Some Various Doctrines of RevelationEdit
When a student of God’s word ventures into Revelation for the first time, he is overwhelmed with metaphors, symbols, and apocalyptic language. These are beyond the scope of his knowledge of God’s word, which primarily consists of New Testament studies. Too often, this setback causes him to turn to sources outside of God’s word to master the challenge in comprehending the Revelation. He generally will encounter 4 interpretations of the book: General victory of good over evil (Idealism); the end of the world (Millennialism or symbolic); Judgment of Rome (Rome itself, Domitian, or Diocletian); or the Destruction of Jerusalem. Of course, each of these has its own subdivisions, but I intend to deal at length with just one of the four general categories here.
The ‘general victory of good over evil’ view will be just that: General. Although not having many points to argue with, this view fails to name the characters and events of the book, leaving many more questions unanswered as answered. Too often you will hear a phrase along the lines of ‘God did not intend for us to understand everything in Revelation.’ My reply to that is, “Why did he write it for us then?” and then I dismiss the view.
Probably the most popular denominational view is that the book is a collection of signs concerning the end of the world and ignores the multiple warnings to the 1st century Christians that the events of this book would happen soon. There are numerous ‘sources’ for this category to turn towards to get an opinion of what the book is about. Each one concentrating on the flaws of the other versions of the end of the world to prove their validity, and again using the ‘God did not intend for us to understand…’ when they come to a tough spot they cannot explain. The web of contradicting details among the versions can ensnare this student for years. If you throw in the Hollywood hype and enormous attraction to the subject by the denominations, then you have a lot of arrows to dodge.
Fall of RomeEdit
The Rome hypotheses take on the characteristic found in the end of the world view in that there are so many different views it is tough to discuss in an open setting. When you point out a possible flaw with one version of Rome, a holder of another version of Rome will step in and say, ‘that is why it must be this version of Rome.’ The holders of these hypotheses are my most admired and frustrating group at the same time. They understand ‘most’ events in Revelation (even though it should be all) had to take place soon and therefore could not be the end of the world, and while still being general on many specifics, they do try to identify some of the characters of the book. The major problem the student would have, unknowingly, is that he will make the same mistake of his teachers and put a majority of his knowledge in the hands of other men. Men such as Eusebius, whose entire work on the book is to prove his hypothesis of two different Johns. Or men today who claim you have to know outside history to know what Revelation is about so they can sell books they wrote on how you have to know outside history to understand the Bible. Then these men will just repeat and reference each other and typically it will end with an uninspired source for its origin with no foundation in Biblical truth.
What is the common flaw that the student makes and is found in all of these hypotheses?
They do not use God’s word. Think back to the Christians of that time and their only source of information. It was not commentaries or the internet, it was Isaiah or Ezekiel. They knew the words spoken of by Daniel the prophet and Zechariah. It is the same inspired authors that we should turn to as well to unlock the mystery of the book.
The Whore vs. the Bride
The Fornicating WhoreEdit
Revelation 17:1 - And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:
Throughout the Old Testament, the Jews were warned repeatedly to stay true to God’s word. The very first law given to them through Moses was to have no other God’s before them and time and time again they transgressed this law. When you read the books of history you will find many examples of how God would let them be taken captive because they were committing fornication against him. His bride, his woman, would be having another god before him. They were warned of this mistake and their ultimate destruction from it in Isaiah. The entire book of Isaiah is concerning Jerusalem and their end and the new Kingdom that would replace it. Their sins and end would be compared to all of the nations of that day and how the Jews would be removed as God’s people.
Is 1:21 – How is the faithful city become an harlot! It was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.
Isaiah’s first chapter gives you the introduction to the book. It was written about Judah and Jerusalem (v1) and their fall from God’s favor and their upcoming judgment. Jerusalem is called the faithful city and how it has become a harlot. Rome was never faithful and Rome was never called a harlot in scripture.
Is 2:18 – 20 -' 18And the idols he shall utterly abolish. 19And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. 20In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats;
Why were they called a harlot? They were committing spiritual adultery. They stopped worshipping God and started worshipping idols. They were committing fornication with outside Kingdoms and nations by accepting their false gods and by relying on those nations to protect them, support them, and do all the things God was supposed to be doing as the “husband”.
Is 10:10-11 - 10As my hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria; 11Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols?
Throughout Isaiah, Jerusalem is compared to the nations of that time. He is trying to show the Jews why each outside nation is classified as sinful and telling the Jews they are doing the same thing, and that they would be cut off from God. They did not get to ‘get away with it’ because they were God’s chosen race.
Is 23:15,17 - 15And it shall come to pass in that day, that Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king: after the end of seventy years shall Tyre sing as an harlot. 17And it shall come to pass after the end of seventy years, that the LORD will visit Tyre, and she shall turn to her hire, and shall commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth.
Note: Tyre = Jerusalem - Tyre was never successfully conquered by Nebuchadnezzar. After the 70 years of literal Babylonian captivity, the Jews would not learn their lesson and fall away from God again, committing the same 1st sin they had been guilty of for generations. They would turn back to being a harlot, committing fornication with all of the kingdoms of the world.
Is 57:3-5 - 3But draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore. 4Against whom do ye sport yourselves? against whom make ye a wide mouth, and draw out the tongue? are ye not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood. 5Enflaming yourselves with idols under every green tree, slaying the children in the valleys under the clifts of the rocks?
When talking to the Jews, he calls them the seed of the whore. Jerusalem is the adulterer. They left God. Rome was never faithful and could not have even been guilty of adultery.
Isaiah is a difficult book to follow because of the metaphors used comparing Jerusalem to the nations of the world. It takes in depth studies to determine when Isaiah is talking in metaphors, or foreshadowing and correlation of the Babylonian captivity with the destruction by the Romans, or directly about the outside nation. All 3 are used, but looking at clues such as when Christ would come or when the Gentiles would be a part of the Kingdom among others will help clarify any confusion on the matter. I suggest most is concerning Christ and the coming point where the Gentiles, the isles, would be a part of the ‘earth.’
Ezekiel on the other hand is much more direct. I encourage you to read all of both books, but Ezekiel 6 and 16 emphasize the point that Jerusalem was the adulterous fornicating whore that left God for other gods.
Ezekiel 6:9 - And they that escape of you shall remember me among the nations whither they shall be carried captives, because I am broken with their whorish heart, which hath departed from me, and with their eyes, which go a whoring after their idols: and they shall lothe themselves for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations.
Ezekiel 6 calls Israel (the Jews) idol worshiping whores. They had left God and gone ‘whoring’ after idols. Rome never left God because they were never with God. Ezekiel further expands on the story in Chapter 16. He tells of how God went out of his way to take care of them and how they rejected him and played the Harlot.
Ezekiel 16:15-17 - 15But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown, and pouredst out thy fornications on every one that passed by; his it was. 16And of thy garments thou didst take, and deckedst thy high places with divers colours, and playedst the harlot thereupon: the like things shall not come, neither shall it be so. 17Thou hast also taken thy fair jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given thee, and madest to thyself images of men, and didst commit whoredom with them,
In Ezekiel 16:25-30 God is reminding them how they fornicated with the various nations. They were a wife that committed adultery (v32). The idea throughout all of these passages is that the Jews were once faithful (married to God) and left God which earned them the name Harlot, whore, fornicator, or adulterer. Rome did not do this. They were never faithful, never even married to God. Rome would be one of the nations the Jews would be guilty of turning to. Read about the crucifixion and Acts 2. They turned to Rome to crucify God’s Son rather than turning to God to find out how to react to Jesus.
Think of the story told in Ezekiel 23 of Aholah and Aholibah (the northern and southern tribes) and how they left God for comfort with these outside nations. Rome did not leave God to gain comfort in outside nations. They did not go ‘whoring’ or fornicating or committing adultery.
Jerusalem was called a whore throughout the Old Testament prophecies and the faithful studious Christians knew this! They did not have to read a commentary on it – they studied and knew the Old Testament. It was very clear to them who the whore was and why she was called a whore.
Blood of the SaintsEdit
Revelation 16:6 - For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.
The judgment was coming upon those that shed the blood of the saints and prophets. Great emphasis has been put on how Domitian, and the rest of the emperors, persecuted the Christians to label them as the group that shed the blood of the saints. The Romans and Christians had their clashes, but turn to God’s word and it will become clear who was talked about concerning the shedding of the blood of the saints and the prophets.
Isaiah 1:15 … your hands are full of blood.
Who was Isaiah writing about? Jerusalem. They were worshipping idols and murdering the innocent. The same group of people that God would not hear had hands defiled with innocent blood (Isaiah 59:1-9). Ezekiel, prophesying against this same Jerusalem, calls them the ‘bloody city’:
Ezekiel 22:2-6 - 2Now, thou son of man, wilt thou judge, wilt thou judge the bloody city? yea, thou shalt shew her all her abominations. 3Then say thou, Thus saith the Lord GOD, The city sheddeth blood in the midst of it, that her time may come, and maketh idols against herself to defile herself. 4Thou art become guilty in thy blood that thou hast shed; and hast defiled thyself in thine idols which thou hast made; and thou hast caused thy days to draw near, and art come even unto thy years: therefore have I made thee a reproach unto the heathen, and a mocking to all countries. 5Those that be near, and those that be far from thee, shall mock thee, which art infamous and much vexed. 6Behold, the princes of Israel, every one were in thee to their power to shed blood.
(Notice the city that was shedding the blood was the same city that was committing adultery (worshipping idols). Ezekiel 23 discusses both topics together as well). Micah 3, a prophesy about the destruction of Jerusalem, uses the same exact language.
Lamentations 4:13 - For the sins of her prophets, and the iniquities of her priests, that have shed the blood of the just in the midst of her.
Look back at Isaiah 1:21, such an important verse in understanding Revelation; the faithful city that turned harlot was full of murderers. Look at Christ’s condemnation of the Pharisees in Matthew 23:
- 25Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. 28Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. 29Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, 30And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. 31Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. 32Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. 33Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? 34Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: 35That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. 36Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. 37O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
Christ was not talking to the Romans. He was talking to the people of Jerusalem. That desolation would come upon the generation he was talking to because they were guilty of the blood of the saints and prophets. Then he leaves the temple in chapter 24 and shows the apostles that it would be destroyed. Jerusalem was guilty of the blood of the saints and the prophets. They were the ones that left God to play the harlot. These were the things the Christians read in the first century, not some commentary by Eusebius trying to place the writing in 95 ad so he could prove his point that there were two different Johns. The rest of the Bible hardly mentions the persecution of the saints by the Romans. In fact, quite the opposite is true:
Acts 28:16-20: 16And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him. 17And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. 18Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me. 19But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of. 20For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.
The Romans did not have a long history of persecuting the saints and the prophets; it had not even started by the end of Acts when they defend and guard Paul against the Jews. Nero STARTS the Roman persecution of the Christians later after much of the Bible had already been written. MOST of the rest of the Bible does accuse Jerusalem of these things and their sins span over centuries of time.
Also, if this is about Roman persecution after the fall of Jerusalem, what blood of what prophet(s) was shed? The Bible was nearly complete by this time and miracles (prophecy) was near to ending. Please name one according to scripture. One who holds to this position is hard pressed to apply Revelation 16:6 to Rome.
Faithful / Holy CityEdit
Revelation 11:2 - But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
When was Rome ever called HOLY? A first century Christian reader (who only had the Bible to reference as a source) would know Jerusalem, not Rome, was being referenced when the term holy city was used. Let’s go back to Isaiah to see what city was considered Holy at one time.
Isaiah 1:21 - How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.
Can you name a once faithful holy city that would be trodden down by the Gentiles because she had turned to fornicating idolatry that turned from God and was now murdering the prophets and the saints? Isaiah names it for you in verse 1 of chapter 1. Was Rome ever talked about as being faithful? Was Rome ever talked about as killing the prophets and the saints? Was Rome ever called the adulterous fornicating whore that left God for outside nations? Jerusalem was.
Where our Lord was CrucifiedEdit
Revelation 11:8 - And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
If you asked a Christian in the first century where Christ was crucified they would tell you Jerusalem. They would not get caught up in technicalities about if it were on the outskirts or not. All of the events surrounding his crucifixion were in Jerusalem and everyone knew this. Think of the reaction you would get if you tried to claim Christ was killed in Rome.
Acts 2:36 - Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
Technically speaking, the Romans physically killed Christ. But the Bible (Peter) says the Jews crucified him. The Jews pushed for his trial and execution. The Jews had the chance to set him free and chose to kill him. The Roman soldiers were just the ones flipping the switch. He was killed in Jerusalem by Jews. The whoredom was complete and now they would be finished off.
Sodom & EgyptEdit
Revelation 11:8 - And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
Sodom: a representation of pure sin. To the Jew, a Sodomite was the worst thing you could call someone who claimed to be faithful. Though the city was destroyed long ago, the story reverberated from generation to generation.
Isaiah 1:10 - Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.
Isaiah was talking to the Jews (verse 1). The book of Isaiah was about the removing of the once faithful people who had turned harlot and were now directly being called Sodomites, the lowest blow one could receive at that time. “Hear…,ye rulers of Sodom”. The Jews are constantly compared to Sodom by the prophets: Isaiah a few more times, Jeremiah in chapter 23.
Lamentations 4:6 - For the punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, that was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands stayed on her.
The Jews punishment was to be worse than Sodom’s (Matt 11:23-24; Mark 6:11; Luke 10:12; 17:29.) Especially pay attention to the context of Luke 17:29, the same material Jesus used on the Mount of Olives! Jerusalem’s sins were worse than her sister’s (Sodom’s) because they were once faithful and turned away from God. Go back and read all of Ezekiel chapter 16 again. I don’t remember reading any passages in the Bible that called Rome Sodom. The Christians of that day did read much of Isaiah and Ezekiel and knew that Jerusalem was referred to as Sodom multiple times.
Now take a look at Egypt. Back to Isaiah - chapter 19. This is one of the chapters that speak in metaphors so we will spend a little more time explaining how Egypt is in fact Jerusalem here. First off, remember what the book is about in chapter 1:1: The vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem. Isaiah was taking his time to show the Jews how they were just as wicked as the heathen nations around them and how they would eventually be cut off or left desolate.
Isaiah 19:1 - The burden of Egypt. Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it.
Take note of the words used to describe the upcoming judgment against Egypt (Jerusalem), you will see them again. Most of the clues in this chapter will be discussed in depth in other sections, but I thought it necessary to go over them briefly in this section to show Egypt is Jerusalem. Verse 2 has brother fighting against brother (Matt 24:7). They would become useless and in need of removal so the ‘new’ Judah (v17) could take their place. In verse 18 and following you have them turning to the outside nations again which would lead to their city being destroyed and there would be an altar in the midst of it – it being Jerusalem. Then a major sign would come – a saviour, a great one would deliver them – Christ. The Lord would smite them and then heal them (verse 22, Acts 2).
There would be a highway called “The way of holiness” (Isaiah 35:8) that came from the Kingdom / Church / New Jerusalem. In chapter 19, after God destroyed Egypt (Jerusalem) he would place a highway there and everyone would serve God together – Jew and Gentile. Egypt would become New Egypt, or in words God uses, Jerusalem would be replaced by the New Jerusalem.
But if you had any questions, look at verse 25.
Isaiah 19:25 - Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.
“Egypt my people” is referring to the church. This is when all Jews, Gentiles, and any mix of the two would be all included in God’s kingdom – the church.
Jerusalem is Egypt. Jerusalem is the city that was spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, according to the prophets that the 1st century Christians were so familiar with. There are no examples of Rome being called Egypt or Sodom. Rome did not fall away from God and play the harlot to other outside nations and commit fornication with them. Rome was not where Christ was crucified and nowhere does the rest of the Bible talk about Rome killing any of the other prophets or saints. Jerusalem was.
The Rider of the White HorseEdit
Revelation 19:11 - And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Christ was coming. When Jerusalem was compassed with armies and the Christians were leaving town because they knew of the warning that the Gentiles were about to tread down the Holy City, Christ tells them that this would be him coming to deliver this judgment.
Luke 21:27 - And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
Luke 21:31-32 - So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.
Christ was coming in a cloud with power and great glory and they and that generation would see those events. Isaiah 19, the chapter that calls Jerusalem – Egypt, shows how Christ would come with the clouds.
Isaiah 19:1 - The burden of Egypt. Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it.
Isaiah 60:1-12 tells us how the Gentile forces would come as clouds and whatever nation would not turn to God would be utterly wasted. Christ was coming and he was coming with the clouds of the Gentile forces. Right after the Valley of Dry Bones chapter in Ezekiel, you have a prophecy on how Christ would bring the judgment upon Jerusalem.
Ezekiel 38:16 - And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.
He would come as a cloud in the form of the Gentile armies and gather them to battle (encompass the City) against Jerusalem. Gog and Magog would represent them in that prophecy and be repeated in Revelation.
Revelation 20:8 - And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
Did the Christians of that day read in the Old Testament Prophets about how Gog and Magog would come up against Rome? No, but they did read of how Gog and Magog would come up against Jerusalem. The only place you would be able to find Gog and Magog coming against the land of Rome in the latter days would be in some commentary written today. If you use the Bible to find out who Gog and Magog would attack, it’s fairly simple to figure out.
In the book of Joel, the Lord speaks of his great locust army that brought destruction upon God’s people (the Gentile armies of the north – Babylon) and how he would remove them after a time (Joel 2:1-25). But then, in the time of the church when God would pour out his spirit (Joel 2:28, Acts 2:17) he would bring again the captivity of the Jews.
Joel 3:1-2 - 1For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, 2I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.
Christ would come with clouds as the conquering Gentile armies (Joel 3:9) during the time of the Christian age and bring judgment against the Jews and all nations. It was time for the harvest and Christ was there to thrust in the sickle as he would bring again the captivity of the Judah and Jerusalem.
Joel 3:13 - Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great.
Revelation 14:14-19 - 14And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. 15And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. 16And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. 17And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. 18And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. 19And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
Matt 24:30 - And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Zechariah, in his version of the Destruction of Jerusalem and the glorifying of the New Jerusalem, tells of how Jerusalem, they that pierced him, shall mourn (ch 12). They would mourn as the mourning of when Josiah was killed in the valley of Megiddon. It is no coincidence that Meggidon is used here as well as the stage of the great battle in Revelation 20. Zechariah, in chapter 13 goes on about how the idols would be purged from Jerusalem. Then in chapter 14:
Zechariah 14:1-3 - 1Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
Do you see the cloud / Christ / Gentile nations / Gog and Magog / God’s locust army coming harvest the wicked Jews? Christ, to make the church a praise in all the earth would trod the winepress. He would bring judgment to show the church was his bride and that the “Old” or the ones that held on to the “Old” were no longer his chosen ones and he would battle against them. Their destruction would bring glory to the church (Isaiah 62, Isaiah 63:1-6). He was coming to bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem. A theme repeated throughout the Old Testament time and time again. A theme the Christians of the early church knew very well. It was not a theme about how Christ would bring ‘again’ the captivity of Rome. The Christians of the first century did not read how Zechariah spoke of how Christ would bring all nations against Rome to battle.
The Roaring LionEdit
Revelation 5:5 - And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
Christ would come with clouds in power and glory. He, the one who was worthy to open the sealed book, that stood with his two feet ruling the sea and earth, would come as the Gentile nations from afar to harvest the wayward vineyard. (Isaiah 5:7, 25-26, Zech 10:8)
What would these nations from afar, or Gentile nations, or Christ be like?
Isaiah 5:29-30 - 29Their roaring shall be like a lion, they shall roar like young lions: yea, they shall roar, and lay hold of the prey, and shall carry it away safe, and none shall deliver it. 30And in that day they shall roar against them like the roaring of the sea: and if one look unto the land, behold darkness and sorrow, and the light is darkened in the heavens thereof.
These Gentile nations that would come to battle Jerusalem had characteristics of Lions. Christ is the Lion. He was hunting his prey. He was using the Roman army to do it.
Revelation 9:3,7-8 - 3And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 7And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. 8And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.
Revelation 10:3 - And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.
Revelation 13:1-2 - 1And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. 2And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
What was the watchman looking for in Matthew 24? What was he looking for in Isaiah 21? He was looking for Christ. He was looking for the Lion. He was looking for the army coming in the clouds from heaven to battle against Judah and Jerusalem, who were spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, because they had left God and played the Harlot by worshiping idols and spilling the blood of the saints and prophets; not to mention being the city where our Lord was crucified.
With the Four Horsemen RideEdit
Revelation 6:1 - And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
Israel, the house that would commit fornication with idols (Ezekiel 14:4) would be visited by God’s 4 judgments.
Ezekiel 14:21 - For thus saith the Lord GOD; How much more when I send my four sore judgments upon Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the noisome beast, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast?
Jerusalem was the target. Jerusalem was the focus of the sore judgments. They were the ones that faced the four horsemen (first 4 seals) of Revelation 6. They were the ones that the Lion would prey upon and bring his army of locusts to deliver the sword. Christ would bring pestilence. Only God has the power to create a famine. He, the rider of the pale horse, would bring death.
These mystical creatures or horses are extensions of God’s will or persona. They are the spirit of God. You can find them in Ezekiel 1, Zechariah 1 and 6 – all books and chapters regarding the destruction of the Jews. The world today looks upon these riders with fear, and as well they should. But to the Christian of the first century, they were a welcome site. These horses would end the persecution delivered by the Jews (see the book of Acts) and would glorify the church through the deliverance from those Jews. It was God.
Did Ezekiel 14 prophesy about the coming 4 sore judgments against Rome? The first century Christians knew this prophecy and they knew the Harlot that turned from God and was killing them would be visited by these 4 sore judgments soon.
Revelation 6:4 - And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
The immense similarity between Matthew 24 and Revelation 6 cannot be ignored. Specifically in this instance, refer back to Isaiah 19, remembering the metaphor showing Jerusalem as Egypt.
Isaiah 19:2 - And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians: and they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbour; city against city, and kingdom against kingdom.
Matthew 24:7 - For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
Christ would cause this calamity. God delivered the Jews out of Egypt as he reminded them so many times. He used the tool, Nebuchadnezzar, to conquer the world and later somewhat comically proved that to “ole Nebby.” He was the puppet master pulling the strings. He was the potter.
Zechariah 14:13 - And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.
If a Christian were reading Isaiah (a book concerning the judgment against Judah and Jerusalem, 1:1) and Zechariah (a book concerning the judgment against Jerusalem, 14:2) and Matthew 24 (a chapter concerning the judgment of Jerusalem, 24:2), he would make the connection between these passages and Revelation 6:4. Everyone would be killing each other and it was one of the signs that the end was here.
Revelation 7:3 - Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
There may not be much disagreement that the ones that were to be sealed with the mark of God in their foreheads were the Christians, but this marking, just as every thing else in Revelation, can be found in a prophecy about the Destruction of Jerusalem in the Old Testament.
Ezekiel 9:4-9 - 4And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. 5And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: 6Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house. 7And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city. 8And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem? 9Then said he unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness: for they say, The LORD hath forsaken the earth, and the LORD seeth not.
The prophecy is concerning the marking of the faithful in Jerusalem, not the faithful in Rome. The iniquity of the house of the Jews was exceedingly great; their land was full of the blood of the saints and the prophets. The faithful in Jerusalem had the mark of God sealed in their foreheads contrasted to the Jews who had the mark of the man sealed in theirs. The ones with the mark of the man would be destroyed by the 4 winds when the time came. The antitype is replacing the type.
Lord Let Your Light Shine On UsEdit
Revelation 8:12 - And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.
The celestial bodies are one of the more misunderstood figures in the Bible. While simple to understand (if you turn to the Old Testament) the influence of the secular world has clouded our knowledge of the subject. There are a few times in the Bible where the sun is spoken of literally. However, throughout the poetry of the visions of the prophets and their warnings to the people, the sun and other heavenly bodies are used to represent something. They represented the rulers; the ones that ‘gave light’ to their people.
Deut 31:28, 32:1 - 28Gather unto me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to record against them. 1Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.
Judges 5:19, 20 - 19The kings came and fought, then fought the kings of Canaan in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo; they took no gain of money. 20They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera.
Isaiah 1:2,10 - 2Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. 10Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.
The sun gave light to the earth. The rulers gave direction to the people. Even though Isaiah defines what the heavens and earth are, the concept is not hard to get. You can read about it in Genesis 37 and Joseph’s dream. His father did not have to be told what the dream meant; it was quite obviously an allusion. You can read about these examples numerous times in the prophets including Isaiah 13, 14, 24, and 34.
These ‘lights’ would need to be removed so the true light could shine. Christ is talked about as the ‘sun or righteousness’ in Malachi 4:2. Matthew, in the powerful passages in chapter 24 speaks of things to come in the day of that generation.
Matthew 24:29 - Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken
And then the theme, as you will see numerous times, of out with the old and in with the new would take place. Christ, the Rider of the White horse, was coming to put down the stars of heaven and darken the moon so he could take their place in the new Jerusalem.
Isaiah 60:19-20 - 19The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. 20Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.
He would create a new heavens and a new earth – II Peter 3:13, Isaiah 65:17, Revelation 21:1. The Old was waxing away.
Hebrews 8:13 - In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
It was not totally gone yet, but the system engendered by the Old Testament was ready to be gone. The New Covenant replaced the Old at the cross and the new system was replacing the old. That would be pronounced to the world when Jerusalem was destroyed. That is when the world would know the Christians were God’s chosen people. The church would be glorified by the utter destruction of the Once Faithful City. The Old sun would cease to give her light New Sun would shine (Isaiah 60:20, Revelation 21:23-24, 22:5). The Old Harlot would receive her divorce papers and the New Bride would be adorned at her reception that night.
The shepherds of Israel would be replaced by Christ, the Good Shepherd (Ezekiel 34). The sun moon and stars would cease to give their light when Jerusalem was destroyed. The early Christians knew this because they read Isaiah and knew of the sermon in Matthew 24. They did not have brother “so and so”’s commentary on how these heavenly bodies, even though discussed throughout prophecy after prophecy concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, were about the fall of Rome. If this were talking about Rome (or one of the persecuting Emperors) what was New? What was the Old for that matter? The new completely finished taking its place when the Old was removed. If it were Rome, you lose the type / anti type. You lose the Old being replaced by the new. Did the generation in Matthew see the fall or Rome, Domitian, or Diocletian? No, they saw the destruction of Jerusalem.
The Abomination of DesolationEdit
Revelation 17:16 - 16And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.
Jerusalem’s desolation would show the world that the Old covenant was being removed and the New was taking its place. The Christians were specifically reminded of this prophecy in Matthew 24.
Matthew 24:15 - When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
Daniel 9:26-27 - 26And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 27And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
Matthew 24 is about the destruction of Jerusalem. Christ reminded them of Daniel’s prophecy and how the city would be destroyed and the sacrifices and oblations would cease. The whore would be made desolate and this would confirm to the world that the New was in place. This is how the destruction of Jerusalem glorified the church. Rome was not made desolate in the first century (during that Generation). There is such a strong connection between the old and the new and how the old being destroyed glorifies the new.
Revelation 18:9 - And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,
God would punish those that rejected him; the ones that were once faithful and had now turned away. The world would see the judgment and be astonished. God’s dramatic flare here is no accident. The world needed to see. They needed to know Judaism was vanishing away. The Christian who was receiving the warning understood this from the Old Testament Prophecies.
Ezekiel 5:5-17 - 5Thus saith the Lord GOD; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her. 6And she hath changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes more than the countries that are round about her: for they have refused my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them. 7Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye multiplied more than the nations that are round about you, and have not walked in my statutes, neither have kept my judgments, neither have done according to the judgments of the nations that are round about you; 8Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, am against thee, and will execute judgments in the midst of thee in the sight of the nations. 9And I will do in thee that which I have not done, and whereunto I will not do any more the like, because of all thine abominations. 10Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments in thee, and the whole remnant of thee will I scatter into all the winds. 11Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD; Surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee; neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity. 12A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee: and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them. 13Thus shall mine anger be accomplished, and I will cause my fury to rest upon them, and I will be comforted: and they shall know that I the LORD have spoken it in my zeal, when I have accomplished my fury in them. 14Moreover I will make thee waste, and a reproach among the nations that are round about thee, in the sight of all that pass by. 15So it shall be a reproach and a taunt, an instruction and an astonishment unto the nations that are round about thee, when I shall execute judgments in thee in anger and in fury and in furious rebukes. I the LORD have spoken it. 16When I shall send upon them the evil arrows of famine, which shall be for their destruction, and which I will send to destroy you: and I will increase the famine upon you, and will break your staff of bread: 17So will I send upon you famine and evil beasts, and they shall bereave thee: and pestilence and blood shall pass through thee; and I will bring the sword upon thee. I the LORD have spoken it.
The merchants from afar would see the smoke of the city (Rev 18:9,18). They would know of the destruction of the city is what that is saying. When Jerusalem was destroyed it sent a message to the entire world that they were no longer God’s people and that the church of the New Covenant was. Rome, in the time of the first century, was not encompassed about and destroyed. Rome would not have a judgment come in ‘one hour’ (or a short amount of time) in the first century. The destruction of the city of Rome does not fit in Chapter 18.
Revelation 18:23 - And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.
Rome was not faithful. They would not play the harlot. They never had a candle (spirit of God – light – direction) in it. The contrast (just as in Hebrews 9) was being made. The once faithful city, the old Jerusalem, was having its candle removed. (Note: each New Testament congregation would not be exempt from having their candle removed either – Revelation 2:5). It is very important to realize that Rome was never faithful. Whatever the great once faithful city that used to have a candle was – it was not Rome. God was removing Jerusalem’s candle (place at his side) for the whole world to see.
Turning of the TideEdit
Revelation 19:2 - For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.
The faithful seemed to be losing. The souls under the alter were crying ‘how long, O Lord.’ They were waiting for God’s vengeance on those that killed them. (Rev 6, 7) Revelation 11 tells how the faithful dead would stand again and at that same time starts the destruction of the city. The killers killed. The persecutors persecuted.
This contrast was prophesied in Isaiah. Isaiah 26, a chapter describing the New Jerusalem, the church, talks about the turning of the tide.
Isaiah 26:13-14, 19-21 - 13O LORD our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name. 14They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish. 19Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. 20Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. 21For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.
The Jews that were killing the Christians would be killed. It was an ironic twist that the Christians lived and the Jews were destroyed. This pronounced irony is what would glorify the church. The Jews sins would be disclosed and they would be punished, leaving the way clear for the world to know the New Jerusalem, the church, was God’s chosen people now.
The Woman in PainEdit
Revelation 12:2 - And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
The church, the Bride of Christ was delivering her offspring: Christians. She was doing so in troublesome times and it was difficult for her. She needed her husband to come and protect her from those that were trying to kill her and her offspring. Those that survived, the remnant of her seed would not give in and would keep the commandments of God (Rev 12:17). You see this same description in Isaiah 24-27.
Isaiah 26:17 - Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O LORD.
Isaiah, a book concerning Judah and Jerusalem (Isaiah 1:1), prophesied about God’s people at the time of their transition into Christianity, and how they would be called by a new name (Isaiah 62:6). They would be a part of the New Jerusalem. They would be under the old law; the veil would be lifted (Isaiah 25:7) at the time of the husband delivering and glorifying his bride. When would this happen?
Isaiah 27:9-10 - 9By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged; and this is all the fruit to take away his sin; when he maketh all the stones of the altar as chalkstones that are beaten in sunder, the groves and images shall not stand up. 10Yet the defenced city shall be desolate, and the habitation forsaken, and left like a wilderness: there shall the calf feed, and there shall he lie down, and consume the branches thereof.
It would happen when the sins of Israel were purged, not the sins of Rome. The idolatrous whore that was killing the Christians and Christ himself would be left desolate and he would consume those branches. Isaiah 24 through 27 were not prophesying about the transition from the old defenced city of Rome to the new Jerusalem with walls of salvation and pearly gates of praise (Isaiah 26:1-2, Revelation 21). Isaiah was not telling the Romans how they would be called Christians in Isaiah 62. Everything is the old versus the new. The passing of the torch was happening and the race was almost over. The destruction of Jerusalem would glorify the church, deliver her, and let all the world know that their God was the one true and living God.
Out with the Old, In with the NewEdit
Revelation 21:1 - And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
One of the most prevalent themes in the Bible is the one of type / antitype. The things of the Old Law would be replaced by the more perfect New Testament. The sacrifices of bulls and goats, the type, would be replaced by the sacrifice of Christ, the antitype. King David, the type, would be replaced by Christ the King, the antitype. The crossing of the Red Sea, the type, foreshadowed baptism, the antitype. The most prevalent theme in Isaiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Zechariah, and Revelation is comparing the Old Jerusalem, the type, with the New Jerusalem, the antitype. The old lights, Jewish leaders (Isaiah 1) would go out and the new light, Christ, would shine. The old physical kingdom would be destroyed, glorifying the new spiritual kingdom. The adulterous harlot would be replaced by the Bride of Christ. Rome was never a type for the church. It was not a once faithful city. It never held a candle representing its bond with God. Rome’s leaders and people were not going to be replaced by Christ and the Christians as the New Heavens and New Earth. God wanted us to use the Old Testament to teach us the New. He placed the type / antitype in there so we (they) would be ready as the prophecies of Christ and his bride coming would be fulfilled. The second half of Revelation is where the major type / antitype of the whore and the bride stand out.
Revelation 11:1 - And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
The church would be numbered (Read the book of Numbers for comparison) which would be the equivalent of marking the foreheads of the faithful with the mark of God. The ones not in this new temple, the church, would be destroyed. The old holy city, the followers of the old temple, would be given to the gentiles to be destroyed. After the judgment was delivered, the true temple of God from verse 1, would be seen and glorified as being the bride of Christ (verse 19). It was a direct contrast from those holding on to the Old Law.
We are first introduced to the faithful woman clothed with the sun (light of Christ) representing all of God’s people (12 tribes, 12 stars, 12 precious stones) in Revelation 12:2 and her seed, the man child / Christians, in Rev 12:5,17.
Revelation 19:7-11 - 7Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. 9And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. 10And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. 11And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
The marriage of the conquering rider of the White horse, the Lamb, and his bride, the church, had already taken place (church founded at Pentecost). She now has made herself ready for the marriage supper (we would call wedding reception). The same marriage feast is found in Matthew 25:1-13. After the destruction of Jerusalem (Matthew 24, Revelation 17-18) you have the victory consummation celebration in the wedding feast. After the destruction of the harlot in Ezekiel 16:35, the new covenant would be “established”. The Kingdom of Heaven (Matt 25:1, Hebrews 11:10, 14, 16, 40; Hebrews 12:23-23), the bride of Christ, the church of the firstborn (the church of Christ), the Heavenly Jerusalem was having her long awaited marriage feast. The world would now know they truly were God’s people by the destruction of Jerusalem some 40 years after their founding on the day of Pentecost.
The new earth, the new holy city, the new Jerusalem, the Bride of Christ is described in detail in chapter 21 and 22.
Revelation 21:2, 9-10 - 2And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 9And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. 10And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
The description of the church in this chapter is found in prophecies throughout the entire Bible. The New Covenant is proven to be the true covenant that would last until the end of time (I Cor 15:24).
Revelation 21:3 shows this new tabernacle of God (the church) as opposed to the old tabernacle (or temple) of the old Law of Moses. Verse 4 is a fulfillment of Isaiah 65:19 and how the church would survive and the former things (things of the Old Law) would not. In verse 5, Christ, who is now sitting on the great white throne (Rev. 20:11), is making all things new. Verse 7 tells of the new inheritance of the New Jerusalem versus the Jews inheritance of the land of Canaan. Then as John is seeing the bride (NOT HEAVEN) he sees gold and precious stones and pearls (v 11-21). Remember back to what the whore was adorned with in Revelation 17:4:
Revelation 17:4 - And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
The whore was dressed exactly the same as the Bride. This is not a coincidence. It cannot be stressed enough as to the importance of the identification of the whore. It was not just some random costly gems and apparel that would look nice (on the whore or the Bride). It was a representation of the citizens of their respective Kingdoms. If you read commentaries of men, you will hear how beautiful heaven is and the home of the soul and all of the pearly gates and how St. Peter is standing guard. But if you will put away the commentaries of uninspired men, no matter how old or smart they are, and turn to the Old Testament, God’s schoolmaster, you will see what these precious descriptions represent.
Exodus 25:3-9 - 3And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, 4And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair, 5And rams' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins, and shittim wood, 6Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense, 7Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate. 8And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. 9According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.
Exodus 28:15-21, 29 - 15And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it. 16Foursquare it shall be being doubled; a span shall be the length thereof, and a span shall be the breadth thereof. 17And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row. 18And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. 19And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst. 20And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings. 21And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes. 29And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the LORD continually.
Aaron’s breastplate of judgment and the 12 stones represented the 12 tribes of Israel. The high priest would represent the 12 tribes just as Christ would be our high priest and represent the (symbolic) 144,000. The tabernacle would have a candlestick in it just as the churches would have their candle. This is the same candle that is removed from the whore in Revelation 18:23. Jerusalem would not be with God anymore.
The point of the New was to allow for all nations of the world to be a part of God’s Kingdom. The veil was being lifted and the burden of the Old Law would be taken away with the rebuke (destruction) of his people (Isaiah 25:7-8, II Cor 3:14-16). The sacrifices and oblations were ceasing when the city would be destroyed (Dan 9:26-27). The everlasting covenant would replace the old covenant (Ezekiel 16:60). The removal of the old law paved the way for the Gentiles (Isles) to have their separation removed (sea) and become part of the New Jerusalem (new earth). (Isaiah 11:10, Isaiah 42, Isaiah 49, Isaiah 51, Isaiah 60-62, Isaiah 66, Revelation 21:1) The many waters (Revelation 17:1, 15) of the Jerusalem (Acts 2:5) would know the God of the Christians was the one true and living God and that the Jews had had their candle removed. Then the elect would be gathered in that day and they would all worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem (Revelation 11:15, Isaiah 27:13, Isaiah 2:2-3).
Try to place Rome in any of these descriptions. You will get vague, uninspired explanations defending the “diocese” of the church and what they spread. If you see how the whore represented the old tribes of Israel, then you don’t have to make up stuff about where our Lord was crucified.
To Rule the WorldEdit
Revelation 17:18: And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.
While it is easy to say Rome ruled the world, which I will not argue, John is not referencing that relationship. He is referencing the Old Testament just as he does with every other symbol in the book.
Deuteronomy 15:6 - For the LORD thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee.
There is not a lot more to say on the subject. This speaks volumes enough.
Babylon is Fallen, Is FallenEdit
Revelation 14:8 - And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
Isaiah 21 has all of the parts. From the watchman to the encompassing Gentile nations; from the lion to the woman in travail – Babylon is the forerunner of Jerusalem. They were the body that was persecuting God’s chosen people (Jews / Christians). They were the city that would be destroyed by the gentile nations (Medes / Romans). They were the ones that would be visited by the lion (Isaiah 21:8, Rev 5:5). The woman (Jerusalem / church) was in travail. All of the burdens in Isaiah were about the Jews. God pointed out to them their shared common sins of the great nations / city-states of the world in that day and how eventually they would be removed and how the new Kingdom would be established and glorified by their removal. This is how the Gentiles would be able to be a part of God’s chosen race. The new could not flourish until the distraction of the old was removed.
Paul’s territory was the Gentile / Roman world (Acts 23:11, Eph 3:1) because of his Roman citizenship. He is the one that is sent to Rome to labor. Peter on the other hand is the apostle to the circumcised (Hebrews / Jews).
Galatians 2:7-8 - 7But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; 8(For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)
Peter was always found working in Jerusalem (Acts 2:14; 8:14; 10:45; 11:2; Gal 1:18). Why is this Relevant?
I Peter 5:13 - The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.
If you turn to the Bible, you will find out where Peter tarried. If you turn to the wicked Eusebius (a Catholic forefather) you can find ways he makes up things to have Peter live his entire life (or 25 years) in Rome, simply in order to call Babylon Rome and thus confirm his great life’s work of proving there were two different Johns. Turn to the Bible to find your answers, not the Catholic Church. If Babylon were Rome, how do you reconcile:
Revelation 18:9-10 - 9And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, 10Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
Revelation 22:7, 10, 12, 20 and Revelation 1:1, 3…don’t seal up the book, the message needed to get out because the events were about to happen. How did the destruction of Rome, the removing of her supposed ‘candle,’ happen shortly after the book was written? It does not fall for several CENTURIES and it NEVER had a candle.
Peter references Revelation. He does not get into long drawn out visions and their meanings. He just references them.
I Peter 5:4 - And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
Peter is referring to Ezekiel 34:23 (and Hebrews 13:20), which is found in a chapter about the removal of the old failing shepherds of Jerusalem being replaced by David (Christ). When Christ came back, they would receive a crown of glory that would not fade away. The crown of glory would be given when the church would replace Jerusalem (Isaiah 62:3). Christ would (re)appear as the Roman army to deliver his judgment on the Jews (Matt 24:30, Rev 1:7, Rev 14:14 - see the Roaring Lion section above)
I Peter 5:10 - But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
The church was already “founded” on the day of Pentecost. Yet the Christians would be made perfect, or complete, and “established” soon. They would be “established” and glorified when the Jewish system was destroyed.
The Darkness is Past and You Have Overcome the Wicked OneEdit
1 John 2:8 - Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.
1 John 2:13-14 - 13 I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. 14 I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
This is the final nail in the coffin, an addendum I just added tonight before posting this article on the wiki. I usually use these verses to address full- and hyper-preterism, but they work just as well against the Rome hypotheses.
1 John was written after the fall of Jerusalem. He is combating the Gnostic heresy which said that Jesus did not come in the flesh. The term "antichrist" is not even attached to the apocalyptic material, but that's for another post.
John writes some very interesting statements in these few verses. He writes:
- The darkness is past.
- The true light now shineth.
- You have overcome the wicked one.
Darkness Is PastEdit
The darkness, throughout the New Testament is a reference not just to ignorance, but specifically the willfull ignorance of the disobedient Jews.
John 1:5 - And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
Contextually, this is Jesus coming to His own people and being rejected. Here are some other examples of Judaism being associated directly with the power of darkness.
Luke 22:53 - When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.
2 Corinthians 4:6 - For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 6:12 - For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
What else can John mean that the darkness is past? If the darkness is already past, how can Revelation be about Rome, which didn't fall for another 300+ years? Rome, whose alleged persecution did not end for another 200+ years? Rome, whose ignorance of spiritual things never ended before the Empire divided and each of the two parts fell.
True Light ShinesEdit
The true light can only be Jesus, but more specifically Jesus as the Sun of Righteousness.
Revelation 21:23 - And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
Revelation 22:5 - And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
You Have Overcome the Wicked OneEdit
Throughout the book of Revelation we see this idea of "overcomeing". It is projected as something they were to endure until, keep faith until, hope until...it was a yet future event.
Revelation 2:7 - He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
Revelation 2:11 - He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. Revelation 2:17 - He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. Revelation 2:26 - And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
Revelation 3:5 - He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
Revelation 3:12 - Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. Revelation 3:21 - To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Revelation 21:7 - He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
Now, I have spent some time in various articles showing that Satan is used as a euphamism for the Jewish system in Revelation. Who else could the "wicked one" be if he has already been overcome by the time John writes 1 John? How had they overcome him?
There is no way to explain these verses from 1 John 2 from Rome and they clearly point to the fact that the things of Revelation have already come to a conclusion.
Revelation is the end of the type / antitype. Revelation fulfills all the prophecies of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Joel, Amos, Micah, Zechariah and Malachi. The Jews would be removed and the everlasting covenant put in place. The Isles would become part of the earth. The story of the Bible would be finished: the separating out of God’s chosen race to bring Christ and then their final removal so the New Jerusalem could spread. The adulterous fornicating harlot would be visited by the encompassing gentile armies in order to glorify the Bride and show the world that she was the Bride of the rider of the White Horse. The Roman Empire was a tool and had little relevance compared to the 1500+ year long history of the seed of Abraham. The last days (of the Jews) were over. The faithful were brought to Christ through the Old Testament prophets. The schoolmaster taught them, not a commentary of man.
Therefore, Revelation cannot be about the fall of Rome.
A Note About AuthorshipEdit
I am not the sole, or even primary author of the majority of this article, though I claim it as my own without reservation. I did help compile this article through study with my younger brother, Cort, and the largest part of the credit goes to him. I did add the portion concerning 1 John 2, but the rest was a collaborative effort and they have my heartfelt thanks.