Revelation - Lesson 11
The Seven Trumpets (Part 2)
In this lesson, Dr. Mulholland begins by emphasizing the significance of the world as the place where humans encounter God, particularly through Jesus Christ. They discuss the idea that Christians should love the world while rejecting aspects that represent a rejection of God. The lesson touches on distinguishing between the spiritual and false self, highlighting the importance of recognizing God in ordinary daily experiences. The text also explores the consequences of sin, illustrating the destructive power of sin and the resistance to repentance. It concludes with an interlude featuring a powerful angel symbolizing both God and Jesus, emphasizing triumph over fallen Babylon.
The Seven Trumpets (Part 2)
I. The Seven Trumpets (Part 2)
A. Introduction to the Lesson
B. The World as a Meeting Place with God
C. Rejecting Aspects of the World
D. Reflecting on the True Self in the World
II. The Symbolism of Numbers and Angels
A. The Five Months and Symbolism
B. The Four Angels at the Great River Euphrates
C. The Significance of the Euphrates River in Jewish Context
D. The Number 200 Million and its Symbolism E. The Description of Horses, Riders, and Tails
III. The Consequences of Sin
A. The Destructiveness of Sin
B. The Wages of Sin is Death
C. The Blinding Effect of Sin
D. A Personal Anecdote Illustrating the Consequences of Sin
IV. Interlude: God's Response
A. Introduction to the Interlude
B. The Appearance of the Mighty Angel
C. The Open Scroll in the Angel's Hand
D. The Angel's Feet on the Sea and the Land
E. Jesus' Triumph and Victory over Fallen Babylon
F. The Angel's Shout Resembling a Lion's Roar
- There is a wide range of interpretation of the book of Revelation because of the nature of visions. When John writes Revelation, he uses a pool of images that are familiar to him and his readers and we need to take into account what the images meant to people at the time.
Apocalyptic literature is based on the idea that the natural order is set within a larger content of a spiritual reality and that the dynamics of the spiritual realm play themselves out in the physical realm. Apocalypse is a message from God regarding what God is about and what he is going to do.
The occasion for writing Revelation was the vision John had and the situation of the seven churches. John is trying to describe a scene in which various scenes are being played out simultaneously. John emphasizes the importance of living out your theology, as opposed to only being doctrinally correct.
John had a vision of the Son of Man. He had a message for the church at Ephesus.
Messages for the churches at Ephesus, Smyrna and Pergamum.
Messages to the churches in Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis and Philadelphia.
A message to the church at Laodicea and a vision of Jesus as a Lamb who shares the throne with God.
A vision of God the creator and the redeemer Lamb.
A vision of the seven seals.
A vision of the seven trumpets.
- This lesson dives into the idea of encountering God in the world, warns about the destructiveness of sin, and presents a powerful angelic figure symbolizing God and Jesus as triumphant over fallen Babylon, with a mysterious aspect of the vision.
A vision of the seven trumpets. Chronology of the origin and development of the teaching of the rapture and dispensationalism.
A vision of how the death of Jesus on the cross has made it possible for us to be in relationship to God.
The description of the nature of Satan's war against God's children and in contrast to a description of God's redeemed.
A vision of the seven bowls.
A vision of fallen Babylon.
- In this lesson, you gain insights into the concept of Fallen Babylon and the transformative power of the cross. It emphasizes that accepting the cross liberates you from the world's illusions, allowing you to accept your own falsity as healed and yielding to the Holy Spirit's action. The lesson challenges the idea of choosing between the world and Christ, proposing that you can choose both simultaneously, seeking unity, wholeness, and love at the deepest level of your being.
Dr. Mulholland answering questions from the students.
A vision of the victory of the Lamb and discussion of the wrath of God.
A vision of the New Jerusalem.
- Dr. Mulholland's lesson delves into God's love as the core of self-discovery. False self obstructs the truth. True self blooms in faith, openness, trust, and yielding to God, shifting focus from ego to divine presence. Embrace this shift, become citizens of a new Jerusalem in a fallen world.
A vision of the people of the New Jerusalem.
- John wrote the book of Revelation as a call to radical discipleship as faithful citizens of God’s new Jerusalem in the midst of a fallen Babylon world. There is no video for this lecture.
Revelation is a vision of Jesus the Messiah. John focuses on the profound depths of what God has done, is doing, and will ultimately consummate in and through Jesus. A second central theme in Revelation is the role of the cross in what God has done and will accomplish. The contrast and interaction of the "New Jerusalem" and "fallen Babylon" is also a significant theme in Revelation. Videos for lectures 7, 8 and 9 are not avialable yet. Lecture 23 was recorded in audio only.
We think that the title of the devotional book that Dr. Mulholland reads from at the beginning of some of the lectures might be Merton's Palace of Nowhere by James Finley. Unfortunately, Dr. Mulholland is deceased so we can't confirm this.
Dr. Robert Mulholland
The Seven Trumpets (Part 2)
Good morning. Morning. Morning. You had a good weekend. The world is the place where we meet God. Because it is the place where God meets us in the person of Jesus Christ. He made himself as God to be one with humanity in the concrete, historical realities of human life. Truly, God has entered into the world, and it is in the world that Christians must turn to find God. A Christian must love the world exist in the world. It's the place God loves, but at the same time reject those aspects of the world that represent an unthinking and communal rejection of God. That is to say, the Christian must reject those aspects of the world that are the communal expressions of the false self. In our reflections on the true self in the world. We will begin by reflecting upon the world as a place where one finds God in and through simple daily experiences and contact with others. The false self often rejects this world under the guise of spirituality and the seeking of invisible realities in other, more spiritual realms. The spiritual is that which is ordered toward God. In contrast to this, the spiritual degenerate and ashen fruits of the false self consist of that which is intent upon the deification of the ego and the consequential rejection of God's world. God is He who is, and His world is the world. That is what our extraordinary are, the ordinary, concrete realities of daily life. And it is our desire to be extraordinary that in fact makes us less than ordinary whenever such desires move us to pull away from, reject, or even just ignore God manifesting Himself to us in the next hot August afternoon or the cold wind of a winter evening, Pray with me.
Gracious, loving God. May we hear your voice in these words? Waking Awakening adds to your presence in all that surrounds us in this world you have created. You meet us in every experience and in every relationship of this day. Open our eyes to see you. And help us to open ourselves to receive you. In your name, We pray. Amen to that. Okay, Let me work some more here. On Hotwire. Right. Yeah. Okay. And Bill Hogan, Jonathan Hunt. Right. Jonathan joining. Brandon Lewis. Brandon Lewis. Okay. Craig and Tom. Okay. Let me turn to another group that Tab Miller. Robert Mueller. Robert. Shinji Lava. Bryan Nutter. There you are. Okay. That's John and Brandon again. When. Yeah. Okay. Thank you for your patience with my slowness. Yes, sir. Yeah. Is. You mentioned about the five months. Yeah. Yeah. Here is a question. Did I mention the five months? I did? Five months is about the lifespan of a locust. Oh, and also, I think that I may not have mentioned this, that. John is playing off of that imagery. Five months indicates that the period of their activity is limited. So what we're going to see the nature of that limitation in the next trumpet. You see if what John is seeing here is the format of symbol. There is a concept, there is an end to that, so to speak. And that may be what he's pointing ahead to with with this five month period. Okay. Now, number five doesn't have any at least I never run across any explicit significance that the number five has in this regard. Now, there are, of course, five books of the Torah every hour, five sections to the Psalter. So you get five operating in that way in the Jewish pool of images.
But how that relates here, I'm not sure it's it's which is unclear to me. So if anybody gets any insight on this and of course of your project, please let us know. Thank you. Now we when you come to the the sixth, drop it. He blows his trumpet and John hears a voice from the four horns of the golden altar before God. And that is the altar of incense. All the golden altars, the altar of incense, as opposed to the sacrificial altar. Remember looking at a huge structure outside the temple building. And the voice from the four horns of the golden altar saying to the six angels, release the four angels who are bound at the Great River Euphrates. So the four angels were released, who had been held for the hour, the day, a month, and the year to kill a third of humankind. And, of course, the piling up of dates. You see the hour, the day, a month, a year is an indication of, you know, the precise exact time when they were to do this. Now, these four we've seen four angels before in chapter seven, and they were standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds, the winds representing judgment. And they were not to allow the winds to blow until the servants of God had been sealed on their foreheads. These four angels seem to have a different function. They don't seem to relate to those four because these are at the great river Euphrates. Now, the Euphrates is a is a significant image for the Jewish people because it was from across the Euphrates that Assyria came in 722 B.C. and took away the ten northern tribes into captivity. And it was from beyond the Euphrates in 587 that Babylon came and took away the southern two tribes into captivity.
So so the Euphrates has a a very deep symbolism for the Jewish people. You know, it is a place from which things like this come evil, things like this. Also, interestingly, in the Roman world, there there arose sort of a Roman eschatology that the end of the world would come when the hordes from the other side of the Euphrates would come sweeping westward and override the Roman Empire. Now, of course, it never happened that way. It came from the North, actually, but that for some reason that was the Roman eschatology at the end of the Roman world would come from the hordes beyond the Euphrates are coming and taking over. How that arose, I don't know. I've not never seen anyone who's come up with an idea of how that arose later on. Interestingly enough, Nero got associated with this and that sometime after Nero's death in 68 A.D., and it was the idea that Nero was going to lead those forces when they came from the other side of the Euphrates. And again, I've not been able to find any idea how that arose and how that concept arose, and we just know that it was there. Anthony. Excuse me, Your guide, 68 A.D.. Yeah. I thought he destroyed the temple in 1780. No, that was Titus. Okay. No. Where? Near Nero committed suicide. Actually, he was. He was deposed by the Senate. And rather than being deposed, he better be ready to die as the emperor, then to be deposed, having committed suicide. Now they're going to these these angels. I mean, these four angels are going to kill a third of humankind. And I know you know, it's interesting. It says the four angels were released. Then in verse 16, the number of the troops of cavalry was 200 million.
So John isn't very clear here. Were the angels holding back? This cavalry is not what they were doing like before Angel in chapter seven or holding back for wins, you see? Are they holding back the cavalry? It's not clear. Are the angels, the cavalry. That doesn't seem to make much sense. It doesn't work together very well. But in any case, what is released is this unbelievable. Erm I mean you know, 200 million in the Roman world is sort of like our, our national debt, but it's like what we're paying off. All these financial institutions really can't even begin to conceive of $1,000,000,000,000, you know. And you know, Congress just throwing it around as though it were loose change. But anyway, this number, it's just it's almost like saying an infinite number in the Roman world. And then John describes these horses that he sees in his vision. The riders or breastplate they have. The horses have riders. Remember the previous one? The horses didn't have riders. Now they have riders. The riders wore breastplate, the color of fire, of sapphire and of sulfur. Now, just hold that in your mind for a minute. We're going to come back. The heads of the horses were like lions, heads, previous horse's head, lions, teeth and fire and smoke and sulfur came out of their mouths. Now, of course, you've got the sulfur and the color of the breastplate. You got sulfur smoke and sulfur coming out of their mouths. Sapphire is blue. And smoke can be thought of as being blue and the color of fire. They both have fire. So. So there's some kind of an intimate connection between the riders and the horses. In a sense, the riders and the horses are a single entity.
By these three plagues, a third of humankind was killed by the fire and smoke and sulfur coming out of their mouths. And here we got another instance of a third. Remember back in, when we're looking at the fallen of creation, a third of the sun, a third of the stars, a third of this, a third of that. We're all affected. So here you've got two thirds, again, a third of humankind. Now, remember these these trumpets, these last three trumpets, the fifth, the sixth and the seventh trumpet are all dealing with falling Babylon. So when talks about a third of humankind here, it means a third of the citizenship of fallen Babylon. These are consequences for fall in Babylon. And we'll see what this is in a moment. For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails. Their tails are like serpents having heads, and with them they inflict harm. And you see, the John is in his modulating his imagery from the previous horses. Previous horses had tails like scorpions, and their power to hurt was was in the tail. Now, these have you know, the power is in their mouths and in their tails, and now their tails become like serpents. So you've got these scorpion locust horse serpent things. I mean, Johns is piling up all sorts of imagery here. And of course, the imagery of Serpent Wood in a Jewish pool would always refer back to the to the ancient serpent in the Garden of Eden. And it is an image for Satan for for the one who rebelled against God. Then in 20. John sees the rest of humankind who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, or give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood which cannot see or hear or walk.
And they did not repent of their murders or their sorcery, other fornication or their thefts. So here we see clearly that the rest of humankind are the citizens of fallen Babylon, because these are the kinds of behaviors that characterize fallen Babylon. Now, what is John seeing here? Here, John, is see the destructiveness of sin. In the fifth trumpet, he sees the torment of sin. Now he sees the destructiveness of saying the wages of sin is death. And it's interesting, as you come to the end, remember, as we came to the end of that fifth trumpet. It said that the the this horde of scorpion locust horse figures had as ruler over them the Angel of the Abyss, which begins that section, you know, the star that falls with a key to the shaft. And his name is the Destroyer. Given both in Greek and in Hebrew. So so you get the you get the link of destructiveness. You see, we're dealing with something that is destructive, even to the point of destroying, you know, a third of all of Babylon. So we're seeing the deadliness of sin or the consequent wages of sin is death. As Paul says. So that's what John is seeing here. That there is torment. But then you might say the end of the tournament, the end of the five month period you see is is death. But what is so significant here, I think, is versus 20 and 21, the rest of humankind who were not killed by this place did not repent, etc., etc.. Let me share with you an experience I had when I was in ministry. When I was in seminary, I served a two church rural circuit, and it was it was in western Maryland, in the Appalachian region.
And it's similar to Appalachia here, where you have families made up of, you know, multiple uncles, aunts and all sorts of people like that. Well, there was one of these families in my church, in one of my churches, and they were a very poor family, as Appalachian people tend to be. And they had an uncle that was living with them. And everyone and everyone, all the men in the family smoked. You know, every time I went there, I took an oxygen mask, you know, go in the house. I didn't really. But, you know, you walk in the house and it's like walking into a cigaret. And about a year after I was there, the uncle contracted lung cancer. And because the family was was so poor, they had no way of getting him into the clinic in Washington for cobalt treatment. They were giving cobalt radiation a result of his lungs. And so I took him in for his cobalt treatments every month. And even in the dead of winter, I had to drive all the way to Washington and back with all the windows in the car rolled down because he sat there and just smoked one cigaret after another. You know, I played with him, I argued with him, I shouted at him, you know, I did everything humanly possible, you know? Stop smoking. It's killing you. You know, I might as well have just stuck my head out of the window and shouted to the signpost going by or something. It was. It was useless, you know? Well, the cobalt treatments, you know, uh, put the cancer. At least it slowed it down, put it in sort of temporary remission. But within a few months it was back again. And, you know, worse than before.
And there was no more nothing more they could do about it. You know, just no more treatments in those days that they could could do. And his lungs were too far gone, you know, to try to take out part of the lung or anything. So the family, you know, kept him at home as long as they could. And when it got to the point where they could no longer take care of him, you know, welfare, put him in a in a nursing home. And I would I would stop on my way home from seminary every evening because I was I was commuting and I would stop. And I never I never had to ask the person at the desk where he was because he'd be moved from room to room. And in this nursing home, I never had to ask where he was. I just followed the screams to his bedside. It was the most agonizing death I have ever seen. I mean, for four weeks he just screamed away the last weeks of his life. And I asked a nurse one time, can't you. Can't you do anything for him? Can't you give him anything to do Dead in the pain? And she said, Pastor, he's got so much morphine in him, he ought to be in a coma. Nothing would touch it. Now his whole family's there. 24 seven. I mean, if you've been in the hospitals here in Lexington, when when an Appalachian family has someone there, but they just come in and take over that one of the waiting rooms and they just sent a house there and they stay there until they take their loved one home with them, either alive or dead, you know, But they just they camp out.
Well, the family was right there with him. Well, he died and the family asked me to have a funeral, of course, and I did. So we got to the cemetery and the funerals, had a funeral home. And then we had had the interment, the cemetery. We got to the cemetery, had the interment part of the service. As soon as I gave the benediction at the end of the interment, every man in the family lit up a cigaret. You know, the rest of humankind who were not killed by this plague did not repent of the works of their hands to give up worshiping demons or idols of. See what's going on here. John, is seeing not only the destructiveness of sin. The wages of sin is death, but of the way it blinds us. Every every person in that family saw what smoking did to their uncle. But just, you know, that's not going to happen to me. And one of them was the youngest member of the family was I guess he was probably his middle twenties. He was a physician instructor, you know. Smoking just like the rest of them. So so, John, you see is is is seeing that the horrible dynamics of sin. And how it is holds us in its destructive bondage. Well, this is this is a pretty ugly picture. And you come to the end of these these two trumpets, the fifth and the sixth trumpet, and you sort of, you know, sort of throw up your hands in despair. Well, you know, what can be done about this kind of a situation? You know, is there no answer to this? And this is what brings us to the interlude between the sixth and the seventh trumpet and another major interlude.
Remember back in the sixth and between the sixth and the seventh SEALs, you had chapter seven. Well, here between the sixth and seventh Trumpet, you have chapter ten and part of Chapter 11. You have a much larger interlude here, which sort of focuses our attention again on what's going on here. Because it's in this interlude. Where we see God's response to this situation. It's really a hopeless situation from the human point of view. So what we see is, is God's response. John sees another angel. Another mighty angel. Coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud with a rainbow over his head. His face was like the sun, his legs like pillars of fire. Any clue as to who this might be? Jesus said, Well, face like the sun. Go back to chapter one where John sees his vision of Jesus and his face is shining brighter than the noonday sun. His legs were like, you know, flaming bronze, burnished bronze. So here we've got his face, like the sun. His legs were like pillars of fire. That suggests Jesus. Now, we've already seen a rainbow to remember where we saw the rainbow from the first. Ron Throne room around the throne. John's image in Chapter four of Gods seated upon the throne, remember around his head or around the throne was a rainbow like an emerald. So that this one suggests God, you see. And then wrapped in a cloud. We haven't seen that image before. But you go back to Daniel, Chapter seven, The son of a man figure is on the clouds. So. So you see, John again is weaving together multiple images. And again, we've seen before that John uses images that in a Jewish pool apply to God and he's them to Jesus.
Now he's bringing them together in the same way again. We've already seen that where Jesus is is on the throne with God. And remember, I'm one of the Church of Jesus, said, the one who is conquering. I will give him give them to sit with me on my throne as I have conquered and sit with my father on his throne. So. So here is God's response, but God's response to this horrible situation of of the bondage of sin and the deadliness of sin is also wrapped up with Jesus. So. So this mighty angel you see is you might say, God, Jesus. Or God in Jesus. And he has a little scroll open in his hand. I remember the scroll in God's right hand in chapter five was sealed with seven seals. This one is open. So. So what is this has to be something that has that has been manifested, something that has been disclosed. And we'll see in a moment what that is. And he sets his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land. Now that's a that's an interesting. Position. We've already seen that land earth, same word in Greek, land in earth gaze. That land or earth and sea are two of the primary images John uses for falling in Babylon. We've already seen the sea under God's feet in chapter four. We're going to see in chapter 13 The Beast coming up from the sea. We've also already seen that land. You know, those who brought upon the Earth, the citizens of Rome in Babylon. So what we have here is is a picture of Jesus standing with one foot on the sea and one foot on the land. It is a an image of of triumph.
It is an image of victory over those things that Jesus, you might say, is trampling fallen Babylon under his feet. And in a sense, it's also a preview. When we get over to Chapter 13, we're going to see a beast coming from the sea and a beast coming from the land or the earth. So here's the sea and the land or earth again, you see. But even before we see those two things, we've already seen the image of Jesus standing with one foot on each of these, one on the sea, one on the land. And he gave a great shout like a lion roaring. And we've seen a lion image before. Chapter five. Lion of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Remember they're trying to find somebody who is worthy to open the SEALs. They can't find anybody. And one of the elders come to John says, you know, look, the lion of the tribe of Judah has as conquered souls to open. And of course, he sees the slain lamb. But here's the lion roaring. This is the lion of the tribe of Judah. So so John, I think is is using imagery to make it clear to people who this angel is. This is Jesus. And we've already seen that connection of Jesus with Angel in chapter one. It began. Johns introduction begins that that God revealed this to John by sending his angel who is serving John, and then who appears to Jesus a few versus later one like the son of man. So Sir John is not changing his imagery here. He's just making a little bit more explicit. And as we're going to see in chapter 22, Jesus says, I, Jesus have sent my angel to you. I remember it's the same imagery that you find in the Old Testament where an angel appears to some Old Testament figure.
And before the end of the conversation, God is there. The angel is God. God is the angel. So John is using this the same imagery here. And when he shouted, the seven Thunders sounded. So we got another group of seven here. And then John tells us. When the Seven Thunders I sounded, I was about to write. When I heard a voice from heaven saying, SEAL up what the Seven Wonders have said, do not write it down. So there is a part of John's vision. That we don't have. Now, of course, you look in the commentaries and this just opens the door for all kinds of speculations. You know, and you can find as many different interpretations of what the Seven Wonders were as there are interpreters or we don't know. We don't know. Now, thunder, of course, is a one of the signs of the ofany thunder, lightning, etc.. So you know, the John experience in his vision, some aspect of God that for some reason he is told not to share with us, we don't know. All we know is that there was part of his vision that we're not getting. Yeah, it seems and I mean, this would take more research, but that the bowls, the trumpets and the seals all are trying to portray one aspect of this tribulation times judgment and may be that the seven thunders give. I guess another fourth aspect of part of that being mysteriousness, it's loud. It should be very obvious and easy to grasp, and yet it goes unknown, which is definitely applies to the entire revelation of what's happening. The Earth has no clue what's going on, even though it should be glaringly obvious. Well, there could be something of that there. Yeah. I think another aspect of it here is that.
It indicates that we cannot get our minds around God. I mean, John's John's vision is showing some pretty profound realities here. But. We're not getting the whole picture. You can't get your mind around God. So that may be part of what's. What's happening. Then. The angel that John sees standing on the sea and in the land. By the way, this this posture is repeated three times. He's introduced with one foot on the sea, one foot on the land here again, standing on the sea and on the land, and we'll see it a third time. And when we come over to chapter 13. We're going to see the beast had the mortal wound that was healed. That's repeated three times. So so there's an emphasis that John is giving us here. Repeating repeating the image three times. And of course, three is the number of totality. So, you know, you're getting the whole picture of this in a sense. It's also a number that's associated with God. So that aspect is coming in here as well. The angel I saw standing on the sea in the hand land raised his right hand to heaven and swore by him, who lives forever and ever, who created heaven, and what is in it? The earth and what is in it. And the sea and what is in it. There will be no more de la. And of course, the question here, are we talking about the physical creation? Of. Earth and sea? Or is this another statement of God's sovereignty over the realm of rebellion, over land or earth and sea? And God is the Creator, that God is the one who is in control of this. Just as we saw the sea under God's feet in chapter four.
There will be no more delay. But in the days when the seventh Angel is to blow his trumpet, the mystery of God will be fulfilled as he announced to his servants, the prophets. Now, what is the mystery that's going to be fulfilled that has been announced to the province? Well in the understanding of the early church and getting and of course, from Jesus himself, what is fulfilled is the restoration of the kingdom. That is the that is what has been revealed to the prophets. The prophets are given the the vision or the understanding of that God will restore the kingdom to Israel. Now, of course, how they came to understand that was not quite the way God went about doing it. Which of course is usually the case when we think we've got got all figured out. We discover that God does it the other way. But anyway, when you talk about fulfilling the Prophet's. It is. Restoring the kingdom to Israel. Now, remember, go back to chapter one now. Remember where John is. Graced you in peace from Jesus, the Messiah, the faithful martyr, the firstborn from the dead, the ruler of the kings of the Earth, who has loved us and cleansed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom and priest. We were. We saw that all of that imagery is restoration imagery. The Messiah is associated with the restoration of the kingdom, that when God restores the kingdom, the righteous dead will be resurrected to participate in it. Particularly the faithful martyrs got a faithful martyr, you see, who has been raised from the dead. When God restores the kingdom, the Divinity King will be restored and He will be the king of the kings of the Earth.
He will be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And when God restores the kingdom, it will be the consummation of the old covenant, which was to create Israel as a kingdom of priests, a holy nation. And so all and of course, God cannot restore the kingdom until sin has been taken care of in the covenant people. So you've got all the basic elements of the Jewish expectation of restoration. Wrapped around Jesus in chapter one. And so here you see they announced that the mystery of God will be will be fulfilled as he announced to his sermons, The prophets. That's the mystery. And of course, it's interesting what Paul does with that. In Colossians, he talks about how the mystery that has been hidden from ages has now been revealed. And what is the mystery? Paul said. Christ in you the hope of glory. You see that that being citizens of another of the new of the restored kingdom, which Paul certainly understands. He is being restored to wholeness in the image of Christ. Paul says growing up in every way and to him it was the head into Christ. So it's interesting to see how the early church came to understand and realize what it was God was doing. And we're going to see how John sees this in sort of a different angle, but the same reality in his vision. Ben, the voice that John had heard from heaven. And presumably this is the voice of God. Of course, the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, Go take the scroll that is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land. There's the third time. So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll.
And he said to me, Take it and eat it. It would be bitter to your stomach, but sweet as honey in your mouth. Now, that is an image from Ezekiel. Where he eats the scroll. Yeah. Ezekiel two eight. And when Ezekiel eats the scroll, it is sweet in his mouth. The doctor is eating it. His stomach turns bitter. So. So what's going on here? Well, let me go on, then we'll come back. So I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I eat, when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter. Now. What we're dealing with here, this open scroll. We'll see this. The reason for this an understanding of a few verses on. But I don't want to get too far ahead and have to backtrack too much here. The open scroll is the old covenant. That has been revealed. You see, that was revealed through Moses on Sinai. And the old covenant. Carried with it the promise of deliverance from the bondage of sin. The old covenant was to enable people to to live in covenant relationship with God, to be persons God created them to be. So in that respect, you see, the old covenant was as sweet as honey in the mouth. Because it promises the resolution of the problem of the fifth and the sixth trumpet the torment of sin and the destructiveness of sin. What? It never fulfilled. And so it is bitter in the stomach. Promises sweet. But the fact that it has never the old covenant never was able to actualize the promise. Result in bitterness. Bitterness in the stomach? Yeah. Is that what it meant, that music? Or is he giving a new meaning? No.
When. When Ezekiel see Ezekiel is seeing, you know what's going on. The Babylonian captivity. And so John is really modulating that imagery here. Really? So. So that. It's talking about the captivity of sin. And the old covenant promised deliverance from that, you see, but couldn't do it. Whereas with this deal, the people aren't going to listen. They don't listen. And they go on into captivity. Then. Then they said to me and of course, the question, who is the they? You know. Then they said to me, Presumably it's Jesus the angel and God, the voice from heaven. These are the only two characters in the vision at this point. You got the mighty angel and you got this voice from heaven speaking with him. So presumably that is the day. And they said to me, You must prophesy again about many peoples and nations and languages and kings. Now, here is an modulation of John's own imagery. Remember, he uses people, nations, tribes and tongues or people tongues, tribe of nations playing around with those for in different order. Those represent the citizens of Fall in Babylon. Here he he takes out tribes and substitutes kings. And the the the only thing I can think of and it's the only place he does this. Every other place. You've got the standard for peoples, nations, tribes and languages or tongues. The only reason I can think that he doesn't have tribes here. Is that presumably tribes would include Israel. Mm hmm. But now we're talking about Fall in Babylon. And so he uses kings in the place of tribes. Whether that's what's going on, I'm not sure. But that that's the only thing that makes sense in the context of the rest of the vision point. So John is then he's given a measuring rod.
Like a staff. He was told, Come measure the temple of God, the altar and those who worship there. But do not measure the court outside the temple. Leave that out for it is given over to the nations. They will trample over the holy city for 42 months. Okay. Now, we got to unpack a lot of stuff here. First of all, just to sort of jump ahead for a moment, the measuring is never fulfilled here. He's given the measuring rod told to measure the temple, the altar and and those who worship there. Is everybody going to stand up against his right and say appalling? I'm not sure about measuring those who worship there. But anyway, it's never fulfilled. Until you get over to chapter 21. Where you see the measuring of New Jerusalem. At that point. We'll see how John, you know, ties all this imagery, this temple imagery together. Parents tie back to Ziggy as well. What? The club line and all that. I don't see a measuring rod in a plumb line or two different things. No, measuring rod is for measuring dimensions. The plumb line is to establish the true vertical or the true standard. So I think the plumb line in Ezekiel is a different image from on the measuring rod here. Yeah. This? Yeah. You're 21. Kind of part of this whole image of of nonlinear. Yeah, I think so. Dustin is asking is, is the fact that the measuring doesn't come to chapter 21 part of the non sequential or nonlinear aspect of his vision, You know, part of that, you know, psychodrama unity. Yeah, I think it is. I think it is because John is told to do this and never does it until you get over to chapter 21.
And then actually the angel with John does the measuring. So. So he told the measure the court not to measure the temple. That's the actual building, the sanctuary and the holy of holies, the building that has those two in it, the altar, which should be the sacrificial altar. And those who worship there. You see that? That's the area in which Israel would would worship, but do not measure the court outside. That's the part of the temple precincts where the Gentiles could could be. So don't measure that. It's given over to the nations. They will trample over the holy city for 42 months. Now we got to talk about 42 months. This is a a very pertinent image in the Jewish School of Images. Any idea where it originates? Anybody remember in the Old Testament an incident where 42 months or three and drawn gives it gives it two or three different ways, 42 months, 1260 days or 40 to 30 day months and time times and half a time. Three and a half years. Right. There was there wasn't any one of the prophets called out that there wasn't going to be any rain. Yeah. Three and a half years to remember Elijah, Elijah prayed. Remember the context here is that Jezebel, the Queen. And it has the king. They they have turned over the temple to the profits of bail. And Elijah is the primary antagonist against Jezebel. And Elijah prays and it doesn't rain for three and a half years. And then you remember what happens at the end of the three and a half years. You have this great contrast between Elijah and the prophets of Mail, and they go up on top of the mountain, you know, and they they each build an altar while the prophets of Babel go first and they build an altar and put the sacrifice on.
And then they, they pray to the male to send fire from heaven. Got to remember also here, Bale is the God of the thunderstorm. So so here. And of course, when you go up on top of a high mountain in a thunderstorm, what's likely to happen to you? You get zapped by lightning, right? Well, the prophets of fame, they go through all of their incantations. They're even slashing themselves and doing all sorts of things that nothing happens. And, of course, you know, Elijah takes and fills his altar and puts a sack around, poured water, just water, water, water all over it, which, of course, you know, is certainly going to attract lightning, but the fire falls. And that's the end of the three and a half years Elijah prays where he sends a servant. And no, I don't see anything like he's praying since he sees he sees a cloud the size of a man's hand. And Elijah keeps praying on, it becomes this tremendous storm and all the rain comes. So but the thing is, is it's not just the three and a half year period or the 42 month period. What was going on during that three and a half years. God's faithful people. We're being horribly persecuted by Jezebel and the prophets of their. It was a time of intense tribulation for faithful Jews. And so John is picking up this imagery here. You see, it's another image of tribulation. He doesn't use the word in this context. He doesn't have to. Now let's take that three and a half year figure and move forward a bit through history. You come down to the time of the Babylonian captivity. Now, unfortunately, we do not have the documentation to be able to do this accurately, but it was sometime around 590.
Where the leadership of the Jews rebelled against Babylon's control. They refused the tribute to Babylon, which is an act of war. They were a tribute people. Babylon had come in their been about two different waves already. One came in and around 602, another one in about 594 or 593, something like that. And they left the Jewish people there, the ones they didn't take off at those times. They left there under their own leadership, but they had to pay tribute to Babylon. Around 590, they decided to not pay tribute anymore. Well, by the time Babylon realized that the Jews had rebelled and not their army together and came and besieged, Jerusalem and Jerusalem fell was about three and a half years. So here again, you see this would emphasize this image in the minds of the Jewish people, then move a little bit farther forward in history and you come to the time of the Maccabean revolution. Now, of course, this three and a half year period at the time of Babylon was a horrible, horrible experience for the Jewish people. The some of the documents we have describing that period, you know, they were forced into even eating their own children. I mean, it's just how we're eating the corpses in the streets. So it was a time of terrible, terrible tribulation for the Jews. You come the time of the Maccabean revolution in high because epiphanies, the solution that King decides to eradicate Judaism. So he goes to Jerusalem. He sacrifices a pig on the sacrificial altar, which of course, desecration. The altar goes into the holy of holies and sets up a statue of himself and Zus and orders that all copies of the law are to be burned and that no one has to circumcise their children anymore.
And if they do, the child will be killed. The parents will be crucified with a dead child hanging around their neck. And they are the Jews are two to. Too libation too, and take a sword to the gods. And then he sends people around to the communities to force everybody to to do the libation. Well, that triggers the Maccabean revolution. From the time that. And tigers desecrating the temple. Till the time when the temple was restored. And that's the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah celebrates the restoration of the temple in 164 is another three, three and a half year period. And a time when the Jewish people were under terrible tribulation at the hands of the saluted forces. So you can see how how this period would just get built up in their minds. Now. I think Revelation was written in the late sixties, but if it were written in the nineties, the other alternative. You have another three and a half year period from the time that Vespasian laid siege to Jerusalem in March of 67 to the time Jerusalem falls in September of 70 is exactly three and a half years. So that would be a further emphasis you see in the minds of the Jewish people. But even without that, you still have these three instances in their history that when John says 42 months, boying, you know, instantly, that is the image that comes in that they understand what that is, particularly when it says that that the outer court is going to be trampled by the nations because their tribulation in all of those instances was at the hands of the Gentiles. So this is an image that is very, very real. Who runs Jewish readers? And then the angel. Are they safe, John? I don't know, I.
Presumably this now is either God or the angel Jesus. I will grant my two witnesses authority to prophesy 1260 days. 42 months wearing sackcloth. By the way, that was the common garb of the prophets. These are the two olive trees and the two lamb stanzas stand before the Lord of the earth. And this goes back to Zacharias vision of the two lamb stands in the olive trees, which in Zachariah represent the the the priest and the king. And restoration. I mean, it's restoration imagery. But now John John is really modulating this image at this point. These are the tens I stand before the Lord of the Earth. Now, here, Earth here clearly is an indication of God's sovereignty. You're not standing before Satan. They're standing before the Lord of the Earth. And it just made me polyvalent At this point, yes, it's the Lord of this planet. But God is also sovereign over fallen Babylon. If anyone wants to harm them. Fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes. Anyone who wants to harm them must be killed in this manner. They have authority to shut the sky so that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying. They have authority over the waters to turn them into blood in the striking earth with every kind of plague. As often as they desire. No. Hmm? Yes. Oh, I'm sorry, Elizabeth. What did you say? The lamb stands in. The olive trees were in there. Represent the two witnesses here. Okay. And we'll see how it goes higher in a moment. But he gets the imagery from Zachariah, who has the image of the two lamb stanza two. But here John is doing a radical restructuring of this imagery, as we'll see. Now from from the attributes of these two witnesses.
Can you tell who they are? Elijah. Moses. Moses and Elijah. Moses and Elijah. If anyone wants to harm a fireplace from their mouth, it consumes their folks in both Moses and the story of Moses and of Elijah. There is an account where their enemies are consumed with fire. So that that applies to both of them. Authority to shut the sky so that no rain may fall. That's Elijah. Authority to strike the earth with every kind of plague. That's Moses. Okay, so the two witnesses are very clearly Moses and Elijah. Okay. Then John sees that or hears the voices speaking to him. When they have finished their testimony. The beast that comes up from the bottomless pit, from the abyss, will make war on them and conquer them and kill them. Now, I told you sometime few weeks ago that the word conquering in John's vision with two exceptions. Always applies to either Jesus or the redeemed citizens of New Jerusalem. Here is the first instance where conquering is used for something of the rebellious realm of the beast. For the beast that comes up from the from the bottomless pit. We'll make war on them and conquer them and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city that is prophetically called Sodom and Egypt, where also their lord was crucified. Now that pretty well identifies what the city is, you know, Jerusalem. Whether John is is indicating, you know, the Jews who have rejected God's messiah with this imagery, we can't be sure. But here is what's significant. Come back. Let let me let me go on for three and a half days. Members of the peoples and tribes and languages and nations falling in Babylon will gaze on their dead bodies and refuse to let them be placed in a tomb, which, of course, is in that culture, in that world, in that day.
This was sort of the ultimate act of degradation that you didn't bury your your enemy when you had vanquished them. You just let the body rot in the open and the inhabitants of the earth. Now, see, notice not what you got here in nine and ten. What's pushing the wrong button here? You're in line. You've got those people's language, people's tribes, languages and nations. And then in ten, those who call upon the earth, you've got the two statements, the two terms Paul uses for the cities in the fall of Babylon brought together here in this situation. And they will gloat over them and celebrate and exchange presents, because these two prophets have been a torment to those who call upon the Earth inhabitants of the earth. Yeah. Then verse eight, if I understand it correctly, he just compared Jerusalem to Sodom and Egypt. And that has been a pretty arresting imagery for Jews. I mean, Jerusalem is like. Like it. Yeah. And you just basically said, well, it's really just Sodom, which we all know what happened to Sodom and what. Yeah. Yeah. You know, the the early Christian writers use some pretty powerful imagery to to distinguish between Christians and non believing Jews and Jewish believers. Paul, For instance, in Galatians, he uses his imagery of Sarah and Hagar. And of course, Hagar, you know, the mother. Ishmail The the Arab tribes. And Sarah, of course, is, you know, the mother of Isaac, etc.. And, you know, the whole Jewish tradition. What does Paul do with those images? He turns up absolutely 180 degrees upside down, so that Hagar represents the present Jerusalem and Sarah represents the Christian community, the heavenly Jerusalem. So you see, Paul is is playing with something of the exact same imagery that that John is doing and doing the same thing with it, perhaps.
So. He sees that the citizens of Holland Babylon, you see, they're having this great party. To remind you, if you read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, you know, the scene where where Aslan is is slain by the white witch and her horses. And they have this great party. You know, they're just rejoicing and just living it up, you know, because more of this, the lion, the enemy has been conquered. Yeah. Our bill had mentioned that the two witnesses also be represented of kind of a corporate the church's witness. And I think it can work if you have the church witnessing in the spirit of Moses and Elijah with the ability to to do these things between the sixth and the seventh trumpets, you have the church's witness apparently squelch or not the witness, but they've killed so many people that they think it's over that one. And then comes the seventh trumpet when they realize, Oh, no, we lost. Well, I don't agree with Bill. And of course, you probably realize if you're reading the footnotes, Bill don't agree with me on every point either. You sort of have this dialog going on anyway. I don't think this has anything to do with the church. Let me let me go on try to finish this out. How are we doing here? I think probably do this. But then after. After the three and a half days. Hmm. A breath. The breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet. And those who saw them were terrified. So now these two witnesses you see there, they're linked to the crucifixion. First of all. We're there. And by the way, this is the only place in John's vision where crucifixion is mentioned.
The cross is a constant thread all the way through. But this is the only explicit mention of crucifixion. Okay. So the two emotions in Elijah are are linked to the crucifixion. Now they're linked to the resurrection. You see a breath of life from God enters them. They stood on their feet and then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying them, Come up here. And they went up to heaven in a cloud. Who else went up to heaven in a cloud? Jesus. The Ascension. So here you've got Moses and Elijah and went to Moses and Elijah represent and the Jewish imagery all along the prophets. Right. Okay. You knew about Moses and Elijah. Brought together. In They die in the death of Jesus, the crucifixion, our resurrected and ascended. What John is seeing here is that in the cross, this is where John comes not quite to the final understanding of the cross. We won't get to Chapter 12, but here is every every level of the cross he sees at a deeper and deeper level here. John is seeing that in the cross. The law and the prophets have been consummated, that this is God's fulfillment of the old covenant. And of the promise to the prophets. Now, what does Jesus say in the Sermon on the Mount? John five. Matthew 517 I do not think that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets. I have not come to abolish them but want to fulfill them. How did Jesus fulfilled along the prophets? Through his death, resurrection and ascension. So what John is seeing here. Is. This is God's response. Now, remember, we're dealing with here in this interlude is God's response to the the horrible bondage of sin to which to its torment and to its destructiveness.
And that the old covenant could not do it. The open scroll, remember, was sweet in the mouth, but bitter in the stomach. The old covenant couldn't do it, but the old covenant has been consummated in the cross, and that is where it has been done. That is where God has dealt with the problem of sin is on the cross, and that the cross is the fulfillment of what the law and the prophets hoped for. Okay. And at that moment. Now at which moment their death. The resurrection. Their ascension. I would suggest. Yes. You know, in that act, we might say the Greek says in that our. There was a great earthquake and a 10th of the city fell. Now, look at the grief here. It's impossible to put this in English. Make any sense? And a 10th of the city fell and. They were killed in the earthquake. Names of humans. Thousand. Seven. 7000. Names of humans. Seven. That's an awfully strange way to say. 7000 people die. Why didn't John just say 7000 people died? What does it say? Names of humans. 7009. What's going on here? And then the rest. The rest. We're terrified. Or we're feared and gave glory to God in heaven. At some point in time. Yeah. And the rest. Became Führer's. And gave glory to the God of heaven. What's going on here? Of course, the earthquake image is an image of radical destruction. What is the image of a 10th in the Jewish pool of images? The tie. What does the tie represent? Offering. Offering a god. Anything else there? Hmm. Well, you know, you get the there, the tides, the Levites. But we we really get a misunderstanding of tithing. And of course, I mean the church time anyway.
But but we think of tithing as we give 10% to God and the 90% is mine. That's not what tithing is about. The 10% is given to God is an acknowledgment that the whole 100% belongs to God. That the 90% that is left to our care is a stewardship entrusted to us. To fulfill the purposes God has for us in this world. For the care of our family, for the care of our community, of faith, for the care of the world around us. We really blown it when we you know, we urge our people to pi, you know, give 10% to the church. Yeah. Okay. Well, what we need to train them is that. All that they have is gods. They are stewards of what God has entrusted to them. And that giving the 10% to God doesn't let you off the hook. You must be a faithful steward. Of the 90% that got costs to you. So if a 10th of the city has fallen, what does this mean? The whole city is in God's hand. Now. What city are we talking about here? Following that a lot. While in Babylon. Remember, the people in the city are those who fell upon the earth. Those are every tribe, nations, young people. This fall in Babylon. So. And this is. See, this is why it is fallen Babylon at the cross. Remember the first thing Jesus said? I was dead. Chapter one. Behold, I am alive forevermore. And I have the kiss of death. And Hades across has pulled the rug out from under the entire structure of the rebellious order. And so here you see. Its image in a 10th of the city, felt a 10th of the city fell. The whole city has fallen to God.
God has already won the victory. Now names of humans. 7.7 represents what? You should know, completion totality. If you want to emphasize a number, one of the ways to do it is to want to multiply it by a thousand. Now. So that's that part of it. Now, why does he say names of humans? What does name mean? It has to do with the nature. What part? What, Paul, what John is seeing here is that in across the totality of fallen human nature, God. That the cross was the judgment upon fallen human nature. It's what Paul says in in Second Corinthians. Ten Corinthians 514. We are convinced, Paul says, that one has died for all. Therefore all have not. It was Paul saying. Paul is saying that in the cross. Judgment has been passed upon the entirety of fallen humanity. And then Paul goes on. He died for all in order that those who live, it's a smaller group. Those who live might live no longer for themselves. So that's self-reference life. That is death. But for him, who for their sake, died and rose again. The true self. You see the Christ. It's what John is seeing that in the cross in the consummation of the law, in the prophets, in the cross. The totality of fallen humanity, the fallen human nature guide. Then we said the rest became Führer's and gave glory to the God of heaven. Here we're seeing the redeemed. We're going to see Father on this the first time we get this image of of fearing and giving glory. In chapter 14, we're going to see an angel flying in middle heaven with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell upon the earth. And what is it? Fear God and give him glory.
So this is John's imagery you see for. A right relationship with God. So there is part of all of humanity you see that has been resurrected, trying to talk about the resurrection later. That resurrection later. Who has been resurrected, you see, to come to life in New Jerusalem. So the second wall has passed. The third wall is coming very soon. Now, the only problem is it never comes. Not in transition. I mentioned this before. You see four, four, four fall in Babylon. This is a terrible wall because. It is the undoing of the whole order of fallen Babylon. And this this will link in John is going to image this in another way for us when we go to chapter 13. This is what he's talking about when he talks about the beast has has a mortal wound that was healed. I mean, there's an oxymoron for you because by definition, a healed wound is not mortal. And by definition, a mortal wound can't be healed. But the beast has a mortal wound that was healed. Well, here it is. Fall in Babylon goes on as though nothing had happened. Something has happened, you see, on a Babylon as a walking dead man. In the seventh Angel. Blows his trumpet. And there were loud voices in heaven saying the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Messiah, and He will reign forever and ever. Here's the Hallelujah chorus. Okay. Then the 24 elders who sat on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worship God singing We give you thanks, Lord God Almighty, who are and who were for you, have taken your great power and begun to reign. Now, here is the point I said.
We come to remember in chapter one Grace to you in peace, when the one who is who was and is to come. Right versus later. The one who is who was in is to come chapter four. The one who is who was and is to come. You get here, it's the one who is who was. What happened to is to come. It's not there. Two later textual variants have added it back in or added it in, but it's not there in the original text. Why? Because in the cross guard came. And from this point on, God is the one who is and who was because he's come. He's come in the cross. He has consummated the law in the prophets in the Bronx. He has dealt with the problem of sin in the cross. He has come. So at this point, you see you no longer have. It's coming. It's happened. Where you've taken your great power and begun to rain. The cross is God's victory. And Handel got it right. You know, most people haven't ever sat through the whole the whole Messiah. Think how in the course of the piece it's not. It's a little over halfway through. Because Handel recognized this reality. At the victory is already one. And we're going to see, you know, Satan's too dumb to. Stuff keeps on going as though he might turn things around. It's never going to happen. Never going to happen. Okay. Uh, good place to stop and pick up there on Thursday and move on.