I realize that there are many who will come here first because they think they can quickly grasp the essence of what is presented in this blog in a single “read”. The sad part is that most of you of this mind will quickly get the concept, but you will still miss the revelation of Jesus Christ himself to your very heart and soul – and what have you understood if you have missed that? May God help you because you don’t realize how desperately you really are in need of his help! Never the less, I provide this overview for those who have or desire the heart of a true and faithful servant of Jesus Christ; and I pray for mercy upon the rest of you.
The reality is that no writing or any human mortal’s comprehension can fully take in or explain the “Revelation of Jesus Christ”. “God” is just too huge of a subject! This is why the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:8-10 “Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” So you must understand that this blog is just one person’s best attempt to explain, and that unlike a typical blog, I will from time to time go back and further edit an entry or a page. The Apostle John put it this way: “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” (John 21:25) My hope and prayer is that my efforts in this blog will be a blessing and a spiritual help to those who seek him with a humble and true heart.
Here’s a link to a very high overview of Revelation in a presentation format (both as a Google doc, and in PDF format.
The rest here below is my best attempt at a brief, but much more detailed overview than provided in the presentation above:
Chapter 1 – Jesus Revealed
If you read the “Introduction” web page on this blog (please read it if you haven’t), it goes over much of the first chapter of Revelations. In the beginning we see John, a faithful servant of the Lord and a “brother, and companion in tribulation”, on the Island of Patmos due to being persecuted “for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” In this seemingly dark situation (it is interesting that even history tells us that those who where banished to Patmos were forced to work in the dark cave mines there) Jesus Christ himself suddenly breaks in on him while John is in the Spirit of worship. Note: our attitude towards God in our circumstances of life is important. We can either be giving thanks through Jesus Christ (even in the bad times) or we can become bitter and a complainer. One in bitter circumstances can cry out to Jesus for help and he will have mercy. But be careful you don’t do it with a bitter, self-righteous attitude; for Jesus will not reveal himself in a pleasant way to that person.
Jesus first reveals his worthiness, glory, and majesty to John. Jesus shows John that he is still the “prince of the kings of the earth.” (Revelations 1:5) In spite of what persecutions had been brought against the church, and the many fakes that had already broken away from the church with their false doctrines, Jesus is still King of kings and Lord of lords. Jesus’ will is still being fulfilled and people are being allowed to make their choice. But they will still give account for their choices in their end where “every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” (Romans 14:11)
Then John is instructed to write down “the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be herafter” (Rev 1:19). This is so that the true servants of Jesus Christ can receive it and be encouraged to be faithful and true. Jesus very specifically instructs John who he wants the message sent to, and in so doing he further describes his faithful servants. It is those whom he himself is among: his church, and his faithful message bearers or angels. The word angel in the original means “message bearer” and these include those people who God has called to preach his message. God has always used men and women who stay totally within his control (Rev 1:20 says those “in my right hand”) to deliver his true Gospel message to other people.
Jesus identifies 7 churches (whom he also identifies as “candlesticks” or 7 lamps of the one candlestick – representing the same candlestick that was in the Old Testament Tabernacle) and he instructs John to send the Revelation message to the church located at: Ephesus(1), Smyrna(2), Pergamos(3), Thyatira(4), Sardis(5), Philadelphia(6), and Laodicea(7).
Chapters 2 & 3 – “To the Messenger Feeding the church…”
He then delivers a very specific message to each angel/messenger responsible for feeding the church and precedes each message with: “I know thy works” a statement declaring that he perfectly understands where they are spiritually, and he ends each message with this exact same warning: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
It is very clear that Revelations is a spiritual message and that without the Spirit of God you will not be able to receive it. So it behooves the reader to examine themselves to understand their spiritual condition and whether they have been obedient to God so that they are in a position for God’s Spirit to abide with them. “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” (John 14:15-17)
The whole Bible (including Revelations) is relevant to God’s true servants in every age of time. The Revelation message was sent to those specific congregations located in those 7 cities, and the part addressed to each exactly identified their spiritual condition and need at that time. But, like the whole Bible, the Revelation message is relevant to the spiritual conditions and needs of the church in every age of time. And finally, the Revelation message is still very relevant, and addresses the spiritual conditions and needs of the church today.
7 Church Ages of the Gospel Day
So understand, that the Revelation message identifies not only 7 churches of Asia, but it also lays-out or identifies 7 church ages of the “Gospel day”, or the period of time from when Christ first was born and established the Gospel, until the time of the final end of this world. This may not seem as apparent at first look, but as the message is studied and preached from a spiritual context, it becomes very clear that there have been periods of time throughout “Gospel day” history that these particular spiritual “7 churches of Asia” conditions and needs especially were in existence. There has been an “Ephesus church Age” and a “Smyrna church Age”, etc. where a particular spiritual condition and need prevailed. They can and are applied this way today as a lesson to help us to see and understand how spiritual conditions came into being in the past and how true servants of God were able to overcome them – just like how the Apostle Paul explained to the Corinthians how they could also learn from a record of past spiritual conditions: “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. (1 Corinthians 10:11-12)
Now that is not to say that only that spiritual condition existed then, because the whole Bible, including Revelations, is for every age of time so that everyone can have the spiritual understanding they need at any time. The whole Bible is for the benefit of every person in every age of time; and by the Spirit of God, God has always had a true ministry that, to the best of their understanding at that time, applied the spiritual lessons of all the Word of God they knew. (When someone takes it outside of a revelation of spiritual conditions, and starts focusing more on literal things and events: that’s what can bring confusion.) And to take it another step further, to one who is especially familiar with the battles that the church has faced in these latter days, all these “7 churches of Asia” spiritual conditions have raised up again and they must be addressed if we are to stay on course with the true servants of Jesus Christ, the true church of God! Yes, the whole Revelation of Jesus Christ is especially relevant to our needs today!
In the sixth church, Philadelphia, Jesus tells them “I have set before the an open door, and no man can shut it.” But in the next church age, Laodicea, we see another door that is shut, that Jesus is knocking on, asking them to open. A ministry who feels so self confident that they have closed their hearts. Jesus says: you must open to me, to overcome.
So to overcome, we must again today open our hearts. Then like John, we will next see that the door Jesus opened in Philadelphia, is still open!
“Sau đó, tôi nhìn xem, và kìa, một cánh cửa trên trời đã mở ra: và tiếng đầu tiên tôi nghe như tiếng kèn nói chuyện với tôi; mà nói rằng, Hãy đến cho đến nay, và tôi sẽ xem cho bạn những điều mà sau này phải có. " ~ Khải Huyền 4: 1
Chapter 4 – In the Spirit of Worship Around the Throne of God
After the specific address to each church, we find John still in the Spirit of worship; consequently he finds himself able to join in with an innumerable company of angels around the throne of God worshiping. Now John did not lose his humanity, he was able to be “in the Spirit” just as true worshipers can be in every age of time – according to the scriptures: “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect” (Hebrews 12:22-23)
Chapter 5 – The Lamb of God
While “in the Spirit” John has it revealed to him that only the “Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29) has the ability to open up understanding in the Word of God by removing the 7 seals on the book in “the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.” Only by the blood of the Lamb washing away our sins can we be “born again” and then have a new set of spiritual eyes that can see and understand deep spiritual things. This is why Jesus told one of the most scripturally educated men of that time “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) Seeing the true “kingdom of God” has a lot to do with what Revelations is about: it is all about Jesus’ kingdom, and not ours. Oh what a sad, sad revelation to many people! This is why so many do not even have a desire to sincerely look into it.
You will notice in Revelations chapters 4 and 5 that where people are in a true Spirit of worship around the throne of God where only God and his son, the Lamb of God are being worshiped, that you don’t see: big-time preachers, many religions, divided up churches, nor many doctrines being presented. Because when everyone has truly given their heart to God and are only seeking and worshiping him you will find: “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6) This is because fake worshipers and false religious doctrines cannot stand before the actual presence of the Almighty God: “Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.” (Psalms 1:5)
Chapter 6 – The Lamb of God Opens the 7 Seals
So then, Jesus, the Lamb of God, starts opening the seals on the book and immediately we see not only the true King of kings going forth “conquering, and to conquer”, but we also see there is a war going on against other opposing forces. The horses and their riders represent kingdoms going forth to battle. But these are not literal kingdoms as people typically think of because Revelations is a spiritual book describing spiritual battles.
So what is at stake in these battles? The most valuable things that exist on the face of the earth: the hearts (who they are devoted to) and the very eternal souls of people! While the devil may use earthly kingdoms and countries to get his dirty work done, that is just a “means to an end”. Make no mistake about it; the ultimate purpose is to own the heart and soul of individuals. In complete love and devotion to us, the Lord Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price to purchase your fully devoted love and the salvation of your soul. The devil has used, and is using every sensual temptation and deceptive teaching to keep you from being won to Christ, or to pull you down from being faithful to him. Do you know what side of the battle are you on today? Are you completely faithful to Jesus?
What is always one of the results of any war? Persecutions and casualties. In a true Christian spiritual warfare it is the persecution and the killing of those who are faithfully devoted to Jesus Christ (for true Christians never have gone out with literal swords and guns to kill and destroy those who do not believe like them.) Persecutions against true Christians is exactly what has gone on during much of the Gospel day, the “day” that started when Christ first came to earth.
The Fifth Seal
So the first four seals being opened reveal to us much about how this spiritual battle has worked during the Gospel day – and then the fifth seal shows the result of these battles: “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, 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 fellow-servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” (Revelations 6:9-11) Note: many historical books have been written documenting these persecutions that have been perpetrated against Christians. Perhaps the most common one known is the “Fox’s Book of Martyrs”.
Additionally we need to see two more very important things shown us in the fifth seal because God’s way of doing things and of revealing things is different than how we may think they should be done. But God’s way is perfect and is way higher than ours.
First, we see from Revelations 6:11 that the persecution of true Christians is a fulfillment of prophesy. God knew it would happen, and in spite of what evil people and evil religious leaders thought they were accomplishing for their own agenda, God’s will was done. The true love for his Son, Jesus Christ, was shown as faithful and true in the lives of those who were persecuted and killed. Additionally, this testimony of the faithful was a powerful witness against those who persecuted them and it provides the way for other souls to witness the great light and difference of the grace of God in the lives of the persecuted compared to the miserable selfishness of the persecutors.
Second, like the worshipers around the throne of God in Revelations chapters 4 and 5, we also do not see under the Altar of Sacrifice: big time popular preachers, nor do we see people arguing and fighting over their favorite doctrine or agenda. But rather we see “the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held” (Revelations 6:9). They held the testimony of Jesus Christ, not their own agenda or purpose. Sincere, personal sacrifice has always been a key part of true worship, and it cannot be done with division and a hateful attitude against another. “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.” (Matthew 5:23-24)
Due to the withholding of the Bible during the Dark Ages, and the lack of education that prevailed among most, many did not have the opportunity to know allot about all the teachings and doctrines of the Bible. Never the less, many still knew Jesus Christ and his great love for them through the free gift of salvation. There may not be great doctrinal knowledge, but there is no division at the altar of full self-sacrificial love! We desperately need more self-sacrificial love being offered on the spiritual Altar of Sacrifice today. Too many have the knowledge, but not the sacrificial love. You will never produce unity by just gathering people around doctrines and concepts, no matter how correct they are. You must also lead them to gather at the altar of sacrificial love!
The Sixth Seal
It was the revelation of sacrificial love shown forth by the opening of the fifth seal that inspired true Christians when the Lamb of God opened the sixth seal. It was time for all true Christians to abandon the religious creeds that men had created over the ages and to worship God on the throne in true unity of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. In the late 1800s and early 1900s this actually began to take place, and the true church of God gathered together and became very visible to those with any spiritual discernment. When true Christians do this, God is highly honored and he causes things to happen that only he can do. This is why In the sixth seal we see things happening that only an Almighty God can do: a great earthquake, the sun becoming black, the moon becoming blood, the stars of heaven falling, mighty winds, heavens rolling together, and islands and mountains being moved. These are all spiritual descriptions of the moving of God’s Spirit upon the “earthly” spiritual conditions of people. (There is so much more to this that cannot possibly be covered in an “overview” so you’ll have to wait for the individual blog posts to start covering this.) But most important in the sixth seal: “the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Revelations 6:17) The time for God to start anointing a true ministry to preach against and expose the false doctrines and churches of men that have worked to persecute and kill the life and influence of Jesus’ true and faithful servants!
Chapter 7 – Worshiping Around the Throne of God
The ultimate result we see by the opening of the sixth seal is we see the throne of God again, and the true worshipers, the servants of Jesus Christ worshiping there!
“And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.” (Revelations 7:13-15)
Chapter 8 – Silence in Heaven
But alas! When the Lamb of God opens the final seventh seal there is “silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.” (Revelations 8:1) The silence is not people being silent, but rather the spiritual silence that comes when God is not causing the spiritual: earthquakes, thunder, hail storms, etc. When in general there is a let down in: sacrificial love, whole-hearted worship, and brokenness of heart for the lost, etc. – then lukewarmness in general is setting in and God is not being honored as he should. There is a need for an awakening, or a revival! Only God can do this, and he will not until he sees his people gathering together with an earnest burden again, at the Altar of Sacrifice.
Bàn thờ tế lễ
And so we see in Revelations 8:2 a ministry of 7 trumpet angels, or message bearers, with the purpose to warn and gather the people together. (In the Old Testament the trumpets were used by the priests to warn the people, and to cause them to gather together.) Then in Revelations 8:3 we see that “all saints” were gathered in prayer for the evening sacrifice. I am speaking spiritually now. The language in Revelations uses symbols and practices of the Old Testament worship so that we can compare spiritual conditions with the spiritual type in the Old Testament. This enables us to understand not only the message, but also what must happen to meet the need!
In the Old Testament there was the “morning sacrifice” and the “evening sacrifice”, and both were very important to the spirituality of Israel, and both were done the same way. All the worshipers would gather together in prayer as the whole burnt offering was offered on the Altar of Sacrifice. It was a complete burnt offering, nothing withheld, just as God does not want any part of us and our lives withheld from his service and will. Once the fire had fully consumed the burnt offering, then the High Priest would take of the coals that remained and take them to the Golden Altar where they would be used to offer incense before the Lord. Incense represents a type of intercessory prayer going up before the Lord. And so it was very appropriate that while the people were gathered together in prayer for the morning and the evening sacrifice, that incense would be burned using the coals from a whole burnt offering.
Note: the Old Testament has recorded for us how God’s people overcame some terrible spiritual decays by properly and earnestly praying to God – at the time of the evening sacrifice. (see 1 Kings 18:29-41 và Ezra 9:1-10:4)
Now we should have some understanding as to what is greatly needed in the seventh seal age of time. The church again needs, in the Spirit of worship, to look back to the testimony of those in the fifth seal, under the Altar of Sacrifice, and see the ashes of the many sacrifices that have gone on before them. Then in this evening time of the Gospel Day, we need to gather at that same spiritual altar again for the evening sacrifice. (You do recall how in the morning time of the Gospel Day the saints gathered together for the morning sacrifice on the day of Pentecost – and spiritually the Holy Ghost fire fully consumed their whole burnt offering – them. Note: the time of day when the Holy Ghost was sent down on the day of Pentecost was 9am, or the third hour of the Jewish day, which was the time of the morning sacrifice: “For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.” Acts 2:15)
Now today, the great High Priest of our salvation, Jesus Christ, needs to be able to see that our offering (the offering of ourselves) has been fully consumed by the fire of the Holy Ghost so that our prayers can be offered together with the prayers of “all saints”, along with the incense out of Jesus’ hand upon the Golden Altar of intercessory prayer. Note: Revelations 8:3 states it is with the prayers of “all saints” because, you will recall, in the 5th seal we heard the loud and earnest prayers also going up from under the Altar of Sacrifice: “How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” ~ Revelation 6:10
So, it is especially the responsibility of the church in the seventh seal to trumpet out the full Revelation message. But this work cannot be accomplished unless Jesus Christ himself casts fire from off the altar into our earthen vessels – and then there will be “voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake” (Revelations 8:5) The silence will be broken! We cannot just educate people into this proper spiritual condition. People must with their whole heart want to spiritually gather at the altar of sacrificial love to intercede in prayer. The “voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake” are things only God can produce – we cannot just “work it up”. We must shake ourselves of our lukewarmness and:
“Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?” (Joel 1:17)
Does this mean that it is only in the seventh seal that the rest of Revelation is preached and revealed? No. Revelation, like the whole Bible is a Word given to us for all times. God has opened the understanding in Revelation in the past for what was needed to be revealed in that time. Unfortunately, there have been men who have taken what God has revealed and have added to it and taken away from it, and have taken glory to themselves for it – confusing poor souls. But regardless of what man has done, in the seventh seal there is an even greater responsibility to “trumpet” out the fullness of the Revelation message. To one familiar with the seven trumpets (sounded by the trumpet angels, or messengers) they will recognize that they each also further expose what has gone on spiritually during each of the seven “seal ages”. But they do not only apply to the past…
Need to Sound the Seven Trumpets
But why cover again the message concerning the spiritual battles and conditions of each age again? Well, God always does things for a reason. To one familiar with more of the detail of the message concerning the seven seals, they understand that the message exposes all the false religious conditions, doctrines and churches that raised up and split apart since the true Gospel and the one church of God was established first by Jesus Christ. By the preaching of Revelations (and the whole Bible) many people were able to take a stand for the truth of full salvation from sin and the one true church of God.
But, especially during the seventh seal, we have seen many of these exact same false spiritual conditions, doctrines and church split-offs happen right around where the church of God is named! Spiritually, what happened during the whole Gospel day, has all come to pass again. It has repeated the deception, hurt, persecution and division of many of the past centuries. This is because a false spirit is not bound by a church organization, or within a church organization. False spirits work through people, including those who “hang around” where the true servants of Jesus Christ worship. Consequently, the seven trumpets warning the people of God and calling them to gather together again is very appropriate. Revelation judgement and light must be sounded out again to free those bound up again in spiritual Babylon! Even when part of Babylon may call itself “the church of God.”
Ultimately, the defeat of spiritual Babylon (the spiritual harlot of Revelation chapter 17, or the unfaithful conditions of all the “so-called” Christian churches where the members still sin) and the freeing of any honest souls still left there, is what the Revelation message is about. The spirit of this condition especially represents those who at one time really knew Jesus by salvation, but have since backslidden in heart and are now only faking their love and faithfulness to Jesus!
Spiritual Babylon is also the representation of a city and kingdom that rises in opposition to destroy the spiritual city and kingdom of God, “the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelations 21:2) The Revelation of Jesus Christ shows that Jesus is still King of kings and Lord of lords, and his Word is final. He said he would deliver people out of doing sin, not in sin where they continue to do wrong. He also said there will be one church, one true bride of Christ, and that is still the way it is! Jesus gets his way; and so spiritual Babylon shall be fully exposed for what she is – a spiritual unfaithful harlot and evil city. Additionally, God will call any of his true servants that are bound up by the deception of spiritual Babylon, out of Babylon.
“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” (Revelation 18:4-5)
But to accomplish this exposure and the destruction of her deceptive stronghold, God has a plan that is methodically laid out in Revelation. In one sense, he has already executed a similar plan in the Old Testament, and that sets a pattern for what is done in Revelation.
Previous Plan: Defeat of Jericho
In the Old Testament, before the children of Israel could conquer and posses the promised land, they had to conquer the stronghold of Canaan, which was Jericho (the City of huge and mighty walls.) God provided a very specific plan for them to follow in order to cause the walls to come falling down so they could take the City. Here’s God’s plan that they followed:
- With the Arc of the Testament following, seven priests with trumpets sounding, and all the men of war, they marched once around the City of Jericho for six days (once each day)
- On the seventh day, they did the same thing, but this time they went around seven times in one day
- After the seventh time (on the seventh day) the seven priests would sound a final loud and long blast
- Then all the people shouted against the City walls, and the walls came falling down flat
- They were only to take precious metals of the City, everything else was to be destroyed and burned
Similar Plan: Defeat of Spiritual Babylon
Similar to the fall of Jericho, Revelation provides the following plan for people to get completely free today from Babylon’s deception and all her false doctrines and her blasphemous (disrespectful) religious church names, and the mark of the beast and the number of his name (or number of the beast, 666):
- Seven seals, one for each church age (or day) of the Gospel day, opened by the Lamb of God
- In the seventh seal, seven trumpets are sounded out by the seven trumpet angel messengers
- In the seventh trumpet, there is the announcement that “the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms or our Lord, and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15) and there was seen the Arc of the Testament – and all this was immediately followed by a long and loud message (blast) against the kingdoms of the beasts (including the mark of the beast – and the number of his name 666) – see Revelations 12 & 13
- Next in Revelation 14 we see the true people of God worshiping God (having their Father’s name in their foreheads,) and a mighty message angel (Jesus Christ) announcing “Babylon is fallen, is fallen…”
- Then in Revelation 15 and 16 we see the seven angel messengers with the seven last plagues, the vials filled with the wrath of God’s judgement which they pour out
- Upon completion of the pouring out of the vials of wrath of God’s judgement, there is the greatest spiritual earthquake that ever was and…
“the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.” (Revelations 16:19)
- Then Spiritual Babylon is thoroughly exposed (note: ancient Babylon also had huge walls, but today her huge walls are the bondage of deception), and then she is thrown down and burned for ever. (Revelation 17 & 18 ) “Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.” (Revelations 18:20)
The 7 Seals, which includes 7 Trumpets (in 7th seal), which includes 7 Vials of God’s Wrath (in the 7th trumpet) = “be fulfilled” or “come into being” or “it is done” or “be married”
It takes 7 seals, 7 trumpets, and 7 vials of God’s wrath to get the job done. If one of the vials is withheld, then the last trumpet is not complete because the 7 vials were poured out as part of the 7th trumpet judgment against the kingdoms of this world. If one of the trumpets is not complete, then the last 7th seal is not complete because the 7 trumpets were sounded in the 7th seal. Consequently if we don’t completely complete the plan, all three come up short and people do not get completely free as we may think. So instead of being “fulfilled” or “finished” (completely free from the ways of the deception of the beast and Babylon and free from the corrupted image – not having the image of Christ), they are instead marked as incomplete, or 666 (which reflects an incomplete number.) Please understand that the number 7 is used to symbolize “completeness” in many places in the Bible, especially the Old Testament. This is why it is even more important that the Revelation message is fully preached without mixture in these last days!
This is why when the seventh vial of God’s wrath (the final one) was poured out “there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.” (Revelation 16:17) This final vial was poured out “into the air” showing it was poured out on “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2) This clearly shows us that false and fake spiritual conditions are not bound to only a false organization. They can attempt to reside in the hearts of people who try to “hang around” right where the true servants of Jesus Christ worship.
Let’s look more completely at this scripture we just quoted in the epistle to the Ephesians:
“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” ~ Ephesians 2:1-3
If we do not deal with the carnal nature, we will eventually again find ourselves (with a religious cover) walking according to the prince of the power of the air. We will be “children of wrath” and marked by that incompleteness in our nature: 666. That is why we need the vials of wrath poured out on the “children of wrath” spirit; so we will be moved to fully repent and forsake our religious carnality!
Additionally, in Revelations 15:8 we are told that no human would be able to enter into the presence of God until all the seven last plagues, the vials of God’s wrath were completely poured out: meaning that people will not get free unless God’s judgment message is completely poured out on all falseness, and upon the incomplete experience people have when they are not wholly sanctified by the Holy Spirit (they still have a non-divine image. An image that is carnal like a beast, because they do not have the divine nature of Christ within.)
“And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.” (Revelations 15:8 )
666 = “Incomplete” = Number of the Beast
Now the number 6 is spiritually an “incomplete” or an “unfulfilled” number. It is “close” but it comes up short. If all the true message of Jesus’ Revelation is not fully received by people (not the mental comprehension, but rather recognizing and receiving him completely as Lord over all their life), they will end up being spiritually incomplete, or having a nature that is of a carnal man (like a beast) and not in the image of God. If you were to “sum up” or count their spiritual number, it reflects an incomplete number: 666. And they will spiritually be marked in their understanding by some part of the spiritual deception of Babylon and the beast that carries her.
666 represents a number that is spiritually “weighed” in the balances of God’s Word. The incomplete beast nature is weighed against the complete divine nature that Jesus brings. Those who are under the rule of the beast nature (and Babylon’s beast kingdom) will have their kingdom destroyed by the fullness of God’s Word. That is exactly what happened to the ancient kingdom of Babylon when King of Babylon saw the writing on the wall (by a hand) and then trembled greatly to have Daniel interpret it.
“And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath đánh số vương quốc của bạn, và hoàn tất nó. TEKEL; Bạn nghệ thuật cân nhắc trong số dư, and art found wanting. PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.” ~ Daniel 5:25-28
Ancient Babylon was divided just like spiritual Babylon is divided when the final 7th vial is finally poured out and the voice from heaven says “It is done.”
Now the scripture describes the number of the beast (666) this way: “Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” (Revelations 13:18 ) It tells us that it is the “number of the beast”, and that it is the “number of a man” placing man and beast at the same spiritual “numeric” level: carnal and selfish.
Now let us consider that the Bible describes those who are not true servants of Jesus as being in the image of a beast.
“If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die.” (1 Corinthians 15:32)
“One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.” (Titus 1:12)
“But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption” (2 Peter 2:12)
“But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.” (Jude 1:10)
“And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.” (Romans 1:23)
Again this is why it states in Revelations 13:18 that 666 is the “number of the beast”, and that it is the “number of a man”. It is the number of man whose nature is corrupt, or incomplete (likened to a beast). Jesus Christ came to die for us so that by faith in his perfect sacrifice we can have our sins washed away and we can be made holy like him. He came to un-corrupt us and bring us back into the spiritual image of God: to spiritually make our hearts to be holy like the way God originally created the heart of Adam and Eve – in his own image, not the image of corruptible, incomplete man (666).
- “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Romans 8:29)
- “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 )
- “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Colossians 3:10)
And so, right after the identification of those marked by incomplete 666 in Revelation the 13th chapter, we see in chapter 14 the “complete” identified as being marked in a different way. They were standing with the Lamb of God on spiritual mount Sion, and they had their heavenly Father’s name written in their forehead. They identified with God, not with beastly man.
The “Incomplete” Seek Their Own Identity By Adding To the Word
Finally, the beast’s number is described as the “number of his name” (Revelations 13:17) and later in Revelations 17:3 we see the beast described as being “full of names of blasphemy”. What is a name? It is what we use to uniquely identify someone or some organization. It is an “identity”, but in this case it is an identity that does not respect, and honor God. It is an identity that does not properly and respectfully identify with God.
To identify with Jesus Christ we must lose our own identity! We are nothing, and Jesus is everything. This is why John the Baptist said “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30) This is why the Apostle Paul counted his own identity, or righteousness as just “filthy rags.” Paul’s whole purpose was that his identity would be lost in Jesus Christ: “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death”. (Philippians 3:10)
When people singularly or collectively are incomplete (lacking the fullness of God’s nature) it is evident to themselves and others. They must do something to fill what is lacking, but they are not willing to lose their own way and purpose to do it. So instead, they must add something to what they are to cover or seemingly “fill up” what is lacking. So they add conditions to serving God, or they take a local administration and try to require that on others beyond that local congregation. Whenever they do, even though they may know and teach many truths, they create a new “identity” by adding to it. And, whenever they do this, they always cause hurt and division among God’s people. They become “marked” by their own identity, and not that of Jesus Christ’s body. The Apostle Paul stated he bore the marks of bearing the cross of Christ, not his own special identity.
“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” (Galatians 6:14-17)
We don’t need some “extra special” outward appearance or operation to set us apart from the world! Rather we need to lose our own identity to carry our cross as a faithful and humble “nobody” servant of Jesus Christ. Then we will seek in love the lost world for him, and not to add them to our own identity! We will be complete in fulfilling his will and in bearing our cross as we walk in his footsteps.
In the human it is too easy to fall into identifying with something or someone else, instead of with the cross. Even the Apostle Peter had to be corrected for this problem. In Matthew 16:16 we see the Peter could identify who Christ was: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” But he did not identify with the cross of Jesus Christ, nor with the shame of the cross. So when Jesus identified with it, Peter was very surprised!
“Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:22-24)
Peter was more concerned about how he identified with men (the religious leaders of his day) than with identifying with the shame of the cross. This is why Jesus said that Peter was an “offense” to him. Today this is still happening right around where people claim to be the church of God. They are more concerned about what others will say, and more concerned about their identity with a certain group, and they will not bear Jesus’ cross. They will not bear the dropping of their own religious, cultural, local administrative, personal friends, etc. identity, to reach out and save and suffer with and fellowship the poor souls that Jesus came to seek and to save. Some around the church of God have become an offense to Jesus Christ, because the shame of the cross has become offensive to them!
O.K. Let’s move on…
Chapter 19 – The King of kings and Lord of lords
Now that spiritual Babylon has been fully exposed and destroyed, next in chapter 19 we see all the saints rejoicing and we are able to now clearly see Jesus the “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS”. Then the beast and the false prophet are also destroyed being “cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.”
The scripture states “no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” (1 Corinthians 12:3) This is why the need to be sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost is critical to one’s spiritual success. If the old fleshly, carnal nature is not taken care of, you will eventually come to a temptation or trial where you will not be able to say “Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords” in your life. Then the actions of the beast nature and the spirit of the false prophet will seem reasonable to you, and you will eventually start to give in.
Chapter 20 – With Deception Removed, the Devil is Exposed and Defeated
Then in chapter 20 we are enabled to spiritually understand and have presented to us essentially a brief summary of the whole Gospel day, but this time there is no deception of false churches nor false prophets to get in the way (they have all been destroyed by the full Revelation message.) All we see is the devil, the true saints, and the sinners who are under Satan’s control – and the final judgement is then set and executed.
Chapters 21 & 22 – “See” True Bride of Christ, the Heavenly Jerusalem Revealed
Again, after the removal of all the deception of Babylon, the beast, the false prophet, and the devil: in chapters 21 and 22 we are able to see the true bride of Christ,”the Lambs wife” and “the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” We can now clearly see the true church of God, the true body of Christ. Jesus has completed his full Revelation!
Finally, the book of Revelations is ended with this sober warning:
“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” (Revelations 22:18-19)
This is also why we are doing our best to be very careful to provide comments on the Revelation of Jesus Christ all within the context of the whole Word of God. When people knowingly bring in other thoughts, ideas, and imaginations that are not supported by the whole Bible, they also add the plagues to themselves that are written. If they try to take away from the true meaning, they essentially remove themselves from having any part in the reward of the righteous.
This has been only an “overview”. There are many other things to be commented on, which will come out as more blog entries come for each scripture.