Revelation Chapter 14 (b)

Continued from Chapter 14 (a)miniJim

Revelation 7

This chapter is very specific in identifying who will be marked; 12,000 from 12 Tribes of Jacob (Israel). The Tribe of Dan walked away from their designated spot in the Promised Land and is not included as a tribe mentioned in Revelation 7. Ephraim’s name is simply replaced by the name of his father, Joseph of Egypt fame. Manasseh, Joseph’s first born in Egypt is listed as one of the twelve Tribes.

Additional considerations from Revelation 14:

  1. The souls under the throne and the handing out of white robes until the right number have died. Might this “right number” equal 144,000?
  2. Those who appear in great multitudes that cannot be counted.
  3. Who are 24 elders?
  4. The woman in chapter 12 and the woman in chapter 15
  5. The dragon, 1st beast, 2nd beast, the image and the false prophet.

A blog cannot cover all of this but we do recommend that the serious student go through Revelation Chapter 14-1Power Points provided and identified with chapter 14 and chapter 15 in this website. The PP for chapter 14 is long but has an identified division point where one can leave off and return to it at later time. The Power Point blog addresses many of the specifics of chapter 14.

The “virgin status” of those “men” (People) identified in C14 are people who are new babes in Christ, probably converted during the Great Tribulation. They know (YADDA) they are going to pay a severe price for their decision by accepting Christ therefore denying the mark of the Beast and his image. They have no reason to violate any of Gods laws or principles since their decision is a permanent and a do or die decision. These are not Sunday or Sabbath Day Christians. It is and end in and of itself so no purpose is served in them making a false statement. No lie is to be found on their lips after this decision to follow Christ to their death during the Tribulation of 7 years.

no more ignorance14:6 & 7 answer the question of whether or not all people hear the gospel or are doomed to condemnation due to their ignorance. There is NO IGNORANCE. Every tongue, every tribe, every nation, every people; leaves little room for someone to be missed. After all, this last angel with the final opportunity to accept the gospel follows the 3 ½ years of the two witnesses in Jerusalem who also were heard world-wide. Yet, many still refuse to accept Christ.

We have a fascinating sequence of events within the next few verses;

Verse 6 finds an angel announcing to the world (no exceptions) the eternal Good news. Verse 7 gives due warning and instructions for all individuals who heard the angel in verse 6.
Verse 8 Informs the same global population that the false prophet and leadership (Babylon) is now destroyed so they have nothing to fear from this group.
Verse 9 tells of the consequence for not heading this final warning and message from an angel in the sky. It also explains the consequences for taking the mark of the beast or worshiping either it or its image. It is the unforgivable sin.
Verse 10 says it straight… “He also shall drink of the wine of God’s wrath and ultimately tormented with fire and brimstone (in hell).”
Verse 11 specifically states it is forever and ever.

Here is an absolutely new fact of end time as read in Revelation 14:13…

Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. From henceforth now, says the Spirit that they may rest from their labors. For their works follow them. [BRB]

“…from this point forward?” These people are probably the ones redeemed from earth for their flawless living after all the above has transpired. We are well into the Great Tribulation at this point in time and any choice is but one; follow Christ or follow the beast. No murky waters or fog at this time in history. This also explains why these men of earth who reject the beast and accept Christ are identified as the first-fruits and sinless from that point forward. They have everything to gain and KNOW IT. They also know the only thing they have to lose equals NOTHING! Poor example but a human thought with heavenly meaning…to give up a fake pass to Disney for an everyday any day pass is not a loss. There is no need to fake anything.

JIV NOTE: In 14:10 we read something about “spiritual fornication.” Does one actually grasp the depth of this statement? Revelation 10:9-10…

9) “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand,

10)  he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.

There is a parallel to this when the Tribe of Dan “leaped out of Bashan, leaving the Promised land in the Old Testament. His people worshiped idols and set up”high places” outside the realm of what God had instructed Israel, His chosen, to do. They walked away from the Promised Land and are not included in the list of Tribes and 144,000 identified in Revelation 7.
The very first commandment of the Old Testament states: ‘mankind’ shall have no other gods before me.” In verse 9 we see many will have openly worshiped the beast and its image receiving their “seal [club membership] of approval.” It is a one way membership club. One can get in or stay out, but cannot get in then back out. Verse 11 re-explains who these folks are. Here is no guess work. It is laid out in plain language.

harvest readyChapter 14:14 to the end of this chapter is the reaping of the earth. The first thrust of the sharp sickle is to harvest the *fully ripe grain or followers of God/Jesus Christ. This is the first harvest.

In verse 17 we discover a second harvest; one of grapes. These are thrown into the wine-press of God’s WRATH. Not a good thing. They are crushed or punished for their continual rejection over the past 7 tribulation years;  3 ½ years with the two witnesses in Jerusalem but who were heard and seen worldwide; the angel who proclaimed the gospel to the entire world near the end of the Great Tribulation period; the individual witnessing of the 144,000 who died “from this point forward” for their testimony [14:13]; and the their acceptance of the false prophet, the beast, its image and the Mark of the Beast.

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144,000

miniJimThis is a number that has scientific, historical, and religious connections. It also has applications in literature and music. From a religious point of view, it is as significant as the 666.

Examples:
1. To the Mayan civilization 144,000 days equaled a baktun. A baktun is 20 katun in the Mayan Long Count Calendar.
2. Authors Scott Bakker, Bernard Werber and John DeChancey use the number 144,000 in their writing of books as symbolic or proposed counts to fit the characteristics of their books.
3. In music there are many songs written using this number as its theme; 144,000 voices is the maximum contrapuntal expansion, a musical expression, of Baroque music theorist Pier Francesco Valentini’s 96-voice composition Canone nel modo Salomonis (1631). Contrapuntal music is two different songs that are performed at the same time within the same piece.
4. In broadcast TV, the population of the eponymous town in the 2013 Fox TV series Sleepy Hollow is 144,000.
5. In the Book of Revelation one will find this number three different times; Revelation 7:3-8, Revelation 14:1, and Revelation 14:3-5.
a. Side Note: Jehovah’s Witness, the Unification Church, New Age movements, Skoptists of Russian and Islam are additional religions that give different meanings to this number. We will not elaborate on these at this time but perhaps in a future blog…..?
Revelation 7:3-8 presents the 144,000 as 12,000 people from each of the 12 Tribes of Israel. We will not discuss at this time the fact that the Tribe of Dan is not mentioned, Joseph is mentioned instead of Ephraim (Joseph’s son),while Manasseh, also a son of Joseph, is named as one of the twelve.
Revelation 14:1 “Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.”
Revelation 14:3b … “…No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.”

Before moving forward and unless someone think there are only 144,000 redeemed per the bible, read Revelation 7:9…

bunch of peoplw…”After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes…”

We can easily see in verse 14:9 that the number redeemed or saved far exceeds the 144,000 as a fixed number of limitations. Salvation is an individual choice of accept or reject (purposefully or by doing nothing) the offer of salvation through belief and then following the teachings of Jesus Christ.

The question begs of itself, are the 144,000 set aside, or specially identified in chapter 7, the same who are mentioned in chapter 14? A great question, and one that should not be passed over so as to simplify its understandability, implications or applications. Context, context, context! Always consider the context. Context is the setting within which one is trying to understand a principle, meaning or discussion. Many times one will walk into the middle of a discussion. There is a pertinent need to find out what the discussion is all about in order to contribute or follow the context of that discussion. The same is true when reading a book. Starting in the middle does little for one’s understandings of the characters, setting or direction the author is taking his or her book theme.
In Revelation 7 we have four possibilities per the 144,000:
1. John T. Hinds argues that the number refers to those who are saved from the physical nation of Israel (p112); i.e. Israelis themselves; God’s chosen people from the Old Testament.
2. J. W. Roberts, argues that this company is spiritual Israel, i.e., the church (p71) but fails to completely explain why only 144,000.
3. Others suggest this group represents the martyrs who have given their lives for the cause of Christ during the Tribulation period.
4. Some try to spiritualize everything and say the number is simply symbolic and means little as a factual, real number count of those redeemed.

The danger is in reading then accepting as fact those theologians or wanna-be bible scholars who extrapolate, then forget context; often in defense of one’s preconceived religious doctrines rather than God’s Word. We should take literally everything in the Bible that is obviously NOT needed to be spiritualized to fit a doctrinal statement. At ahabiblemoments.wordpress.com we fully understand that to spiritualize too much of what the bible says is to make it something that is not to be understood. A favorite passage to counter this argument is Ecclesiastes 3:1-3:22. But a much more pointed passage is when Jesus tells of the consequences for misleading the listener; James 3:1. One cannot be a teacher in good faith if s/he can only spiritualize scripture. Understanding is essential and swatting at imaginary flies is expending energies that mean little to nothing to listeners concerning destinies and eternity.

II Timothy 2:15 commands us to study and learn, not theorize the Word of God. A great quote from http://www.learnthebible.org/the-command-to-study-2-timothy-215.html says:

“Every believer ought to faithfully read the word of God, but there is another command that is not to be neglected. According to 2 Timothy 2:15, believers can show themselves approved unto God by studying the scriptures. One can read through the scriptures on a daily basis without ever truly studying the scriptures. In order to study, one must delve into the words and phrases of the Bible and consider their meaning both historically and doctrinally” [and within context]. Emphasis mine.
We add… one can also discard facts through hyperbola; i.e. rejecting what the bible states as fact by not closing the loop between what God/Jesus states and what we take as meaningful and direct. We call that spiritualizing what is said instead of accepting within context what God’s Word specifically tells us.
In Revelation 7 we read specifics… the names of twelve Tribes of Israel; the 12,000 specifically identified in each case. In verse 4 they are “sealed as servants of God” and in 7:13, 14 when John asks who are these folks. He is given a straight and specific answer, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”

This is information-specific and not intended to be spiritualized. These 144,000 are to be identified with God. They are set aside; the remnant of Israel after the Great Tribulation. Perhaps this is the count of those who escape Jerusalem and flee to Petra where they are under God’s direct protection during Jacob’s Trouble; i.e. the 2nd half of the Tribulation.
No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.
Note that Jesus is not mentioned in chapter but is in chapter 14. Also recall that God made Old Testament covenants with Israel (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) that are unique to them and Jesus made covenants with his believers and followers that are distinct from those made with Israel but universal to mankind.
Let’s go back to Revelation 6 to better grasp these meanings and probabilities. We recall from a previous blog that there are “souls under the Throne of God waiting for Him to avenge their wrongful deaths” (5th Seal). The Bible states in 6:10, 11…
They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” [11] Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.” [ESV]

Until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed… this is the 144,000 discussed in chapter 14 of Revelation; [v4] those redeemed from the earth, not the Tribes of Israel. They are slain during the Tribulation, are under the same Throne waiting to be avenged, and are together as one group of specified souls. This is not true of any other Christians or what Jesus identifies as “his church; body of believer.” AND, they appear with JESUS upon His return; i.e. 2nd Advent. They follow Jesus wherever he goes. These are one’s who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior DURING the Tribulation. These are slain by the anti-Christ for their belief and refusal to accept the Mark of the Beast (666).

We also have a passage in Ezekiel that should be considered. Ezekiel 9:4 states: “Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it.” Might these also be a description of the 144,000 from each Tribe of Israel who are marked as described in Revelation 7 and reserved for God?

contxtWhen taking what scriptures tell us and keeping it within context, it is relatively easy to discern their differences and similarities. Do not waste one’s time spiritualizing what does not need to be. Even the parables of Jesus were earthly stories with heavenly meanings. Those who have man made religious platforms (we call them church doctrine in today’s language) that conflict with bible specifics will usually spiritualize the meaning of passages in the Holy Word of God that conflict with his or her preferred religious doctrine. The Bible is not a mystery book. God reveals to the human mind facts and understanding when one demonstrates an openness and wisdom in his or her studies.

Chapter 10 of Revelation: Seven Thunders & Little Book

The last book of the Bible - RevelationsWoe, woe, woe (Revelation 8:13b)! Chapter10 begins the introduction to the 3rd woe. Like the 7th seal introduces the 7 trumpets, the third woe introduces the 7 vial (bowls) judgment; plagues or curses on those who have taken the 666 seal of the anti-Christ. We already have credit cards with embedded chips. We have computer programs and televisions that are voice sensitive. There are also control words that search or key in or when we type on line, send e-mails, or do web searches.

More Than A Data Center

More Than A Data Center

http://www.darkgovernment.com/news/huge-nsa-data-center-under-construction-in-utah/

None of the network or cable news programs will report on such. Conspiracy? You decide as you continue to read these articles on Revelation. Perhaps it is prophecy being completed in clear sight, but no one is looking. This is all for national security… right?

Comparing this angel in chapter 10 verse 1 to the angel in Isaiah 14:12 and Revelation 9:1, this mighty angel in 10:1 “came down from heaven.” He was not cast from or fallen from heaven. This messenger is from God and comes with His blessing. As majestic as this angel is described, it is not likely it is Jesus as some commentaries suggest. Verse 6 in chapter 10 makes this abundantly clear. Recall some of the descriptions of Satan as an angel; Ezekiel 28:13. We also find two other strong angels mentioned in Revelation. They are found in Revelation 5:2 and 18:21. Each Revelation angel is identified as “another strong angel.” This means each is separate from the other two strong angels. One might make a connection with these angels and The Book of Daniel angels found in *10:5-6 and 12:5-7.

*this passage discusses the destiny of Jerusalem, the Jews and Israelites; Tribes of Israel [O.T]. These are God’s chosen. Gentiles [N.T.] are destined by his or her choice of accept or reject (staying neutral) of Jesus Christ.

The mighty angel in 10:1 has a “little book” in hand. He is so powerful that when he speaks, it is like seven thunders of voices. In verse 4 John is told to “seal up the message” but only after John hears each of the seven different messages from the 7 thunders. The reader must be cautioned at this point in Revelation. Things on earth are about to be totally altered at the hand of God the Father, Son [and Holy Spirit]. God made man and woman (Adam and Eve) to fellowship with him. Satan now knows his destruction is at hand. He pulls out all stops to help destroy man’s trust in God. His attitude is altered. He now wants to not only keep people from believing in Christ, but destroy what he can’t rule over. One might suggest Satan wishes to take to hell any he can keep from the Kingdom of God on earth… “…thy kingdom come, they will be done on EARTH as it is in heaven.”

John is the last of the disciples (Apostles). His revelation of Revelations is the final message of the Holy Word of God to us. The next step in God’s design is his kingdom on earth. No more revelations; no more sightings; no more written visitations; no more Bible. Read the last few verses in Revelation 22 and we see the seal of God’s hand on such events. Next stop? Jesus returns to earth to claim the Kingdom of God from all nations eventuating Millennial Reign.

Revelation Commentary puts it this way: (http://www.revelationcommentary.com)

“The single most important point of chapter 10 seems to be the angelic announcement that “in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound [the 7th trumpet], then the mystery of God is finished.” Now that we know this fact, there will be no need for the strong angel to descend from heaven to report a fact already known by the reader of the Revelation. “ [emphasis mine]

Much is ventured as to what this little book is and to its content. To hazard another guess serves little purpose. We understand according to scripture that it is “sweet to the taste but bitter to the stomach.” Ezekiel had the same or similar experience. In the Book of Ezekiel 2:9, 10 to 3:3 it reads in summary: “There were all kinds of sad songs, sad stories, and warnings.” Ezekiel is specific to Israel and a caution of worldly events to come. PS: this is also where one finds the proverbial Ezekiel’s Wheel passage.

The reason we won’t discuss or venture a specific guess to the contents of this little book in Revelation 10 is found in verse 10:4; the book is sealed up.” That which the Lord God orders sealed is SEALED. Mankind does not know what is in it until God reveals it. Any one claiming to know is speaking in scriptural ignorance or a deceiver. When the contents of this book is revealed, all will know.

What draws or should demand our attention is found in the next couple of verses. In short, it states… “there is no longer any delay. When this 7th trumpet begins to sound the mystery of God will be finished.” [Paraphrased from the KJV). There will no longer be any purpose to delay the understanding of God’s Mystery. It is again venturing a guess, but this could not only be the End of Time as created in Genesis 1:4, but as to whom and what is God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It may be a description of the Millennial Kingdom. It could be the nations of the world uniting against Christ’s arrival in Jerusalem on the Mount of Olives. Your education idea is or may be a solid as anyone’s. It is a mystery. The book was sealed up in John’s heart. No one knows until we all know.

Eine Frau sagt als Zeuge bei Gericht in einem Gerichtsverfahren aus. Wird vereidigt und schwört auf die Bibel.

We have a practice in our judicial system of lifting a hand and swearing to tell the truth. This is, was and continues to be a practice throughout the world. Even a salute is similar to showing one has taken an oath. The angel in verses 5 and 6 reflect this practice. So help me God…! This angel swears that esomai (should be) no time anymore. It is a futuristic but eminent event. Time will be no more. Just as we are promised a new heaven and a new earth, time will be senseless. This is the essence of eternity. It is not measured in time since time is no longer. This too may be what John read in the little book. Any church or gospel song proclaiming a number of years after this point, as well meaning as they are, are based upon bog thinking; i.e. dangerous grounds.

From this point forward in chapter 10 things move fast. John is told to take the little book from the hand of the great angel and eat it. It initially is sweet to the tongue. It might be similar to one eating something that is good, but later it is tough on the stomach; i.e. indigestion. John had a severe case of indigestion after eat the book. Again, to venture guesses at this cause and effect is at best speculation. However, we do know the result of this bad taste after-affect. John is told, this is why that which caused the indigestion is the reason he (verse 11) MUST prophecy again (palin) with a renewed spirit. He is exiled to the Island of Patmos when he writes Revelation. This tells him that he will soon be released and must continue doing what it was that got him exiled in the first place.

In chapter 11 of Revelation, there is a significant shift in time and events. We now find ourselves studying the events of the Tribulation. This is the two witnesses. I will speculate at their identity in the next article in our Revelation Study. It will be nothing upon which to build doctrine but it will be supported by other scripture.

Dr. jStarkRev. Dr. James Stark

December 2015

Revelation Study

A studyRevelation Study: Chapter 4jStark3

Link to additional PowerPoint Notes                               Revelation 4 & beyond

Chapter 1 of Revelation is about the past; chapters 2 and 3 are about the present. (John’s Day) From Revelation chapter 4 through 22 it is all about the future; the Tribulation and the 2nd advent of Christ. Recall that the seven churches in chapter 2 and 3 are Messianic churches of John’s time. The guidance offered in each letter also is for one wanting to live a Christ-like life; one that is approved of God.

We have completed our in-depth study of the seven churches, now we see the door of heaven opened (4:1). Some believe and I can appreciate their view that this verse is also a parallel to the Rapture. If this is so, we will see or live through chapters 1 to 4:1 then taken up to meet Jesus in the clouds in the rapture.

When a Christian dies, his or her soul and spirit goes to be with Christ, that is, in heaven (2 Corinthians 5:8; also see Revelation 21:3-4). Our body remains in the grave until the resurrection of those who died in Christ (rapture). Later, those who die(d) without Christ will stand judgment at the Great White Throne after the Millennial Reign of Jesus in Jerusalem. For the Christian, judgment is at the end of the Church/gentile age, just before the Tribulation… the *Bema Seat Judgment of rewards. This is one reason I suggest locating events like the Rapture at this spot in the book of Revelation (4:1-2). There are at least 4 or 5 reasons for identifying it here.

*Bema Seat Judgment is often referred to as Christ’s Judgment Seat of Christians. This is the judgment of “the good and the bad done in the body”. This includes our promised rewards (II Thessalonians 2:19-20; Revelation 22:12; II Corinthians 5:9-10)

  1. The location or timing of this event as recorded in Revelation 4 is right for the Rapture. Chapters 4 & 5 present a vision in Heaven. Chapter 6 introduces the Tribulation period. John, the last of the 12 disciple of Jesus who was still alive, is a fitting symbol of the Church being taken out of the world just before the Tribulation begins. “Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth“. (Rev. 3 v.10)
  2. The absence of any mention of the Church in the rest of Revelation indicates that it is no longer on earth during the Tribulation. There are 16 references to the Church in Rev. 1-3, whereas chapters 6-18, which cover the Tribulation, do not mention the Church once. Chapters 4 and perhaps 5 are departure chapters.
  3. The extensive use of *Old Testament language and symbols in Chapters 4-18 is an indication of Israel issues, not Church concerns or issues. This is understandable since the Church Age is the time of the Gentiles and that ends with the rapture. The Great Tribulation is the time of Jacob’s trouble also called the seventieth week of Daniel. Our Daniel bible study pointed this out. End Time is reserved by God for His final dealings with Israel. Some of these Old Testament symbols found in Revelation include the Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant, the altar, elders, censers, cherubim, seals, trumpets, and *plagues. *just as it was so of Israel in Egypt prior to their exodus from bondage and headed to their Promised Land so it will be at the rapture when Christians are taken to their Promised Land… Heaven.
  4. There is similarity between the events of Revelation 4 v.1-2 and other scriptural teaching on the Rapture, such as 1 Thess. 4 v.13-18.
  5. Perhaps another connection with the rapture is the fact that there are similarities with it and John’s many identities: A son of Thunder (God’s wrath poured out), John the beloved of Christ (as is His Church), and John was a part of Jesus’ inner circle of disciples plus, his name in Greek means “Jehovah is gracious.” So will Jesus be gracious by the rapture of His church BEFORE the Great Tribulation.

* JIV, the church age ends in chapter 3 with the messages to the 7 churches. It is now all Jewish (ick) history yet to happen.

None of the above reasons is sufficient in and of their individual selves to suggest that Revelation 4 v.1-2 refers to the Rapture of the Church. When, however, all of them are considered together, I am inclined to believe that this inference is possible if not probable. The Rapture of the Church is not explicitly taught in Rev. 4 but definitely appears logically and chronologically correct being at the end of the Church Age and before the Tribulation.

The 7 churches were ALL Messianic-Christians; established by former Judaism followers via Paul and Peter. From chapter 4 forward, the intent of Revelation is to explain and inform God’s chosen of the Tribulation i.e. Jesus revealed. It is not far-fetched to accept that this is a Rapture passage for the church then comes a time when the Israelites will finally recognize their messiah.

John is the seer and is writing about future events even in his day. What better way to allude to the Rapture at this specific time, particularly since it is located right after the description of the Church Age and just prior to the revelation of the Antichrist. Remember that John is called to heaven to witness these things, just as the church rapture will call believers to heaven and ‘perhaps’ witness these things yet to come.

I find it both comforting and definitive doctrine when I read Matthew 24:31 that the Book of Revelation is in reference to the reunited Nation of Israel and not the church: And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect (Eklektos: by implication; his favorite, chosen, elect; Israel) from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other (ESV). This may be the very same trumpet blast that calls Christians home to Heaven; rapture. Israelis will gather in Israel so that prophecy can be fulfilled when the nations of the world align themselves against *Jerusalem (*symbolic name for Israel and Israelis). To be fair, this verse could also mean the Christians from the four corners of the earth. I question this conclusion though because we are called to meet Christ in the clouds at the twinkling of an eye. No call goes out… just a meeting in the sky. (1 Thessalonians 4:16 & 17. Also see 1 Corinthians 15:52)

JIV: 4:17b states, “…and so ‘we will be with the Lord forever.’” If the Lord here is referring to Jesus Christ, this highly suggests we will return to earth with Him during His 1,000 year reign. We will be WITH HIM forever!

Also, look again at the opening words in verse 17. “After that, we who are still alive AND LEFT….” This specifically identifies those Christians who are left; i.e. those in Christ, not the entire world’s population. If it only read, “those who are still alive” it becomes a universal rapture of everyone. This just isn’t true. The Great White Throne judgment is their destiny.

On a third JIV (Jim’s Introspective View) note, the use of the word “behold” in Revelation 4:1 is an imperative. As a noun it would mean an essential or urgent thing. As an adjective it would be vitally important; crucial. This means Revelation 4:1 is a crucial turning point in what John sees. The Rapture???? The Tribulation!!!!! This is not a ‘behold’ that simply means to observe or look.

Might it also be feasible that the words “come up here for I have things to show you that are yet and must happen” will be true of the immediate 7 years after the rapture, things that are yet and must happen? Will we be able to see the rest of Revelation played out prior to the millennial reign but from the safety of heaven? This is something to think about, right? Don’t be too quick to conclude.

In Revelation 4:2 we read “in the spirit”. In the Greek this is πνεῦμα/pneuma. At first glance one might assume in the spirit means ‘apart from the body’. However, pneuma can also mean a mental disposition; a current of air. ONLY figuratively it means a spirit as one might conclude at first glance.

In Revelation 4:3 we once again see support for the Israel specificity of this book. It can easily be missed. John describes, in part, 4:3a “And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone…”

 

Look at the two stones; jasper and sardine. What is their significance? They are the first and last stones in the breastplate of the High Priest. Why they are listed in reverse order, jasper (last stone) then sardine/odem/ruby (first stone), I do not quite grasp. Its significance may have something to do with ‘the last will be first and the first last’ (Matthew 19:30; 20:16). It may have something to do with reading Hebrew right to left. PS: Odem is also identified as sardine or ruby. Each name identifies the same stone. Also, Reuben (Sardine stone) was the first born and Benjamin (Jasper stone) the last born. Another symbolism: God is the alpha and the omega. Possibly in that the jasper is the last stone, this is significant in that this is also “the last straw” in God’s timetable for His created earth. The End of Time is then upon us? Remember that “time” itself is a creation of God (Trinity) back in Genesis 1:4.
breastplate stones

 

Read right to left, top to bottom:
Reuben or the sardine stone is 1st. Benjamin or the jasper stone is listed last.

 

 

It would be easy to get lost in discussing the meanings of the different parts of the High Priest’s garb, but I will fight the temptation and stay in Revelation… (for now:).

Per the rainbow identified in Rev 4:3 we should be reminded of the covenants between God and Israel (his elect and chosen people; O.T.) and the Church (New Testament time of the gentile). After the deluge of Genesis 6-9, God made a covenant with ALL MANKIND; the rainbow covenant/promise. We find God beneath the rainbow council of elders John sees is seated in a semi-circle around the Great Throne in Heaven.

I hasten to take us back to the study of Bible Codes in a previous study and the meaning of each name within the Tribes of Israel; Reuben to Benjamin in birth order:

J.I.V. Reuben: Behold, a son will be born; He will love me but he will be unloved. Simeon: He has looked upon my affliction; He has seen my sin. Listen and obey him. Levi: Be joined together; share the Word of God over a great distance. Judah: Give praise to Yhwh, give thanks and confess sin [or] Dan: be judged of God. Naphtali: To struggle within [brings] self-inflicted wounds. Be swift. Gad: As a troop HE will come and prevail. Asher: [Be] blessed, happy in your good fortune. Dan: Be discerning in judgment, Issachar: There is a reward from God; Zebulon: a gift (zebed) or position of honor from God; (yizbeleni), redemption. [You will] Be paid your wage, be exalted. Your sins will be forgotten; Joseph’s two sons… Manasseh: forgetting the past; Ephraim: double will be your fruitfulness in this land of affliction; Benjamin: you will be on the right side of the Most High.

WOW! How much more direct need God be in His Holy Word and the direction he gave to His chosen people (and the church) via their very names put together as HIS statement and how things on earth will eventually end up. Note that there are 13 tribes as Joseph’s two sons added to the 11 brothers of Joseph equals 13.

JIV HUH moment. Might I be venturing too far off the coast of reality and the safe haven of the beach to think about the 13 original colonies; the 13 stars and stripes on our original flag; the war of separation between the North and the South with a President in both territories; the dollar bill with a pyramid on the left and a faint Star of David with 13 stars within it on the right; the fact that the eagle holds 12 arrows in its left claw and an olive branch in its right claw; the fact that the original colonies were semi-independent with State powers (confederacy) just as were the tribal territories of Israel under the judges; the fact that manifest destiny; i.e. predestination was the undercurrent driving American policy and philosophy per settlement of this land; that America was founded upon Christian principles and has now drifted far away?

Again, after chapter 3, the Book of Revelation is a pronouncement and revelation for and warning to the Nation of Israel, not the church. Perhaps the above possible bible code using the definitions, meanings and expressions of the 13 Tribes of Israel nails it as Revelation being about and for Israel AND the church.