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Notes for

The Revelation

Chapter Fourteen


1. Revelation 3:12 Jesus writes on our minds

Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, which is new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God: and I will write upon him My new name.

Revelation 13:16 The mark of the beast is in the mind too

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

Unless the name of God is written in your forehead, - written there because God is the centre of your thoughts, - you will not be fit for the inheritance in light. It is your Creator who has poured out to you all heaven in one wondrous gift, - His only begotten Son.

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2. Psalm 40:1-3 The song of salvation

I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of a horrible pit [of sin], out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a Rock, and established my goings. And He has put a new song in my mouth, even praise to our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

Singing is the sensible way for large groups of people to communicate with another. God speaks, and the "sealed" group sing a "new song" because it is the song of their recent experiences and therefore newly learned. They are happy to tell the universe of their Saviour's powers used during the time of trouble.

It is the song of Moses and the Lamb - a song of deliverance. None but the hundred and forty-four thousand can learn that song; for it is the song of their translation experience - an experience such as no other company have ever had.

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3. They were "not defiled with women", which tells us that they have kept a pure faith and followed the leading of Jesus while they were here on earth. Although they were in various churches they never looked for salvation because of church membership, or allowed the church to control their lives. They lived by every word...

Now, while our great High Priest is making the atonement for us, we should seek to become perfect in Christ. Not even by a thought could our Saviour be brought to yield to the power of temptation. Satan finds in human hearts some point where he can gain a foothold; some sinful desire is cherished, by means of which his temptations assert their power. But Christ declared of Himself: "The prince of this world comes, and has nothing in Me." John 14:30. Satan could find nothing in the Son of God that would enable him to gain the victory. He had kept His Father's commandments, and there was no sin in Him that Satan could use to his advantage. This is the condition in which those must be found who shall stand in the time of trouble.

It is in this life that we are to separate sin from us, through faith in the atoning blood of Christ. Our precious Saviour invites us to join ourselves to Him, to unite our weakness to His strength, our ignorance to His wisdom, our unworthiness to His merits. God's providence is the school in which we are to learn the meekness and lowliness of Jesus. The Lord is ever setting before us, not the way we would choose, which seems easier and pleasanter to us, but the true aims of life. It rests with us to co-operate with the agencies which Heaven employs in the work of conforming our characters to the divine model. None can neglect or defer this work but at the most fearful peril to their souls.

These, having been translated from the earth, from among the living and not from their graves, are counted as "the first fruits to God and to the Lamb."

In chapter 7 we were told, "These are they which came out of great tribulation." They have passed through the time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation; they have endured the anguish of the time of Jacob's trouble; they have stood without an intercessor through the final outpouring of God's judgments. But they have been delivered, for they have "washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."

"In their mouth was found no guile [deceit]: for they are without fault" before God.

"Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sits on the throne shall dwell among them."

They have seen the earth wasted with famine and pestilence, the sun having power to scorch men with great heat, and they themselves have endured suffering, hunger, and thirst. But:-

"They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them to living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes."

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4. This first "angel" is the first of seven, only six of which are mentioned in the chapter.

The everlasting gospel and the other gospels

Matthew 4:23 Jesus preached the gospel

And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.

Mark.16.15 The "gospel" is preached on earth to sinful beings.

And He said to them, Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believes not shall be damned.

Luke 9:6

And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing everywhere.

This angel's message is declared to be a part of "the everlasting gospel" (the angel HAS the gospel, but his message is something else), and it is given separately. The work of preaching the gospel, or teaching about the life and death of Jesus, has not been committed to angels, but has been entrusted to men and women as we see in the above verses. Holy angels have been employed in directing the work, they have been in charge of the great movements for the salvation of men; but the actual proclamation of the gospel is performed by the servants of Christ upon the earth. Earthly "Philips" and "Philippas" must go to "Ethiopian enquirers".

However, these "angels" and their messages refer to the great calls which have been in the past, are now, and will be in the future, given by the Christians to their fellow humans in the "time of the end". All those who have ever worked for Jesus have given the "everlasting " gospel, for it has been proclaimed from the beginning as its name suggests. But for each generation there has been a special message, sometimes called "the present truth" (another "gospel" or message of good news), for which they are particularly responsible.

In this verse this "present truth" is in the words of the angel and he calls his listeners back to a creator God in a world that believes strongly in the theory of evolution.

The message also warns that the time of the judgment is here, and we have seen that this is true from our study of the book of Daniel.

The first proclamation of this warning was during the advent movement of 1833-1844. It was given then, and has been given by other generations since then. But, as we have seen in chapter ten, after John had "eaten" the little book of Daniel, he was told that he (the representative of God's people on earth at that time) would have to "prophesy again". This was obviously to be in a different way and would include all the details of what has happened in professed Christian circles since the first time the warning was given. In other words, up to today.

A terrible condition of the religious world will then be described, for with every rejection of truth the minds of the leaders in the churches have become darker, hearts more stubborn, until they are practically entrenched in an infidel hardihood and cannot be moved. As it was in the days of Jesus, there will be few, very few, of the professing Christian ministers and priests who will be able to make the transition into the truth.

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5. Jeremiah 50:29-32 Jeremiah foresaw the fall of literal Babylon

Call together the archers against Babylon: all you that bend the bow, camp against it round about; let none thereof escape: recompense her according to her work; according to all that she has done, do to her: for she has been proud against the LORD, against the Holy One of Israel.

Therefore shall her young men fall in the streets, and all her men of war shall be cut off in that day, says the LORD.

Behold, I am against you, O you most proud, says the Lord GOD of hosts: for your day is come, the time that I will visit you. And the most proud shall stumble and fall, and none shall raise him up: and I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it shall devour all round about him.

The Spirit has told us that "Babylon" is a name He has used to describe the Protestant religious system which fell in 1844. Now He is telling us that all those churches which follow that system of Sunday worship are no longer safe places to be. As their leaders refused to receive the first angel's message at that time, and clung to the theory of evolution, they rejected the light from heaven and fell from the protection of God. They trusted to their own strength, and by opposing the first message placed themselves where they could not see the light of the second angel's message. But the beloved of God have accepted the summons implicit in the cry, "Babylon is fallen", and many have come out of her back into the keeping of the commandments.

In a call which the Spirit alone can give, Jesus is telling them to "flee" into the mountains of safety, which will be with the little remnant which is heralding the truth. Those who hear the word of God will do so, and quickly.

As the plans of Satan mature, and more and more emphasis is placed on Sunday, so the call will become progressively more urgent. But remember that Jesus told us to not to wait till it may be too late!

Jeremiah 51:6-10 We have a call to come out

Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the LORD'S vengeance; He will render to her a recompense. Babylon has been a golden cup in the LORD's hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunk of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.

Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed. We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country: for her judgment reaches to heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies. The LORD has brought forth our righteousness: come, and let us declare in Zion [on Mount Sion] the work of the LORD our God.

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6. Although the mark of the dragon/beast is positive worship of him on the sun's day, some assume that any who follow a religious way on that day must have his "mark". But, this "mark" is to be enforced by civil law, and therefore Christians, who are told to be obedient to the civil powers will at first obey them. Only those who, knowing the difference between Sabbath and Sunday, accept Sunday as their religious day and, at the same time, refuse to honour Sabbath can be said to have the "mark" right now.

Romans 13:1-5 The state is the minister of God on earth

Let every soul be subject to the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whoever therefore resists the power, resists the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil... for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath [punishment] upon him that does evil. Wherefore you must needs be subject, not only for wrath [fear of punishment], but also for conscience sake [because you follow God's word].

EVERY law made by a civil authority can be kept by a conscientious Christian, including those which APPEAR to be religious about Sunday.

When Daniel was examined by the hard-hearted Sunday-keepers of Babylon, he was found to be without "any error or fault". This was because he was keeping ALL their laws at that time. They are recorded as saying, "We shall not find ANY occasion against this Daniel except we find it against him concerning the law of his God." Only when God's religious conditions were prohibited by statute did he ignore what was then an unlawful law.

The requirement to abstain from work on Sunday is not an exaltation of that day, but a prohibition of secular work. This the "king" has a right to ask, for it is a physical thing, just as we may be asked not to mow a lawn on Sunday because it disturbs those who wish to have a quiet day. Or not to hang out the washing in our neighbour’s view.

This is not to keep the day of the sun, but to "Love our neighbour".

It is a positive religious law that we may ignore, not a negative one. Only when we are commanded to "bow down" may we safely and confidently refuse, knowing that our Protector is with us. It is when they attack the Sabbath that we can appeal to God.

Psalm 119:126

It is time for You, LORD, to work: for they have made void Your law.

Therefore, when the people are moved by a power from beneath to enforce Sunday observance, Sabbath-keepers are to show their wisdom by refraining from their ordinary work on that day, devoting it to missionary effort instead. This may even include holding religious meetings on that day as well as Sabbath.

To defy the Sunday laws at that time will but strengthen in their persecution the religious zealots who are seeking to enforce them. Give them no occasion to call you a lawbreaker, even of secular laws, for our defence in court will be that we must keep the Law of God. Acts 5:29. Keep right on with your missionary work, with your Bible in your hands, and the enemy will see that he has worsted his own cause. One does not receive the mark of the beast because he shows that he realizes the wisdom of keeping the peace by refraining from work that gives offence, doing at the same time a work of the highest importance.

I repeat, because this so important, refraining from secular work on Sunday is NOT necessarily to receive the mark of the beast; and where this ceasing to work will advance the interests of the truth, it should be done. We should not go out of our way to perform secular work on Sunday where it is prohibited.

It is when the Sabbath must be disregarded that we should take our stand for religious freedom.

This is not to say that we should not agitate the question of legality of these laws, even before they are made. This we must do for the benefit of those who do not see as clearly as ourselves. It is our duty to do all in our power to avert the threatened danger to them. A vast responsibility rests upon men and women of prayer to petition the Lord that God may be able to sweep back this cloud of evil, and give a few more years of grace to work for the salvation of others.

There are many who are at ease, who are, as it were, asleep. They say, "If prophecy has foretold the enforcement of Sunday observance, the law will surely be enacted;" and having come to this conclusion, they sit down in calm expectation of the event, comforting themselves with the thought that God will protect His people in the day of trouble.

But God will not be able to save us if we have made no effort to do the work He has committed to our charge. We must be found faithfully guarding the outposts, watching as vigilant soldiers, lest Satan shall gain an advantage which it is our duty to prevent. We should diligently study the word of God, and pray in faith that God will be able to restrain the powers of darkness; for as yet the message has gone to comparatively few, and the world is to be lightened with its glory. The present truth - the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus - has not yet been sounded as it must be. There are many almost within the shadow of our own doors, for whose salvation from sin no personal effort has ever been made that they may choose knowingly. We are not prepared for the time when our work must close.

We personally must take a firm and public stand that we will not reverence the first day of the week as the Sabbath, for it is not the day that was blessed and sanctified by the LORD, and in reverencing Sunday we should place ourselves on the side of the great deceiver. If we do this, then the controversy over the false sabbath will open the subject to those people we have contact with, and an opportunity will be given that the claims of the genuine Sabbath may be presented. Blindness, disloyalty to God, so prevails today that His law is made void but many are still doing this in ignorance. It is for their sake that the "war" must be fought.

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7. "without mixture" = This is for those who have made their choice and will not accept mercy or forgiveness.

"tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels." This will also be in the presence of the Lamb and all the redeemed, and those who know the mind of God regarding His enemies will know that this is none of His doing. He has "no pleasure in them that die" (Ezekiel 33:11) and is terribly hurt by the sight of His children perishing without wanting to be saved.

"for ever and ever" is a Biblical term which means for as long as the subject in question shall last.

Psalm 21:1-4 David died and is waiting for the resurrection

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

The king shall joy in Your strength, O LORD; and in Your salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!

You have given him his heart's desire, and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah.

For You meet him with the blessings of goodness: You set a crown of pure gold on his head. He asked life of You, and You gave it him, even length of days for ever and ever.

Acts 2:29 Peter tells us that was not permanent

Men and brethren, let me freely speak to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us to this day.

Jonah 2:6 Jonah thought he was there forever

I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever [while in the fish’s belly]: yet have You brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God.

Isaiah 57:19-21 This is a continuing of their normal feeling

I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, says the LORD; and I will heal him. But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, says my God, to the wicked.

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8. Christ said to His disciples:

Matthew 10:16

"Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be you therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."

Satan's attacks against the advocates of the truth will wax more bitter and determined to the very close of time. As in Christ's day the chief priests and rulers stirred up the people against Him, so today the religious leaders will excite bitterness and prejudice against the truth for this time. The people will be led to acts of violence and opposition which they would never have thought of had they not been brainwashed with the animosity of professed Christian leaders against the truth.

What course shall the advocates of truth pursue? They have the unchangeable, eternal word of God, and they should reveal the fact that they have the truth as it is in Jesus. Their words must not be rugged and sharp. In their presentation of truth they must manifest the love and meekness and gentleness of Christ. Let the truth do the cutting; the word of God is as a sharp, two-edged sword and will cut its way to the heart. Those who know that they have the truth should not, by the use of harsh and severe expressions, give Satan one chance to misinterpret their spirit to the people of the world.

As a people we must stand as did the world's Redeemer. When in controversy with Satan in regard to the body of Moses, Christ dared not bring against him an accusation. Jude 9. He had every provocation to do this, and Satan was disappointed because he could not arouse in Christ a spirit of retaliation. Satan was ready to misinterpret everything that was done by Jesus; and the Saviour would give him no occasion, not the semblance of an excuse. He would not turn from His straightforward course of truth in order to follow the wanderings and twistings and turnings and prevarications of Satan.

The angel says, "Here". Just where is here? It is in the experience which can be gained by following Jesus by faith (through the words of the Bible) into the second apartment of the heavenly sanctuary. It is in knowing what He is doing and what He would like to do. The first apartment was concerned with forgiveness and cleansing from the daily sins - the second deals with ceasing to sin and being totally cleansed.

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8a. The missing angel, the fourth, is recorded in chapter eighteen for reasons which will be explained when we get there, but I have copied his words into this chapter for continuity. They obviously belong in this context also, for their message explains that the work is complete before the second coming, and that event is portrayed in verse 14 of this chapter.

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9. Another mighty angel is now commissioned to descend to the earth, to unite his voice with the three former angels, and give power and force to their messages. This means that a great impetus will be given to the people who are already sounding the truth on earth.

Great power and glory were imparted to this angel, and as he descends, the whole earth is lightened with his glory. The light which attends this angel penetrates everywhere, as he cries mightily, with a strong voice,

Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird [vultures etc.].

The message of the fall of Babylon (the Protestant churches of the world), which has been given by the saints of God since 1844, is going to be repeated in the form of "GREAT" Babylon, with the additional mention of the corruptions which have been entering all the religions of the world since 1844. Not just professed Christianity, but every religion is covered by this message, for all are following Baal. The work of this angel comes in at the right time to join in the last great work of the three angels' messages as they swell to a loud cry. And the people of God in whatever religion they may be in, will thus be prepared to stand in the hour of temptation, which they are soon to meet, for the next few verses detail the second coming. A great light will rest upon the saints, and they will unite to fearlessly proclaim the third angel's message.

The second "war" has begun!

Voices will seem to sound everywhere as the Spirit calls, "Come out of her, My people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities."

This message seems to be an addition to the third message, joining it as the midnight cry joined the second angel's message in 1844. The glory of God will rest upon the patient, waiting saints, and they will fearlessly give the last solemn warning, proclaiming the fall of great Babylon.

The light that is to be shed upon the waiting ones will penetrate everywhere, and those in the churches who have any light, who have not heard and rejected the three messages, will obey the call and leave the fallen religions.

The time is near when Jesus will say,

Isaiah 26:20-21

Come, My people, enter you into your chambers, and shut your doors about you: hide yourself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be past. For, behold, the Lord comes 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.

Men and women who claim to be Christians may now defraud and oppress the poor; they may rob the widow and fatherless; they may indulge their Satanic hatred because they cannot control the consciences of God's people; but for all this God will bring them into judgment. Their profession, their prayers, and their exhortations are an abomination in the sight of God.

They "shall have judgment without mercy" that have "showed no mercy." James 2:13.

Not long after this call goes out they will stand before the Judge of all the earth, to render an account for the pain they have caused to the bodies and souls of His heritage. They may now indulge in false accusations, they may deride those whom God has appointed to do His work, they may consign His believing ones to prison, to the chain gang, to banishment, to death; but for every pang of anguish, every tear shed, they must answer. God will reward them double for their sins. Concerning Babylon, the symbol of the apostate church, He says to His ministers of judgment,

Revelation 18:5-6

Her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double to her double according to her works: in the cup which she has filled fill to her double.

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10. Who are these? God’s specified people – those who on this earth have witnessed to their loyalty. Who are they? Those who have kept the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ; those who have owned the Crucified One as their Saviour.

From this time onwards (from when the third angel joined the other two) they are being told that they may go to their graves in peace knowing that as they have talked of the second advent, and lived the public Christian life keeping the Sabbath, they will be there to see their Friend in His greatest moment.

We have read about this experience in the book of Daniel. Just before Christ arrives out in space for the second advent, graves will be opened, and "many [but not all] of them that sleep in the dust of the earth. . . awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." Daniel 12:2. This is not the first general resurrection, but a "special" one for all who have died in the faith of the three angels’ messages, and also for the greatest of the opposers. The saints will come forth from the tomb glorified, to hear God's covenant of peace with those who have kept His law and to witness the coming of Jesus.

John 5:28-29 Two different fates from one resurrection

[Jesus said] Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, to the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation.

"They also which pierced Him" (Revelation 1:7), those that mocked and derided Christ's dying agonies, and the most violent opposers of His truth and His people, are also to be raised to behold Him in His glory and to see the honour placed upon the loyal and obedient.

Matthew 26:62-64 A promise to the wicked

And the high priest [Caiaphas] arose, and said to Him, Answer You nothing? what is it which these witness against You? But Jesus held His peace.

And the high priest answered and said to Him, I adjure you by the living God, that You tell us whether You be the Christ, the Son of God.

Jesus said to him, You have said: nevertheless I say to you, Hereafter shall you see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

How appropriate are the words spoken to John in the case of our loved ones who sleep in Jesus. The Lord loved them, and the words spoken and the labours they performed in love, will be remembered and rewarded.

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11. The occasion the whole universe has been waiting for has arrived! The Son of God has left His Father's house and come to the earth to collect His human "bride" because it is the next level in the wedding ceremonies. (Literal weddings in Israel could last up to a week, Judges 14:12, and in this one the city has been standing in as the bride. Revelation 21:2). Now it is His plan to take "her" (the physical ones) back to His Father's house for the final stages of the wedding. Those Christians who are alive are to be "redeemed from among men" (and not from the grave) as her bridesmaids, the special attendants.

Revelation 19:6-8 Now the Christians are the "bride"

And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigns. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

Let us imagine that scene with the knowledge we have gained in our readings so far.

Our eyes will be drawn to the east, for a small black cloud has appeared, about half as large as a man's hand, which we all know is the sign of the Son of man. We will in solemn silence gaze on the cloud as it draws nearer and becomes lighter, glorious, and still more glorious, till it is a great white cloud.

The bottom appears like fire; a rainbow is over the cloud, while around it are ten thousand angels, singing a most lovely song; and upon it sits the Son of man. His hair is white and curly and lies on His shoulders; and upon His head are many crowns. His feet have the appearance of fire; in His right hand is a sharp sickle; in His left, a silver trumpet.

His eyes are as a flame of fire, which searches His children through and through. Then all faces will become pale, but the faces of those that have rejected God will become black with sorrow because He has "won".

Then the living saints will all cry out, "Who shall be able to stand? Is my robe spotless?" See Revelation 6:17; Ephesians 5:27. Then the angels will cease to sing, and there will be some time of awful silence, after which Jesus will speak: "Those who have clean hands and pure hearts shall be able to stand; My grace is sufficient for you." Psalm 24:4.

At this our faces will light up, and joy will fill every heart. And the angels will strike a note higher and sing again, while the cloud draws still nearer the earth to eventually stop and wait...

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12. Just as the other four angels have been pictures of men and women giving messages to their fellowmen, so the last three are the same. However, this angel, who comes from the temple of God, speaks only to his Elder Brother (Jesus) and asks Him to resurrect the sleeping saints.

He represents the 144,000 living Christians who have spent the last years of their lives close by Him in the second apartment of the sanctuary.

See List of Articles about the Cleansing of the Sanctuary.

His "crying with a loud voice" is a picture of the fact that they have lived the Christian life as God intended it to be lived, and are now pleading with Him to use that fact to bring about the resurrection.

Hebrews 11:39-40

And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

What does God require? Perfection, nothing less than perfection. He has always wanted that.

Matthew 5:48 Jesus told us

Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Genesis 6:9 It is said of Noah

These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

Genesis 17:1 Jesus asked it of Abraham

And when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said to him, I am the Almighty God; walk before Me, and be you perfect.

There are many such verses which I don’t intend to quote.

But sadly, He has had to wait and wait for those who would believe Him and stay perfect! There is a discipline to it - if we would be continually perfect, we must put no confidence in self. Continually we must know and understand that self is not to be trusted. Our own ideas will never finish the work. We need to grasp God’s promises with firm faith. We need to ask for the power of the Holy Spirit with a full realisation of our own helplessness. Then, when the Holy Spirit works we shall not give self the glory. The Holy Spirit will graciously take our heart into His keeping, bringing to it all the bright beams of the Sun of righteousness. We shall be kept by the power of God through faith. It is when we are daily under the control of God’s Spirit that we shall be commandment-keeping people.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 The reality of it

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep [in death], that you sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will [the Son of] God bring with Him [in His mind].

For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [precede] them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

 

Song of Solomon 2:10-14 The call of Jesus to His saints

My Beloved spoke, and said to me, Rise up, My love, My fair one, and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle[dove] is heard in our land.

The fig tree puts forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, My love, My fair one, and come away.

O My dove, that is in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let Me see your countenance, let Me hear your voice; for sweet is your voice, and your countenance is comely [beautiful].

All this is the first harvest. There is a second in the next few verses. But you will have noticed that when the resurrected saints are "caught up" with the translated ones, they all go up to the clouds, to meet the Lord "in the air". Jesus does NOT touch the ground at any time during this advent. (It is Satan who tries to fool the people of the world by appearing on earth looking like Jesus before the real advent).

Jesus waits out in space to be joined by His "wife" and then retreats into heaven to His Father's house [the heavenly sanctuary] for the last of the ceremonies. This will take a little time as we will see in a later chapter, so there is a time break between verse 16 and verse 17.

 

The question on everyone's lips

Psalm 24:3-6 Who will go to heaven?

Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in His holy place?

He [or she] that has clean hands, and a pure heart; who has not lifted up his [or her] soul to vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He [or she] shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of their salvation. This is the generation of them that seek Him, that seek Your face, O [God of] Jacob. Selah.

 

The calls as the procession approaches heaven

The redeemed call

Lift up your heads, O you gates; and be you lift up, you everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

The gate-keepers reply

Who is this King of glory?

The redeemed answer

The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.

Lift up your heads, O you gates; even lift them up, you everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

The gate-keepers ask again

Who is this King of glory?

The redeemed shout back

The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory! Selah.

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13. As we have seen, each of these angels represents humans doing a work for God, and this is no exception. The second resurrection, that of the rejecters of God's mercy, depends on humanity working for humanity. This angel represents the redeemed from this earth acting on a decision they have made during their "time" spent with Jesus in heaven.

When this time break has ended, the sixth angel comes out of the heavenly temple bearing a sharp sickle. It is his job to resurrect the second harvest. Of course, he has no power to do this, only a God can actually do it, but the angel is pictured here as having the ability to do it (the sickle). The power will be supplied by Jesus as with all our "talents", but He wants His people to know the what and the why and the how of the "resurrection of damnation".

John 5:28-29 Jesus said

Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, to the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation.

But the angel does not immediately do what he is equipped to do. He waits.....

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14. We have met this group before when the fifth seal on the book was opened.

Revelation 6:9-10

And when he had opened the fifth seal, 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, do You not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

Burning at the stake is associated in our minds with many martyrdoms, and therefore the Spirit uses mastery over fire as an identifier of this special band of Christians. It is these people that the sixth angel waits for. He waits for their OK before resurrecting the ones who have been their executioners, as well as all the other rejecters of grace. Not until ALL the Christians have agreed on a common purpose can this resurrection take place.

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15. Now that the martyrs have stepped forward as represented by the seventh angel and asked the sixth one to do his work, the second resurrection, that of the "wicked", takes place. Notice he does not gather just the "grapes", but also the "vine" they have grown on. This is a picture of Satan and his followers as the instigators of sin.

The vision goes on to tell us that the "vine" is cast into the "winepress" of God's "wrath" and is destroyed, along with the last harvest, in front of the city, New Jerusalem. We will see what this means in a later chapter.

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