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Notes for

The Revelation

Chapter Six

1. "one of the four beasts" = It was one of the four groups of redeemed who shouted the invitation.

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2. Song of Solomon 6:10 The bride of Christ reflects His glory

Who is she that looks forth as the morning [sunrise], fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible [or as awesome] as an army with banners?

This describes the church militant. But note that no arrow is mentioned for the weapons of Christianity are words!

Revelation 19:11 "white" = purity

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.

"in righteousness" means He makes war with words not swords.

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3. Revelation 2:10 The church persecuted by the Romans - "red" = fighting

Fear none of those things which you shall suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that you may be tried; and you shall have tribulation ten days: be you faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life.

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4. Daniel 5:27 "black" = sinful

TEKEL; You are weighed in the balances, and are found wanting.

Psalm 118:8 It is one or the other!

It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.

Now the fate of the church really hung in the balance. It was the decision time – should they follow God’s way and allow only Him to be their protector, or should they look to man – first the emperor and then the pope.

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5. Amos 8:11-12 One of the times of famine – the dark ages

Behold, the days come, says the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: and they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD and shall not find it.

"wheat...barley" = truths of Scripture.

Matthew 20:2 A day’s pay for a small amount of wheat – a high price

And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.

"oil and wine" = precious people in God’s sight.

In order to secure mankind to Himself and ensure their eternal salvation, Christ left the royal courts of heaven and came to this earth, endured the agonies of sin and shame in our stead, and died to make us free. In view of the infinite price paid for our redemption, how dare any professing the name of Christ treat with indifference or contempt one of His little ones? How carefully should we guard every word and action lest we hurt the oil and the wine, the harvest of the earth! How patiently, kindly, and affectionately should we deal with the purchase made by the blood of Christ! How faithfully and earnestly should we labour to lift up the desponding and the discouraged! How tenderly should we treat those who are trying to obey the truth and have no encouragement anywhere else, who have constantly to breathe the atmosphere of unbelief and darkness!

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6. 1 Peter 4:12-16 "Tribulation works patience"

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you: but rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy.

If you be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are you [or you should be]; for the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you [to protect you ]: on their part He is evil spoken of, but on your part He is glorified.

But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

The time periods are slightly different from that of the seven churches, for these sealed sections are teaching from a different angle. This portion of the book of history covers all the tribulations/persecutions from 538 to 1844.

Daniel 11:33-35 God warned that this would happen

And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. Now when they shall fall, they shall be helped with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.

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7. Revelation 12:10-11 "slain for the word of God" = martyrs

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. 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.

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8. Daniel 7:21-22 There is to be a 2nd time of persecution

I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;

1. Until the ancient/ of days came [then there will be a period of peace, with war breaking out again until],

2. ... judgment was given to the saints of the most High;

3. and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

Those who died in the 1st "war" have received their "white robes" of eternal righteousness in the judgment presided over by God the Father, which began in 1844. They are not literally crying out to God, but, like the blood of Abel, their deaths weigh heavily on God's mind.

Genesis 4:9-10

And the LORD said to Cain, Where is Abel your brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper? And He said, What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries to Me from the ground.

But they must "rest" in their graves "under the altar" of incense which is right beside the curtain of the second room of the sanctuary, as close to God that they can be. The conflict is not over yet. There is to be another time of martyrdom, a 2nd "war".

Matthew 24:8-10 Jesus warned us of the 2nd persecution

All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and you shall be hated of all nations for My name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

"until their fellowservants... should be killed as they were" means there are more who will become martyrs despite God's efforts to save them.

Prior to the last closing conflict, many will be imprisoned, many will flee for their lives from cities and towns, and many will be martyrs for Christ’s sake by standing in defence of the truth. The scenes of betrayal, rejection, and crucifixion of Christ have been re-enacted, and will again be re-enacted on an immense scale. We need not be surprised at anything that may take place now. We need not marvel at any development of horror.

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9. This seal has not yet been opened for this generation.

It is true that there was a "great earthquake" in 1755,

the sun became dark and the moon shone like blood in 1780,

and the stars "fell" in 1833,

but the generations which saw those signs have passed away. That was a correct interpretation of the prophecy for the time, and I have recorded those events in Note 11 Matthew chapter 24. But I also mentioned then that they occurred to the disciples during and after the crucifixion, which helps to explain the situation we have in this sixth seal opening.

Some prophecies have three applications. The first is a local one, designed to fit the circumstances near the time of writing and in a localised area of the world. Then the word has an application at another time in the distant future. In between, the prophecy can used in a universal or historical way to apply to many different peoples and times.

The messages to the churches are an example of this. First, they were written to seven literal churches which all existed in John’s time. Then they have an application (which we have looked at) over a period of 2,000 years, and the symbols used reveal the condition of the majority in the church at different periods in the history of the world.

At the same time, it is possible to use some of the symbols to describe other churches at other times. The church that Jesus came to at His birth can quite legitimately be said to be in a "Laodicean" condition as it was "lukewarm", and it was the last of its dispensation.

To avoid confusion it is simply necessary to stay with the one interpretation at a time.

So we can look forward to these signs appearing in our sky in the future, after our "tribulation" as Jesus told us. In the meantine we are living in the section opened by the fifth seal. However, Jesus gave us some information regarding the time of the sixth seal so that we might be forewarned.

Matthew 24:29-30

Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven...

When the Lord said "heaven," in giving the signs recorded by Matthew, Mark, and Luke, He meant heaven, and when He said "earth" He meant earth. The powers of heaven are the sun, moon, and stars. They rule in the heavens. The powers of earth are those that rule on the earth. The powers of heaven will be shaken at the voice of God. Then the sun, moon, and stars will be moved out of their places. They will not pass away, but be shaken by the voice of God.

Hebrews 12:25-29

See that you refuse not Him that speaks. For if they escaped not who refused Him that spoke on earth [at Mount Sinai, Exodus 20], much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from Him that speaks from heaven [in the last days]: whose voice then shook the earth: but now He has promised, saying, Yet once more I [will] shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

And this word, Yet once more, signifies [or means] the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain [this occurs at, or just before, the second advent]. Wherefore [because of this] we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire.

Hebrews 12:21

And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake ...

There are going to be some great signs!! The major, but also very nearly the last one, will be the voice of God giving us the Ten Commandments in a similar manner to the way in which He shared them at Mount Sinai. He will also tell us of the day and hour of Jesus coming as we saw back in Matthew 24.

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10. Psalm 46:1-3 The saints of God will be as safe as if they were in an ark

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah [Selah means, stop and think carefully on what you have just read].

"the heaven departed as a scroll" is John’s way of describing how the blue atmosphere appeared to roll up from one side to the other during the great earthquake, "such as was not" on earth before. Revelation 16:18. This is the first mention of the fact that from that moment on humanity will not need air to breathe while on earth, nor during their space travel to heaven, for they will be connected directly to God's life-support.

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11. Isaiah 2:10-12 Pride cannot stand before the pricks

Enter into the rock, and hide you in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of His majesty. The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low...

Isaiah 2:17-21

And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. And the idols he shall utterly abolish.

And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake terribly the earth.

In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake terribly the earth.

Exodus 34:30-35 Even the face of Moses was enough to frighten men

And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses [after coming down from talking with Jesus at Mt. Sinai], behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come near him.

And Moses called to them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned to him: and Moses talked with them. And afterward all the children of Israel came near: and he gave them in commandment all that the LORD had spoken with him in mount Sinai. And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a veil on his face. But when Moses went in before the LORD to speak with Him, he took the veil off, until he came out.

And he came out, and spoke to the children of Israel that which he was commanded. And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses' face shone: and Moses put the veil upon his face again, until he went in to speak with Him.

Luke 21:25-28 Jesus told us about those signs

And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken, and then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws near. [This is just before the resurrection of the saints].

2 Peter 3:9 God is holding off this day as long as He can

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Although it has been 6,000 long years since the death of the first saint (Abel, Genesis 4:8) this will not concern him. Nor will it worry all the other saints of God who have died since that time. Although they are described as "waiting" for the resurrection, they have no sense of time in the grave where they "sleep". We, as the living saints of this generation, are dimly aware of the time when we miss our loved ones who have died, but in reality only God actually feels the long separation moment by moment. He misses His absent children but considers the wait and anguish worthwhile if He can save another in the meantime.

"the wrath" (anger) of a LAMB?? Surely they are mistaken!

Zephaniah 1:14-18 There have been miniatures of this time

The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hastes greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers.

And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of His jealousy: for He shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.

Isaiah 25:8-9 He will look after His own in that day

He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth: for the LORD has spoken it.

And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.

The rejecters of God’s mercy have used the one weapon which defeats our God. They exercised the right of choice, of self-destruction. Against such a weapon, used in conscious knowledge, our Lord is helpless for He cannot save them against their will.

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