Chapter Eleven – The Two Witnesses
3And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. 4These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
Here we have the two witness and the candlesticks. There has been much discussion about who these two witnesses are. Before I tell you who I believe they are, let us notice somethings. Verse four starts out saying “these are the two”. The article before the two olive trees means they are specific trees, not just any trees. It appears to me that John is expecting us to know about these trees. Actually, we should know because the Bible has spoken of them before.
1And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep, And said unto me, What seest thou? 2And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof: 3And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.
Zachariah is speaking of the days of the rebuilding of the Temple after the return from exile. If you have been reading my blog then you understand that Babylon is a picture of Satan’s rule over the earth. The tribulation period is the time Jesus takes back what is His and sets the captives free. So Revelation parallels Zachariah’s prophecy and therefore Zachariah’s prophecy has relevance for interpretation.
The lamp provides light, which is truth. The lamp is supplied with the oil from the olive branches. So these two witnesses are a light to the world about a certain truth. The truth that is being witnessed to is that Jesus Christ is the LORD of creation.
15Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
These two witnesses will witness for one thousand two hundred and sixty days. That is three and one-half years. I believe this is during the first half of the tribulation and God is giving the people of the earth a chance to repent before His wrath is poured out. The reason I believe it is during the first half of the tribulation is because after they are called up to Heaven the second woe is ended and the third will begin. The third woe is the last half of the tribulation.
Zachariah tells that the two witness are the “two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” To me, there are a couple of things that need consideration; one what have they witnessed? The most powerful testimony would be that Jesus is the Lord of the whole earth. They stand next to the Lord of the whole earth. Who can really be a true witness to Jesus as the creator of the earth? Certainly, no man can because he is part of the creation. There are those who could and God tells us who they are in the book of Job.
6Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; 7When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
The sons of God were watching the LORD create the foundations of the earth and sang as he did it. I believe only an angel could be a true witness to the fact that Jesus Christ is the LORD of creation. These two witnesses will preach what they saw and how Jesus Christ is the LORD of the earth and they will be able to bring judgment on the earth.
The beast that was let loose from the pit will kill the prophets. It might be that the pit is not opened until this mid-point of the tribulation. I say this because the beast does not kill them until their days are finished. Their bodies lay in the streets for three days. Anyone who has seen the news has seen effigies being burnt in the streets while people are celebrating. This should give us a good idea of how this will come down. Worldwide coverage of these to prophets lying dead and much of the earth is celebrating their death. Since they leave these bodies in the street, there might even be a twenty-four-hour webcam setup for people to see them. What a surprise it will be when they all of a sudden rise upon their feet. Then that great voice from heaven calls out “come up hither” and they ascend to heaven. Within an hour a great earthquake takes place and seven thousand men are killed by it.
This ends the second woe and prepares for the third and final woe. Now the seven trumpet sounds and elevates us to the observation deck of heaven were will we see the tribulation from heaven perspective. As we enter this seen the elders are praising God for His righteous judgment. They no longer have to wait for justice to prevail. We do not have to act falsely about our desires to want to have rewards for living in a way that pleases God. God wants us to have great success and success means there is some sort of meaning or reward to what you have done. I don’t mean to take off on a rabbit trail, but we often are told we have no righteousness, but this is not the case. We have to be careful when studying the Bible we keep things within the scope of the teaching. When it comes to being right before God and what allows us to be in His presence our righteousness is as filthy rags. There is no way our righteous can make up for our sin. Only Jesus Christ can make us righteous. Now after we have been saved we do have righteousness when we obey God. Doing right is righteousness. Our obedience will not go unrewarded. Christians who live out their lives obeying God will have greater rewards than those who live a carnal life. See 1 Corinthians 3:11-15.
Now we get a glimpse into the temple that is in Heaven, not an earthly temple and things are stirring as the third woe is about to come.
Wedding Supper of the Lamb
Chapter eleven has become very exciting to me recently with God revealing truth that I have never seen. You know when something is revealed it is prophecy. That is the main idea of the Greek word prophéteia that is translated prophecy is a combination of two words; pro and phémi which mean before and make clear. So anytime someone makes something clear before it happens they are prophesying. We often confuse this with the giving of special revelation as the scripture itself. We understand that the canonized scriptures are complete and will not be added too, but that does not eliminate men from understanding what is going to take place beforehand. Here I believe I am going to make something clear before it happens so it is prophecy. I am not getting special revelation from God, just making clear what has already been given.
With that, I want to make this clear, just about everything I have written on the blog I have found in books or sermons. I am not generally smart enough, and lack resources to study things in fine detail, but what I believe I can do is put the information given together in a sensible way. That being said let me try to do this here. This is like the difference between a scientist and a science teacher. The scientist discovers new things and the science teacher makes sense of it to the general population.
Measure The Temple
1And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, the altar, and them that worship therein. 2But 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.
John is told to measure a temple, altar, and worshipers. The same word measure is also found in 2 Corinthians 12-13. Here it is used of saying he would not compare himself to others. The idea is marking off or making distinctions between things and that is exactly what John was commanded to do. John was to note the temple and what was in it as compared to the court outside the temple.
It is commonly held that this is either a temple built during the tribulation or during the millennium. Neither of these is in my mind possible. I will mention this again and it has been the problem with most expositors is their inability to blend the spiritual world with the physical world. To them, everything has to have an earthly entity and nothing can be seen in the spiritual world. The bible makes it clear there is a temple in Heaven playing an active part during the tribulation; “And the temple of God was opened in heaven…” (Revelation 11:19,14:17,16:17). There are much more references to this temple in Heaven, but in these verses, it clearly says it is in Heaven.
Why do we know the temple John is to measure is in Heaven? The reason is the fact that there are worshippers that are in this temple for forty-two months or three and a half years while right outside evil is going on. This seems rather impossible. How could people survive that long of a besieged in the temple? The other suggestion is that the Jews are allowed to freely enter the temple during the tribulation. Neither of these seems realistic.
The rapture of the church is paralleled to a Jewish wedding, but that full discussion is outside the scope of my discussion here. What I want you to note is during a wedding the bridegroom takes the bride into his wedding chamber and shuts the door. If you go back to the beginning of my study I talked about the principle of double reference which means a prophecy can refer to more than one happening. I want to show you one of these verses.
19Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. 20Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. 21For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.
Notice here how it talks about the dead rising, and that happens at the rapture. Then it says that the Lord is going to punish the earth, and that is the tribulation. What does it say that the people are to do during this time? To shut thy doors or conceal themselves from the judgment. Jesus speaks about the door being shut in the parable of the ten virgins.
And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
This is most telling about what is taking place with the Temple during the tribulation. This is the temple of God in Heaven and John said in chapter four;
After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
This is the rapture of the church. John is told the door to the wedding chamber, which is God’s temple, is opened for him and he is to come up. We see this in Jesus’ parable of the wedding in Matthew 22:1-14. Once the church is safely in the temple the door is shut and the celebration begins.
And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
Not all agree, but most commentators place this event during the second half of the seven-year tribulation. We know that is only one-half of the tribulation by the mention of forty-two months. If the people are meeting in an earthly temple it seems hard for me to envision this is the last part of the tribulation. The last three and a half years of the tribulation is the most violent time on earth, and there are believers worshiping God in His temple?
I think this get placed at the beginning of the tribulation and this is easy to understand if we believe this is the temple in Heaven. During the first half of the tribulation, the stage is being set for the wrath of God during the second half, which is referred to as the time of Jacob’s trouble.
In order to understand this, I want you to picture this in your mind. See, all of God’s creation from His throne to the earth and everything in between. Now Satan and the principalities dwell somewhere between the earth and God’s temple. During the tribulation, Satan and all of his believers are given forty and two months to basically have free reign from the court without the temple to the earth. Later we will see that at the end of this period Michael is commanded to cast Satan out of the Spiritual realm and to the earth (Revelation 12:7-9).
We will continue with chapter eleven, but for now get excited about being safe in the temple with Jesus Christ the LORD and Savior. If you are not saved you better think long and hard about this. Salvation, bloodshed, rape, violence, anarchy all awaits those who are not safe in the Temple. Being with Jesus is His temple is what is called SALVATION!
The Little Book
1And 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: 2And 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, 3And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth:and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. 4And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write:aand I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not. 5And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, 6And 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
Here we find a mighty angel with his feet on the sea and the earth. There is a debate about who this angel is. Some say it is the Lord Jesus Christ and the heaviest weight to that argument is that he is clothed with a cloud. Jehovah is associated with being clothed with a cloud. On the other hand, it says another angel which usually means one that was not previously mentioned, and the second part is that this angel is told to swear by him that liveth for ever and ever, but Jesus is the one who is eternal. I will not try and solve this debate. What I do want to mention is if this is not Jesus, instead an angel, and we shall be like the angels, then it can be a glimpse of what is in store for those who serve the Lord faithfully and to whom the Lord bestows a great honor. We get to share in the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
21But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe:for there is no difference
Wow! What an awesome thought this is! It does not seem possible.
The Sea and Earth
It is time to discuss the sea and the earth. This angel has his feet on both the earth and the sea. A careful student of the word will also notice that the first beast rises out of the sea (Revelation 13:1) while the second beast rises out of the earth (Revelation 13:11). A common thought is the sea represents the gentiles and so the first beast is then determined to be a gentile. We will discuss this more in detail in chapter thirteen, but for now, I need to say the sea represents the spiritual world (angelic) while the earth represents the physical (human) world. The reason I make this case for the sea is because men (waters Rev. 17:15) are moved by spiritual forces. Jesus says in John chapter three that as the unseen wind moves does the Holy Spirit work in the heart of men. At Pentecost, there was a mighty rushing wind of the Holy Spirit. It is important to note this as it will develop as the book goes on. So this angel is standing on the sea and the earth for judgment of both the fallen angels and the men of the earth.
Time No Longer
Many Christians often state that there is no time in Heaven, however, how does one prove that? Here is a statement that has led people to that conclusion erroneously. The angels declare that “time shall be no longer.” People jump to conclusion base upon their first understanding of something, and here is no exception. What this means is let there be no longer a delay or your time is up. That is exactly what is being said here, Satan and this corrupt world’s time is up and they will face judgment.
There is this little book
9And 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. 10And 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. 11And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.
Here was a little book that contained God’s revelation about the end and John was told to eat the book. We need to eat the book too. The words that John was told were to be given to the people and nations—that means us. To eat the book means to not just hear the words, but to make them part of who we are. Ezekiel was told to eat a scroll and it would be sweet to the taste. More than Ezekiel, I think of the words of our Savior in John chapter six. In this chapter, the people asked Jesus what they could do to have Jesus take care of them and Jesus said this:
8Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 9Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
So they wanted to work for their salvation, but Jesus said what they needed to do was believe in what He was going to do for them. Then Jesus goes on to tell them that they must eat him.
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
Jesus did not literally mean to eat his flesh, but rather to truly believe. The idea is that if one sees or possess food it does them no good. Only when someone eats the food and the body absorbs the food does it give them life. Just like the manna, if you did not eat it you died. So to just say you believe Jesus, just to know about Jesus is not enough. One must take the time to meditate and assimilate who Jesus is and accept Jesus Christ as their LORD.
Jesus is the word as John chapter one tells us so to absorb the Bible is to absorb or eat Jesus. Now let us switch back to Revelation. John was to eat this book and when He did it was sweet. The Word of God is sweet to hear. Men love to hear that God sent His Son to die for our sins that we will have eternal life. However upon deeper thought it reveals that we are sinners and there is a judgment to come, which is bitter. John heard how Jesus was going to take back the earth and bring peace which is very sweet, but then the reality that many, many people are going to perish, sets in and it becomes bitter. This is the message we need to eat, this is the message of Revelation.
The Final Battle
12One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.
13And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 14Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. 15And 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. 16And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand:and I heard the number of them. 17And 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. 18By 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. 19For 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.
20And 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: 21Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts
It seems clear when you place the trumpet and the vials next to each other they are not separate events rather they are the same events seen in a different way. When I say this think of the Gospels and how each one is different and yet they speak of the same events. As we come to the sixth trumpet it seems hard to believe that the breaking of the barrier of the Euphrates river happens twice.The Euphrates river is a dividing landmark. It was to be the end of the promise land. It was the border of the Roman empire. It was also to me more significantly that it is where Babylon was. Remember as I have been trying to show that the earthly Babylon was a type of the spiritual Babylon that exists in Heaven right now. It is where Satan and all of his principalities in darks rule from. It is this kingdom that troubles the world and will until the great tribulation ends.
The Euphrates river is a dividing landmark. It was to be the end of the promise land. It was the border of the Roman empire. It was also more significantly that it is where Babylon was. Remember as I have been trying to show that the earthly Babylon was a type of the spiritual Babylon that exists in Heaven right now. It is where Satan and all of his principalities in darknesss rule from. It is this kingdom that troubles the world and will until the great tribulation ends.
We will go into this in detail when we get to chapter seventeen because there it describes what is taking place. But for now know that this is the battle of Armageddon.
THE FIRST SEAL/TRUMPET/VIAL
|And I saw, and behold a white horse:and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him:and he went forth conquering, and to conquer||there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth:and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up||there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image||This is the fall of spiritual Babylon. The fall brings down Satan to earth who will go forth to conquer it before Christ’s returns.|
THE SECOND SEAL/TRUMPET/VIAL
|I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went out another horse that was red:and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another:and there was given unto him a great sword||as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea:and the third part of the sea became blood; And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed||the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man:and every living soul died in the sea||The sea represents the spiritual influences the satanic influences has on humanity. As a result, there is much death.|
THE THIRD SEAL/TRUMPET/VIAL
|I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine||there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood:and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter||the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood||The fall of Babylon brings upon the earth a great deception that if it were possible even the very elect would be deceived. This poisons the water which should be life giving, but rather becomes death.|
THE FORTH SEAL/TRUMPET/VIAL
|I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse:and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth||the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise||the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues:and they repented not to give him glory||With Satan’s removal from heaven he draws a third of the angels with him. These are angels that rebelled. The people of the earth are ruled with cruelness.|
THE FIFTH SEAL/TRUMPET/VIAL
|I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled||a star fall from heaven unto the earth:and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. 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. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth||the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds||The angels that have been chain in the pit are let loose and they torture the a certain unsealed group. The seal judgment looks at this in a different way because at this point many saints have been martyred and they are pleading for the end.|
THE SIXTH SEAL/TRUMPET/VIAL
|there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand||Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. 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||the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet||This is the end the final battle. The stage is set with those who refuse to repent. Those who believe they can resist the King of Kings.|
THE SEVENTH SEAL/TRUMPET/VIAL
|And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets||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||into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done||It appears that the sixth seal is the same as the seventh trumpet and vial. The seventh seal moves us back to the beginning of the tribulation to see it from a spiritual standpoint. Meaning that the events of the trumpets are seen form the view of the fallen angels and the vials from the temple of God. The trumpets and vials run parallel and the difference are simply the event seen from a different perspective just as the gospels see the same events from a different perspective.|
We are continuing on with the Fifth Trumpet
3And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth:and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 4And 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. 5And 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. 6And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them
Where we left off last time was Satan, the star that had fallen in the third trumpet, was given a key to open the bottomless pit. Now we are going to see what comes out of the pit. As I discussed last time, I believe this is the pit where the angels are chained up. After all this time they are let loose for judgment, just as Peter and Jude tells us.
Here they are first described as locusts. There are some who would try to tell us these are literal locusts, but most commentators including myself find that rather ridiculous given the description of them. The use of locusts is to show their numbers. When Babylon was going to invade Egypt it was told by Jeremiah that they would be innumerable as a locust. The KJV uses the word grasshoppers.
They shall cut down her forest, saith the Lord, though it cannot be searched; because they are more than the grasshoppers, and are innumerable
The plague of locust was that they covered and devoured everything, and I believe this is what is the main point, though one might dig deeper into this and find more similarities. They also had power like scorpions to sting. It is the sting of the scorpion that we are concerned with. Most scorpions cannot kill you, but they are a very painful sting. So the picture here is that these angels that are let loose will be innumerable and they will cause great pain, but not death. It is said for a span of five months. Some say that is a literal five months and others say it is a symbolic five months. I am not sure, either way, we understand that for a time men are tormented by these beasts and that is what is truly important.
Speaking of men, it says they don’t hurt the vegetation but rather men. Normal locusts are only interested in vegetation, not men, which is another reason to believe these are not literal locusts. As we noted earlier that the grass and trees are used as symbols for mankind and trees for great men specifically. Since we see grass and trees contrasted with men, I would tend to believe it is true here also. Out of all mankind, only those who are not sealed by God are exposed to these devils.
7And 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. 8And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. 9And 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. 10And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails:and their power was to hurt men five months.
Real locusts are not like horses, these angels are. Horses are a picture of great strength and power (Job 39:19,Psalms 147:10,Proverbs 21:31,Isaiah 43:7). So these angels cannot be resisted by men, the have the power do dominate their opponents. The crown means they are given a degree of prominence. It is kind of like an anointing (Psalms 132:18, Proverbs 12:4, 14:18, 17:6). In the case of Jesus, the crown of thorns meant he was anointed as the sacrifice for our sin. So they are giving authority, maybe we can see this as a police officer’s badge that says he is given authority to carry out justice, make no mistake these are given it for evil. I think of the Nazi having a swastika armband to identify themselves with the party. This maybe what these crowns are for.
Faces of men to me is obvious. How we really recognize someone is by their face. If you see someone from the back that you think you might know, you want to see their face to be sure they are who you think they are. These beings look like men and that is no surprise because whenever an angel is seen upon the earth the are called men.
Next, it says they have hair like a woman. Henry Ironside suggests that this means they have a seductive power. I, however, have another idea.
7For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God:but the woman is the glory of the man. 8For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. 9Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. 10For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels
1 Corinthians 11:9-10
The man is supposed to be the head so he was to keep his head uncovered and the woman is supposed to be in submission, so her head was to be covered. This same concept was in the vow of a Nazarite. The man who gave himself wholly to God for a certain amount of time was not to cut his hair to demonstrate his submission to God. So the long hair on these angels meant they were in submission to a ruler and of course we know this to be Satan.
The teeth of lions mean that they will devour man’s wealth and possessions. They will take what they want and leave the others to fight over what they have left. See John here is reference this all back to Joel. Here is just a portion, but one would do well to read the whole chapter.
6For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion. 7He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree: he hath made it clean bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white.
You can see why so many die during the tribulation from hunger because all the resource are devoured by the angels and they have no thought or care for the men of the earth.
Men wore breastplates to protect them from a fatal stab. Christians are called to wear breastplates of righteousness to protect them from falling prey to the devil and sin. The angels were wearing breastplates of iron. A careful study shows that iron is a metal that was very strong and used when strength was needed. It was a metal that had no beauty, just pure strength and we shall see later how this plays out in regards to Satan’s kingdom.
And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things:and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.
They had wings! Now this does not necessarily mean they had real wings and I would suppose they are not because we are dealing with things that illustrate a certain character about these angels. Wings are very much seen as a covering (2 Chronicles 5:8, Psalms 17:8). Since wings lift, those who have them, up high above everything else. It is the idea of security. Being a former member of the United States Air Force I see this very clearly. Ground troops love air support because they have the upper hand. Those in the sky can see what is going on down below. If the troops are in trouble they can call in support from the air. Our nation has gone to great length to establish “air superiority” for this reason. While you are on the good side of wings, like under God’s wings you feel safe and secure. Here though it is evil with this power. They move swift into action as horses and chariots. How can men deal with such beings? They can’t!
If you notice this section mention these angels as having the power of scorpions twice. I then concluded this is the most important aspect of what needs to be understood. To dissect this, I need to make a few points.
The men on the earth involved are those that have not the seal on them, so in a sense, they are sealed to doom. We know that many who accept Christ during the tribulation are killed for their faith, so in my mind is seems hard to believe that only the believers are seals from this woe. We could say these are the hundred and forty-four thousand. However, I do wonder though why there is a distinction between the grass, trees and these men. Does the grass and trees represent the hundred and forty-four thousand? Maybe! Let me suggest something else. I have not and will not easily name a nation or a group of people in this commentary. As these events unfold it will become clear what earthly organizations or groups are involved.
Here I want to break that rule to suggest that these unsealed men are those who have promoted the GLTB movement. Now here is my line of thinking. If these angels were locked up for committing sexual sins as Jude suggest then they are ripe for committing sexual atrocities. There was some reason God could not let these angels loose like He did with the other fallen angels. I believe their sexual depravity is the reason. Now they are let loose and someone is in trouble. Think of Haman and how he built gallows for Mordecai, but God turned that on Haman that his own gallows where his demise. So those who are actively forcing sexual immorality upon the earth will have it as their own curse.
Think of these words in this context.
And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.
And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.
I truly consider a real possibility that those who have promoted this awful sexual lifestyle will be sodomized for this period of time. What is done to them doesn’t kill them, they cannot escape it, and they wish they were dead.
Please carefully consider this!
The Opening of The Abyss
The opening of the abyss is perhaps one of the scariest parts of Revelation, why else would three woes be sounded before this happens. To understand why it is so bad we need to do a careful study. One thing I ask is for you to have an opened mind to things you may not have considered or agreed with in the past. At times, we all will face the obvious and deny it because it goes against what we want to believe. There are many who just cannot in their mind conceive Noah and the ark story. So no matter what the Bible says about it, they just cannot believe it is true or they twist the scriptures to say that it was just a local flood. Are you willing to go where the Bible takes us? Are you willing to let the evidence lead the way? Then read on.
1And 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. 2And 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
This trumpet is not about another star falling. I know the KJV does not bring it out clearly that this is a star that had already fallen. When did this star fall? We already learned that in the third trumpet and found that it was Satan who was cast down. Then the fourth trumpet brought down the angels with them. Now we have another group of beings about to be let loose on the earth. Satan is given the key to let them loose. Now again we are dealing with symbols and the interpretation of this event should be found in the Bible. I just love this! The Bible is not a disconnected set of stories, it is a cohesive volume and so we should have no problem finding this pit with beings in it. We do find them in second Peter and Jude.
4For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment 5And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
2 Peter 2:4-5
And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day
If the Bible tells us clearly there are angels being held for judgment, which the tribulation is, then why not connect them together. Where else could we know about such beings that are let loose from this pit? It just seems harder for me to believe that God just comes out of nowhere and says there are being we never had heard of in a pit. Now I have no problem with that if we cannot find any other possible place it could be mention. With Peter and Jude’s discussion about angels being lockup, this seems much more consistent and plausible then we are dealing with the same thing. Tying these passages together gives us knowledge of what is to become of these angels in the pit. Does that make sense?
Believing we are dealing with the same angels we need to see if we can find out more about these incarcerated angels so that we can better understand what is about to happen in Revelation. This is where it gets a little scary. Jude tells us; “I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord…”, and then goes on the tell about three time periods which are God saving the people out of Egypt, angels sinning, and Sodom and Gomorrah. We all remember the story about Egypt, everyone knows about Sodom and Gomorrah, but when did we hear about angels being leaving their first estate and habitation? I think Peter clues us in on this very well when he mention this event with the old world and Noah. What happen then?
That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
With what I have already shown is how Peter and Jude described these events and here we have clear use of a term that only is used to reference angels in the old testament. What I am saying is the term sons of God is a term used for angels. Now I have heard some really far reaching comments to say these are not angels. One comment was by a great man of God who had a radio program. He said they could not be angels because being the Son of God they were good and therefore could not have done such wicked acts. Why is that far reaching because Adam was given the title the “son fo God”1 and yet he sinned.
The second argument is that the “Son of God” are the offspring of Seth. Anyone study this title understands its significance. So why would the offspring of Seth be given such a title? God choose Abram to be a great nation and His chosen people, yet they were never given such a title!
If you refuse to believe these are angels, you really are required to respond to Jude, because he asked you to remember the angels that sinned. Where is that recorded for us? You cannot claim these are the angel that sinned with Satan because the bible is clear the fallen angels are at work in the world today. So there must be one group that are in the pit and the other is loose and at work now. This says something about these incarcerated angels. If they are so evil that God had to chain them up, then when they are let loosed it is going to be real bad. I believe Jude reveals the sin that put them in the pit.
6And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. 7Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
Next time will see what happens when the angels are released from the pit.
Satan Takes One Third Of The Angels With Him
One of the things that I have noticed in my studies is that commentators almost refuse to believe that angels are literally involved in the tribulation. H. A. Ironside, J. Dwight Pentecost both consider this to be symbology being that of religious leaders1. John F. Walvoord mentions that it could be religious leaders, but takes the position of the literal heavenly bodies being darkened.2
It is really hard for me to understand this resistance to Satan and the fallen angels being present on the earth. Angels are seen on the earth all throughout the old testament. So staying consistent with our interpretation this trumpet like the rest is symbolic in nature. How do we understand it then? Let the Bible interpret it for us. If we are correct then the third trumpet is the fall of a great star who is Satan, then we can read the commentary on this in chapter twelve.
3And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 4And 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. 5And 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. 6And 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. 7And there was war in heaven:Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9And 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
My logic is that if the third trumpet is Satan being cast down and the next trumpet is the heavenly bodies being darkened, I see the details here. With Satan, a third of the angels or stars are cast down with him.
If I am right we can see why we have the three woes of verse thirteen. The whole spiritual kingdom of Babylon has collapsed and its occupants have been cast to the earth. Remember that one angel killed over four hundred thousand men in one night.3 With the angels occupying the earth the inhabitants are going to be in great woe, especially when we hear the fifth trumpet.
And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, 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
1H.A. Ironside, Revelation (Loizeaux Brother, 1987), pg. 151; J. Dwight Pentecost, Things To Come (Zondervan, 1964), pg. 362
2John F. Walvoord, The Revelation of Jesus Christ (Moody Press 1966), pg. 165
3 Bible, 2 Kings 19:35
A Star Falls From Heaven
10And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; 11And the name of the star is called Wormwood:and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter
Being consistent with our symbology we realize this is not an actual start. This should be an easy one yet there are many who will try to make this an actual star that falls from space and pollutes a third part of the water. Revelation already reveals to us that a star represents an angel.
The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches:and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
It should be further noted that the fifth trumpet speaks of a star that had fallen. I know that KJV does not make this absolutely clear, however, the star of the fifth trumpet had already fallen and in that case, the trumpet is about giving the star a key to the pit which releases terrible creatures upon the earth. If the star in the fifth trumpet has already been cast down, when did it happen? Well during the third trumpet! Remember what we are seeing here is the fall of Babylon, not an earthly Babylon, rather the one that exists in the Heavens. Of course, if you are going to cast down this kingdom you will have to cast down the leader. We find the prophet Isaiah telling us about this.
How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how are you cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations!
The book of Revelation fills in the details about this event. I will remind you that the book of Revelation has the seals, trumpets, and vials as outlines and the parenthetical verses that fill in the details. So here are the details of this event.
3And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 4And 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 threescore days. And there was war in heaven:Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 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 7And there was war in heaven:Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9And 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.10And 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
I recently heard a well-known radio and television preacher of whom I respect speak on this passage of Satan’s fall. He spoke as if this fall had already taken place. I have talked with other Christians who seem quite surprised when I suggest Satan has not already fallen from Heaven. Satan has certainly fallen from his original state of perfection and has become the author of sin in this world (1 John 3:8).
Satan however still has access to Heaven or else he is no longer coming before God’s throne as the accuser of the brethren. That is what the above passage tells us he is continually doing now. In the book of Job, Satan comes before God as the accuser and that was taking place after the fall of man in the garden. So if one believes Satan’s fall has already taken place, when did it happen? It had to have happened after Job and before the events of the Tribulation. I know of no place in scripture to teach us it did, so we just have to believe that Satan is still actively accusing the brethren in Heaven right up until the Tribulation. It is then God declares He has had enough and Michael throws him down to earth.
One other interesting thing about this passage. Those who believe the star is symbolic tend to want to see this star as some man that has great authority—some religious leader. Now let me confess that I am very disappointed in Christain unwillingness to believe that Satan is actually a real being. I say that because whenever it comes to the spiritual world they try to place some human in this place. Isaiah plainly tells us that Satan will be seen on earth for who he is.
15Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. 16They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; 17That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners
There are many more things that could be said about this being Satan, but I think that I have sufficiently provided enough references to prove my point. So then what happens when Satan is cast to the earth. The waters of the earth are turned bitter. Again we are dealing with symbols as we don’t have to search the news or geography to find the meaning, we just need to search the Bible. Water is needed for life and that is how it is used all the time in the Bible. We can especially look at John’s writings to know about water.
13Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
In Numbers chapter five there was the law given for the jealous husband. The priest was to give the wife bitter water, wherein that if she had committed adultery it would cause her to rot. If she was innocent it had no effect. I think there is much to meditate upon when we place these to scriptures next to each other. Those who are pure before God the bitter water will not harm them, but those who have committed whoredom against God will be harmed by the water. There are many who have turned from the teaching of Christ and listen to Satan’s lies—this will only be magnified during the tribulation.
I can’t help but to see and event that resembles this. There was a wicked man named Aleister Crowley who lived in the early part of the twentieth century. He is considered one of the evilest men to have lived in the modern era. Some decades later a man named Timothy Leary said he took over the work of Crowley to continue his teaching of “Do what thou wilt is the whole of the law.” It was later condensed to; “Do your own thing.” Timothy Leary told the young people to “Turn on, tune in, drop out” and take drugs (LSD). In 1967, Leary was part of the Human Be In that took place in San Francisco’s Golden State Park. It was to me the star falling because it was televised. This bitter water, these lies, spread throughout the whole nation. It has such an impact that in the summer of 1968 over a hundred thousand young people ascended upon San Francisco and called it the “Summer of Love.” It was an orgy and a drug feast. The young people could not longer stay in the city as there was not enough work and food. They followed out from their and became known as the Hippies. These people carried with them just about every evil thought there is and entered into our educational and legal systems. The voted in their evil and now much of America no longer has a Christian based society. This is just a real life illustration of the third trumpet.
The Beginning of the Fall of Babylon
8 And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea:and the third part of the sea became blood; 9 And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.
And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man:and every living soul died in the sea.
I have previously shown that I believe that the seals, trumpets, and the vials are parallel to one another. I do not believe the second vial is another curse upon the sea. These are the same event seen from different perspectives. Think of them like the Gospels, where there are three synoptic gospels which give a different view of the same events. Not all the details are exactly the same because they are being seen from different perspectives.
To understand what is taking place here we have two different detail passages that we can use to understand these symbolic events and they are Jeremiah fifty-one and Revelation eighteen. So let us go ahead and start examining these passages.
I want to be consistent here in that we are treating the trumpets as if they are given in symbols. A student of the word of God knows that many times in the old testament a kingdom is referred to as a mountain. God’s kingdom is Mt. Zion (Micah 4:1-2). In Revelation, this is made clear.
9And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. 10And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.
One of the best understandings of this symbology is found in Jeremiah fifty-one. This chapter describes the fall of the literal Babylon, however, it also is prophetic in that it is describing the future fall of the spiritual Babylon. The words found in the second trumpet are the words of Jeremiah.
Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the Lord, which destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee,and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain.
In the last post, we have examined how Nebuchadnezzar is an earthly representation of Satan and his kingdom. Now, we get into details about the fall of this wicked kingdom. Babylon will be destroyed by fire and will be a place that no one will ever dwell again, not the location on the earth, but the location in the spiritual world.
All the nations have been influenced by Babylon. It is described as drunkenness because as Ephesians 5:18 calls us to not be drunk with wine rather be under the control of the Holy Spirit. The nations have not done so and a are figuratively described as being drunk with the wealth of Babylon and committing spiritual fornication with her.
Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord ‘s hand, that made all the earth drunken:
the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.
Notice that Babylon was a golden cup in the Lord’s hand. When Satan was first created he was special as we see from Ezekiel.
Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold:the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
We see this same kingdom fall in the image of Nebuchadnezzar as in Daniel chapter two.
31Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. 32This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, 33His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. 34Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. 35Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them:and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth
This is not just talking about the literal kingdom of Babylon of that day. I say this because a great stone, which is Jesus, will crush this kingdom someday and fill the whole earth. That will be Christ millennial kingdom. Notice how this kingdom started out beautiful as a kingdom of gold in the LORD’s hand. Then at some point, Satan was lifted up and the kingdom started to fall. In the end, it is seen as iron, having no beauty, but the strength to destroy. I also want to point out something that I believe to be true and we will talk more about later, but eventually, this kingdom ends up as having ten toes which are the ten kingdoms described in Revelation 71:12. These kingdoms are going to be a mix of iron and clay. We know that the iron is describing Satan and it must include the angels that fall with him. The clay seems to describe humans for man is described as being clay.
But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.
So the conclusion of the second trumpet is that it is the fall of the spiritual Babylon. The first trumpet is God’s judgement coming upon this place and the second is the kingdom literally being cast to the earth. God will have enough of Satan and his angels keeping the world captive. We see a little more detail about this in the description of this event.
7And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9And 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.
10And 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