"And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know ... For we know in part and we prophesy in part" (1 Cor. 8:2, 13:9)

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Commentaries on the book of Revelation

Fragments discussed: 4:4 | 7:9-17 | 14:1-5

Fragments discussed: 4:4 | 7:9-17 | 14:1-5

Summary of the book of Revelation

The last book in the canon of the Scripture, Revelation describes future events encompassing the Gospel Age and the future Kingdom, in which Christ and the winners of th present Gospel calling will be kings and judges of the resurrected mankind:
- Revelation 1 - introduction: revelation given to John by God through Jesus Christ to show the Church what is going to happen soon (1-3); greetings to the seven churches (4-8): Jesus as the faithful witness and the first to be raised from death (5), who made us a kingdom of priests (6), coming on the clouds and everyone will see him, including those who pierced him (7), God's titles: the first and the last, Lord God Almighty, who is, who was and who is to come (8); a vision of Christ (9-20): among seven lampstands (12), seven stars in his right hand and a sword coming out of his mouth (16), the first and the last (17), vision for the seven churches in Asia (11,20);
- Revelation 2 - letter to the church in Ephesus (1-7): you do not love me as you used to (4), those who win will eat the fruit of the tree of life that grows in the garden of God (7); letter to the church in Smyrna (8-11): those who claim to be Jews but who are not, and who belong to Satan (9), trouble for ten days, life as the prize of victory (10), the second death will not hurt them (11); letter to the church in Pergamum (12-17): this is the one with a sherp-edged sword of his mouth (12,16), the winner will receive the hidden manna and a stone with his name on it (17); letter to the church in Thyatira (18-29): you tolerate Jezebel (20), her children will be killed (23), the winner will be given authority over the nations and they will be ruled with an iron rod (26,27);
- Revelation 3 - letter to the church in Sardis (1-6): some have kept their clothes clean and will walk with Jesus, clad in white, and their names will not be removed from the book of the living (4,5); letter to the church in Philadelphia (7-13): it is the one speaking who has David's key (7), I will keep you safe from the time of trouble that is coming upon the whole earth (10), the winner will be made a pillar in God's temple (12); letter to the church in Laodicea (14-22): you are neither hot nor cold (15), if you are lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth (16), you say you are rich, but you are poor, blind and naked (17), I rebuke and punish all whom I love (19), the winner will sit beside me on my throne (21);
- Revelation 4 - the vision of the throne of God (1-11): rainbow around the throne (3), 24 elders (4), seven torches in front of the throne (5), four animals (6-8), song of glory sang by the four animals and the 24 elders (9-11);
- Revelation 5 - a scroll sealed with seven seals in the hand of the one sitting on the throne (1,2); only the Lamd can open it (3-7); the song by 24 elders and four animals (9-14): you bought for God people from every tribe and made them kings and priests, and they will rule over the earth (9,10);
- Revelation 6 - the Lamb opens six seals (1-17): the first seal - a rider with a bow on a white horse, which sets off to conquer (1,2), the second seal - a red horse of war (3,4), the third seal - a black horse of famine (5,6), the fourth seal - a pale horse that brings death (7,8), the fifth seal - the cry of the souls of the martyred saints that demand judgement (9-11), the sixth seal - the great tribulation, earthquake, signs on the sun, the moon and the stars, heaven rolled up like a scroll (12-17); ;
- Revelation 7 - four angels hold back four winds of the earth until servants of the Lord have been sealed on their foreheads (1-3); 144 000 of the sealed (4-8); the great multitude coming out of the tribulation (9-17);
- Revelation 8 - seventh seal is opened - the vision of seven trumpets (1-5); the first trumpet - hail and fire mixed with blood burn third part of the earth (6,7); the second trumpet - a burning mountain is cast to the sea (8,9); the third trumpet - a star called Wormwood falls upon the third part of the waters (10,11); the fourth trumpet - the sun and the moon are darkened (12,13);
- Revelation 9 - the fifth trumpet - the first woe (1-12): a star falls from the sky upon the earth and opens the pit of the abysss, from which smoke went out (1,2), locusts that are to harm only people (3-5, 7-10), Apollyon the king of the locusts (11), 5 months of torment (5,10); the sixth trumpet - the second woe (13-21): four angels and the vision of horsemen that kill the third part of mankind (13-19), people saved from plagues do not repent (20,21);
- Revelation 10 - the vision of an angel with a scroll (1-11): the angel stands on the ground with one foot and on the sea with the other (2), the mystery of God will be fulfilled at the sound of the seventh trumpet (6,7), John receives the scroll and eats it (8,9), it is sweet in the mouth but bitter in the stomach (10);
- Revelation 11 - two witnesses (1-13): John measures the temple (1), the outside court given to the gentiles for 42 months (2), the witnesses clothed in sack-cloth prophecy for 1260 days (3), description of the authority of the witnesses (4-6), the beast kills the witnesses (7), their corpses lie on the street of the city called Sodom and Egypt (8), people watch their corpses for 3,5 days (9), witnesses tormented people, so now they rejoice over their death (10), after 3,5 days the witnesses are resurrected and taken to heaven (11,12), earthquake and death of 7 000 (13); the seventh trumpet - the third woe (14-19): God's kingdom of the world is announced (15), anger of the nations and the time to judge the dead (18);
- Revelation 12 - the vision of the woman (1-6): she is pregnant whereas the dragon is waiting for the child to devour it (1-4), she brings forth a son who will shepherd nations with an iron rod (5), 1260 days in the wilderness (6); war in heaven, satan is cast down to the earth (7-12); the woman is nourished in the wilderness for 3,5 times (13,14); an attempt to drown her in the waters of the river (15,16), war with the rest of her offspring (17); the dragon on the sand of the sea (18);
- Revelation 13 - the dragon gives his power to the beast for 42 months, as well as the authority to persecute saints (1-10); another beast exercises the authority of the first beast (11-14); image of the beast (15); the mark on the right hand (16,17); the number of the beast: 666 (18);
- Revelation 14 - description of the 144 000: purchased as firstfruits to God, follow the Lamb wherever he goes (1-5); the first angel announces the Gospel to the nations (6,7); the second angel announces the fall of Babylon (8); the third angel warns those who receive the mark of the beast against the coming judgement (9-11); blessed are those who die in the Lord (12,13); the harvest of the earth, winepress of the fury of God (14-20);
- Revelation 15 - the song of Moses and the Lamb: all nations will worship God whose righteous judgements are manifested (1-4); the vision of God's temple, from which seven angels come out, who have seven plagues and seven bowls of the fury of God (5-8);
- Revelation 16 - angels pour out the bowls of God's fury onto the earth (1-21): the first - sore upon those who have the mark of the beast (1,2), the second - the sea becomes blood (3), the third - rivers and the springs of water become blood (4-7), the fourth - the sun burns men with fire (8,9), the fifth - darkness in the kingdom of the beast (10,11), the sixth - the Euphrates dries up, three unclean spirits come out of the mouth of the false prophet that gather nations for the war of Armageddon (12-16), I come as a thief, blessed are those who watch and keep their garments (15), the seventh - hail and earthquake, the great city is divided into three parts (17-21);
- Revelation 17 - judgement of Babylon (1-18): harlot that sits upon many waters (1,15), she sits on a beast with seven heads and ten horns (3), appearance of the harlot (4), her name written on the forehead (5), drunk with blood of the saints (6), explanation what the heads and horns are (8-14), ten kings make the harlot desolate because God put it into their hearts (17,18);
- Revelation 18 - the fall of Babylon announced (1-3); God's people urged to leave Babylon (4-8); the fall of Babylon mourned by kings and merchants (9-24);
- Revelation 19 - the praise in heaven for the judgement upon the harlot (1-5); announcement of the marriage of the Lamb with his bride, clad in white linen representing righteous deeds of the saints (6-8); blessed who are called to the Lamb's marriage dinner (9); do not worship an angel (10); the war of the Word of God and the heavenly army on white horses (11-21): sword proceeding from his mouth to smite the nations (15); he will shepherd them with an iron stick (15); the heavenly army clad in white and clean linen (14), God's dinner for birds feeding on those who fell in the battle (17,18), the beast and the false prophet cast into the lake of fire (19,20), the rest were killed with the sword proceeding from the mouth of the Word and birds fed on their flesh (21);
- Revelation 20 - the dragon is imprisoned for a thousand years (1-3); the first resurrection and a thousand-year reign of those beheaded for Christ's testimony (4-6); the release of satan and the last rebellion of nations; fire from heaven devours the rebels, satan is cast to the lake of fire (7-10); resurrection of mankind and judgement based on deeds (11-13); death is cast to the lake of fire (14); whoever is not found in the book of the living, will be cast to the lake of fire (15);
- Revelation 21 - the new heaven and the new earth (1); the tabernacle of God is with men, He will wipe away every tear from their eyes (2-4); the thirsty will be given water from the spring of life (6); gropus of sinners who will be in the lake of fire (8); description of the Bride - the New Jerusalem (9-27);
- Revelation 22 - the river of the water of life (1); trees of life on both sides of the river with leaves to cure nations (2); John rebuked for bowing in front of the angel (8,9); I come quickly and my reward is with me (12); Alpha i Omega (13); those who wash their robes will have the right to the tree of life (14); who is thirsty may take the water of life freely (17); do not change the prophecy (18,19);

Revelation 4

Rev. 4:4

"Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads" (NKJV)

Commentary: believers of the Gospel Age were represented in the fleshly Israel in three groups: the people, the levites and the priests. The priests enjoyed a special position in that e.g. theirs was the privilege of entering the Holy to feed on the shewbread in the light of the lampstand. This activity pointed to the priests of the New Covenant feeding on the Scripture directly in the light of the holy spirit received by conversion to Jesus Christ. From among this class of God's people some will be chosen to become co-kings with the Lord, who will sit with him on the thrones to judge the resurrected mankind. These highest positions will belong to few of the most faithful ones who have concluded their priestly office in full dedication to the Gospel.

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Revelation 7

Rev. 7:9-17

"After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, (10) and crying out with a loud voice, saying, 'Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!' (11) All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, (12) saying: 'Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen.' (13) Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, 'Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?' (14) And I said to him, 'Sir, you know.' So he said to me, 'These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (15) Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. (16) They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; (17) for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes" (NKJV)

Commentary: the great multitude are believers born of the spirit, who developed their characters in the fundamentals of faith. However, they did not proceed with the knowledge of the Word or their service for the truth, and so they will not receive the reward proper for 24 elders or 144000. These two highest classes of God's people will find themselves in the heavenly glory before the Day of the Lord, whereas antitypical levites will experience it on earth - an experience which will purify them and fully prepare for the glory which awaits them in Christ's Kingdom.

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Revelation 14

Rev. 14:1-5

"Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads. (2) And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. (3) They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth. (4) These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. (5) And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God" (NKJV)

Commentary: believers of the Gospel Age were represented in the fleshly Israel in three groups: the people, the levites and the priests. The priests enjoyed a special position in that e.g. theirs was the privilege of entering the Holy to feed on the shewbread in the light of the lampstand. This activity pointed to the priests of the New Covenant feeding on the Scripture directly in the light of the holy spirit received by conversion to Jesus Christ. Rev. 14:1-5 further describes their experience with the Scripture, e.g. by developing in mind and character God's image ("Father’s name written on their foreheads"), teaching in accordance with the truth ("in their mouth was found no deceit") and comprehending of deeper elements of the truth inaccesible for those outside the priestly state ("no one could learn that song"). They are firstfruits because they received the spirit of new birth before the non-elect world (which will receive it during Christ's future reign). 144000 are with the Lord on the heavenly Mount Zion in the glory of the divine nature.

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Keywords: the book of Revelation, commentary, interpretation
Bible translations used in the commentary:
YLT - Young's Literal Translation
NKJV - New King James Version
OGIB - Online Greek Interlinear Bible