Revelation Series #6
Fred R. Coulter—October 13, 2005

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Revelation 12 cannot be understood without understanding a great deal of events in the Bible first. In reading Rev. 12 and following through on that, the 'woman' who starts out as the bride of Christ, who's pictured in the first part of Rev. 12; then blends into Mary, which then blends into the Church. If you didn't know any of those things and you just started reading Rev. 12, you could not understand what it's talking about. So, the way that you understand what it's talking about is by letting the Bible interpret itself.

Revelation 12:5: "And she gave birth to a man Child, Who was to shepherd all the nations with a rod of iron; and her Child was caught up to God and His throne." That one verse tells us a lot. The One Who is to rule all nations with a rod of iron is Jesus Christ! Who was His mother? Mary! This has to blend in, based upon what the Bible tells us, to being Mary.

Verse 6: "And the woman escaped into the wilderness…" Now it changes to the Church. So, without the knowledge of the rest of the Bible, you would not know that it goes from the prophetic vision that God had of Israel and the Church down through the rebellion of Satan, which took place before man was created. See how much of the Bible you have to understand to understand Rev. 12?

Then it comes down to Mary, who gave birth to Jesus; and here's the shortest summary of the whole ministry of Jesus: "…her Child was caught up to God and His throne" (v 5). One sentence. This covers all the Gospels. "And the woman escaped into the wilderness…" (v 6). Well, this can't be Mary. It blends into the Church.

There's a DVD put out by the Seventh Day Adventists which is called, Israel of the Alps, and it shows the fulfillment of this prophecy in v 6 where the Church went up into the area of the Piedmont Mountains in northern Italy. It shows how absolutely fantastic what happened. The Gospel was preached and they laid the foundation for all of Europe. At the same time there was the Celtic Church coming out of Britain, and the Celtic Church kept the Sabbath, kept the Passover, kept the Holy Days until the 600sA.D. Amazing! Celtic Church in Britain.

Amazing what they did! They would send them out two-by-two and they would go right into the Catholic countries, and they were merchants and they specialized in selling things, and preaching the Gospel. They had their own schools. They had their own Churches, and it was really quite a fantastic work that they did. It showed the houses that they built out of slate. Amazing! Then it showed what happened, how the Romans persecuted and killed them; and then how they finally were worn out by the persecution at the end of the 1260 years.

Now then, v 7 jumps ahead to a time, which is yet to occur: "And there was war in heaven; Michael and his angels warred against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels warred." Are we living in a time of war in heaven? Yes, indeed!

Can you imagine what's going to happen when Satan is cast down from this war? Remember, they're building a space-station up there, and we don't know how much time is left. We don't know what's going to happen; how big it's going to get, where they're going to go. Satan and his angels may go up there, maybe even the beast—possessed of Satan—goes up there and is cast back down to the earth and announces the aliens are going to invade us from outer-space. I'm speculating!

Can you imagine how this generation has been prepared for that? Yes, indeed! Every movie, every video-game. My son taught himself four languages working on the computer, and he invented a game where it was much like some of the games that are out. What were the first games that came out on computer? Invaders! Shooting them down. I can just imagine what a thing this is going to be! And then rallying the whole world! That's going to be something. Satan cast down and he persecutes the woman that brought forth the man Child (v 4).

Verse 14: "And two wings of a great eagle were given to the woman, so that she might fly to her place in the wilderness… [this is another wilderness, a different wilderness, at a different time] …where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent"—which is different from the 1260 days. That's why it's expressed differently. It's a different time-setting, a different timeframe; approximately the same, 3-1/2 yrs.

Verse 15: "And the serpent cast water out of his mouth as a river, so that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. But the earth helped the woman… [v 17]: Then the dragon was furious with the woman and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." Who are going to be those who are martyred? We've heard that it's going to be against the Laodiceans. We'll talk about that a little later, but it's possible.

Let's look at a Biblical example of a martyr and let's ask: Was he soft, weak, a Laodicean? or Was he faithful, strong and determined? How many people in the Church of God today would 'fudge-factor' for safety, so they wouldn't be persecuted? Think about it! The Church is going to be labeled as the rebel-rousers and the enemy of the world. 'You belong to that Church?' Well, um, ah!

Those who are going to be martyred—if they are Laodiceans—are going to have to have already repented and they're going to have to know that their lives are going to be given. They are going to have to be 'strong in the Lord' as the Bible says. They are also going to have to ask God for the help and strength to go through it.

How many have the Fox's Book of Martyrs? If you only have the one volume, you have just a summary of it. It comes in three volumes and they stand about a foot high. They are filled with eyewitness accounts of the Inquisition. It's amazing what those people went through! And some of them were martyred just for the name of Christ.

One of the girls shot at Columbine High School was asked if she believed in Christ, she said, 'Yes'—she was killed. Are there people out there who give themselves over to Satan, to carry out his work? Yes, indeed!

Here's the account of Stephen, and of course, it says in Acts 6 that when he was chosen; he was full of the Holy Spirit. Let's notice something very important:

  • he knew the Word of God
  • he was filled with the Spirit of God

It says earlier that when he stood up to speak and they couldn't resist the wisdom of what he was saying. He was so inspired that his face looked like the 'face of an angel.' What that looks like, I don't know, but that's what it says. He was no Laodicean slouch—was he? No way!

Acts 7:47: "But Solomon built Him a house. However, the Most High does not dwell in temples made by hands, as the prophet says: 'The heaven is My throne, and the earth is a footstool for My feet. What house will you build for Me, says the Lord, or what isthe place of My rest? Have not My hands made all these things?'" (vs 47-50).

Here is a great lesson, a great spiritual lesson. God is not interested in us doing physical things for Him. He's interested in the spiritual work that He does in us!He created us to dwell in!—far greater than the temple. And if He dwells in us, it's something He has made—correct? Yes, indeed! God is honored more by those who have a humble heart, a contrite spirit, and believe in Him.

Now, notice what Stephen said; this is to the whole Sanhedrin, v 51: "O stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears!…." That's the worst thing that any religious Jew would ever want to hear. This is a great effrontery to them, but the truth!

"…You do always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so also do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, of Whom you have become the betrayers and murderers; who received the law by the disposition of angels, but have not kept it" (vs 51-53)—and to this day do not keep it!

Verse 54: "And when they heard these things… [They ripped their clothes and all repented. NO!] …they were cut to their hearts, and they gnashed their teeth at him…. [they just sat there and almost broke their teeth off in their mouths] …But he, being filled with the Holy Spirit…" (vs 54-55).

This is what it has to be. When it comes time for the martyrdom God is going to have to fill us with His Holy Spirit. He's not going to fill us with His Holy Spirit unless we're zealous and unless we're in right standing with Him. People ask: Why is God going to have a martyrdom? Well, the truth is, you pledged your life to death—didn't you? Yes! And that's the only witness left to these people. They won't understand anything else.

"…he [Stephen], being filled with the Holy Spirit looked intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God" (v 55).

It's almost as if Jesus was standing right alongside the throne. I think we can get a better picture of that; the throne of God is perhaps a whole lot closer to the earth than we figured. Jesus was standing there, looking down, seeing what was going on. He's normally seated at the right hand of God; here He's standing! He is standing at the right hand of God!

Verse 56: "And he said, 'Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God.'" Jewish authority and the Sanhedrin knows the book of Daniel where it says that the 'Son of man came to the Ancient of days.' So, they thought this was great blaspheme.

Verse 57: Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and rushed upon him with one accord." I can just envision this today.

Verse 58: "And cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man called Saul. And they stoned Stephen, who called upon God, saying, 'Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.' And he fell to his knees and cried with a loud voice, 'Lord, do not lay this sin to their charge.' And after he had said this, he died" (vs 58-60).

When Satan comes back to make war against the Church, we're going to have to be strong. That's why the whole Church of God—wherever they are, whatever branch of the Church of God it is—now's the time to really count the cost and consider what may lie ahead. How far down the road is it? We don't know; but we know it's going to come! How do we prepare now? We don't say, 'I'm ready to die.' No, we say:

  • God, strengthen me now!
  • Give me Your Holy Spirit!
  • Help me to learn Your Word!
  • Help me to walk in Your ways!
  • Help me to be faithful in Your ways, day-by-day-by-day!
  • If that time comes, then please strengthen me so that Your will be done!

It's the only way it can be done—otherwise, it becomes the work of the flesh. 'I'm going to be a martyr for God.' No!—if you let God do the work that He needs to with you.

Referring to chart: Last Seven Years; the reason that I have Rev. 12 as the first thing there is because chapter 12—in historical time-setting—begins before the creation of the earth—or re-creation as we find in the Gen. 1—and it ends when there is the persecution of the Church. So, I have here, right at 3-1/2 years, part of the Church is taken to safety. {Note sermons on Two Witnesses and the Place of Safety}

Just know this: Whoever goes to a place of safety, God is going to send the angels and take whoever is going to go!It's not going to be a choice of men, because only God knows the heart; and only God knows who should be spared. It is not a merit badge for superior spirituality for those who escape. Rather, it is to keep the promise that Jesus said, that He would 'build His Church and the mouth of the grave would not prevail against it.' There has to always be someone alive from the time of Christ to His second return that are alive in the flesh until He returns, because He promised that His Church would never die out.

On the chart, the second one is Rev. 1, 2, & 3. We've already covered part of one, so let's go back, we'll review just a little bit of that, and then we will survey the seven churches. We have quite a few sermons on it, and that's why this is going to be a survey of these chapters; and then reference to different studies and sermons that we have on it.

As Jesus said, this tells us that we are to connect the Beginning and the Ending. So as the book of Genesis begins the Word of God, the book of Revelation finishes the Word of God.

Revelation 1:8: "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the Ending…" Now we also know that He's the Beginner of the creation of God. That all things were made and created by and through Him!

So when He said that He's "…the Beginning and the Ending…" He's telling us that what you're going to read here in the book of Revelation can only be understood if you understand the beginning and come down through the Bible so when you come to the end you'll be able to understand it.

We are living in the time when we have the blessing of being able to understand more of the book of Revelation that at any time in the history of the world. The only reason that that is so, is not because of any great intelligence that we have as people, it is because we're living in the times that if we follow the Word of God and observe what's going on and watch things, as Jesus said, we can see them happening. That's the only reason why; a hundred years ago they couldn't understand this. Fifty years ago they had a better understanding of it. No one could understand what the mark of the beast would be until we came to the age when they can put the chip into the hand and in the forehead.

Verse 17—John saw the vision of Christ in all of His glory, and the seven lampstands. That's the way that it should be translated, because they are lampstands. It's not in a candelabra type thing that they had for the menorah in the temple. These are lampstands—probably in a circle because it says that Jesus was 'walking in the midst' of the lampstands (v 13). And the lampstands picture the Church—various churches.

Verse 17: "And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as if dead; but He laid His right hand upon me, saying to me, 'Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last, even the One Who is living; for I was dead, and behold, I am alive into the ages of eternity…. [forever] …Amen. And I have the keys of the grave and of death…. [He never gave those to Peter, not the pope] …Write…'" (vs 17-19). It wasn't going to be left to memory.

Let's understand something about the written Word of God. We need to understand the written Word of God is not a collection of traditional oral sayings that accumulated for 300-years and then were put together by the Roman Catholic Church. The truth is, it was written by the apostles, canonized by the Apostle John, and probably Philip and Andrew was with him. The truth is, it could not be trusted to be left to apostate, former pagan priests to preserve the Word of God.

Even Peter knew that he had to write it down. How many of us have such a good memory that we don't need things written down? Well, you have a way out. You go to the store and forget the list, you have a cell phone, you can call home and say, 'What do I need to get.' I see them in the store wherever I go. The ones I feel sorry for are the husbands, trying to figure out, talking to their wives about what they want, and can't find it in the store. The wives have been there so many times they know where it is. It happened the other day when I was in the store. There was the poor guy talking to his wife trying to figure out what he needed to get.

How about the Word of God, which is always under attack; men and Satan are trying to get rid of it. The apostles wrote it!

2 Peter 1:15: "But I will make every effort that, after my departure, you may always have a written remembrance… [that's what the Greek means: written down.] …of these things in order to practice them for yourselves, for we did not follow cleverly concocted myths as our authority, when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His magnificent glory… [that's assurance that what He says is true.] …Because He received glory and honor from God the Father when the voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory… [directly from the throne of God] …'This is My Son, the Beloved, in Whom I am well pleased.' And this is the voice from heaven that we heard when we were with Him on the Holy mountain. We also possess the confirmed prophetic Word…" (vs 15-19). That's referring to the writings of the New Testament. Confirmed by Christ. Confirmed by the apostles. Written down, truthfully and accurately.

"…to which you do well to pay attention, as to a light shining in a dark place… [the Word of God is a 'lamp unto our feet'] …until the day dawns… [the return of Christ] …and the morning star arises in your hearts… [when you are resurrected, to shine as the stars in heaven and as the sun (Matt. 13)] …knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture originated as anyone's own private interpretation" (vs 15-20).

It didn't come from a man just because he's a man. If God can make a jackass speak, do you think He can make a man write? Of course! If God can make Balaam, who wanted to curse, bless instead, can He lead and guide His apostles to write the Truth? Yes, indeed!

Verse 21: "Because prophecy was not brought at any time by human will, but the Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." The Greek is very interesting here because it means as if moving a sail ship by the wind. That's how we have the Word of God.

When we read in Rev. 1, when Christ instructed him to write, what was he to write? Revelation 1:19—the whole key to the book of Revelation: "Write the things that you saw… [That's up to the point here through v 18] …and the things that are… [which were the seven churches that existed then] …and the things that shall take place hereafter." That's really a sweeping statement!

Verse 20: "The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, is this: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches; and the seven lampstands that you saw are the seven churches." There's no debating on that; He made it clear. The seven churches are as God sees them. That's a key. Not any corporate structure.

  • Do you believe that a Catholic priest has the power to call Christ to be in the presence of the bread and wine? No!

God cannot be commanded by any man!

  • Do you believe then, because a man may claim that the corporate church that he's the head of is the only Church of God on earth, that it really is the only Church of God on earth? No!

By the same process you're commanding God to only be in this one corporate church and in none other.

What is the answer to the seven churches? This is how God views them. He starts out with seven congregations in Asia. Let's read v 19 again: "Write the things that you saw, and the things that are…" The seven churches in Rev. 2 & 3 existed as little congregations when John was writing this. So, it was present.

"…and the things that shall take place hereafter" (v 19). This has got to be a prophecy of the seven churches down through history as God views them. What are the signs of God's Church as people view them in relationship to the Word of God?

  • they believe in Jesus Christ
  • they keep the Sabbath Day
  • they keep the Holy Days
  • they baptize
  • within that they all have to keep the 14th Passover

You can find the Church of God down through history by those signs. If you see the DVD The Israel of the Alps, you'll understand that.

Revelation 2 & 3 concerning the seven churches that were there, the seven churches down through history. A booklet that was put out years ago, The True History of the True Church gave a very sketchy outline of it. It's probably far more extensive than the booklet would even be able to comprehend. But when we get to the end-time the question becomes:

  • Did the seven churches represent the Churches of God on earth today, as God looks at the Churches from His throne in heaven above?

I mean, forget about the corporate structure.

  • If God is going to prophesy of all the nations of the world, and what's going to happen down to finite details, wouldn't it be tragic if He said nothing about His Churches?

So, the answer to that would be Yes!

Therefore, if we can now take an interpretation from the book of Revelation, we have the seven seals, out of which comes the seven trumpet plagues, out of which come the seven last plagues. Could this not also apply to the seven churches:

  • 7 churches then
  • 7 churches through history
  • 7 churches at the end

We haven't arrived at the end, yet; there's a whole lot to be done. How much God is going to do we'll just have to wait and see what part is it that we'll have in it; we'll just have to let God determine what that may be. I would say that it is most reasonable to conclude that, yes, this applies to the Churches of God today.

  • Do we have churches that have left their first love, today? Yes!
  • Do we have churches where people are being persecuted and killed, today? Yes!
  • Do we have churches that have a ridged, hierarchy of the Nicolaitans? Yes!
  • Do we have Churches of God that follow some of the teachings of Balaam and Balak? Yes!
  • Do we have Churches of God that are out there dabbling on the fringes of Satanism, as Thyatira was? Yes!
  • Do we have Churches of God that are nearly dead, like Sardis? Yes!
  • Do we have Churches of God that are faithful to the Word of God, like Philadelphia? Yes!
  • Do we have Churches of God that are rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing and that are lukewarm? Yes!

Therefore, we can conclude that all seven churches also apply at the end-time.
Revelation 4 & 5 gives us another clue that yes, the Church has continue down to this time, as I have related.

Revelation 4:1: "After these things…" Down through the history of these churches. {note sermons on 144,000 and sermon series: Seven Church Harvest}. The church harvest (Rev. 6) ends with the martyrdom of the saints. That's the seven-weeks harvest, but there's one more day, which belongs to God. Sermons on Pentecost will help answer that.

Verse 1: "After these things I looked, and behold, a door opened in heaven; and the first voice that I heard was as if a trumpet were speaking with me, saying, 'Come up here, and I will show you the things that must take place after these things.'" What's going to take place when it comes right toward the end of the Church age? What has to happen? The seven seals have to be opened! Rev. 4 & 5 are the preparation for the opening of the seven seals. And only Christ is the One Who can open them.

Rev. 6:1 is a very key, important verse, because this helps us answer the question in v 2, who and what is the white horse? A lot of people say it's Jesus Christ. Well, they're wrong! We'll see why. Where is Jesus Christ? In heaven at the throne of God! He's given the book of the scroll to open the seals. When He opens the seals, where is He? Still in heaven!

Revelation 6:1: "And I looked when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures say, like the sound of thunder, 'Come and see.' And I looked, and behold, there was a white horse; and the one who was sitting on it had a bow, and a crown was given to him; and he went out conquering, and to conquer" (vs 1-2).

This cannot be Christ because He has to stay in heaven to open the second seal. When does He get on a white horse and come back to the earth? Rev. 19! We've got a lot of things to happen before Rev. 19. This is, what we can say, the one-world religion movement. Yes, we've got a one-world religion movement; it's going to be hard to put together, but it'll come together. Did you know they already have a book of Scriptures for a one-world religion? Have you seen it? I've had it for years. They take some from the Bible—from the Old Testament—some from the Koran, some from Sanskrit, some from the Buddhist, some from the Hindus, and they put it all together.

Now, we'll sort of jump ahead here just a little bit, just a thought toward Babylon the Great. I've been thinking about this lately: Is the Catholic Church and all the religions of the world going back to a more primitive, Babylonian kind of religion rather than a pure Catholic religion? I present that as a question. I think we have to wait and see what the answer will be. The answer probably will be that it will be more Babylonian than it will be Catholic.

When was the first seal opened? Look at the chart: Rev. 6—first seal timeframe: When was it opened? The timeframe of the first we don't know!. When did the Ecumenical movement begin? In 1960s! A lot has to happen, so again, I bring that up as just a question mark. I don't know! But, we do know when the second seal is opened. Now we'll tie this together. Look on the chart and you see: second seal, beginning of the tribulation. Then the third, fourth and fifth seals follow very quickly. Then it takes from the beginning of the second seal to the sixth seal—it takes about two full years.

Let's see what the second seal says, v 3: "And when He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, 'Come and see.' And another horse went out that was red; and power was given to the one sitting on it to take peace from the earth, and to cause them to kill one another; and a great sword was given to him" (vs 3-4).

 

They're going to have to reform the U.N. You wait and see, they're going to do it, and there's going to be a man who's going to rule the world. It's coming! He's called 'the antichrist.' When he comes into power, this is when the Great Tribulation begins. He's going to go into the temple, which will be built in Jerusalem, and say he is God! That's when he gets his deadly wound. Then he is going to be possessed of Satan the devil and begin to make war against everybody. That's when the Tribulation begins (Rev. 6—the second seal).

Now then, what follows quickly on war? Famine! Starvation! That's what the third and fourth seals are all about. All you have to do is look where there is war, such as we have had in the Sudan. Pestilence! Famine! Starvation! Hatred! When it happens it's going to be something!

We know that this is going to be a worldwide thing, Revelation 6:8: "And I looked, and behold, there was a pale horse; and the name of the one sitting on it was Death, and the grave followed him; and authority was given to them over one fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword and with famine and with death, and by the beasts of the earth."

Then they have to find a scapegoat; got to blame somebody. They will blame the people who say, 'Christ is returning.' They're going to say, 'No, Christ is on earth.' They're going to start killing the saints; this is the martyrdom of the saints, the fifth seal. This had to be shown in vision, because John saw a lot of brethren killed—didn't he? By time he wrote this in about 95-96A.D., he probably saw a lot of them killed; here in vision; and this also is going down in time.

Verse 9: "And when He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the Word of God, and for the testimony that they held; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'How long, O Lord, Holy and True, do You not judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?' And white robes were given to each of them; and they were told that they should rest a short time yet, until it be fulfilled that both their fellow servants and their brethren also would be killed, just as they had been" (vs 9-11). That ties in right where we have it, right here on the chart with Rev. 12 and the martyrdom of the saints. It comes right down, Tribulation begins, then the third, fourth and fifth seal begin—that's the martyrdom of the saints.

Then we have the sixth seal. Notice as we go along here, the second seal is when the beast recovers from the deadly wound and is healed and begins the 42 months; he declares war against all of his enemies, including the people who are the saints of God. I mean, he's going to come! King of the North comes to the King of the South, goes into Jerusalem and say he's 'God.' So, you have to put a lot of things together with that. As I mentioned earlier, when you put together the book of Revelation, you've got to put together an awful lot of other Scriptures to tie it in. That has to be also with the things concerning the book of Daniel.

Now notice the sixth seal, as we have on the chart, I have Rev. 6 ending there. That's going to be an absolutely momentous event; a tremendous earth and heaven shaking event of the greatest magnitude that has ever been known in the history of the world up to that time.

When he opens the sixth seal the heavens roll back as a scroll, v 12: "And when He opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as the hair of sackcloth, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its untimely figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the heaven departed like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place" (vs 12-14). This is a great event!

Verse 15: "And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the powerful men, and every bondman, and every free man hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, 'Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him Who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb because the great day of His wrath has come, and who has the power to stand?'" (vs 15-17). It's going to be an awesome, awesome, event!

Here are other lessons to learn:

  • When the heavens roll back as a scroll, the Church age has ended. The seven weeks typified by Pentecost. Then you have the 50th day harvest of the 144,000 and the great innumerable multitude.
  • God always offers mercy and forgiveness upon repentance. This is what God does before the trumpet plagues and the things that we're going to find are even more awesome than the six seals.

What happens? He says, 'All right, hold up; don't do anything until we seal the servants of our God in their forehead.' We can answer this way: All of those who have the Spirit of God today have already been sealed (Eph. 1:13; 2-Cor. 1:22) We are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise!We're sealed!

Therefore, the 144,000 of Rev. 7 cannot be anyone who has the Spirit of God and is in the Church of God today. If you hear any minister say you're going to be part of the 144,000, do not believe him; because the 144,000 of Rev. 7 is already defined for us. Remember, at this time, God intervenes to fulfill His prophecies to Israel. Doesn't He have to fulfill those? Yes!

  • you have to know who the children of Israel are
  • you have to know where the ten lost tribes went
  • you have know where Ephraim and Manasseh are
  • you have know who the Jews are

In order to understand this, it takes a great deal of knowledge from the rest of the Bible.

This tells us who they are, Revelation 7:4: "And I heard the number of those who were sealed: one hundred forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the children of Israel." Who are these 144,000? Out of the tribes of the children of Israel. Where are they? In captivity on the earth! So, God intervenes.

Are there any ministers to send out there and counsel them for baptism? No! Nobody's available. God does it in a different way. Can God do it in a different way? Of course, He can to fit the circumstances!

Verse 3: "Saying, 'Do not damage the earth, or the sea, or the trees until we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.'" Now who are the 'we'? God is going to send the angels to do that. They are sealed.

Here's another prophecy that is fulfilled. Zech. 12 tells us that God is going to save the 'tents of Judah first.' What does it say here in v 5: "From the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand were sealed… [fulfills His prophecy] …from the tribe of Reuben, twelve thousand were sealed…"—all the way down.

Let's take a look at a prophecy in Hosea 5 & 6—and this actually gives us a timeframe for what we're talking about here on the chart in Rev. 7. This is when God corrects Israel; sends Israel into the hands of their captives. I do not believe that they are going to take millions of people and transport them out of the modern nations of Israel—being the United States, Canada, Australia and Great Britain, and some of the democracies of Northwestern Europe. What they will do is put them in prisoner camps. If you're in a prisoner camp in your own land and it has been conquered, are you in captivity? Yes! Why do they go into captivity? As punishment for their sins!

Here's what God says during that time, Hosea 5:15: "I [God] will go; I will return to My place until they confess their guilt and seek My face; in their affliction they will seek Me earnestly." Isn't that what the Israelites always do? What happened when 9/11 hit? The churches were filled. The synagogues were filled! Everybody was there. 'God bless America! Help us! Save us!' That was not repentance! They didn't acknowledge their sins, but it shows what Israel does when they get in trouble. When they're in captivity, seeing all these things that are going on, they're going to know this is the hand of God. They're going to begin repenting.

Hosea 6:1: They will say: "Come and let us return to the LORD, for He has torn, and He will heal us; He has smitten, and He will bind us up. After two days…" (vs 1-2). How long is a day in prophecy in fulfillment? One year! Two days equals two years. This fits Rev. 6 & 7—doesn't it? Yes!

"…He will revive us; in the third day He will raise us up… [That is two complete years, and at the beginning of the third year how much time is left? A year and a half! So, the tribulation of Israel ends at the end of two years, by God's Divine intervention.] …and we shall live in His sight'" (v 2).

When you go back and read Rev. 7 about the 144,000 who are sealed—they have been spared, they've been given the Spirit of God—they're going to continue to live.

Revelation 7:9: "After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one was able to number, out of every nation and tribe and people and language… [it says they're going to be in the resurrection] …was standing before the throne and before the Lamb…"

With all the sights, with all the things that are going on, when the heavens roll back as a scroll and the sign of the Son of man appears—all of a sudden a new sun in the heavens—there are going to be people who are going to repent! They're going to know Christ is returning. And furthermore, the two witnesses in Jerusalem have been telling them this for two years. So, they're going to repent. There will be a great multitude! Again, if anyone says there are only going to be 144,000 in the first resurrection, phooey! God has greater plans than that.

Verse 13: "And one of the elders answered and said to me, 'These who are clothed with white robes, who are they, and where did they come from?' Then I said to him, 'Sir, you know.' And he said to me, 'They are the ones who have come out of the great tribulation; and they have washed their robes, and have made their robes white in the blood of the Lamb'" (vs 13-14). They've converted.

This represents God's 50th day harvest. So I have on the chart Rev. 7 and the sealing of the 144,000 plus great innumerable multitude on Pentecost, one year before the resurrection. This is God's 50th day harvest from Pentecost to Pentecost, one year. Does that make sense? For some of you who have not heard about Pentecost being the first resurrection, you may have a hard time following along. But, if we tie in what I read back there in Hosea 6 about two years and then the third year, that'll make sense to you. There is a difference between the 144,000 of Rev. 14 and Rev. 7. What is the difference? They are a different group!

Let's look at the chart because this has to do with the seventh seal. Rev. 8 & 9 go together. The seventh seal is open and the seven trumpet plagues begin. If you look at the chart, we are into year six, with approximately a year and a half left—somewhere around there.

Again, the first trumpet plagues come very rapidly, one right after the other, just like the opening of the first seals. I won't go through them, but you can read it there. We'll have to say a little bit about the trumpet plagues. At this point in time, with a year and a half left in the Tribulation, God begins to intervene directly and more powerfully where the angels are now fighting against men and demons on the earth. The battle is entirely different. God has the seven trumpet plagues; they are really devastating to the earth. And it takes time for them to take place. Throughout this series we have the sermons that go through, in detail, each one of these chapters.
Revelation 8:13: "And I looked; and I heard an angel flying in the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, 'Woe, woe, woe to those who are dwelling on the earth, because of the voices of the remaining trumpets of the three angels who are about to sound their trumpets.'" Then we have, literally, all hell breaking loose on the earth. It's going to be a time!

Revelation 9:1: "And the fifth angel sounded his trumpet; and I saw a star that had fallen from heaven to the earth, and there was given to him the key to the bottomless abyss." That's a prison where the demons are held. All of them are going to be let loose, and conflict on the earth is going to be such as never been seen before.

Verse 2: "And he opened the bottomless abyss; and there went up smoke from the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke from the pit. Then locusts came onto the earth from the smoke; and power was given to them, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was said to them that they should not damage the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only the men who did not have the seal of God in their foreheads" (vs 2-4). This tells us that at the time that the fifth angel sounded his trumpet, those who were sealed in Rev. 7, are still alive in the flesh. It says, 'Don't hurt them.'

Verse 5: "And it was given to them that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months…" (vs 1-5) We've got a five-month span there—don't we?

You can see where I've got approximately five months on the chart. It says of this whole group—when you put this together with the other Scriptures in Daniel—this is the 'King of the South'[transcriber's correction], who is going to go against the armies that are north and east. If you've got a big map, just look at all the area of Russia, all of the 'Stans' going east, as well as all of the area Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, India, Southeast Asia, China and Japan. Huge, great armies going to come out of there. What are they doing right now? Russia and China? They had joint maneuvers!They don't know they're really practicing for the fight against Christ—and the fight against the 'beast power'—which will probably come out of Europe.

It says here who's in charge of the armies there on the fifth seal, v 11. "And they have over them a king, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but the name he has in Greek is Apollyon." Those are names for Satan the devil. Satan is coming out with all power.

Verse 12: "The first woe is past. Behold, after these things two more woes are still to come. And the sixth angel sounded his trumpet; and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar that is before God; and it said to the sixth angel, who had the trumpet, 'Loose the four angels who are bound in the great River Euphrates'" (vs 12-14). It's going to dry up. It's going to be a momentous event!

It talks about an army of 200-million. Let's understand the proportion of this army in relation to something we know. In WWII—in all nations, everyone who was involved—there were approximately 50-million men under arms. This is four times that! Greatest army that has ever been! You can't have them all in one place at one time, that's an impossibility. They are stretched out from the River Euphrates going all the way back to China and Japan. They're going to start coming, and they're going to have tremendous weapons. You're going to have weapons that will have fire coming out the front, fire coming out of the back, and the soldiers are going to be so fantastic that it seems like nothing is going to stop them. Then it talks about the reason for it.

Verse 20: "But the rest of the men who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the works of their hands, that they might not worship demons, and idols of gold and silver and brass and stone and wood, which do not have the power to see, nor to hear, nor to walk. And they did not repent of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornications, nor of their thievery" (vs 20-21).

Just as God hardened the heart, because of lack of repentance by Pharaoh, God is going to harden the hearts of these men and they are going to come and fight Christ. Not all of them are going to live to Armageddon—that's going to be another story when we get to the seven last plagues.

If you look at the chart you will see where we have the sixth seal, which is the second woe. Then we have the second woe ends, because there has to be room for the seven last plagues and so forth. There has to be the seventh trumpet sounding and the third woe. The third woe consists of the seven last plagues—if you go down here to Rev. 16, 18, coming all the way across to the right-hand side.

We'll just summarize Revelation 10 this way: The seven thunders were so awful that God told John not to write them. Which means that no one knows what the seven thunders are. The seven thunders are not the seven churches bringing the Gospel to the world. It's going to be the power of angels fighting men and demons on the earth. It's going to be an awesome thing indeed!

Then we have the inset chapter here with the two witnesses—won't go through that except to say they are going to have such power; they are going to be such an absolute witness to this world, the beast won't be able to kill them, no one will be able to touch them, because if they try to they're going to be killed by fire that comes out of their mouth. Now, I'd like to see a CNN report on that! Maybe sending Christiane Amanpour over there to give us the run down on what is happening.

We won't go through chapter 11; we've covered chapters 12 & 13 and the beast. The thing we need to understand with Rev. 13 is this: The way it was traditionally taught, in a booklet published in 1960, the major part of it referring to Rev. 13 cannot be correct. Then we have the mark of the beast—and we will have sermons on the mark of the beast to show an historical projection of our understanding of it, covering a period of about ten years.

Revelation 14:6: "And I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and language and people." God is going to have an angel go around the earth. Now, when do the three angel's messages begin?

Let's come back here to the chart where we have Rev. 14 & 15 and right above the line that's in between Rev. 13, 14, 15 you have the false prophet with two horns coming to where the Tribulation begins. Then I've got a little arrow pointing to mark of the beast enforced—there's going to come a time when it'll be forced. That's after the beast's deadly wound is healed and he begins to make war, that's when it's enforced.

The three angels' message I have beginning approximately the same time. I have them for several reasons, based upon the messages that are there. You couldn't have them right at the end of the 3-1/2 years, but right toward the beginning of it—and we'll see why.

Verse 7: "Saying with a loud voice, 'Fear God… [Rather than the beast who proclaims he is 'God.' Fear God, not the man!] …and give glory to Him… [not the man] …because the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him Who made the heaven, and the earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.'" That's got to be right as the Tribulation begins. Here goes this message out. Just picture this:

  • the beast starts declaring war
  • the first angel's message comes out
  • the two witnesses have already begun in Jerusalem

Quite a fantastic thing!
Verse 8: "Then another angel followed, saying, 'The great city Babylon is fallen, is fallen'.… [v 9]: And a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, 'If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives the mark in his forehead or in his hand, he shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God…'" (vs 8-10).

If the mark of the beast is enforced early on, the message of the third angel would be fruitless if it were clear down toward the time of the resurrection. So, it's got to be there when they start enforcing the mark of the beast. Here's the whole world saying, 'The only way we're going to separate out all the enemies from this New World Order that we're bringing here and to stop all of this, we are going to enforced the mark of the beast.' And an angel goes around and says, 'Don't take it.' The two witnesses say, 'Don't take it.' It would have to be something like that. (That's an opinion.)

A lot of people get confused with this, v 11: "'And the smoke of their torment…" Don't confuse that with their being tormented. Because the smoke of their torment—and we'll see what their torment is—takes place when the first of the seven last plagues come.

"…the smoke of their torment ascends into the ages of eternity… [It's just continually going on out in space.] …and those who worship the beast and his image, and all who receive the mark of his name, have no rest day and night" (v 11). But for how long? We'll see! Let's answer that question right now:

Revelation 16:1: "Then I heard a loud voice from the temple say to the seven angels, 'Go and pour out the vials of the wrath of God onto the earth.' And the first angel went and poured out his vial onto the earth; and an evil and grievous sore fell upon the men who had the mark of the beast, and upon those who were worshiping his image" (vs 1-2). That's when they are tormented. When does their smoke go up? When the sun becomes so hot that it literally kills them!

  • Chapter 16: seven last plagues
  • Chapter 17: historical inset telling us how the world got to the point that it is at this point in history
  • Chapter 18: judgment against Babylon

Very powerful!

  • Chapter 19: marriage of Lamb and the return of Christ and the saints to the earth
  • Chapter 20: binding of Satan for 1,000 years, the Millennial rein of Christ
  • Chapter 21: the beginning of the rest of eternity

What I wanted to do was to give an overall timeframe on how these things fit, which are the Holy Days of God. That's why this series of Revelation, you will have different sermons from the Holy Days, explaining the meaning of the Holy Days and how they fit into the book of Revelation. And the truth of the matter is this: You cannot understand the New Testament nor the book of Revelation without the knowledge of the Holy Days of God! It's an impossibility!

All Scriptures from: The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter

Scripture References:

  • Revelation 12:5-7, 14-17
  • Acts 7:47-60
  • Revelation 1:8, 17-19
  • 2 Peter 1:15-21
  • Revelation 1:19-20
  • Revelation 4:1
  • Revelation 6:1-4, 8-17
  • Revelation 7:4, 3, 5
  • Hosea 5:15
  • Hosea 6:1-2
  • Revelation 7:9, 13-14
  • Revelation 8:13
  • Revelation 9:1-5, 11-14, 20-21
  • Revelation 14:6-11
  • Revelation 16:1-2

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Acts 6
  • Genesis 1
  • Revelation 1:13
  • Matthew 13
  • Ephesians 1:13
  • 2 Corinthians 1:22
  • Zechariah 12

Also referenced:

  • Sermons:
  • Two Witnesses and the Place of Safety
  • 144,000 of Rev. 7 & 14
  • Sermon Series: Seven Church Harvest
  • Book: Fox's Book of Martyrs
  • Video/DVD: Israel of the Alps(produced by the Seventh Day Adventist Church)
  • Chart: Revelation & Last Three and one-half Years

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 5-30-08
Reformatted: 3/2014

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