone found in her cities (congregations), then we have failed to acknowledge the “clusters” of those within her that have a true experience of salvation.

19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast [it] into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand [and] six hundred furlongs.

In reference to the “vine of the earth”, is there not two separate harvest clearly recorded in verses eighteen and nineteen? In verse eighteen John records, “Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.” This specifically and exclusively deals with the “clusters” of the vine of the earth, for they are “fully ripe.” The word “ripe” in verse eighteen is translated from the Greek word “akmazo” which means “just now mature” hence, “fully ripe.” In verse fifteen, when the harvest of the “vine of the earth” is the subject, the word “ripe” is translated from the Greek word “xeraino” which means “dried up.” In the fullness of time, God will gather out of Babylon those who are innocent and just now mature. He will also gather into the winepress of His wrath those who are “dried up”. The great winepress is also spoken of in Isaiah 5:2. It signifies the preaching of the judgments and standards of God. This distance of 1600 furlongs may symbolize the 1600 years of blood guiltiness. This period of time covers the entire reign of spiritual Babylon from 270 A.D. to 1880 A.D.

The Revelation - Chapter Thirteen

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

Standing upon the sand of the sea is not a good place to stand. It is indicative of an unstable ground which can be washed away and moved by the sea. The sand is symbolic of the changing doctrines of man's religions. (see Matthew 7:24-27). Having heads with the name of blasphemy is not good. This eighth beast is described in evil terms.

There are two prophetic books which deal with these beasts which are herein mentioned in the book of Revelation. The other book which describes these beasts is the book of Daniel. In the seventh chapter of Daniel we read of a vision given to Daniel which was forward looking from the time of Daniel unto the gospel day. In the book of Revelation we have another vision which reaffirms the vision of Daniel. In our day these things have come to pass which Daniel and John wrote. It will help us to understand the vision of John to read what Daniel wrote concerning these beast.

There are eight beast described in the Bible books of Daniel and Revelation:

1st Beast Daniel 7:1 Lion Babylonian
2nd Beast Daniel 7:5 Bear Medo-Persian
3rd Beast Daniel 7:6 Leopard Greco-Macedonian
4th Beast Daniel 7:7 Dragon Roman Empire
5th Beast Rev. 12:3 Great Red Dragon Heathenism
6th Beast Rev. 13:2 Leopard, bear, lion Catholicism
7th Beast Rev. 13:11 Lamb like beast Protestantism
8th Beast Rev. 17:11 Combined Seven All Anti-Christian

2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as [the feet] of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who [is] like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty [and] two months.

This "dragon" is nothing less than the power of Satan operating through human agents. Satan is "The Dragon" and those whom he gives power to rule in this earth are also identified as "a dragon." Compare with the verse in Isaiah 27:1. The beast to whom the dragon gave his power was to reign for 42 months. This clearly identifies this beast as Roman Catholicism which was the 6th beast. In every transition of power the previous ruling beast gives his power to his successor. The Roman Empire gave its power over to Heathenism; Heathenism gave its power to Roman Catholicism; Roman Catholicism gave its power to Protestantism; and Protestantism by an ecumenical movement combined its power with Heathenism, Catholicism and every anti-Christian way of the world. The 8th and final beast is a combination of all the previous seven beasts.

6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
9 If any man have an ear, let him hear.

This dragon spirit was allowed to make war against the Saints. He was able to overcome them in the flesh and take their lives, but he could not prevail against their spirit or take their salvation. Verse eight tells us that only those whose names were not written in the book of life worshipped the beast.

10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

Here is where the saints prove their patience and faith in God. When the battles, tests and persecutions come, they stand faithful to God. They shall not be moved. They must boldly stand before and against the false prophets and every person who would pervert the true gospel of Jesus Christ and use it in such a manner as to kill the souls of those who hear them. As ministers of the gospel, we do not bear the Sword of the Word in vain. By the Sword of the Word we must kill the influence and reputation of those who use the scriptures to propagate false doctrine. This sword is the same as that which is identified in Revelation 1:16, “and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword.” As we bear the sharp twoedged sword, let us be careful to not bear it in vain. In our preaching of the judgments of God, let us not forget mercy and justice lest righteousness be lost and the sword used in vain. Here is the patience and faith of the saints, in that we have confidence in the leadership of the Holy Spirit to uncover and expose the works of iniquity among us. We wait on God to reveal what is right and what is wrong; and, who is right and who is wrong. If we operate in the flesh, we will cause division in the body and hurt the church.

11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

This seventh beast was in appearance like a lamb; but he spake like the dragon. He had a resemblance of Christianity, but his speech identified him as having the mind of Satan. This beast is a symbol for Protestantism as it was represented by the two powers (two horns) of Germany and England. True Christianity is symbolized as having “seven horns” which signifies “perfect” power and authority. (Rev. 5:5,6). The spirit of Protestantism is able to do great wonders to deceive people. It has the power to make fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. Symbolically speaking, this says that Protestantism will cause a spiritual environment where it seems that the Holy Spirit comes down from heaven on earth. There is a false fire which claims to be the work of the Holy Spirit, when in reality it is the work of Satan. Modern day Pentecostalism is a false fire. It is a supernatural work of Satan. It causes a strong religious and spiritual experience to take place in the life of the religious seeker. It is convincing and deceiving. The fruit of Pentecostalism is that it has produced a religious people who do not have victory over sin. Most of the adherents of Pentecostalism do not claim to live holy. The true Holy Spirit will always produce holiness.

14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by [the means of] those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

Satan's scheme is always to deceive. He wants people to worship his system and his power instead of worshipping the true Christ and his power. Let us here be reminded of what the holy scriptures teach us in 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12, “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

An example of the persecution waged by the “image of the beast” (which is Protestantism) is the Thirty Year War in Europe (1618-1648 A.D.) when the Protestants killed those people who opposed their doctrines. The conflict began between the Protestants and the Catholics but spread into a political war engulfing all of Europe. In Germany, Bohemia, Moravia and Czech, the war reduced the population by one-third; in some areas the population was reduced by two-thirds. The Swedish armies alone destroyed 2,000 castles, 18,000 villages and 1,500 towns in Germany. Carnal men often become ruthless in their efforts to defend their beliefs. Satan’s influence enables them to quickly find justification for their actions and judgments.

It is shameful for true ministers to fall under the influence of a Protestant spirit and begin to cut off members of the body of Christ. All truth is important and needful, but understanding must come from above, not mandated by the unjust decrees of men.

16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

Yes, there are both “free and bond” in the ranks of Protestantism. There are those individuals who are walking in all the light of truth they understand. Their hearts are pure and innocent before God. Yet, God is against the unrighteous influence which these unholy organizations have on innocent souls. Protestantism causes people to worship the doctrines and traditions of Catholicism. Most false religions have some true principles and practices. The United Brethren church properly teaches feet washing. The Baptist church properly teaches water baptism. The Methodist church properly taught sanctification as a second cleansing work of grace. But the time has come when God wants a restoration of all these truths in the true church of God which should be like a “super-market” of truth. In the church of God, you can buy everything you need to get saved, stay saved and make heaven your home.

17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

Satan works to control the authority in religion. Satan wants every person to accept his religious thoughts and to have such control that if you do not accept his way then you can not "buy or sell" in the religious market place. If you do not believe and teach what the beast dictates then you will not be accepted. Opinions and personal ideas become church dogma and conformance is mandatory. Submission to those who rule over you is broadened to include forced public agreement and acceptance of rules which extend beyond holiness and righteousness. The warning against adding to or subtracting from the word of God is ignored in the defense of their position and authority.

In verse 16 we notice that the followers of false religion will "receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:" I want to draw your attention to the word "or" in that text. The word "or" indicates "either one separately." This tells us that a person who is a follower of false religion may not necessarily "do" evil works, yet the fact that they "believe" in their minds those things which are false is sufficient to condemn them and group them with the unbelievers and wicked. To refuse and deny the true doctrines of God is a terrible sin. To know and hear the truth and refuse to believe it is as serious as committing murder or fornication.

18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number [is] Six hundred threescore [and] six.

The mark of the beast is identified as the number of a man's title. This is a specific identification of the Pope of Rome, the Roman church and its man-made religion. There have been Popes of the Roman Church who have had written on their miter the words "Vicarius Filii Dei" (The Vicar of God). The number of this name is explained by attaching Roman Numeral equivalents to the letters of this title. The letters U and V were both formerly used to denote the number 5. I have personally seen inscriptions on the cornerstones of buildings and records of antiquity which bear witness to this fact. Following the use of this method we find:


V 5 F - D 500
I 1 I 1 E -
C 100 L 50 I 1
A - I 1
R - I 1
I 1
U 5
S -

Totals (112) (53) (501)

The sum of these Roman Numeral values is 666.

The numbers 666 would represent the symbolic opposite of 777. A set of three sevens could represent the Holy Trinity; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. A set of three sixes is used here to represent mankind in his religious deception. Pagan religions with their many gods is part of this 666. The Roman Catholic church with its man-made head, the Pope, is also a part. Protestantism with its man-made creeds, doctrines and organizations is equally a part of this 666 religious deception.

The Revelation - Chapter Twelve

CHAPTER TWELVE

1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

There are two particular women in the book of Revelation which we must identify. The first is this one in chapter twelve (verse 1,2). The other woman is in chapter seventeen (verse 3-5). The first woman is clothed with the sun and represents the bride of Christ the church of God. The second woman is clothed in scarlet and is associated with the scarlet colored beast, she being a whore and the mother of harlots. The woman clothed in scarlet is none other than the Roman Catholic church and her harlot daughters are the false Christian religious sects of Protestantism.

This woman described in verse one is clothed with the sun meaning that she is clothed with the doctrines of the New Testament. She has the doctrines of the Old Testament as her foundation. She has upon her head the crown of twelve stars or the doctrines of the apostles of Jesus Christ. All truth, old and new, is her vesture. These two women in the Revelation message are the same two women referenced by Jesus in Matthew 24:40,41 “Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.” The two women are the Bride of Christ and the Great Whore. The field is the world. The Bride of Christ shall be taken to heaven and presented to the Father. The Great Whore shall be left behind and cast into the Lake of Fire. Both of these women were “grinding at the mill.” The Bride of Christ was grinding the wheat which yielded the Bread of Life. The Great Whore was grinding the tares of wickedness which produced apostasy and hypocrisy. The Bride of Christ brought forth a holy nation of obedient children. The Great Whore brought forth a rebellious nation of sinful, self-centered and fleshly minded religious people.

2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

This woman, the bride of Christ, is ready to deliver a child. Speaking of this great event the Prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 66:7) tells us that a nation shall be born in one day. This woman was about to deliver a man child, which is the ministry of the church of God. On the day of Pentecost, the twelve disciples and a number of other men and women were filled with the Holy Spirit to go forth and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, which they did with great power. Numerous scriptures support the position that women ministers were used by the Holy Spirit to preach the gospel. In the 21st chapter of Acts we find that Philip, which was one of the seven deacons and a great minister of the gospel, had four daughters which did prophesy.

3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

Satan knew what was about to happen. Satan did all he could do to bring his army of evil against the early morning church and its ministry. He succeeded in getting Judas and many of the other early ministers of the gospel to become traitors of the gospel and enemies of Christ. Satan tried to stop the Church of God in its infancy. But thank God he failed then and he has failed ever since.

5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and [to] his throne.
6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days.

The woman is the church and the child represents that portion of the church which went forth with spiritual victory. The church of God did succeed in bringing forth a man child which did rule over sin, but its open and public pristine glory was short lived. Because of the great apostasy, the saints were forced into worshipping God in secret while the woman (that portion of the church which was affected by men) fled into the wilderness. Those saints who dared to publicly defy Roman Catholicism suffered constant persecution and martyrdom. Just as in days of the Old Testament Israel, when the people of God were carried away to Babylon, the early church was carried away into a wilderness place where she was fed, not by God, but by the people for 1260 years. Compare this text with that of Isaiah 5:1-7. Although the wilderness is not a good spiritual condition, God allowed the church to survive in this condition so that the entire church, which Jesus purchased with His own blood, would not become a historical record of martyrs. In order to avoid extinction, the church was hid from public view and the persecution of its enemies for 1,260 years.

7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Satan has been "cast out" of many places at various times. Someday, he will be cast into an eternal hell. (Matthew 25:41). This is not a literal war in the literal heaven where God lives, but rather a war in the heavenly atmosphere of the church. Jesus Christ, the captain of our salvation, and the saints of the church of God, who are represented by the archangel Michael and his angels, are found fighting against Satan and his followers. That this warfare is spiritual can be easily proven by the weapons used. In verse 11 we see that they overcame the enemy by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. Satan was overcome and we still have victory over him today. He has been cast out into the earth and we sit together in heavenly places where Satan has no place in our midst.

There may be questions in the minds of some about whether or not Michael is meant to represent Jesus Christ. In my early ministry, I personally could not see how that any "angel" could represent Christ. However, the divine scriptures have convinced me that an angel holding a certain identified office or position could symbolically represent that same office or position which is held by Christ. It has been held by many that the verses in Jude 9; 1 Thessalonians. 4:16; and John 5:28 refer exclusively to Jesus Christ. For those who believe that angels are always meant to be created beings and therefore can not be used to represent Jesus Christ, I would ask them to carefully consider the passage in Revelation 10:1-6. Here is a "mighty angel" and he can not be any other than Jesus Christ. We do understand that Jesus was the only begotten Son of God, without beginning or end. Although we do understand that there can be no symbol worthy to be used to denote the very person of Christ, we also know that His many attributes and offices may be represented with the use of a symbol. Is He not the “Lion” of the tribe of Judah? Is He not the Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world?

Hebrews 2:10 "For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." The word "captain" comes from the Greek word "archegos" which means chief leader, prince and author. Jesus Christ is the "Captain" of our salvation. He is our Arch Angel. He is the Chief Shepherd (I Peter 5:4). These metaphors do not degrade the very person of Christ, but rather identify His many relationships with His church.

The following excerpt is from F.G. Smith's book "The Revelation Explained" Fourth Edition, 1918, pg. 27: "While the human aspect of the Savior, as exhibited during the incarnation in his sacrificial death, may be properly symbolized by a lamb, as in chap. V, there is no created intelligence in God's great universe that can be chosen to represent, in his true, essential divinity, Him who does not deem it robbery to claim equality with God. There may, likewise, be certain symbols connected with his person to give us at least a faint impression of his divine character and infinite majesty; yet when he appears upon the symbolic scene, he distinctly announces, "I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore." "He hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." So whenever the divine Christ appears on the symbolic scene, he comes in his own person, proclaiming his own name, and we need look for no symbol of him."

A large size book could be written on the false doctrine of Satan being cast out of heaven. Verses 7-9 have been used to support the false doctrine of Satan's origin being in heaven as a holy angel who fell because of pride and preeminence. The heaven which is the subject in this context is the heaven of the church. As Paul stated in Ephesians 2:6, "And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:" During the reign of Catholicism and Protestantism, Satan had a prominent position in the so called "Christian" church. But in the days of the Sixth and Seventh Trumpet, the message of truth anointed by the Holy Spirit and witnessed by men and women living holy lives, caused Satan to be cast down from his high spiritual elevation. Satan was cast out of his heavenly place into the earthly man-made religions which do not accept that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, to deliver all His children from all their sins. This brought about a distinct division between worldly religious people who claim to be "sinning Christians" and the true children of God who live holy. Satan does not reign in the heavenly places of the church of God. Not only was Satan cast out, his angels were also cast out with him. No longer are false ministers allowed to minister from the pulpits of the church of God. We must know them and prove them which labor among us. We try the spirits and do not submit to any unclean spirit which would bring forth sin or false doctrine from the pulpit.

10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

The saints overcame the accuser because Michael and his angels had overcame. Overcomers beget overcomers. Losers beget losers. Weak congregations beget weak converts. Consider the example of King Saul and his soldiers. They met Goliath the enemy of Israel who defied them and mocked them for forty days. King Saul failed to be an overcomer. Therefore, Saul had no overcomers among his soldiers. Then God sent David, a young man who believed and trusted God with all his heart. David slew the giant Goliath and set the example of an overcomer. When David became king of Israel, his army had many mighty men who were overcomers. Read the Old Testament record in First Samuel chapter seventeen and in First Chronicles chapters eleven and twelve. Because of this victory, recorded in Rev. 12:7-9, which had been won, verse twelve tells us that we who dwell in heavenly places should rejoice. Woe to those who are the inhabitants of the religions of the world because Satan rules and destroys them. He knows that he only has a short time before Christ's second coming. We must rejoice that we have a refuge and a haven in the midst of the storm.

12 Therefore rejoice, [ye] heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man [child].
14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

Remember that this woman is the church. She was given a place of hiding in a wilderness. This is not an ideal condition, but it was a place where God chose to send her till her persecution was past. The time she spent in this wilderness was symbolically represented by "a time" (1 year, 360 days = 360 years ) and "times" (2 years, 720 days = 720 years) and "half a time" (1/2 year, 180 days = 180 years); thus, 360 + 720 + 180 = 1260 years of wilderness condition.

15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.
16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
17 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.

Satan's desire was to destroy the Woman which was the true church of God. But as has happened many times, the people of the world helped the Church to escape some of the persecution and heresies which spue forth from the pits of hell. Sometimes false religions and evil rulers pass laws and do certain works which work for the protection of the church. However, Satan never quits. He is always setting about to make war with the saints of God. Satan is busy at the same task today.

The Revelation - Chapter Eleven

CHAPTER ELEVEN

1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty [and] two months.

It takes the judgments of God to bring the glory of God. A study of the three chapter of Ezekiel 40, 41 and 43 will show that the judgments, chastisements and purging of Israel had to take place before the glory of God could return. So it is in the experience of New Testament salvation. The spiritual works of judgment and chastisement and a purging must take place before the Holy Spirit will take up His abode in human vessels.

We know that this reed, which was like a rod, was a measuring rod. It was given to measure the temple, the altar and the people who worship in the temple of God. It was not given to measure the area outside the temple. By this we understand that our principle responsibility is to judge and measure those things within the kingdom of God and not those things without the kingdom of God. It is much more beneficial to study truth than it is to study all the false ways and doctrines of heresy which exist in the world. It is much more beneficial to counsel and judge the saints of God than it is to go around putting judgment on sinners. Sinners are rebellious. They refuse to listen to the laws of God. Romans 8:7, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” A sinner can not keep the laws of God. To the sinner, the laws of God are principles of condemnation. To the righteous, the laws of God are principles of instruction and correction. 1 Tim 1:8-9, “But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,” etc.

Additionally, we see that God is telling us that for 42 months, (42 x 30 = 1260 years), the Gentile sinners will persecute the Church of God. During this time, God specifically tells the saints to take care of themselves and not to measure (or publicly judge) the outer court of the Gentiles. God did not require all of the saints who lived during this 1,260 years of Catholic tyranny to stand up publicly and put judgment on the false doctrines of the Catholic church. To do so was sure death to the saints. If all of God's people had taken a public stand, the church would have been totally eradicated from the world. God kept a remnant of His people through the Dark Ages and did not allow the church to be prevailed against (destroyed).

3 And I will give [power] unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

God makes a promise to the saints that He would give power to His two witnesses, the Word and the Spirit, that they would not fail the saints of God during this time of mourning and darkness which shall span this 1,260 years. The grace of God was sufficient to keep the saints spiritually alive during this spiritual famine.

4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

The two olive trees and the two candlesticks are the same as the two witnesses which are the Word and the Spirit. For a clear and amplified explanation of these two symbols read Zechariah 4:1-4. Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are the very sources of light as represented by “olive trees” which produce oil for light. They are the “light of the world” as represented by the “two candlesticks.” They are the source of light and they are the light. Multiple symbols are used to represent their multiple attributes.

5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
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.

Verse seven tells us that when the Word and the Spirit "shall have finished their testimony" at the end of the 1260 years; then, the beast of Protestantism which ascends out of the bottomless pit shall overcome them and kill them. What a terrible event! The 1260 years of darkness shall be followed by 350 years of a time that seems like light but it isn't. It is a cloudy day, neither light nor dark. During this 350 years of Protestantism (1530-1880) people thought they had been given great light from God. In reality they were fed false doctrine and cause to believe in a false Christ. They crucified the real Christ. They left the Word and the Spirit to lie dead in the streets for 350 years.

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.

Truly these people had a form of godliness but they denied the power of God. They were religious but not righteous. Religious people of this time were proud of their dead Christ which had no power to deliver from the bondage of sin and Satan. They were proud of their lifeless, spiritless worship services where man was exalted and God was a powerless conversation piece.

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.
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.

As we see this Protestant spiritual condition progress we see men who send gifts to one another while they mock the Word and Spirit which once put judgment on their evil deeds. They made merriment out of their religious ceremonies of conferring academic and religious degrees upon each other. Ecclesiastical titles and theological degrees from their seminaries are more important to these men than the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit.

But, after the 350 years came to a conclusion, God called the Word and Spirit to their feet and great fear fell upon these religious hypocrites. When God called the Word and Spirit up to their rightful place in the heavenly place of the Church; when the false prophets and the religious hypocrites saw the power of God return to the Church with open power, they were afraid. A great shaking of men followed.

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.

In 1880, when God began to bring back the glory of Zion, there was a great religious earthquake. Many who claimed to be citizens of that fair city fell away and those who remained feared God and gave Him the glory He deserves. There was a great revival and the power of God along with His two witnesses, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, came back into the public camp of the saints. True congregations of the Church of God became lighthouses of truth for those storm battered souls who had sailed the stormy seas of Protestantism.

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.

Seventh Trumpet 1930 - End of Time

After the one-half hour of silence which followed the opening of the Seventh Seal, the voices come back into the camp of the saints as the ministry begins to sound the Seventh Trumpet message. With true consecration the saints are seen worshipping the Lord with a joyful noise and a loud praise. Once again, during this period of time, we have people forsaking the world and entering into faithful service of the Kingdom of God in a public and open manner which we refer to as visible unity. Whether or not the Seventh Trumpet angel ministry has already begun to sound, or is presently beginning to sound, or will soon begin to sound is not a settled and established issue with all ministers of the gospel. In this first decade of the 21st century, we know that we are presently at the conjunction and concurrence of these prophecies being fulfilled. We are living in “that day” which is near to the second coming of Jesus Christ. Has verse nineteen of this chapter already happened or is it yet to occur? Where is the evidence of these five characteristics of the era of the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet: “and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.”? Do you ascribe these characteristics to events of the recent past; or, are do you not see anything which fits this description in the past seventy years? How you and I interpret and define this subject should not be the critical or defining test for church fellowship. Sanctified people have grace for patience and tolerance when discussing and considering eschatological scripture texts. Carnal people will become defensively dogmatic and condemn those who do not accept their interpretation. The person who unjustly initiates division is guilty of transgressing the righteous principle of endeavoring in the unity of the Spirit until the unity of the faith is obtained.

16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,
17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.
18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

This is a vision of a glorious visible body of the church of God. Yes the nations are angry. Religious leaders and religious pretenders are angry with the Church of God because our holy lives puts judgment on their sinful lives. When the glory of God returns to the camp of the saints, these elements mentioned are always present: lightnings, voices, thunderings, earthquake and hail. These are symbols of the light of truth, faithful testimonies, understanding, conviction and judgment. This is the combined work of the Holy Spirit working through his ministers and the church of God. Men and women can not accomplish this without the anointing and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Beware, conviction and judgment are vastly different from condemnation. The power and authority to bind and loose sin is solely invested in the Head of the Church, Jesus Christ. During this Seventh Trumpet age we are being given a preliminary judgment to prepare men for the final judgment day. It is the mercy and goodness of God to send messengers into the world to sound out an eleventh hour call to prepare to meet the bridegroom. (see Matthew 20:1-8).

SUMMARY INSERT:
Let us briefly consider an overview of the messages of the Seven Trumpets and the inclusive text under their headings.

First Trumpet - Rev. 8:7 - ————————————————————————–One verse
Hail, fire, blood…and all green grass was burnt up.

Second Trumpet - Rev. 8:8,9 - ————————————————————–—–Two verses
Great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea, creatures died, ships destroyed

Third Trumpet - Rev. 8: 10,11 - —————————————————————–Two verses
Great star fell from heaven, waters became wormwood, men died, water made bitter

Fourth Trumpet - Rev. 8:12,13 - —————————————————————Two verses
Third part of sun, moon and stars smitten, warning Three Woes are to follow

Fifth Trumpet - Rev. 9:1-12 - ——————————————————————–Twelve verses
Sun and air darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit, locust loosed, first woe passes

Sixth Trumpet - Rev. 9:13-11:14 - —————————————————Thirty-four verses
Voice from the four horns of the golden altar,

This implies that full gospel truth is being revealed and understood. The Golden Altar has reference to sanctification, the second cleansing work of salvation. This is a Holy Spirit filled and controlled experience. This tells us of a condition when ministers are heard singing, “Oh, what golden glory streaming! Purer light is coming fast;”

Four Trumpet Angels loosed from Euphrates bondage, third part of men killed,

The ministry had an understanding of events encompassing more than the current era. The ministry of the Sixth Seal and Sixth Trumpet were able to preach with clear understanding concerning the church battles during the four periods of time within the frame of 270 – 1880 A.D. The Sixth Seal ministry were able to preach publicly what the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Seal ministry were only able to preach in the seclusion of secret hiding places.

Judgments fail to produce contrition and repentance,

Although a great revival of holiness occurred during the Sixth Seal/Sixth Trumpet; the majority of Protestantism failed to embrace the message of holiness. The church of God experienced a great earthquake wherein many were shook loose from spiritual Babylon. Comparatively, this great movement was still just a remnant of the world population.

Seven Thunders sounded but not recorded, the temple measured,

The Seven Thunders are the messages of divine revelation concerning the Seven Seals, Seven Trumpets and Seven Vials. During the Sixth Seal, the true ministry of the church of God received a very broad and comprehensive understanding of the Revelation message. However, this understanding of the mysteries of God were not entirely complete until some time in the Seventh Seal/Seventh Trumpet era when the “mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.”

The prophet of God takes hold of and eats the little book,

The Kingdom of God and power was not “given” to the ministry of the Sixth Seal without great suffering and sacrifice. They “took” the gospel with great zeal and fervency. They consecrated themselves with their lives. The reception of the gospel was sweet, as honey is to the palate. But the suffering which followed was as bitterness to the stomach.

Two Witnesses lay dead in the streets 3 1/2 days,

The Word and the Spirit are the Two Witnesses. They were not allowed to have their rightful place in the religious organizations which men produced during the Protestant age from 1530 to 1880 (3 1/2 days equals 350 years). Although this event did not occur during the Sixth Seal, the understanding of what took place was clearly exposed and declared to the church by the Sixth Trumpet ministry. Portions of the message of the Sixth Trumpet points to important events outside of the fifty year time frame of the Sixth Seal.

World rejoices because of their victory over the Two Witnesses,

The apostate, religious Jews rejoiced over the persecution and death of Jesus Christ. Likewise, religious people of all ages, who refuse to accept the truth, will persecute the true Christian. In the name of Christ, they will refuse the Word and the Spirit. There will always be defectors and defeat, but the Kingdom of God will not be overcome. The war between good and evil spans many centuries and is fought on many battlefields. Some battles may be lost, but Jesus Christ, our Lord of Lords and King of Kings will win the war. Some individuals may be overcome, but the church of God will not be overcome.

Second Woe passes; Third Woe will come quickly

The Fifth and Sixth Seal and the Fifth and Sixth Trumpet gives the report of the church and the associated events of those two periods. They began with good as God ordained that certain righteous principles and articles of faith be brought back into public view. Justification, sanctification and the unity of God’s people were clearly understood and established with many people. However, the First Woe tells us that the Fifth Seal ended with warnings and judgment because the people failed to continue in the grace and truth of the pristine message of salvation. The Second Woe gives us a similar message. The Sixth Seal ended with religious leaders causing division and strife.

Seventh Seal opened and there is silence in heaven for the space of ½ hour

At the closing of the Sixth Trumpet, we are told that the Third Woe will come quickly. We know that at the opening of the Seventh Seal there was silence in Heaven for the space of 1/2 hour. Silence in Heaven is not a favorable sign. There should be voices in the heavenly place of the congregation of God’s people. Not only the sound of praise and worship; but also, the sound of the truth being preached. The angels are the ministry and the trumpets are the messages of God, anointed and sent for the hour at hand.

Seventh Trumpet Rev. 11:15-15:8 - ————————————————–Sixty-eight verses

At the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet, the church regains their victory and voice.

The sounding of the Seventh Trumpet was not heard at the beginning of the Seventh Seal. Instead of a trumpet, we have silence. Following the 1/2 hour of silence we have the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet. The scriptures do not quantify the length of this 1/2 hour or the hour of judgment which is spoken of in these scriptures. The previous six trumpets were identified by the message which the trumpet angel delivered. It was the message of God for that period of time. The sounding of those six trumpets was not specifically predicated upon the presence of praise and worship audible among God’s people. Rather, it was the sounding forth of God’s message to the people. Likewise, in this seventh trumpet, the breaking of the silence is inclusive of praise but not limited by this liberty of worship. Without the preaching of the message of the hour, the silence can not be broken. Until the sounding forth of this message of the seventh trumpet, the silence will continue. When the seventh trumpet sounds, we find that the ministry are inspired to understand various subjects which have already transpired in the gospel day. A fuller understanding of The Revelation is given to the church that it may be said: “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.” (Revelation 10:7).

Woman clothed in the Sun

When the seventh trumpet sounded, a review of church history is given. These are things which we most surely believe. These are events which have taken place and of which the ministry and the saints have been given understanding. The woman clothed in the Sun is the church of God and the Sun is the gospel message of the New Testament. As the moon is a symbol of the Old Testament, so is the Sun the symbol of the New Testament. The church of God is clothed in her robe of righteousness which is the Word.

Woman fled into the wilderness for 1,260 days

By this message, we understand that the church of God endured a difficult time for 1,260 years. She existed in a “wilderness” condition for a period of time which we call the “Dark Ages.” During this time, the Roman Catholic Church, exerted her man-rule over the whole world. Saints and sinners were adversely affected by her heresies and abuse of authority. In the symbolic language of the scriptures, Egypt represents “sin”, the wilderness represents a justified condition and Canaan land represents the spiritual state of the sanctified believer. During this long period of 1,260 years, a justified state was the common spiritual condition of most Christian believers. Few people attained the understanding and experience of entire sanctification. God allowed the church to continue in this condition for her preservation. Just as God allowed Old Testament Israel to be carried away into Babylon for her own good; so it was, in this dark day of church history, until He proved all things according to His divine election. Consider this passage in Jeremiah 24:5-7, “Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good. For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up. And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.”

War between Michael and dragon

This war between Christ and Satan was not fought in the heaven where God dwells, which is the “third heaven” according to Paul’s vision. It was fought in the heavenly place of the congregations of the church of God. It was a battle of good against evil. It was a battle which intensely involved the saints of the church of God as they stood against the heresies of false religions and abusive government rulers.

Satan cast out of heavenly place

With the fall of Catholicism, the true church of God (the one spoken of in Acts 20:28) overcame the dragon, Satan, and he was cast out of that heavenly place where he had long ruled in the hearts of apostate church leaders. This testimony of Satan being cast out of heaven is equivalent to the words of Christ when He stated: “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” Christ was making reference to the Holy Ghost anointing of the disciples to cast out demons in the name of Jesus Christ. The hearts and minds of men and women are intended to the be the temple of God, not the habitation of devils. These scripture texts convey to us the understanding that Satan was defeated in a public victory of the saints of God over the ruling power of Satan.

The triumph of the Kingdom of God

The Kingdom of God is triumphant in every war recorded in the scriptures. Individuals may become casualties by reason of their own evil decisions. The victor’s crown and the final triumph will always belong to the righteous. The gates of hell shall not prevail over the church of God. Throughout the gospel day “the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;” (Titus 2:11,12). There has never been a time in the gospel day that men and women have entirely ceased to serve the Lord in truth and righteousness. Although at times the church may have become a small remnant, there has always been congregations of saints who have been faithful to the message of holiness unto the Lord. These remnant pockets of saints are symbolically called “clusters,” There is sweet wine in the clusters.

Satan persecutes the Woman

The Sixth and Seventh Trumpet angels are able to teach the proper sense and understanding of the Great Apostasy, the spiritual dark period of the Dark Ages, (1,260 years from 270 to 1530 A.D.) Satan always has and always will persecute the Woman as long as there is time on this earth. Do not forget the word of God says: “the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not…” Circumstances may become so difficult that to human observation it appears that Satan is winning or has won. Not so! It is only an event, not the end. There is victory up ahead to the righteous. Regardless of the severity of your circumstances, let no man take your crown of salvation.

The Beast (Catholicism) rising up out of the Sea

The true ministry of the church of God has been given understanding of all these historical events in the Christian era. We understand that the Beast was representative of the Catholic church and that it rose up out of the “sea” of humanity. Carnal men began to exercise their authority, write their own creeds and enforce their own edicts. This opposing spirit is not dead. It is active and continues to find its way into the hearts of men who are deceived by it subtle devices. When church leaders fail to wait upon the Holy Spirit to uncover evil and reveal truth, they will be led into error and hurt the church. God’s ministry must understand this mystery of iniquity for it is fully operational in the Eighth Beast which opposes the church in our day.

Lamb-like Beast (Protestantism) ascends from the earth

The Lamb-like Beast followed the Beast which rose up out of sea. The sixth beast gave its power to the seventh beast and they together, with the previous beasts mentioned in the Revelation and the book of Daniel, constitute the Eighth Beast.

The victory of the church and the fall of Babylon

It is clearly understood from the scriptures that the church will overcome and Babylon will fall. The questions are many and include when, where and with whom. In our present day, it does not appear that Babylon has fallen. Neither does it appear that the church of God is widely recognized as being the habitation of God full of power and glory. Some ministers in various circles of fellowship within the church of God movements have proclaimed that Babylon has already fallen and that the next significant event is the second coming of Christ. They say that all scriptures and all prophecies have been fulfilled. Their battle cry is, “Today is the day of salvation; repent and be saved, because Jesus can come back this very hour.” The writer of this commentary can not, with a clear conscience, say that Jesus can come back today or tonight, because I do not believe that all prophecies have been fulfilled; therefore, Jesus will not return until all scripture and prophecies have been fulfilled.

What does it mean to say that Babylon has fallen? In the Sixth Seal/Sixth Trumpet era we are given the following information about that period of time: Revelation 11:8, “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.” Revelation 11:13, “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.” This great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt is one and the same as spiritual Babylon. It is that religious condition and man-made organization which holds people in sinful bondage with their false doctrines. During the Sixth Seal/Sixth Trumpet era there was a great spiritual earthquake and a tenth part of the city fell.

Now we continue to consider what has happened in the Seventh Seal/Seventh Trumpet era. The Seventh Seal opened with a period of “silence.” As the Ten Virgins all slumbered and slept while they waited on the Bridegroom, so also the church of God all slumbered and slept as they waited on the second advent of Jesus Christ. Since the Seventh Seal silence begun in 1930, where is the evidence that the church has awakened to proclaim the Seventh Trumpet message. What is the Seventh Trumpet message? The Seventh Trumpet message and the fruit of that message is clearly stated for us in the sixteenth chapter of the Revelation. John writes: Revelation 16:17-21, “And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.” This writer does not believe that this passage of scripture has been fulfilled in this end time of the gospel day. There is no evidence that this Third Earthquake has happened at any time since 1930 A.D. to the present day.

Let me here remind the reader of this commentary that we are reviewing a brief summation of what has taken place in the gospel day. At the beginning of this review, I wrote these words: “When the seventh trumpet sounded, a review of church history is given. These are things which we most surely believe. These are events which have taken place and of which the ministry and the saints have been given understanding.” Let the reader be charitable and understand that although we have clear understanding of where the church has been and where we are now, it does not preclude a measure of uncertainty about what is immediately to come to pass. Let us proceed to think about what the apostle John writes next in this review of events.

The two harvest; the harvest of the earth; and, the clusters of the vine of the earth

We are now brought to consider the two harvests which are to take place in this sequence of events of church history (or perhaps our future). I would remind you that there are important and necessary spiritual events which must take place in both the Sixth and Seventh Seal eras. In these last two times, there are Vials of judgment to be poured out; there are the last two Woes to be suffered; there are two Cups of wrath to be poured out; there are two Trumpet messages to be proclaimed; there are two Earthquakes to shake the whole earth; and, there are two Harvests to be reaped. The Harvest of the earth is that great gathering of souls, broken and contrite under the anointed preaching of the gospel. It is not a local or geographically isolated event. It is inclusive of many nations, tongues and people. So it was in the Sixth Seal; and, according to the proper sense of written prophecy (Revelation 16:17-21), so it will be in the Seventh Seal. In addition to the Harvest of the earth, there is a Harvest of the “clusters” of the vine of the earth. The “vine of the earth” is the aggregate organizations of so called “Christianity.” There is a great difference between the “true vine” and the “vine of the earth.” However, there are “clusters” in the vine of the earth. Listen to the understanding of Isaiah when he writes in Isaiah 65:8, “Thus saith the LORD, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants' sakes, that I may not destroy them all.” Yes, there is “new wine” in the cluster. Jesus Christ is the “new wine.” Where He is there is truth and salvation. It is the perfect will of God to reap a Harvest of these “clusters” out of all those man-made religious institutions which constitute Babylon. The mouth of the Lord (Isaiah 62:2) has given the church its proper name (Acts 20:28). However, there are many ”clusters” which have not this understanding and yet they have repented of their sins, live holy lives and walk in all the revealed light which God has given to them. They are part of the universal, invisible church of God. I have heard many ministers express their belief in the existence of these clusters; but, I have seen few ministers extend the right hand of fellowship to the saints in these clusters. Ministers and saints are tempted to devote excessive attention to secondary doctrines and insufficient attention to building upon the fundamental doctrines which establish a testimony of salvation.

The temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven opened

We are here told that something is “opened.” The thought is conveyed to us that something has been closed. What is this that has been opened which was closed? This must be understood by comparing the spiritual types and anti-types of the Old and New Testaments. The “temple of the tabernacle of the testimony” was the inter-sanctuary, the second room of the Old Testament tabernacle where the testimony of the Ark of the Covenant was placed. It is here in this second room, the Holiest of Holies, that the High Priest went to commune with the Holy Spirit of God. It is here that God spoke “face to face” with the High Priest and made known His divine will and taught the people of Israel His righteous principles. It is the access and entrance into this divine relationship in which “the mystery of God should be finished” that is opened to the Seventh Seal ministry and saints of God. The emergence of the church from this evening time apostasy has a resemblance to the time of the prophet Samuel. 1 Samuel 3:1, “And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.” In times of spiritual apostasy the Word of God is rare and seldom heard. Instead of an open vision of truth and discernment there is darkness and blindness. The opinions of men displace the commandments of God. Like a valuable treasure, hidden and precious, the mysteries of God have been closed, sealed and shut up until the time of the end. But in that day, when the Seventh Trumpet angel shall begin to sound, the mystery of God will be revealed and the “face to face” relationship with God will be restored.

No man able to enter into the temple until the seven plagues fulfilled.

This statement does not teach us that there will be a time when people can not repent and be saved. It does not teach that the door of salvation will be closed and none can enter into the safety of the church. This statement is directly connected to the preceding thought of the temple being opened or closed. If God does not call a person to enter into that “face to face” relationship, as depicted by the High Priest before the Mercy Seat and the Ark of the Covenant, no man is able to enter into the temple in this manner and under the conditions being described in this text. In the fullness of time, God will appoint his faithful ministers to “Come up hither, and I will show you the Lamb’s wife.” The Seventh Seal ministry and saints will not be able to enter into this “temple” condition, “till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.” The last message of the seven plagues is the message of the Seventh Vial. The following passage gives us the Seventh Vial in its entirety: Revelation 16:17-21, “And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.” (See Chapter Sixteen for comments on this passage.)

The Revelation - Chapter Ten

CHAPTER TEN

1 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow [was] upon his head, and his face [was] as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:

This is a vision of Jesus Christ. When Jesus comes, He always comes with a cloud which symbolically means with many witnesses and a strong testimony. He has a rainbow upon His head which are the promises of God contained in His covenant with man. God made a covenant with Noah and mankind that He would never destroy all the nations of the world again with a flood. As a memorial and remembrance of this covenant, God placed a rainbow in the sky. Thus the rainbow becomes a symbol of God's covenant with men. His face is as the brightness of the sun which is the full light of the New Testament gospel and not just a reflection as was the Old Testament which was a shadow of good things to come. His feet are as pillars of fire meaning that in all His ways He walks in the power of the Holy Spirit of God.

2 And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and [his] left [foot] on the earth,

This book is the vision of the Revelation. (see Chapter 5:1-5). This book is not the "book of life" in which are written the names of all the redeemed. Jesus Christ stands as judge and ruler of all the world regardless of whether they be upon the sea or upon the earth. There is no nation or class of people in this world, whether they be saint or sinner, which is not under the authority of Jesus Christ.

3 And cried with a loud voice, as [when] a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.

When Jesus Christ speaks it is as one with authority and kingship. The lion has always been considered the king of the beasts. Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah whose scepter reaches forth over ever living soul. When Jesus speaks understanding is given. The Seven Thunders is the understanding which Jesus gave to the apostle John concerning the interpretation of all the symbolic messages contained in the several series in The Revelation.

4 And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.

This verse tells us that Jesus Christ gave the Apostle John complete understanding of the vision of Revelation. The Seven Thunders represent complete understanding. However, Jesus did not want John to record or write down the understanding of the vision of Revelation. He told him to "seal up those things... and write them not." It was and is the will of God that understanding of the vision of Revelation be given as the vision unfolds in chronological events. The true ministry of God in each "seal age" was and is given understanding of events relative to their day and all preceding times but not of future events or times. In the fullness of time, when the Seventh Trumpet angel sounds forth the full revelation of the mysteries of God, then the understanding of the Revelation will no longer be sealed up. In Revelation 22:10, the angel spoke to John and said, “Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book; for the time is at hand.” Two passages from the Old Testament will give us understanding of the symbolic language used in this verse. They are Job 26:14 where Job said, "but the thunder of His power who can understand?" Thunder is used to signify understanding. Also, Isaiah 29:11 where it is written, "a book that is sealed." A sealed book is one which the understanding of its message has been hidden from the people.

5 And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,
6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:
7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

Perhaps it is because of verse six that some theologians believe that there will be time no longer after the sixth seal. We should note that verse six and seven are one sentence. Properly interpreted, we understand that there will be "time no longer" after the voice of the seventh angel and the mystery of God is finished. The end of time will follow the voice of the seventh angel. The seventh angel is still sounding forth his message of judgment against Babylon, false religion. The seventh angel will continue to sound until the second coming of Christ. We do not know when the end will come; however, we do know that it follows at the close of the seventh seal era. The end time and the evening light of our day is the subject Isaiah spoke of in Isaiah 30:18-26. It is also written about in Zechariah 14:4-7.

I Corinthians 4:1 tells us that as ministers of God we have been made stewards of the mysteries of God. As ministers of God in the seventh seal we have been charged with judging the people in this last period of time. In the Laodicean church age we live in today, we see a dual application of the meaning of the word "Laodicea" which means "justice of the people." We know that there is a "judging OF the people" and a "judging BY the people." There is such an emphasis placed on judgment, "standing around the throne" that many people think that this is at the judgment bar of God in Heaven. This is not the final judgment, but rather the time when Protestantism, Catholicism and Heathenism is judged by the true ministers of God. The 18th chapter of Revelation is a specific example of the full judgment message against Babylon. God's true ministers are calling all honest hearted people who have repented of their sins and accepted Jesus Christ to come out of those man-made organizations, lest they become partakes of their religious sins. Revelation 18:6 tells the true ministers of Christ to pour out a double cup of God's judgment upon false religion. It is important to remember and to understand the significant difference between preaching the judgments of God and that of passing condemnation upon men’s souls. Wisdom would teach us to preach the judgments against sinful acts and attitudes; and then, leave the condemnation of souls to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. It is a very serious matter to judge a person to be a sinner and excommunicate him from the body of Christ. Some sincere people have become so intent and devoted to judging that they have been negligent in mercy. Justice dictates and requires a preponderance of evidence of guilt before rendering a sentence of excommunication. Christians ought to be restrained by a godly fear of erring in passing condemnation upon a person who professes to be a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.

8 And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go [and] take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.
9 And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take [it], and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.
10 And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.
11 And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.

The Apostle John was told to "take" the book of the vision and "consume" it. When the apostle asked that the book be given to him, he was told to "take it" a second time. We must go to God and take those things which He has offered to us. He does not give them to those people who do not want to put forth any effort. When John ate the book, the understanding was "sweet as honey" but the actual experience of going through the battles which were prophesied was bitter. They that live godly shall suffer persecution. We must accept the reality of suffering in this life. Our reward will be well worth the light afflictions we must endure. The alternative is hell, the suffering of which far exceeds the suffering of this life time.

We are told that John must “prophesy again before many peoples.” This foretells the release of the apostle John from the prison island of Patmos, and his return to preaching the gospel. After John was released from Patmos, he wrote the three epistles of First, Second and Third John. In these three epistles we see a reflection of the influence of his vision and what he understood as being foretold of future conditions which would come upon the church. He speaks out strongly against people who do not teach that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh to dwell in the hearts of mankind, delivering them from the committing of sin. Jesus came to destroy the works of Satan in the flesh, which works are the works of sin. Most religious people in this 21st century will deny the teaching of the epistle of First John. I once heard a nationally syndicated radio preacher from Atlanta, Georgia say in his message, which was being aired on radio stations across the nation, that he did not preach or teach from the book of First John because it contradicted the Baptist doctrines.

The Revelation - Chapter Nine

CHAPTER NINE

1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

Fifth Trumpet 1730 - 1880 A.D.

Falling stars always represent a fallen ministry. The minister which fell from a heavenly place to an earthly condition was given the power to open up the bottomless pit. A bottomless pit is the opposite of something which has a foundation. Protestantism has no foundation. It is a bottomless pit of man-made ideas which are inspired and generated by Satan. Satan is the King over all the spirits which came out of the bottomless pit condition. His name is Abaddon and Apollyon which mean destroyer. Verses 1-12 of this chapter is a symbolic description of the nature and work of Protestantism. The seeds of division were planted during the era of the Fourth Trumpet. Those seeds bore the mature fruit of Protestantism in the Fifth Trumpet era.

The “star” which fell from heaven unto the earth represents the ministers of the Protestant Reformation, to whom the Holy Spirit revealed the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the purity and unity of the Bride of Christ; who subsequently failed to walk in the light of truth and built their own sects and denominations. The three thirds of light which will always produce the true church of God are: justification, sanctification and unity of spirit and faith. The doctrines of justification and sanctification was clearly revealed and established in the church during these two Seal/Trumpet periods, Fourth Seal/Trumpet and Fifth Seal/Trumpet. Those ministers and saints who accepted and walked in the light of these two foundational doctrines produced the visible, unified church of God in the Sixth Seal/Trumpet era (walking in three thirds light). Those who refused these two doctrines constitute the stars which fell to the earth and went into spiritual darkness and confusion.

2 And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.

When this fallen star minister opened the religious pits of hell, there arose a smoke which caused a general darkness to cloud the light of the sun (New Testament) and the air. The cloudy atmosphere, the confusing and contradicting doctrines, which prevails in false religion (Babylon) is a great hindrance to people seeking and understanding the truth.

3 And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

Locusts are devouring insects. Scorpions have power to sting and hurt. The locusts and scorpions represent hurtful, destroying influences. They are destructive to the work of the farmer, gardener and husbandman. The beginning of Protestantism did not seem so bad, as people took great interest in serving God; but it was according to their own ways. The destructive power of this evil religious work was in the end of it. As the hurt of the scorpion is in its tail, so the destruction of false Christian religions is in their end. On the outward appearance, they seem to be calling people to Christ; but they always cause a falling away from holiness and truth.

What God had intended these people to do was to gain victory over Catholicism and be the true church of God following Jesus Christ and not man. God opened the fourth and fifth period of time with a great revelation of light. The truth that "the just shall live by faith" was a great light which shinned out to the whole world. The doctrine of sanctification, as preached by John Wesley and others, was a full restoration of holiness. But in the end, this benefit was lost because men began to build their own kingdoms instead of the kingdom of God.

4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.

The forces of Protestantism was restricted by God from hurting those people who had spiritual life. The Lamb-like beast which rose up out of the bottomless pit was only allowed to hurt those who were not sanctified (those who did not have the seal of God in their foreheads). The second work of grace in salvation called sanctification, will protect the saved person from the divisive spirit of Protestantism.

5 And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment [was] as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.

This spiritual torment (godly sorrow, contrition), where people want to die out to sin, die out to self, die out to the ways of the world, and yet not be able to die because of the weak message against sin was to last for five months. This five months is a symbolic time. It represents 150 years (5x30=150). This 150 year reign of Protestantism lasted from 1530 A.D. to 1880 A.D. The longer this period lasted the worse the spiritual conditions of the world became. "So-called" Christians fought against Christians. They were not Christians because they did not have the mind of Christ. They did not turn from their sins, their pride or their wickedness. They were religious and they called themselves Christians. Acts 20:29-30, “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” The actions of carnal, religious men brought great confusion over the world.

6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.

During this Protestant period of time, men will desire to die out to sin and self and will not be able to die, because they are not properly instructed in the need to repent and forsake all sin. The experience of being "dead to sin" shall flee from them and they can not find it.

7 And the shapes of the locusts [were] like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads [were] as it were crowns like gold, and their faces [were] as the faces of men.
8 And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as [the teeth] of lions.
9 And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings [was] as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.
10 And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power [was] to hurt men five months.

Again, we have pictured before us in symbolic terms the militant spiritual nature of Protestantism. Notice the usage of the following symbols in verses 7-10:

Locust Destructive spirit
Horses Militant spirit
Crowns of Gold Victory
Faces of men Human intelligence
Hair of women Submission
Teeth of lions Aggressive
Breastplates of iron Doctrines which are hard to penetrate
Sound of wings Loud praise
Scorpion tails Destructive ends
Five months 150 year period

Protestantism produces conflicting attributes of good and evil. Some of these attributes could be used in a good way to describe the good attributes of saints; however, because they are used in context with symbols such as "locust" and "scorpions" we understand that a deceitful religious spirit is working to hurt the church of God. The above symbols describe Protestantism and its work. It is spiritually destructive. It consumes men with its false doctrines and religious lies. It is highly successful in its organizational and administrative ability to propagate its ideas and achieve its goals. It seems to have the submissive nature of a woman, but it has the aggression of a devouring lion. The false doctrines of Protestantism are very effective armor. It takes a skilled soldier of truth armed with the power of the Holy Spirit to defeat this foe. It has a crown "like" gold, but it is not true gold. It has successfully overcome many people and Satan the Destroyer reigns in this Kingdom of darkness and deceit. The beginning of Protestantism may seem good, but its sting and destruction is in its tail, the end and results of its influence. The power and success of Protestantism will continue for 150 years before it is broken by the Sixth Trumpet message of truth and unity for God's people.

11 And they had a king over them, [which is] the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue [is] Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath [his] name Apollyon.

The king which ruled over this Protestant period described in verses 7-10 had the name Abaddon or Apollyon. The interpretation of these two names is the same. The name means Destroyer. Satan is the great Destroyer and he is the angel of the bottomless pit of Protestantism.

12 One woe is past; [and], behold, there come two woes more hereafter.

The First Woe was poured upon false religion in the fifth seal. When the truth of justification was once again preached in public places, many false prophets did not teach that there is a total deliverance from sin in this first work of grace. They taught that Christians still commit willful sin while maintaining a sonship relationship with God. The doctrine of "eternal security" was widely accepted by ministers who claim to preach the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Woe to those who do not teach holiness, heart purity and complete obedience in the work of justification. The judgment of false Christian religions had begun.

There are two more judgment messages to be given against Protestantism and Babylon in the Sixth and Seventh periods of time. Chapter 8 verse 13 clearly teaches that these three woes are to be sounded against the inhabiters of this world. "Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!"

13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,

Sixth Trumpet 1880-1930 A.D.

This is the first time we have a reference to the "golden altar" since the introduction to the sounding of the First Trumpet (Rev. 8:3). The golden altar is a direct and specific symbolic reference to the second work of grace, sanctification. It was upon the “horns of the golden altar” that the Old Testament High Priest administered a second application of the blood of the sin offering before entering into the Holiest of Holies. During the intervening periods between the first and the sixth trumpet, the spiritual "golden altar" relationship between the church and Jesus Christ was an uncommon experience. It is to those who have been sanctified that God reveals His hidden mysteries and manifest His divine power. In support of this position, consider what the Word of God says: Hebrews 9:7-9, “But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;” Leviticus 4:7, “And the priest shall put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar of sweet incense before the LORD, which is in the tabernacle of the congregation:”

14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.

Now we come to the time when the message of the four angels whose message was prepared for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th seal periods was able to be sounded in a public manner. These four angels and their messages were loosed. They were no longer held bondage by the people and their persecutions against the truth.

15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.

These times are not meant to be specific symbols, but rather four general time symbols indicating the time of those four periods. To be specific, an hour would have to represent a year or sixty years. Neither of these times fit any other scriptural reference to time. If the times mentioned in verse fifteen were symbolic and analogous, a day would have to represent a year; a month would have to represent 30 years and a year would have to represent 365 years. This is not the intent of the use of these times in this verse.

16 And the number of the army of the horsemen [were] two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.

Again we have a number given which is a general number rather than a definite quantity. The number 200,000,000 which is equal to 200 Million, is a general number which has reference to all of the saints being talked about

17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses [were] as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.

These riders did not have breastplates of iron (hard, but corruptible doctrines). They had breastplates of "fire." This symbolizes a ministry with the fire of the Holy Spirit in their message. The symbol "jacinth" is used in Revelation 21:20 as a precious stone making up one of the twelve precious stones which form the foundation of the church. Brimstone is used to signify judgment preaching. The heads of these horses where also like lions but what came out of their mounts was the same things which made up the church's foundation.

18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.
19 For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails [were] like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.

The Sixth Seal message did a greater work for God than did the Fifth Seal message. However, in the end even this light was lost. There was great power to do good in the beginning of this time; but in the end, there reappears the scorpions power in the tail to do hurt to the kingdom of God.

20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:
21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.

The Sixth Seal message was powerful to kill men (i.e. convinced of their lost condition) that they might die out to sin and self. But those who would not repent were not killed (i.e. were not convinced of their lost condition) by the judgments of this message.