What does Revelation 19:1-10 mean to us now?

2 10 2010

 

Our authentic vindication is that we have received our justification in Christ. It is sealed and is more valuable that we will ever know; evil has no vindication and will have no acquittal. When we are faithful, no matter what we have experienced or been through, He is with us, and He, Jesus Himself, will give us vindication. Then, the question we are to seek is how then do I live my Christian life? As a response to whom He is and what He has done, or rather, as I see fit? In context, this is also about bringing the Truth of Christ to our churches and using them to bring His Truth to the world. Thus, the church must remain in Him and see His Supremacy, not our feeble ideas and agendas that are contrary to His Word and call. This also means we are not to allow ourselves to bow to compliancy, idolatry, or apostasy!  

This passage is a proclamation not just to know and trust God, but to praise Him with a praise that anticipates His goodness and realizes His faithfulness, because we are already victorious in Christ.  This marriage supper is about our faith in, relationship with, and commitment to Christ; it is our response to Him from our gratitude and to declare to one another, His Church, to be prepared in knowledge and faith in Him, and to live our lives worthy for Him. Thus, this passage is also about discipleship; we learn of Him so to be in Him, and live worthy with our redemption that we have received (Eph. 5:25-27). 

Questions to Ponder: 

  1. What can motivate you more to serve Christ wholeheartedly and righteously? What about how you would lead and manage a church?
  1. How can the fact that Christ is all supreme, all powerful and strong, all mighty, and the ruler of all things help you move from leading by personal agendas to leading with His precepts, character, Fruit, and call?
  1. How do you feel that our salvation is compared to a banquet, a most high privilege and honor? Do you think your salvation is an honor? How so? What are you going to do with that information in your daily walk?
  1. How can your church do a better job at seeing and applying His Supremacy rather than feeble ideas and agendas that are contrary to His Word and call?
  1. What can you as a church do to prevent yourselves from bowing to compliancy, idolatry, or apostasy?

 

© 2007 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org





The Four Main Views of Revelation 19:1-10

2 10 2010

 

The Preterist view: This camp is split as to whether it refers to Jerusalem or to Rome. Most see this as a declaration of praise for His faithful delivery, the omnipotent reign of God, and for the Church to get ready for Christ’s return, being prepared by faith in Him. This is demonstrated by the prostration of the twenty-four elders and the Hallelujahs, Praise the Lord, and roar. The marriage of the Lamb is seen as a declaration of the new covenant or epoch of grace in which we live as Christians. This is also a contrast or correlative to the divorce of the harlot and the fulfillment of His promise to be faithful. This also is seen as a declaration to the Church to prepare its people for its nuptials (discipleship), and to live worthy with the redemption that we have received. 

The Futurist view: Most in this camp see this passage as a call of God to rejoice in the fall of the beast and Babylon! The marriage of the Lamb is seen as Israel being reunited to Christ and God’s relationship with the Jews restored and brought into the Christian Church. Others see this as figurative, solely the Church and its union with Christ. Most see this happening right after the rapture and the end of the tribulation, while others see this as the Church being friends of the Bridegroom from John 3:29. Some see this as the unsaved people, after the rapture, being offered salvation or the saints of all the church age past, present, and future. Some see the marriage of the Lamb and the marriage supper as two distinct feasts, ignoring Jewish wedding traditions and word meanings, saying one group is for the Jews and the other for Christians. Some go so far as to say the bridegroom is not Christ and the guests are not the Church, ignoring the rest of the counsel of Scripture. Testimony of Jesus is seen as the whole council of God, His Word and Spirit to the Church, and/or the call for the Church to be a good witness. Others take this as finding the key to Revelation, not from the proper understanding of Scripture, but from subjective analysis, from personal whims, and from sensational insights, while others who read the Bible see this as the redemptive work of Christ for the Church.  

The Idealist view: They see this passage as the end of human time when Christ is about ready to return. The marriage of the Lamb is seen as the day of doom for the beast and its followers while the faithful are rewarded. The marriage is consummated as Christ takes the Church as His bride. The cost of the dowry was paid by Christ on the cross. The wedding guests are not only the people invited, they are also His bride, and the individual guests are collectively His Church. Fine linen is seen as the wedding clothes worn by the bride and groom, representing Christ and His purity and the call of purity and faithfulness to His Church. Testimony of Jesus is seen as a call to Christian leaders (prophets) to take the Word of God and the Spirit and put it in their mouths to be proclaimed to their church. 

The Historicist view: They see this passage as a celebration of the fall of the papal system and the rise of the Reformed Church out of the Reformation (true believers in Christ). Halleluiah is also the celebration of the faithful Jews for being included in the Kingdom (because of the use of the Hebrew word Halleluiah instead of one of the many Greek equivalents). The marriage of the Lamb is seen as the beginning of the millennial reign of Christ, or the reign of the true reformed Church of Christ. Others see this as those in Christ receiving their salvation and rewards. The rejoicing is the growth of the Church, its adherence to the Bible and the fading of the oppression and manipulations of the Catholic Church. Do not do it given to John is seen as a reminder not to fall back into apostasy or manipulation as a church or Church universal. As a Church, we are the bride of Christ called to proclaim Him, not to worship what is false, traditions, saints, Mary, popes, angels, relics, and/or indulgences.

 





Exegetical look into Revelation 19:6-10

2 10 2010

 

  • Sounded like a great multitude…roar…waters means worship music to honor God and/or the music in a wedding celebrating the joining of two families (Jer. 25:30-32).
  • Lord God Almighty/Omnipotent means that Christ is all supreme, all powerful and strong, all mighty, and the ruler of all things. Refers to the supremacy and power of Christ, as He is “Omnipotent,” ultimate, and our Deliverer, and nothing in the universe compares to Him; it is our duty to reverence and worship Him. There is no stronger language to show Christ’s Divinity and Supremacy (Ex. 15:18; Job 37:5-6; Psalm 97:1; Is. 24:23; 52:7; Ezek. 1:24; 43:2; Dan. 10:6; Micah 4:7; 2 Cor. 6:18; Col. 1:17; Rev. 16:7).
  • Wedding/marriage of the Lamb. This was an image of our Redeemer’s intimacy and the community between God and His children. This is beyond a metaphor as it is about the life, love, and joy that a first century marriage celebration represented that Christ shares with us and calls us to share with one another in our covenant of Grace. This is also a contrast to the divorce of the harlot (Ex. 22:16; Is. 54:5-7; Hos. 2:19-20; Matt. 9:15; 22:2; John 2:1-3; 3:29; 22:2-14; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:25-32; Heb. 2:5; 6:5; 1 John 1:3-10).
  • Let us rejoice and be glad. This too is an expression of honor, glory, and gratitude to God for who He is and what He has done. It expresses our praise and honor for His glory. In Christ, we are like a bride married to a groom, as Israel was a bride of God. This is a celebration of our salvation in Him (Matt. 5:12; Rev. 21:2).
  • Fine/pure linen means righteousness and purity. Referred to priests and their clothing as representing God’s holiness and purity. These angels represented God’s glory (Lev. 16:4; Prov. 15:33, 18:12; Dan. 12:6-7; 1 Pet. 5:5).
  • Blessed are those who are invited. This is the fourth “beatitude” in Matthew, and it refers to those who are faithful in Christ. In Him, we will receive the good will of God as blessings from Christ; those who reject Him will be judged. Being blessed also refers to the emotional states of satisfaction, well-being, and contentment that result from being approved by God and by the fulfilling of our duty. It is enjoying God’s special favor and His Grace working in us. It is like being told by our parents that they are proud of us (Matt. 5:1-12; Rev. 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7-14). There are also seven beatitudes in Revelation (Rev. 1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7, 14).
  • Wedding/marriage supper means a Jewish wedding where the marriage is consummated and celebrated with family and friends. This is a promise of deliverance and reward for being faithful as Christ takes the Church as His bride, and the dowry, which He paid on the cross. This is also an expression of God’s intimacy and agency with us, but also a contrast between the horror of evil and the joys of goodness. Our salvation is compared to a banquet, a most high privilege and honor in the ancient world. In Him we are cleansed, saved, and redeemed. We belong to Him; thus, our church, His Church, must be sanctified to Him. Some misguided people see these as two different gatherings—the marriage of the Lamb and the feast; one is for the Jews and the other for Christians. This is a false dichotomy (“exegetical fallacy”) and greatly misses the point that there is no race segregation in Christ—only those who know Him and those who do not (Is. 25:6-9; Matt. 22:2, 26-29; 2 Cor. 11:2-3; Eph. 5:26; Col. 1:22; 1 Thess. 5:15-24; 1 Tim. 4:16; 1 John 3:3; Rev. 7:17).
  • Fell at his feet to worship him. Meaning that worship is an essential component of communion and community; we communicate our love, adoration, and gratitude to Christ, doing it together as a church locally, as a Church universally, and with all of creation “in concert.”
  • Do not do it. John is perhaps overwhelmed by the glory and all that is seen and said, stimulating him to instinctually worship the angel; thus the angel rebukes his error. Many pagans at that time worshiped angels and created beings. It is Christ alone whom we worship—the Godhead Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—One God, and the only One whom we are to worship (Col. 2:18).
  • Testimony of Jesus. Jesus is the Witness to the Church universal and the angel speaking to John is bearing the very words of Christ to him; then, John becomes the witness of Christ to not only to his churches but also to us today through the written Word. A proper witness to Christ will be identified by the distinction between good and false teaching and/or good verses bad love, Fruit and character and/or a good or a failing church (Matt. 22:1-14; 25:1-13; 1 John 4:1-6; Rev. 1: 2; 2:20; 6:9; 22:9).




Exegetical look into Revelation 19:1-5

2 10 2010

 

  • Great multitude (Rev. 7:9). A common Jewish use of expression. Some have suggested these are the martyrs from chapter six or the expression, “all will praise Him” (Gen. 41:25-27; Rev. 5:9; 6:11; 7:1-8; 10:11; 11:9; 13:7; 14:6. 17:15).
  • Hallelujah/Alleluia/Praise the LORD means more than just “honor;” it is a call to worship. As a church is the representation of Heaven on earth, this is a command to worship God in His court. It is the only place in Scripture this word is found, although its Hebrew equivalent rendered as “alleluia” (Greek rendering), “Praise the Lord,” or “Praise ye the LORD,” (Praise Yahweh) are found in the Psalms, chapters 104-106, 111-113, 117, 135, 146-150, and many more. This is a Liturgical expletive a priest uses called a “piel,” as in a command to call the people to praise and worship Yahweh (Jer 51:48; Psalm 104:34).
  • Avenged/vindication on her the blood refers that evil gets its just reward and punishment, and those who are faithful are vindicated (Deut. 32:43; Psalm 79:10; Jer. 51:48-49).
  • Smoke from her goes up means God makes war on evil. This is a reference to the fall of Edom in Isaiah, meaning that wickedness and worldliness will fall and be judged (Is. 34:10; 66:24).
  • Just are his judgments. God never acts with bad intentions or out of anger or spite, but He does pay back evil and justly judges with the whole council of real, effectual truth, as well as all of His characters of grace and mercy. Evil will be judged and it must pay God for what it took for God and those who are faithful! If there is genuine repentance, then Christ Himself paid that debt on the cross (Rev. 15:3-4; 16:5-7)!
  • The twenty-four elders. This is a reference that this celebration is before all for His all. Those with authority, in the context of a church, are God’s representatives called to declare and serve Him wholeheartedly and righteously just as we are called to lead and manage a church. God is above all and the only One worthy to receive praise, as all that is considered mighty and wondrous in the ancient world is depicted as praising God (Heb. 12:22-24; see Rev. 4:4-6).
  • Amen. This means “so be it for ever and ever.” It is also a call for us to learn to surrender to Him and be trusting and obedient to Him, because nothing can stand against Him (Gen. 18:18; 22:18; Isa. 60:1-5; Psalm 37:7, 20, 24; Rev. 7:9-17; 10:11; 12:5; 13:7; 14:6-8; 15:4; 17:15; 18:3; 19:15; 20:3; 21:24-27).
  • Fear him. “Fear” means awe and reverence of God, not being scared of Him (Prov. 1:7; 3:5).




Revelation 19:1-10: What are the Contexts?

2 10 2010

This passage is about the marriage of the Lamb to the Church, His dowry being the pain and suffering that He endured on the cross, something that no one else could pay. Jesus is giving the call to the Bride, His Church, to be pure and faithful and to rejoice in Him. This passage is also a contrast of good and evil, the triumph of Christ and the defeat of Satan; the glorification of the True Church and the defeat of a false church. This is also about how good character, faithfulness, and Fruit will win out over evil, even when all seems bleak and dark. This is a celebration of the Majesty, Presence, and Goodness of God.  As the themes of the past few chapters have focused on evil, sin, its judgments, and those who miss it and their mourning, now it is about celebration! Those who were faithful while living and were martyred rejoice in God’s faithfulness and their vindication. Sin has been judged and God is glorified; He rewards those who are true to Him. It is a testimony that godless systems, sin, and iniquity against God and the faithful will not work long or well. Evil is judged and condemned while true spirituality in Christ is eternally rewarded and beneficial. This is also about our own vindication, and all the benefits we have when we are in Christ. We are a part of His Kingdom that is being showcased in this passage, so we who are in Christ can sing a loud and clear Hallelujah

In Christ we have immeasurable intimacy and community with God as His child. How can that motivate you to live with your eyes more on Him and less on your circumstances? How can this affect your complacency and fears in serving Him?





Revelation 19:1-10

2 10 2010

Introduction 

Praise from Heaven 

God has punished the great harlot, judged the corruptions of the earth, and avenged His faithful. Now, John hears a vast, resounding Amen and Hallelujah! Shouts of praise and thanksgiving, all coming from Heaven, were echoing from all those who surrounded him in his heavenly vision in the very Temple of God. The elders, who were all there, fell prostrate before God as they sang His praise. John hears that salvation is from God and His power, judgments, and purposes are just and pure. He is a God who is real and trustworthy, who carries out His promises and holy plan. Then, another voice comes out saying praise our God—a call for all to say, for all to know and fear Him. Then, a shout comes out like a roar from a large crowd, also saying Hallelujah, let us be glad and rejoice in Him! The time of sorrow is over; now is the wedding feast of the Lamb that we as the faithful can partake in as God rewards us for our good deeds and faithfulness. Then, the angel tells John to write this down: blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb. These words come from God! Then, John is overwhelmed and starts to worship the angel, but is rebuked; the angel says do not worship me; worship Jesus, His Majesty and Presence, and testify your faith to Him so others can know Him too. Then, he falls down prostrate before God in fear and awe of his majesty and presence.

What are you grateful to God for? What happens when Christians forget to be grateful? How does ingratitude affect the church and call that Christ gives us?

 





What does Revelation 17:6-18 mean to us now?

13 08 2010

 

These people think they do not need Christ and that they will escape the judgment of God! Such people and thinking is only contemptible and self destructive, because nothing can challenge God. Any human conspiracy against God, no matter how vast and well planned will utterly fail, as no evil effort on our part will bear out successfully against His Way. Nor will our obnoxious behaviors or apostasy in a church will pay out success. So why do it? Meanwhile a call is being issued by God, at the same time manipulations on our part, our sinful nature and schemes battle His Church from His own flock. While the immorality of the world are being constructed and promoted by the evil ones, each one beckoning the allegiance and loyalty of the people of earth to choose—either follow the harlot of evil, or the Bride, the Loving Lord of Hosts (Rev. 21:9). This beast, whether it is a specific personality or a theme, seems to appear and cause havoc and chaos, then manipulates the situation so it seems not to be directly responsible. From a chaos in a mismanaged church to the malevolent evils from the ways of the world keep fighting against God. So, people are tricked, thinking sin is OK, and that Satan and evil are not to be blamed, or the cause. Thus, evil seemingly is not always present, but is effects are and will continue to be so, until God places His final stop on it. In the meantime we, the faithful, should not bow to evil or apostasy or even apathy for that matter. Our eyes are to be on Christ and Him alone. 

The main prostitution we should worry about as Christians is Church Leadership falling to pride, apostasy, and the ways of the world versus faithfulness to Christ! Never think evil is just in the world and not in our local church. Gossiping in God’s site is as evil as evil can be, just look up “gossip” in a concordance and see what He says about it! So is leading a church our way and not His! How we lead a church says what our real devotion and character is about, is it placating to pride, false agendas and trends or worshiping and glorifying Christ as Lord? How will your church be led? 

The main meaning for us is to heed Christ’s love, grace, and call, and that any evil power—past, present, or future—is not to be feared by us Christians! The phrase, God has put it in their hearts, refers that He is still in control. Even when the world seems to be in chaos and discord, He is there with us, ever faithful and still in charge. Our duty and call is to fix our eyes on Christ, not on the troubles. This is the key to dealing with suffering and when life does not seem to make sense (2 Cor. 4:18; Heb. 12:1-3). 

Questions to Ponder: 

  1. How has understanding the background and word meanings helped you better understand? What causes people not to want to know the truth, choosing just to rely on their own thinking and presumptions? How do our presumptions get in the way of our growth in Christ?
  1. When you go through trials and troubles, what reassures you? What can you do to be better at reassuring others when they have such issues and troubles? What can you do to be better at encouragement and kindness?
  1. Church leadership falling to pride, apostasy, and the ways of the world versus faithfulness to Christ—this is the main prostitution we should worry about as Christians. So, what can we do about this?

 © 2007 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries http://www.intothyword.org





The Four Main Views of Revelation 17:6-18

13 08 2010

 

The Preterist view: They see this passage as the ways and means as well as God’s judgments of oppressive Rome or apostate Jerusalem. The seven hills is seen literally as Rome, either as the ones attacking Israel in 70 A.D. or the ones John is speaking about. Most in this camp see this as dealing with the seven successions of Caesars—Julius, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, and then Galba or Vespasian (some of these had very short reigns such as Galba, Otho and Vitellius). The Great Prostitute is seen as the apostate, either Rome and its evils or Jerusalem and its rejection of God as Lord, trading allegiance to Him for compromise and apostasy. Thus, Jerusalem is prostituting itself to Rome by supporting and partaking of its evils as Jesus pointed out in Matthew 23. Others see this as Nero’s evil terror reign against the Christians. The ten horns are seen in the same way, symbolizing the kings of Rome, or the ways and means of these evil Emperors or evil apostate Jerusalem. Others see the kings and horns as the provinces of Rome and the partaking of its inequity, mainly the persecution of Christians. 

The Futurist view: Most in this camp see this passage as Rome coming back into power, the Catholic Church or another entity as its theme. Others see this as Jerusalem or the succession of the great Kingdoms of Daniel and the seventh kingdom that has not come as of the writing concerning the reign of the antichrist. The ten horns is seen as ten evil rulers under the control of the beast and antichrist, waging havoc upon the earth, such as future Europe and the fifth beast of Daniel, chapter seven, in the last days. Most in this camp see this as a parallel to Daniel, chapter seven. They also see this as leading up to the battle of Armageddon. The king of kings is seen as Christ and the waters as the nations in defiance to Him. Some see this as the Roman Catholic Church coming into greater dominion and influence with apostasy. The hate the prostitute theme is seen as rivalry between factions of evil and/or the beast—after he uses people, he destroys them. Others see this as an assertion to Jezebel and how evil she was.  

The Idealist view: They see this passage as Nero himself and his inflicting tribulations upon the early church, or the theme of his evils upon humanity over the centuries. Hills are seen as the peaks of evils, from totalitarian and anti-God governments, from Rome to Hitler. The ten horns are seen as the Parthian kings and/or the kings from the east. Others see these as the provinces of Rome or its allies, while others take a futurist view and see this as a future Europe, as the fifth beast of Daniel, chapter seven. Others see this as a symbol for anti-Christian powers dominating and persecuting the faithful. Some see this as the kingdoms that form after the fall of Rome, which lead up to the Holy Roman Empire of Caligula. These are the powers and themes that war with God and the Lamb, such as persecutions, and even apostasy in the Church. God has put it into their hearts means that God is still in charge, sovereign even and in spite of evil governments. 

The Historicist view: They see this passage as Rome, in antiquity, as a theme of a persecuting power who is evil and bows to false gods and wicked ways such as Rome’s fall because of its vices as in “the road to perdition,” or to papal Rome in the Middle Ages taking over from Rome prior to the Reformation. Some see this as Rome transitioning to the first Christian Emperors such as Constantine, and their battles with the old Rome vanguard and its evil ways, and the struggle to convert to Christianity. Others see this as the evil papacy. The ten horns are seen as the various kingdoms that spouted up hastily and that are anti-church, persecuting the faithful, such as The Holy Roman Empire and the West versus the Eastern papacy. Others see this as the succession of Roman-Gothic English kingdoms such as the Anglo-Saxons and Visigoths. The harlot burning is seen as the fall of Rome and it being literally burned by the Goths. Some see this as the French Revolution in the late 18th century.





Exegetical look into Revelation 17:12-18

13 08 2010

 

  • Ten horns. Rome, at this time, had ten, main, imperial provinces, representing the totality or conspiracy of evil. Possibly refers to Daniel’s 10 kingdoms and kings and/or the meaningless succession of kings who have contempt for God. This is also an allusion to the Parthian threat as it describes their leadership structure and their horse fittings “Satraps.” This does not appear to mean “angel kings” (Dan 7:24; Rev. 16:12-16; 19:19; 20:08).
  • Not yet received a kingdom…Lamb will overcome them. Meaning nothing can challenge God. Any human conspiracy against God, no matter how vast and well planned, is nothing to God. God will prove His Way and make evil and apostasy pay (Psalm 2:2; 83:5; Is. 1:21; Jer. 2:20; Ezek. 16 7 23; Micah 1:7).
  • One hour. Means a short period of time and/or a period of temptation (Mark 13:11; Rev 3:10).
  • Will give. Referring that at this time, it is beyond temptation and deception; they are willing and thus responsible for their choice (Rev. 13:4; 16:17).
  • King of kings. A title for the Parthian kings. It is an insult to the reference as a title for God and the real “King of kings.” Christ is Lord, and the supreme sovereignty. This is also alluding to those who rule over Jerusalem (Deut. 10:17; Psalm 136:2-3; Ezek. 26:7; Dan. 2:37, 47; 10:17; Acts 4:26-27; 1 Tim. 6:15).
  • Then the angel said to me. This angel commences to explain to John these symbols. The “waters” are the confused people while the devil’s deceptions and hatred turn upon themselves and mutually destroy each other (Rev. 3:15-16 8:10,11 17:1).
  • The beast/the devil hateswill hate the prostitute. Evil has no real companionship or loyalty, and will turn on even itself, meaning it will self-destruct. Evil will turn upon itself and others that are evil; there is no loyalty or good character in wickedness. They only gather for their own selfish reasons that fit them at the time. This is also a possible allusion to the fall of Rome and how its kings and provinces quickly abandoned their commitment and faith to Rome in the fifth century. (Jer. 4:30; Lam. 1:2; Ezek. 16:37-41; 23:9; Amos 1:4; John 8:44; Rom. 6:23; 2 Thess. 2:8-12).
  • Eat her flesh and burn her with fire. Meaning self-destruction, as one’s depravity equates one’s loss. Also, that one evil judges other evil as they punish each other. This is a possible reference to how Nero burned Rome with the consequence being the loss of his empire and then his life. Without faithfulness, we have nothing. It can be how the Barbarians, and then later the Goths, overran Rome and destroyed it. This can also mean political powers and their lust for power and control. In addition, God uses one evil to judge another evil. This is also a theme of evil and Satan; after he uses people, he destroys them (Lev. 21:9; Jer. 51:11-29; 52:3; Joel 2:11; Amos 1:4; Dan. 7:11).
  • Give the beast their power to rule. Evil dominates this world but has limited power and authority.
  • God has put it into their hearts. This is a picture of God’s grace and assurance that He is with us in dire times, and that he is still in control, even when we do not see Him (Is. 54:16-17).
  • The great city is a colloquialism for Rome, as we might say “Wall Street,” referring to stocks and business, not necessarily the actual street. Thus, this is referring to the evils of Rome or the attitude and way of the evils of Rome. It also alludes to Jerusalem breaking her covenant with God (1 Kings 10:24; Ezra 1:4-7; Rom. 2:17-24).
  • Rules over the kings is also a colloquialism for Rome. There was no doubt to John’s readers—John was clearly referring to Rome and its evils. But, the application and context was to the seven churches!




Exegetical look into Revelation 17:6-11

13 08 2010

 

  • Drunk with the blood of the saints/martyrs/witnesses…testimony to Jesus. Saints here refers to “witnesses” as in a court of law, of Christ whose testimony showed who He is. This is a comparison of what is evil to what is good, a parody of evil and why we need to have hope and trust in Christ (Is. 23:17; Jer. 51:7; Acts 22:20; Rev. 2:13; 14:8; 16:6; 17:6; 18:3).
  • Greatly astonished/wondered. John was “marveled” as in awestruck by the audacity of the situation; this is not admiration as in approval, rather astonishment with disgust (2 Cor. 11:14). 
  • Once was, now is not, and will come up/that was, and is not, and yet is. Perhaps John sees that Satan is active for a time and then is stopped. This also means the beast’s power was gone or limited for a time, and then he rises up for a final battle. Some see this as Satan’s actual appearance on earth. Also, this is the symbol that evil is persistent, the universal struggle between good and evil, between God and Satan, even when we do not see it or admit to it. This phrase also alludes that persecutions are coming’ persecutions tend to have a pattern, as told in Daniel. This, in context, means the attempt to counterfeit God, as the Lamb of God (Gen 3:1, Job 1:7; Dan. 7; 1 John 12:31, 16:7-11; Acts 1:16-18; 2 Thess. 2:7;1 Pet. 5:8; Rev. 1:4-8,18; 2:8; 4:8; 9:1-11; 13:2-3; 12:9-10; 20:7).
  • Book of life. (See Revelation Study 13:5-8)
  • Go to his destruction. Evil will have its day of judgment, and its ultimate fate has been set by God. This may also be referring that although evil is a genuine reality and it is unrelenting, there will be a time to come when God places a stop to it. He also limits it, for the believer, with His grace by not allowing anything to come to us that we can’t bear or learn from (John 15:16; 17:12; Acts 15:10-11; Rom. 13:4; 1 Cor. 10:13; 2 Thess. 2:3).
  • Will be astonished. Evil will be judged; in the meantime, they will think they are in the clear and are doing OK. This is a great comfort for struggling Christians under persecution (Rev 20:1-3, 7-10).
  • Seven heads are seven hills. Refers to Rome, as the original Rome was an association of seven hill colonies on the bank of the Tiber River. This also refers to its festival of “Septimontium.” This was an image on some of the Roman coins (Rev. 2:14).
  • Seven hills. In context the words “mountains” or “nations” mean political kingdoms or territories. This was also a common title, literary pictogram, and symbol for Rome. Its banner and seal bore an image of “the city on seven hills.” (Roman writers of the time used this image such as Martial, Virgil, and Cicero.) In Jewish writings, this meant judgment (Sibylline Oracles 2:18; 11:109-116). John often uses complementary symbols to make his point as he does with kings in this passage.
  • Seven kings. From the first emperor Augustus, to Domitian, there were seven; thus, it is a possible connection to the then current state in Rome to the Seven Churches, or a metaphor for us on corruption and the dangers of following it. This can also be a metaphor for the power of the Roman Empire or the succession of the mighty, ancient kingdoms of Egypt, Babylon, Meads, Persia, Rome, and/or one that was forgotten or yet to come. The main meaning for us is that we as Christians do not need to fear any evil power—past, present, or future! All of the kings were dead or will die and God is still in control. There were many myths in the Emperor Worship cults that the dead emperors would rise, come back, and seek revenge on all those who do not worship them. This was very popular and feared (Rev. 13).
  • Five have fallen. May refer to the cycle of persecutions or that in the succession of the seven Roman Emperors at the time of the writing, two are left to come.
  • Destruction. Referring to “perdition,” as that evil is self destructive and will fall upon itself.





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