kjv@Revelation:1:1@ The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
kjv@Revelation:1:2@ Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
kjv@Revelation:1:3@ Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
kjv@Revelation:1:4@ John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;
kjv@Revelation:1:5@ And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
kjv@Revelation:1:6@ And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
kjv@Revelation:1:7@ Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
kjv@Revelation:1:8@ I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
kjv@Revelation:1:9@ I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
kjv@Revelation:1:10@ I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
kjv@Revelation:1:11@ Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
kjv@Revelation:1:12@ And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
kjv@Revelation:1:13@ And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
kjv@Revelation:1:14@ His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
kjv@Revelation:1:15@ And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
kjv@Revelation:1:16@ And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
kjv@Revelation:1:17@ And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
kjv@Revelation:1:18@ I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
kjv@Revelation:1:19@ Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
kjv@Revelation:1:20@ The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
Many have interpreted Michael as being the protecting angel over Israel. Michael was commander of the angelic forces that cast out the dragon from heaven kjv@Revelation:12:7 . We believe Michael to be present in the end times defeating the terrible invasion from the north. Michael is firmly holding with the Lord.
Six angels have opened their seals, the seventh is mentioned in yet future tense. It is almost as if we are at a pause, as if the focus has briefly changed from the prophetic time-line to the current tense restriction and enablement specific to the John the prophet. John himself and by his writings has gone on to prophesy before many people and nations and kings (and continues to today).
John is kept from revealing too much. There is an importance to mentioning vaguely what he was about to record, but, being told not to reveal it any further. Instead he is given a book to eat that will make him to prophesy that which is required by others to be known. We must consider that not everything is for us to know outright, though to a few it may have been shown. Somethings are to be searched for like hidden treasure, other things to be merely trusted. This may in part be because of our best interest, more fully it may also be because of who else would be reading this.
It is a time for judgment and reward. How do the nations respond? They are angry. It doesn't say repentant notice, doesn't say sorry, doesn't say softening or contemplative. Such horrific events they have witnessed, so many catastrophes. Yet they see these matters in the opposite. To them it is not their anger and hatred and transgression that destroys the earth, it is God's.
The perception of time seems to warp in this passage as the child is caught up and placed on the throne (a definite reference to the ascension of Christ nearly two millennium ago) and Satan coming after the woman with floods of water. Somewhere between there and here Satan his minions are overcome by the Blood of the Lamb, tossed from heaven by Michael. The woman is hidden in the wilderness for three and a half years.
Some things we are told about Satan. He has had access to the courts of God in heaven being an official accuser day and night of the brethren. He is overcome by the Blood of Christ and the word of testimony, cast out of heaven along with a third of the other angels by Michael. He is wroth with the woman who had delivered the Messiah and wars against the remnant of her seed.
The thought of warring against the beast is there it seems but, the futility of doing so is obvious. Can you imagine the United States for instance backing off from a war due to it's inferiority? Worse yet, could you imagine the strength of the USA standing firmly behind such a leader?
A great many men (most of them well meaning) will be guilty of leading their own people into captivity; these men will not escape this captivity themselves. A great many men will kill by the sword either for themselves or for their kin or for their nation or for pure survival and necessity; these men shall not escape either. As short as the time left is, there is a time appointed for this be completely fulfilled. Here is a clue to what it will mean for those latter day saints to have faith and patience.
The point I am trying to make is that if the Church and these saints are one in the same, then it is the Church that is overcome. In order for the Church to be overcome then the Holy Spirit has to be overcome or He has to leave us to our own. Scripture suggests that neither can happen! To be overcome is to be put back into bondage to. The Church being put back into bondage after the blood and resurrection of Christ? After the forever indwelling of the Comforter? Even for a short time - Where is the sense? If instead these are new believers after the Church has been raptured, they are by virtue of this peculiar time frame merely transitional (Spirit-less/Church-less) believers still awaiting the Spirit with patience and faith.
Nearly the same thing is said kjv@Revelation:13:10. First in regards to the captivity of those who lead the peoples captive to the beast. Here in regards to the eternal smoke and torment from the pit of those who worshiped the beast and received his mark. The patience is in holding true throughout for as long as it takes.
The faith of Jesus (as opposed to the faith in Jesus) is presented as an object to be kept just as a commandment. It is not our faith, it is His. He gives us His commandment to keep. He gives us His faith to keep. We could have faith in His faith. We can keep believing in His faith but, ultimately it is His faith that we are to keep. One might say "well I don't have enough faith" to which we ask "does not Jesus?"..."Keep His faith then". I have my faith and He has His. Which should I keep? Keep His!
His judgments are made manifest. How can these be known as being from anyone/anything other? None of these things before this could be analyzed honestly and be said to result from nature gone bad or coincidence or misfortune; especially when He has made it known so far in advance. Instead, I would say that the people are fully aware of where these judgments are coming from but, are all the more angry that this God would be judging them. These times are flushing out those who no matter what the situation proves to be, no matter what evidences are on the table, will not allow themselves to be part of nor worship Jehovah God or Son Jesus Christ. God is proven then to be fully justified to discontinue His grace and presence amongst these rebel tares. These vials are brief tastes of that absence, not even this will change many hearts.
By this stage now, men are not going to turn away. For them God is to blame and is openly blasphemed. To them it is better to endure the suffering than have a change of heart. The Antichrist is now performing miracles to hold their hopes/souls in his own pocket. Tossed into the equation is the righteousness of God for doing this as it relates to the previous treatment of His saints and martyrs.
This is not the first time the Lord has described Himself as such. It should be taken literally that to these people at least He will be believed and perceived to be a thief stealing away all that they have left and hold dear. Coming suddenly from nowhere and without warning as some interpret it cannot be scripturally supported when it has taken this many years to develop, judgment has so precisely and frequently measured out, and men know that it is such but will not repent. No their decision was made and their fate sealed when they took the mark of the beast to begin with. This is a matter of their utter shame and His absolute Glory.
This is very revealing, a power/principality that rules over the kings of earth. It is put into their hearts, it is God's will (just as He has given them over kjv@Romans:1 ) to follow. They will follow wholly to make war against the Lamb. She is identified as a city with seven hills (often thought of as Rome). The seventh and eight king of which are the beast. She is presented in continuous present tense as old as Babylon and young as the martyrs of the Lamb.
It might be easy to think of this Babylon as a terrible foe or enemy and nothing more. Why would God allow such a thing? Well, think of it then as a magnet to which all wickedness is eventually drawn. As all nations have been deceived, to see all it's power pinpointed to one point, to see that point become the hold of every devil and foul spirit and unclean bird, to see all this drawn together and put down in one hour would be indeed be shocking to the deceived but now enlightened merchants and kings of these nations. So, if one asks what purpose, what purpose does this all serve, one can reply every good and righteous purpose of God. The nations are freed from it's wicked pull.
It is interesting to see the draw of this Babylon over men tied to trade and commerce. Many are made rich in the supply chain of her delicacies. The power that she has over them in great part is the power of them trying to make a living under her economic systems. That and their sheer reprobacy toward God. Heaven, the apostles, the prophets should well rejoice for her destruction for they are avenged on her sudden fall.
It is not that the Lord has just become omnipotent and reigns, it is that He always has and always will. Remember that this present vanity we've been subjected to comes out of a hope kjv@Romans:8:20, what better hope than to come to know Him for who/what He truly is. One can say the Lord is omnipotent but, what does that mean until all involved have experienced that? One can say the Lord is full of compassion in the same sense, what does that mean until all involved have experienced it? This then is a time when all of us have experienced the experience and we can conclude with knowledge and eternal confidence that this Lord God reigns omnipotent. These are not now just words!
The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. It all comes down to Him. No greater picture can be formed in our minds than that of Him with all might and power along with the heavenly host coming to receive His young adoring beatiful bride. His name Faithful and True, the event THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB, the title on His vesture KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS. Say what you will about His lovely bride dressed in the righteousness of the saints, the day is more about His love and what He was willing to do for her, the dowry He had to pay, the lengths and distances He had to go, the patience and endurance to bring this day about. She could do no better than to accept His hand, believe with all her heart and excitement His vow, offer herself to Him completely and without reserve, become as one to Him forevermore devoted. He has won her heart completely over. Are we agreed - It is not all that hard to understand the spirit of prophecy when you understand the testimony of Jesus in this great light?
It is interesting to compare kjv@Revelation:1 where we started this journey with kjv@Revelation:22 where we end. A lot will take place in a very short amount of time. But, when will it take place? We don't know. Here in this chapter Jesus repeated 'I come quickly' 'I come shortly' 'the time is at hand'. In human terms it can be argued that it has been a long time. Did Jesus lie? How long is long? How short is short? How soon is soon? Isn't it better to think that if it means that we have been given time then we would be use this time as wisely as possible? From an eternal viewpoint, is not any amount of time here but brief? In terms of relativity, can not this have happened, be happening, and be yet to happen all at the same time? So much to ponder!
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