UNDERSTANDING THE BOOK OF REVELATION A VERSE BY VERSE ANALYSIS OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION

By

REV. FESTUS ASOPURUCHUKWU EKENYERE

Copyright © 2007 FESTUS A. EKENYERE UNDERSTANDING THE BOOK OF REVELATION All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the King James Version of the Holy Bible. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other without the written prior permission of the publisher. National Library of Nigeria Cataloguing in Publication Data EKENYERE, Festus Asopuruchukwu, 1959 Understanding the book of Revelation 1. Bible N. T. Revelation 11 – 111 – criticism, etc. I. Title BS 2825.2 .E36 2007 228 ISBN 978-33875-5-3 AACR2 interpretation,

FOREWORD TO THE FIRST EDITION

The book of the Revelation is one of the most mysterious books of the Bible. Every saying there is shrouded in mystery, which needs to be unfolded for the benefit of born-again Christians. Pastor Festus Ekenyere has made a very serious attempt at unfolding the past, the present and the future of the Kingdom of God, which John the divine saw in the island of Patmos. The book is now in your hand. Read it and understand the secret, which many commentators have failed to unfold about the book of Revelation. May the Almighty God give you an insight into understanding the Lordship of Jesus Christ, who is the Redeemer of mankind. Calvary blessings to you and all yours in Jesus’ name. Most Rev. Professor B. A. Idahosa

DEDICATION

THIS EDITION IS DEDICATED TO PROPHET MOSES ELIJAH OMAH AND THE SAINTS OF THIS LAST GENERATION WHO ARE STRIVING TO MAKE HEAVEN.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT I want to first and foremost appreciate the Lord God Almighty for His immeasurable

grace upon my life. This is a burden that only HIM could lift; an insight HIM alone can give. Therefore to HIM be glory and honour forever and ever. The fatherly counsel of Professor Frank C. Carew of the Department of Education, University of Maiduguri, added the needed impetus, which made this work a reality. I so much cherish the professional touch you put to my works especially this one. The good Lord will take you to higher grounds. Amen. I appreciate the support of every member of our Church – FAITH RECONCILIATION CHAPEL INT’L, Maiduguri. Your presence in the ministry has kept me always on my feet. I feel elated pastoring you. Thanks for your prayers. Now to my nucleus family, which I owe a great deal of gratitude for their understanding. I have to sit on the computers for virtually all the hours of each day paying little or no attention to the home. The work became so tedious as I worked on six other books at the same time. I appreciate the patience of my wife, Pastor Mrs. Glad, my son K. C. and my daughter Peace. You are special to me. God will reward your patience. I so much appreciate all my friends and admirers for their numerous contributions in cash and in words of encouragement. Your association has tremendously strengthened me. We will reign together with CHRIST!

OUTLINE OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION FROM UNGER’S BIBLE DICTIONARY I. II. Introduction and salutation…..…..... (1:1-8) “The things which you have seen” The glorified Christ ………………………………………(1:9-20) III. “The things which are”: The seven churches….(2-3) A. The apostolic church: Ephesus ……………...2:1-7 B. The persecuted church: Smyrna………….. 2:8-11 C. The worldly church: Pergamum …………2:12-17 D. The pagan church: Thyatira. …………….2:18-29 E. The Protestant church: Sardis…….…………3:1-6 F. The missionary church: Philadelphia……....3:7-13

G. The apostate church: Laodicea ……….….3:14-22 “What must take place after these things”: the Great Tribulation and the second coming of Christ. (4-22) A. The church in heaven with Christ………………4 1. Loosing of the seven-sealed book …………..5 B. The Great Tribulation ………………….6:1-11:19 1. The seven seals………………………..6: 1-8:1 2. The seven trumpets …………………8:2-11:19 C. The seven performers during the Great Tribulation.12-13 1. The woman: Israel……………………...12:1-2 2. The red dragon: Satan ………………….12:3-4 3. The male child: Christ …………….……12:5-6 4. Michael, the archangel, wars with the dragon... 12:7-12 5. Satan’s persecution of the woman, Israel.12:1316 6. The remnant of Israel ……………………12:17 7. The Beast out of the sea: political power and a person ……13:1-10 8. The Beast out of the earth: Antichrist .13:11-18 D. The latter part of the Great Tribulation……….. 14 E. The seven bowls …………………………...15-16 F. Judgment of ecclesiastical and commercial Babylon ….17-18 G. Christ’s second advent………………………… 19 H. The Millennium.20 I. Eternity unveiled.21-22 1. The new earth ……………………….…….21:1 2. The new Jerusalem……………………21: 2-27 3. The new river ……………………….….22:1-7 V. Epilogue, final instructions and invitation (22:8-21) IV.

TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Foreword to the First Edition……..……...iii 2. Dedication …………………………………iv 3. Acknowledgment………………………..…..v 4. Outlines from Unger’s Bible Dictionary.…vi 5. Table of Contents …..………………….....viii 6. Preface to the First Edition. ……………….1

7. 8. 9.

10.

11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24.

25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34.

Preface ……………………………………...8 Chapter one……….20 Verses……………...9 Chapter two………......29 Verses…….…...30 a. The Church in Ephesus ……….………………...30 b. The Church in Smyrna………………..…………38 c. The Church in Pergamos ……………………….43 d. The Church in Thyatira ……….………………..49 Chapter three …..……22 Verses …….…56 a. The Church in Sardis………………..………….56 b. The Church in Philadelphia…………………….62 c. The Church in Laodicea………………………..67 Chapter four….……….11 Verses……….74 a. Old Testament Examples of Rapture……………76 Chapter five.…..……….14 Verses……....87 Chapter six………..……17 Verses……...94 a. Great Tribulation Contents………………….…..98 b. The Seal Judgments …………………………….99 Chapter seven …..……..17 Verses …….108 Chapter eight …..……...13 Verses…..…114 a. The Trumpet Judgments……………………….116 Chapter nine ...…………21 Verses …....121 Chapter ten ….….………11 Verses…....130 Chapter eleven …...……..19 Verses…...136 Chapter twelve ……..…..17 Verses …...148 Chapter thirteen …..…….18 Verses …..159 Chapter fourteen .………20 Verses …...181 Chapter fifteen ……..…….8 Verses ..…191 Chapter sixteen ……..…...21 Verses ….196 a. The Vial Judgments……………………………197 Chapter seventeen ..……..18 Verses ..…208 a. Mystery, Babylon the Great……………………208 b. The Origin of Babylonian Religion …………...209 c. Babylonism in Romanism ……………………..214 d. The Mysteries Exposed ……………………….221 e. The Great Whore ……………………………...239 Chapter eighteen…..……..24 Verses ….252 Chapter nineteen ..……….21 Verses ….263 Chapter twenty…..……….15 Verses ….276 Chapter twenty-one .…….27 Verses ….286 Chapter twenty-two …..….21 Verses …296 Summary …………………………….….305 Holy and Eternal Invitation. ………..…313 Your Position Now………………….…..316 BIBLIOGRAPHY………………………318 LIST OF OTHER BOOKS………….…320

PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION

I believe this is one of the simplest books ever written in terms of grammatical expression. I tried to avoid the use of heavy theological, historical and grammatical terminologies. Therefore, if you are expecting heavy terminologies from the Book of Revelation via Understanding the Book of Revelation, please bear with me. My purpose of writing this book is to see that everybody, no matter how poorly educated or highly placed, will come to the knowledge of the plans of God revealed in the Book of Revelation. I call this book a layman’s handbook. Believe it or not, I have to be sincere to myself first before extending my sincerity to you. This book is born out of the trouble and worries I personally had in my spirit concerning what the future holds as a faithful born again Christian. I have spent hundreds of hours studying the Book of Revelation and making prophetic researches. I very much respect other people’s points of view in this regard. The word “Revelation” is translated from the Greek word “Apokalupsis” which means, “uncovering, exposing, unveiling, revealing or making known”. This means that the things recorded in this book are not mysteries. They can be known. His children can know God’s plan. Amen. A lot of people have applied so many methods of interpretation to the Book of Revelation. Such as – The Preterist Interpretation; The Continuous Historical Interpretation; The Spiritualist Interpretation and The Futuristic Interpretation. In brief, let us have a fair knowledge of the method of interpretation applied by other interpreters. First, the Preterists believe that the things recorded in the Book of Revelation are events happening at the time of its writing and as such can only be understood clearly by the saints of that age. They also believe that it was written as a comfort to the church at that time which was passing through persecutions. Second, the Continuous Historians believe that the things written in the Book of Revelation cover the entire church history from the time of John the beloved until this day. Third, the Spiritualists never believe that the Book of Revelation contains any historical fact whether past, present or future. They believe that the recordings portray Christian principles of divine government on earth alone. The fourth school of thought that holds the Futuristic method of interpretation sees the recordings in the Book of Revelation as God’s special and greatest revelation of the future, beginning from John’s day. We however, believe that the Book of Revelation is God’s perfect knowledge of the past, present and the future. Jesus said to John, “Write the things which thou hast seen (past), and the things which are (present), and the things which shall be hereafter (future)” – Revelation 1:19. This is the divine key of interpretation given by our Lord Jesus and we accept it as the correct method of interpretation. Praise the Lord! In our investigation, we will discover the present position of the Church of Jesus Christ; the meaning of the word – ‘Rapture’; the events that make up the ‘Great Tribulation’; who the Antichrist is; the Unholy trinity, and the Battle of Armageddon. We will also find out what the Mystery Babylon of Revelation chapter 17 and Babylon the great of chapter 18 are. The terms Millennium, and New heaven and New earth, holy Jerusalem, eternal life and everlasting punishment are among other subjects to be covered in the course of our study. Views concerning the controversial ‘Rapture’ in relation to the time it will take place will be expressed. Some people believe in mid-tribulation rapture while others believe in post-tribulation rapture. But from scriptural position, I do not believe in any of these two. Understandably, we may disagree on a few positions but on the basis of God’s word, we will find several common grounds of agreement. The Spirit of God will

help us to agree. My larger interest, which cannot be compromised, is my belief that Jesus is the Son of God who came into this world to save sinners of which I was the chief. He was raised crucified; died and was buried; on the third day He was raised by God the Father; He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God; He will come back again to take us home. The Word of God binds us together in Christ. I admit that the word ‘Rapture’ is not in the Bible and that does not becloud its Christian use. It is as important as any event that will happen to a Christian. The word is taken from the Greek word, ‘Harpazo’ or the Latin word ‘Rapio’, which means to be caught up; or in English, ‘Rapture’. This is found in the book of I Thessalonians chapter 4, verses 16,17 – “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up (Harpazo) together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” This is the evacuation of Christians from the planet earth to meet the Lord in the clouds. The Post-tribulationists base their assertion on Matthew chapter 24, Mark chapter 13, and Luke chapters 17 and 21. That is all right. But can be patiently take a fresh look at these chapters? In Matthew 24:3, we read, “Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Please note that the second advent of Christ is going to be in two parts – first, is the rapture (I Corinthians 15:51,52; I Thessalonians 4:16,17 and Revelation 4:1 plus other passages of the scripture) and second, His revelation (Matthew 24:30; 25:31; Acts 1:11 and Revelation 19:11-16) to mention but a few. The disciples of our Lord Jesus were asking of the signs or events, which must take place before His coming (i.e. His revelation). No sign or event before the rapture! All signs mentioned in the gospels point to the coming of our Lord Jesus to establish His Kingdom here on earth. At this point, I would like us to consider the following words, Mystery, Church and Rapture. A mystery is some thing that is not exposed, a secret, something that is hidden or unknown. I would like us to understand the time or age when our Lord made these comments to His disciples. At that time, even the church in its New Testament revelation was a mystery not to talk of rapture. What do you think would have been the reaction of His disciples if He had told them that His body would be known as the Church? Church was a mystery to the Lord’s early disciples when He was physically with them. In fact, He made mention of the word “Church” twice in all the gospels – Matthew 16:18 and 18:17. – “ And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it… And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.” Church as a body of Christ came into existence when our Lord Jesus had been glorified and after the Pentecost. And by definition, the church is the body of believers filled with the Spirit of Jesus Christ. If the Lord did not speak much about the Church before His glorification, how then do you think He was speaking about the events prior to the rapture in Matthew, Mark and Luke? The word ‘Rapture’ came into being because of the existence of the Church. Without the Church, there is no rapture. Therefore, the Lord was answering the question as it was asked by His disciples – “What shall be the sign of thy coming, and the end of the world?” However, we His present disciples are not ignorant of when the rapture will take place or its meaning. The Lord said: “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew unto you things to come.” – John 16:12,13. I believe the Lord had in mind among other things the body of the true

believers (the Church) and their evacuation (Rapture) when He said unto His disciples “but ye cannot bear them now.” In other words, the Lord was saying that they could not understand what He was about to tell them. Nevertheless, He said, “the Spirit will show unto you (us) things to come” – including the rapture. The Spirit has come and exposed the mysteries unto us from the Epistles and the Book of Revelation. Apostle Paul speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit said, “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work; only he (the Church) who now letteth will let, until he (the Church) be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked (Antichrist) be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming” – II Thessalonians 2:7,8. This and other passages in the Epistles teach us that the Church will be taken out of the earth when the inhabitants of the planet earth will undergo the Great Tribulation. For more clarification on pre-tribulation rapture please read my book – ‘RAPTURE AND THE GREAT TRIBULATION’. In order to understand the sequence of future events, one must believe in the divine arrangement of the Book of Revelation, which is by chronological order. After the Lord’s message to the Churches – Revelation chapters 2 and 3, the next event is the rapture, which can happen any moment from now. In Revelation chapter 4, verse 1, we read “ 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.” The Lord Himself said, “ Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” – Luke 21:36. The thing that shall come to pass is the wrath of God or the Great Tribulation, which takes effect from Revelation chapter 6, while the Church has been raptured in Revelation chapter 4, verse 1. Now, do I say that the Church will not or never pass through tribulation? Don’t misunderstand me please! What I am saying is that the Church will never pass through the great tribulation, which is the wrath of God. The Church is passing through tribulations now. The recent Kaduna State religious disturbances in Northern Nigeria, which claimed many lives and church buildings was one of such tribulations. Christians everywhere are passing through several forms of tribulation, trial and affliction. But the Great Tribulation mentioned by our Lord Jesus Christ in the gospels, which starts from Revelation chapter 6 will take place only after the Rapture. These brief observations outline the three positions, which may differ from yours, but the love of Christ is our binding fold even if minor differences exist. The truth is that, God will not allow us to suffer His wrath with unbelievers. My main reason for writing this book is to inform my readers and the entire world that the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is at hand. It can be NOW! I pray that whatever may be your belief, provided you are a born again Christian, you will be raptured whenever the time comes. If you are not born again, I pray that you will after reading this commentary. Let us now proceed with open heart and read this book that may well be a spiritual turning point in your life. God richly bless your reading with deeper revelation and edification. F. A. EKENYERE

PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION So many things have happened in the last few decades. We have added some terrifying vocabularies to our list of words thereby enlarging our diaries. We have seen tremendous advancement in the world of technology and more horrifying natural and man-made disasters since the first edition of this work was published in 1990. From Asian Tsunamis to Avian Flues; Hurricane Katrina to the plague of terrorists; Global village to global warming, etc., etc. All these call for a proper review of the first edition of the book – UNDERSTANDING THE BOOK OF REVELATION. Apart from the review of some verses, emphasis is laid on the signs of His imminent return and the rapture of the church. My research work on the Mystery Babylon of Revelation chapter 17 is an interesting part of this edition. It added colour to the work! It is an enlarged and more promising masterpiece fit for theological seminaries, Sunday school and Bible study classes. Have a wonderful study period.

F. A. EKENYERE

CHAPTER ONE We begin the study of the book of revelation from here. This chapter deals with the glorious vision of John the beloved, the description and titles of our glorified Lord Jesus Christ. It is a general preface to the whole book and contains (a) an inscription, which declares the originality and design of the whole book, (b) the blessed results of taking due regard to the contents and (c) the glorious appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ to the apostle John and the divine method of interpretation. Let’s go through the verses with open heart. VERSE 1 “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John.”

The understanding of this first verse will be exceeding important in the course of our study. Observe here the order of divine revelation – God gave it to Christ, and Christ through an angel communicated it to the churches. But it must come through the instrumentality of a human agent so, the apostle John was chosen. We know that angels are God’s messengers and ministering spirits to the heirs of salvation. As they are messengers of Christ, so the ministers are the messengers of the churches. As they receive from heaven so they deliver to the churches. Let us consider the following – REVELATION: - As I said earlier, revelation is taken from the Greek word “apokalupsis” i.e. to show openly or act of making known. I would like us to recognize also that the word is in singular not plural. So many people have made the mistake of interpreting it as ‘revelations’. There is only one revelation here, and that is of our glorified Lord Jesus Christ, which Jehovah God gave Him. The book gains its value from its origin, not from the identity of John the apostle. SERVANTS: - This is a plural word and not singular. This means that God gave our Lord Jesus Christ the revelation to show unto His people (the Church), things, which must SHORTLY come to pass. The word “shortly” in the original language means, “Rapidity of action once it started”. We therefore must be careful since the signs pointing to His return are beginning to appear with alarming frequency. Here we notice the subject matter of this revelation – “the things, which must shortly come to pass. VERSE 2 “Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.” To place more importance on the recognition of John to whom the vision was shown, the Bible points out that John bore record of the word of God and of the testimony of Jesus Christ. The word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ are the special marks of a true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. Apostle John “His servant” was an eyewitness to most of the works and words of Christ and he did always testify from that point of view. Among the gospel writers, John was the only one who saw Jesus as the Word of God – John 1:1. In a common sense, the term “word” points to the means by which men communicate with each other. When a personality becomes “the Word of God”, it means that the Sovereign God communicates to mankind (and indeed to all His creation) through that personality. This is exactly what John saw in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ and he did testify it. As a Jew, he was familiar with “the Word of God” in the Old Testament especially as it applied to the Messiah. One of such passages that has a direct bearing to John 1:1-3 is Psalm 33:6 – “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” The Holy Spirit expounded this fact through the apostle Paul when he said that Jesus “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” Colossians 1:15-17. John started bearing record of the Word of God when he said – “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father.) Full of grace and truth.” John 1:14. Take note of the phrase – “and we beheld his glory” … Look at the closing remark of his gospel account – “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” – John 21:25. In other words, he could not publish all that he saw Jesus did and said. In the beginning of his

epistle he said – “THAT which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life: (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” – I John 1:1-3. What a record bearer! Your personal encounter with Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour can be determined by the way you witness about him to others. So you can be described by your activities. What are you known for? The apostle John was known as one “who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and all things that he saw.” VERSE 3 “Blesseth is he that readeth, and they that hear the word of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” Some people, including ministers of the gospel in the orthodox historic churches believe that the Book of Revelation is a difficult book to understand. God is the God who cannot lie – Titus 1:2. If He should promise a special blessing to him that readeth, and they that hear and keep those things written therein; if they are unable to understand what was written, what use is it? The book is therefore understandable and can be properly interpreted. The main reason why the readers and hearers are encouraged to keep that which they have read and heard is that Christ’s return is at hand. Believers today need not waste their time doing, that which is unprofitable to the effort of the gospel of Christ. Well, if you are not a believer, you have to, after studying the Apocalypse. Christ is coming soon. Philippians 4:5 states: “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand”. I Peter 4:7 declares: “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.” Revelation 22:20 states, “He which testifieth these things saith, surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” There are other scriptures that bear witness that Christ’s appearance can be even now. Therefore, if you are ready, you can join me in looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ - Titus 2:13. Praise the Lord! VERSE 4 “John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from Him which is, and which was, and which is to come, and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne.” John began delivering the message of his vision foremost to seven local churches located in a land called Asia or Turkey (according to the Living Bible). Before I proceed, I would like us to understand that seven is God’s number of perfection. It does not mean that there were only seven churches in existence by then, but this number represents seven different stages in the history of God’s people through the Church age. We shall study the stages in chapters 2 and 3. Grace be unto you, and peace, is God’s kind of greeting found in books of the New Testament, mostly the Epistles. One may ask, why not peace before grace. The answer is not far fetched. Jesus is the Prince of peace; therefore, no human being without Jesus can have peace. John 3:16 declares: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” God gave His only begotten Son because Romans 3:23 says – “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”. God first shows His unmerited favour and love called “Grace” to any sinner before the person can experience peace. This grace is publicly shown on Calvary tree and is freely bestowed upon all who believe and receive Christ. “But as many as received Him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on

his name” – John 1:12. My dear friend, this is a gift of God to all mankind. “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: IT IS A GIFT OF GOD… not of works, lest any man should boast” – Ephesians 2:8,9. God is calling you now; tomorrow may be too late. You see, when God has forgiven your sins because of His love for you, peace follows. Repent, accept Jesus and then have peace with God. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”. Romans 5:1. The greeting or salutation is from Him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before His throne; Verse 5 adds – “and from Jesus Christ, …” This as we can see is from the entire Trinity. “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one”. – I John 5:7. First the Father which is, and which was, and which is to come; second, from the seven Spirits which are before His throne. This description presents the Holy Spirit in all of His holiness. Read Isaiah 11:2 and Zechariah 4:2-6. VERSE 5 “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.” Our Lord Jesus Christ is described in this verse as: a) The faithful witness because of His acceptance to redeem mankind (this He did faithfully). He faithfully represented the Father physically on earth. Read John 14:10,11, Colossians 1:15. b) The first begotten of the dead because He was raised by the Spirit of God (Romans 1:4; 8:11) unto immortality (I Timothy 6:16). Lazarus and others raised by Jesus Himself were not first begotten because they were raised only to die again (which they did). Christ was raised from the dead so as to show light unto the people, and to the Gentiles (Acts 26:23). So that in all things He might have the pre-eminence (Colossians 1:18) c) The Prince of the kings of the earth because the kings of the earth shall make war with Him and He shall overcome them for He is the Lord of lords and the King of kings (Revelation 19:16). This is in the future when Christ shall establish His millennial reign. Jesus loves, and His love for us took Him to a place, which is called Calvary; there He was crucified (Luke 23:33). We are washed from our sins in His own blood. “But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced His side, and forthwith came there out BLOOD and Water” – John 19:34. “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without the shedding of (Christ) blood, is no remission.” – Hebrews 9:22. Christianity revolves around the crucifixion and the Blood of Jesus Christ. VERSE 6 “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” We recognized in verse 5 that Jesus loved us to such an extent that He washed away our sins and now had made us kings and priests unto God and His Father. “Priest” is the title of every believer. The Bible teaches us that a child of God should come boldly to the throne of grace without human intermediary. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace, to help in time of need” - Hebrews 4:16. This is because, “Ye also as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices… But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy

nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” I Peter 2:5,9. Praise the Lord for such a wonderful calling. I believe that from the point of view of salvation, all souls are equal, but from the point of view of missionary strategy and responsibilities, they are not. VERSE 7 “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” John envisions the Lord’s return to the earth that will occur in chapter 19 as we study along. In the same line he also saw as – “Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with tem thousands of his saints” – Jude 14. This great event is described as the “revealing or revelation” of Christ because every eye shall see Him. Please note that this is different from the rapture (which will occur before the revelation of Christ). Matthew 24:27 states: “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” “And they also which pierced him” – who were those which pierced Him? They were the Jews – i.e. the Israelites. Zechariah 12:10 declare, “… They shall look upon me (Christ) whom they have pierced.” The Lord is coming for judgment and no sinner shall escape punishment hence “all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him”. John beheld the Lord’s victory and cried – “Even so, Amen.” VERSE 8 “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” This verse throws more light on the oneness of Christ with the Father. The apostle John had no problem understanding the “I am”. In his gospel, he recorded the seven outstanding “I am” passages, which many Bible scholars have seen as an expansion of Exodus 3:14, which says – “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” Consider these: 1. “I am the bread of life.” John 6:35 2. “I am the light of the world John 8:12 3. “Before Abraham was, I am” John 8:58 4. “I am the good shepherd” John 10:11 5. “I am the resurrection and the life John 11:25 6. “I am the way, and the truth and the life” John 14:6 7. “I am the true vine” John 15:1 Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet hence the Lord said, “I am the beginning and the ending of all things”. Note that “am” is a present tense verb. Christ always was and is. He was in the beginning and He created all things. He was not from the beginning, but IN THE BEGINNING. No body can give account of the beginning. Christ is the beginning! “All things were made by him: and without him was not any thing made that was made” – John 1:3. Read also Colossians 1:16,17, Hebrews 1:3 and Ephesians 1:10. Jesus here describes Himself as – He which is, and which was, and which is to come, and adds the Almighty. These are the same terminologies used to describe the Father in verse 4. It is an expression of Christ’s oneness with the Father, “If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also and henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him” – John 14:7. “… That they may be one, as we are, … that they all may be one; as thou, Father

art in me, and I in thee … that they may be one, even as we are one” – John 17:11,21,22. VERSE 9 “I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Here, John realized that he was a human being, so, he quickly tried to let us know that he partook in the tribulation (not great tribulation) so as to be a partaker in the kingdom of Christ. Being on the Isle of Patmos was itself a tribulation, “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: If we deny him, he also will deny us” – II Timothy 2:12. John went to Patmos because of his testimony and confession that Jesus is the Son of God who was crucified and raised for the sins of the world. If that was the price John the apostle paid for being a Christian, what price have you paid? We live in a generation where no body wants to suffer for the sake of the kingdom. Christianity to some people is a “give-me-give-me” affair. Again, may I ask, what price are you paying for the gospel to reach to the unreached? The desire of apostle Paul was, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and THE FELLOWSHIP OF HIS SUFFERINGS, being made conformable unto his death.” Philippians 3:10 (Emphasis mine). I am not saying that every one of us who believed in Jesus Christ must be persecuted like the apostles. The truth remains that one way or the other we must offer an inconveniencing sacrifice. It may be through activities, giving our time, energy, money or even our life. Remember the words of the Lord in Luke 14:26,27 – “if any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not BEAR HIS CROSS, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” VERSE 10 “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.” The Lord’s Day in the text before us means the first day of the week – Sunday – a day of worship. I am therefore convinced that before John found himself in the Spirit, he must have been worshipping God (Living Bible confirms it). May I at this point denounce the school of thought that holds strongly on the conversion of the Roman day of sun-god worship into the day of the Lord – Sunday. If the Roman sun god is worshipped on Sunday and the Christian believer worships on the same day, that does not mean a mere conversion of idol worship day to the day of the Lord. Remember, every day is the Lord’s. Apart from that, I would like to establish the fact why the first day of the week – Sunday – is tagged the Lord’s Day and a day of divine worship by the believer in Christ. Firstly, it is important to note that Jesus is the Testator of the New Testament and His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension marked the end of the dispensation of Law and the beginning of dispensation of grace simultaneously. The sabbatical law ended on the cross because according to Ezekiel 20:10-13, the children of Israel could not keep the law. Jesus is the fulfillment of the law – Matthew 5:17. Besides, Hebrews 7:11-16 established it this way – “If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, THERE IS MADE OF NECESSITY A CHANGE ALSO OF THE LAW. For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the alter. For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe

Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.” It is because “there is made of necessity a change also of the law,” that the Lord’s day was changed from Saturday (the last day of the week) to Sunday (the first day of the week). How did it happen? It all began from the day of His resurrection. The writer of the gospel according to Saint Mark puts it this way – “Now when Jesus was risen early the FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.” All the gospel writers agreed to the Lord’s resurrection on the first day of the week. On the same day, he appeared to the eleven apostles – v14, to the two on the way to Emmaus – Luke 24:13-15. The next appearance of Jesus was a week later. “And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you”. – John 20:26. By the resurrection and appearances of the Lord on Sundays, the Lord’s Day of fellowship was consecrated. In the book of Acts of the Apostles, I discovered that apart from the synagogue gatherings, the believers used to meet for fellowship on the first day of the week. An example of such gatherings is found in Acts 20:7 – “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.” Again the apostle Paul reminded the disciples of their responsibilities as they meet together for Sunday fellowship. It is written, “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” I Corinthians 16:1,2. Now you understand why John was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day. All along, we have been introducing the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit and John the beloved. From now we are going to share or study the body of the vision. “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” – Proverbs 29:18. VERSE 11 “Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.” The voice confirms the speaker as the “Alpha and Omega” who we discussed in verse 8, as Jesus Christ. The first and the last, the eternal Christ hereafter instructed John to write in a book what he saw. What book? The Book of Revelation as we have it today. Christ further instructed John to send the book to seven local churches in Asia or rather Turkey. Now, the question is – why are we in possession of the Book of Revelation? The answer is that, the seven churches as we learnt in verse 4, represent seven different conditions the church of Christ has found her self-in. The present condition of the church is not exempted. We shall get it clearer when we study chapters 2 and 3. God knows the beginning from the end and vice versa and has accordingly prepared His Word to lighten our way. VERSE 12 “And I turned to see the voice that spake to me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; As John heard the voice he turned to see the voice (amazing isn’t it to see a voice). Then surprisingly, he saw seven golden candlesticks. The same type of vision that was shown to Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, in the book of Zechariah, chapter 4, verse 2 “…and behold a candlestick

all of gold, … and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof.” We shall know the meaning of this vision in verse 20. VERSE 13 “And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle,” Who is this Son of man, which John saw in the midst of the seven candlesticks? In Daniel 7:13, Daniel declares: “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven …” Also in St. Matthew’s account, he records: “… but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” – Matthew 8:20. Who is this Son of man that John even saw again in Revelation 14:14? The same is He, which Nebuchadnezzar saw, and called Him the Son of God. “He answered and said, lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth man is like the Son of God.” – Daniel 3:25. Hallelujah! Who is this fourth man in the burning furnace? The devil even knows who He is “… there met him two possessed with devils … And, behold, they cried out, saying, what have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God?” – Matthew 8:28,29. Praise the Lord! We have got the message clearly. The Son of man in our text is the Son of God, who is no other person but out glorified Lord Jesus Christ. The second of this verse describes His out-fit, which is like unto a high priest of the Old Testament. This shows that up till now Jesus is in heaven, doing the work of a priest, which is more or less the work of an intercessor. “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them … Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession” – Hebrews 7:25; 4:14 VERSE 14 “His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire.” Daniel, in his days saw in a vision, the Ancient of days, the Eternal Christ, Jesus, the Son of God, and described Him as follows: “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: His throne was like the fiery flames, and his wheels as burning fire.” – Daniel 7:9 The Lord’s righteousness has most of the times been likened to His brightness or whiteness. Therefore, His description here shows that the Lord is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sin and made higher than the heavens – Hebrews 7:26. Again, His eyes were as a flame of fire or rather “shut out fire” as in the translation from the Greek. This shows that Christ is righteously angry at the churches of chapters 2 and 3 concerning their sin. VERSE 15 “And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as of the sound of many waters.” The description of the Lord’s feet and voice in this text depicts judgment. Daniel saw the Lord in a similar vision – “… and his arms and his feet like in colour of polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude” – Daniel 10:6 VERSE 16 “And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two

edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength” As we will discover in verse 20, the seven stars the Lord had in His right hand are the angels of the seven local churches we discussed in verse 11 and which we are to study in detail in chapters 2 and 3. The sharp two-edged sword that came out of His mouth is the word of God. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” – Hebrews 4:12. Paul, by the grace of God, advised us to use the two-edged sword in times of spiritual conflict. “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God” – Ephesians 6:17. A soldier cannot go to war without his weapons, therefore, “… as a good soldier of Jesus Christ “ (II Timothy 2:3) you must make sure that you have the sword every time, for you know not when the enemy will strike. How can this be possible except we study the word (II Timothy 2:15), memorize the word (Psalms 119:11; 40:8; Isaiah 51:7) and meditate on the word (Joshua 1:8)? Christ’s countenance here is described as “the sun shineth in his strength” because, there is nothing in heaven, on earth or under the earth that can be compared to our precious Lord’s glory. Praise the Lord! The same expression was given at the mount of transfiguration; “And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light” – Matthew 17:2. John beheld the glory of the Lord and trembled with fear. VERSE 17 “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:” The glory of the Lord is incomparable and no man can behold it without falling face down. Peter, James and John beheld the glory in Matthew 17:6 and the Bible says, “They fell on their faces, and were sore afraid.” Saul beheld it also in Acts 9:4 as he was going to Damascus and the glory of the Lord shone round about him “and he fell to the earth …” In the text before us, John was not an exception. He beheld the glory and fell down, but, Jesus full of love and mercy laid His hands on him and said to him – Fear not, I am the first and the last”. What a comforting and encouraging voice! VERSE 18 “I am He that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” The Lord wants us to remain courageous that is the reason why He described Himself as follows: (a) “He that liveth”: Christ lived in the beginning i.e. He was before the foundation of this world. “Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.” I Peter 1:20. He said, ”Verily, verily I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” John 8:58. (b) “And was dead:” The eternal Christ was made flesh and dwelt among us – John 1:14. Though He created the world – John 1:3, the world knew Him not and He was crucified. “And it was the third hour, and they crucified Him.” –Mark 15:25. Jesus, in order to fulfill that which was written, died on the cross of Calvary. “Jesus, when He had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.” – Matthew 27:50. (c) “And behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen:” Hallelujah! Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who by His Spirit raised our Saviour Jesus from the dead. Christ is alive forever more. The good news is that after the crucifixion and death of our precious Lord Jesus, He rose up again on the third day and ascended into heaven. “Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him.” – Romans 6:9. “So then after

the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into heaven and sat on the right had of God.” – Mark 16:19. Read also Acts 1:2,9 and Luke 24:51 Christ also has the keys of hell and of death. So many questions have been asked about the difference between hell and hell fire. So many people are confused by why Christ went to hell. In Nigeria today, if one commits an offence and is arrested by the police, he is locked-up in a place called cell or maximum-security cell while investigation continues. Thereafter, if found guilty by the court of law and is sentenced, he will be taken to a prison yard. Therefore police cell (hell) is not the same as prison yard (hell fire or lake of fire). Hell fire is a place of everlasting punishment. Hell or Hades is a place where the souls and spirits of ALL human beings went until the cross i.e. until Jesus went to preach the good news there. – I Peter 3:19. The Bible teaches us that, Jesus took the key of hell from Satan and led captivity captive – Ephesians 4:8-10. In Matthew 27:52,53 the Bible records that the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after His resurrection; and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Christ opened this part of hell (police cell) for the saints (i.e. believers or those who commit no offence) to enter into the third heaven shown in II Corinthians 12:2. Now, may I quickly say that hell has two different compartments, one for the wicked and the other for the righteous. Hay! Have you ever gone to any C.I.D. office or Police station in Nigeria? There are some suspects who are being detained behind he counter and some behind the bars with great suffering before the Commandant-General – Jesus Christ comes in and declares those behind the counter free. Hallelujah! That was why they were seen in the holy city. In the book of Luke chapter 16, verses 22 and 23, the Bible records that Lazarus the beggar died and was carried to the righteous compartment (i.e. a place of comfort), and the rich man died and found himself in the wicked compartment (i.e. a place of suffering). At present the righteous compartment is empty because, all believers, whether dead or alive are seated in heavenly places. “And hath raised us up, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” – Ephesians 2:6. The compartment of the wicked is still full. This will be emptied on the judgment day when death and hell shall deliver the dead – Revelation 20:13. We need not to be afraid of death any more because Christ has the key of death, “… that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” – Hebrews 2:14,15. We are delivered from this bondage the moment we accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Saviour.

VERSE 19 “Write the things which thou hath seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;” As I said earlier on, this verse throws more light on the pattern of interpretation and gives us the order of the Book of Revelation, which is written as the events happen. We immediately recognize the three tenses – the things that thou hath seen (past tense), Chapter 1; the things, which are (present tense) Chapters 2 and 3; the things, which shall be hereafter (future tense) Chapters 4 through 22 with chapter 12 as a parenthesis. VERSE 20

“The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven Churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven Churches.” This verse is self-explanatory. Seven candlesticks represent the seven Churches we discussed in verse 11, here and their angels are the seven stars seen in the right hand of the Lord. Matthew 5:14 declares – “Ye are the light of the world.” This verse is not talking to unbelievers but to those who have accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour. The combination of believers, which are portrayed here as the light of the world is called the Church or the body of Christ, and Christ, is the head. “And He is the head of the body, the Church: …” – Colossians 1:18. The angels of the Churches are represented with seven stars because of their brightness, which portrays holiness. Understand that the Pastors or Ministers in charge of these Churches can represent these angels.

CHAPTER TWO Chapters two and three deal with the epistles to the seven churches. This is the second part of the book of Revelation (“the things which are”) according to the order given in Chapter one verse nineteen. These letters were written to seven literal, local churches mentioned in chapter 1:11. Though these letters were written to these churches situated in seven different cities in Asia, they are also applicable to seven individuals in the church, seven stages the church will go through before the eternal age or even seven different churches in this generation. Whichever way you view the letters, they were from our glorified Lord Jesus Christ so, let us take some time to analyze them.

THE CHURCH IN EPHESUS VERSE 1 “Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks.” Historically, the Church of Ephesus existed from approximately 30AD to 100AD, and was known as the Apostolic Church. The Church of Ephesus was a famous church planted by the apostle Paul – read Acts of the Apostles Chapter 19. Apostle John who had his house there later oversaw the church. At the time this letter was written, Timothy was the sole pastor and bishop. It is interesting to note that

the angel or messenger to whom the epistle was addressed to was one with such an excellent spirit who was zealous for the work of the ministry yet the epistle contains such rebukes as we will see later. According to our study of Chapter 1 verse 13-16, we discovered that the sender of this epistle was our Lord Jesus Christ “that holdeth the seven stars in His hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks.” Let us examine the two parts of this title individually – i. “He that holdeth the seven stars in His hand” As we learnt in Chapter 1 verse 16, the stars in the hand of the Lord are the angels or ministers of the local churches. In this text, the messenger of the Church of Ephesus. What a comfort and assurance to learn that the Ministers of the Lord are under His special care and protection. Matthew Henry says, “it is the honour of God that he knows the number of the stars, calls them by their names, binds the sweet influences of Pleiades and looses the bands of Orion; and it is the honour of the Lord Jesus Christ that the ministers of the gospel, who are greater blessings to the church than the stars are to the world, are His hand.” Without infiltration or present day pollution, a true minister of the gospel is an instrument in the hands f the Lord. ii. “Who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks” Chapter 1 verse 20 reveals that the seven golden candlesticks are the seven churches. Again, it is a thing of joy to know that the good Lord cares, loves and walks or dwells in the midst of His people. Matthew Henry again puts it this way – “Christ is in an intimate manner present and conversant with His churches; He knows and observes their state; He takes pleasure in them, as a man does to walk in his garden. Though Christ is in heaven, he walks in the midst of His churches on earth, observing what is amiss in them and what it is that they want. This is a great encouragement to those who have the care of the churches, that the Lord Jesus has graven them upon the palms of His hands.” How I wish the church will understand this point clearly and stop mechanizing the anointing. We need to depend solely on Him. “… and your life is hid in Christ in God.” – Colossians 3:3. This is the believers’ security! VERSE 2 “I know thy works, and thy labour and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil; and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars,” One special thing we will learn from most of the letters written to the seven churches through their angels is that our Lord Jesus used a system of communication known as sandwich communication. He first of all commends them for whatever good He finds in them before scolding them for their sins. This verse confirms the good beginning of the church of Ephesus – see Acts 20:17-21,29-31. Because of this warning, the church initially tried to judge righteously and tried every spirit, prophet and apostle to see if they were of Christ. Unfortunately as we will discover, this same church relaxed and subsequently lost its first love. So many believers today thing that it is a sin to judge. They hold on the text, which says, – “Judge not, that ye be not judged” – Matthew 7:1. Yes! This is true, it simply means that we should not judge a person as far as character and motives are concerned. But, we are to judge the person if his doctrine is heretical or his life is full of wickedness. It is written- “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment” – John 7:24. Amen! I John 4:1 declares: “Beloved believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” The church initially practiced these scriptures and found so many prophets and apostles as

liars. In these last days, we are to hold onto these same scriptures prayerfully; “For there shall arise false christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” – Matthew 24:24. A close look at the this church from the book of Acts reveals the truth in Hebrews 4:13 – “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and open unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” The Church of Ephesus was therefore commended for: a. Their diligence in ministry: “I know thy works, and thy labour,” The Lord takes note of our every-day labour in the vineyard. He has also promised to reward us accordingly. b. Their patience in labour: “thy labour and thy patience,” Understand that Timothy, who pastured this church had this admonition from apostle Paul – “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” – I Timothy 2:3. Being diligent is one thing, being patient is another virtue essential in the work of the ministry. c. Their true zeal against evil: “how thou canst not bear them which are evil;” Again, this zeal is traceable to the epistle of Paul to the Church of Ephesus. He said to them, “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” – Ephesians 5:11. They held unto these words and “tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars.”

VERSE 3 “And hast borne, and has patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.” This is a continuation of the Lord’s commendation to the church of Ephesus. They laboured and probably were hated for the sake of the Lord. “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake; But he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” – Matthew 10:22. I believe that one of the reasons why this church failed was that, at a time; they were active and became preoccupied with programmes to the extent that they forgot to have sweet fellowship at the feet of Jesus. No time again to read their Bible, and no time for prayer. Many people have failed even today because of this reason. Be careful lest your activities deprive you of have communion with God. Let’s hear the result – VERSE 4 “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” The Scripture says, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” – I Corinthians 10:12. The Lord Jesus Christ is the perfect Judge. He takes notice of the good in us as well as our shortcomings. We must always watch and pray because there is a traitor in the camp. We live in a decaying generation where evil multiplies in rapid proportion and as a result, the love of many for the kingdom is waxing cold. The church of Ephesus was charged for their decay and declension in holy love and zeal. They left their first love even though they did not forsake God completely; but that initial fervency was no more. This evil is prevalent in the lives of God’s people today. You can observe in most people the warmth of their affections toward Christ, heaven and the church when they first gave their lives to Christ. These warm and lively affections tend to fade away with time if adequate precautions are not taken to preserve them in constant spiritual practices. God is not happy with His people when they grow cold and weak toward Him and the affairs of His kingdom. So, He finds a means of making

them sensible to that fact. This is exactly what happened to the church of Ephesus. We must be vigilant! VERSE 5 “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” The Lord gives a wise counsel to the backsliding church/Christian who have lost their first love. There are so many people today who are in the church but little do they know that they are on their way to hell. How then would some one know that he has lost his first love? Simple! You can know this when you compare your present love for God and His kingdom business with your former state. When you consider how zealous you are doing the service of the Lord the first time you gave your life to Him and how reluctant you are now. If you are the sincere type, you will definitely know whether you have left your first love or not. If you have, then the Lord’s counsel is that you must repent. You must be grieved and sorrowful for the sin of decay and declension. You must be able to confront self and subdue the flesh. You must be humble enough to confess this sin to the Lord and receive grace to forge ahead. It does not only end in repentance, you must be prepared to “do the first works.” This means you must trace your steps back and recover your first zeal and begin to do again those works that brought such tremendous joy to your soul and glory to the Lord. You must ask God for revival earnestly and be very watchful as you run the race diligently. The Lord’s counsel is enforced by a severe threatening, should it be neglected – “or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” When the presence of the Lord is not in a church or among the people, there is emptiness and darkness. In such a gathering, the grace, anointing and love of the Lord cannot be made manifest. In fact, the real church will be non-existent. It really happened to the church at Ephesus. After the conquest of Mohammedanism, the church at Ephesus became nonexistent. Pray that it will not happen to you or your church. VERSE 6 “But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.” The question is – Who were the Nicolaitanes and what was it about them that made the church of Ephesus and God to hate them? The term Nicolaitane comes from two Greek words, which, means “Victory over the laity”. It has got to do with the exaltation of the clergy over the laity or laymen. Clergymen were power-drunk and position-drunk. It is type of religious dictatorship that allowed little or no freedom to its members. Are you still confused? What I mean is that the Nicolaitanes are those Pastors who lord it over their members. The Bible says, “Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.” – I Peter 5:3.

VERSE 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.” What a sandwich communication! The conclusion of the letter to the church of Ephesus is almost the same with the others. The Lord enforced His counsel with a call to diligence – “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto

the churches.” By this call, we understand that the written words of God are spoken words of the Holy Spirit to all churches of all ages. Also by implication, we understand that the primary purpose for our hearing faculties is to assimilate the word of the Holy Spirit. Therefore if we fail to make proper use of our faculty of hearing, on he last day, we would have wished we never had a capacity of hearing any thing at all. Another way the Lord enforced His counsel was by the promise He made to the overcomer. The question therefore is, who is an overcomer? An overcomer is he that trusts in the merits of the shed blood of Jesus Christ, enduring and walking in the footsteps of the Lord till the end. The apostle John says, “Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God.” – I John 5:5. The promise is the gift of eternal life. This is made possible because the overcomer will eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. This is what Adam would have had if he had not failed in his trial, he would have eaten of this tree of life and then lives forever. But he did not keep the commandments of God, he did not endure to the end; he failed and was cast out of the garden. The Bible says, “And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” – Genesis 3:22-24. The angels that keep guard over the tree of life will one day receive a command to give way for the overcomers to have access to it. The overcomers – those who persevere in their Christian trials and fought the good fight of faith to the end of time. Hallelujah! They will have what Adam could not get.

THE CHURCH IN SMYRNA VERSE 8 “And unto the angel of the church of Smyrna write; these things saith the first and the last, which was dead and is alive;” The church of Smyrna, was the second to be addressed. Historically, the Smyrna church existed from approximately 100 A.D. until 313 A.D. A persecuted Church. Again, according to our study of chapter 1, verse 11, we discovered that the first and the last here is no other person but our Lord Jesus Christ, which was dead (crucified) and is alive (resurrected). Let’s hear what He has to say. VERSE 9 “I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not but are the synagogue of Satan.” No matter the condition in which you find yourself as a Christian, the Lord knows about it. He takes perfect cognizance of all the works and conditions of men. The Smyrna Church suffered great persecution. They faithfully performed works in the name of Jesus and this brought severe persecutions and poverty (materially). The Lord knows about all and He said “but thou art rich”. Their riches (rewards) were laid up for them in heaven. Your riches as dedicated and relentless Christian are laid up for you in heaven. I am talking of riches, which

are not temporal but spiritual, riches in grace and faith in good works. “Spiritual riches are usually the reward of great diligence; the diligent hand makes rich. Where there is spiritual plenty, outward poverty may be better borne; and when God’s people are impoverished in temporals, for the sake of Christ and a good conscience, he makes all up to them in spiritual riches, which are much more satisfying and enduring.” Says Matthew Henry. Under this condition, yet the church grew and flourished smoothly in the spirit. Why do we complain? What have we seen compared to this group of people? Think about how the early apostles were persecuted and you will agree with me that we are in days of luxury and ease. Another problem that this church faced was that of false professors of religion i.e. “those which say they are Jews, and are not”. - Romans 2:29 says “--- and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” They were not true believers and as such, they were of the synagogue of Satan. We should today beware of those who claim to be Christians but deny the deity of Jesus Christ. These are people who propagate false doctrine and despise the true believers. Beware! I John 4:3 says, “And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world”. Galatians 1:6-9 put it this way, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”

VERSE 10 “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days; be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” The Lord knew what was going to happen to the Smyrna Church, that was why He continued His admonition in this verse. What ever situation you may find yourself as a dedicated Christian, the Lord is saying to you today – fear not – when the hour of trial arrives – fear not: when they persecute you – fear not: when they say nasty things against you because you are a believer – fear not; fear not; and fear not. This is the same admonition the Lord gave to the twelve in the book of Matthew when He called them and gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. He further said to them – “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves” – Matthew 10:16. This means that they were going to a place where they would not be loved as expected; a place where their souls would be most of the times vexed; in fact, a place where the devil himself was dwelling. They could have objected but for the fact that the Lord knew what would happen to them. We see that Jesus realized their weakness, He therefore gave them the three fear-nots in Matthew 10:26, 28, and 31. When the devil roars, fear him not but Rebuke, Refuse and Resist him. It is important to know that it is the devil that stirs up trouble for us. He uses evil men to persecute God’s people. When we understand this, we will love those that hate and persecute us. We will pray earnestly for their salvation knowing fully well that they are actuated by the devil. Now you can understand why Jesus asked the Father to forgive those that crucified Him while He was still on the cross and in pains. Stephen also prayed for the forgiveness of those who stoned him to death - Luke 23:34 “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.” Acts 7:60 “ And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their

charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” It is interesting to know that the suffering of God’s people is for an appointed time; it is not going to last for ever. Besides, there are some who would not be cast into the prison. “--- the devil shall cast some of you into prison ---“ No matter the severity of the persecution God’s people go through in this present age, it cannot be compared with the glory, which will be revealed in them in later age – Romans 8:18 “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” One of the ways Jesus fore-arms His people against troubles so that they can endure to the end is by proposing and promising them a glorious reward – “ --- and I will give thee a crown of life.” The Lord’s promise is sure; He has and will never fail to fulfill His promises. Titus 1:2 says, “In hope of eternal life, which God, THAT CANNOT LIE, promised before the world began;” (Emphasis added). Upon all these tribulations, the Church of Smyrna was guaranteed final victory. James 1:12 declares – “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him”. VERSE 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.” From Revelation 21:8 we clearly discovered that the second death is a death after the body is dead. It is worse than the first death in all ramifications. It is unspeakably hurtful and destructive. It is dying the death, to die and to be always dying. “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” You can make a wise decision that will change your eternal destination right now.

THE CHURCH IN PERGAMOS VERSE 12 “And to the angel of the Church in Pergamos write; These things saith He which hath the sharp sword with two edges;” The church of Pergamos was the third to be addressed. It existed between the years of 131A.D. to 590 A.D. and was known as a State or Heretical church. Pergamos is said to be located some fifteen miles from the Aegean Sea, sixty miles north of Smyrna. The modern town of Bergama (a Turkish corruption of the ancient name) stands on the plain below the hill-site of the ancient city. The city was the center of four strong pagan cults – Zeus, Athena, Dionysus, and Esclepius. It was the seat of the blasphemous emperor worship. No wonder the Lord described it as the place “where Satan dwelleth.” As usual, the sender of this message is our glorified Lord who describes Himself here as He who “hath the sharp sword with two edges.” We came across Christ with this title in chapter 1 verse 16, where “out of His mouth went a sharp two edged sword:” By this we understand that the two edged sword signifies the word of God that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord. The Bible says, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12. Matthew Henry said that “the church of Pergamos was infested with men of

corrupt minds, who did what they could to corrupt both the faith and manners of the church; and Christ, being resolved to fight against them by he sword of his word, takes the title of him that hath the sharp sword with two edges.” It is interesting to note that in all the epistles, Christ takes a title that addresses their problems individually, e.g. to the backsliding Ephesian Church, He goes as the One who “hath the seven stars in His right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlestick,” etc. In an attempt to describe the SWORD, Matthew Henry again said, “The word of God is a sword; it is a weapon both offensive and defensive, it is, in the hand of God, able to slay both sin and sinners. It is a sharp sword. No heart is so hard but it is able to cut it; it can divide asunder between the soul and the spirit, that is, between the soul and those sinful habits that by custom have become another soul, or seem to be essential to it. It is a sword with two edges; it turns and cuts every way. There is the edge of the law against the transgressors of that dispensation, and the edge of the gospel against the despisers of that dispensation; there is an edge to make a wound, and an edge to open a festered wound in order to effect its healing. There is no escaping the edge of this sword: if you turn aside to the right hand, it has an edge on that side; if on the left hand, you fall upon the edge of the sword on that side; it turns every way.” VERSE 13 “I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s sea is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.” The writer of the book of Hebrews says, “ Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” – Hebrews 4:13. As the Lord sees, He takes notice of the trials and difficulties His church encounters on daily basis. I believe that our works are best known when the circumstances under which we operate are duly considered. The thing that added flavour to some good works of the Pergamos church was the place where the church was planted, a place where Satan’s seat was. This shows that as the Lord takes notice of all the advantages and opportunities we have, so He takes noticed of all the temptations and discouragements we meet. Have you ever wondered how God will reward a Pastor of one million member mega-city church and that of ten member remote village church who finds it difficult meeting his immediate family needs? If you have, now you will understand that the Lord makes gracious allowances for them according to the circumstances under which they operate. The church of Pergamos received serious commendation for their steadfastness. “Thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith,” There are circumstances and places where it is literally impossible to profess Christianity. It was under such situation that the Pergamos brethren strived. They were not ashamed of their relation to Christ. They had enough grace of faith that they did not deny the doctrines of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, nor departed from the Christian faith. This signifies that our faith will have a great influence upon our faithfulness. One this note, Matthew Henry said, “Men who deny the faith of Christ may boast very much of their sincerity, and faithfulness to God and conscience; but it has been seldom known that those who let go the true faith retained their fidelity; usually on that rock on which men make shipwreck of their faith they make shipwreck of a good conscience too.” It is interesting to see that the good Lord aggrandizes the fidelity of the church of Pergamos. The reason being that they saw the anguish of the soul of faithful Antipas as he was martyred for what he believed. They never gave up their faith nor were they discouraged but remained steadfast and courageous. They refused to relocate but preached the gospel “where Satan dwelleth”.

VERSE 14 “But I have few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.” As we rightly observed, the Lord takes notice of our strengths as well as our weakness. He noticed that there were some among them who held the doctrine of Balaam. The doctrine of eating things sacrificed to idols and fornication. The book of Numbers chapter 21-31 tells us the story of Balaam the old prophet who was hired by Balak to curse the children of Israel. When he saw that God was not pleased but turned the curse to a blessing, he advised Balak to display the choicest of his women before the eyes of the children of Israel so that they would fall into sin. The Bible tells us in Numbers 25:1-3 that the children of Israel committed fornication with the daughters of Moab, ate meat sacrificed to their gods and even bowed down to their gods. This sin made the anger of the Lord to be kindled against the children of Israel. The Lord is saying that people like Balaam are in the midst of the church even today. These are friends who may not be as serious as you are in the things of the Lord; they will try to force you to follow their own ways of telling ‘small small’ sins like disobedience. Woe unto them! (Jude 11). Who tells you that there is a small and a big sin before the Lord? All liars shall have their part in the lake of fire – Revelation 21:8. Beware! “… abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled and from blood” – Acts 15:20. “Flee fornication!” – I Corinthians 6:18.

VERSE 15 “So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate”. We studied the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes in verse 6 so; you can go back if you want to have a revision.

VERSE 16 “Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth”. How merciful is our Lord! “… As I live, saith the God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live …” – Ezekiel 33:11. “… not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” – II Peter 3:9. The Lord is calling you today to repent from your evil ways. Receive the Lord Jesus and have everlasting life. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him”- John 3:36. “Neither is there salvation in any other for thee is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” – Acts 4:12. Jesus is the only way through whom you must be saved. If you refuse to repent, the Lord will fight against you with the sword of His mouth. “The word of God is quick, and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword …” – Hebrews 4:12. “… the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” – John 12:48. “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” – Hebrews 10:31. I would like you to consider the observations of Matthew Henry on repentance. He said, “ Repentance is the duty of saints as well as sinners; it is a gospel duty. It is the duty of churches and communities as well as particular persons; those who sin together should repent together. It is the duty of Christian societies to repent of other men’s sins, as far as they have been accessory to them, though but

so much as by connivance. When God comes to punish the corrupt members of a church, he rebukes that church itself for allowing such to continue in its communion, and some drops of the storm fall upon the whole society. No sword cuts so deep, nor inflicts so mortal a wound, as the sword of Christ’s mouth. Let but the threatenings of the word be set home upon the conscience of a sinner, and he will soon be a terror to himself; let these threatenings be executed, and the sinner is utterly cut off. The word of God will take hold of sinners, sooner or later, either for their conviction or their confusion.”

VERSE 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” What a wonderful reward! We had known who is an overcomer from verse 7. Let us therefore focus our attention on the hidden manna and the white stone. When the children of Israel left Egypt for their land of promise, they murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness because there was no food to keep them alive. “Then the Lord said unto Moses, behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you …” – Exodus 16:4. The Lord did actually rain bread to keep them alive throughout their journey but unfortunately when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, it is MANNA’: for they wist not what it was – Exodus 16:15. It is now clear that Manna means bread or bread of life because it kept them alive throughout. Jesus said, “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger …” – John 6:35. If you shall repent and come to Jesus, you will experience the satisfaction He gives. Also a white stone will be given to them that overcometh. The white stone here signifies freedom or acquittal certificate, which every believer will get on the last day. Praise the Lord!

THE CHURCH IN THYATIRA VERSE 18 “And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath His eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass” The church in Thyatira was a type of Papal church, which historically existed approximately from 590 to 1517 A.D. Thyatira, a city of the proconsular Asia, bordering upon Mysia on the north and Lydia on the south was a commercial town. This was the hometown of Lydia the seller of purple, whose heart the Lord opened for the gospel as the Apostle Paul met with her at Philippi in Macedonia. “ And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.” – Acts 16: 14. Whether it was through her the gospel got into Thyatira is still uncertain. VERSE 19 “I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.” As usual, the Lord started His message by first commending the church. The church in Thyatira was commended for her love, service, faith and patience. One aspect of this commendation worthy of note is their growing faithfulness. This

is one thing Christians should pray and work to maintain through eternity. In a moment where the love of many is waxing cold, it is indeed admirable to see someone whose love for God is waxing hot. This is an excellent character: “and the last to be more than the first.” Unlike the first church to be addressed, when others have left their first love, and lost their first zeal, this church is growing wiser, stronger and better. In fact this should be the desire and ambition of every serious-minded child of God. VERSE 20 “Notwithstanding, I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.” This is a serious case. Who is this Jezebel? From the study of the book of I and II Kings, we learnt that she was the wife of King Ahab who killed most of the prophets of the Lord and encouraged idolatry in the land of Israel. She held strong on the doctrine of Balaam The church at Thyatira allowed this type of people to teach and seduce God’s people to commit fornication and eat things sacrificed unto idols. That is why the church is being described as Papal kind of church. They even bow down before images thereby disobeying God’s commandment, which says, “Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above (including Jesus, Mary and Saints) or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; Thou shall not bow down before them…” – Exodus 20:4,5. I hope you understand that the sin of fornication in this context is not limited to the physical alone but encompasses idolatry, which is spiritual fornication. The Thyatiran seducers called themselves prophets and so claimed superior authority and regard to the ministers of the church. Like Jezebel, they decided what happened in the church so they made use of the name of God to oppose the truth of His doctrine and worship. What an abomination! The Lord reproved this church for allowing such people to occupy positions of authority. VERSE 21 “And I gave her space to repent of her fornication, and she repented not.” Physically, God gave Jezebel time to see if she could repent but unfortunately she didn’t. At the end dogs ate her flesh. “ And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window. And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, Had Zimri peace, who slew his master? And he lifted up his face to the window, and said, Who is on my side? Who? And there looked out to him two or three eunuchs. And he said, Throw her down. So they threw her down: and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses: and he trode her under foot. And when he was come in, he did eat and drink, and said, Go, see now this cursed woman, and bury her: for she is a king's daughter. And they went to bury her: but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands. Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, This is the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel: And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel.” The Lord is today calling people to repent from their evil ways, but it is unfortunate that most people harden their hearts at the call of God to repentance. Matthew Henry observed, “First, repentance is necessary to prevent a sinner’s ruin. Secondly, repentance requires time, a course of time, and time convenient; it is a great work, and a work of time. Thirdly, where God gives space for repentance, he expects fruits meet for repentance. Fourthly, where the space for repentance is lost, the sinner perishes with a double destruction.”

VERSE 22 “Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.” Because of the stony hearts of the seducers in this church, the Lord will pour His wrath upon them. Except they repent, the church (Jezebel) and all that encouraged her in her deeds will partake of the great tribulation, which will be administered from chapter 6. Be careful the way you live your life and the people you associate with.

VERSE 23 “And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts; and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.” As a continuation of the divine judgment, these wicked seducers and their off springs will be killed with death. Apart from the second death, which will eternally separate them from God, they will experience the wrath of God as revealed in Revelation 6:8 - “ And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” It is interesting to note that the seventy sons of king Ahab were slain because of Jezebel’s deed in the land of Israel – “ And it came to pass, when the letter came to them, that they took the king's sons, and slew seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets, and sent him them to Jezreel.” A thorough look at this verse reveals God’s infallible knowledge of human hearts, their principles, designs, frame and temper, their formality, their indifference, their secret inclination to symbolize with idolaters. It also shows God’s impartial justice, in giving every one according to his work, the name of Christians should not be a cover up neither their churches sanctuaries for sin and sinners. The Lord is coming with His reward in His hands to give to every one accordingly. VERSE 24 “But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.” Praise the Lord! The Lord is a righteous Judge! The tribulation or persecution we are suffering now is enough. As many as keep the faith, as many as do not submit to this false doctrine shall never partake in the great tribulation. Simple! “I will put upon you none other burden.” VERSES 25-29 But that which ye have already held fast till I come. And he that overcometh and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations. And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith unto the churches.” Believers are admonished to keep on with the doctrine of our Lord Jesus Christ till He comes to take us away from this wicked world. Here is a promise from the Lord. Whosoever keeps the works of the Lord, whosoever keeps the faith of the Lord shall indeed reign with Him – Revelation 20:4 - “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and 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.” Psalm 2:9 declares, “Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.” This is what the overcomer will do to them that loved not Jesus. The Lord shall rule the earth with a rod of iron during the literal 1,000-year reign. Is Christ in you? Are you a child of God? The Scripture says, “ But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” – John 1:12. Take a decision now, tomorrow may be too late. The true believers are here promised the Morning Star, which is Jesus Himself. This means that we will ever be in His presence. As the Morning Star, He brings day into the soul, the light of grace and glory; and He will give His people that perfect wisdom and understanding of His person. As usual, this epistle ends with the demand for attention. The question is, is the church attentive to the voice of the Holy Spirit?

CHAPTER THREE This chapter is a continuation of chapter 2. We will study the rest of the epistles written to the remaining three churches. They are interesting letters more so as it reveals the general condition of the present day churches. So let us get along.

THE CHURCH IN SADIS VERSE 1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis, write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.” The church in Sardis was a kind of reformed church, which existed between 1517A.D. o 1790A.D. They were so much interested in the reformation that they paid little or no attention to the doctrine of new birth. In other words, they became Protestants without being born again.

Matthew Henry introduced Sardis “as an ancient city of Lydia, on the banks of the mountain Tmolus, said to have been the chief city of Asia the Less, and the first city in that part of the world that was converted by the preaching of John; and, some say, the first that revolted from Christianity, and one of the first that was laid in its ruins, in which it still lies, without any church or ministry.” And on the seven stars and the seven Spirits of God in Christ he said, “He (Christ) hath the seven Spirits, that is, the Holy Spirit with His various powers, graces, and operations; for He is personally one, though efficaciously various, and may be said here to be seven, which is the number of the churches, and of the angels of the churches, to show that to every minister, and to every church, there is a dispensation and measure of the Spirit given for them to profit withal – a stock of spiritual influence for that minister and church to improve, both for enlargement and continuance, which measure of the Spirit is not ordinarily withdrawn from them, till they forfeit it by misimprovement. Churches have their spiritual stock and fund, as well as particular believers; and, this epistle being sent to a languishing ministry and church, they are very fitly put in mind and Christ has the seven Spirits, the Spirit without measure and in perfection, to whom they may apply themselves for the reviving of his work among them.” Unlike the previous epistles, He that knows the church in Sardis very well begins with a very stern reproof – “I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.” It seems as though this church gained a great reputation (“thou hast a name that thou livest”), a name for effective service, for undiluted doctrines and pure religion, a name for signs and wonders, a name for love and decency and orderliness, etc. Today, are there not churches that can be described like this? Unfortunately, I have come to understand that most times God’s assessment of our churches and ministries is different from man’s assessment. Even though the church in Sardis has a name in the eyes of men yet God sees that name as a dead name. Everything that happens in the church is mechanized – mechanized anointing, glory, love, etc. – all for self-aggrandizement of the man at the helm of affairs – the General Overseer. Hypocrisy and presumptuous sins are among some terrible evils that only God can see. So it was, the church in Sardis “hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.” Think twice about that! VERSE 2 “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.” As it is the case with every degenerate church that operates on past glory, there are always some elements of truth that keeps people on suspension. With time this also fades away if something serious is not done to preserve it. It is this element of truth that the Lord is advising the church to strengthen. “Be watchful”, He says. If you are this kind of individual or in this kind of church I would advise that you consider sincerely the word “WATCH” and the things to watch after in your life and church – • Watch over the W ord of God in your life • Watch over the A nointing of God in your life • Watch over your T hought life • Watch over your C haracter • Watch over your H eart WATCH! If you are able to guard your heart and its thought, and dwell under the genuine anointing of the Holy Spirit to declare and live by the word of God without fear or favour, you will escape the temptation of hypocrisy. However, if you are off your watch of these things, you will loose your ground and give room to Satan and his deceptions. As we watch the end of the age fast approaching, we must be on our guard. We

must be sincere enough to admit our shortcomings or even our failures before God and the brethren. We must strengthen ourselves as we repent of our evils no matter how beautiful we have presented it in times past. You know it is difficult to live a righteous life in the face of universal deadness. When evil prevails in the society even the righteous compromises. I have heard of very good Christians who were elected into prominent offices but before the end of their term they soiled themselves. They came out not as sound and pure as when they went in. However, there are a few individuals in such societies who still maintain their integrity. To them the Lord is saying – “strengthen the things which remain”. VERSE 3 “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shall not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” Our blessed Lord in His mercy is commanding this group of persons to remember when they were saved. How they listened and received the word; how they repented of their sins and held fast the Lord’s faith, but during the reformation they backslided. The Bible says, “… of how sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and counted the blood of the covenant, where with he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace” – Hebrews 10:29. Compare these two passages of Scripture and you will see a picture of two individuals in them – “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; …”- II Peter 3:10 and “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness that the day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, not darkness.” – I Thessalonians 5:4,5. To those who are off their watch, the coming of the Lord will be to their loss. This is because He will come as a thief in the night to strip them of their remaining enjoyments (not by fraud) in justice and righteousness. But to those on their watch, His coming will be a blessing and gain. They are not children of darkness or night so His coming will not take them unawares. It is therefore possible for you to use this parameter to judge your relationship with God. Are you ready for His coming? VERSE 4 “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.” Thank God for His kindness. How can a generation be wiped out without a soul saved? God is merciful! In the midst of this congregation, the Lord picked up a few names, which have not bowed before any seducing spirit. These are people who kept their garments undefiled, and they shall walk with Christ in white robes. I strongly believe that such remnant exists in our declining generation also. If you are among them, please hold fast your profession; do not give up the fight. There is a reward for the faithful! Henry says that Christ makes a gracious promise to them: “They shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy – in the stola, the white robes of justification, and adoption, and comfort, or in the white robes of honour and glory in the other world. They shall walk with Christ in the pleasant walks of the heavenly paradise; and what delightful converse will there be between Christ and them when they thus walk together! This is an honour proper and suitable to their integrity, which their fidelity has prepared them for, and which it is no way unbecoming Christ to confer upon them, though it is not a legal but a gospel worthiness that is ascribed to them, not merit but

meetness. Those who walk with Christ in the clean garments of real practical holiness here, and keep themselves unspotted from the world, shall walk with Christ in the white robes of honour and glory in the other world: this is a suitable reward.” VERSE 5 “He that overcometh, the same shall be clotheth 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.” There is a great reward for the remnant that is saved among this group of people. The white raiment is provided for the bride of our Lord Jesus Christ. These are those who did not defile their garments and walked uprightly. It is written, “Let 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. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints” – Revelation 19:7,8. Their names will not be blotted out of the book of life. This is great! It is recoded that, “… whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” – Revelation 20:15. It is also a great thing for the Lord to confess your name before His Father and His angels but before that, you have a part to play. Listen to the word of the Lord Himself – “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” – Matthew 10:32,33. Some people believe that if they are born again that is all they need to stand before God and enjoy His presence. Well, there is nothing wrong in being born again but enjoying in the presence of God entails much more. You need to witness the Lord to other people, share everything concerning Him with other people and in fact tell others how good and gracious the Lord has been to you. If you are born again and you have not been doing that start NOW! Confess Him before every body that comes your way. VERSE 6 “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith unto the churches. You have heard and it is a personal decision you have to make. The word of God calls for universal attention.

THE CHURCH IN PHILADELPHIA VERSE 7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith He that is holy, He that is true, He that hath the key of David, He that openeth and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;” The Philadelphian church was a type of missionary church, which historically existed from 1790A.D. to 1900A.D. Let us take some time to study the description of Him who sends the message. We will see Him from two perspectives – (a) His personal character – “He that is holy, He that is true” and (b) His political character – “He that hath the key of David” – this is the key of government and authority in and over the church. “He openeth and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth.” – this is the acts of His government. Let us take them one after another1. He that is holy - In I Peter 5:10, we learnt that God of all grace called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus and chapter 1 verse 15 states, “But as He which hath called you is holy…” Hebrews 7:26 declares, “For such an

high priest became us, who is holy, harmless…” And we were told in Hebrews 4:14 that the high priest of Hebrews 7:26 is Jesus Christ our Lord. “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed unto the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.” You see, our Lord is HOLY. 2. He that is true – “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the True God and eternal life.” – I John 5:20. You see, our Lord is TRUE. 3. He that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth: and shutteth, and no man openeth - Zophar the Naamathite said in the book of Job chapter 11, verse 10 thus: “If He cut off, and shut up, or gather together, then who can hinder Him?” And Job replied in chapter 12, verse 14 saying, “Behold, He breaketh down, and it cannot be built again: He shutteth up a man, and thee can be no opening.” In Isaiah 22:22, the Bible says, “And the key of the house of David will I lay upon His shoulder: so He shall open, and none shall shut; and He shall shut and none shall open.” M. Henry says, “He opens a door of opportunity to his churches; He opens a door of utterance to His ministers; He opens a door of entrance, opens the heart; He opens a door of admission into the visible church, laying down the terms of communion; and He opens the door of admission into the church triumphant, according to the terms of salvation fixed by Him. When He pleases, He shuts the door of opportunity and the door of utterance, and leaves obstinate sinners shut up in the hardness of their hearts; He shuts the door of church-fellowship against unbelievers and profane persons; and He shuts the door of heaven against the foolish virgins who have slept away their day of grace, and against the workers of iniquity, how vain and confident so ever they may be.” VERSE 8 “I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it; for thou has a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.” The Lord starts His message by commending this group of people. As determined evangelists, the Lord opened a door before them. It is an open door of evangelism, which no man can shut. This is the kind of door that was opened for Paul in Troas to preach the gospel- II Corinthians 2:12 – “ Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ's gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord,” Our Lord Jesus understands that in us thee is little or no strength to do the work He sets before us. But because we will continue to keep His word and do the work of evangelism, He will definitely strengthen us and also confess our names before His Father. Be strong and courageous, “preach the word, be instant in season, out of season; reprove, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” – II Timothy 4:2 To this mission-oriented church/person Christ sets an open door though there be many adversaries, no one and nothing is able to shut it. That is the good news! No wicked envious man, no demon energized woman, no lack of finance, etc. can shut the door that the Lord opens. So, move in through the open doors and pray for more. VERSE 9 “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved you.” In chapter 2, verse 9; we discussed those who were of the synagogue of Satan. You can go back if you want to have a revision.

Let us concentrate on what God will do to them. The Bible says here that they will worship before the feet of true believers. Some hypocrites will say that they are not God, how can these people worship before their feet? It will happen; God can never lie! Let me tell you how – “The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet…” – Isaiah 60:14. Now listen! The Bible does not say that they will worship you but that they will worship BEFORE thy feet. Amen? “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? - I Corinthians 6:2. What do you think will happen at this time? People must worship the Lord willingly or unwillingly while we are seated with Him. I would like you to visualize the scene now and you will see that they are bending before your very feet. Hallelujah! “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God” – Romans 14:11. The world will then know that the Lord loved us to the extent He gave Himself for us.

VERSE 10 “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” Praise the Lord for “the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgement to be punished” – II Peter 2:9. The word “from” in the text before us is translated from the Greek word “ek”, which means “out of”. It is the same word that was translated “out of” in our text above. Now, in essence, the Lord is saying, because we keep the word of His patience; He will also keep us OUT OF the hour of temptation or hour of great tribulation or hour of judgment that will come upon all the world. I don’t know what your belief is, but the Bible teaches us here that the evacuation will take place before the hour of temptation. I would like us to bear in mind that this hour is to TRY them that dwell upon the earth. It is interesting to understand that the saints will not be upon the earth during the hour of trial. VERSE 11 “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” The Lord is cautioning us to be faithful because He is coming quickly with our rewards. “And when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away” - I Peter 5:4. Therefore hold fast that faith, that truth, that strength of grace, that zeal, that concern and love to the brethren, that bowel of mercy, that no man take away your crown. VERSE 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.” What a great reward that the true believer will be a monumental pillar in the temple of God. He will be in the presence of God forever and ever. “For, behold I have made thee this day a defenced city, an iron pillar…” – Jeremiah 1:18. He is also promised the name of God, which entitles him to go in and out of the New Jerusalem, which will also be written on him. The new name of the Lord, which will be written on him, entitles him to enter into the Holy of Holies. VERSE 13

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith unto the churches.” As His manner is, this epistle concludes with a call for universal attention. Therefore examine yourself.

THE CHURCH IN LAODICEA VERSE 14 “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;” Historically, the Laodicean church approximately covers the period from 1900A.D. to the hour of tribulation. This church as we see today can be described as ‘apostate’. This is the worst of all the seven Asian churches and yet this was one of the seven golden candlesticks. Do not be surprised; a corrupt church may still be a church. As usual, the sender of this message is our glorified Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s study His attributes here(a) The Amen: He described Himself as “Amen” because in Him is completeness. “For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us” – II Corinthians 1:20. The Lord is stable and unchangeable in all His promises. (b) The Faithful and true witness: We had studied these attributes in chapter 1, verse 5. (c) The beginning of the creation of God: Christ is the Word of God as the Bible says in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word”. “Who verily was fore-ordained before the foundation of the world, …” – I Peter 1:20. Again, “In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the first born of every creature: For by Him were all things created, and He is before all things, who is the beginning” - Colossians 1:14-18. VERSE 15 “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.” This is a dangerous situation in which some churches find themselves today; but the unfortunate thing is that, they find it difficult to believe the word of God concerning them. They practice hypocrisy. When they are in need, any body can become a ‘brother or sister’ to them. They even believe that a morally excellent man without Jesus from any religious background will go to heaven, after all they say, “we are serving one God.” That is the devil’s lie! VERSE 16 “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold or hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” The major problem of this church is lukewarmness. This is a serious problem in our churches today. Both the clergy and laity are filled up with indifference in their approach to the business of the kingdom and little do they know that the One who knows them better is taking account of all their activities. We cannot deceive God. The Bible says, “Be not deceived, God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” - Galatians 6:7. Some think that they can stay on the fence, without leaving God and without leaving the world, flesh and or the devil. No way! You either serve God or the devil. Listen, if you are neither cold nor hot. The Lord said, “I will spue (vomit) thee out of my mouth.” When God forsakes you, the devil will accept you and great will be the disaster. VERSE 17

“ Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increaseth with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:” We can now understand why this group of people or church is lukewarm. They have a different opinion about themselves from the thought of God. The thought they have about themselves was only based on the physical appearance. They never take the spiritual into consideration. The Bible says, “Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall” – Proverbs 16:18. They are rich (materially) and they are proud of it. Their church is a multimillion building hat is opened for service one to three hours every Sunday. Materially also they increase and assume within themselves that they have need of nothing. But, the Lord is saying to them that they are wretched (spiritually) and poor – because they do not have treasures laid up in heaven. “One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come take up the cross and follow me” – Mark 10:21. They are blind because they do not see the large number of souls that are dying everyday without Jesus. “And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” – Mark 16:15. They are naked because they do not have the wedding gown (white raiment). “If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked” – II Corinthians 5:3. What a difference there is between the thoughts of these people and the thoughts the Lord has of them. VERSE 18 “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalves, that thou mayest see.” Oh how merciful is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He compassionately advises this group of persons on how they can escape the wrath to come. I wish the church would heed the counsel of the Lord today. “…buy of me gold tried in the fire” – The Lord is saying that you should have FAITH in Him, trust Him alone. “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” – I Peter 1:7. Again, “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” – James 1:3,4. That thou mayest be rich indeed! In other words, make provisions for your soul to live upon and stop starving spiritually. “…And white raiment” – This is our salvation and righteousness which is of Christ. You must be born-again – John 3:7 – so as to have that wedding gown, which is provided by Jesus alone. “… For He hath clothed me with the robe of righteousness…” – Isaiah 61:10. “… And anoint your eyes with eyesalves” – The Lord is saying here that you should give yourselves more unto the things of God, that your understanding may be enlightened. “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of His inheritance in the saints” – Ephesians 1:18. Remember that the carnal minded man cannot understand the things of the Spirit: because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. – Romans 8:7 VERSE 19 “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” I would like to correct an impression, which most people create in their minds, and that is, God does not chasten His children with sickness. God does not use sickness to make His children humble as most people thought. If God wants to chastise you, He will only deny you of His blessings for sometimes, because of your disobedience. When that happens, if you are indeed sensitive, you will realize yourself and come to terms with His precepts.

The Lord is advising every body that is not serious with Him to repent and be zealous because the day of His coming is at hand. His chastisement is always out of love and concern for our souls. Think about it, what does He gain by chastising us? Nothing of course! It is all for our own good therefore heed to the Lord’s counsel and be saved. VERSE 20 “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup with him and he with me.” Today, this group of individuals will not deny the hearing of the voice of our Lord Jesus Christ. They hear the message through radio, television, tracts and books like this. Jesus is knocking at your door as a church or as an individual, if you will open the door of your heart, He will come in and make better things out of your life. John 14:23 – “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” How glorious it is to live in the same house with Jesus! Again, think about that. VERSE 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.” The Lord wants those who are called by His name to be exactly like Him. The overcomer will reign with Christ. “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” – Revelation 5:10. We shall not only reign but shall also sit with Christ in His throne. “… That ye which have followed me, … ye shall sit upon twelve thrones” – Matthew 19:28. “That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones …” Luke 22:30 The Lord overcame the world, John 16:33, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, I Peter 3:22, so also He wants every child of God to exercise that victory. “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” – Ephesians 2:6. Amen! Remember He was tempted like every one of us yet without sin. If we follow His ways sincerely, we will overcome as He overcame. VERSE 22 “He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches”: As usual, The Lord calls for universal attention. There will be no acceptable excuse on the judgment day. This is the end of the letters to the seven churches. It also brings us to the end of the second part of the book of Revelation. From chapter four, we will move into the prophetical. I pray that God Himself will open the spiritual ears of every reader of this book, in Jesus’ name. Amen

CHAPTER FOUR We have finished with the things which are, and from this chapter we are going to study the things which shall be hereafter – chapter 1:19. Revelation chapter four deals mainly with the evacuation or rapture of the church and the judgment seat of Christ before which, every believer must appear to receive his or her reward. It offers some wonderful study so let’s begin. VERSE 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.” John says, “after this I looked.” Pause a bit and think about the sequence of events. After the Lord had finished admonishing the church, she is ready for the next event. Then John looked and saw an opened door in heaven and heard a voice like a trumpet, which said to him COME UP HITHER. I would like us to consider the following phrases very carefully – (a) “a door was opened in heaven;” (b) “voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet;” (c) “come up hither;” and (d) “I will shew thee things which must b hereafter.” What we have here is a clear picture of the RAPTURE of the church of Jesus Christ. Let us therefore take some time to consider this controversial subject in the light of this verse of Revelation. There are so many schools of thought disputing one aspect or the other of the subject of rapture. Popular among them are the Mid-tribulationist who believes that the church will be raptured in the midst of the great tribulation. The Posttribulationist believes that the church will go through the great tribulation and then be raptured at the end. The Pre-tribultionist believes that the church will be raptured before the great tribulation and of course there are Skeptics who do not believe that the church will be raptured. They argue that there is nothing like that in the Bible. Whichever school of thought you might belong, the most important thing is whether Christ has been formed in you or not. II Corinthians 13:5 says, “ Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” Even if you are born again and believe that Jesus will come back to this planet earth, how and when do you expect Him to come? The writer of the book of Hebrews says, “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” - Hebrews 9:28. Some are waiting for the manifestation of the antichrist and the great tribulation before the appearing of Christ. The danger is, according to the above text, Christ will appear to the people who are looking for Him. That the word “Rapture” is not in the Bible does not becloud its Christian use. It is the most exciting thing that would happen to any child of God whether dead or alive. After all the word “Bible” is not in the Bible either. We can only

find the word “Scripture” and we sincerely believe in it. The word “Rapture” is translated from the Greek word “Haparzo”. The Latin translation is “Rapio”. This means a “sudden snatching away from” or “to be caught up from”. The apostle Paul used this word as he wrote to the church in Thessalonica thus: “ For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up (HAPARZO) together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” – I Thessalonians 4:16,17. There are so many other passages in the Bible where this word is used. But with this we are certain that “Rapture” is in the Bible. Now we can define it as the event, which suddenly snatches away the children of God (the church) dead or alive from the earth when Jesus appears in the clouds. Let us examine this subject from the Old Testament scriptures – OLD TESTAMENT EXAMPLES OF RAPTURE 1. In Genesis 5:21-24, the Bible has the record of Enoch who walked so righteously with God that God decided to take him alive. He did not see death. “ And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” This is a clear possibility of rapture. 2. Noah’s generation was so perverse that God said, “I will destroy them with the earth.” – Genesis 6: 12,13. But Noah and his family were the only righteous people in that generation. That generation was destroyed by flood as God said but not until Noah and his family had entered the ark – Genesis 7:1-7. This is a symbol of rapture. 3. In Genesis chapters 18 and 19, we see another perverse generation of Sodom and Gomorrah. In this city were a righteous man and his family called Lot. The Bible remarked that “the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is grievous”, God decided to destroy it with fire but not until He had taken away the righteous family of Lot. In the same vein, God will not pour His wrath upon this earth until His chosen people are taken away via rapture. 4. The closest example of Old Testament rapture is seen in II Kings 2:11 – “And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” This generation cannot afford to deny this clear example of rapture. As God did to Enoch and Elijah, He will do likewise to His church. In the New Testament, our Lord Jesus Christ does not specifically teach this doctrine because the church was not yet born. However, the Lord makes some remarkable statements that have direct or indirect bearing on the subject of rapture. For instance He says, “ I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” – John 16:12,13. Also in Luke 17:34-37 it is written, “ I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.” We talk about rapture today because of the existence of the body of Christ, the church. Without the church there should not have been anything like rapture. The church was born on the day of Pentecost after the glorification of our Lord

Jesus Christ. Proper understanding of what the church is will help you to appreciate this subject. The church is a constitution of those who consciously and willingly accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour and are daily walking after His precepts. They “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” – Ephesians 5:11. They are sealed by the Holy Spirit and are in expectation of their Redeemer any moment. The Holy Spirit who gave birth to the church is expressly revealing the importance of this doctrine as one of the “things to come.” Apart from the book of I Thessalonians 4:16,17 where the Apostle Paul comforted the persecuted church with this divine truth, the book of Revelation presents it clearly as an event which must shortly come to pass. The next event that will happen to the church is the rapture. The Apostle John says, “After this”. We know that the church has gone through all the seven stages as described in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. The church age will come to an end by the rapture. The question therefore is, how prepared are you for this glorious journey upwards? One of the questions that have troubled the minds of some believers over the years is the moment of its occurrence. How is the rapture going to be? A careful study of I Corinthians 15:51,52 shows that the rapture will take place in a moment. The whole thing will be finished in a twinkling of an eye. There is going to be no notice. The Lord shall descend with a shout and the trumpet shall sound and immediately, in the selfsame second, the saints will be caught up from the earth. It is the most sudden event that will happen on the earth leaving millions of unconverted souls in the most devastating confusion. For more analysis on this subject, the reader is advised to read the book titled – RAPTURE AND THE GREAT TRIBULATION by the same Author. VERSE 2 “And immediately I was in the Spirit; and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.” This is interesting! The next event is the BEMA – the judgment seat of Christ. The Holy Spirit took absolute control of John so that he might get the eternal vision clearly. During the seven years great tribulation on the planet earth, the raptured church in heaven will be facing the judgment seat of Christ though not for condemnation but for reward. Sometimes Christians forget the fact that judgment will start from the household of God. I Peter 4:17 says, “ For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” Some think that belonging to a denomination or even being born again is all it takes to be comfortable in the kingdom of God. No, your salvation takes you to the kingdom of God if you maintain it but does not earn you any reward. The Lord Jesus Christ will judge His people according to their works. The Apostle Paul says, “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.” – II Corinthians 5:10. Note that this judgment seat is different from the Great White Throne judgment, which we study much later. The judgment set of Christ or Bema (Greek) is set for the raptured believers. However, unlike the Great White Throne judgment, Bema is not meant to condemn the people appearing before it. It is written, “ There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” – Romans 8:1. The judgment seat of Christ is where the works of the believers will be proved. This is not the works of your life from birth but rather the works of your Christian life from the day you gave your life to Christ. Again the Apostle Paul explains it this way, “ According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But

let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 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.” – I Corinthians 3:10-15. There is no doubt about the day of accountability. Even the devil knows that the end of this age will surely come. I have always taken this aspect of the subject very seriously because of its significance to the body of Christ not only in heaven but here on earth. If every believer will understand the implication of this text, we would have changed our world. In the first place the Apostle establishes the fact that the foundation of our Christian exercise and faith is the works and life of Christ. Upon this foundation we ought to build. But how many are sincerely building upon Him accordingly? Secondly, there are two kinds of materials people are using in God’s vineyard today – the durable and the perishable. The durable materials are gold, silver, and precious stones while the perishable are wood, hay and stubble. These speak of the quality of your Christian service. Every man’s work shall be revealed and tried by fire. These are the two main functions of the fire before His throne. Fire illumines and burns. Every thing we do for the expansion of the kingdom of God will be examined on the judgment day. The fire will try it and if it endures, such work will be rewarded but if it is burnt, it will not be rewarded. In this verse of Revelation, we see the presence of the judgment seat of Christ immediately after the rapture. The rest of the verses describe the appearance of this unavoidable throne. VERSE 3 “ And He that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.” This verse is describing the person who sat on the throne and He is none other than our Saviour Jesus Christ. Let’s study the descriptions so as to prove that He is the One. Ezekiel also saw the Lord in this same mode and said, “ And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.” – Ezekiel 1:26-28 The rainbow round the throne typifies mercy. Once again, this proves that the believers are not before this throne for condemnation. VERSE 4 “And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.” These twenty-four elders are distinguished believers whose works had been tried by fire but abided; hence they receive rewards of crown of gold – I Corinthians 3:14. Note also that they are clothed in white raiment. This signifies that they are born again Christians with resurrected or changed bodies like our

Lord Jesus. They are not angels neither are they other spirits. Elders depict members of a group of people like the church who represent the church in some matters. Therefore we see clearly that these elders represent the entire church. They are the redeemed of Revelation 5:9.

VERSE 5 “And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirit of God” The lightnings and thunderings no doubt depict judgment or trial of believers’ works. As we learnt earlier, seven denotes completeness or perfection in God’s sight. During this time, the Holy Spirit in His fullness will be present. The believers having received their crowns or rewards will now rest. VERSE 6 “And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.” The sea of glass means calmness. This signifies the rest of the believers in heaven, “And the likeness of the firmament upon the head of the living creature was as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above” – Ezekiel 1:22 As the raptured church kept quiet, John saw four beasts full of eyes before and behind. Ezekiel the priest described the beasts as Cherubims, “And their whole body, and their wings, and the wheels, were full of eyes round about, even the wheels that they four had” - Ezekiel 10:12 and “then did the Cherubims lift up their wings, and the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above” – 11:22. The next verse describes fully their makeup. VERSE 7 “And the first beast was like a lion, and the second best like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.” Praise the Lord! These four Cherubims represent the whole earth before God. The Psalmist says, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein” - Psalm 24:1 Before we go on to discuss why these four were chose, let’s read Ezekiel’s vision concerning these same beasts in Ezekiel 1:10, “As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.” God in His wisdom chose in each species a leader to represent that group before Him. (a) Among the wild animals, He chose lion as the leader, (b) among domestic animals; He chose calf or ox to represent them in worship before Him. (c) Among what He made in His own image, man is there to speak for himself and (d) among birds, the eagle was chosen to represent them before the Lord. Thus was the whole earth represented before the Lord of heaven and earth? VERSE 8 “And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty which was, and is, and is to come.”

It is the duty of man to worship the Lord always. Adore Him for His greatness and majesty. The four beasts, which represent the world rest not day and night, worshipping God. Isaiah the son of Amoz saw the same beasts and called them Seraphims. “ Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.” – Isaiah 6:2,3. The adoration – Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty is for the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. The term, which was, and is, and is to come also applies to the Father – Revelation 1:4, Son – Revelation 1:8 and the Holy Ghost which always was, and is, and is to come. Prepare your heart to worship the Lord at the end of this chapter.

VERSE 9 “And when those beasts gave glory and honour and thanks to Him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever. This verse is self-explanatory. What a joy heaven will be, worshipping His Glorious Majesty in eternity. VERSE 10 “The four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worship Him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying…” The twenty-four elders represent the whole congregation of God’s people joined in the sweet worship. Think about their method of adoration; they fell down before God and even cast their crowns (rewards) before Him saying… VERSE 11 “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all thins, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” Now, let’s sing this song. “Thou art worthy, O Lord.” Let us join the hosts of heaven in worshipping the Lord. Close your book and worship the Lord for a couple of minutes. God is a good God; we stand in awe of His goodness. Praise the Lord! This is one of the most joyous moments in Heaven, as the rewarded saints cast their rewards at the feet of Jesus, recognizing that there is nothing in them to glory about but for the power of Jesus. If you know you have not Jesus in you, please accept Him now. He would like you to be among these saints. He is coming soon!

CHAPTER FIVE Some preachers and commentators believe that this chapter is a continuation of chapter 4. But this is not true. Chapter 4 dealt with the rapture and judgment seat of Christ while chapter 5 deals with the heavenly preparation for the out pouring of God’s wrath upon the planet earth. The person that sat on the throne in chapter 4 was Jesus Christ while here. We will discover that He that sat on the throne is God the Father Himself. Verses 5, 6, and 7 of this chapter throw the light. Let’s proceed and examine some new dimensions of truth in glory. VERSE 1 “And I saw in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.” This is where some people get confused. The term “Him that sat on the throne” does not only refer to our Saviour Christ but also to the Father – Revelation 6:16; 7:10; 19:4; and 20:4. The book that John saw was in the right hand of the Father and not the Son. Before the book was sealed here, God revealed the things written therein to Ezekiel the prophet. “And He spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.” – Ezekiel 2:10. We will discover all these things when the seals will be opened from chapter 6. In a vision, which God showed to Daniel, He commanded him to seal the book and in this verse, we discovered that the book was sealed with seven seals. “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end …” – Daniel 12:4. Since then till now the seal has not been opened. VERSE 2 “And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?” “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in His holy place?” – Psalms 24:3. Our God is a holy God, and He searches among the human race and in the angelic realm; who is as holy as to come and open the book. But … VERSE 3 “And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.” … None is worthy. This is a serious matter; we need to ask ourselves questions. What is it that is holding us back from attaining that height God wants

us to attain? Why can’t we be as holy as our heavenly Father? It is written, “But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation. Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” I Peter 1:5,16. Brethren arise, shake off that dust that is staining you and be like your heavenly Father. VERSE 4 “And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.” John became hearth-broken. It is a pity, the position the children of God are today. Something ought to be done. Unrestrained weeping burst out. Oh! John wept for himself and for the church.

VERSE 5 “And one of the elders saith unto me, weep not: behold the lion of tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and loose the seven seals thereof.” Hallelujah! John is now comforted. One of the representatives of God’s people said unto him – “Weep not”. Wipe away your tears; somebody can do it, a high Priest, One who died to set you and me free from condemnation. Jesus, the one that wipes away tears and turns our sorrow into joy, lifted John’s burden from him. Our Lord is described here as the Lion of the tribe of Judah and the Root of David because of His divine power and authority. Judah is the leading tribe in Israel and Lion is also a leading animal. “Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up.” – Genesis 49:9. Again, “For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah” – Hebrews 7:4. Furthermore, David was known as the best King Israel ever had as long as God is concerned. Isaiah the prophet prophesied and said, “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek; and His rest shall be glorious.” – Isaiah 11:10. Let’s go further to prove that the figure John saw is Christ. VERSE 6 “And I behold, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood an lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent fort into all the earth.” John the Baptist in his ministry bore witness that Jesus is the Lamb of God. “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” – John 1:29. The Lamb was slain for my sake and your sake, that we, through His death might have eternal life. The seven horns of the Lamb signify His supernatural or divine power and authority. The Lord is omnipotent He is all-powerful. The seven eyes of the Lamb signify His ability to see all things at a time. He is omnipresent and omniscient – He is all-knowing and everywhere at a time. “ …With those eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth.” This is none other than our Saviour Lord Jesus Christ. VERSE 7 “And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne.” Verses 5 and 6 proved that He that came and took the book was Christ. Then the question is from whom did He take the book? Remember that in heaven and on earth and under the earth, nobody was worthy to open the book, even to look thereon. Beyond doubt, we understand now that Jesus (the Lamb that was slain) came and took the book from the Father Who sat upon the throne. Praise the Lord, Jesus

is our high Priest as shown in Hebrews 4:14. VERSE 8 “And when He had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayer of saints.” Jesus paid our penalty on the cross of Calvary therefore we have to worship Him. Seeing that He has done what nobody can do, not even an angel, the four beasts and twenty-four elders fell down before Him in adoration. They had some musical instruments ready to sing songs of praise unto Him when, the prayer of saints came up as an incense. David said, “Let my prayer be set forth before thee an incense …” – Psalm 141:2. VERSE 9 “And they sang a new song, saying, “Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou was slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue and people and nation.” This is another exciting time of joy in heaven, as they sing a new song. The heart of the raptured church in heaven is filled with joy as Jesus took the book from God and prepared to open the seals. We worship the Lord because He has reconciled us to God by His precious blood. I would like us to note that this verse clearly teaches us that in heaven, there is no tribalism, no denominationalism and religious sentiments. Christ redeemed all and all became one in God. Amen! VERSE 10 “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” What a glorious honour Christ will bestow on them that denied Him not. The Bible says, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people;” – I Peter 1:9. We shall reign with Christ here on the planet earth for one thousand years as said in Revelation 20:6. It is going to be a joyous time. God will make us kings and also priests. Make sure you are among the blessed number. VERSE 11 “And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands.” At this time, the heavenly hosts join in a combined worship as John heard their voice.

VERSE 12 “Saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory and blessing.” This is a perfect and complete adoration; for the heavenly hosts ascribed seven credits unto the Lamb – Power, Riches (Spiritual and otherwise), Wisdom, Strength, Honour, Glory and Blessing. VERSE 13 “And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” Goodness! John couldn’t hold back but joined the heavenly hosts in worshipping God and our Lord Jesus Christ. He ascribed all blessing, and honour,

and glory, and power unto Him that sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb forever and ever. And we join him by saying, Amen! VERSE 14 “And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped Him that liveth forever and ever.” Amen! Every creature is involved in this fellowship. Why not make a decision today and accept Christ if you have not done that. The next chapter is the beginning of the great tribulation, which the planet earth must go through. It is going to be sorrowful for unbelievers. I pray that you will not take part in it. The only way this prayer will be answered is for you to surrender your life to Christ today else there is no other remedy.

CHAPTER SIX The great day has come. This chapter deals with the beginning of the GREAT TRIBULATION or the outpouring of God’s wrath upon the planet earth. Before we proceed, I would like to repeat some statements I made earlier on. There is no sign before the rapture. All signs point to the end and the end is the coming (on earth) of our Lord Jesus with the raptured church. I would like you to compare the signs of Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 17 and 21 with the great tribulation. The Great Tribulation is as controversial as the subject of Rapture. There are lots of opinions and interpretations on this subject more so when it concerns the participation of the church. Every school of thought claims to be more accurate than the others. Some believe that the church will go through the great tribulation, others believe that the church will be raptured at the middle of it while another school of thought believes that the church will never go through the great tribulation. It all depends on the understanding of the scriptural passages where this subject is thought.

May I quickly say that there is a great difference between “Great Tribulation” and Tribulation”. By tribulation is meant affliction, trial, suffering, trouble, persecution and any other problems designed for the growth of a child of God. Christians all over the world are passing through one kind of tribulation or the other as at today. Tribulation is a must for a very seriousminded Christian whose desire is to please God. Jesus says, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33. The assurance is that we will not be overwhelmed by tribulation. Great tribulation on the other hand, is the wrath of God upon the planet earth. This is great affliction not meant for the growth of the children of God but which has never occurred in the history of mankind and will not be repeated after its duration. It is a period of great trouble, which cannot be described in words. The Bible helps us to understand it better. As the Lord Jesus taught on the signs of His coming, He said, “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” Matthew 24:21. It is a time of severe trouble indeed! The prophets of old saw it from different perspectives as God revealed it to them. Take a closer look at these scriptures - Zephaniah 1:14-17 - “The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung.” Jeremiah 30:5-7 – “ For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? Wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” Daniel 12:1 – “ And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” Isaiah 13:6-8 – “Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. 7 Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man's heart shall melt: And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.” Like the predictions of our Lord Jesus, their emphasis has always been – “None like it, no, nor ever shall be.” When you imagine the severity of this holocaust, you can answer the question of whether or not the church will go through it. Since great tribulation is the wrath of God upon the planet earth, it means that heaven will be waging war against the planet earth. This point is very important also if we must understand what the great tribulation is all about. The church is God’s representative on earth. The Bible says, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ.” – II Corinthians 5:20. Every ambassador is withdrawn to his home country should there be conflict between his country and the nation in which he serves as an ambassador. If this is true in the natural, it is also true

in the supernatural. The Bible says, “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.” – I Thessalonians 5:9,10. When the Lord Jesus taught on this subject, He made an important comment, which shows that the church suppose not to partake in the great tribulation. He says, “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worth to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” – Luke 21:36. This means if the church is in her watch and praying always, it is the will of God for her to escape the things (the great tribulation), which shall come to pass, and to stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Other scriptures that prove this truth include – Revelation 3:10 – “ Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” And II Peter 2:9 – “ The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:” After the rapture of the church, the sinners will have a taste of the great tribulation. Consider the following – Romans 1:18 – “ For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;” Romans 2:8,9 – “ But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; “ John 3:36 – “ He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” Zephaniah 1:17 – “ And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung.” Isaiah 13:9 – “ Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.” These are the words of God, which must come to pass at the appointed time. GREAT TRIBULATION CONTENTS Let us start this section by looking at the book of Daniel 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.” It is understood that the last week of Daniel’s seventy weeks is the period of the great tribulation. This verse addresses the one-week or seven years (if you are conversant with Daniel’s seventy weeks of years, you will understand this better) of the antichrist reign. After the rapture of the church, one world dictator known as the antichrist or the beast will emerge and enter into a peace agreement with Israel and the world at large. He will break the covenant of peace at he middle of the seven-year period and exalt himself as god. He will demand the worship of the people among many other things. This means that the first three and half years will be a counterfeit peace and the last three and half years will be very severe on the planet earth. There will be twenty-one judgments in three groups of seven each that will be unleashed upon the planet earth within the period. We will take some time to go through them as we study the verses ahead of us. As we do, please consider your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. These judgments are real; they are not fictions. They will occur as it is written!

THE SEAL JUDGMENTS When God revealed part of the contents of the great tribulation to Daniel, He asked him to seal it – Daniel 12:4 – “ But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” In it were “voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.” These voices were meant for “the time of the end,” when “men shall run to and fro,” seeking for knowledge. From this chapter of the book of Revelation, we will soon understand that the book was sealed with seven seals and as it is loosed, the things recorded in it will be fulfilled. This is the first set of seven judgments to be poured out on the inhabitants of the earth.

VERSE 1 – SEAL 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.” It is time to manifest what was prepared in chapter 5. John beholds the Lamb opening one of the seals and suddenly hears a noise of thunder, and one of the Cherubims saying to him, “Come and see.” The noise he hears is a sign of impending judgment as he is commanded to come and see what will happen to those who refuse to accept Christ in His deity and walk after Him. VERSE 2 “And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow, and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering and to conquer.” God is a good God, and there is no evil in Him. So many people are confused here with regard to the outpouring of God’s wrath or the tribulation hour. This is a deep exposition and my prayer is that God may help you to understand. Amen. Satan is the great imitator, he always likes to imitate whenever he is allowed, what God did or is about to do. The outpouring of God’s wrath simply means the discharge of God’s righteous judgment upon the wicked according to their wickedness and allowing Satan to do what he has been longing for on the planet earth. From ages, Satan has been looking for a way to take absolute control of this world and mess it up. His works are full of evil. As the Lamb of God looses the first seal, John beholds a rider of a white horse, with a bow and a crown is given to him, and he goes forth conquering and to conquer. Satan is allowed to display his first intention. Here in Nigeria as almost all over the world, the colour white depicts peace. The rider of this horse must have come with a deceitful peace pact. Diplomatically, he will conquer all nations. He will promise peace and economic buoyancy to the world, which is stricken with economic depression. Note also that this deceitful man of peace has no arrow, yet a crown was given to him. The crown signifies victory over the nations. How can this be possible without diplomacy? He comes to power through an international peace pact. This is the time of peace Daniel spoke about in Daniel 9:27 but it will be broken after three and a half years. The leaders of the world should watch out for this because the man is already working somewhere in the world today. The antichrist will imitate our Lord Jesus who will come to the planet earth on a white horse. Revelation 19:11 says, “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse, and He that sat upon him was called Faithful, and True…” The devil is a liar and when they shall say peace, peace, comes sudden destruction.

VERSES 3, 4 – SEAL 2 “And when He had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, come and see. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given 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.” How surprising the inhabitants of the planet earth will be when the peace they have been deceived with is broken suddenly. The Bible says, “For when they shall say, peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” – II Thessalonians 5:3. The opening of the second seal reveals the cruelty of the antichrist. The earth has not witnessed blood shed yet. The United Nations Peace Keeping Force cannot cope with the rate of conflicts amongst nations after the rapture. This fulfills Matthew 24:7,8. Again, the red colour depicts danger. The rider of this red horse must be exceedingly dangerous. Power is given to him to take away peace from the earth. How can this be possible? The rider will cause the inhabitants of the earth to kill one another and will even supply arms to them. This will be possible because he will be given a great sword. There are going to be wars and rumours of wars so as to fulfill the predictions of our Lord. Revelation researches from the Bible point to a fact and I believe the devil is going to use Red Russia and the Arab world to accomplish this plan. Other nations are going to team up against Israel, and Jerusalem will be their center of invasion. Study carefully the books of Ezekiel 38, 39 and Daniel 11 and you will be amazed at your discoveries. VERSES 5,6 – SEAL 3 “And when He had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, come and see. And I behold, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” This is third opportunity for the devil. The Lamb looses the third seal and allows evil to befall the inhabitants of the earth because of their unbelief. As the seal is opened, John sees a black horse and the rider having a pair of balances in his hand. This signifies sorrow and anguish of the hearth. The pair of balances is a scale used in measurements. One of the Cherubims tells John the use of the pair of balances - “A measure of wheat for a penny and three measures of barley for a penny.” It is going to be a sorrowful time. Listen to Ezekiel’s prophecy: “ And thy meat which thou shalt eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels a day: from time to time shalt thou eat it. Thou shalt drink also water by measure, the sixth part of an hin: from time to time shalt thou drink…. Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, behold, I will break the staff of bread in Jerusalem: and they shall eat bread by weight, and with care; and they shall drink water by measure, and with astonishment:” – Ezekiel 4:10,11,16. No matter what your income may be, under this type of famine and inflation, the inhabitants of the planet earth will find it difficult to feed. I am glad; the church will be taken out of the way before then. VERSES 7,8 – SEAL 4 “And when He had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, come and see. And I look, and behold, a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” As the fourth seal is opened, the fourth Cherubim says unto John – come and see (a commandment). Before we continue, let us pause and think of the

significance of this commandment – Come and see – (a) It serves as a reminder to us today that when all these things will be happening, we will be in heaven and (b) It will enable us to give God more honour and glory for His kindness toward us that serve Him faithfully. If we are not, we will be among the inhabitants of the planet earth who will suffer all these plagues. Thank God for His mercies endures forever. And John beholds a pale horse and the rider is Death, and Hell follows with him. Power is given unto them to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and with the beasts of the earth. Let us once again discuss the meaning of hell in brief and why it follows death. Hell is a place where the spirits and souls of unbelievers are locked up as soon as they die (before judgment). After judgment, they will be cast into hell fire or lake of fire. So you ask where a believer goes when he dies? Oh, praise the Lord! When a believer dies, he goes to rest with the Lord Jesus Christ. “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” – II Corinthians 5:8. Another scripture that confirms this truth is Philippians 1:23 – “ For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:” Hell follows death to lock up all the unbelievers that will be killed with sword, hunger and by the beasts of the earth. This is a terrible time upon the earth, as one-fourth of earth’s inhabitants will be killed by any of these four sore judgments. Ezekiel also spoke about this time – “ 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?” – Ezekiel 14:21. VERSE 9 – SEAL 5 “And when He had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the alter the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:” The mid-tribulationists base their assertion on this text through verse 11. Unfortunately this portion of scripture does not have in any way any rendering on the doctrine of rapture. This seal contains the souls of believers who, because of one sin or the other were not reptured. They can be clergy or laity so long as they are disobedient to the word of the Lord. These people are called “Tribulation Saints”. They held on to the word of God and were slain for their testimony. They paid with their blood. How sad it is; this is the time we need to plead the blood of Jesus Christ to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Be careful; serve the Lord with all your heart.

VERSE 10 “And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” At the opening of the fifth seal, John sees their souls under the altar crying for vengeance. They know that our God is the God of vengeance. The Bible says, “For we know Him that hath saith, vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again the Lord shall judge his people.” - Hebrews 10:30. The Lord comforts them this way … VERSE 11 “And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow-servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” This is the fulfillment of Matthew 24:8-10. Compare every sign in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 17 and 21 with every judgment poured during this great

tribulation hour. However, they were given white robes and asked to rest for a little season until their brethren were killed. What a sad anticipation for Christians who did not believe on the simple atonement by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is written, “Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. And not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” - Romans 5:9,11. These remaining Christians must pay with their blood. Another point that reminds us that we are in heaven at this time is their cry of vengeance. These tribulation martyrs were not under the dispensation of “Grace” but under “Tribulation Hour”. That was why they cried for vengeance. Compare this with the case of Brother Stephen who was killed under the dispensation of grace in which we are now. He cried for forgiveness – “And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” - Acts 7:60. God is angry NOW! VERSES 12-17 – SEAL 6 “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. And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree castes her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wing. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondmen, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains, 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. For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” This is not a figment of imagination; it must surely happen. Did you notice the difference between the first four seals and seal five and six? I believe you did! It is interesting to note that the judgment of the first four seals were under the administration of the Antichrist, while the opening of the sixth seal marks the beginning of supernatural judgment administered from heaven. From this point, except where otherwise expressed, we will take the judgment literally as they occur. Take note of the change in administration of the great tribulation here. Remember in the fifth seal the antichrist and his followers killed some tribulation saints and their souls cried for vengeance under the altar of the Lord. Now heaven is angry, the souls of the saints must be avenged. God must release His wrath upon the whole earth and this will affect every body including the Antichrist. When the sixth seal was opened, John saw a great earthquake; the sun became black and the moon blood. The ferocity of this earthquake will be such that every mountain and island will be moved out of its place. It also affects heaven for there was a shaking in heaven that made the stars to fall down on earth. When the kings of the earth, and the great men, the rich men and the chief captains, the mighty men and every bondmen, and every free man shall see this scene, their hearts will fail them. They will hide themselves sin the dens and in the rocks of the mountains and say unto it – “fall on us, kill us from God and the wrath of Jesus Christ.” All these things fulfill the prediction of our Lord Jesus in Matthew 24:7,29 and Luke 21:26 – “… and earthquakes, in divers places. …Shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall be shaken. 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.” It is going to be terrible, who shall be able to stand? Repent and receive Christ so that you will not be a partaker of God’s wrath.

CHAPTER SEVEN This chapter expresses God’s mercy and love towards mankind. It has never been the intention of God that mankind should suffer or even go to hell fire. Hell and hell fire are prepared for Satan and his demons. But because of man’s disobedience, he has to suffer the wrath of God. “… Not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” – II Peter 3:9. At the opening of the fifth seal, we discovered that some of the tribulation saints who were killed, cried unto God for vengeance, hence the change of administration in the judgment of the sixth seal: the result being people seeking for death. Remember also, that these martyrs were asked to rest for a season until the killing of their brethren was fulfilled. This means that there were still people who put their trust in God, people who refused the works of the antichrist. And because the word of God says that those who trust Him shall never be disappointed, He had compassion on them. God’s intervention before the seventh seal brought about one of the largest revival on the planet earth. The seventh seal is opened in chapter eight. But before then, let us study this chapter literally. VERSE 1 “And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the winds should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.” After the opening of the terrible sixth seal, four angels who are given charge to hurt the earth withhold the winds from the earth. But before we continue, it would be interesting to note that the four corners of the earth mentioned in this text, is a biblical expression of the compass – north, east, south and west. The earth is round and not square. It is written, “It is He that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, …” – Isaiah 40:22. VERSES 2-8 “And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them, which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.” These 144,000 Israelites are the God’s elect of Matthew 24:31 – “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 another.” This is a time of great revival. God has compassion on His people, and

commands the four angels to hold their peace until those who fear the Lord are sealed with the seal of God in their foreheads. This is the last opportunity man had to receive Christ and be saved. Whosoever does not receive this seal must receive the seal of the antichrist – 666 – Revelation 13:18. VERSE 9 “ After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;” Certainly, these are Gentiles and it is not a surprise that they are sealed after the Jews. God’s message had always been to the Jews first, then, the Gentiles. Romans 1:16 states, “ For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Some Bible commentators and preachers believe that these Gentiles repented as a result of the preaching or witnessing carried out by the 144,000 Israelites. Well, I don’t dispute that neither can it be proved figuratively; though, the Bible does not say literally angels sealed them. The white robes they are clothed with represent the righteousness of our Lord Jesus. The palms in their hands signify victory over the world, flesh, and the antichrist. Note also that this is not the church. John recognized the church, which is in heaven at this time but this group he knew not. VERSE 10 “And cried with a loud voice, saying, salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” There is no way one can hide the grace of God upon one’s life. God is so merciful and when He shows it forth, lives have to be touched. These people recognize that the arm of the Lord brought salvation to them. Therefore, they praise the Lord saying “salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” When Jonah was in such a great trouble like these people, he could not keep quiet as he experienced God’s grace upon his life. “But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.” – Jonah 2:9. VERSE 11,12 “ And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.” As a result of the gratitude the saved Gentiles expressed, all the angels fell down before God and worshipped Him. Perfectly they ascribed a seven fold praise unto the Lord – a) Blessing, b) Glory, c) Wisdom, d) Thanksgiving, e) Honour, f) Power, and g) Might. And we join them in saying, Amen! VERSE 13 “And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they? Brother John is faced with an examination. The elder wants to know whether he can recognize this group of people because they are not the church. Can he say who they are?

VERSE 14

“And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” It is not a surprising thing that John does not recognize this group of people. They are saved under a different dispensation. John who recognized the church in heaven said to the elder, “thou knowest”. The elder introduces these new brethren to John. They are people who are saved under the dispensation of great tribulation. You can call them the tribulation saints. They accepted the finished work of Christ after seeing others pay with their blood. These are people who, in the midst of tribulation, wash their robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. VERSE 15 “Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.” It is interesting to note that each group of saints, saved at different dispensations, have a different job or position to occupy during the one thousandyear millennial reign. The church (which is the bride of the Lamb) saved under the dispensation of grace, shall reign with Christ as kings and priests. The two groups of people saved during the dispensation of the hour of tribulation, also have different positions to occupy. The 144,000 Israelites sealed by the angels of God in verse four shall be bodyguards to the Lamb. They shall follow Him wherever He goes. The saved Gentiles (Tribulation saints) shall be temple attendants and or priests. The text before us says that they shall be before the throne of God and serve Him day and night in His temple. God Himself shall dwell in the midst of these people. That is why… VERSES 16, 17 “They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” Isaiah foresaw this moment of joy and prophesied saying, “They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them, for the that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.” - Isaiah 49:10. The Lord is merciful indeed. He realizes that under the administration of the Antichrist, this group of people starved, thirsted and suffered the heat of the scorching sun. Therefore He comforts them with food, water and shelter. God by Himself also shall wipe away their tears. “ Thus saith the Lord; refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy works shall be rewarded, saith the Lord: and they shall come again from the land of the enemy.” – Jeremiah 31:16. Having sealed these people with the seal of God, the wrath of God continues upon the inhabitants of the planet earth. It will be terrible because none of the earth’s inhabitants fears the Lord God. The outpouring of God’s wrath continues from chapter eight, beginning with the last seal – the seventh seal.

CHAPTER EIGHT This chapter deals with the opening of the last seal, which produced the seven trumpet judgments. Study these judgments literally and compare the trumpet judgments with the judgments passed on the Egyptians during the days of Israeli captivity. Once again, we will discover that these judgments, unlike the first four seals are administered from heaven and so horrifying that there will be complete silence in heaven for thirty minutes. VERSES 1-5 – SEAL 7 “ And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels, which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.” This is the last of the seal judgments. Its contents are horrible that for the first time in the history of heaven, there was silence for about half an hour. After the silence, John beholds seven angels before God and seven trumpets are given to them. At the sounding of every trumpet, God will judgment the earth. Paul said in Romans 1:18, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.” Since there is no other mediator between man and God, I believe that Jesus Christ our Lord is the One who offers the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar, which was before the throne of God. It is written, “For thee is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the man Jesus Christ.” – I Timothy 2:5. Well you may say how can that be. But remember that the Lord manifested in so many ways in the Old Testament, e.g. He wrestled with Jacob as an angel, He went to Sodom and Gomorrah in human form, etc. He has not resigned from interceding for His people; therefore, He is still the same that offers prayers on behalf of the saints before God in verse 3. Hebrews 7:25 says, “… seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.” The prayers of the saints are heard. May I quickly say that God hears prayers only through our Lord Jesus Christ. No other name given among men says the Bible in Romans 4:12 – “ Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” In John 14:6 Jesus says, “ … I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Verse 4 teaches that the prayers of saints ascend to God out of the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ so if you are not in good terms with the Lord, God will not hear your prayers. It is as simple as that! Verse 5 opens our eyes to the reason why the hosts of heaven keep silence for the space of half an hour. The long silence is broken with a type of noise that is unimaginable. John hears a combination of voices, thundering, lightning and an earthquake. This is the answer to the saints’ prayers, as the angel (Lord Jesus) fills the censer with fire from the altar and cast it into the earth. Ezekiel prophesied concerning this hour saying, “… and fill thine hand with coals of fire between the cherubims and scatter them over the city …” – Ezekiel 10:2. With these we have come to the end of the seal judgments and from the next verse we will study the trumpet judgments. I hope by now you have made up your mind on what to do. THE TRUMPET JUDGMENTS We are going to study another terrible judgments upon the inhabitants of the

earth during this dispensation. It is going to be unbearable. We will compare them with the wrath of God upon the land of Egypt in the days of Moses the servant of God. Friends, if God did it in those days, He will do it again. VERSES 6,7 – TRUMPET 1 “ And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.” At the sound of the first trumpet blast, one third of the world’s tree and green plants was burnt up. Hail and fire mingled with blood will be cast upon the earth. I have been thinking of what will happen to the tree planting programs of our governments. However, I am not surprised that God would do such a thing because He did it in Egypt before. It is written in Exodus 9:22-24 thus – “ And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt. And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt. So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.” VERSES 8,9 – TRUMPET 2 “And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.” One third of our today’s se must one day become blood as a result of something, gigantic in nature, and burning with fire being cast into it. I do not intend interpreting this gigantic object. But note that this great meteor is not a mountain but “as it were a great mountain.” Do not think that it is impossible for God to do. He did similar thing in Egypt and He will do it again. The book of Exodus 7:19-21 puts it this way, “And the LORD spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone. 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. And the fish that was in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.” One third of sea creatures will die for lack of water and one third of the ships will be destroyed because they cannot sail on blood. Give deep thought to these things. VERSES 10,11 – TRUMPET 3 “ And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.” One of the stars of heaven falls upon the third part of rivers as a burning lamp. At this time, one third of our present day rivers will be as bitter as

wormwood. Water will no more be good for human and animal consumption. It will be poisonous! Many people shall die of the waters because they will be forced to drink it since there is no alternative. Jeremiah spoke concerning this hour saying, “Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink” – Jeremiah 9:15. Also in the land of Egypt such a thing happened when the waters were turned into blood and the Egyptians could not drink of it- Exodus 7:17, “Thus saith the LORD, In this thou shalt know that I am the LORD: behold, I will smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood.” Water is one of the necessities of life. Figure out what will happen when the earth is denied of it. Thank God the church will be in heaven when it will happen.

VERSE 12 – TRUMPET 4 “ 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.” At the sounding of this trumpet, one third of the world’s lightening system became darkened. Then, the day and night almost became the same because it is only light that separates day from night. Under this condition, there will be no business and so many people will be frustrated. Today you find it difficult to leave your business for the sake of the Lord’s work. Time shall come when you will be forced to abandon that business without compensation. It has happened once in the land of Egypt and must repeat itself very soon after the rapture of the church. Exodus 10:21-23 – “ And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt. And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days: They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.” VERSE 13 “And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!” The next three trumpets, which are yet to sound, will be worst than these ones already sounded. After the fourth trumpet blast, John saw an angel flying through the midst of heaven and heard a loud voice pronouncing woes on the inhabitants of the earth. Pease understand that the church of Jesus Christ is not on the earth at this time. This means that what the planet earth had passed through is nothing compared to what shall come upon it. Jesus does not want you to suffer the wrath of God. He is ready to accept you even now. He is calling you – “ Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Do not reject the call of God.

CHAPTER NINE This chapter reveals two out of the three woes pronounced by the flying angel in chapter 8, verse 13. They are trumpets five and six – the dreadful scene. VERSE 1-12 - TRUMPET 5 “ And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. And 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. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon. One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.” Verse one records the second star that had fallen so far. The first was the star called Wormwood in chapter 8, verses 10,11. Unlike the first that fell into water, this one is personified and the key of the bottomless pit was given to him. Some commentators and preachers say that this star must be an angel while some say that it is Lucifer because the word that is translated “fall” in our text is supposed to be “fallen”. They said because Isaiah the prophet spoke about this fallen Lucifer the devil in Isaiah 14:12- “ How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations?” And Jesus while addressing the seventy said. “…I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven” – Luke 10:18. So they concluded that this star must

be Lucifer. It is interesting to note that the bottomless pit is different from the earth. This fallen being will sooner or later start using the key that is given to him to open the pit. Therefore the Seven days Adventists should not be misleading themselves by saying that the bottomless pit is the earth. Let us stick to what God’s word declares. Bottomless pit means the pit of abyss. Abyss is a place where fallen angels or rather, sinned angels are kept in chains of darkness until the final day of judgment. Jude 1:6 puts it this way, “ And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” Imagine what will happen when this terrible place is opened. Now the being that has the key of the bottomless pit opens it. The first thing that comes out of it is smoke, and the smoke is so dangerous that the sun and the air are immediately darkened. What pollution! I pray that the members of our Environmental Sanitation Agencies will be born-again else; they will have a lot of job to do under the supervision of Satan. Verse three introduces the locusts as demon incarnates. Power is given to them like the scorpions we know today. These are hungry wicked and fearful angels that had been under bondage from ages. They came out of the polluting smoke. Why are they loosened? What a horrible thing! We know locusts to be grass eaters but these ones are different. These demon-incarnated locusts will be commanded not to eat grass, neither any green thing nor trees, but to hurt men who have not the seal of God. Note that even the men who have not the seal of God are not to be killed by the locusts, but they are to be tortured. Who are these men that will suffer this unbearable thing? They are those who worship the devil and had received the devil’s mark – 666, those who refused to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour. Ezekiel chapter 9, verse 6 says, “Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: BUT come not near any man upon whom is the mark (i.e. the seal of God).” We know that the people without the seal of God at that time will not be killed but tortured. The torture or torment will last for five months, and it will be like a scorpion when it strikes a man. It will be so painful that men will seek death and desire to die, but they shall not find death because it will flee away. “Where is death”, the people will say, and death will be found nowhere. Jeremiah prophesied concerning these days saying, “And death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of them that remain of this evil family, which remain in all the places whither I have driven them, saith the LORD of hosts.” Verse seven begins the description of the locusts. They are likened to horses prepared for battle because they will have enough strength even to the end of the proposed five months. The crown on their heads signifies victory over the inhabitants of the earth, and their faces looking like unto the faces of men speaks of intelligence. They are said to have hair of women and their teeth were as lion’s teeth. This means that they will be beautiful or attractive but extremely wicked. These demon incarnates will not be conquered and their sound will be like the sound of calamity. These are evil spirits therefore nobody can hide from them for the period of five months as they torment men. Verse eleven further proves that the locusts are beings. The word “Apollyon” in Greek means “The Destroyer”, which is the devil. Satan is no doubt the king of the bottomless pit. “One woe is past”. What a terrible moment! VERSES 13-21 – TRUMPET SIX “ And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Saying to the sixth angel which had the

trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt. And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.” As the sixth angel sounds his trumpet, the four horns of the altar cry out because they are neglected by earth dwellers. The altar is associated with blood and without shedding of (Christ’s) blood there is no remission for sins – Hebrews 9:22. The altar horns cry out for judgment because earth dwellers neglect the finished work of Calvary. It is written, “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation…” – Hebrews 2:3. Be careful; make sure you do not neglect Him when He calls. The fact that these angels are bound means that they are fallen angels. The position where they are found bound (in the great river Euphrates) is a place where so many atrocities were committed e.g. Adam and his wife disobeyed God by accepting the words of the serpent there; it was also at this side of Euphrates that Cain killed his brother Abel; the first man-planned unity that was against the will of God, and subsequently the building of the tower of Babel was there. So, there is no doubt that such wicked angels can be found bound there. This great river Euphrates can also be called Abyss. These four beings, which have been under darkness from genesis, are now prepared to display their wickedness. They will slay one third of the earth’s dwellers within the period of one year, one month, one day and one hour from the time they are loosed. Some commentators and preachers associate this scene with the impending war through which all nations shall rise against the nation Israel – Ezekiel 38 and 39. Verse sixteen introduces us to the army, which these beings will use to discharge this judgment upon the earth. I believe that these 200,000,000 soldiers are supernatural beings considering their description in the verses seventeen through nineteen. Some scholars also say that this mighty army is the nations that will gather up against Israel. Well, whether they are natural (men) or supernatural (demons) soldiers, this time will be a terrible time for those who have not the seal of God. VERSES 17-19 “ And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths .For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.” With the descriptions in these verses, we can see clearly that these soldiers are demon incarnates. They have breastplates of fire, and jacinth and brimstone – this means that no human being can hurt them. The horses on which they sat have lion’s head – this speaks of fierceness or cruelty. Out of their mouth

issued fire, smoke and brimstone. These were their weapons of warfare. With these weapons of fire, smoke and brimstone, they killed one-third of the earth’s inhabitants. In our study of chapter 6, verse 8, we discovered that one-fourth of the earth’s inhabitants were killed by the rider of the pale horse, whose name was Death. Therefore the total earth’s dwellers before the tribulation have been reduced by 50%. The remaining people, who were not killed by these beings, did not escape torment. Note that the tails of the horses were like serpents and they had heads. With these they torture the inhabitants of the planet earth. My dear reader, these things must happen to those who refuse to accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour. Think about your soul and your end. VERSES 20,21 “ And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.” The Scripture says that “the heart of the sons of men is full of evil,” – Ecclesiastes 9:3. One would have thought that the remaining people who were not killed will repent of their evil ways, but they will not because “ the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” – II Corinthians 4:4. There will be five major sins during the great tribulation hour; men would rather die in them than to forsake them. They are a) Idolatry, b) Murder, c) Sorcery, d) Fornication and e) Theft. Let us examine what God says about them individually – IDOLATRY: Because of the presence of the Antichrist or the Beast, idolatry will be widely practiced. But the word of God says, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me... He that sacrifieth unto any god, save the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed.” – Exodus 20:3; 22:20. God does not want you to be destroyed, therefore He said, “Wherefore, my dearly beloved, FLEE from idolatry.” – I Corinthians 10:14. MURDER: During this same time, people will find pleasure in killing one another. Terrorism will be rampant, and there will be no judgment because, every body is filled with evil thought. God’s word says, “Thou shall not kill.” – Exodus 20:13. Again, “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him” – I John 3:15. SORCERY: This is one of the ways the devil uses to manifest his acts even today. There will be more soothsayers and witches during the tribulation hour than now. People will be deceived. God does not want such a thing to be found among His people so He says, “There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an anchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do all these things are abomination unto the LORD.” - Deuteronomy 18:10-12. FORNICATION: The tribulation hour will be a time of lawlessness. Fornication will seem as nothing before men. Again God is saying, “FLEE fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committed fornication sinneth against his own body.” – I Corinthians 6:18. No fornicator shall inherit the kingdom of God – Galatians 5:19-21 – “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft,

hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” THEFT: Consider what will happen when one who does not fear God has no food to eat. The tribulation hour will be a time of famine and people will be forced to steal even the little others have. There will be more armed robbers, housebreakers etc., in future than now. God hates theft and anything that is associated with it. “Thou shall not steal.” – Exodus 20:15. God is calling you today to forsake all these things and follow Him. “Wherefore (as the Holy Spirit saith). Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” – Hebrews 3:7,8.

CHAPTER TEN Once again we have a break similar to chapter, 7 between the sixth trumpet judgment and the seventh. This chapter deals with the preparation of our Lord Jesus Christ to take over absolute control of the earth. He also warns the earth of the impending judgment. Let’s examine the verses carefully. VERSE 1 “ And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:” No doubt, this angel is our glorified Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. As we studied in Chapter 4, verse 3, the Lord from the Old Testament manifested Himself in many instances as an angel. This is possible because He created all things (including angels) and in Him all things consist – Colossians 1:16,17. The Lord has been so much associated with the cloud right from genesis. He led the children of Israel out of Egypt and through the wilderness in a pillar of cloud by day – Exodus 13:21and He spoke to Moses out of the midst of cloud – 24:16. A bright cloud overshadowed Him at the mount of transfiguration – Matthew 17:5 and a cloud received Him out of the sight of His disciples – Acts 1:9. Again, as we learnt from chapter 4:3, that rainbow signifies mercy none other can wear this mercy upon His head except our Lord Jesus. He is our high priest who rest not day and night interceding for us – Hebrews 7:25. “…And His face did shine as the sun and His raiment was white as the light”

– Matthew 17:2. This is the Lord Jesus on the mount of transfiguration and in Chapter 1, verses 15,16, we learnt that, the feet of the Lord was like unto a brass that burned in a furnace and His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. This mighty angel is the Lord. Let’s go further to discover why He descended. VERSE 2 “ 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,” This verse exposes the Lord’s preparation to take absolute control of the earth, which He created. But before then, He considers it necessary to still declare unto the world His word; hence He has in His hand an open book. He is coming very soon, not to be crucified again, but to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. VERSE 3 “ And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.” There is only one Lion, and that is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, Jesus the Son of God. He roared to warn the earth of the last trumpet judgment. Whenever the Lord cried with a loud voice like this, the heaven and the earth must tremble. It is written, “The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake” – Joel 3:16. “The Lord will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem: and the habitations of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top of Carmel shall whither.” – Amos 1:2. Seven thunders utter their voices in reply to the cry of the Lord. However, thunder has to do with judgment, no body can as at now interpret what the seven thunders mean because the next verse says… VERSE 4 “ 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.” Probably the seal will be loosed one day and we shall get to the depth of this mystery. VERSES 5,6 “ 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:” Daniel 12:7 declares: “ And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.” The swearing of the Lord is based upon His creation. Though the Lord forbids swearing but this time, He takes the oath as an affirmation of His decision. The oath is that there should be no more delay. The seventh trumpet blast must be unleashed. Nothing shall hinder it. The Lord has said it and it must surely come to pass.

VERSE 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.” All the prophets of old longed to see this time, which they proclaimed. They knew that somebody who will save the whole world would come sometime, someday. They prophesied about His birth, suffering and death, resurrection and ascension. They also warned the world against God’s wrath. Daniel spoke about the end time is Daniel chapter 12, and so did most of the prophets. Now, this is the time when the mystery of God concerning judgment will finish. The seventh trumpet will sound and then Christ will gloriously return with the saints. For the interest of our study, do not be confused or surprised that the mystery will finish at the sound of the seventh trumpet in chapter 11, while chapter 16 contains another seven-vial judgments. The reason is that chapters 12 or rather 13 through 19 run will run concurrently with chapters 6 through 11. We shall get the arrangements clearer as we go on in our study. VERSES 8-10 “ And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.” John is commanded at this point to go and take the book, which contains the word of God from Jesus, who stands upon the sea and the earth. He takes the book and eats it up. I would like you to pause for a minute and think of the importance of eating the word of God. The Bible says that we must be the doers of the word and not hearers only – James 1:22. Applying the Word of God in our daily life matters a lot. This is the way we can eat up the word of God. The word of God is as sweet as honey. How wonderful is the good news. Even when we were yet sinners, Christ loved us and died to set us free from condemnation – Romans 5:8,9. Prophet Ezekiel testified to this divine truth when he said, “Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.” – Ezekiel 3:3. Jeremiah also ate the word of God. “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart.” – Jeremiah 15:16. The Psalmist said, “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth.” – Psalm 119:103. Finally, John testifies that the word of God is sweet in his mouth just as honey. But there is some thing strange here, the sweet word of God turns bitter in the belly of John. Why? As John continues, he discovers the remaining judgments to be released, and he becomes worried. Therefore is the word turned bitter in his belly. How true is this for us today. When we learn of the blessings or promises of God for us, we become happy and excited. But remember, every promise of God in the Bible is conditional. A sinner does not enjoy God’s blessings but rather His wrath. It is written, He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on Him.” – John 3:36. God’s word becomes bitter when we learn of His punishments to those who fail to walk according to His commandments. VERSE 11

“ And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.” Oh! The word of God is real practical. When we live by it, people around us must notice the difference. The Lord says, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.” – Matthew 5:14. When you eat the word of God; and His word says, “Go ye therefore; and teach all nations.” – Matthew 28:19, you must therefore prophesy before many peoples, nations, tongues and kings. Preach the word of God without fear or favour. Declare unto the world the sweet-bitter word of God. But unfortunately the sermons we hear from most of our pulpits today are sweet-sweet sermons. So many preachers today are fond of preaching the sweet-sweet sermons only. They do not want to bring out the bitter part of it so that people will not know what the end looks like. They are afraid else their members disperse. If you are such a preacher be careful, the ministry is not yours, Jesus is the head and He is able to protect His body. The Bible says, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” – II Timothy 4:2.

CHAPTER ELEVEN There are three main lessons, which we will study from this chapter. Each is crucial. The first is the tribulation temple; the second is the two last prophets and thirdly, the sounding of the seventh trumpet blast. Put on your gospel binoculars and examine God’s word for spiritual insight. VERSES 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.” This is a very interesting portion of the Bible that needs proper clarification. So many Christians today believe that the temple of God will be rebuilt in Jerusalem before the rapture. Note that the temple before us now is different from Ezekiel’s Temple or rather, the temple of God that will be rebuilt. The rebuilding of the temple will be done in the early years of the Millennium. Zechariah prophetically penned, “Thus speaketh the Lord of Hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is the BRANCH; and He shall grow up out of His place, and He shall build the temple of the Lord: Even He shall build the temple of the Lord; He shall bear the glory, and sit and rule upon His throne; and He shall be a priest upon His throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” – Zechariah 6:12,13. The BRANCH is a term used in the Old Testament to identify THE MESSIAH. This clearly means that Jesus will supervise the rebuilding of the temple of our God Almighty. However, a central place of worship has to be built in Jerusalem to satisfy the religious need of Israel and the office needs of the Antichrist. Hence John was given a reed to measure it. I learnt that this new synagogue has been built or is nearing completion now. It is in the heart of down town Jerusalem on King George Street, very close to the International Rabbinical Headquarters. This is the synagogue where the

Antichrist will sit as god – II Thessalonians 2:4 For further understanding of the temple, which will be rebuilt during the Millennium, I would advise you to study the book of Ezekiel chapters 40-42. Once again, the rebuilding of God’s temple is different from this tribulation temple, which is already in existence. Now, John is ordered not to measure the outer court because the holy city will be given unto the Gentiles to tread under foot for 42 months. This clearly shows that this temple is not where the church (which is in heaven by now) will worship the living God. It is meant for the Israelites and not the Church, which is made up of all kinds of people, tongues and nations. The great difference is that, the outer court of the temple of God, which will be rebuilt under the supervision of the Messiah, is measured in the book of Ezekiel 40:17 and 42:1 – “ Then brought he me into the outward court, and, lo, there were chambers, and a pavement made for the court round about: thirty chambers were upon the pavement.” And, “Then he brought me forth into the utter court, the way toward the north: and he brought me into the chamber that was over against the separate place, and which was before the building toward the north.” This is because the church comprising of all people, tongues and nations will worship the Lord in this temple, while the outer court of the tribulation temple is not measured because the worshippers are only Jews. Remember, at the middle of the tribulation hour when the Antichrist will break the peace pact, and exalt himself as god in the temple, the Jews will be against him and the heathen or gentiles will support him and troop into Jerusalem. This is the time of the Gentiles spoken of in the Bible. It will last for 42 months or three and half years. VERSES 3,4 “ And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.” I have seen Christians struggling in the name of preaching the last gospel so as to fulfill our Lord’s prediction of Matthew 24:14 – “ And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Unfortunately, it is not given to us to preach the last gospel. We will only do the best we can in accordance with the grace of God upon our lives. God will send two preachers during the tribulation hour that will prophesy or preach the gospel for 42 months, even this, is not the last gospel. An angel in chapter 14, verse 6 will preach the last gospel. These two Witnesses that will be clothed in sackcloth will preach the gospel of repentance and ten proclaim God’s doom upon the unbelieving ones. We have a picture of the type of persons and messages these Witnesses will preach. We know that olive trees produce oil and oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit while candlesticks are light bearers. This means that these two Witnesses will preach under the anointing of the Holy Spirit the message of light in a world darkened by sin. VERSE 5 “ And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.” What a great power God will give to these two witnesses of His. God knew what would happen to them before sending them. Because of the sweet-bitter message, which they will proclaim, the kings and people of this world will try to kill them. Is it not true in our world today? You can count the number of preachers who proclaim the word of God sincerely today. As Paul the apostle said, some preach for their belly. Nevertheless, God knows His messengers and He is able

to protect them. Even though the inhabitants of the earth will hate these two Witnesses, the supernatural fire that proceeds out of their mouth will consume any man who tries to kill them. How true it is for us today. People tend to hate a minister who proclaims God’s judgment for sinners. They want to be called good Christians even while they are wallowing in sin. VERSE 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.” With the description in the text before us, we have come to understand that these two supernaturally anointed prophets are Elijah and Moses of old. Let us prove this assertion from biblical point of viewELIJAH: I personally believe that Elijah is one of the witnesses because he did not die a physical death but rather was taken to heaven by a chariot of fire in a whirlwind. Therefore he can likewise reappear. The Bible says, “And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” – II Kings 2:11. Malachi prophetically said, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” – Malachi 4:5. Another proof is recorded in I Kings chapter 17, verse 1, “And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.” And the text we are studying says, “These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy.” MOSES: Though Moses died a physical death, his body was not found by any body till this day. Yes, nobody can tell of the grave of Moses. God took care of his burial- “And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day.” – Deuteronomy 34:6. Also Jude said, “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said the Lord rebuke thee.” - Jude 1:9. Moses’ body was taken care of by God, and as such, God can bring him back to life any time He wants to do so. Amen! Further proof is recorded in Exodus 7:19 – “And the LORD spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone.” From this chapter of Exodus to chapter 10 are full of different kinds of plagues upon the land of Egypt through the hands of Moss. And the text before us says that “and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.” The final proof I would like to present here is recorded in Matthew 17:1-8. On the mount of transfiguration, God opened the eyes of Peter, James, and John to see Moses and Elijah as they were talking with Jesus. “And behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with Him.” Verse 3. Moses and Elijah will once again appear as the preachers of the gospel. During their period of witnessing, they cannot be killed except at God’s appointed time.

VERSES 7,8

“ 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. 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.” With this Christians must know that nothing will happen to them without the permissive will of Almighty God. Your life is hid with Christ in God – Colossians 3:3. They have finished their testimony, and the only way God permits that they fall into the wicked hands of the Antichrist. God knows why He wants it to be so. I believe it is to let those who do not trust in God to believe the Antichrist more and more. Since our Lord was crucified in Jerusalem, the question you may ask is, why then is the city called spiritually, Sodom and Egypt? The reason is that the moral and spiritual conditions that existed in Sodom before her destruction, and the idolatry that existed in Egypt, will be rampant in Jerusalem during the tribulation hour. The two Witnesses in sackcloth will not change the city despite the preaching of repentance. Due to their wickedness and in fulfillment of God’s plan, their dead bodies will be observed by the whole world as they lie in the great city. VERSES 9,10 “ And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.” So many people have taught that the sermons of these two witnesses will not be heard all over the world, but in Jerusalem only. If so, why then should all people and kindred and tongues and nations see their bodies and subsequently rejoice. The means through which their bodies are seen all over will still be the same through which their sermons will be heard all over the world. I believe this purpose will be achieved through satellite television. The inhabitants of the earth are happy because those who prophesy what their end will be are no more. They can now have their parties without anybody threatening them with hard words. Their joy results in a kind of celebration, hence they exchange gifts in appreciation of what the Antichrist has done. The advocators of hellfire will no longer disturb their minds. Verses 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.” You see God has a purpose for every thing He does. To prove to the world that the resurrection power of our Lord Jesus Christ is real, He allowed these prophets to be killed and their bodies displayed in the great city for three and half days. After the appointed days, Moses and Elijah resurrected again and the joy of the whole world was disrupted. The most interesting thing is that as many as saw them dead also saw them live again. Praise the Lord! They are raised by God not to torment or be tormented any more, but rather, to receive the same glorious calling as the church in chapter 4:1. A voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up hither”. They are raptured in the presence of their enemies. The Antichrist is again disproved of his anticipated supremacy.

What happens immediately these prophets are raptured? VERSES 13, 14 “ 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. The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.” Judgment followed the rapture of the two witnesses as it followed the rapture of the church. God’s wrath is poured upon the inhabitants of the earth because of their wickedness towards His two witnesses. One-tenth of the city fell and seven thousand men died as a result of a great earthquake. What an exciting cinema! Those who were jubilating in a few hours ago are now killed. The remnants, i.e. those who live through the whole show become exceedingly frightened and begin to praise the God of heaven. They praised the Lord from their lips as a result of what they have seen, and not from a repented heart. This is exactly how the Pharisees and Scribes praised Him when they saw that He raised the son of the Nain widow from the dead in Luke 7:16. No wonder the Lord said, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth; and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” – Matthew 15:8. Remember in chapter 8, verse 13, that the flying angel pronounced three woes upon the inhabitants of the earth. The first woe is the sounding of the fifth trumpet, which brings a severe punishment on the planet earth. The second woe is accomplished at the sounding of the sixth trumpet and the judgment, which it will produce, would be more severe than the fifth trumpet sound. Now, the third woe is at hand, the seventh trumpet sound will produce the most severe punishment on earth. My prayer is that after studying he Book of Revelation, you will become born-again assuming you have not been, so as to escape the wrath of God. VERSE 15 “ And the seventh angel sounded; 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 heavenly hosts are happy at the sound of the seventh trumpet because the return of the Lord has come. The tribulation hour has come to an end, and the Lord will reign upon planet earth forever and ever. We will study more about Christ’s return in chapter 19. VERSES 16, 17 “ And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.” This is a time of great joy in heaven, the reign of the Antichrist has come to an end and the Lord will take over that which is rightly His (the earth). The worship and adoration from the twenty-four elders is to Him, which art, and wast, and art to come, because He will reign with great power. And we join them to say that the kingdoms of men have become the kingdoms of our great GOD. VERSE 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.” Note carefully the five happenings at Christ’s return 1. The nations will be angry 2. It is the time of God’s wrath 3. The dead will be judged 4. Rewards will be given to all that fear the name of the Lord and 5. Those that destroy the earth will be destroyed. The question you may ask now is how then does the sound of the seventh trumpet typify the wrath of God? Having remembered that chapters 12 through 19 are a rerun of chapters 6 through 11, let’s examine carefully why the coming of the Lord at the sound of the seventh trumpet blast becomes judgment upon the planet earth. The nations are not happy at the coming of the Lord because He will rule the world with a rod of iron. It is written, “… Who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron…” - Revelation 12:5. The nations expressed their fury in chapter 19, verse 19- “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against His army.” The coming of the Lord becomes God’s wrath upon the planet earth because as the beast and the nations gather together to make war against Him, He will destroy them. Revelation 19:15 says, “And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” The third event will take place at the conclusion of Christ’s millennial reign. The dead will be raised and judged before they are cast into the lake of fire – Revelation 20:12-15. In Revelation 20:7, 8, it is recorded that after the millennium, Satan will be released to go and deceive the nations again. There are those who will not follow him and they will be given reward at the end. This is the fourth event. Please note that this is not the judgment seat of Christ and they are not members of His church. Remember that we studied this in chapter 4. The fifth event is the destroying of those who destroy the earth. Note also that it is not human beings that destroyed the earth but rather Satan and his demons. These spiritual beings will be destroyed in the lake of fire with their human collaborators. Revelation 20:10 puts it this way, “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” VERSE 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 Israelites are the covenant people of Almighty God and the Bible says, “And so all Israel shall be saved:” – Romans 11:26. The text before us portrays safety in the midst of Judgments. The ark in our text pictures Israel as the covenant child and in the midst of lightning, voices, thundering, earthquake and great hail, the ark is still safe in the temple of God. This means that all Israel will be saved even though they find themselves in the midst of great tribulation as long as they refuse the worship of the Antichrist and his number 666.

CHAPTER TWELVE As we learnt from chapter 1, verse 19 that this chapter is a parenthetical chapter. It deals with the past, present and the future. Do not be surprised though, chapters 12 through 19 are a rerun of chapter 6 through 11. So, in less than no time from now, we will find ourselves once again in the middle of the great tribulation. The lessons to be learnt in this chapter include, a. who the clothed with the sun is, b. her twelve crown of stars, c. who her male child is, d. the great red dragon, etc. etc. Great revelations ahead so let’s move on. VERSE 1 “ And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:” The controversial questions are – Who is this woman? How can we be sure who she is and the crown of twelve stars? Who is her man-child? What of the red dragon, etc., etc.? King Solomon asked, “Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?” – Songs of Solomon 6:10. Sometime ago I attended a meeting where the preacher interpreted this verse and described the woman as our Lord Jesus Christ. Some other Bible commentators agreed that the woman is the Church. Some say she is Catholicism and her offspring is the Christian Science, and many other different schools of thought exist. But I have a different view of who this woman is. I believe that the woman in our text is the nation Israel, and we shall understand this assertion better in the following verses. The twelve stars that made up the crown on her head are the twelve tribes of Israel. Do not worry yourself about the authenticity of my interpretation until you go through the following verses. VERSE 2 “ And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.” Here we see the woman (Israel) travailing in birth. Soon and very soon she will give birth to a man-child who is none other than our Lord Jesus Christ – verse 5. There is no doubt about this concerning the flesh Christ came from Judah, one of the tribes of Israel. Romans 9:4, 5 say, “Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.” VERSES 3, 4 “ And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.” Verse nine tells us that the great red dragon here is Satan the devil. We learnt that seven means completeness; therefore, the devil’s seven heads signify his untampered wisdom. The Bible says in Ezekiel 28:12 - 14 that Satan is full of wisdom. God has not taken away the wisdom He gave to Satan when he was the anointed cherub that covereth. Yet the devil’s wisdom is foolishness when view in the light of God’s word. “ Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of

wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.” The ten horns of Satan speak of his universal power, just as the ten toes of Daniel’s image. I do not intend to give undue attention to whom Satan is but the most important thing is that, when the saints must have gone, Satan will reign supreme on the planet earth for a period of seven years. We understand that the devil deceived one third of the heavenly hosts (angels), and as such, when he was cut down, he succeeded in drawing them along. These demonic beings have been placed in strategic positions to carry out evil duties because he is not omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient at all. Since the prophecy of God in Genesis chapter 3, verse 15, Satan has been at attention, waiting to see the seed of the woman that will bruise his head. The devil foolishly thought that Cain was the one, hence he made him to sin by killing his brother Abel – Genesis 4:8. When he discovered that Cain was not the seed, he became mad and caused harm even in the nation of Israel. Thanks be to God; above all the wiles of the devil, the woman brings forth the child in the next verse. VERSE 5 “ And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.” Praise the Almighty God! A man-child is born and He is the Saviour of mankind who bruised the devil’s head and will rule all nations with a rod of iron. Prophet Micah prophesied thus, “ But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” – Micah 5:2. When the child was born, Satan tried to use Herod the King of Judea to bruise His heel. But it was not the time yet, so he failed. It is written in the book of Matthew 2:13,14 thus, “ And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:” However, according to the word of God, Satan succeeded in bruising the child’s heel on the cross of Calvary. Praise God! After that, He rose up on the third day and was caught up unto God, and to His throne. He shall come back to rule with a rod of iron as King of kings and Lord of lords. The Psalmist had a glimpse of this when he said, “ Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.” – Psalm 2:6-9. VERSE 6 “ And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” As I explained earlier, all Israel shall be save as long as they reject the worship of the Beast and his mark 666. Romans 11:26, “ And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall

turn away ungodliness from Jacob:” Israel will be protected during the last three and half years of the great tribulation. It is written, “Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” – Jeremiah 30:7 Note that this verse deals with the nation Israel in a secluded place of protection during the last half of the tribulation hour. All Israelites who eventually survive till this time will be saved. Do not be confused, her child has been caught up to His throne, and she alone is supernaturally fed for the period of 1260 days or 42 months. God will surely protect Israel even if the whole world turns against her. VERSES 7, 8 “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.” Is it not naivety for the devil to thing that he can win a war in heaven when he failed here? Some preachers are of the opinion that this war started at the time of rapture because the church must go through Satan’s domain before getting to the third heaven. Now, the question is, where is Satan stationed since he was cut down from heaven in Isaiah 14:12? My answer to this question is that he has been controlling the aerial and stellar heaven. This is why the Bible calls him the prince of the power of the air – “ Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:” - Ephesians 2:2. The saved occultist testifies that the highest market in the kingdom of darkness is in heaven. But what they do not understand is that the place they visit often is not the heaven where the throne of God dwells. Right from the time we were introduced to Michael in the book of Daniel 10:13, we discovered that wherever his name is mentioned, it is associated with war. In Daniel 10:11-13, we discovered that the prince of the kingdom of Persia (Satan) withstood an angel sent to deliver a message to Daniel here on the planet earth for twenty-one days. But lo, Michael came and fought with the prince of Persia before the messenger could find his way through. It happened before, it will happen again. In Daniel 12:1, it is recorded thus, “ And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book” Since Michael is involved in this business, there must be war. In Jude 9, we learnt that Michael contended with the devil concerning the body of Moses and the Bible introduced him to us as the Archangel. I believe you are following carefully this study. The Archangel shall come with the Lord to take His people home. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:” I Thessalonians 4:16. Since Michael the Archangel usually appears wherever there is war, it is therefore anticipated that there will be war during the rapture. However, whether there will be war or not, the most interesting thing is that Satan prevails not and there is no place found for him any more in heaven. It calls for rejoicing. VERSE 9 “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” The battle is won Satan is cast out of the heavens. Oh! Thanks to our GREAT

GOD! Jesus foresaw this moment when He said, “…I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven” - Luke 10:18. The devil is taken out of the way, now, the heavens will rejoice while the earth dwellers mourn. VERSE 10 “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” The heavenly hosts rejoice because the aerial, stellar and the third heavens are now to be occupied by our God, His Christ and the church. I believe that why this cleaning is necessary is due to the multiplied number of the heavenly hosts. They rejoice for four main reasons – 1. Salvation from the enemy who has been in control of the aerial and stellar heavens. 2. God almighty has once again displayed His strength 3. The kingdom of our Great God has now been extended to the lower two heavens, and 4. The power of Christ has also been extended because His bride has come home. Satan’s work from genesis has been slandering. He uses people to accuse their fellow brethren. Gossip and backbiting have been the work of the enemy. So, check your life today and see if there is any way Satan is using you to fulfill his purpose. Once again, refuse, rebuke and resist him and he will surely flee from you – James 4:7. Note also that the devil rest not day and night in doing his dirty job. VERSE 11 “ And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” Considering verses 10 and 12, we discover that the overcomers in these verses are not earth dwellers as some Christians teach, but those who witness the space war between the devil and the heavenly hosts. And that is the bride. The bride is able to live in this world that is controlled by the devil (II Corinthians 4:4) successfully, because she believes in the merits of the shed blood of the Lamb and also testifies that Jesus is the Lord. The Bible says, “ For if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God had raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” – Romans 10:9. I strongly believe also that the overcomers during the hour of tribulation must make it by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. There is no other way Satan can be conquered except by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Please understand this point clearly. VERSE 12 “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” The heavenly hosts start rejoicing from chapter 4:1, and ever shall the joy remain. Satan knows that there is an appointed time for him to be destroyed. The demons asked: “… Art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” – Matthew 8:29. He will do every thing within his power to torment mankind because, at this time, he only has 42 months to go. That is why this period is called the great tribulation period. VERSES 13,14

“ And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.” The devil is never a match to the Lord. So, when Satan sees that he has lost the battle, he decides to persecute the woman (Israel). But God will never allow His loved ones to suffer in the hands of the devil so; He makes a way of escape. The eagle is a very powerful bird and flies very high with great force. God as all-powerful will supernaturally protect His chosen people Israel, during the last half of the great tribulation. I cannot predict how, but the great eagle wings may be a kind of airlift by a “super world power”. In Isaiah 41:10, God said, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee, yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” God is able to do anything at anytime. Let me hereby alert the world that Israel cannot be destroyed by any human or demonic power.

VERSE 15 “ And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.” The flood here represents all kinds of trouble that can get one down. The plan of the devil is to cause the children of God to be carried away by ocean of problems. But thanks to God who will never allow His children to suffer shame or be tempted more than they can bear. It is written, “… When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.” – Isaiah 59:19. Also in I Corinthians 10:13, we read these comforting words of God, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” VERSES 16, 17 “And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” This is a miraculous intervention by God. The plans of the enemy against the people of God are taken care of even before getting to them. When the children of Israel left Egypt, God made a way where there was no way. But when the Egyptians tried to walk on the miraculous way of God, it became a flood and the devil could not lift up a standard against God’s plan. Read the book of Exodus 14:19-31. Praise the Lord! God will miraculously save all Israel from the last half of the great tribulation hour. Satan cannot curse them that are blessed by the Lord so, he becomes angry, and goes to persecute those who have the testimony of Jesus Christ. These are the converted Gentiles. In all things the word of God will stand against satanic influences. I hope by now you can on your own say what the woman, her crown of twelve stars, her man-child, and the red dragon is. The word of God cannot be corrupted; it interprets itself.

CHAPTER THIRTEEN We are entering into chapters that require some prophetic and historic expositions. I believe by God’s grace the Holy Spirit our Teacher will lead us into the truth pertaining to this section. Sincerely, I pray that the Holy Spirit will help us to understand the word of God accordingly. Shall we pray: Our dear heavenly Father, we thank you for how you have led us so far in this study. We ask that you grant us insight into your word and enable us to understand what you have in store for us. We pray that the Holy Spirit will be our guide in the rest of our studies. In Jesus’ name we have prayed. Amen! In this chapter, we will study about two beasts. One is the Antichrist while the other is the False Prophet. We will also be introduced to the mark or seal of the beast, which is the number 666. The Antichrist is called a beast because of his character. He is a human being, but possessed by Satan. His works will be after the working of Satan because the dragon will energize him. The devil will give him power to do mighty miracles. In order to satisfy the people’s desire for worship, another beast is introduced from verse 11; this is the false prophet. He is also a human being. He will be the religious leader of the inhabitants of the earth by then. This is the unholy trinity – Satan, Antichrist, and the False Prophet. I would advise you to study carefully the book of Daniel chapters 2 and 7 very well so as to have more insight into what we are about to study.

VERSE 1 “ And 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.” With your in-depth study of Daniel chapters 2 and 7, let us carefully go through the verses of this chapter. Satan imparts his wisdom to this man of perdition hence he is portrayed as a beast with seven heads. The ten horns that have ten crowns on them represent the ten kings of the ten western nations that will unite together to form a confederacy. Now this beast is the eleventh horn, which plucked out three horns from their root and replaced them with another two plus him. And he becomes the king of these kings. This is clear from Daniel chapter 7, verse 24, 25 – “And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.”

In Daniel 2:38-43 we discover that the first Empire – (Babylonian) was overthrown by the Medes and the Persian Empire. The Greco Empire overthrew Medes/Persian, while the Roman Empire overthrew the Greco Empire. But no kingdom overthrew the Roman Empire rather; the empire fell through internal corruption. So far, four kingdoms have risen and fallen. The fifth is the feet of the image, which Daniel saw in his vision. Note that the fifth, which is the feet, did not overthrow the fourth, which is the leg or Roman Empire. But rather, in verses 41 and 42 of Daniel chapter 2 we read these words, “And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.” You can see that the feet and toes were made of iron can clay. This means that the fifth kingdom will be partly strong and partly weak or in a deteriorating shape. It is difficult if not impossible to mix iron with clay. It is this kingdom made up of ten western nations that the eleventh horn or toe will rise against, and overthrow three of its kings, and replace them with probably two members of the old Roman Empire and himself. This eleventh horn that will rule with power is the Antichrist. He will establish the sixth kingdom or empire. Remember that he will subdue these nations or kings diplomatically – Revelation 6:2. He will come as a man of peace – Daniel 9:27. Now the question is, what is the name of the kingdom or confederacy, which the Antichrist will take over from? Well, I think with the development of powers and confederacies in the world today, may be the emergent European Economic Community (EEC) fits this picture. I strongly believe that the Antichrist will come out of this community. A seventh kingdom shall arise, and it will be a perfect one; hence seven in God’s sight stands for perfection. Daniel 2:44 declares, “ And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.” Amen. This is Christ’s Millennial Reign on the planet earth. Undoubtedly, the Antichrist will speak evil things against the Most High God so as to exalt himself. Other kings under his authority will as well do so. “And upon his heads the name of blasphemy.” This beast is the Antichrist. We will study more about his seven heads and crowns in Revelation chapter 17:9-11. VERSE 2 “ And 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.” Historically by now, we have understood that there had fallen four empires. They were – Babylonian, Medes/Persian, Greco, and Roman Empires. We learnt also that the Roman Empire was not overthrown by any world power and that is why some of its members are in the ten-nation confederacy (ten toes of iron and clay). These empires are the four beasts of Daniel 7:4-7 – “The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it. And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh. After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.” Note that verse 7 speaks of the

Roman Empire, which ousted the three beasts –(Babylon, Mede/Persia and Greece). The Empire fell through internal corruption and a ten western-nation confederacy emerged. Out of these ten horns came up another little horn (Antichrist) that ousted three kings or nations and replaced them with him and other two kings. Now, the Antichrist emerges the winner, and that is why he embraces the fallen Empires. Hence John saw the Antichrist like unto a Leopard (Greece), and his feet were as the feet of a bear (Mede/Persia), and his mouth as the mouth of a lion (Babylon). Note that the old Roman is engraved inside the Antichrist because the Empire was not crushed by any. Or rather we may say that the Antichrist came out of the confederacy of which the old Roman Empire is inclusive. I am not saying that the Antichrist will come from Rome. But. The Antichrist will do mighty things because Satan will give him his seat and power. VERSE 3 “And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.” The world today is looking for miracles; they believe not the true God; they shall believe and be excited by the works of Satan. Some commentators say that the wounded head represent the old Roman Empire, which fell internally, and it’s healing speaks of the restoration of the Empire in the en nation confederacy. But personally, I believe that it may be a physical wound sustained as a result of his plucking out the three horns. Since the world needs miracle, Satan will heal the Antichrist and the whole world will be excited by it.

VERSE 4 “ And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” What a shame! Remember that Satan is the great imitator who tries to mimic whatever the Lord does. He tries to imitate the Lord’s resurrection by healing the beast. Please note that Satan has no resurrection power. At this time, the whole world is deceived and they worshipped Satan and the beast. They exalt the beast by saying, “Who is able to make war with him?” VERSE 5 “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.” Seeing the excited world as a result of the magical healing, which exalted him, Satan starts boasting. Daniel 7:8 declares, “I considered the horns, and behold, thee came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man; and a mouth speaking great things.” He will blaspheme against God saying, he is God and beside him there is no God, etc. etc. VERSE 6 “And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.” The blasphemy is unspeakable! Satan through the Antichrist will claim what he is not and the world will believe. When our precious Lord Jesus, who is the

true image of the invisible God, came, the world rejected Him. John 1:11 – “ He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” Now they have no other alternative than to believe and accept the Satan incarnated beast – the Antichrist.

VERSE 7 “ And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” Satan gives this man of perdition power to make war with the saints. Note that this is not the church. The church will fight the devil when she returns with Christ in chapter 19:14 and 15. Rather, these are tribulation saints. However, though he was given power to overcome the saints, but they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony – Revelation 12:11. There are more world organizations today than ever. The Antichrist will get control of the world system as a world dictator through these organizations or allies. I believe that this is the way he can have power over all kindred, and tongues and nations. Think about it yourself, what do you think will be the end of all these national and international unions and associations? VERSES 8 “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Thank God that the tribulation saints would prefer to die of hunger than to worship the beast. Those who will worship him are those whose names are not written in the book of the Lamb, the children of disobedience whose end will be in the lake of fire. I pray that you will not be one of them, in Jesus’ name. Amen! Verses 9, 10 “ If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” Our merciful God sounds the warning once again. Run from this danger now by accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour if you have not done so. It is a personal decision. Tomorrow may be too late. If you have read up to this point and have made up your mind to accept Jesus, please kindly turn to the last pages of this book and go through the Holy and Eternal Invitation. God bless you as you do so. The patience and faith of the saints are that they did not kill; neither did they hold any body in captivity. They shall also reap the same. “… For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also read.” – Galatians 6:7. Eternal life is their reward. VERSE 11 “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.” This is the introduction of the second beast known as the False Prophet, the third person in the unholy trinity. Some preachers and Bible commentators believe that this beast will come out of a Jewish nation because; John beholds it coming out of the earth. The first beast comes out of the sea, which refers to the multitude of Gentile nations. As I said earlier, this beast is a human being, but has been incarnated by Satan. His two lamb-like horns speak of his power and authority. He will blaspheme God just like the Antichrist.

Remember that the Antichrist will take control of the world politically while the False Prophet will control the religious affairs of the world. VERSE 12 “And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.” This is exactly what the devil has been looking for. The False Prophet will be as powerful as the Antichrist. Because of his power and authority, he will be able to entice the earth dwellers to worship the Antichrist as God. One of his convincing reasons may be that the Antichrist was dead, but now is alive again. This is a lie! VERSES 13, 14 “ And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.” The wonders he will do is described in II Thessalonians chapter 2, verse 9, as “Lying wonders”. The devil will come with a bag of tricks. He knows that God has been in several occasions associated with fire; he imitates God so as to deceive the people extensively. Satan has a purpose for everything he falsely does. His plan is to lead the whole world into idolatry. What an abominable act! The False Prophet will encourage the world to make an image in the likeness of the Antichrist and subsequently worship it. This is the abomination of desolation spoken of by our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew chapter 24 verse 15. This image will be placed in the tribulation temple measured or built in chapter 11.

VERSE 15 “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.” What a lying wonder! A False Prophet giving life to an image? Yes! It will surely happen. Ignorantly today, the devil is using the so-called scientists to ensure this deceitful plan is achieved. Have you ever thought of the implications of the world’s advancement in technology, regarding computerization? Today, sophisticated computers can discuss important issues with human beings and respond to difficult questions in moments. To some this is an idol. Others call it civilization. So with all these and more, no doubt the possibility of the False Prophet giving life to the image of the Antichrist is not disputable. People on earth at this time will either worship the image or be killed. Thank God the church will in heaven. Glory to God! VERSES 16-18 “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: 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. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and

six.” Further more, the False Prophet introduces the number of the Antichrist. With this number, those who refuse to worship the image or the beast will easily be detected. Whosoever refuses to accept this number on his right hand or forehead will not be allowed to buy or sell in the community, and whosoever accepts it, seals his eternal doom. The number is a triple 6, which represents the dragon 6, Antichrist 6, and the False Prophet 6. = 666. This is the mark or seal of the unholy trinity. I am meant to understand that the machine, which will be used for this purpose has been designed. To the best of my knowledge the stage is set for the Antichrist. The only thing hindering him now is the presence of the church. John Edward Clark did a detailed survey in his attempt to prove that the number 666 represents the Latin Kingdom. In other words, he was of the opinion that the Antichrist or the False Prophet will come out of the Latin Kingdom. Shall we go through his work together? “In this verse we have the very name of the beast given under the symbol of the number 666. Before the invention of figures by the Arabs, in the tenth century, letters of the alphabet were used for numbers. The Greeks in the time of Homer, or soon after, are thought by some to have assigned to their letters a numerical value corresponding to their order in the alphabet: thus, a was 1, because the first letter; and w 24, being the last. It is in this manner that the books of the Iliad and Odyssey are numbered, which have been thus marked by Homer himself, or by some person who lived near his time. A system of representing numbers of great antiquity was used by the Greeks, very much resembling that afterwards adopted by the Romans. This consisted in assigning to the initial letter of the name of the number a value equal to the number. Thus c, the initial of cilia, stood for a thousand; d, the initial of deka, for ten; p, the initial of pente, for five, &c. Herodotus, the grammarian, is the only writer of antiquity who has noticed this system, and the chronological table of remarkable events on the Arundelian marbles the only work extant in which this method of representing numbers is exhibited. The system now in use cannot be traced to any very ancient source. What can be proved is, that it was in use before the commencement of the Christian era. Numerical letters, denoting the year of the Roman emperor's reign, exist on great numbers of the Egyptian coins, from the time of Augustus Caesar through the succeeding reigns. See Numi AEgyptii Imperatorii, a Geo. Zoega, edit. Rom. 1787. There are coins extant marked of the 2d, 3d, 14th, 30th, 35th, 38th, 39th, 40th, 41st, and 42d years of Augustus Caesar, with the numerical letters preceded by L or l for lukabav, year, thus: LB, Lg, Lid, Ll, Lle, Llh, Lly, Lm, Lma, and Lmb. The following is the Greek alphabet, with the numerical value of each letter affixed, according to the generally received system: -

a b g d e z h y

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

1 2 3 4 5 7 8 9

i k l m n x o p

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80

r s t u f c q w

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800

The method just described of representing numbers or letters of the alphabet, gave rise to a practice among the ancients of representing names also by numbers. Examples of this kind abound in the writings of heathens, Jews, and Christians. Where the practice of counting the number in names or phrases began first to be used, cannot be ascertained; it is sufficient for the illustration of the passage

under consideration, if it can be shown to have been in existence in the apostolic age. Seneca, who was contemporary with St. Paul, informs us, in his eighty-eighth epistle, that Apion, the grammarian, maintained Homer to have been the author of the division of his poems of the Iliad and Odyssey into forty-eight books; for a proof of which Apion produces the following argument: that the poet commenced his Iliad with the word mhnin, that the two first letters, whose sum is 48, might indicate such division. Leonidas of Alexandria, who flourished in the reigns of Nero, Vespasian, &c., carried the practice of computing the number in words so far as to construct equinumeral distichs; that is, epigrams of four lines, whose first hexameter and pentameter contain the same number with the other two. We will only notice two examples; the first is addressed to one of the emperors, the other to Poppaea, the wife of Nero. yuei soi tode gramma geneylaikaisin en wraiv, kaisar, neilaih mousa lewnidew. kalliophv gar akapnon aei yuov. eiv de newta hn eyelhv, yusei toude perissotera. "The muse of Leonidas of the Nile offers up to thee, O Caesar, this writing, at the time of thy nativity; for the sacrifice of Calliope is always without smoke: but in the ensuing year he will offer up, if thou wilt, better things than this." From the numerical table already given, the preceding epigram may be shown to contain equinumeral distichs, as follows: yuei 424, i.e., y 9, u 400, e 5, i 10; in all 424: soi contains 280, i.e., s 200, o 70, i 10. In like manner tode will be found to contain 379, gramma 185, geneyliakaisin 404, en 55, wraiv 1111, kaisar 332, neilaih 114, mousa 711, lewnidew 1704. The sum of all these is 5699, the number in the first distich. In the second distich, kalliophv contains 449, gar 104, akapnon 272, aei 16, yuov 679, eiv 215, de 9, newta 1156, hn 58, eyelhv 267, (the subscribed iota being taken into theaccount,) yusei 624, toude 779, perissotera 1071. The sum of all 5699, which is precisely the same with that contained in the first distich.

ouranion meimhma geneyliakaisin en wraiv tout' apo neilogenouv dexo lewnidew, poppaia, diov euni, sebastiav. euade gar soi dwra, ta kai lektrwn axia kai sofihv. "O Poppaea, wife of Jupiter (Nero) Augusta, receive from Leonidas of the Nile a celestial globe on the day of thy nativity; for gifts please thee which are suited to thy imperial dignity and wisdom." In this epigram each of the distichs contains the number 6422, viz., ouranion 751, (i.e., o 70, u 400, r 100, a 1, n 50, i 10, o 70, n 50, the sum of which is 751,) meimhma 144, geneyliakaisin 404, en 55, wraiv 1111, tout' 1070, apo 151, neilogenouv 893, dexo 139, lewnidew 1704; the sum of all 6422. The numbers corresponding to the words of the second distich are, respectively, 322, 284, 465, 919, 415, 104, 280, 905, 301, 31, 1305, 72, 31, 988; the sum of which is also 6422. This poet did not restrict himself to the construction of equinumeral distichs. The following is one of his distichs in which the hexameter line is made equal in number to its corresponding pentameter: -

eiv prov ena qhfoisin isazetai, ou duo doioiv, ou gar eti stergw thn dolicografihn.

"One line is made equal in number to one, not two to two; for I no longer approve of long epigrams." In this distich the words of the hexameter line contain, respectively, the numbers 215, 450, 56, 1548, 534, 470, 474, and 364; the sum of which is 4111. The numbers corresponding to the words of the pentameter line are, respectively, 470, 104, 315, 1408, 358, and 1456; the sum of which is also 4111. The equinumeral distichs of Leonidas are contained in the second volume of Brunck and Jacob's edition of the Greek Anthology. It appears from ancient records that some of the Greeks in the early part of the second century, if not in the apostolic age, employed themselves in counting the numbers contained in the verses of Homer to find out what two consecutive lines were isoqhfoi or equinumeral. Aulus Gellius, the grammarian, who lived in the reigns of Hadrian and Antoninus Pius, gives us an account (lib. xiv., cap. 6) of a person who presented him with a book filled with a variety of information collected from numerous sources, of which he was at liberty to avail himself in writing his Attic Nights. Among the subjects treated of in this book, we are informed by Gellius, was that of Homeric equinumeral verses. None of the examples are given by the grammarian; but Labbeus says, in his Bibl. Nov. MSS., p. 284, that the equinumeral verses are marked in the Codex 2216, in the French king's library. Gronovius, in his notes on Gellius, p. 655, has copied what he found in a MS. (No. 1488) upon this subject, viz., two examples out of the Iliad, and one in the Odyssey. The examples in the Iliad are lines 264 and 265 of book vii., each line containing 3508; and lines 306 and 307 of book xix., each containing 2848. The verses in the Odyssey (w, 110, 111) stated to be equinumeral in the MS. cited by Gronovius have not now this property, owing possibly to some corruption that may have taken place in the lines from frequent transcription. For other examples of the computation of the number in words or phrases, the reader is referred to the Oneirocritica of Artemidorus, lib. ii. c. 75; lib. iii. c. 34: and lib. iv. c. 26. See also Martiani Minei Felicis Capelhae Africarthaginensis, De Nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii, lib. ii. and vii.; Irenaeus adversus Haereses, lib. i., ii., and v.; Tertullian. de Praescriptionibus Haeret., tom. ii., p. 487; Wirceburgi, 1781; Sibyll. Oracul., lib. i., &c. Having thus shown that it was a practice in the apostolic age, and subsequently, to count the number in words and phrases, and even in whole verses, it will be evident that what is intended by 666 is, that the Greek name of the beast (for it was in the Greek language that Jesus Christ communicated his revelation to St. John) contains this number. Many names have been proposed from time to time as applicable to the beast, and at the same time containing 666. We will only notice one example, viz., that famous one of Irenaeus, which has been approved of by almost all commentators who have given any sort of tolerable exposition of the Revelation. The word alluded to is lateinov, the letters of which have the following numerical values: l 30, a 1, t 300, e 5, i 10, n 50, o 70, v 200; and if these be added together, the sum will be found to be equivalent to the number of the beast. This word was applied by Irenaeus, who lived in the second century, to the then existing Roman empire; "for," says he, "they are LATINS who now reign." Though it is evident, from the notes on the preceding part of this chapter, that the conjecture of Irenaeus respecting the number 666 having some way or other a reference to the empire of the Latins is well founded; yet his production of the word lateinov, as containing 666, is not a proof that it has any such reference. Bellarmin the Jesuit objected against lateinov being the name intended in the prophecy from its orthography; for, says he, it should be written latinov. That the objection of the learned Jesuit has very great force is evident from every Greek writer extant, who has used the Greek word for Latinus, in all of whom it is uniformly found without the dipthong. See Hesiod, Polybius, Dionysius of

Halicarnassus, Strabo, Plutarch, Dio Cassius, Photius, the Byzantine historians, &c., &c. It hence follows that if the Greek word for Latinus had been intended, the number contained in latinov, and not that in lateinov, would have been called the number of the beast. We have already observed that the beast is the Latin kingdom or empire; therefore, if this observation be correct, the Greek words signifying the Latin kingdom must have this number. The most concise method of expressing this among the Greeks was as follows, 'h latinh basileia, which is thus numbered:-

h

==

8 }

T H E L A T I N

l a t i n h b a s i l e i a

== 30 } == 1 } == 300 } == 10 } == 50 } == 8 } == 2 } == 1 } == 200 } == 10 } == 30 } == 5 } == 10 } == 1 } --666

K I N G D O M

No other kingdom on earth can be found to contain 666. This is then h sofia, the wisdom or demonstration. A beast is the symbol of a kingdom; THE beast has been proved, in the preceding part of this chapter, to be the LATIN kingdom; and 'h latinh basileia, being shown to contain, exclusively, the number 666, is the demonstration. Having demonstrated that 'h latinh basileia, The Latin kingdom, is the name of the beast, we must now examine what is intended by the phrase in the 17th verse, {Re 13:17,} the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Bishop Newton supposes that the name of the beast, and the number of his name, mean the same thing; but this opinion is totally irreconcilable with Re 15:2, where St. John informs us that he "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 the number of his name, stand upon the sea of glass, having the harps of God." In this passage it is evident that the beast, his image, and the number of his name, are perfectly distinct; and therefore no two of them can mean the same thing. Hence what is meant by the name of the beast is entirely different from that intended by the number of his name. But how can this be, when it is expressly declared that the number of the beast is 666, which number is declared to be that of his name? The solution of the whole mystery is as follows: Both beasts of the Apocalypse, we have already shown, have the same appellation; that it to say, the name of the first and second least is equally 'h latinh basileia, the Latin kingdom; therefore, by the name of the beast is meant the Latin kingdom, and by the number

of his name is also meant the Latin kingdom. Hence only one of the beasts is numbered; the name of that which is not numbered is termed the name of the beast, and the numbered Latin empire is denominated the number of his name, or 666, exactly agreeable to an ancient practice already noticed, of representing names by the numbers contained in them. Therefore the meaning of the whole passage is, that those whom the false prophet does not excommunicate, or put out of the pale of his Church, have the mark of the beast, that is, are genuine papists, or such as are actively or passively obedient to his Latin idolatry. Those also escape his ecclesiastical interdicts who have the name of the beast, or the number of his name. By a person having the name of the beast is evidently meant his being a Latin, i.e., in subjection to the Latin empire, and, consequently an individual of the Latin world; therefore those that have the name of the beast, or the number of his name, are those that are subjects of the Latin empire, or of the numbered Latin empire, viz., who are in subjection to the Latin empire, secular or spiritual. All that were in subjection to the secular or spiritual power were not papists in heart; hence the propriety of distinguishing those which have the mark from those which have the name of the beast or the number of his name. But which of the two beasts it is which God has numbered has been not a little contested. That it is the first beast which is numbered has been the prevailing opinion. On this side are Lord Napier, Whiston, Bishop Newton, Faber, and others. Among those that have supposed the second beast to be the one which is numbered are, Dr. Henry More, Pyle, Kershaw, Galloway, Bicheno, Dr. Hales, &c. Drs. Gill and Reader assert that both beasts have the same number, and that the name is lateinov. Though it has been demonstrated that the name of the beast is the Latin kingdom, it is impossible from the mere name to say whether it is the Latin empire, SECULAR or SPIRITUAL; hence the necessity of determining which of the two beasts God has computed. That it is the second beast which is numbered is evident from three different passages in the Apocalypse. The first is in Re 13:17, where it is said, "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." Here the name of the beast is mentioned before the number of his name, which is a presumptive evidence that the name of the beast refers to the first beast, and the number of his name to the second. The second passage is in Re 15:2, where mention is made of "them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over the number of his name." That here styled the beast is evidently the secular Latin empire, for it was to this that the two-horned beast made an image; consequently there can be no doubt that the number of his name, or the numbered Latin empire, is the two-horned beast or false prophet. To feel the full force of this argument, it must be considered that the saints of God are represented as getting the victory over the beast as well as over the number of his name, which is a proof that two distinct antichristian empires are here spoken of, for otherwise it would be tautology. That the twohorned beast is the one which is numbered, is farther evident from a comparison of this passage with Re 19:20. In the latter passage the words are: "And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image." Here nothing is said of the number of his name, which is so particularly mentioned in Re 15:2, and in that chapter nothing is mentioned of the false prophet, the reason of which can only be, that what is termed in one passage the number of his name, is in its parallel one called the false prophet. Hence the two-horned beast, or false prophet, is also designated by the phrase the number of his name; and consequently it is this beast, which is numbered. But what adds the last degree of certainty to this argument is the passage in Re 13:18: "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath a mind count the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man: and his number is six hundred threescore and six." Here is the solution of this mystery: let him that hath a mind for investigations of this kind, find out a kingdom which contains precisely the number 666, for this must be infallibly the name of the beast. 'h latinh basileia, THE LATIN KINGDOM, has exclusively this number. But both beasts are called by this name; which is,

therefore, the one that is numbered? It is said the number of the beast is the number of a man; consequently the numbered beast must be A MAN, that is, it must be represented elsewhere in the Revelation under this emblem, for in no other sense can an empire be denominated a man. Therefore, it is not the ten-horned beast, for this is uniformly styled The Beast in every part of the Apocalypse where there has been occasion to mention this power. It can therefore be no other than the two-horned beast, or Romish hierarchy; which, on account of its preaching to the world its most antichristian system of doctrines, and calling it Christianity, is likewise named in Re 16:13; 19:20; and Re 20:10.”

CHAPTER FOURTEEN This is a chapter of many visions and lessons. They include the preparation of the coming King, the duty of the 144,000 Jews, the preaching of the everlasting gospel, the introduction of the fallen Babylon, the hint of the world’s greatest blood shed and so on. Let us therefore examine them one after the other. VERSE 1 “ And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.” We know that the Lamb is our Lord Jesus Christ, and the 144,000 Jews mentioned here were those sealed with God’s seal in chapter 7.

Sion or Zion as it is universally called, is the Lord’s city. This city is Jerusalem, where Christ will establish the headquarters of His earthly kingdom. A number of passages in the Bible speak of Jerusalem being the chosen city of God. So, if you are an anti-zionist, think twice! John envisions the Lord’s coming as was prophesied by Zechariah. “ And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.” – Zechariah 14:4. This prophecy confirms the fact that the Lord ascended to heaven from mount Olive in Jerusalem. Two men supposed to be angels stood by the side of the disciples at Christ’s ascension and said to them thus: “ Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” – Acts 1:11. John also beholds the 144,000 Jews as part of His entourage, may be because they sing a sew song specially known to them in verse 3. Friend, the Lord is coming very soon. Get prepared! VERSE 2 “ And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:” What a joyful sound! The inhabitants of heaven are happy and express it by the way they sing. This type of sound will be heard again in chapter 19, verse 6, when the Lord descends. VERSE 3 “And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.” I think this is the reason why John took proper notice of the 144,000 Jews in verse 1. The song, which they sing may likely be the type sung by the church in chapters 4 and 5. However, no man would be able to learn this song, which they sing before the Cherubims and the 24 elders that represent the church.

VERSE 4 “These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.” I would like to emphasize more on the virginity of the 144,000 Jews because; there has been a lot of misunderstanding regarding the application of this verse. These are not Reverend Fathers who refused to marry or good Sabbatharians. Marriage is not an abomination, the Bible says, “ Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled …” – Hebrews 13:4. “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord”- Proverbs 18:22. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” – Genesis 2:24. Inspite of the pressure from the Antichrist, these people will not bow down to worship the image of the beast, neither will they accept his mark. Idolatry is spiritual adultery or fornication. So, since these people will not worship the image, they are virgins unto the Lord.

If you keep yourself pure, without sin, you will be qualified as a virgin before the Lord. James 4:4 states, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” No wonder the Apostle Paul said, “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” – II Corinthians 11:2 Please stay clear from any thing called sin if you want to be recognized as a virgin before the Lord. It is interesting to note that saints saved at different dispensations have also different positions or duties to perform during the millennium. See my note on chapter 7, verse 15. These 144,000 Jews are called the firstfruits because they will be the first to be saved during the hour of tribulation. VERSE 5 “And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.” Another attribute of the 144,000 Jews is that they are able to control their tongues. Lying is one thing that will prevent so many people (including Christian ministers) from going to heaven. James said, “…If any man offend not in word; the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” – James 3:2, 5-6. Again it is written, “… and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” – Revelation 21:8. VERSE 6 “ And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,” Everlasting gospel indeed! Mankind is given another opportunity to obey God but unfortunately, the world will not accept it. The Gospel is the Good News or Good Tidings, which we preach today. In Matthew 24:14, our Lord said, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” I believe that this is the last gospel, and soon the end shall come. I appreciate all the efforts of men and women of God to see that the gospel gets to the entire world. But the truth is we might not reach every body with the gospel before the rapture of the church. VERSE 7 “ Saying with a loud voice, his judgment is come: and worship and the fountains of waters.” The angel is calling man to and be damned. This is man’s last Saviour. VERSE 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.” This is an introduction to Babylon, the great city. We shall study more Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, accept Christ so as to be saved or reject Him opportunity to accept Christ as Lord and

about it is chapter 17. But as at now, this is a type of one-world religion, which made all nations to drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. We understood that spiritual fornication means idolatry. Certainly we shall come to that later.

VERSE 9 - 11 “ And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, 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: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” Though these verses are self-explanatory, I would like to say that no body could resist the devil or the Antichrist without the Spirit of Christ in him. Give this a thought! VERSE 12 “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Once again the purpose of Christianity is made manifest. Remember, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” – Romans 8:1. VERSE 13 “ And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” The tribulation hour is going to be a time of heartache, and so, whosoever departs in the Lord is blessed. The Apostle Paul said to the Thessalonians thus: “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him… And the dead in Christ shall rise first.” – I Thessalonians 4:13, 14, 16. Note also that to be absent in this body is to be present with the Lord – II Corinthians 5:8. VERSE 14 “And 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.” From the beginning of this study, we have discovered that our Lord Jesus Christ is associated with the cloud, and that is the glory of God. This is an introduction to the impending judgment that records the highest bloodbath in the history of mankind – the battle of Armageddon. The Son of man is seen by John seated upon the cloud with a sharp sickle in His hand ready to destroy the followers of Satan. We will study more about this later. VERSES 15, 16

“ And 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. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.” No sinner will go unpunished; the sin of the world has reached an unbearable stage. Very soon the Lord will wipe away this corrupted earth with His sickle. You can escape this judgment if you will only accept Jesus and allow Him to assume control of your life. Do that now for it is written, “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” – Isaiah 55:6, 7. Now is the day of salvation – II Corinthians 6:2. VERSES 17 – 19 “ And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And 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. And 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.” Two angels are carrying out this operation; one is from the temple, which is in heaven and has a sharp sickle in his hand. The other is from the altar and has power over fire. He commanded the angel, who had the sharp sickle to thrust in his sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, and he did. Do not be confused with the mentioning of the word “vine” in this verse. The children of God are the branches of the true vine – John 15:5. We understood that Satan is the great imitator who likes to imitate whatever God does. No doubt, he calls his children “vine” and the Bible teaches us that the unholy vine must be caught off one day. “… Gather ye together the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn” – Matthew 13:30. The unholy vine must be gathered and cast into the great winepress of the wrath of God. Prophet Joel prophetically said: “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.” – Joel 3:13. VERSE 20 “ And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.” The winepress is trodden, the result being a thousand and six hundred furlongs, covered with blood. A furlong is a measure of distance, which is equivalent to 1/8 of a mile. Therefore one thousand six hundred furlongs is equivalent to 200 miles. This is the worst moment in the history of mankind – The Battle of Armageddon. The conflict begins in the valley of Jehoshaphat as Joel prophesied, “Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let them come up … Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong … Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O Lord … Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. 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 …Multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.” – Joel 3:914.

As the nations will be gathered in this valley, the Lord shall pour out upon them His indignation. Zephaniah said, “Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.” - Zephaniah 3:8. This battle will eventually encircle the entire nation of Israel, as all the nations (armies) will meet in the Middle East for the final power tussle. No wonder blood will cover a distance of 1,600 furlongs or 200 miles. What a final holocaust! Because the weapons used in this battle are the deadliest, I do not think that one person will be spared. In the book of Ezekiel, we learnt that seven months would be required to bury the dead – “And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land.” – Ezekiel 39:12. Seven years would also be required to burn the weapons used by these armies – “ And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years:” – Ezekiel 39:9. Is that not amazing? We shall study more of this later.

CHAPTER FIFTEEN This chapter of eight verses is an introduction of another set of seven angels with the seven last judgments. They will pour out the wrath of God in chapter sixteen. Again, let us study it literally. VERSE 1 “ And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.” What a wonderful sight! John describes this sign as great and marvelous. Seven angels with seven last plagues filled up with the wrath of God. These judgments will be more severe upon the planet earth than the ones already poured. VERSE 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.” You could recollect that in chapter 4:6 we discussed the sea of glass, though, not mingled with fire. That was the church at rest after the rapture. Now, in the text before us, John sees the overcomers, those who will not worship the beast or his image neither receive they his mark (666) resting. The presence of fire in this text speaks of the torment, which the tribulation saints will pass through before their death. These saints prefer to die under this condition to worshipping the beast. They know that to die is gain. Paul says, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” – Philippians 1:21. Their faith

being tried by fire will yet be found unto praise – “ That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” – I Peter 1:7. The harps John sees them with signify joy in the presence of God as they rest. VERSE 3 “ And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.” These resting saints now sing a song and it is like the song of Moses the servant of God and the Lamb. Back to the time the children of Israel were leaving Egypt, we learnt of God’s presence in their midst. When they left Egypt, Pharaoh and his mighty army followed them with the intention of eliminating the children of Israel. They came to a point where there was no hope of escape; behind them was Pharaoh, by their sides were mountains and before them was the Red Sea. At this point, God miraculously parted the Red Sea so that His people could cross over on dry land. However, as Pharaoh and his mighty army tried to cross, the sea closed in upon them, and they all died. The Israelites under the leadership of Moses immediately realized the hand of God upon them by delivering them from the Egyptian ruler who was type of Antichrist, began to sing a song of praise and adoration. Exodus 15:1 declares: “Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.” Now, in the text before us, the tribulation saints realize where their help comes from – “ I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.” – Psalm 121:1, 2. …They sing the song of Moses and the Lamb. This does not mean that they use the same wordings as in Exodus 15:1, but rather as Jews, they want to be identified with their great leader by singing a song of worship and adoration. Note that they belong to Moses nationally and to Christ spiritually. VERSE 4 “ Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? For thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.” This verse speaks of events that will take place during the Millennium. The Lord will be King of kings and Lord of lords and all nations shall bow down and worship Him. It is written, “ Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? For to thee doth it appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto thee.” Zechariah 14:16 – “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.” The Lord is revered because the world fears and glorifies His name, respects His holiness and His mighty act of judgment. VERSES 5, 6 “ And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened: And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their

breasts girded with golden girdles.” The term “temple of the tabernacle” means the holy of holies. The ark was the testimony, which was kept in Moses’ days in the holiest part of the tabernacle. It was a mystery to the children of Israel by then but today both the Gentiles and the Jews that come to the Lord Jesus have access to it. John sees the holy of holies in heaven open even to the tribulation saints. Out of the opened temple in heaven come seven angels with the seven last plagues. Their outfit is the same as the priests in the Old Testament. This means that angel-priests are allowed to administer God’s judgment from where God’s law is kept, i.e. the Holy of Holies. This is necessary because the whole world has transgressed God’s law and there is need for perfect Judgment. Hence the angels are seven. VERSES 7, 8 “ And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.” Each of the seven angels receives a vial full of the wrath of God from one of the cherubims. We will study the outpouring of the vials in the next chapter. As the angels received the vials and left the temple, the glory of God filled the temple and it was sealed to both men and angels. I believe that this will be for the period of the second half of the tribulation hour - 42 months. However, after the judgments, the temple will be opened so that both men and angles can approach the throne of God, which signifies mercy. The next chapter and verses are terrible.

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

The verses in this chapter contain the seven vials or bowl judgments of the Almighty God. Remember that these judgments run concurrently with the ones discussed earlier. The judgments contained herein are torturing. No wonder the writer of the book of Hebrews said, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” – Hebrews 10:31. However, the good news is that as a born-again child of God, you need not be there. If you are not born-again, you need not be there. Jesus died for you also. “For God so loved the WORLD (including you), that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever (you) believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16. “… And the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us (including you) from all sin.” – I John 1:7. You see, there is still time for you to accept Jesus if you have not done so. VERSE 1 “And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.” This is the voice of God because the temple was closed in chapter 15, verse 8, to both men and angels. Men have violated the law of the Most High God, and there is no way sin can go unpunished. No need of wasting time, God justly commands the angels to go and pour out the vials of His wrath upon the earth. The inhabitants of the planet earth have received the mark of the beast and worshipped his image, which in against the will of God. God said, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.” After this ordinance, God still stresses that His glory will not be shared with graven images such as the image of the Antichrist. It is written, “ I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images… For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? And I will not give my glory unto another.” – Isaiah 42:8; 48:11. Jehovah is righteously angry for His name has been greatly polluted and the earth dwellers have worshipped the image of the beast (the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel). The earth must therefore be thus punished. THE VIAL JUDGMENTS VERSE 2 – VIAL 1 “ And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.” What a righteous reward! As the first angel pours out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men, which had the mark of the beast, and upon them, which worshipped his image. Every man or woman that has the mark of the beast or has worshipped his image will be afflicted with sores; I mean boils breaking out of their bodies. You may say how can God do this type of thing. If He did it in the land of Egypt, He will do it again on this earth. Look at this, “And the LORD said unto Moses and unto Aaron, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh. And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt. And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before

Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast. And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians.” VERSE 3 – VIAL 2 “ And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.” If we will get back a little bit in our study, we would recollect in chapter 8, verse 8, we came across a judgment of this nature when the second angel sounded his trumpet. Also in Exodus, such a judgment was passed upon the land of Egypt, “Thus saith the LORD, In this thou shalt know that I am the LORD: behold, I will smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood. And the fish that is in the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the Egyptians shall lothe to drink of the water of the river.” Again, the God who did it at that time will still do it again. VERSE 4 - VIAL 3 “And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.” The waters that are not affected by the second vial are affected by the pouring out of the third vial. God is omniscient (all-knowing), the inhabitants of the earth may decide to drink from the fountains of water as the river is turned to blood but God in His wisdom decided to affect the fountains with plagues. He did it in the land of Egypt, why would He not be able to do it again. Look at this, “And the LORD spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone. 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. And the fish that was in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.” Time shall come when all waters in this world shall be turned to blood. It must come to pass, so, thing about your soul. VERSE 5 “And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.” It is interesting to know that angels have different responsibilities upon earth. Some people may think that God is a wicked God by the reason of His judgment. No, our God is righteous and righteously does He carry out judgments. Here, the angel in charge of waters praised God for His righteous judgment even upon the waters he is in-charge of. And He went further to say. VERSE 6 “For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.” In order to satisfy the earth’s insatiable desire for blood, God righteously gives them blood to drink. God said through the Prophet Isaiah thus, “ And I will

feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.” – Isaiah 49:26. They that kill the saints and prophets because they refuse to worship the image of the beast shall satisfy their blood taste with the water-turned-blood. VERSE 7 “ And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.” This verse is self-explanatory. Another angel supporting the angel of waters by saying, Even so, or Amen, God’s judgments are righteous. VERSES 8, 9 – VIAL 4 “ And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.” However, as the fourth vial is poured out upon the sun, power is given unto him to scorch men with fire. During this period, airconditioners will be useless, men and crops and beasts of the field will die as a result of the scorching heat. God in His infinite mercy will however control the heat so that some people will be alive. So many people have asked questions on how Matthew 24:22 will be fulfilled – “ And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.” Some commentators have are of the opinion that the number of the tribulation years will be reduced and so on and so forth. But I have this to say – First, note that the elect of Matthew 24 is not the church but rather the Jews, (the wife of Jehovah). The Bible says – “As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes.” – Romans 11:28. Besides, the church is in heaven as at this time. The number f the tribulation years has been prophesied to be seven years and not one day will fall short of it. God has spoken and so shall it be. The days will only be shortened as verse 29 of Matthew 24 is applied – “ 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:” What this means is that the world at that time will experience longer nights with shorter days, just for the elect’s sake. Yet the tribulation will still be for a period of seven years. In all these plagues, instead of the remnant to repent and worship God, they rebelled the more. They blaspheme the name of God, which has power over these plagues. VERSES 10, 11 – VIAL 5 “ And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.” This judgment is directly upon the territory or seat of the Antichrist himself. What a joyful sight as the saints see the Antichrist tortured by the Almighty God. The shortening of the days mentioned by our Lord Jesus in Matthew 24:22, can be related to this judgment. As I said earlier, the darkening of the day will make the night to be longer than the day. However this darkness is extraordinary. It is a punishment that makes the Antichrist and his followers to gnaw their tongues for pain. God caused this type of plague to happen in the land of Egypt and He will still do it again. Listen – “ And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand

toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt. And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days: They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.” – Exodus 10:21-23. Though the darkness in Egypt lasted for three days, no body knows how long the darkness on the throne of the Antichrist will last. Scripturally we understood that it would be equated with the day of the Lord. The following scripture references prove that the day of the Lord is darkness – Joel 3:14, 15, “ Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.” Amos prophetically penned – “ Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? The day of the LORD is darkness, and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? Even very dark, and no brightness in it?” – Amos 5:18-20. So many other scriptures prove that the day of the Lord is darkness. Therefore, no doubt the fifth vial judgment will surely extend to the day of the Lord. VERSE 12 – VIAL 6 “And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.” The term ‘kings of the east’ means leaders of soldiers from the east who will participate in the battle of Armageddon. Great River Euphrates is miraculously dried up so as to permit the kings of the east (the Orientals) to cross to Israel. It would be recalled that out of the great river Euphrates went forth 200,000,000 soldiers driven by demons who destroyed one third of earth’s dwellers in chapter 9. This is in preparation for the great battle ahead. Note that the battle of Armageddon is against the Lord and His saints. As the Oriental Kings cross the dried up river Euphrates, they will meet with kings or leaders from other nations and take counsel together against the Lord. This movement was predicted in the book of Psalm chapter 2, verses 2 to 4 thus – “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.” We encountered parenthetical verses between the sixth and seventh seal and trumpet judgments so here again, between the sixth and seventh vial judgment is a parenthesis. This parenthesis will be discussed from verses 13 through 16 of this chapter. VERSES 13, 14 “ And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” Here we see the unholy trinity displaying their evil acts. Evil spirits coming out of the mouth of (i) the dragon – Satan, (ii) the beast – Antichrist and (iii) the False Prophet – the head of the world church. The unclean spirits that come out are in frog form. This means impurity for their works are deceptive. If we will remember when frog was first mentioned and

used in the land of Egypt, we will clearly understand why it is used to symbolize uncleanness. Exodus chapter 8 keeps the record, and in verse 14, the Bible remarked, “… And the land stank.” These evil spirits working through the unholy trinity will work miracles before the kings of the whole world thereby convincing them to go to war against the Lord and His saints. Well, their end is destruction. We will study that in chapter 19.

VERSE 15 “ Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” This is another proof that the church is in heaven for the Lord shall not come unto the church as a thief. The Apostle Paul said, “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” – I Thessalonians 5:4. However, this is the last admonition to the tribulation saints. They are advised to hold fast that which they had, for the day of the Lord is at hand. VERSE 16 “ And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.” This verse clearly describes the place where the end- time battle will be fought. The battle of Armageddon will be fought in the Valley of Megiddo, which stretches out into the plains of the Valley of Jezreel. Note that this battle will be fought at the end of the tribulation hour when Christ shall come with His saints. Now here comes the seventh and last vial judgment. VERSES 17-21 – VIAL 7 “ And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.” The seventh vial is poured out in the air so as to destroy any trace of Satan’s hiding place. Remember, the book of Ephesians says that Satan is “the prince of the power of the air.” – Ephesians 2:2. No wonder we fight against spiritual wickedness in high places – Ephesians 6:12. As the devil’s hiding place is destroyed, a voice comes out of the temple saying, “It is done.” This is the same thing as “It is finished,” pronounced by our Lord Jesus when He bore the punishment for our sins. Those who refuse to accept the first “it is finished” will partake in the last “it is done”, which marks the end of the twenty-one judgments upon the planet earth; and you know what it means to experience that. The seventh vial judgment produces such voices, thunder, lightning and a great earthquake as was not since men were upon the earth, and will never be after it. These make the great city (Jerusalem) to be divided into three parts and all major cities in the world to fall. This will also make God to remember great

Babylon or political Babylon as God will give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. However, we shall study this subject in chapter 18. The worst production of the seventh vial judgment is the raining down of great hailstones from heaven. Some commentators argue that the hailstones weigh 86 pounds, while some say that they weigh 120 pounds. One thing you should know is that what ever is the weight of the hailstones; this time will be the worst moment in the hour of the great tribulation. The hailstones will demolish houses, cars and in fact, anything in sight. However, the most surprising thing is that in all these judgments, man still blasphemes the name of God. This shows that whatever may be done, there are people who are doomed for hell fire. But I pray that you will not be one of them in Jesus’ name, Amen!

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN God has blessed us with deep truths to this point, I want to appreciate Him for your patience and desire to survey the book of Revelation. Stirring revelations await us on this level. Chapters 17 and 18 are the most delicate chapters in the book of Revelation. By the grace of the Almighty God, I will present what God laid in my spirit without reservation. The Lord Jesus said, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” – John 8:32. I pray that your eyes of understanding will be enlightened by this great exposition as the truth is made manifest. Both mystery Babylon and Babylon the great are personifications of false religion and economic and political system. But there is a purpose for using Babylon hence it is a city or an Empire that had existed once. I would like to first and foremost present to you a research work I did on the Mystery Babylon the Great based on my understanding of the book of Revelation chapter 17. Take some time and read this portion carefully – MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT (a false religion) ABSTRACT: The beloved Apostle John had an outstanding vision that gave the CHURCH insight into the famous world false religion of all ages. In Revelation 17:5 he

says, “And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” My purpose in this research work is to contribute my quota in enlightening the true believer of the Lord Jesus Christ by solving (to the best of my knowledge) this MYSTERY. Knowledge in transitional. I pay tribute to the great theologians, historians and “ordinary” laymen whose works cannot be possible ignored in an attempt to solve this MYSTERY. From all indications, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH is an amalgamation of cults into one false religious body whose source is BABYLON. The MYSTERY is the Babylonian religion (paganism), which is made obscure to the vast majority of her membership. It is therefore this Babylonian mode of worship with all its rites that I will try to reveal in this work. Symbolically, the picture the Apostle John presents in Revelation 17 is that of a defiled fallen church whose aim is to lead the souls of men to hell. Because of her great political influence, she is described as BABYLON THE GREAT. It is interesting to note that when John had this vision, the empire and city known as Babylon had fallen. Yet the religious concepts, traditions and customs that originated from Babylon continued to be well represented and respected all over the world today. This is why the Apostle described her as the MOTER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. Great revelations ahead! The Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth. Amen! THE ORIGIN OF BABYLONIAN RELIGION Babylonian religion will be abstruse if we fail to trace the origin of the city known as Babylon. Very important background information we cannot afford to loose sight of is recorded in the Holy Bible, Genesis 11:1-9 says, “And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.” Before the movement that led to the settlement of the inhabitants of all the earth in Shinar, the Bible introduces us to the leader (king) of the people thus, “And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.” The city of Babylon developed from Shinar and Nimrod’s kingdom, the first mentioned in the Bible became the seat of the first apostasy. As we can see from the above Bible passages, because of the unity in tongue, the people deliberately decided to disobey God. The Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. 9, p309 says that Nimrod was “he who made all the people rebellious against God.” This is possible when you consider the meaning of the name “Nimrod”. Adam Clarke in his commentary – Clark’s Commentary, Vol. 1, and p86 says, “Nimrod was an ungodly ruler. The name Nimrod comes from the word ‘marad’, which means, ‘he rebelled’. The expression that he was a mighty one ‘before the LORD’ can carry a hostile meaning – the word ‘before’

being sometimes used as meaning ‘against’ the Lord.” Nimrod became the king of the people because he was able (as a powerful hunter) to protect them from the wild beasts that threatened their peace and safety. His exploits as a hunter made him so famous and mighty among he people. Understandable as we can see from the above text, he devised a better means of protection. He organized the people into fenced cities and established a kingdom for himself. By so doing, his constant fight with the wild beasts was minimized as the people dwelled together in a place. “And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.” Flavius Josephus, a famous historian, in Antiquities of the Jews, wrote, “Now it was Nimrod who excited them to such an affront and contempt of God… He also gradually changed the government into tyranny, seeing no other way of turning men from the fear of God … the multitudes were very ready to follow the determination of Nimrod…and they built a tower, neither sparing any pains, nor being in any degree negligent about the work: and, by reason of the multitude of hands employed in it, it grew very high … The place wherein they built the tower is now called Babylon.” This is contrary to God’s commandment in Genesis 1:28 – “ And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” We can see the reason why God did not like that idea of Nimrod and his subjects therefore “The LORD scattered them abroad upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.” What Nimrod and his people did showed man’s attempt to do something by himself and for himself, to govern himself without God. Interestingly, it resulted in confusion and dispersion. Babylon therefore, speaks of man’s power, effort and glory without God. Man trying to get to heaven by his own effort without the Saviour is false. Another famous author, Alexander Hislop in His work – “The Two Babylons” wrote extensively on how Babylonian religion developed around traditions concerning Nimrod, his wife Semiramis, and her wonder child Tammuz. When Nimrod died, according to the old stories, his body was cut into pieces, burnt, and sent to various areas. His death was greatly mourned by the people of Babylon, his wife Semiramis claimed he was now the sun god. Later, when she gave birth to a son, she named him Tammuz claiming hat he was Nimrod incarnate. Semiramis claimed that her son Tammuz was supernaturally conceived and that he was the promised seed. See Genesis 3:15 - “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” In the Babylonian religion, Queen Semiramis and her child were worshipped. As the world continued to civilize and after the destruction of the tower of Babel, the city became Babylon, and the Babylonian Cult was invented (the seat of Satan). This Cult is a secret society or system which claims to possess the highest wisdom and can reveal the divinest secret. Before one can become a member of this Cult, he has to first of all confess his sins to a priest. The intending member will then be subject to the priest and after his admission, he renounces his nationality and become a member of the MYSTICAL BROTHER-HOOD over who was placed a Supreme Pontiff (Pontifex Maximus) or a High Priest. This MYSTICAL BROTHER-HOOD became recognized and her mode of worship accepted in Babylon as Satan used it to expand his seat in the city. The Babylonian mode of worship was through mysterious symbols. It was known as a mystery religion. Legend has confirmed that Nimrod was believed to be the sun god; as such fire was considered his earthly representation. Candles and ritual fires were lighted in his honor. In other forms, Nimrod was symbolized by the sun images, fish, trees, pillars or even animals. The Babylonian religion spread to all nations because it was from there men were scattered abroad upon the face of all the earth. Everyone went from Babylon with their worship of mother and child and the other mystery symbols.

R. E. Woodrow quoting Alexander Hislop wrote, “Herodotus, the world traveler and historian of antiquity, witnessed the mystery religion and its rites in numerous countries and mentions how Babylon was the primeval source from which all systems of idolatry flowed. Bunsen says that the religious system of Egypt was derived from Asia and ‘the primitive empire in Babel.’ In his noted work Nineveh and its Remains, Layard declares that we have the united testimony of sacred and profane history that idolatry originated in the area of Babylonia – the most ancient of religious systems.” One can confidently conclude that the origin of the Babylonian religion is from the pit of hell and Satan is the architect. BABYLONISM IN ROMANISM A critical look at the lecture notes of late Pa S. G. Elton and the Dispensational Charts of Dr. Clarence Larkin on this subject reveals that both agree to the fact that when the Babylonian and Medo-Persian Empires fell, Satan shifted his seat or headquarters to Pergamos in Asia Minor – Revelation 2:13, “I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.” By then Attalus was the Pontiff and king of Pergamos. He died in 133 B.C. and the headship of the Babylonian Priesthood was given to Rome. Now the bequeathing of the headship of Rome made the Etruscans (a religion of Pergamos) to move to Italy with the Babylonian religion and all its rituals. Immediately, they set up a Pontif who was the head of the priesthood, which was later accepted by Rome as their civil ruler. Listen! Julius Caesar was made Supreme Pontiff (Pontifex Maximus) of the Babylonian Order in Rome; this enabled him to be heir to the rights and titles of Attalus (a Pontiff and King of Pergamos), who made Rome his heir. By so doing, Rome became the successor of Babylon; the first Roman Emperor was made the head of the Babylonian Priesthood. This fact is undisputable when one considers the fact that the Roman Empire assimilated into her system the gods and religions of the various countries within her jurisdiction. Remember that Babylon was the source of the religion of these pagan countries. Though each country had her peculiar way of worship, with different names, symbols and rites, they were from one source – BABYLON! It was while Rome was ruling the world that the Savior – The Lord Jesus Christ, was born. Declaring His mission, Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” This is the mission statement of the Lord Jesus Christ at the time when the Roman Empire determined what happened in the world. Little wonder Christianity spread like wild fire and God confirmed His word with signs and wonders. The early believers shook the whole Empire. One needed to go through the book of Acts of the Apostles in order to appreciate the move of the Holy Spirit by then. This move did not last too long as R. E. Woodrow observed. He wrote, “Before too many years had passed, however, men began to set themselves up as ‘lords’ over God’s people in place of the Holy Spirit. Instead of conquering by spiritual means and by truth – as in the early days – men began to substitute their ideas and their methods. Attempts to merge paganism into Christianity were being made even in the days when our New Testament was being written, for Paul mentioned that the ‘mystery of iniquity’ was already at work; he warned that there would come a ‘falling away’ and some would ‘depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils’ – the counterfeit doctrines of the pagans. Consider these scriptures – “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; For the mystery of iniquity doth already work:

only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.”- II Thessalonians 2:3, 7 - “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;” – I Timothy 4:2. Christianity was under serious attack. Yes! The battle was and still is between Christianity and Babylonism, righteousness and unrighteousness. The kingdom of Satan under the disguised Roman Empire opposed the kingdom of God. The early Christians were persecuted severely. Some of them were skinned, burnt at stake, thrown to the lions and others tortured and killed. Indeed, they paid with their blood. This severe persecution continued until the questionable conversion of the Roman Emperor Constantine in 312 A.D. Questionable when one considers the circumstances that characterized the purported conversion and the atrocities he committed afterwards. Under the sub-head ‘THE CONVERSION OF CONSTANTINE’, Richard A. Todd in the book – The History of Christianity page 130 stated, “Throughout the fourth century relations between the church, the emperor and pagan religion were continually changing. Constantine’s defeat of Maxentius at the battle of the Milvian Bridge in the autumn of 312, and his interpretation of that victory as the response of the Christian God to his prayer for help, propelled church and state into a new age for which neither was prepared. Out of this new relationship between Christian church and Christian emperor stemmed the history of church-state relations in the later Roman Empire and throughout the Middle Ages. Constantine’s account of his conversion, told by the Emperor himself to the church historian Eusebius of Caesarea, towards the end of his life, is well known. Constantine, alarmed by reports of Maxentius’ mastery of magical arts, prayed to the ‘Supreme God’ for help. The response was a sign, a cross in the noonday sky ‘above the sun’, and with it the words, ‘Conquer by this.’ That night Christ appeared to him in a dream and commanded him to use the sign – presumably Chi-Rho, the initial letters of the name of Christ – ‘as a safeguard in all engagements with his enemies’. Constantine obeyed, marched on Rome, confronted Maxentius, who was miraculously induced to fight outside the city fortifications, and conquered. The story has been doubted. But Constantine’s new allegiance to Christianity was genuine, though he imperfectly understood the Christian faith, and at first did not even distinguish clearly between the Father of Jesus Christ and the divine Sun. Constantine retained the pagan high priest’s title of Pontifex Maximus; for a decade his coins continued to feature some of the pagan gods, notably his own favourite deity, the Unconquered Sun; and he delayed Christian baptism until the end of his life. But delayed baptism was the custom of the age, a device for avoiding mortal sin. Retaining he pagan symbols was a necessary compromise with his pagan subjects, still very much in the majority. Constantine treated Christianity as the favoured, though not yet the official, religion of the Empire. He granted immunities to the clergy and lavished gifts on the church; in his letters and edicts he spoke as if the Christian God were his own. It is important to understand Constantine’s previous religion, the worship of the Unconquered Sun. if the story of the cross in he sky is true, he may have interpreted the sign as his own special deity recommending the worship of the Christian God. Constantine continued to identify the sun with the Christian God in some way – a belief made easier by the tendency of Christian writers and artists to use sun imagery in portraying Christ. For them Christ is the source of light and salvation, and a mosaic from a third-century tomb found under St Peter’s, Rome, even shows him as the sun god in his chariot. When in 321 Constantine made the first day of the week a holiday, he called it ‘the venerable day of the Sun’ (Sunday). When the pagan symbols eventually disappeared, the Unconquered Sun was the last to go.”

In his own write-up, Woodrow stated that as Constantine and his soldiers approached Rome, they were about to face what is known as the Battle of Milvian Bridge. According to the custom of the time, the haruspices (those who employed divination by such means as reading the entrails of sacrificial animals) were called to give advice. (The Bible records how the king of Babylon had followed the same practice: “For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he made his arrows bright, he consulted with images, he looked in the liver” - Ezekiel 21:21) In the case of Constantine, he was told that the gods would not come to his aid, that he would suffer defeat in the battle. But then in a vision or dream, as he related later, there appeared a cross to him and the words, “In this sign conquer.” The next day – October 28, 312 A.D. – he advanced behind a standard portraying a cross. He was victorious in that battle, defeated his rival, and professed conversion. This is the story behind Emperor Constantine’s conversion. But renowned theologians and noted historians have disputed Constantine’s vision of the cross. It has been argued that if Constantine did at all have such a vision, was the Lord Jesus Christ the author? (More on the Roman Cross as we continue under the heading – ‘Mysteries Exposed’). It is doubtful to assume that the Son of God would give a pagan emperor such a vision and instruct him to conquer and kill in that sign. But if it is doubtful, how can one explain Constantine’s conversion, especially as he showed numerous favors toward Christians? He abolished death by crucifixion, and the persecutions, which had become so cruel at Rome ceased. Let us rest this argument as we start investigating the words recorded in the Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p.300, under the article: “Constantine.” A portion of that page says, “It has consequently been asserted that Constantine favored Christianity merely from political motives, and he has been regarded as enlightened despot who made use of religion only to advance his policy.” This observation is correct because Historians admit that his conversion was “nominal, even by contemporary standards.” It has also been said that he was not truly converted – not in the Biblical sense of the word. May be we may look at the atrocities he committed after his “conversion”. In his own family, history has it that he murdered his own wife and son and of course, you and I know very well that the Bible condemns murderers to hell-fire. His first marriage with Minervina produced a son called Crispus. His second marriage with Fausta produced three daughters and three sons. His first son, Crispus became an outstanding soldier and a tremendous help to his father, Constantine. In 326 A.D. shortly after the Nicene Council, which he directed, he murdered his son Crispus because his second wife Fausta accused him (Crispus) of making love to her. Scholars believed that Fausta framed the allegation to get rid of Crispus so that one of her sons might have claim to the throne. Later Constantine was convinced by his mother Helena that Fausta yielded to his son else Crispus would not have succeeded in making love to her. Under this conviction, Constantine had Fausta suffocated to death in an overheated bath. It was not long, he flogged his sister’s son to death and had her husband strangled. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p.300 article: “Constantine” summarizes it this way – “Even after his conversion he caused the execution of his brotherin-law Licinius, and of the latter’s son, as well as of Crispus his own son by his first marriage, and of his wife Fausta. ---After reading these cruelties it is hard to believe that the same emperor could at times have mild and tender impulses; but human nature is full of contradictions.” Legend has it that Constantine’s purported conversion was a fake. He seldom conformed to the ceremonial requirements of Christian worship. At least his letters to Christian Bishops confirmed that he cared little for the theological differences that agitated the Christians. In fact, he treated the Bishops as his political aides. He presided over their council meetings. To him Christianity was a means not an end. That was why he reasoned that instead of the empire to be divided by religion – Christianity and Paganism – it might be necessary to mix elements of both religions together so as to have a united empire. He succeeded in

the mixture because he developed some similarities between the two religious systems. This concept of mixture prospered greatly in Rome. It is believed that this mixture produced what is today known as the Roman Catholic Church. This meant that Constantine brought back all the rites of the Babylonian religion into the Roman Church. Historically, this continued in Rome until about 376 A.D. when Emperor Gratian refused the title “Pontifes Maximus” for probably pure Christian reasons. He considered it as idolatrous and blasphemous because the Pontifex Maximus was both the civil ruler and the head of the Babylonian religious system, which transformed into Romanism. Later on Bishop Damascus who attained the office of a bishop through the influence of the monks of Mt. Camel was elected to the position of a Supreme Pontiff (Pontifex Maximus). In 378 A.D., the head of the Babylonian system became the ruler of the Roman Church as the Bishop. As you would imagine, Rome and Babylon became united again into one religious system. As the supreme Pontiff, Bishop Damascus introduced most of the rites of the Babylonian religion to the Roman Church. THE MYSTERIES EXPOSED The debate on the doctrine of MARIOLOGY started as far back as 381 A.D. Mother and child worship is one of the outstanding examples of how Romanism imbibed Babylonism. Mother and child worship started with the worship of Queen Semiramis and her wonder child Tammuz in ancient Babylon. So many monuments of the goddess mother Semiramis show her wonder child Tammuz in her arms. After the dispersion, the people in their groups went to various parts of the earth carrying with them the worship of the divine mother and her child. Now you can understand why many nations worshipped a mother and her child in different forms and names. Centuries before the Lord Jesus was born, the Etruscans (a religion of Pergamos) called her Nutria. In India, she was worship as Indrani pictured with a child in her arms. In China, the goddess Shingmoo or “Holy Mother” is pictured with child in her arms and a halo or aureole around her head. In ancient Rome, she was known and worshipped as Venus or Fortuna with Jupiter her child. In other Asian lands she was known as Cybele and her child, Deoius; Devaki and child Crishna; Isis, the “Great Goddess” and child Iswaa. “Regardless of the name and place” says Marcus Bach in Strange Sects and Curious Cults, “she was the wife of Baal (the sun god, Nimrod), the virgin queen of heaven (Semiramis), who bore fruit although she never conceived.” In Egypt she was also known as Isis and her child Horus. In their backslidden state, the children of Israel worshipped Baal and his wife Ashtaroth – see Judges 2:13; 10:6 – “ And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth…. And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook the LORD, and served not him.” In I Samuel 7:3,4, the Prophet Samuel admonished them to put away Baalim and Ashtaroth and return to the One True God. “ And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the LORD, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines. Then the children of Israel did put away Baalim and Ashtaroth, and served the LORD only.” Time after time the children of Israel fell into apostasy and worshipped her. At a point they gave her the title – “Queen of Heaven”. Jeremiah 7:18; 44:17-19 – “The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger…. But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of

Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil. But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine. And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven, and poured out drink offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings unto her, without our men?” Woodrow observed that this false worship, which spread from Babylon to the various nations, in different names and forms, finally became established at Rome and throughout the Roman Empire. Quoting J. G. Frazer, her said, “The worship of the Great Mother was very popular under the Roman Empire. Inscriptions prove that the two [the mother and the child] received divine honors not only in Italy and especially at Rome, but also in the provinces, Germany, and Bulgaria.” He continued, “When this ‘falling away’ came, much paganism was mixed with Christianity. Unconverted pagans were taken into the professing church and in numerous instances were allowed to continue many of their pagan rites and customs – usually with a few reservations or changes to make their beliefs appear more similar to Christian doctrine. One of the best examples of such a carry over from paganism may be seen in the way the worship of the great mother continued – only in a slightly different form and with a new name! You see, many pagans had been drawn to Christianity, but so strong was their adoration for the mother goddess, they did not want to forsake her. Compromising church leaders saw that if they could greatly increase their numbers. But who could replace the great mother of paganism? Mary, of course, was the most logical person for them to choose. --Little by little, the worship that had been associated with the pagan mother was transferred to Mary. The Catholic Encyclopedia admitted that the worship of Mary was not part of the original Christian faith. Vol. 15, p.459, articles: “Virgin Mary.” It is written, “Devotion to Our Blessed Lady in its ultimate analysis must be regarded as a practical application of the doctrine of the Communion of Saints. Seeing that this doctrine is not contained, at least explicitly, in the earlier forms of the Apostles’ Creed, there is perhaps no ground for surprise if we do not meet with any clear traces of the cultus of the Blessed Virgin in the first Christian centuries.” The debate that started about 381 A.D. could not get the blessing of the church leaders until 431 A.D. This time Mary worship was not only condoned but became an official doctrine at the Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D. From this time, leaders of the Roman Church made Mary appear similar to the goddess of paganism and exalted her to a divine plane. Statues were made of Mary just as the pagan goddess. “It is said that in some cases the very same statues that had been worshipped as Isis (with her child) were simply renamed as Mary and the Christ child.” Mary has been exalted to an unbelievable height as the Queen of Heaven – a transfer of Queen Semiramis’ title. Even so many Roman Catholic writers do not deny this fact. Cardinal Alphonsus de Ligori in his book – The Glories of Mary, p.94, wrote, “He falls and is lost who has not recourse to Mary.” In page 136 he writes, “We shall be heard more quickly if we have recourse to Mary and call her holy name, than we should be if we called on the name of Jesus our Savior.” The Catholic theology of Mariology received a booster at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 A.D. It was at this council that the church officially assigned the title “Theotoko” meaning “God-bearer” or “Mother of God” to Mary. In the Roman Church, Mary is believed to be more compassionate, merciful and understanding then Jesus Christ her son. Therefore, God will answer the prayers of the faithful quickly if requests are made through her. Having achieved their expected breakthrough in Mariology, all the other cults that have been underground sprang up one after another. Let us start from the one that is connected with praying to Mary. The Rosary “consists of a chain with 15 sets of small beads, each set marked off by one large bead, a medal bearing the imprint of Mary joins the ends of the chain. From this hangs a short

chain at the end of which is a crucifix. The beads on the osary are for counting prayers – prayers that are repeated over and over. Though this instrument is widely used within the Roman Catholic Church, it is clearly not of Christian origin. It has been known in many countries.” This is how R. E. Woodrow describes the Roman Catholic Rosary. Yes, the rosary is not of Christian origin. Again, The Catholic Encyclopedia as quoted by Woodrow says, “In almost all countries, then, we meet with something in the nature of prayer-counters or rosary-beads. It goes on to cite a number of examples, including a sculpture of ancient Nineveh, mentioned by Layard, of two winged females paying before a sacred tree, each holding a rosary. For centuries, among the Mohammedans, a bead-string consisting of 33, 66, 99, beads has been used for counting the names of Allah. Marco Polo, in the thirteenth century, was surprised to find the king of Malabar using a rosary of precious stones to count his prayers. St Francis Xavier and his companions were equally astonished to see that rosaries were universally familiar to the Buddhists of Japan.” About 800 B.C. the Phoenicians used a circle of beads like the rosary in the worship of Astarte, the mother goddess. Vishnu worshippers used rosaries of 108 beads; the Brahmans used rosaries with tens and thousands of beads; Siva worshippers used rosary; the same can be said of the Indian and Tibet Buddhists. In counting the rosary, the main prayer, which is repeated 9 times or up to 53 times depending on the mass is “Hail Mary” – “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God pray for us sinners now and at the hour of death. Amen.” The Catholic Encyclopedia says, “There is little or no trace of the Hail Mary as an accepted devotional formula before about 1050 A.D.” Yes! Peter the Hermit as it is today introduced rosary and its prayers in 1090 A.D. Matthew 12:46-50; Luke 11:27,28 give us insight on the relationship that existed between Jesus and Mary while the Lord was physically on earth – “While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” “And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” We know that the Roman Catholic doctrines of “perpetual virginity” and the “Assumption” of Mary into heaven have no biblical basis. In the contrary, the Bible says, “ Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? And his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?” – Matthew 13:55,56. So the idea that Joseph left Mary as a virgin all through her life was from the devil. Roman Catholics were taught that Mary’s body did not see corruption but that she bodily ascended to heaven to assume her position as the Queen of Heaven. Again, this is from the pit of hell, the Bible says, “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” – John 3:13. But St. Bernard presented the Roman Catholic position thus, “On the third day after Mary’s death, when the apostles gathered around her tomb, they found it empty. The sacred body had been carried up to the Celestial Paradise --- the grave had no power over one who was immaculate. But it was not enough that Mary should be received into heaven. She had a dignity beyond the reach even of the highest of the archangels. Mary was to be crowned Queen of Heaven by the eternal Father: She was to have a throne at her Son’s right hand. Now day by day,

hour by hour, she is praying for us, obtaining graces for us, preserving us from temptation, showering down blessings upon us.” The date of the assumption varies. Some schools of thought say that Pope Pius XII officially proclaimed the “Assumption” of Mary into heaven took place in 1959 A.D. Both veneration of angels and dead saints, 375 A.D. and Canonization of dead saints 995 A.D. were of Babylonian origin. The Babylonian religious system developed until it had over 5000 gods and goddesses. Some cultures today regard these gods and goddesses as lesser deities through whom the Almighty God answers their prayers – this is exactly the idea and doctrine taught in the Roman Church. It is believed that “saints” (those who are dead) can protect and even heal certain diseases. In the Babylonian system for instance, every month and every day of the month was under the protection of a particular god or goddess and each divinity also was in charge of each kind of problems, occupations and even movements. The elders of the Roman church sanction this belief. The Council of Treat says “the saints who reign together with Christ offer up their own prayers to God for men. It is good and useful suppliantly to invoke them, and to have recourse to their prayers, aid, and help for obtaining benefits from God.” The Catholic Encyclopedia recommended prayers for the saints and to the saints. See Vol. 4, pp.653, 655, article: “Prayers for the dead.” But what does the Bible, God’s word say about this Babylonian imported doctrine of the Roman Church? “ And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? For the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” – Isaiah 8:19, 20. All through the Holy Bible, it is evident that the only true living God forbids His people from communing with the dead. In fact the actual saints of the Bible are the living true followers of Christ and not the dead ones. It is the living that can pray not the dead. The Psalmist made us to understand that the dead cannot pray or praise. “For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?” – Psalm 6:5. “ The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence.” – Psalm 115:17 Surprisingly the Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 8, p.70, article: “Intercession” raises objections to these beliefs – “The chief objections raised against the intercession and invocation of the saints are that these doctrines are opposed to the faith and trust which we should have in God alone and that they cannot be proved from scriptures.” Now judge for yourself as we move into another doctrine. It takes a great deal of wisdom to answer the question that boarder on the originality and usage of the “cross” as a Christian symbol. “Is the cross of Christian origin and symbol?” somebody asked. If not how do we explain its prominence in our churches today considering also our firm belief that our Savior Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross over 2000 years ago? Considerations on the use and sign of the cross started in 310 A.D. and gained approval in 431 A.D. especially with the entrance of Emperor Constantine into the system with his questionable conversion and vision of the cross in 312 A.D. At about 586 A.D. the use of crosses on steeples was approved and in the sixth century the crucifix image was sanctioned. Legend has it that it was only after the second council at Ephesus that private homes were allowed to possess the cross. But what are these – the crucifix, the cross symbol, the sign of the cross? Are these things important to the true believer in Christ Jesus? Woodrow writes, “The early Christian did not consider the cross on which Jesus died a virtuous symbol, but rather as ‘the accursed tree’, a device of death and ‘shame’ – Hebrew 12:2 says, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” They did not trust in an old rugged cross. Instead, their faith was in what was accomplished on the cross; and through this faith, they knew the full and complete forgiveness of sin!

It was in this sense that the apostles preached about the cross and gloried in it – I Corinthians 1:17, 18 – “ For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” They never spoke of the cross as a piece of wood one might hang from a little chain around his neck or carry in his hand as a protector or charm. Such use of the cross came later.” Pa S. G. Elton agreed with the Dispensational Chart of Dr. Clarence Larkins that the cross and its sign were of the mystic “Tau” of the Chaldeans and Egyptians. This came from the first letter “T” in the word “Tammuz”, which was used in the Babylonian Mysteries for the same purposes as the church now uses it. W. E. Vine’s Dictionary of New Testament Words says, “The ecclesiastical form of a two beamed cross --- had its origin in ancient Chaldea, and was used as a symbol of the god Tammuz (being in the shape of the Mystic Tau, the initial of his name) in that country and in adjacent lands, including Egypt. --- In order to increase the prestige of the apostate ecclesiastical system, pagans were received into the churches apart from regeneration of faith, and were permitted largely to retain their pagan signs and symbols. Hence the Tau or T, in its most frequent form, with the cross-piece lowered, was adopted to stand for the cross of Christ.” Almost every ancient Egyptian monument and temple walls have a crystal display of the Tau cross. Examples are the Egyptian god Amon holding the Tau cross, the temple of Amenophis IV at Thebes with different forms and shapes of the Tau cross on display. W. H. Prescott, a noted historian, in the History of the Conquest of Mexico, wrote of when the Spaniards first landed in Mexico, “they could not suppress their wonders, as they beheld the cross, the sacred emblem of their own faith, raised as an object of worship in the temples of Anahuac. The Spaniards were not aware that the cross was the symbol of worship of the highest antiquity by pagan nations on whom the light of Christianity had never shone.” What is happening today in the Roman church cannot be a surprise to a sound Bible student. In the book of Numbers 21 is recorded the plague of fiery serpents. When the children of Israel “spake against God, and against Moses --- the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.” They realized what they had done and repented. Moses prayed for them, “And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten when he looketh upon it shall live.” That was God’s remedy! The Bible continues, “And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.” – vv 5-9. Referring to His death on the cross, Jesus said, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in Him (not in the cross) should not perish, but have eternal life.” - John 3:14,15 (Emphases added). After the brass serpent had served its purpose, the children of Israel kept it. Centuries later it was discovered that the made an idol of it and worshipped it as Nehushtan. In the days of Hezekiah, king of Judah, the Bible says that “He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.” – II Kings 18:4. Remember that the remedy then lied on the fact “that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.” No further requirement! But the people preserved it and later turned it into an object of worship. This is exactly what the people of Rome have done with the cross. But it is still unfortunate that no one can present the original cross of cavalry on which Jesus was crucified. In fact the Catholic Encyclopedia shows forty different types of cross on one of its pages. Besides, it was traditionally required that the cross be burnt after its usage. So the crosses people use today have nothing to do with the Savior Jesus Christ. At least that is my submission.

Let us look at the Roman Catholic doctrine of Purgatory. Every one who is conversant with the Bible knows that “Purgatory” has no biblical support yet it is taught in the church and indulgences sold to free souls of the dead from purgatory. This erroneous teaching started around 593 A.D. when Pope Gregory the Great made claims about a third place meant for the purification of souls before their entrance into heaven. The Council of Florence endorsed it in 1459. Quoting from different sources including the Encyclopedia of Religions The Story of Civilization: The Reformation by W. Durant, R. E. Woodrow wrote, “During the twelfth century, a legend was spread which claimed that St. Patrick had found the actual entrance to Purgatory. In order to convince some doubters, he had a very deep pit dug in Ireland, into which several monks descended. Upon their return, said the tale, they described Purgatory and Hell with discouraging vividness. In 1153, the Irish Knight Owen claimed he had also gone down through the pit into the underworld. Tourists came from far and near to visit the spot. Then financial buses developed and in 1497 Pope Alexander VI ordered it closed as a fraud. Three years later, however, Pope Benedict XIV preached and published at Rome a sermon in favor of Patrick’s Purgatory.” Like every other pagan culture, the belief about a place for the purification of souls has been around before ever Christ was born. Plato who lived from 427-347 B.C. spoke of the Ophic teachers of his day “who flock to the rich man’s doors, and try to persuade him that they have a power at their command, which they procure from heaven, and which enables them by sacrifices and incantation to make amends for any crime committed by the individual himself, or his ancestors. Their mysteries deliver us from the torments of the other world, while the neglect of them is punished by the awful doom.” – H. W. Smith, Man and His Gods. From Encyclopedia Britannica Vol. 22, we learnt that the Stoics conceived a middle place of enlightenment, which they called Empuroses, that is, a place of fire. In the Zoroaster religion, souls are taken through twelve stages before they are sufficiently purified to enter heaven. In the Buddhist sacred writing an elaborate explanation of purgatorial suffering is recorded. You see, the doctrine of purgatory is of old; it is of pagan origin and therefore has nothing to do with Christianity. What about the office of the Pope and the teaching that the Apostle Peter was the first Roman Catholic Pope? The issue of Peter the apostle being the first Pope of the Roman Church is not debatable because nowhere in history or in the Bible did we read of the Apostle Peter visiting Rome. He was never in Rome all his lifetime. The title Pope is a transfer of Pontifex Maximus, which began from the time of Nimrod. You could recollect that Nimrod was a King-priest. By this is meant that he was the civil or political leader as well as the religious leader. That is what Pontifex Maxijus is all about! In the Babylonian system, the civil ruler is the interpreter of the religious mysteries. You remembered what happened in the days of Belshazzar king of Babylon as it is recorded in the book of Daniel 5. You might not know him as the head of the Babylonian Order until you have carefully studied Daniel 5. Verse 4 says, “ They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.” The “great feast” (verse 1) that Belshazzar held was more than social gathering “of his lords”. It was a religious gathering. It was a revival service and Belshazzar was the Pontifex Maximus. Julius Caesar was the head of Roman Empire as well as the Priest of the Babylonian Order when he inherited all the rites and titles of Attalus king of Pergamos. This Order continued through the reign of Emperor Constantine; denounced by Emperor Gratian for Christian reasons in 376 A.D.; accepted again by Bishop Damascus in 378 A.D. From that time the Bishop of Rome assumed the office of Pontifex Maximus. It continued until 610 A.D. when the title was changed to Pope. You will agree with me that until now the Pope, who is the head of the Roman Church exercises great influence in politics.

The worship of the cross, images and relics that gained ground since 788 A.D. had been in practice before ever Christianity came into being. When the deified Nimrod died, his relics were scattered all over the nations. So it was as old as that. All the relics found in the Roman Church including the 19,00 saintly relics found within the Castle Church at Wittenberg where Luther nailed his famous “Ninety-five Theses” had the same source- BABYLON. A lot has been said and written about the Roman Catholic doctrine of Papal Infallibility that was sanctioned in 1870. Against the pure Bible doctrine of depravity, the Roman Church teaches that there is one man – the Pope – who cannot make mistakes. This idea alone contradicts the belief that the Pope is a direct successor of the Apostle Peter. We know that Apostle Peter made mistakes, at a point Apostle Paul confronted him. The Bible says “But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, BECAUSE HE WAS TO BE BLAMED.” – Galatians 2:11 (Emphasis mine). Who is to withstand and blame the Pope? If you look through the eyes of history, you will see that some of the Popes were so depraved and mean in their actions. Adultery, sodomy, simony, rape, murder, covetousness, variance, drunkenness and such like, were sins committed by “infallible” Popes. Let me cite a few examples: R. E. Woodrow quoting some authorities wrote, “Pope Sergius III (904-911) obtained the papal office by murder. The annals of the Church of Rome tell about his life of open sin with Marozia who bore him several illegitimate children. He was described by Baronius as a ‘Monster’ and by Gregorovius as a ‘Terrorizing criminal’. Says one historian: ‘For seven years this man – occupied the chair of St. Peter, which his concubine and her Semiramis-like mother held court with a pomp and voluptuousness that recalled the worse days of the ancient empire.” It was said that the reign of Pope Sergius began the period known s “the rule of the harlots” – from 904-963. After Sergius came Pope John X (914-928). He had an illicit affair with Theodora, Sergius mother. His reign came to an end when Marozia, Sergius concubine suffocated him to death. Then came Leo VI (928-929). His was a short reign because Marozia assassinated him when she learned that he was having affair with another woman. Not long after this, the son of Marozia became the head of the church as Pope John XI and her grandson at 18 years of age became the Pope by the name John XII in 955. All were immoral. Woodrow said, “The noted Catholic Bishop of Cremona, Luitprand, who lived at this time wrote: ‘No honest lady dared to show herself in public, for Pope John had no respect either for single girls, married woman, or widows – they were sure to be defiled by him, even on the tombs of the holy apostles, Peter and Paul.’ The Catholic collection of the lives of the popes, the ‘Liber Pontificalis’, said, ‘He spent his entire life in adultery.” This is true because the Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 8, p.427, article: “John XII” remarks that “John died on 14 May, 964, eight days after he had been, according to rumor, stricken by paralysis in the act of adultery.” Although there were some Popes and Bishops who opposed the Catholic doctrine of papal infallibility yet it holds sway. Notable among them were Popes Innocent III, Clement IV, etc and Bishop Joseph Stronssmayer who was described as one of the most notable opponents of papal infallibility. The issue of celibacy of priesthood – 1079 A.D. is another thing that has disturbed many minds, especially true believers in Jesus Christ. Again, this doctrine dates back to the days of Queen Semiramis. Members of the higher orders of her priesthood were required to be celibate. Alexander Hislop was quoted as saying that when the worship of Cybele, the Babylonian goddess was introduced in ancient Rome, it was in its primitive form with its celibate clergy. One thing that scholars have noticed through the years is that instead of the doctrine of celibacy to promote purity, it has promoted immorality in its worst king. “When Pope Paul V sought the suppression of the licensed brothels in the ‘Holy city,’ the Roman Senate petitioned against his carrying his design into effect, on the ground that existence of such places was the only means of

hindering the priests from seducing their wives and daughter.” Also Cardinal Peter D’Ailly was quoted as saying that he dared not describe the immorality of the nunneries, and that “taking the veil” was simply another mode of becoming a public prostitute. Well, we have to examine the reality of celibacy in our generation. I am no advocating that all priests should be judged by the immoral behavior of others. I strongly believe that thee are some who are committed to their vows of priesthood. What has the Bible go to say about celibacy? The Apostle Paul writes, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.” – I Timothy 4:1-3. It is certain that celibacy, monks, nuns and tonsure have no biblical basis. The heathen spring festival was Christianized and given the name Easter. As with other festivals, Easter has no biblical support. In fact the word appeared only once in the book of Acts 12:4. There the Greek word “pascha”, which means “Passover” was translated “Easter” in the King James Version. In the New International Version, New King James Version, Bible in Basic English, Darby’s Translation, Montgomery’s New Testament, Revised Standard Version, World English Bible, etc., it is correctly translated “Passover”. The apostles never celebrated Easter. It was not a Christian festival – at least not until about 519 A.D. The word originated from the name of a pagan goddess “ISHTAR”. She was the goddess of the rising light of the day and spring. She has other names as Eostre, Ostera, Astarte, etc. Woodrow explains further, “The goddess of spring, from whose name our word Easter comes, was associated with the sun rising in the east – even as the very word “East-er” would seem to imply. Thus the dawn of the sun in the east, the name Easter, and the spring season are all connected.” Legends maintained that Tammuz descended into the underworld after he was slain by a wild beast at the age of 40 years. He was mysteriously revived in spring through the weeping of his mother, Semiramis or Ishtar (Easter), as she was known then. H. W. Smith in Man and His Gods says, “The resurrection of Tammuz through Ishtar’s grief was dramatically represented annually in order to insure the success of the crops and the fertility of the people. Each year men and women had to grieve with Ishtar over the death of Tammuz and celebrate the god’s return in order to win anew her favor and benefits”. At a point in the life of backslidden Israel they wept for Tammuz also. The Bible says, “Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD'S house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.” – Ezekiel 8:14. Historically, forty days were set aside to weep for Tammuz annually. That meant a day for a year that he lived on earth. These forty days preceded the great annual festival in commemoration of the death and revival of Tammuz in spring. The forty days period were days of weeping and fasting in order to gain his favor so that he would come forth from the underworld in the form of spring. History has it that apart from the Babylonians, people like the Phoenicians, Egyptians, Mexicans and even the Israelites were among other nations that observed the forty days mourning for Tammuz. Today this observance is known as “Lent”. There is nowhere in the Bible lent was commanded or observed by the apostles. There are still so many mysteries to solve but for lack of space, let us consider just one more. Let us look briefly at the “Winter Festival”, which is transformed Christmas. I think Christmas is another terrible mixture between Christianity and paganism. This is because a critical study of the Bible’s story of the birth of Jesus and the season when Christmas is celebrated shows that the Lord Jesus Christ would not have been born by December. Besides, He never asked anyone to celebrate His birthday neither did the early Christians celebrate it. Having considered the records of Luke 2:8 – “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.”

Adam Cerke said, “As these shepherds had not yet brought home their flocks, it is a presumptive argument that October had not yet commenced, and that, consequently, our Lord was not born on the 25 of December, when no flocks were out in the field. – On this very ground the nativity in December should be given up.” The Catholic Encyclopedia admits, “Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church. Irenaeus and Tertullian omit it from their lists of feasts.” Christmas started about the year 440 A.D. and the Encyclopedia Americana gives a true background history of it: Pages 623, Vol. 6, states that the Roman Church ordered that the birth of Christ be forever observed on 25 of December, even though this was the day of the old Roman feast of the birth of Sol, one of the names of the sun-god. J. G. Frazer said that “the largest pagan religious cult which fostered the celebration of December 25 as a holiday throughout the Roman and Greek worlds was the pagan sun worship – Mithraism. This winter festival was called ‘the Nativity’ – the ‘Nativity of the sun.” If you are in doubt whether the winter festival called ‘the Nativity’ influenced the chosen date of December 25 for Christmas, go to the Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p.725, article: Christmas. It says, “The well-known solar feast of Natalis Invicti (the Nativity of the Unconquered Sun) celebrated on 25 December, has a strong claim on the responsibility for our December date.” In his own explanation of the period, W. S. Walsh, in Curiosities of Popular Customs wrote, “In pagan Rome and Greece, in the days of the Teutonic barbarians, in the remote times of ancient Egyptian civilization, in the infancy of the race East and West and North and South, the period of the winter solstice was ever a period of rejoicing and festivity.” No wonder it was adopted as time of Christ’s birth! Whether we like it or not, whether we accept it or not, majority of these festivals which originated from Babylon and were Christianized by the Roman Church have come to stay. The reason being that the Roman Empire was the last the conquered the world. What then should be the Bible-believer’s attitude? May I suggest that the true believer should believe God for the wisdom to strike a proper balance? Be careful because you cannot change it! THE GREAT WHORE Finally in my research work, I considered the meaning of THE GREAT WHORE as the Holy Spirit unveils Revelation chapter 17 to me. VERSE 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:” It is a proven fact from the evidences we have seen so far in this study that Mystery Babylon is an organization, which lost God’s vision due to her unfaithfulness. Great Whore is a name of great infamy. A whore, within biblical context is one that is married but has been unfaithful to her husband. It is a term used in describing spiritual fornication – human race forsaking the one true God and followed after the doctrines of the devil. A very important aspect worthy of note about this organization is her ability to have religious control over mankind internationally – “…the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:” Revelation 17:15 describes the many waters thus – “And he said unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” VERSE 2 “With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” This great church had been a prostitute to the kings of the earth, whom she had intoxicated with the wine of her fornication. What a great mixture? Legend has it that Roman Emperor Constantine brought idols and status into Christian worship n order to appease the adherents of

Babylonian religion he conquered. He taught by so doing they would be loyal to his authority. From that time, Christianity was polluted and a large number of the world’s populace followed this Roman method of worship blindly. However, during the hour of tribulation this religion will gain enough ground, as the Antichrist and the False Prophet will use it. She will make impure alignments with the kings and people of the world. The whole world will become drunk with her system of worship, which seems appropriate. VERSE 3 “So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.” John spiritually sees the woman (one-world church) sitting upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of blasphemy and having seven heads and ten horns. With this description except for the scarlet colour, we quickly identify the beast as the Antichrist. We came across the same picture in chapter 13:1. The scarlet colour speaks of the blood he shed since he came to power as the world’s dictator. Note that the Antichrist deceitfully allows the world church to sit upon him. Instead of taking control of the church, he allows the false prophet to be the leader so as to produce the unholy trinity. VERSE 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: “ Of a truth, Satan multiplies this group so as to satisfy her desire for material riches. How true is it even today. Most of our Cathedrals today are multi-million naira buildings with a capacity for thousands of worshippers; yet, these buildings are opened for a couple of minute’s mass celebrations. All sorts of abominations are practiced in these churches still, they profess to be Christians while they are far from the TRUTH – Mark 7:6,7 – “He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” According to Jeremiah, the golden cup is Babylon hath been a full of abominations and filthiness. “Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD’s hand, that made all the earth drunken; the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.” – Jeremiah 51:7. The woman or the world-church is dressed in purple and scarlet colour. This is a picture of a church composed of leaders who dress like the Roman Emperors from the time of Emperor Constantine. The precious stones and pearls and gold, which she is decked with, picture riches, while the golden cup in her hand is a symbol of status and idols in worship. No wonder the cup is full of abominations and filthiness. Today we can find such symbols in most of our churches. VERSE 5 “And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” Why is the word MYSTERY written on the forehead of the great whore? It simply means that the true picture, purpose and doctrines of this great church are hidden from the majority of her followers. The Babylonian mode of worship (paganism) is not revealed clearly to most of her followers. In order to successfully carry out her fornication unquestionably, the pagan rites were Christianized. This is the great mixture and that is why she is referred to as “Mystery Babylon.” Because of her international recognition and influence in

politics, she is called Babylon the Great. There is no doubt that a mixture of paganism and Christianity produced the doctrines of this great church. Take for instance; the Babylonians worshipped a mother goddess, other gods and goddesses associated with various events and days. The great church adopted the worship of Mary as the mother of God. The gods and goddesses of paganism were called relics, paintings and so many other names. In so many other ways we see pagan rites merged into Christianity by this great church. Some of the worshippers in this great church recognized the fact that the church was produced from this mixture. But instead of abhorring it, they regard it as a plus for Christianity. A Knight has once said that the saints are lesser gods. Vol. 3 p.246, article: candles, of the Catholic Encyclopedia says, “We need not shrink from admitting that candles, like incense and lustral water, were commonly employed in pagan worship and in the rites paid to the dead. But the church from a very early period took them into her service, just as she adopted many other things … like music, lights, perfumes, ablutions, floral decorations, canopies, fans, screens, bells, vestments, etc., which they were common to almost all cults.” Woodrow observed, “The use of statues and customs such as bowing before an image, are explained in catholic theology as having developed from the old emperor worship.” Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 7 pages 666-668, article: Images, says, “The etiquette of the Byzantine court gradually evolved elaborate forms of respect, not only for the person of Caesar but even for his statues and symbols. Philostrorgius … says that in the fourth century the Christian Roman citizens in the East offered gifts, incense, even prayers (!) to the statues of the emperor, (Hist. Eccl. 11, 17). It would be natural that people who bowed to, kissed, incensed the imperial eagles and images of Caesar (with no suspicion of anything like idolatry) … should give the same signs to the cross, the images of Christ, and the altar … The first Christians were accustomed to see statues of emperors, of pagan gods and heroes, as well as pagan wall-paintings. So they made paintings of their religion, and, as soon as they could afford them, statues of their Lord and their heroes.” Since no scriptural command was suggested for these things, Woodrow remarked that these customs developed from paganism. The state of apostate Israel is a good example of the infiltration of Christianity by the Romans. A closer look at the apostate Israel shows that they did not totally reject the worship of the true God, but mixed it with pagan rites. Take for example a situation where a nation that has tasted the goodness of the only true God will fear the Lord and at the same time serve other gods. This was the case of backslidden Israel in II Kings 17:32, 33, “ So they feared the LORD, and made unto themselves of the lowest of them priests of the high places, which sacrificed for them in the houses of the high places. They feared the LORD, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence.” It is written, “ Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel? But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves. Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the LORD, whose name is The God of hosts.” – Amos 5: 25-27. Is it not amazing to see a people bearing the tabernacle of God and that of the sun-god Baal (Moloch) and the mother goddess (Astarte) at the same time? No wonder their sacrifices were abhorrent unto the Lord. When they worshipped the golden calf in the wilderness, they claimed it was a “feast unto the Lord.” – Exodus 32:5. Today it would be impossible to convince the worshippers in this great congregation that they are not serving the one true God, much as it would have been in the days of Ezekiel if not for God that sees in the secret. Take your time to study Ezekiel chapter 8 and you will understand the wickedness of man. Look at this – “He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? Even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? But turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations … And He said unto me, go in, and behold the

wicked abominations that they do here. So I went in and saw every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round about … Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? For they say, The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth … Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD’S house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat woman weeping for Tammuz … And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD’S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.” – vv 6 – 16. Did you notice that they did all these abominable things in and around the temple of the LORD? The great Whore, Mystery Babylon has daughters hence she has on her forehead – “THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” These daughters are those who reject the true teachings of the word of God and therefore made to accept the doctrines of devil. There are no two ways about it, you either be for God or be for the devil. They are the cultists and in fact “Christians” who deny the true teaching of the word of God no matter their denominational affiliation. The book of Matthew 7:20 says, “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” I would like you to pause and consider your faith now. What do you lean on? What are the tenants of your faith like? The Apostle Paul advised, - “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” – II Corinthians 13:5. VERSE 6 “And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.” This verse is another strong proof of who this woman actually is. Which church has ever persecuted disagreeing believers? I mean those Bible believers who did not agree with the doctrines of the woman. Jog your mind. Go back to history. The Inquisition (a body of men appointed by the Roman Catholic Church to suppress heresy) alone killed 900,000 Protestants in 30 years. The Roman Church killed 70,000 French Protestants on August 24, 1572. Again, under the direction of this church, 200,000 were killed with 25 years – 1573-1598. We learnt also that in Bohemia, 3,200,000 Protestants were slain for their faith at the beginning of the 17th century. Not all, the Roman Church massacred thousands of Protestants from Spain because they believed the Bible. The sight of the blood-drunken woman (woman) makes John to be surprised. The phrase “wondered with great admiration” does not mean that John admired the church, which had mercilessly destroyed the saints, as some Catholics thought. Rather, in the original Greek, it means that John “wonders with a great wonder”. Well, the next verse will prove this point. VERSE 7 “And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.” Because John wonders with great wonder, the angel calls him to his senses and promises to unfold the mystery of the woman and of the beast. However, we understood that the beast is the Antichrist and more explanation is made in the next verse. VERSE 8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of

the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.” In explaining who the beast is, the angel declared “The beast thou sawest was (past tense), and is not (present tense), and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit or and yet is (future tense).” In our study of chapter 13, verse 3 we learnt that one of the beast’s heads was wounded to death and was healed by Satan. As I said earlier on, this wound must have been a mortal one sustained during the tribulation hour. Hence the term “is not”. When he was healed, he became normal again and then at the end of his reign went to make war with Christ and His saints – and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit (a place he was when he sustained the wound), and go into perdition”. Please note that Satan does not have resurrection power. So many teachers have taught that the beast died a normal death and was resurrected by Satan. Romans 8:11 declares – “But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.” God the Holy Spirit is the only one that has resurrection power. Only God the Holy Spirit has Resurrection power! The work of Satan does not surprise the children of God because they know that all his works are lying wonders. God is the ALMIGHTY! Those whose names are not written in the Lamb’s book of life get excited as they see the beast that was (alive), and is not (wounded) and yet is (healed), taking over his seat again. VERSE 9 And here is the mind, which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.” What a request for wisdom! Can the seven heads be kings who support the Roman Church? No! Can it be empires? No! How can we then interpret this verse? Well, let’s take it literally. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman (Church) is seated. This means that the city out of which the Church operates has seven mountains or hill. Geographically, Rome is the only city that is found on seven hills. They are – Quirinal Capitoline, Viminal, Aventine, Palatine, Esquiline and Caeline. “No more doubt,” you would say, “Roman Catholic Church is the Mystery Babylon:” VERSE 10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space” This is yet another exposition. Many people have asked why the Antichrist will be allowed to rule for seven years. My answer (among so many) is because he is the seventh king. At the time of John, five kings had fallen, the sixth was on the throne and the seventh (the Antichrist) is not yet revealed. Historically those that had fallen were – 1. Julius Caesar, 2. Tiberius 3. Caligula, 4. Claudius and 5. Nero. The sixth that was on throne at the time of John was king Domitian, and the seven as we know is the Antichrist who will reign for a short space of seven years. . VERSE 11 “ And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.” Simple, the Antichrist was the seventh king as we studied and is not (because of his deadly wound). When Satan healed him, he became the eight. No misunderstanding about it. The 8th king is the 7th healed who will go into perdition. VERSE 12 “ And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.” We are familiar with the subject of the ten horns from chapter 13. This is still the ten-western-nation confederacy and their presidents or leaders, which

are referred to here as kings. They have no kingdoms hence the nations are not empires but received power to reign as kings for a short time. VERSE 13 “ These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.” The ten western nation confederacy will become so unified that everything they possess is taken control of by the Antichrist. VERSE 14 “ These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” We shall study the fulfillment of this verse in chapter 19, verse 11 to 16. Those that come with the Lord are the born-again Christians who are the called and chosen as shown in Matthew chapter 22 verse 14. VERSE 15 “ And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues” This speaks of universal control of the world church as we studied in verse 1. However, in the light of what we have learnt so far, this verse is selfexplanatory. VERSE 16. “ And 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.” The members of the confederacy under the leadership of the Antichrist shall turn against the Church and shall make her desolate and naked. This means that all her possessions of verse 4 will be stripped of her. The remains of her body will also be eaten and burned with fire by the Antichrist and the kings. VERSE 17 “ For God hath put in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.” God has a plan and purpose in all things. His setout plan must be carried out no matter what man does to stop it. It is in God’s plan that the Mystery Babylon will be destroyed, but she thought that gaining the favor of the Antichrist and the kings of the earth, she would operate forever. This shows that man cannot live on earth peacefully without God. It is not a surprise; God can use any body to fulfill His will. He puts in the hearts of the kings and even the Antichrist the desire to make the Mother of harlots desolate. Well, that is what God can do to them that hate Him. VERSE 18 “ And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.” Come to think of it, which city in the world today controls almost all the kings or presidents of the nations of the world? Probably you do not know that Vatican City is the only city that has ambassadors and representatives in most of the nations of the world. She is more or less a nation of its own and many kings and presidents visit Rome, paying homage to the Pope. Why do they not accord the same honour to other Church Leaders? Roman Catholic Church is the Woman, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN This chapter deals with the destruction of a great city, known as the political or commercial Babylon. As we have previously analyzed the meaning of Babylon from the spiritual point of view, this chapter will easily be understood. Let us continue with Pa S. G. Elton’s lecture on Literal Babylon – Political and Economic: “It is clear from both Revelation chapters 17 and 18 that there will be an actual city called BABYLON, which will be the headquarters of the religious kingdom controlled through the ten kings. It is also the headquarters for the Antichrist’s control over the nations, and both political and commercial system. Revelation 18 indicates that the commercial and political systems will be under the Antichrist’s totalitarian governments. The types of totalitarian systems already exist and the United Nations Organisation is the pattern of many more such systems The inhabitants of Babylon in general will be spiritists, unclean and vile in their living, in the very depths of degradation, and subject to demon possession, so that the only judgment by God will be complete destruction – verses 1-3. Babylon will be the headquarters of the demon world and the concentration of all wickedness. This proves that world condition will be controlled by demon powers after the removal of the saints and it will also result in Satan’s final effort to challenge the authority and government of God. But Babylon’s final hour has come and the system will be destroyed. God is revealing now in advance how Satan will take over the religious world and make it into his instrument to secure the submission and worship of mankind, which he has always desired. Satan will fail but we must awake as we see events move towards this final battle, as we must not take a passive attitude. God is likewise warning us of Satan’s plans to take over the complete control of both the commercial and political systems. Satan has been moving towards this objective for some years now as he has caused political unrest and chaos and the upset of many nations politically. The Antichrist’s international control in business, finance and commodities will increase as he forces governments to take all business into government controlled co-operatives. This will make it almost impossible for small and private businesses to operate. Permits will be needed to buy and sell and bribery and corruption will be rife. – Revelation 13:16, 17. The answer to these problems as these conditions develops before the rapture is for Christians to unite even in business and thus act as ONE and set up standards for honesty in business. The real major political confrontation before the rapture will not be between left and right, socialist and anti-socialist, conservative and communism, but between Christianity and Babylon. The object of the present system is to set up a human kingdom and government, governed by selfish human interests, in opposition to the principles of the Kingdom of Heaven. The spirit of the existing system is satanic and will proceed to the total nationalization of most of the political and commercial world, thus it will

control commodities, prices and supplies to all businesses and use them as political weapons. It will soon be difficult to buy or sell in honest competition with government owned monopolies. That will be the test of our faith and readiness to keep to kingdom principles. The international business world is now faced with problems for which it has no solution and leading economists have declared that thy find an entirely new evil elements in control of world economies, which they can neither explain nor control. National governments are vainly trying to control inflation and the cost of living but they do not have the answers. America will be unable to act as the locomotive to pull the rest of the world out of depression into prosperity and this will result in severe international strains and the collapse of many weak nations and democracies. We are already witnessing the economic bankruptcy of some weak nations with the resulting political chaos. Nevertheless, I believe that however bad the political and commercial system of the world may be (before the rapture) the born-again Christians will not be disturbed because God Almighty is our source. The Apostle Paul said, “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19. This simply means that Jesus is all you need to survive.” Once again, let us consider the difference between chapters 17 and 18. Chapter 17 dealt with religious Babylon called “Mystery Babylon”. The great Whore: Mother of Harlots and she was represented as a woman. While chapter 18 deals with political or commercial Babylon called ‘Babylon the great’ and is represented as a city. God used the Antichrist and the kings of the earth to destroy religious Babylon while the destruction of commercial Babylon is directly from the God of heavens and earth. The kings rejoiced at the destruction of religious Babylon while they lament at the destruction of commercial Babylon. Let us take time and study the verses carefully. VERSE 1 “ And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.” After the destruction of religious Babylon, John sees another angel who comes down probably to sound a warning of the impending judgment on commercial Babylon. The angel is so powerful that his glory lightens the whole earth. This verse also shows clearly that the Babylon of chapter 17 is different from the one we are about to discuss. VERSE 2 “ And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” The hour of judgment on the political Babylon has come as the powerful angel cries with a strong voice saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen. The reason for this judgment is not far-fetched. The inhabitants of the city have become evil-conscious and all kinds of demons found rest in them. The city herself has become a dwelling lace for unclean and hateful birds – that is, a city to be compared with Sodom and Gomorrah of old. How true is this today as we see our major cities loaded with people who revel in sin. Very soon the city that fits the description of political Babylon will emerge. May God help the world to be Christ conscious instead of sin and demon conscious. Amen! VERSE 3 “ For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.”

As we discussed in chapter 17, verse 2, the involvement of religious Babylon in idol worship is also the same with commercial Babylon. Remember, spiritual fornication means idolatry. The kings and merchants of the earth who come to this city to buy and sell have no other option but to accept her religion, which is purely idolatry. They commit all sorts of immoralities with her and through her wares become exceedingly wealthy. VERSE 4 “ And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” What a merciful God calling His people out of a cage of spiritism. “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.” – II Peter 2:9 The believers of the Tribulation Hour (Tribulation Saints) who live in this city are admonished to come out and not to partake of her sins and receive her plagues. Even today God is calling the Bible believers to come out of the midst of the devil’s crowd lest they compromise their faith. “Come out” says the LOD. The Prophet Isaiah said, “Go ye forth of Babylon, flee ye from Chaldean, with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth; say, The Lord hath redeemed His servants Jacob.” – Isaiah 48:20. VERSE 5 “ For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” The reason why the Tribulation saints are advised to come out of commercial Babylon is that her sins (spiritual fornication, etc.) have come up as a memorial before God Almighty. God who cannot bear the sight of sin is ready to pour out His wrath upon this city therefore; the saints need to be separated. VERSES 6, 7 “ Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.” Here we find the principle of sowing and reaping in full manifestation. “For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” – Galatians 6:8. Eliphaz the Temmanite said in the book of Job, “ Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.” – Job 4:8 Double of her works shall be rewarded to her as she thought that she would not see sorrow. This city does not care for the poor in her but said in her heart, “I sit a queen and am no widow”. She is only concerned about herself and under this type of political system; the rich get richer while the poor get poorer. At last her end is doom. The Apostle James has predicted the fate of commercial Babylon and those who commit fornication with her thus – “ Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.”

VERSE 8 “ Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.” There shall be no delay once the judgment on commercial Babylon begins. Her destruction shall be in one day and it shall be miserable. Jeremiah prophetically said – “A sword is upon the Chaldeans, saith the Lord, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her wise men.” - Jeremiah 50:55. VERSES 9, 10 “ 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, Standing 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.” All the kings, presidents and merchants of the earth who have been made rich through the delicacies of commercial Babylon shall behold her destruction and weep for her. The source of their riches is destroyed and sooner or later they shall be destroyed as well. No sinner shall go unpunished. VERSES 11-13 “ And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.” Commercial Babylon is destroyed. No city is as rich as she is and none can buy the goods of the merchants of the earth. No wonder the wail for her. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? – Mark 8:36, 37. I would like you to answer these questions satisfactorily. Know it today that the riches of this world will never last forever. VERSE 14 “ And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.” The lust and all the cares of the world come to an end immediately one dies. Commercial Babylon remembers no more her favourites at the time of her destruction. The writer of the book of Hebrews says, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” – Hebrews 9:27. The thing that prevents you from receiving Christ and serving Him now shall never stop you from dying, neither can it keep you out of the wrath of God. Be wise! VERSES 15-19 “ The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate” Though these verses are self-explanatory yet, I would like to make some

comments regarding the identification of the nation or city called commercial Babylon. Some commentators say that the United States presently fits the description of political and commercial Babylon because of her coastal cities. Personally, I would say that the U.S. wealth comes from the Lord because she is the major supporter of the nation Israel. God said to Abraham, “And I will bless them that bless, thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” – Genesis 12:3. I believe that the United States is also God’s arm of evangelism and as such God will surely protect her from evil. However, the nation or city that fits the description of political and commercial Babylon must presently have things that can attract all the other nations. Think of it! Geneva, Switzerland fits the description better than the United States. She houses the headquarters of the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the World Bank. In fact you will agree with me that Geneva serves as a sort of world capital. Above all, kings and presidents visit Geneva to sign treaties. Nevertheless, as the merchants weep and wail for commercial Babylon, heaven rejoices over her. VERSE 20 “ Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.” The destruction of political and commercial Babylon will make the hosts of heaven to rejoice. Why? Believers from the age of the prophets to date have been facing all kinds of persecution from the world. The saints in heaven have seriously been waiting to see the time when their blood will be avenged. They know of a truth that God will surely avenge for them because He has said so. It is written, “To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.” - Deuteronomy 32:35. Therefore, at the time the word of the Lord is fulfilled on commercial Babylon, they were commanded to rejoice and sing praises unto the Lord for He has done great things. VERSE 21 “ And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.” Jeremiah in his days spoke thus concerning the destruction of literal Babylon, “ And Jeremiah said to Seraiah, When thou comest to Babylon, and shalt see, and shalt read all these words; Then shalt thou say, O LORD, thou hast spoken against this place, to cut it off, that none shall remain in it, neither man nor beast, but that it shall be desolate for ever. And it shall be, when thou hast made an end of reading this book, that thou shalt bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates: And thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her: and they shall be weary. Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.” Commercial Babylon will be destroyed in such a way that nothing at all shall be found spared in it. Some commentators say that the stone is our Lord Jesus who will personally supervise the destruction of commercial Babylon Well, whether this is true or not, all I believe is that the destruction of political and commercial Babylon will be carried out without leaving any stone unturned. VERSES 22-24 “ And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; 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. And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.” Commercial Babylon, which was once known as an international center for commerce is now absolutely desolate. All things that make her busy are destroyed. Her drug abuse, deceit, persecution of saints and all kinds of immoralities you can think about, build a wall of remembrance before God Almighty. Her judgment is great!

CHAPTER NINETEEN This chapter deals with the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ and the heavenly army, the end of the battle of Armageddon and the final destruction of the Antichrist and the False Prophet. I call it the beginning of glorious events. Let us start the study of its 21 verses as the heavenly host sings praises to the Lord.

VERSES 1, 2 “ And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: 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.” I believe by now wee must have understood the order of the Book of Revelation, as it is arranged event by event. After the destruction of religious and commercial Babylon, John hears a great voice of multitude of people rejoicing in heaven. They are singing and praising the Lord Almighty for His power and might. We often say that “Alleluia” is a heavenly language; it is also a Hebrew language meaning “Praise the Lord”. They know that none other can deliver the world out of the hand of the great Whore except our Lord God. Therefore, they ascribe unto Him the following – Salvation, Glory, Honour and Power. Remember that religious and commercial Babylon’s judgment is based on the principles of sowing and reaping. No wonder the heavenly host recognizes the righteousness of our Great God in judging the great Whore. VERSE 3 “ And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.” Recognizing the eternity of Babylon’s doom, the heavenly host praised the Lord more. The rising up of her smoke forever and ever signifies her eternal destruction. This means that never again in the history of mankind shall man be deceived through false religion and compromise with the devil’s crowd. VERSES 4, 5 “ And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear

him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.” The heavenly hosts in its entirety rejoice and praise God for His mighty works. Heaven is excited at the preparation of the coming of the Lord to take over absolutely the control of the earth He created. The sound of the heavenly chorus is likened to the sound of many waters and mighty thundering. What a great excitement! This is heaven’s last song of victory, as the omnipotent – allpowerful God will soon reign forever and ever. Let us rejoice and be glad; let us sing – “Alleluia, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.” VERSE 7 “ Let 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.” This is the time for the long awaited event. The Church has been waiting patiently since the day of Pentecost for this glorious event. Jesus the Lamb of God paid a very high bride price for His wife – the Church. He shed His blood so as to redeem the Church. No wonder all heavens are asked to be glad and rejoice and give honour to Him. Note that since the rapture and the subsequent appearance of the church before the judgment seat of Christ in chapter 4, she has not been mentioned else where except at this point when she is to be formally married to the Lamb. Why? As we discussed in verse 2 of chapter 4, all these things take time. During the seven years of great tribulation on the planet earth, the raptured church will be facing the judgment seat of Christ (not for condemnation) after which she is made ready for the marriage. This verse also is a proof that the rapture of the saints will take place before the great tribulation. VERSE 8 “ And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” It is clear that Christ died to set the whole world free from condemnation. Since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden – Genesis 3:6, man has fallen short of the glory of God – Romans 3:23. However, God made a plan before the foundation of the world to bring man back to himself. The Bible says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” – Romans 6:23. Jesus Christ died for us - “ But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8. However this does not make salvation to the automatic – “ But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” – John 1:12. Those who believe (the Church) on the name of the Lord are clothed in the righteousness of Christ. This is the garment of salvation spoken of by the Prophet Isaiah – “ I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” – Isaiah 61:10. The Apostle Paul speaking about our righteousness in Christ said, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” – II Corinthians 5:21. The possession and maintenance of this righteousness or garment based on Christ’s work makes one a true Christian and rapturable. Nevertheless, during the wedding preparation in heaven, believers are expected to put on their own righteousness or rewards, which they received after their appearance before the judgment seat of Christ. Remember, in our study of the judgment seat of Christ, we learnt that believers’ works on earth would be tested

by fire. “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.” – II Corinthians 5:10. Again it is written, “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.” – I Corinthians 3:13-15. You see, it is very important for us to work for the expansion of the kingdom of our God, according to our Godgiven abilities while we still have time to do so. VERSE 9 “ And 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.” This is in order; even now weddings are usually accompanied by receptions. The Lamb’s is not an exception, but the question is, who are the invitees? Having understood clearly that the bride is the spotless raptured church, there is no difficulty knowing those who will attend the marriage supper. The guests are the saved saints of all ages. Those who trusted and died in the Lord - from pre-flood to the day of Pentecost and the Tribulation Saints. They are blessed because of the opportunity granted to them to dine with the Lord in this reception. John the Baptist spoke about the joy of even hearing the bridegroom speak, when he said, “He that hath the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth Him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.” – John 3:29. I do not quite agree that the Lamb’s marriage supper will be in heaven considering the days of resurrection as recorded in the book of Daniel. I believe that the marriage supper follows immediately after the Lamb’s immediate assignments on planet earth. There is no doubt the pre-Pentecostal Saints are in heaven together with the Tribulation Saints. Revisit our study of hell and hell fire in chapter 1, verse 18. Note also that not all saints will be called to attend the marriage supper. The text says, “Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.” This means that there are some saints who may not be opportune to attend the marriage supper. The Lord’s immediate assignment on His return to planet earth would be the fighting of the Battle of Armageddon and the clearing of the earth. This must take place before His one thousand-year reign, which some commentators call the Lord’s honeymoon. At this point, I would like us to do a little study on the days of resurrection of saints because their presence at the Lamb’s supper is vital. The days of resurrection was revealed to Daniel in this manner – “ And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.” – Daniel 12:7-13. Commenting on verse 7, Adam Clarke says, “In prophetic language a time

signifies a year; and a prophetic year has a year for each day. Three years and a half (a day standing for a year, as in Daniel 9:24) will amount to one thousand two hundred and sixty years, if we reckon thirty days to each month, as the Jews do.” It is an established fact that the last half of the tribulation hour will consist of 1260 days or three and half years. At the end of the tribulation hour the Lord Jesus shall be revealed with His saints upon mount olive. This is the close of 1260 days or a time, times and an half or 42 months. Thirty days later both the Old Testament and the tribulation saints shall be resurrected. This is the close of 1290 days. Forty-five days after their resurrection, they shall be invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. This is the close of 1335 days. Remember there is no mention of the pre-flood saints before the judgment seat of Christ. VERSE 10 “ And 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.” This verse clearly points out the weakness that is in man. It is also a proof that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” – II Timothy 3:16. If there is any portion that John could have extracted from this book, it is this verse and chapter 22, verses 8, 9. John has done a foolish thing by falling down to worship a created being. On the other hand, the angel knows how grievous it is for him to accept the worship therefore, as John bows to worship him, he cries out – see thou do it not! He makes John to recognize him as his fellow servant and commands him to worship God. Angels are ministering spirits, they are not supposed to be worshipped or revered. Beware therefore of some of these churches that revere or worship angels. Both angels Michael and Gabriel, including angel Uria of these movements are not to be reverence at all; they are the angels of the devil. Worship the Lord only!

VERSE 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.” This is the second time John is seeing the door of heaven opened. The first was in chapter 4, verse 1, when heaven was opened to receive the raptured church. Now heaven is again opened for Christ and His saints to come to the earth. This event is also called the Revelation of Christ. As heaven opened, John sees a white horse and He that sits on him is called Faithful and True. This is none other person but our Lord Jesus Christ. Remember also that in chapter 3, verse 14, Faithful and True were among the attributes used to identify our Lord Jesus as the sender of the message to the Laodicean Church. Even the Antichrist knows that at the end, the Lord will come on a white horse; that is why he imitate Him in chapter 6, verse 2, so as to deceive the whole world. The Lord is righteous and in righteousness He will fight the Battle of Armageddon. VERSE 12 “ His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.” In chapter 2, verse 18 we discovered that Jesus, the Son of God is described as One whose eyes were like unto a flame of fire. This verses another proof that

the rider of the white horse in verse 11 is our glorified Jesus Christ. As King of kings (verse 16), He has many crowns of royalty on His head. He also has a name that is not known to any man yet. I believe that his name will be made known to us when we see Him face to face. VERSE 13 “ And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.” The Lord’s outfit pictures the type of judgment He is to pass upon the inhabitants of planet earth – the highest blood shed in the history of mankind. The Prophet Isaiah spoke about this event and said, “ Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? 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.” This is a picture of millions who will die in the conflict of Armageddon. Interestingly also, John calls the name of Him that wears the blood stained vesture, the Word of God. This clearly shows that this Judge is none other but our Lord Jesus Christ. VERSE 14 “ And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. It is interesting to know that the saints of verse 8 who were arrayed in fine linen, white and clean will accompany the Lord to the earth. They will also come on white horses for the Battle of Armageddon. Enoch the seventh person from Adam prophesied of this saying, “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” – Jude 1:14, 15. The saints are those raptured in chapter 4, verse 1. They did not see the great tribulation and are therefore privileged to stand with Christ as He passes such a judgment upon earth dwellers. VERSE 15 “ And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” The weapon with which Christ destroys the nations that gather against Him and His saints in the conflict of ages is a sharp sword that goes out of His mouth. This sharp sword is not a physical sword but rather the Word of God. The word of the Lord always smites men in their consciences and lives. No wonder Jesus said in the gospel according to St. John chapter 12, verse 48 – “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” This is the time when the word of the Lord will be fulfilled. Note that it is the word of His mouth that does the great work at Armageddon. The saints fight no body but observe as the Lord tread the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. Of a truth “the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12

VERSE 16 “ And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS,

AND LORD OF LORDS.” Hallelujah! Every other power or kingdom is destroyed and our great Lord is now the King of kings and Lord of all lords. No one can overthrow His kingdom. “ And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.” Christ is the KING of this kingdom, which shall stand forever. VERSES 17, 18 “ And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great” Remember the Lord said in Matthew 24:28, “For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.” This is as a result of the conflict at Armageddon. Tens of thousands will gather together to make war with the Lord and His saints. However, not even one person will survive. An angel stands at the center of heaven (in the sun) and invites all the fowls or vultures of heaven to gather together for the feast or supper of the great God. What is the feast all about? Do not forget that thousands or millions of people have been slain and their corpses lay waste on earth. They need to be cleared so that the Lord will have a clean environment to enjoy His honeymoon (the 1000 years reign on earth). As part of the environmental sanitation exercise, the vultures are invited to eat the flesh of kings, captains, mighty men, horses and them that sit on them, bondmen or free and both small and great. What a great feast! I pray that this will never be your experience as I urge you by the Spirit of God to take a positive decision even today. Note that these people that will be eaten by vultures are not strangers. They are human beings who reject Christ in His deity. VERSE 19 “ And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army” The kings of the earth and army officers are deceived as they follow the Antichrist to make war with the Lord Jesus and His saints. It sounds unfortunate. What is in their mind – to win the battle? Well, they will not cut off the expectations of the vultures either. VERSES 20, 21 “ And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.” As the rest will be slain by the Word of God, the two world dictators (the Antichrist and the False Prophet) are captured alive. What a shameful arrest for one who has been posing as God and the other promoting him. Both of them are cast alive into the lake of fire (hell fire) burning with brimstone. There they will be forever and ever. Their master Satan will join them after one thousand years (Revelation chapter 20, verse 10). The battle is ended, none escaped alive. What a nice conclusion! Great is the Lord and great is His faithfulness

CHAPTER TWENTY

These remaining chapters are the continuity of what I call glorious events, which started in chapter 19. In this chapter particularly, we will study the imprisonment of the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil and Satan; the glorious and peaceful Millennial reign of our Lord Jesus Christ and His saints; the final destruction of Satan; the Great White Throne judgment and subsequently, the destruction of all God-haters and Christ rejecters. Note that their destruction is not a one-time annihilation, but rather, an everlasting punishment in the lake of fire. I would not like us to waste our time debating whether there is hell fire, a 1,000-year literal reign of Christ on earth or not. God has said it and whether you believe it or not it is settled. God’s word is yea and Amen – II Corinthians 1:20. Oh! How happy I was when I learnt from God’s word that I would reign with Christ on earth for a literal one thousand years. Hallelujah! This is the hope of all believers, after which we will live forever and ever. Let us start the study of these glorious events carefully. VERSE 1 “ And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.” Note that this angel comes down from heaven while Christ and His saints are here on earth. This event happens immediately after the Battle of Armageddon. I do not believe very much that this angel is Christ as said by some commentators just because of his possession of the key of the bottomless pit. Christ actually has the keys of hell and of death according to chapter 1:18, but He must have given the key of the bottomless pit to an angel such as archangel Michael for this onetime assignment. John sees also in the hand of the angel a great chain with which Satan would be bound in the next two verses. This is also a literal chain and nothing else. VERSES 2, 3 “ And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and

Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.” Wait a minute! Look at the nasty and unpleasant names the evil one bears. Be careful of what you call your siblings and all that belongs to you. Names have side effects on those who bear them. Satan is called the evil one because all his names portray his evil acts. For instance, dragon means a terrible creature like a huge winged snake with scales and claws, which often breathe out fire. It is a wicked monster. Old serpent is a term, which portrays the deceiving snake, which made man to lose his glory in the Garden of Eden. Devil means adversary. It is written, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil,” – I Peter 5:8. Finally but not the least of his names, Satan simply means slanderer and father of all liars. The angel opens the bottomless pit, binds and casts Satan in it for one thousand years. A seal is also set upon him for a thousand years. Please note that this bottomless pit is not hell fire or lake of fire where the two world dictators (the Antichrist and the False Prophet) are. The bottomless pit is a place where the devil will undergo a temporary punishment as his freedom is denied him for a millennium. This is not the Roman Catholic Purgatory either. The Devil will be released after the millennium for a little season. After his release, he will stubbornly lead a rebellion against God and then finally he will end up in his eternal destination – HELL FIRE – verse 10. VERSE 4 “ And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and 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.” Please note that these people are not to be judged for victims do not sit on thrones. The scene is not the judgment seat of Christ either. Remember we studied that in chapter 4, immediately after the rapture. Who then are these, and why are they seated on the thrones? These are believers of all ages; from the time of Adam to the last tribulation martyr. They are members of the first resurrection. They sit on thrones to reign with Christ and judge the world and fallen angels. We are made Kings and Priests by Jesus Christ unto God – chapter 1:6. So, no doubt kings sit on thrones. Apostle Paul knew this when he said, “Know ye not that we shall judge angels? – I Corinthians 6:3. VERSE 5 “ But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.” The Old Testament saints who died were released from hell when Jesus went there and set the captive free. Members of the Church (New Testament Saints) who slept in the Lord would God bring back to life when Christ shall appear to rapture the Church – I Thessalonians 4:16. Now, all tribulation martyrs – those who refuse the mark of the Antichrist and the worship of his image are back to life again. They will live and reign with Christ for 1,000 years. The rest who do not come back to life will be in hell until the one thousand year reign is over. This is the first resurrection and the most important. VERSE 6 “ Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”

No wicked or unrighteous person shall reign with Christ during His millennial reign. Those who are alive shall be ruled with the rod of iron – chapter 1:15, and the dead ones shall remain in their graves. They shall be raised to face the Great White Throne Judgment in verses 11 to 15. What is the second death? This is the destruction or punishment of all sinners in the lake of fire burning with brimstone. It is evident therefore that those who reign with Christ during the millennium shall have no part in the lake of fire. Second death has no power over the members of the first resurrection. VERSES 7-9 “ And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 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. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.” Satan is released for a little season after the millennium to deceive the nations, which are in the four quarters of the earth. “Why should this be after such a peaceful time?” some people ask. It is not a surprise that there are people who survive the tribulation and they enter the millennium with their mortal bodies. They are subject to the law of nature as regards procreation, while those seated on thrones in verse 4, have resurrected bodies and do not bear children. I call the children that these tribulation survivors bear “Millennium children”. They have right to the fee will of man. Some of them worshipped Christ because there is no alternative and therefore remain submissive to Christ. The term “four quarters of the earth” pictures the extent Satan goes into deceiving the world internationally. This does not mean that the world is square. In fact the earth is in a circle or round shape – “It is He (God) that sitteth upon the circle of the earth,” – Isaiah 40:22. The term is used as a biblical expression of the four cardinal points of north, east, west and south. As Satan is released, the Millennium children and their parents are exposed to temptations and trials just like any of us today. This enables them to exercise their will in choosing who to follow, whether Christ or Satan. Unfortunately, in spite of seeing and living with Christ for one thousand years, people still follow Satan. Satan’s converts are as the sand of the sea and are referred to as Gog and Magog. This is not the same Gog and Magog of Ezekiel 38 and 39, which identify with Russia. They are called God and Magog because of their rebellious character. Satan takes his followers against the camp of the saints and the beloved city – New Jerusalem. No time for war again. God releases supernatural fire from heaven to consume the company on the spot. Please note that this event is not war. Well, the next verse determines the fate of the devil. VERSE 10 “ And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Hallelujah! Glory, honour, power and majesty be unto our God. Our God is mighty and worthy to be praised 2X. Let us worship Him 2X, our God is mighty and worthy to be praised. It is enough for the devil. Finally, he is cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where he is tormented day and night forever and ever. Life eternal is as real as everlasting punishment and Satan knows it very well. VERSE 11 “ And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.”

This is a different throne from the ones we have been coming across in our study. It is set out for the judgment of the wicked – a great judgment indeed. The term “Great White Throne” typifies the kind of judgment that is to be executed from it. Our Lord is righteous and in righteousness will He judge the world. Again, the principle of sowing and reaping will be demonstrated on this throne. Here, John sees our glorified Lord Jesus Christ as He sits on the Great White Throne ready to judge the wicked. So many people have been thinking that God the Father will sit on the Great White Throne and judge the wicked. No! That thought is not right. The words of our Lord in the Gospel of John must be fulfilled. Jesus said, “ For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.” – John 5:22, 27 Personally I believe that though the Lord sits on the Great White Throne, He will not interrogate any body because there will be no time for questions and answers. The word of God is plain and simple on this issue. The Bible says, “ The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” – John 3:35, 36. Again, “ Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12. Apostle Paul said, “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” – Romans 6:13. You cannot yield your members as instruments of righteousness unto God the Father, except you understand – “That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.” Then Jesus said, “ Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” – John 5:23, 24. Having heard all these and a lot of life-giving words spoken by the Lord, the writer of the book of Hebrews asked: “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;” – Hebrews 2:3. Therefore there is no need for interrogation on that day. The position you are now with Christ determines where you will spend you eternity. No wonder Jesus said, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” – John 12:48 (Emphasis mine). So, “Now is the accepted time: behold, now is the day of salvation.” – II Corinthians 6:2. The glory of the Lord will brighten everywhere that the earth and heaven (both corrupted) will find it impossible to stay on that great day. They will pass away for new earth and heaven. The second resurrection and death take place in the following four verses. VERSES 12 - 15 “ And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead, which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead, which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” These verses should please be taken literally for easy understanding. Every unbeliever whether great or small, bond or free, must be resurrected and stand before God on that last day. It is not a surprise to know that God keeps record of every man’s work. He

records even the number of times you sinned against Him so long as you reject His only begotten Son Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. God told Moses the number of times the children of Israel tempted Him in the wilderness. If He did it that time He is able to do even greater now. When Moses asked the Lord to forgive the Israelites of their sins in the wilderness, He replied and said, “ But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD. Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it:” No body can deny the presence of the glory of the Lord and the manifestation of His power on earth. We see miracles every day of our lives. If you will not believe God for what He is, why not believe Him for what He has done – His handiwork. God made the heavens and earth, and you see them and partake of the glory every day. You eat and defecate – that is a miracle; you sleep in the night and wake up in the morning – that is a miracle; you breathe air without seeing it – that is a miracle; you drink water and other liquid and urinate – that is a miracle; your height and weight now is not how you were born – your growth is a miracle. What type of miracle again do you want to see before you believe that God is a God of miracles? The Psalmist said, “ The heaven declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handywork.” – Psalm 19:1. You see, on that day there is no excuse one can give to God for not obeying Him. God keeps two kinds of records. One is recorded in a book called the book of life or the record of the righteous. Whosoever name is written in this book has eternal life. The other record is found in the “books” or the record of the unrighteous. In these book are found all kinds of iniquities committed by Godhaters and Christ-rejecters such as- “Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” – Galatians 5:19-21. Revelation 21:8 declares – “ But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Participants of the second resurrection would be judged by the word of God. Verse 13 declares the entirety of this resurrection. No sinner will be left unjudged and go unpunished. Listen to this, “The sea vomits all that is swallowed, death or grave (where the bodies of all sinners are) discharges them and hell or hades releases the souls and spirits of all its captives. All will be judged according to their works on earth.” I believe that by now you know the difference between hell and lake of fire. If not, please revisit our study on chapter 1, verse 18. Death and hell are cast into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. With them are all whose names are not found in the book of life. THIS IS THE SECOND DEATH!

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

Remember that we started this glorious journey from chapter 19 and it will continue in chapter 22. In this chapter, we will study the final state of both believers and unbelievers – v 8; the view of the new heaven, new earth and the holy city – New Jerusalem coming down from God. All the events are pleasing so, let us start the study of its 27 verses.

VERSE 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. It is expedient there be a new heaven and a new earth because in chapter 20, verse 11; the first heaven and earth disappeared from the Great White Throne. Our Lord Jesus spoke of this when He said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall never pass away.” – Matthew 24:35. The Prophet Isaiah prophesied about the new heaven and new earth saying, “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” – Isaiah 65:17. However, Apostle Peter had this confidence by saying, “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” – II Peter 3:13. In the new earth, there is no sea, river, pond or ocean probably because the inhabitants thirst no more – chapter 7:16. Jesus satisfies our thirst! He can satisfy yours also. He said, “If any man thirst let him come to me, and drink” – John 7:37. VERSE 2 “ And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” It is also expedient to have a new holy city in a new earth under a new heaven. What a beautiful post-millennial creation! Is this scene not amazing? Wait! Think of it. A new city comes out of heaven from God. The New Jerusalem will replace the old one that passed away with the earth. Some commentators say that this is the place the Lord is preparing for us when He said, “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.” – John 14:2, 3. The beauty of the New Jerusalem is likened to a bride adorned for her husband. Please note that the city is not the bride as taught by some people but rather, it is likened to her because of its beauty. VERSE 3 “ And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God” When God is pleased with a people, He expresses His love limitlessly. God desires absolute obedience from His children and when this is perfected, He gets excited. God promised the children of Israel His presence only if they obey Him and remain holy, as He is holy. “ And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.” – Leviticus 26:11, 12.

God dwells in His tabernacle and before this time His tabernacle was in heaven. The earth is now as God purposed before the devil polluted it. The redeemed are in their glorified bodies while the saved millennium children are in human bodies but sanctified. As the celestial city – the New Jerusalem comes down or is created; God changes His position and comes down to dwell in the midst of His people. Hallelujah! The tabernacle of God is now with men and all the people are His. Glory be to God! VERSE 4 “ And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” “Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” – II Corinthians 5:17. There is now no cause for weeping. The book of Jeremiah chapter 31, verse 16 declares, “Thus saith the LORD; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears.” This is a joyous moment for all believers from all dispensations and ages. Death, as the last enemy to be destroyed – I Corinthians 15:26; was fulfilled in Revelation chapter 20, verse 14, when death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. Therefore all believers can loudly shout, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory.” – I Corinthians 15:55. Because of the elimination of death, there is neither sorrow nor crying; neither is there any pain, for all these are old things and they have passed away. VERSE 5 “ And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” There is no doubt about this one and important fact. Jesus, as we learnt in chapter 20, verse 11, is the one who sits on the throne. He speaks to us in confidence and in sincerity that the New Heaven, Earth and Jerusalem are made by Him. What a faithful saying indeed! The devil cannot have any opportunity to destroy God’s creation again. Amen, “all things were created by Him and for Him.” – Colossians 1:16. VERSE 6 “ And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” This is the second time Christ is saying, “It is done”. The first was after the pouring out of the seventh vial judgment in Revelation chapter 16, verse 17 – a voice (Christ’s) came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, “It is done”. That marks the end of the 21 judgments. This time, it marks the end of this sinful world and the beginning of a righteous world. Creation started in Christ with righteousness and that is how God wants it to remain. “For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell.” – Colossians 1:19. But somehow, sin entered into the world and Satan took control because God cannot strive with sinful man. Nevertheless the word of God teaches us that one day God’s original plan in Christ must be fulfilled. Therefore when Satan is thrown into the lake of fire, sin ceases, and as the old heaven and earth pass away through fervent heat – II Peter 3:12; Christ says, “It is done.” All creation is ended in righteousness, and a sinless God purposed world ensues. As we have been aware, Jesus satisfies the thirst of all that are saved. He said to the Samaritan woman, “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” – John 4:14. Oh, what a freedom of life and satisfaction that awaits all Christ’s lovers and followers.

VERSE 7 “ He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” Our lengthy discussion of the subject “overcomer and overcometh” in the early chapters makes this verse self –explanatory. VERSE 8 “ But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Can you see the extent of God’s righteousness? Who is able to query Him if He does not give account of those in the lake of fire? God in His infinite wisdom, once again outlines the characters of those who cannot inherit His kingdom. This verse serves also as a guideline to all those who want to go to hall fire. It is very simple; just try as much as you can to be fearful, unbelieving, abominable, murderous, lying, etc. Then you are sure to take part in the second death. VERSES 9- 14 “ And 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. And 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, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” This is another point where some people including ministers of the gospel get confused. John is carried away in the spirit by one of the seven angels who administered one of the seven vial judgments to a great and high mountain where he shows him the great city or holy Jerusalem, which descends from heaven. Now get it clearer; the angel firstly said to John “come here, and I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” Please do not be confused, the New or Holy Jerusalem is likened to the Lamb’s wife in terms of holiness and beauty. The inhabitants determine a city’s reputation. Therefore when you say that Maiduguri in Nigeria is a peaceful city; you are referring to those who dwell in Maiduguri that they are peaceful. When you say that the New Jerusalem is holy and beautiful, you are referring to the Lamb’s wife who dwells in the literal city. May I therefore say that verse 9 requires a figurative interpretation for us to understand it properly? What John sees from the great and high mountain is the Lamb’s wife – The Church in a literal city – Holy Jerusalem. Verses 11 through 14 are taken literally even though some people had interpreted it figuratively. The literal New or Holy Jerusalem is covered by the glory of God because God dwells in it. The city walls remind us of God’s protection, and is also necessary because not every body will dwell or enter the city – Revelation 22:14. It has twelve gates bearing the names of the twelve tribes of Israel with an angel stationed on each gate. The Prophet Ezekiel predicted this scene when he said, “ And the gates of the city shall be after the names of the tribes of Israel: three gates northward; one gate of Reuben, one gate of Judah, one gate of Levi. And at the east side four thousand and five hundred: and three gates; and one gate of Joseph, one gate of Benjamin, one gate of Dan. And at the south side four thousand and five hundred measures: and three gates; one gate of Simeon, one gate of Issachar, one gate of Zebulun. At the west side four thousand and five hundred,

with their three gates; one gate of Gad, one gate of Asher, one gate of Naphtali. It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there.” The city also has twelve foundations and they bear the names of Christ’s twelve apostles. This interpretation is from a literal point of view, which to my own opinion is the correct one. VERSES 15 - 17 “ And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.” In order to satisfy our desire, God allows the angel who conducts John’s excursion to measure the city so that we will know the size of our new home. Interestingly, the city is in a square shape. The width, length and height are equal. As the angel measures it, he discovers that it has a dimension of twelve thousand furlongs on each side. We discovered in chapter 14, verse 20 that a furlong is equivalent to 1/8 of a mile. Based on the same calculation therefore, 12,000 furlongs will give us 1,500 miles. This means that the width, length of the New City is 1,500 miles respectively. The height of the wall is 144 cubits, which is equivalent to 216 feet. A cubit is 18 inches. VERSE 18 “ And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.” Some commentators said that the wall of jasper is the Lord Jesus while the pure gold typifies the glory of God. Well, all I know is that the celestial city is made of pure gold. No wonder thieves will not inherit the kingdom of God. VERSES 19 - 21 “ And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.” Praise the Lord! Imagine how beautiful the city is. All these precious stones are used to beautify the home of all believers and finally, verse 21 informs us that the street is made up of pure gold like transparent glass. How rewarding it is to be a believer! Indeed, “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 Corinthians 2:9. VERSES 22 - 26 “ And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 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. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.” The absence of a temple in the New Jerusalem signifies the ever presence of the Most High God among His people. The brightness of the glory of the Lord expels

darkness and as a result night is eliminated forever. There is no need of the sun or moon. Isaiah 60:19 declares: “The 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.” Those who were saved during the millennium enter the eternal state with their bodies, they are not allowed to live in the New Jerusalem but rather they are the “nations” of verses 24 and 25. Their kings bring their glory and honour into the holy Jerusalem. Since there is no night, there is no need for closing and locking of the city gates. Besides, there is no thief neither is there war nor rumors of war. VERSE 27 “ And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.” Once again God is sounding a warning against iniquity. No sinner shall enter into the New Jerusalem for it is holy. Apostle Peter said, “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” – II Peter 3:13. Whosoever name is not written in the book of life shall never have eternal life but shall spend eternity in the lake of fire.

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO This is the closing chapter of the book of Revelation. It continues with the glorious scene started from chapter 19. Our Lord Jesus reaffirms the fact that He is coming quickly and that no sinner (no matter how small you may think the sin is) will have access to the celestial city. All workers of iniquity must have their part in the lake of fire. As we come to the end of the book, you better consider your life or relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. I call this chapter “a valley of decision”. “Choose you this day whom you will serve” – Joshua 24:15.

VERSE 1 “ And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. Hallelujah! What shall we say to these things? Even drinking water is purified for our consumption. No need of swan spring water that is meant for the affluence. We drink directly from the throne of God and of the Lamb. I can now understand why the Bible says that “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 Corinthians 2:9. VERSE 2 “ In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” Verses 1 and 2 prove that in our glorified bodies we will still eat and drink. You may question the possibility but I tell you if Jesus ate in His glorified body, we will also eat. Jesus appeared to His disciples in His glorified body and said unto them: “Have ye here any meat? And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honey comb. And He took it, and did eat before them.” – Luke 24:41-43. The love of God has no reservation whatsoever for those who love Him. Remember when Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden tree, they were sent out of the garden of Eden, and God placed at the east of the garden cherubims, and a flaming sword, which turned everyway, to keep the way of the tree of life – Genesis 3:2224. Since then, no body has had access to this tree except now. I believe that the fruits of this tree will go a long way in promoting our eternal living (we who live in the holy city) just as the leaves contain health for the nations of Revelation 21, verses 24 and 26. Since the author of sickness (Satan) is destroyed forever and ever, there is no need for healing; therefore the correct interpretation should be “health” and not “healing”. This means that those who enter the eternal state with their body eat the leaves of the tree for the nourishment of their bodies. VERSES 3, 4 “ And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him. And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.” The curse upon the planet earth, which originated from the Garden of Eden, is terminated forever. Zechariah chapter 14, verse 11 states, “ And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.” Hosea, predicting about the state of affairs in the New Jerusalem said, “And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely”. Oh! No more curse indeed! “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.” – Isaiah 65:25. What a peaceful state we shall find ourselves in! We shall be with the Lord and His name will be lovingly inscribed on our foreheads. What a beautiful seal! The Apostle John foresaw this scene and said, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” – I John 3:2. Amen! VERSE 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. The glory of the Lord is sufficient to brighten everywhere, therefore no need of natural or artificial lighting. VERSE 6 “ And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.” In chapter one, verse one we learnt that the word “shortly” in the original means “rapidity of action once it started”. The rapidity of actions or events today tells us that the end is at hand. This is why our Lord God sends His angel to show us the things, which our future holds. This is the significance of the book of Revelation. VERSE 7 “ Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.” This verse speaks of speedy occurrence of events in rapid succession without time consideration. In other words, the occurrences of events today prove that our Lord Jesus Christ can appear at any moment from now. Blessed or happy is he who keeps the things written in this book (of Revelation) though by extension some people regard the “book” as the whole Bible. Whichever one, after all the book of Revelation is still part of the Bible. The reason why whosoever keeps the sayings of this book is blessed is because, having read and understood the sayings, you get yourself prepared for the rapture. VERSES 8, 9 “ And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.” This is another proof of man’s weakness in the flesh. John was about to worship an angel in chapter 19, verse 10, but was rebuked by the angel. Now he tries it again out of excitement. This proves that the Bible was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God.” – II Timothy 3:16. Otherwise, John would have excluded this text from the book of Revelation because people would laugh at him for this foolish act. Look at the Apostle Peter who was with the Lord from the beginning of His ministry, and beheld all the miracles He did, yet he denied Him three times – John 18:17, 25-27. We must rely on the grace of God without which we can do nothing. However, this angel knows the implication of receiving brother John’s worship, that is why he quickly shouted, “do not do that, I am your fellow servant!” and he commanded John to worship God. Worship the Lord only! Do not worship or revere angels or images of any kind. WORSHIP THE LORD! VERSES 10, 11 “ And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” We are in the later days therefore there is an urgent need for prophecy expositions. In the book of Daniel chapter 12, verse 4, Daniel was told to seal the revelation God showed him. “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” The day of the Lord is at hand, knowledge is rapidly increasing, people want to know what the end looks like; John, the angel said:

“seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book” so as to satisfy the world’s desire for knowledge. Through this book, you have understood what the future holds. Now the ball is in your court, decide whether to change from being unjust to just or remain unjust still. VERSES 12 - 14 “ And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. We understood from chapter 4 that immediately after the rapture of the church, the believers shall appear before the judgment seat of Christ to receive their reward according to the things they have done in their bodies. I would like you to revise chapters 4 and 5. God is all in all! Bear in mind that the devil is stronger than any human being who is without Christ. One cannot keep God’s commandments without Christ in him. It is written, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” – Romans 10:4. This simply means that in Christ is all commandments fulfilled. Believing on the merits of the shed blood of Christ gets you saved. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” – Titus 3:5. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” – Ephesians 2:8, 9. The correct translation of this text is supposed to read thus – “Blessed are they that believe on the Son of God (or washed by the blood of the Lamb), that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city”. VERSE 15 “ For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” This is the same group of people we found in chapter 21, verse 8 who had their part in the lake of fire. The only strange name is the “dogs”, which is mentioned here. Please note that this term is the same as “abominable or abomination”. They are in the lake of fire, which is without the city and the nations. VERSE 16 “ I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” I pray the message contained in the book of Revelation will be properly interpreted and understood by the Church of Christ today. The Lord throws more light on His personality. He says that He is the “Root and Offspring of David, and the Bright and Morning Star”. He confirms the fulfillment of the prophecy given by Isaiah the prophet concerning Him as the Root of David. – “ And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.” – Isaiah 11:1, 10. Note that Jesse was the father of David, and Christ as the root, becomes the Lord (who is more than a father) of David. That was why David calls Him “LORD” in the book of Psalm 110:1 – “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” Jesus said to the Pharisees: “How then doth David in spirit call him Lord (CHRIST), saying, The LORD (JEHOVAH) said unto my Lord (CHRIST), Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?” – Matthew 22:43, 44. The sender of the angel who testifies these

things says, “I AM THE ROOT OF DAVID”. Spiritually, Jesus is the Root of David but physically (i.e. in the flesh), He is the seed or Offspring of David. Listen to what the people in Bible days said about Jesus: “Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? – John 7:42. Apostle Paul confirms this when he said, “Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;” Finally in our text, the sender of the revelational message says, “I AM THE OFFSPRING OF DAVID”. That is why Jesus who is the Son of God can also be called the Son of man. The glory of the Lord expels all manner of darkness, and even natural and artificial lightings. In the New Jerusalem there is no need of light owing to the brightness of His glory. Apostle Peter in II Peter chapter 1, verse 19, calls Him the day Star. Jesus is the BRIGHT AND MORNING STAR INDEED. VERSE 17 “ And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” See how Christ loves us! Accepting this invitation is a personal decision, which you alone can make. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” VERSES 18, 19 “ For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” This is a very serious portion in the book of Revelation, and it should be taken seriously. When God is serious about a thing, you better be serious too. It is written in the book of Numbers 23:19, “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” Be careful the way you handle the things written this Book – THE BIBLE. VERSE 20 “ He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The closing message to the world today is – SURELY JESUS IS COMING QUICKLY AND WE SAY, AMEN. EVEN SO, COME LORD JESUS. Can you be bold enough to say with me Amen, even so, come Lord Jesus? If not, please get yourself ready for Him NOW; tomorrow may be too late. VERSE 21 “ The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” This is the end of the message to the body of Christ and to the entire universe. May God’s Riches At Christ’s Expenses (GRACE) be with you all. Amen and Amen!

SUMMARY We have successfully completed a study of the book that reveals God’s plan for mankind – The Book of Revelation. This book is the climax and fulfillment of all biblical prophesies. It is divided into three parts – The past, chapter 1; The present, chapters 2 and 3 and The future, chapters 4 – 22. This is found in Revelation chapter 1:19, “Write the things which thou has seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.” The method of interpretation I adopted is known as “The Futuristic Interpretation”. In the book of Genesis, the Bible says, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” – Genesis 1: 26, 27. It is therefore certain that God created man and woman in His perfect image. Unfortunately there are those who believe that their ancestors were monkeys and other apes and in a gradual development they became human beings. If you are among this group of people, I urge you in love by the Spirit of the Lord to read that portion of Genesis again so as to understand the message that is coming forth. I thank God I am created in His precious image and likeness. However, man disappointed God in the Garden of Eden. God in His infinite love put man in the Garden of Eden and said unto him, “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” – Genesis 2:16, 17. Now, Lucifer the fallen angel called Satan the devil through the serpent tempted man through his wife – the woman; both of them fell woefully. They did eat the fruit God commanded them not to eat – Genesis 3:1-6, “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” Did you see how man disobeyed God? As a result, man was driven out of the Garden of Eden. The man who supposed to live eternally like his Creator died spiritually. That was the point when sin, sickness, poverty and all sorts of evil you can think of started ruling over man. Nevertheless, when God was passing His righteous judgment over Adam, Eve and the serpent (Lucifer or Satan), He said to the serpent, “And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” – Genesis 3:14, 15. This is the first prophecy concerning our Lord Jesus Christ (the Seed of the woman who bruised Satan’s head on the cross of Calvary). Since the fall of man in the garden, man has been under the control of Satan. No wonder the Bible says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory

of God” – Romans 3:23. Man came short of the glory of God speaks of the departure of God’s glory from man. Under this condition God still loves man. He still wants man to inherit His kingdom. In fact, He made a plan for that before the foundation of the world. Oh! God is omniscient! I Peter chapter 1, verse 20 declares, “Who (Jesus) verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was made manifest in these last times for you.” Apostle Paul wrote and said, “But God commendeth His love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8. Jesus is the Seed of the woman – Luke 2:7, “ And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” Jesus came to deliver us from the bondage of Satan so as to inherit the kingdom of God. “ But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” - I Peter 2:9. He suffered for mankind. He knew no sin yet He died as a sinner that we might be made right with God. He was accused and scourged and finally crucified – John 19:1-18. He was buried – Luke 23:50-56, and on the third day God raised Him up from the dead – Luke 24:1-9. Apostle Paul said, “For He (God) hath made Him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might e made the righteousness of God in Him” – II Corinthians 5:21. It is written, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” – Galatians 3:13. Apostle Peter said, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being up to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.” – I Peter 3:18. All these chapters and others prove that Jesus died for mankind. The Church is the body of Christ made u of those who trust in the shed blood of Jesus. They can be called the redeemed or the bride of the Lamb. The book of Revelation is given to us so that the Church will not be confused of what her future holds. Revelation chapters 2 and 3 reveal the position of the Church today and Christ’s admonition. God has a purpose for the Church and a plan for those who reject Christ. A careful study of these chapters and a close examination of the present position of the Church of Christ show that the next event is at hand and that is the RAPTURE of the Church. Chapters 4 and 5 reveal the evacuation of the Church from this sinful world. This is going to be the next event that will literally shake the entire world. We studied that immediately after the rapture, a throne is set in heaven to judge the works of the believers. It is known as the Judgment Seat of Christ (Bema). The redeemed will face this throne not for condemnation but to receive rewards according to their works – II Corinthians 5:10 and I Corinthians 3: 9-16. As the redeemed are in heaven receiving their rewards, the inhabitants of the earth – those who reject Christ as their Lord and Saviour will be facing the wrath of God – The Great Tribulation. John 3:36 says, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” In chapter 5 we discovered that the Lord prepares to loose the seal that will usher in the judgment era. This event will last for seven solid years. Daniel 9:27 says, “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 sevenyear period is what is known as the “Great Tribulation Hour”. Note that the Church – the Redeemed of the Lord will not go through this hour of Great Tribulation. I do not say that the Church does not go through tribulation. Get this point very clear. The Church will not taste of the wrath of God known as the Great Tribulation. Presently the Church of Jesus Christ is passing through manifold temptations, trials, afflictions and tribulations. You can revisit the preface to

this book for more clarification. The seven-year Great Tribulation upon the planet earth will be a time of great troubles for the unbelievers and those Christians who for one sin or the other were not raptured. It started from chapter 6 through chapter 16. During this time, earth dwellers will be tortured with all kinds of plagues you can think of. Twenty-one judgments will be passed upon the inhabitants of the earth. They are seven seals; seven trumpets and seven vials or bowl judgments. Immediately the Church is raptured, a world dictator known as the Antichrist or the beast will emerge. Firstly, he will come as a man of peace – read Daniel 9:27 again and Revelation 6:2 confirms it, “ And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” After three and half years he will break the peace pack and demand that the whole world would worship his image. He will also introduce a code number 666 for commerce. Any man who does not have this number in his hand or forehead will not buy nor sell – see Revelation 13:16-18. There will also arise a world religious leader known as the false prophet who will promote the Antichrist by the means of miracles, which he is able to do by the power of Satan. Here we have a true picture of an unholy trinity – Satan, Antichrist and False Prophet. In the midst of all these, a world Church will emerge and before the end of the period be destroyed by the Antichrist according to the plans of God. This is known as Mystery Babylon or Religious Babylon – Revelation 17. Again, a literal city known as Babylon the great will rise and fall within this same period. This city will be the center for world commerce and is also known as Political or Commercial Babylon – Revelation 18. Revelation 19 is the beginning of glorious events. The bride of the Lamb (the Church) will be wedded with the bridegroom (Christ). This is the most joyous moment in the history of the Church. For the second time heaven will be opened for the raptured Church to come back to earth with our Lord Jesus Christ as King of kings of Lord of Lords. The Antichrist will deceive the Presidents, Kings, Army officers and all able bodied men and women to go to war with Christ and His saints at Armageddon. This is the Battle of Armageddon. It shall not be a battle as such because, as soon as they are gathered against the Lord and His saints; the Lord shall smite all the nations with a sharp sword (the Word of God) that goes out of His mouth. Oh! What a shameful thing as the vultures are invited to come and eat the flesh of these Presidents, Kings, Officers and great and mighty men. At the end of the Battle of Armageddon, the Antichrist and the False Prophet, which deceived the nations are captured and cast into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. They are the first to be cast into hell fire. Then comes the millennial reign of Christ with the Church. This is a literal 1,000-year reign of Christ here on earth. As Christ reigns for 1,00 years, Satan is bound with chains and locked up in the bottomless pit for 1,000 years. See Revelation 20:1,2. After the 1,000-year reign is over, Satan is loosed for a short while to tempt the millennium children. He will still deceive many and gather his followers to battle. They will compass the camp of the saints and the beloved city when, supernatural fire will come down from heaven and devour all of them. Then Satan is captured and cast into the lake of fire where the Antichrist and the False Prophet are. The next event is the setting up of the Great White Throne before which all God haters and Christ rejecters whether great or small will appear, and they will be judged according to the things written in the books and according to their works; the result being the inheritance of the lake of fire burning with brimstone. Thee all sinners will be tormented forever and ever. This is the second death – see Revelation 20: 3-15. So many people are eager to know when the eternal life promised to all believers will begin. Some say, “How can that be?” God asks, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is thee anything too hard for me.”- Jeremiah 32:27.

Revelation chapter 21, verse 1, declares, “ 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.” This shows that the present heaven and earth will one day ass away – Revelation 20:11. In verse 2 of chapter 21, John sees a city – the Holy City, New Jerusalem as it comes down of the New Heaven. From verse 15 the New or Holy Jerusalem is measured and found to be 1,500 square miles. The Church in her glorified body will live in this city with God forever and ever. The city is so beautiful; the streets are made of gold and the walls with precious stones of all kinds. In it, there is no need of natural or artificial lightings because the glory of God and the Lamb is the light thereof. Those who were saved during the great tribulation and during or after the millennium will enter this eternal state with their bodies. They will live eternally outside the holy city. They are the nations that walk in the light of the holy city. Please read Revelation 21:15-17 again. In Revelation chapter 22, our Lord Jesus Christ comforts us as we enjoy our eternal life with Him. Having seen all these goodies He prepared for us, He made an open invitation to all in verse 17 of the same chapter. No wonder the Bible says, “ The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” – II Peter 3:9. “Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.” II Thessalonians 2:16, 17. AMEN!

HOLY AND ETERNAL INVITATION “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” – Revelation 22:17. It is not by accident that you are reading this invitation now. God knows that at this time your soul will be saved from the kingdom of darkness into His marvelous light. Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28. These are the stapes you will take to accept the Lord Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour – 1. Realize you are a sinner who needs to be saved from the wrath to come. The Bible says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way” – Isaiah 53:6. 2. Realize your penalty for sin is death. There is no way a sinner can go unpunished. “For the wages of sin is death” – Romans 6:23. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” - Hebrews 9:27. 3. Confess your sins to God alone and believe that He has forgiven you according to His word. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our

sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – I John 1:9. 4. Realize that Christ paid your penalty. “But God commendeth His love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” - Romans 5:8. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16. 5. Repent, receive Him who paid your penalty. “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” – Acts 3:19. 6. Accept Christ by faith. “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” – Ephesians 2:8. 7. You must then confess Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” – Romans 10:9, 10. Once again, God is saying “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” – Isaiah 1:18. If you have decided to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour, you need to call on Him in prayer. If you cannot pray on your own, below is a sinners prayer who honestly repents. You can truly make it your own confession. Therefore pray thus – Heavenly Father, I come before your throne of grace in the name of Jesus Christ. I am sorry for my sins. I confess to you this day that I am a sinner. Forgive me according to your promise. I accept and trust in the finished work of your Son Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary. Set me free Lord, and take control of my life henceforth. Thank you for saving me. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen! Did you realize what you have just done? If so, congratulations and welcome to God’s family in Christ Jesus.

YOUR POSITION NOW

Your position now is like one planted on an immovable Rock. You are somebody! You are a child of God – John 1:12. You are more than a conqueror through Christ that loves you – Romans 8:37. You can do all things now through Christ that strengthens you – Philippians 4:13. There are things Jesus wants you know and do. First, He wants you to have assurance of you salvation. You can be sure you have eternal life because – a. You have been born again and birth is a one-time experience. You are a new creature – II Corinthians 5:17. b. You obeyed God. You did what the Bible told you to do – Romans 10:13. c. Of God’s record – I John 5:11-13 d. Of God’s promise – John 5:24 Second, He wants you to publicly confess Him as an evidence of giving Him total control of your life. Be baptized and join a Bible-practicing Church if you are a member of one. The Bible says, “They that gladly received His word were baptized: and the … Lord added to the Church daily such as should be saved.” – Acts 2:41-47. Third, Jesus wants you to grow into a strong, faithful disciple. The Bible says, “As new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” I Peter 2:2, 3. There are four absolutes to growth – a. FOOD: Spiritual food is the word of God –the Bible. You should read it, study it, memorize it, practice it, and hear it taught and preached. b. BREATHING: Spiritual breathing is prayer. Spend time every day talking to God about every thing you do; about your needs and problems; about family and friends; and tell Him how much you love Him and how grateful you are. c. EXERCISE: Spiritual exercise means helping others, witnessing, giving time and energy to God’s work, and being a living testimony to the world you live in. d. REST: Spiritual rest means worship; both public and private worship. Rest means being still and waiting on God. It means physical and spiritual renewal. Fourth, Jesus wants you to experience victory over sin in your daily life. The Bible says, “Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh world, even our faith.” – I John 5:4. The Christian life demands discipline, I must tell you this, but victory is assured because – “Greater is He that is in you, than He that is in the world.” I John 4:4. God will never allow you to be tempted above that you can bear. It is written, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” – I Corinthians 10:13. You are more powerful now and can destroy all the plans of the enemy (Satan) because, “the weapons of your warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of (Satan’s) strong holds …” - II Corinthians 10:4, 5. This is your present spiritual position. Once again CONGRATULATIONS! BIBLIOGRAPHY Catholic Encyclopedia, The New York, Robert Appleton Co., 1911 Clarke, Adam. Clarke’s Commentary, New York/Nashville: Abingdon Press, n.d. De Ligori, The Glories of Mary Durant, Will. The Story of Civilization. Caesar and Christ. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1944-1977

Elton, S. G. The Mystery Babylon Encyclopedia Americana Danbury, Connecticut: Grolier Inc. Encyclopedia Britannica. New York: Henry G. Allen Co. Frazer, J. G. The Golden Bough. New York: Macmillan Co 1935 Henry, M. Matthew Henry Commentary on the whole Bible Hislop, A. The Two Babylons. New York: Loizeaux Brothers, 1959 Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk and Wagnalls Co. Josephus, Flavius. Antiquities of the Jews. Philadelphis: John C. Winston Co., 1957 edition Larkings, C. The Dispensational Chart Prescott, W. H. History of he Conquest of Mexico. London, 1843. Smith, H. W. Man and His Gods. Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1953 Vive, W. E. An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, Thomas Nelson Publishers 1985 Walsh, W. S. Curiosities of Popular Customs. Philadelphia: Lippincott Co., 1897 Woodrow, R. W. Babylon Mystery Religion (ancient and modern), Ralph Woodrow Evangelistic Association, Inc., 1990 edition.

LIST OF OTHER BOOKS BY REV. FESTUS A. EKENYERE 1. 2. 3. UNDERSTANDING THE BOOK OF 1ST edition HUNDRED NAMES OF JESUS FACE TO FACE WITH DEATH REVELATION

4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

SIGNS OF HIS IMMINENT RETURN STANDING FIRM IN LOVE IS JESUS THE SON OF GOD? RAPTURE AND THE GREAT TRIBULATION CHRIST OUR PASSOVER LAMB (A study of Bible Doctrine) THE POWER OF THE TONGUE GOD OF ALL COMFORT THE SWORD OF THY EXCELLENCY PEACE WITH GOD (A Bible Study Guide) PEACE OF GOD (A Bible Study Guide)

COMING OUT SOON 1. 2. 3. 4. UNDERSTANDING THE BOOK OF DANIEL (A verse-by-verse analysis of the book of Daniel) THY FAITH HATH MADE YOU WHOLE (Testimonies of New Testament victories) LOVE FOR GOD (A Bible Study Guide) LOVE OF GOD (A Bible Study Guide)

REV. FESTUS A. EKENYERE THE FAITH BUILDERS MINISTRIES P. O. BOX 1803 MAIDUGURI. BORNO STATE NIGERIA E-Mail: rev_ efestus@yahoo .com go@thefaithbuildersministries.org Cell phone: 08022647000, 08038119772, and 08059190878

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