A verse by verse analysis letting Bible verses reveal the book of Revelation
|368 pages by Wayne Bettin * First Edition October 1999 * Copyright (C) 1999 by ABS Books * ISBN 0-9632172-8-3 * Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 99- 94565|
|Verse Examples: Click for *** Introduction ***A Blessing Promised ***Image of the Beast ***The Sixth Seal Judgment ***Ordering Information|
NOTE: Matthew, Chapter 24 is an excellent preview to the book of Revelation. Wayne Bettin, the author of "REVELATION Revealed" has recently completed a Bible study of the 24th chapter of Matthew, using the same approach he uses in the book "REVELATION Revealed" in which Bible verses from throughout the Bible are used to reveal the message given in the Bible. This Matthew Chap.24 Bible Study is given to you free and complete by Wayne Bettin and may be viewed by clicking "**Mat.24**"
INTRODUCTION: - - - - Click to
The book of Revelation has a reputation of being a book of symbolism and impossible to understand.
The purpose of this writing, "REVELATION Revealed" is to despel the myth that the book of Revelation is a dark mystery and to instead, uncover the true message of Revelation by letting the Bible itself open the door to the true understanding of the book.
"REVELATION Revealed" uses a "verse by verse" approach to studying the book of Revelation. Each phrase and often single words are explained so that the reader does not become confused or even misled by an assumption or a premature conclusion. The challenge is to keep one's mind open to what the Bible truly says without first passing it through the sieve of what appeals to human reason or of what one has believed in the past.
The book of Revelation is often symbolized or spiritualized in an attempt to make it more acceptable and believable. This may make the book more pleasant and readable but in so doing the true message of the book of Revelation is lost.
. The effort required to study the book of Revelation is often avoided by simply ignoring the book altogether. In so doing, the exciting wonders of what lies ahead for mankind is missed entirely. The purpose of "REVELATION Revealed" is to provide an easy understanding for one of the most interesting and exciting books of the Bible.
A BLESSING PROMISED: (from the pages of REVELATION Revealed) - - - - Click to **Return
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.
A blessing is promised to those Bible students who study the book of Revelation. This promise is repeated in Rev.22:7 “ - blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.” Note that merely reading or hearing is not enough, but we must keep those things which are written therein.
This brings to mind what Jesus said in that familiar verse, “ - Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” Luke 11:28. To “keep it” means more than only obeying the word of God, as the account of Mary in Luke 2:19 informs us, “But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”
for the time is at hand again seems to indicate an immediacy about the fulfillment of this prophecy. James tells us in 5:8, “Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” Isaiah used the expression long ago when he advised in 13:6, “Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.” We will learn more about the “wrath of God” and the “day of the Lord” in later chapters of Revelation.
(Please Note: COMMENT sections are the authors own words and thoughts but are usually based on Bible verses. These sections use a different type font and end with a #.)COMMENT:
“At hand” can easily mean “the next event in the sequence of the predetermined things to happen.” From the very beginning, God had a plan for mankind that focused around Jesus Christ. “ - the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations - .” Romans 16:25-26. We will read later in Rev.10:7, “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.”
Three words that are nearly overlooked and appear almost as an afterthought are the words of this prophecy. The verse Rev.22:7 referred to before also calls out the prophecy of this book. The Revelation is a book of prophecy! Although there are certainly messages and warnings to the churches and some referrals to events in the past, the basic purpose of the book is that of prophecy.
The book of Revelation has been described in various ways; it has been called a book of history, the events of which have already occurred; or a book of warnings in the form of symbolism directed at the people on earth; or a book of symbolism that tells us of the power and love of God and Jesus toward mankind. There are many interpretations of the book of Revelation, most of which tend to “water down” the content into something more acceptable to human reason. Even some “Christians” would feel embarrassed to admit they accept the book of Revelation as it is written. They prefer to symbolize it into something more believable in the eyes of other people. Is Revelation incredible? Absolutely!! Should we expect anything less from such an incredible God?
Think for a moment! If you were to write a book today describing our present day world, including the many things we take for granted: the telephone, television, aircraft carrying hundreds of people at tremendous speeds, men walking on the moon, an earth that is spherical, the gasoline engine, electricity, nuclear energy; there is no end to the list. Now go back in time to the Roman Empire and publish your book (you had better do it before you leave; they didn’t have printing presses.)
To a Roman of that time period, what do you think would be more easy for him to believe, your book or the book of Revelation? Remember, your book describes the works of man; Revelation describes the works of God. “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” I Cor. 2:9. Are we not being too timid in believing what God can do? At the present rate of the advancement of technology, the book of Revelation is probably easier to believe than what is in store for us in the next few years. #
IMAGE OF THE BEAST: (from the pages of REVELATION Revealed) - - - - Click to **Return
And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
Since the beast receives power from the devil, he is able to do miraculous things, but nothing that could be compared to that from the power of God. Daniel described the beast in Dan.8:23-25 of which some details apply to this verse “ - And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; - .” Continuing in Dan.11:38 “But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.”
Since the physical appearance of the image of the beast is not described to us, we can only try to determine what it is by what it does. There is no detailed description of the image, but we are told it was given life and that it could speak. Being able to speak appears to be an important ability of the image, leading us to wonder as to the limits of its abilities. It can cause that people should be killed. It apparently does not do the killing itself, but provides the command or information to select those that should be killed.
Verses 14-18 of this thirteenth chapter of Revelation have been the source of much speculation as to their meaning and probably there are as many different theories as there are articles written about them. With the advent of computers and the everyday effects of them on our lives, prophecies that seemed impossible to understand or to even occur in the past become very possible and easy to understand today. Social security numbers, credit card numbers, and much personal information stored in the database of a computer are an accepted way of life, with more related items being introduced daily. Computers that can speak and even understand spoken words are commonplace.
If the image of the beast is closely related to a computer or is a computer itself, verses 13:15-17 are easy to understand, specially when we are aware that a wicked power such as has been described to us, is using this image to his advantage.
Rev.13:7 told us the beast makes war with the saints and overcomes them by his power. A computer with a database that has a detailed record of every person on earth, could supply the beast with information listing every person on earth who refuses to worship him, and that therefore should be killed. #
And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
The second beast causeth all, and the list is very inclusive of all people. All are required to receive a mark.
In Rev.14:9-10 we are told how serious it is to receive the mark and by implication, that the mark shows a recognition of the person’s accepting and worshipping the beast. “ - if any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:”
We also will read of the punishment and the reward to those who refuse the beast’s demand, “ - I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Rev.20:4.
And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
We learn in this verse that the mark demanded by the beast, to be put on every person, is related to buying and selling. A person not having the mark, will not be allowed to buy or sell, although it is suggested that having the name of the beast or the number of his name would permit the person to buy and sell. What is included in those last two requirements is not told us.
We realize the importance of refusing the mark of the beast and the reward that will follow by reading verses later in Revelation, as Rev.15:2 “And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.”
Continuing from the COMMENT under verse 15, much of the buying and selling of goods and services today is done with a credit or debit card, all directly related to the use of the computer.
A weakness in the use of these cards is that they can be lost or stolen and the card numbers can be used without permission.
It has already been found possible to implant a small computer chip under the skin of a person, that would contain complete information about the person, as well as a positive identification of that person. In buying most anything, the store clerk would simply pass the familiar wand device over the area of the implanted chip in the forehead or hand of the buyer and the transaction would be safely completed.
The convenience and security brought about by the use of such a system is obvious. But just as obvious would be the control a government agency could have over all people by monitoring, regulating or even prohibiting the sale of certain products to selected buyers. With the possibility of a “cashless” society where all buying and selling is done through credit cards or something similar, a government could control the buying methods and habits of the populace. #
SIXTH SEAL JUDGMENT: (from the pages of REVELATION Revealed) - - - - Click to **Return
And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
When Jesus opens the sixth seal, John witnesses a great earthquake, the first of five earthquakes mentioned in Revelation. The others are in Rev.8:5, 11:13, 11:19 and the greatest to ever occur on earth in 16:18.
The darkening of the sun and moon seems to be as a result of a covering that prevents their light from shining through. This is indicated by the moon becoming as blood, or red as blood when covered by clouds, or in this verse possibly by the result of the great earthquake.
Acts 2:20 is almost identical to Joel 2:31 in describing this prophecy, “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.” Something similar is in Ezek.32:7-8 “And when I shall put thee out, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light. All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over thee, and set darkness upon thy land, saith the Lord GOD.”
And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
What John now sees in the vision is what Jesus had discussed with his disciples in Mat.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:.”
John compares the falling stars as the fruit of a tree being blown off the tree in a wind storm; an unwelcome occurrence to a fruit farmer who suffers the loss of the unripe (untimely) fruit.
The stars referred to in 6:13 obviously cannot be complete stars which are many times larger than the earth itself; what we call meteorites would be a more accurate description, which even we call “shooting stars.” #
In the verse Mat.24:29 quoted above, a term is used that reveals much as to the reason for the dramatic events in the heavens that occur later in Revelation. The powers of the heavens shall be shaken is a term which can be too easily passed over without much thought.
Scientists know the delicate balance of the gravitational pull of the heavenly bodies upon each other. We read of their worries for a possible effect on the earth when a few planets happen to align themselves together in relation to the earth.
Imagine the effect if a large comet would travel close to the earth, how the gravitational pull would cause huge earthquakes (vs.6:12), the monstrous tides that would result (from Luke “the sea and the waves roaring”), the steep faces of mountains that would collapse (Rev.6:14 “every mountain and island were moved out of their places”), the multitude of “shooting stars” from the “dust” in the tail of the comet as they are pulled into the earth’s atmosphere (vs.6:13), and the fear brought to mankind when scientists would warn of a comet being on a near collision course with the earth.
Luke sums it up in Lk.21:25-26 “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” #
And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Anyone that has tried to unroll anything tightly rolled together, only to have it slip out of their hands, knows the sound and the disturbing effect it can produce. John compares this to the event taking place in heaven. (this is not the heaven of God’s throne, but the space above the earth) The great earthquake of Rev.6:12 could be the cause of the mountains and islands being affected.
Isaiah had foretold of this event hundreds of years before in Is.34:4 “And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.” This verse also applies to Rev.6:13. Isaiah had also prophesied about the earth in Is.13:13 “Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.” Later we will read of a more complete destruction of the islands and mountains in Rev.16:20 “And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.”
the heaven departed is addressed in Mat.24:35 “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” However, much more about this will be discussed in Chapter 21.
And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
“ - for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: - .” Luke 21:26.
Luke gives us the reason for everyone from the highest in power to the lowly bondman, to want to hide from the presence of the Lord, whose presence is evidenced by the events taking place in heaven and on the earth. This reason is further explained in the next verse, Rev.6:16.
Again, Isaiah has much to say in Is.2:19 “And 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.”
God will not let those in the highest powers go unpunished for their sins and wickedness “He shall cut off the spirit of princes: he is terrible to the kings of the earth.” Ps.76:12. Isaiah again gives us a description of what we have read “The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth.” Is.24:20-21.
And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
Those listed in 6:15 are fully aware of the source of the judgments coming upon the earth, that they are from him that sitteth on the throne, God, and from the Lamb, Jesus. They are so engulfed in the fear of God and Jesus, that they are seeking death rather than have to face them. Jesus had said in Luke 23:30 “Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.” Hosea had used a similar expression in reference to the sins of Israel, “ - and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us; and to the hills, Fall on us.” Hosea 10:8.
For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
In the previous verse, 6:16, notice it says from the face of him that sitteth on the throne (which is God, see 4:2-3) and from the wrath of the Lamb. So the his wrath here mentioned in 6:17 is the wrath of the Lamb, Jesus. Since the verse says is come, this implies the wrath of the Lamb is beginning, which we can expect to be the seven trumpet judgments in the next couple chapters. When we reach the seven vial judgments, we will read of the wrath of God, which as we might expect, is even more severe.
who shall be able to stand? is spoken of by Malachi the prophet in Mal.3:2 “But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:.”
We will read later in Rev.16:1 that the angels are told to “ - Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.” As we will learn, this time is also referred to as the “day of the Lord.” #
In a similar way, we have just learned about the wrath of the Lamb. It would seem to follow that this time would then be called the “day of Jesus” or the “day of Christ.” The time of the return of Jesus is referred to in just that manner, “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, - as that the day of Christ is at hand.” II Thess.2:2. Again in Philip.1:6,10 ” - that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” and “that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;” Also in I Cor.5:5 “that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” Also in Philip.2:16 “Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” Again in I Cor.1:8 “Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Many would prefer to think of the return of Jesus as a time of love and peace, but for the then wicked world, this is not true. Remember, when Jesus returns, the dead in Christ and we which are alive (in Christ) will have previously joined Christ in the clouds (I Thess.4:16-17). At Christmas time have you carefully considered that familiar verse ” - there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.”? Num.24:17.
The “wicked” and those “in Christ” are both referred to in Isaiah 63:3-4 “I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.”
Occasionally, in this writing, a prophet may be referred to as “saying this or that” as if
from his own wisdom he is speaking. This is not the intention of this author, for we know
that the prophet is only relaying the message from God. “All scripture is given by
inspiration of God, - .” II Tim.3:16. #
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