A Study of Revelation - Part Six
(As taught by Andy Neckar at Community Bible Chapel-Hico, TX)
Between the opening of the sixth and seventh seals there was a pause of two saving acts by the Lord God Almighty. There was the sealing of the tribes of Israel and there was the saving of Gentile Christians out of every nation, people and tongue from great tribulation on earth. This second act was a preview of the Rapture as told in Thess 4:13-18. This is to comfort the reader that God will intervene to save His own children in the midst of great danger and destruction.
In a similar manner, we see another two saving acts of God in the second pause between the sixth and seventh trumpets.
The first saving act.
The appearance of another "mighty angel" comes down from heaven with a little book to be given to John to eat.
Who is this MIGHTY ANGEL that descends from heaven between the sixth and seventh trumpets?
Rev 10:1-6 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, (a rainbow was about His Throne in Rev 4:3) and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not. And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:
I believe this is no other than the Lord Jesus Christ. No "angel" has ever been described as this. "There should be time no longer". No more time to wait on repentance. The longsuffering of God is over.
The description given of Christ when He first came to John in vision in Rev 1 is repeated here, in the description of "another mighty angel".
Rev 1:12-16 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;( his face was as it were the sun) And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; (his feet as pillars of fire) and his voice as the sound of many waters.( as when a lion roareth: ) And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
This mighty angel comes down from heaven between the sounding of the sixth and seventh trumpet.
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, (fulfilled) as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
What "mystery" is John speaking of here?
1 Cor 15:51-53 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
The only other mystery in scripture that is to be fulfilled and then come to an end is that the Gentiles were included in saving gospel of Jesus Christ.
Eph 3:4-6 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
Rom 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
The "mystery of God should be finished", (fulfilled) in Rev 10:7 and the " fulness of the Gentiles be come in." in Rom 11:25 is finished-fulfilled.
See-the apostles were not the first to receive this mystery, "the mystery of God should be finished, (fulfilled)" as he hath declared to "his servants the prophets." But the O.T. prophets did not understand the mystery when it was unveiled to them. To the O.T. prophets it was not made clear, because God wanted it hidden until the New Testament, but it was revealed to them.
Paul says that at the sounding of the LAST TRUMPET the mystery will be fulfilled and then the Rapture will occur. Now what is the LAST TRUMPET, but the Revelation SEVENTH TRUMPET
There are several viewpoints on the Rapture of Christians. The "pre-tribulation" view is that the Rapture occurs in Rev 4:1.
Rev 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
They claim this " Come up hither," refers to ALL Christians and not just to John. There are those that take a "post-tribulation" (after tribulation) view base their view on Matt 24:29-31.
Matt 24:29-31 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 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. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
No reference is made here to the Rapture of the Church, but the words describe the actual return of Christ to end the Tribulation and establish the Messianic reign. (Thousand year reign)
I don't believe no one knows just what will be the "sign of the Son of man" but its appearance will cause the Jews (all the tribes) to mourn as they recognize their Messiah.
Zech 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
Who pierced (crucified) Jesus Christ? Who are all the tribes of the earth? What people are called by "tribes"?
Jesus Christ coming with clouds of heaven, power, and great glory describe the same scene in II Th 1:7 and Dan 7:13-14
II Th 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
Dan 7:13-14 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
Christ is given dominion (rule) and a kingdom that he will rule for a thousand years, and then it will turn into an eternal kingdom that shall not pass away in the New Heavens and the New Earth.
The angels who gather Christ's elect in Matt 24, are the same who are described in Matt 13 as removing the tares from the wheat, that the wheat might then be gathered into the barn.
Matt 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
Matt 13:40-41 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
I don't call the Rapture I teach a "pre-tribulation" or a "post-tribulation" Rapture. I teach a "Last Trumpet Rapture".
Now to discuss the "little book" that John was to take and eat it up. The book was to taste "sweet as honey" but when he swallowed it, it would make his stomach "bitter"
In Ezekiel chapter three, God gave Ezekiel a book as a roll, to eat. That book turned out to be that he was to preach repentance to the people Israel. In his mouth it was as "sweet as honey".
I believe it is clear that the book given to John to eat is the "Great Commission".
Matt 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Rev 10:11 And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.
The "Great Commission" must not stop because of fear in the great tribulation. In Matt we are told to "preach" and in Rev we are told to "preach AGAIN". We are to "keep on keeping on", because Christ is with us always, even to the end of the world.
Matt 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
The book is sweet and bitter.
To talk is sweet and easy. To preach to the choir is sweet and easy, but to go out into the highways and hedges and face rejection after rejection is bitter.
Christians are unwilling to believe that we must go through tribulations. Nevertheless it is required of every one of us. Christ told all seven churches in Rev 2 and 3 that those that "overcome" will be rewarded. Overcome what?
Paul says in 2 Tim 2:12 " If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:"
Christians WILL SUFFER WRATH in the Tribulation, but NOT THE WRATH OF GOD.
The Angel coming down from heaven to stand on land and sea is our assurance of our Lord's protection from the wrath of God.
The action of Rev 10 was the first saving act. The believers that were sealed in the seal judgments are now preaching the gospel during the great tribulation to those who have never heard it.
The second saving act.
Rev 11:1-2 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. 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.
The subject now moves from John being commissioned to preach the gospel to many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings, to Israel again.
Forty two months is 3 1/2 years. Midway through the tribulation.. John measures the temple of God and the altar where the Jews worship. The Jews are measured, that is protected and allowed to worship in the temple of God, for 3 1/2 years. But the "outer court" of the temple is not measured, or protected. The temple and the altar is for the Jews but the rest is given over to the Gentiles. This is referring to unsaved people. Jerusalem is under Gentile control just like in Jesus' day when the Romans occupied Israel and Jerusalem but they didn't interfere with the Jewish worship system.
The "temple" is not a "literal" temple but a "symbol of the Jewish worship system". There is no "third temple" mentioned in scripture except for the "Millennial Temple" of Ezekiel chapters 40 through 48.
Dan 9:27 And 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.
This verse is speaking of the prince that shall come (Anti-christ) and make a peace covenant with Israel for "one week". (seven years) but in the middle of the week (seven year period) that is 3 1/2 years, or forty two months, he will break the treaty and take over the temple. He will cause the Jewish worship system to cease. This is exactly the picture portrayed in Rev 11:1-2.
Rev 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
Who are these two witnesses? Well- I believe they are Moses and Elijah, because it was these two that appeared with Christ at His Transfiguration. I believe Moses is representing the dead in Christ while Elijah is representing the living in Christ at the Rapture.
Another reason I believe one is Moses is because they call down the plagues that Moses called down upon Egypt, and Elijah had power to shut down the rain.
Rev 11:6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
Exod 7:20 And Moses and Aaron did so, as the LORD commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood.
James 5:17 Elias (Elijah) was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
For how long it didn't rain.
For forty two months-3 1/2 years.
Rev 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
How long will they prophesy?
One thousand two hundred and threescore days (threescore-three times six). This is one thousand two hundred and sixty days. The Jewish calendar had 360 days to a year, so this is 1260 days divided by 360, equals 3 1/2 years.
Folks, I believe this is Moses and Elijah.
Rev 11:7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
The "beast" is here and is evidently "known", but the Antichrist is not yet revealed, although he is here.
Rev 11:11-12 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
Rev 11:12-13 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.
Who is the "remnant", but God's children, and THESE GAVE GLORY TO GOD.
"Immediately" after the great earthquake the "seventh trumpet sounded".
The two witnesses got a "head start" on us who were to follow in the "same hour". The two witnesses are to be followed by ALL the saints in the "same hour" the dead first and then the living.
All this was previewed in Rev 7:9-17. Now look what happens. The Rapture has occurred. The hope of our salvation is accomplished. So, what happens next? THE BEMA JUDGMENT of the saints to give account for the deeds done in the body.
We miss out on the third woe because in Rev 11:15 we are outta here.
Rev 11:14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.
The saints are Raptutred
Rev 11: 15 And the seventh angel sounded; (bye-bye world) and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
The Raptured saints before the Judgment Seat of Christ
Rev 11:18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
2 Cor 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
1 Cor 3:12-15 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
The saints enter the place Jesus prepared for them.
Rev 11:19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.
The Temple of God-A dwelling place.
John 14:2-3 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Mansion- A place to stay. The place Jesus prepared for the saints, is opened in Rev 11:19.
Rev. 11:15 The Saints are Rapture
Rev 11:18 The Saints are Judged
Rev 11:19 The Saints enter the place Jesus prepared for them.