Saturday, September 30, 2023

The Lion of Judah Roars

Bobservations' Column
Titled - "The Lion of Judah Roars"
Written by: Pastor Bob Lawrenz

In Chapter 10, the Earth and those that remain on it are now in a changed world. Half of those that missed the Rapture are now dead. It’s a new world as a New World Order seeks to fix its chaos and lawlessness. One cannot trust their neighbors, and parents cannot trust their own children. Losses of every kind have struck at the core of human relationships.

As John sits on the Isle of Patmos, his view is from above. But in his spiritual state, he sees yet another Angel come down from heaven. But this one is different from the other angels that he has seen. This one comes in clouds. This one comes with a rainbow upon his head, like the promise made to man that God would never destroy the Earth with a flood ever again. And the appearance of this one reminds John of the first image of Jesus he saw in Revelation 1. His face was as the sun, and His feet were as pillars of fire! And this time, His feet straddled the sea and the earth.

When He spoke, He spoke with the sound of a lion’s roar, and as seven thunders carry His voice echoing across the void. The seven thunders uttered something, and the Angel told him not to write their words. This is the Lion of Judah, speaking in a voice that is familiar to him. It is Jesus in His glorified state: the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Amidst all the destruction on the Earth, John is immediately at peace at the sound of His voice.

But the thunder John has heard in the vision always bring an opportunity, and judgment follows. John might ask himself, “How much more can these people endure?” At the end of chapter 9, they refused to repent of their own works and those of the devil (Galatians 5:19-21): they turned not away from their idolatry (greed), nor from their murders, their drug abuse, their fornication, or from their thieving ways.

We have so many great and precious promises, and yet these people still love their sin, and wear it like a badge of honor. They’re being given space to repent, bur refuse to do so even in a world that is half destroyed. More Judgment must surely be coming!!!

Proverbs 1:22,23:
“How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? And scorners delight in their scorning? And fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my Spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.”
Bobservations' Column - Audio Version:

Sunday Morning's Audio Message:
Revelation 10:1-11 - "The Lion of Judah Roars"


How many people through the years have asked why God delays His coming, why He allows sin to run wild, why God allows sinners to prosper and succeed, why God allows Satan and his demons to deceive and to destroy. They question that if God is there and He is holy, why doesn’t He stop all the pain and suffering. When will God destroy the wicked, and halt Satan’s activity? When will Jesus come and restore all things back to himself? When will the righteous be avenged and the wicked punished? These are age-old questions asked since the very beginning.

Suffering in all its forms is directly related to sin and separation from God. Whether suffering in this world is the result of our own poor choices and sinful actions, or because of the sinful actions of others, it is still the result of a world separated from the Creator. Let’s face it, scripture tells us that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Yet God did not leave us here to suffer pointlessly. God is loving and merciful and the pain, the suffering and even God’s judgments are used to draw us to Himself. His desire is that all men would repent of their sin and turn to Him. There are really no innocents. The truth is, that people have rejected God, rejected His authority, rejected His word, rejected His Son, the gospel of salvation, and His forgiveness. They will not recognize Him as their Creator. They do not want Him as their Lord. They will not abandon their sin, nor will they repent and seek the Lord. People have chosen the way in which they will walk, and many are well on their way to destruction.

Make no mistake, God has never been silent about the issue of sin. As all the pain, horror, disease, destruction and deceptions of this world accumulate, there is a time come when there will be no more delay, it will all come to a screeching halt. The Lord who is faithful to His promises will come when the mystery of His silence will be broken; and that day is connected to the seventh trumpet. At the sounding of the seventh trumpet, His silence will end, and Christ will come. His kingdom will be established on earth. Satan will be halted, bound in chains, and delivered to a prison; and with him, the demons of hell and those who have rejected His gift of salvation. Righteousness will rule, knowledge will fill the earth, Christ will be King, and God will speak.

But before that seventh trumpet is blown, there is this brief interlude taking place in chapter 10.

Revelation 10 begins:

Another Mighty Angel (verse1) - There seems to be some disagreement as to who this is. Some commentators understand this to be one of the highest-ranking angels in heaven. He is powerful, filled with splendor, greatness and strength. However, the descripton of this “mighty angel” makes it obvious that He is none other than Christ Himself (compare 1:7, 15-16). The word “angel” simply means “messenger.” John has seen Him first as the glorified Son of man (1:13), then as God upon the throne (4:10), and the Lamb with the title scroll (5:8). Now He appears as the mighty Angel of the Lord, claiming possession of the land and sea.

Rainbow (verse 1) - The beautiful rainbow is an eloquent representation of both divine judgment and mercy in judgment. It was seen above the emerald throne and the One who sat upon the throne (4:3) in heaven. Now, near the very middle of the tribulation, He descends to the earth, and the rainbow is still above His head as a glorious crown. It is a wonderful reminder of the Noahic Covenant that God will always protect His own.

Feet Like Pillars of Fire (verse 1) - This mighty angel’s feet and legs indicate the firm resolve which will execute the Day of the Lord.

The Little Book (verse 2) - “Little Book” is from the Greek bibliaridion which is from biblion, as used for “book” in Revelation 5:1-9. “The book” represented the title deed to the whole earth. All its seals have been broken by this time, so the book is fully “open” with the writing signifying ownership fully displayed.

Right Foot on the Sea, Left Foot on the Land (verse 2) - Although Satan has temporarily usurped the sea and the earth, this symbolic act demonstrates that ALL creation belongs to the Lord and He rules it with sovereign authority. The mighty angel will descend from the clouds and stand astride both land and sea, proclaiming His ownership. Reminds us of Acts 1 - Jesus taken up in the clouds. He will also come back the same way.

Seven Thunders (verse 4) - Seven Thunders correspond to the “voice of the Lord.” The “voice of the Lord” occurs seven times in Psalm 29:3-9, clearly describing the events of the great flood in Noah’s day. The psalmist saw in his vision that “the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters.” This marks the first time in history that those in rebellion against God on the earth had ever heard thunder. The seven thunderous voices at the flood had been voices of judgment, the inference here in Revelation is the same. It’s interesting that there were also just seven times when God spoke to Noah (Genesis 6:13; 7:1; 8:15; 9:1,8,12,17). The first thunder in earth history, as there was no rain on the earth until the flood (Genesis 2:5).

** See also: Jeremiah 25:30; Hosea 11:10; Joel 3:16.

Seal Up (verse 4) - John hears a familiar voice. He was close to Jesus, the one that Jesus loved. He hears the voice in the vision, but in reality, on earth, it is the sound of thunder. John was told he must conceal the message of the seven thunders until God’s time (see Revelation 22:10).

Sware (verse 6) - To swear by, or affirm, promise, threaten - God is faithful to His promise. What He has said, He will do.

Him that Liveth (verse 6) - Daniel apparently saw the same glorified man in vision that John was seeing in reality (Daniel 12:7; 10:5-8). It may even be that both were describing the same scene, the same proclamation, the same prophecy - the prophecy that there was yet a little time remaining for human repentance. In fact, Daniel records that there would still be “a time, times, and an half” (Daniel 12:7), which corresponds to 3 1/2 years and agrees fully with the chronology of the remaining time indicated to John (11:2; 13:5). Note also that the one who “Liveth for ever and ever” is, of course, the Creator (4:10-11) and yet also is the Lamb (5:13), for they are one. “Because he could sware by none greater, he sware by himself” (Hebrews 6:13).

Created Heaven (verse 6) - The sworn assurance that there will be a supernatural completion of all things must appeal to the fact that there was a supernatural creation of all things. Those who deny a real creation by God tend also to deny a purposeful completion by God (2 Peter 3:3-6).

Time No Longer (verse 6) - This does not mean that time will cease, it means there will be no more delay. God’s purging of earth will not be further delayed after the “days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he begins to sound” (10:7). This initiates the plagues of the Day of the Lord (11:15), indicating that the time of the disciples anticipated has come. The prayers of the saints will be answered (6:9-11).

The Mystery (verse 7) - This is a Greek term meaning “to shut” or “to close.” In the New Testament, a “mystery” is a truth that God concealed but has revealed through Christ and His apostles. Here the mystery is the final consummation of all things as God destroys sinners and establishes His righteous kingdom on earth.

As He Declared (verse 8) - This mystery, though not fully revealed, was declared to God’s prophets. It is “the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth” (Ephesians 1:10). It is the consummation of God’s plan in bringing His glorious kingdom in Christ to fulfillment. It involves the salvation of the elect and their place in His glorious kingdom and all that goes with that. It includes the judgment of men dead in their sin, and demons. The mystery previous hidden refers to all the unknown details that are revealed from this point to the end of Revelation, when the new heavens and new earth are created. To believers living at that time in a world overrun by demons and unparalleled natural disasters, the realization that God’s glorious plan is on schedule will bring great comfort and hope in the midst of judgment.

Take It, and Eat It Up (verse 9) - This illustrates taking in God’s Word. John’s physical reactions demonstrate what every believer’s proper response to God’s judgment should be - sweet anticipation of God’s glory and our victory, and at the same time, the bitterness of seeing God’s wrath poured out on those who reject His Son.

It Shall Make Thy Belly Bitter (verse 9) - As John, or any of us, truly digests what the seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments hold in store for the sinner, John becomes nauseated, as it would any of God’s children. God is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Men will perish because they will refuse to repent. We must accept with Christ in the perfect justice of consigning to hell the multitudes who have rejected or ignored His salvation, including those we love: friends and family.

Sweet as Honey (verse 9, 10) - God’s final victory and vindication are sweet realities to the believer. God’s Word and His Promises are refreshing, comforting, palatable, pleasing, satisfying. Yet to those who reject His Word, it is bitterness and sorrow, as poison. Bitter waters bring death. Having ears, they will not hear. Having eyes, they refuse to look and to see.  They choose their own paths, the paths that lead to everlasting damnation.

Prophesy Again (verse 11) - John is still instructed to observe and record the events of the judgments yet to come. God’s calling on his life was to warn men about the bitter judgment that awaits those who reject the Lord. While he had no opportunity to preach to all nations as an exile on Patmos, He was to write and distribute all that God had shown him so that sinners everywhere (peoples, nations, tongues and kings). All would know that while judgment is presently restrained, a future day is coming when the seventh angel will sound his trumpet and sin’s dominion will be broken, the freedom of Satan and his demons will come to an end, godless men will be judged, and believers will be glorified.

The message for all of us is to remind us that we are God’s hand and feet in this world. We are to share the gospel of salvation and to warn non-believers of the coming judgment.  

Friday, September 29, 2023

Visual Imagery: Jordan River

Additional Notes to last Sunday's message (9/24/23)

I wanted to share a bit more about the visual imagery that I shared about the Jordan River:
"In Judges 7, we learn about Gideon’s army being pared down in size at what is now known as 'Gideon’s Springs.' The source of the water at Gideon’s Springs (The Well of Harod, Judges 7:1) is a cave flooded with water bubbling up continually. Fed by a spring, the depth of the cave is unfathomable. The cave is also known as 'The Gates of Hell' because of its bottomless depth.

Idol worship took place there because of the flow of life-giving water. This spring, and two other tributaries converge downstream and become the Jordan River. The river creates a fertile valley, before emptying into the Dead Sea."
That's a huge contrast, from a fertile valley to a Sea that can support no life. These words should prompt some serious thinking about becoming a Christian. The water from Gideon's Springs converges with two other sources of water. One is small river whose headwaters are in Lebanon, and the other is melt-off from the glaciers atop nearby Mt. Herman. The Jordan River begins at the convergence of these three water sources. The true imagery is of our 3-in-1 God, unified into a stream of life-giving water, as with the woman at the well in John chapter 4. The river itself is life from God. And as it continues southward to the Dead Sea, the water collects contaminates, compromising the lives of humanity, and dirtying the water. The river's end is at the Dead Sea, which can support no living thing. Fresh H2O has evaporated, leaving a slimy/watery substance upon all who once found refreshing in the river. The human race is in the waterflow, eventually heading for death because of life's contamination. Death is a sure thing.

BUT! But as the river passes by the area of the Allenby Bridge, and the City of Jericho, a man called John was there baptizing people into repentance, and a return to holiness in their lives.

From our life-giving Three-in-One, God grants us life. But before we reach certain death, He offers a reprieve, saving us from death, and returning us the Three-in-One.

The only ones to escape death are those that stop along the way and are converted by faith after baptism.

All man has a choice. Death is inescapable, unless we repent and are saved.

Pastor Bob Lawrenz

Friday, September 22, 2023

The Fifth and Sixth Trumpets

Bobservations' Column
Titled - The Fifth Trumpet
Written by: Pastor Bob Lawrenz

In Mathew 16:13-18 Jesus questions His disciples about what men are saying about Him. Then He asks them about who they say He is. Simon Peter pipes up saying, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  True inspiration! The passage continues with the first mention of Jesus’ Church, and the memorable phrase that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

In Judges 7, we learn about Gideon’s army being pared down in size at what is now known as “Gideon’s Springs.” The source of the water at Gideon’s Springs (The Well of Harod, Judges 7:1) is a cave flooded with water bubbling up continually. Fed by a spring, the depth of the cave is unfathomable. The cave is also known as “The Gates of Hell” because of its bottomless depth.

Idol worship took place there because of the flow of life-giving water. This spring, and two other tributaries converge downstream and become the Jordan River. The river creates a fertile valley, before emptying into the Dead Sea.

This Gate of Hell is just one of at least sixteen other places on Earth that are known as “Gates of Hell.” So, it is appropriate that Jesus mentions these Gates in the plural sense. From bottomless pits, and deep caves, to gas-fed fires that fill craters on the Earth’s surface, the Gates of Hell add a colorful visual to this strange phrase used by God at Harod’s Well. The message of this gate of hell is clear: While a spring-fed well can bring refreshing, life-giving water, we should be alert and aware of the path of the water because it might bring us to death, like the end of the Jordan River. Because the Dead Sea has no outlet, the water stagnates, and the H2O evaporates leaving behind water so contaminated with minerals and phosphates that neither plant, nor animal life survive in it. The water in the Dead Sea is not potable. Swimmers in its waters are encouraged to use the sea-side showers to rinse the residue of chemicals off their skin as they retreat from the water. Resort Health Spas take advantage of the mineral rich mud for providing mud baths to visitors. But the message of the river is clear:

What at first seems refreshing, can often bring us to death, just like Satan’s lies to Eve. Walk circumspectly, be alert to dangers, and know who you it is that accompanies you.
“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil." -  Ephesians 5:15,16

Bobservations - Audio Version:

Sunday Morning Audio Message:
Revelation 9:1-12 - "The Fifth Trumpet


What will it take for non-believers to accept Christ? What will it take to repent of the sin for which God has repeatedly warned will be severely punished? How much of God’s judgment and wrath do frail humans think they can endure?

It might surprise you to know that there are many who would rather die in their sin than to repent and yield to the authority of Jesus, who is not only the Savior of the world, but the Lord over all.

The judgments of God all through history were meant to catch the attention of men so that they may repent and come back to God. It is the mercy and long-suffering of God that He repeatedly, even in His wrath, affords mankind every opportunity to come to repentance and salvation in Christ.

God pronounces judgment on all who blaspheme Him, who reject His Son, who reject the Gospel, who pervert His law, and pervert His Word. He pronounces judgment on them not only in a temporal sense, such as in Romans 1, where you have an outworking of wrath in the very society itself, but in an eternal sense.

The word “woe” in the Bible is an exclamation of judgment on others. It is tied to sin and rebellion against God, and the resulting judgments are referred to as “woes.”

In Isaiah 5 there are listed a series of woes, a series of severe condemnations. One of those is in chapter 5 and verse 20. “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” Woe—damnation, cursing—on those who reverse God’s moral code, who reverse His righteousness, who swap His goodness for evil.

In the Old Testament, the prophets pronounced damnation on sinful people and sinful nations and declared coming judgment. In the New Testament, even Jesus pronounced seven “woes” on the hypocrites of His day. In Revelation, God’s final judgments are even revealed as “woes” on mankind. This is what we will look more closely at today.

In Revelation 8:13, before the other three trumpets are sounded, solemn warning is given to those still alive on the earth. “Woe, woe, woe” introduces one threat for each of the remaining three Trumpets about to sound (9:1-21; 11:15). Woe is an expression of God’s judgment, destruction, and condemnation. God’s wrath and judgment will come upon “those who dwell on the earth,” those who have rejected the gospel. Although they will acknowledge that the disasters have come from God, scripture reveals that they will not repent.

This week in chapter 9 of Revelation, Pastor Bob asks a pressing question, “What will it take for the unbeliever to repent and accept Christ? What are you willing to endure?” God has revealed what is coming, and has given every single soul ample time to seriously consider their eternal destination. Pay attention to these questions as we read these difficult verses.

Revelation 9 begins with:

A Star Fallen From Heaven - Unlike the other stars that have fallen (6:13; 8:8), this one will be an angelic being - or Satan himself.

The fifth angel has sounded his trumpet. John sees a star from heaven fall to the earth. At this point John, in his visions, has already seen several heavenly bodies plunge to earth (see 6:13; 8:8). Unlike them, this star was not a piece of celestial matter, like an asteroid, but an angelic being. This is a fallen angel, the one tossed out of heaven, it is a reference to Satan, the leader of all the fallen angels (Job 38:7; Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12-16; Luke 10:18).

The fall of Satan described in 9:1 is not his original rebellion. Satan and the angels that fell with him were banished from heaven, but Satan retains access to God’s presence, where he constantly accuses believers. Later in chapter 12, Satan and his demon hosts will battle Michael and the holy angels, and will lose. Their defeat will permanently cast them down to the earth.

Satan Receives the Key to the Bottomless Pit - literally “pit of the abyss.” The bottomless pit appears seven times in Revelation, always in reference to the abode of incarcerated demons. It is the place of severest torment and isolation (verses 1-2, 11; 11:7; 17:8; 20:1,3).

Satan then releases those locked in the bottomless pit. It says smoke arose (related to judgment) so much so that the sun and the air were darkened by it. Perhaps this symbolizes the pollution of the corruption of hell covering the world.

Locusts - These are not normal locusts, but specially prepared ones that are merely the outward forms of demons.

Scorpions - an arachnid with an erect tail tipped with a venomous stinger. A scorpion’s victim experiences agony, foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth in pain. The demons in locust form are able to inflict physical, perhaps, spiritual pain like the scorpion.

Five Months - it is interesting that the normal life cycle of a normal locust is five months, usually May to September.

John sees vile demons emerge; he describes them as locusts. This is a plague on the earth. The imagery is horrifying. These are not ordinary locust, but demons, who like locusts, bring swarming destruction. They are uncountable in number, massive in destruction. Three times it is mentioned that their power to inflict pain is compared to that of scorpions, but far worse.

This is a judgment where God is allowing these locked up demons loose to come into direct contact with unrepentant people. They have strict limitations not to attack the physical world (grass, trees, any green thing). They are restricted to tormenting unrepentant human beings. Men will seek death and will not find it. There will be no relief, even suicide will be unsuccessful.

Here we witness once again, the wonderful mercy of God. He doesn’t allow Satan and his demon inmates to destroy them, but for 5 months they will torment every living being on earth accept those who are sealed by God, the 144,000. For 5 months each of these people will have the opportunity to repent and believe, and this may be their last opportunity to do so.

The Appearance of these Demons were like:
  • Locusts - see above description.
  • Horses prepared for battle - warlike powerful and defiant, straining at the bit and pawing the ground and ready to charge.
  • Wearing crowns like Gold - like victory crowns, people will have no weapon that can harm them
  • Faces of Men - not insects, but rational beings
  • Hair like Women - perhaps seductive
  • Teeth Like Lions - fierce and powerful tearing apart their victims
  • Breastplates of Iron - incapable of being wounded, immune to attack
  • Sound of their wings like chariots, of many horses rushing to battle - a moving army
  • Tails like scorpions - with stinging painful venom

Who is their leader?

These demons have a king over them. John calls him the angel of the abyss. This could be Satan, which would be their natural leader. Or perhaps this is a high ranking demon in Satan’s hierarchy.

His name is Abaddon in Hebrew, and Apollyon in the Greek - it means destroyer. Both names are probably used to show the impact on both the ungodly Jews and Gentiles.

This is only the first of three “woes.” There are two more ahead in the sixth and seventh Trumpets.

The Sixth Trumpet is sounded, calling up more attacks by demon forces upon unrepentant mankind. After five months of torment, and God’s mercy, space to repent, and still hardened hearts, this judgment brings death.

Voice - literally one voice, not identified, perhaps the Lamb.

Four horns of the golden altar before God - altar of intercession, as the martyred saints pleaded with God for vengeance.

Four angels -  these are actually demons that are released.  We know this because they are bound at the great river Euphrates. These are not heavenly angels.

Euphrates - One of the four rivers that flowed through the Garden of Eden (1:12). This region has spawned many of the world’s pagan religions. It is also the promised land of Israel, from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates - all the Hittite country - to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. See Joshua 1:4. This territory would include the land from the southern tip of Israel along the Red Sea to the Euphrates River on the east, the border of Syria on the north.

The purpose of these four fallen angels is to kill a third of mankind. Remember the the judgment of the fourth seal killed one quarter of the earth’s population. This additional third brings the death toll up to half of the earths population.

Two hundred thousand, thousand - This is equal to two hundred million.

The army that can slaughter well over a billion people not only has to be a powerful force, but a huge army.

The Army - This could be a reference to the kings of the east (16:12), or it could be another demonic force that makes war with the earth’s inhabitants killing a third of its population.

Description of those that sat on the horses, along with the Horses they rode:

Note:  The colors described on the riders are the colors and features of hell.
  • Breastplates of Fire - Red
  • Jacinth - bluish black like smoke
  • Brimstone - sulfurous yellow, produces suffocating gas and a burning flame
  • The horses - associated with warfare, but these are not actual horses.
  • Heads of lions - savage and powerful
  • Mouths issuing fire, smoke and brimstone - dragon like
  • Tails - deadly and venomous, serpent like
Whatever these are, there is a devastating result, a fatal demonic assault.

In verse 20, John writes, those not killed by these “plagues.” Plagues appears several times in Revelation. It is a term for the destructive final judgments.

What will it take???

What will it take for the ungodly to repent and turn to the Lord? Here i
s a devastating reality, for many nothing. Verses 20 and 21 reveal that they repented not. After everything they’ve witnessed, every horrible calamity, destruction, judgment, torment, they are yet defiant and still refuse to repent. This is tragic. These remaining will choose to worship the beast instead of the Lamb.

John lists the five sins representative of defiance:
  • They did not repent of the works of their hands - idolatry, worshiping other gods.
  • Murders - Violent Crimes, blood lust.
  • Sorceries - witchcraft, drugs that induce an altered state, that bend the mind into the spirit realm, exposed to demonic influence.
  • Fornication - immorality in all its forms, sexual sins.
  • Thefts - in every fashion, morality, honesty, material things.

Friday, September 15, 2023

The Seventh Seal

Bobservations' Column
Titled - The Seventh Seal
Written by:  Pastor Bob Lawrenz

When looking this week for reliable resources to study Revelation 8 for this morning’s Sunday teaching, I was looking for online resources that might offer a slightly different point of view, not a fresh new teaching, but fresh insight into God’s established word.

What I found were more translations and commentaries that actually contradicted His word than what I expected. They not only contradicted His word but contradicted one another! Our English translation, King James Version Bibles, are themselves translations from the original languages of God’s teachings, and because of language differences, no translation is perfect, not even the King James Version. But the King James Version does remain to be the most accurate English translation to date; not the easiest to read, but the most accurate.

Dozens of translations do exist. Many are translated from other translations and are generally further and further away from God’s truths. The King James Version is a translation based upon original manuscripts, the specific collection of which is referred to as the “Textus Receptus.”

Not only do languages differ in their usage of even common words, but individual languages change over time, within their respective cultures. Many languages do not even share some word definitions or concepts with languages of other cultures. Even when considering just the English language, the Official Miriam Webster Dictionary adds new words and colloquial phrases to the English language regularly. That’s a problem when it comes to translating ancient texts.

But this is nothing new. In an effort to make God’s word more easily read, and 
understood, two 19th Century men (Brooke Foss Westcott, and Fenton John Anthony Hort) ventured into “updating” the widely used manuscripts that had been used for hundreds of years. For the New Testament in particular, they developed a “new” Greek text from which nearly all modern-day translations use as their “go-to” resource. But in essence, they have literally and figuratively altered God’s word to the point that several church representatives and Bible Scholars (and I used this word loosely) have declared Wescott and Hort to be heretics on multiple Bible Doctrines. Using their translations as a resource cannot be advised. Changing any word of this book or omitting passages of it will bring heavy judgments upon those who do such things (Revelation 22:18,19).

Finding no accurate commentary with a “fresh” point of view, I prayed and asked the Lord to give me fresh insight to the chapter we study today. While the Bible is of no private interpretation, (2 Peter 1:15-21 and 2 Timothy 3:14-16), The Word is to be read as it was written, and I think it was also translated by other holy men of God besides the original writers. God’s plans must certainly accommodate future contingencies, as long as they don’t directly contradict the faith He has already given to us. This is a Book that continually unveils the future that God has set before humanity, for God is not the author of confusion. As time advances, so also will our application of His word. 

Daniel 12:4 – 
"…knowledge will be increased.”
John 14:26 – 
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in (Jesus’) name, He shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
Bobservations' Column - Audio Version:

Sunday Morning's Audio Message:
Revelation 8:1-13 - "The Seventh Seal"


As you know, we are continuing our study in the book of Revelation. This morning we are in the eighth chapter of Revelation.

To this point in Revelation, John has witnessed Jesus open six of the seven seals of judgment seen on the scroll in heaven (⁠Revelation 5:1–5⁠). After the opening of the sixth seal and its consequences, John described the sealing of 144,000 Jewish believers, listed by their tribe. This was followed by a vision of an enormous crowd of people, of every nation, race, tribe, tongue, people group worshipping God (⁠Revelation 7⁠).

The reprieve of the picture from chapter 7, this magnificent worship, changes as ⁠Revelation 8⁠ opens with the 7th and final seal breaking open. And what it brings is silence for half an hour. All of the angelic adoration ceases; the scene of great worship becomes mute; silence envelops the command center of the universe.

When the Lamb breaks opens the seventh and last seal on the scroll to the title deed to the earth, the judgments of the "Day of the Lord" intensify dramatically. The final seal contains within it all of the remaining judgments of the Great Tribulation.

So, as we begin chapter 8, the first thing we notice is the Lamb breaking open the seventh and last seal. The seventh seal encompasses all of God’s final wrath up to the return of Jesus Christ.

As the seal is opened, John writes, “There was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.”

What does this mean? Is there significance to half an hour? The bible does not say. What we know is that time is simply not an issue with God, because He does not hold to the same time constraints as we do. When answering the doubters and the scoffers about why God delays His coming, after all, believers have been waiting 2,000 years for His return, Peter reminded believers, “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” - 2 Peter 3:8.

Why did John note a delay? Perhaps John was measuring time according to the physical measurement of the universe. What is more curious is that there was silence for that length of time. Again, scripture is silent. Perhaps the silence was a sign of deep respect and awe in the presence of our Holy and Righteous Judge. Just as earthly courtrooms are silent during judgment, so much more the heavenly courtroom.

Zephaniah 1:7 - “Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord God: for the day of the Lord is at hand: for the Lord hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests.”

Habakkuk 2:20 - “But the Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.”

There is also the fact that the seals are broken and what was written on the scroll was finally revealed for the first time. Perhaps somber reflection of the severity of God’s judgment being fully revealed, and understood.

What we know is this silence is the calm before the storm.

John describes seven angels standing before God, and they are given seven trumpets (8:2).

Trumpets - primarily announce impending judgment. Seven trumpets make this a BIG announcement. The trumpets are of greater intensity than the seals but not as destructive as the final bowl judgments will be. The trumpets occur during the final 3 1/2 years of the tribulation, but the time of each is indefinite except the effects of the 5th judgment, which we will learn next week will last for 5 months (Revelation 9:10). The first 4 trumpets announce the divine destruction of earth’s ecology (verses 6-12), and the final 3 involve demonic devastation of earth’s inhabitants (9:1-21; 11:15-19).

Next we see angels preparing to bring the next judgments, and the next wave of judgments have a unique pattern.

The trumpet judgments are split between impacting the physical earth and the physical bodies of humanity.

Meanwhile, before the judgments begin, God receives the prayers of the saints, as pictured by incense before the Throne (in heaven). The prayers of God’s people added to the prayers of all the saints already under the altar. Prayers for Satan to be destroyed, for sin to be defeated, for their deaths to be avenged, and for Jesus to return (second coming).

This angel adds incense to that which is already burning on the altar. And the smoke of the incense with the prayers of the saints, came up before God out of the angels hands.

The Censer - refers to a golden pan, suspended on a rope or chain, that was used to transport fiery coals from the brazen altar to the altar of incense, in order to ignite the incense, symbolizing the prayers of the people (5:8).

Next we see the angel taking the censer and filling it with fire of the altar, and casting it to the earth. John hears voices, and thunderings and sees lightning and an earthquake. All of these things are associated with the majesty of God throne.

The first set of judgments called the seal judgments, set the stage for the seven years. But now, the world has been put on notice that the end is near. This is approaching the midpoint of the Tribulation period, and the Lord reveals that by these trumpet judgments. Each trumpet is like a blast of warning, reminding the world that time is running out!

The angels prepare themselves to sound, and now the trumpets begin to blow and the judgments follow:

First Trumpet - Deals with the Land. Hail and fire mixed with blood were thrown to the earth. One third of the earth is burned up. These things are frequently associated with judgment. In fact it’s not a coincidence that the first trumpet judgment is very similar to the account in Exodus. (See: Exodus 9:13-25; Job 38:22-23, Genesis 19:24; Psalm 11:6; Ezekiel 38:22 and Joel 2:30).

Some ask what would cause such a catastrophic devastation? It’s not revealed to us. From a scientific point of view, an earthquake of the magnitude and extent of this would likely trigger worldwide volcanic eruptions. We’ve all seen the documentaries on the “ring of fire.” The Ring of Fire is a string of volcanoes and sites of seismic activity, or earthquakes around the edges of the Pacific Ocean. We know that volcanoes produce red lava and disturb the earth’s atmosphere. They also produce thunder and lightning storms. They are also known to produce large hail.

-- Pastor Bob pointed out the interesting fact that on the 3rd day of Creation, God created the trees, grass and plant life. God’s wake up calls have been ignored by most, and here at the end, God’s judgment is that 1/3 of the trees, grass and plant life are destroyed.

This will affect crops all over the world. The trees will have no fruit. The animals will not be able to graze, The loss of wood for construction…think of the devastation.

Second Trumpet - John sees something like a great mountain burning with fire that was thrown into the sea. One third of the sea becomes blood. One third of the creatures in the sea are dead. One third of ships are destroyed. Perhaps this is a giant meteor with flaming gasses. It strikes in one of the earth’s oceans with the force of the most powerful atomic bomb. Such an explosion would create mammoth tsunamis disrupting commerce and food supply globally.

The Sea became blood - This may refer to an event known as red tides, caused by billions of dead micro-organisms poisoning the water - or, it may be actual blood, a clear act of eschatological judgment.

Third Trumpet - a great star falls from heaven, burning like a torch and falls on a third of the rivers and springs of waters. The name of the star is called Wormwood. The great star fell, another celestial body, perhaps a comet as it leaves a fiery trail, disintegrating as it nears the earth, scattering over the globe.

Wormwood - a bitter, poisonous substance, derived from a root which causes drunkenness and eventually death (Proverbs 5:4; Jeremiah 9:15).

-- Pastor Bob has some very interesting insight about all of this, how the rivers connect, and back to the lands they connect to. It’s as if the Lord is walking us back the path that man has taken with the gospel of Christ (in Jerusalem, in all Judaea, and in Samaria and to the uttermost parts of the earth - Acts 1:8) all the way back to the Jews - Romans 11:26.

1/3 Destruction - it should be noted that this pattern demonstrates that these are all judgments, not natural events, not because of climate change, global warming or other claims. These are the prophetic judgments that have been written about in the volume of the Book.

Fourth Trumpet - The angel sounded and a third of the sun, moon and stars are struck so that a third of each would be darkened. This means that each of these will shine for 1/3 less time. Cumulatively, that means the earth is receiving one third less energy from the sun and stars. One third of the day and night represent one third of a twenty four hour day. This is a total blackout of all the universe for a third of each 24 hour day resulting in a dramatic drop in temperatures on the earth. Crops would fail, perhaps water sources freeze, disruption in earth’s weather patterns and sea tides which leads to violent, unpredictable storms. Loss of animal and human life. (See: Ezekiel 32:7-8, Isaiah 13:9-10; Joel 2:10, 31; 3:15; Amos 8:9). The Lord added his own prophetic word, (Luke 21:25; Mark 13:24).

All of the darkness sets the stage for another startling announcement. This is another warning to the earth and its inhabitants.

In verse 13, John hears an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying, “Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth…”

“Woe, woe, woe…”  - The pronouncement of woe is used for emphasis and for each remaining trumpet blast, one threat for each trumpet to sound. Although the first four trumpets are unimaginable, they will be nothing like the three to come (9:1-21; 11:15-19).

So far judgments have fallen upon everything that man needs to stay alive. These judgments follow closely to the 6 days of Creation, which man refused to acknowledge God for. Through all of these judgments, people will finally acknowledge God in that God is surely judging them, but they will not repent.

We are all watching the warnings of prophecy being fulfilled, each and every day, with every news cycle, every catastrophe. Wars, rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, floods, persecution, violence…all of these things are the beginning of birth pains. These pains will increase as we draw nearer to the end, when God will pour out His wrath upon the wickedness of man.

1 Thessalonians 5:9 reminds us, “For God hath not appointed us (His children, believers) to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” We can take great comfort in the fact that true Believers will not be here on earth during this time of Great Tribulation, we are already in heaven.

Today is the Day of Salvation - We implore you, on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. Now is the day of salvation. There is a time in God’s economy when He listens to sinners and responds to those who are repentant. However, there will also be an end to that time. God desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. He commands that all men everywhere to repent. That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.

Read: Acts 10:43; 13:38-39; 16:31a; 17:30b-31; Romans 10:9-13; 2 Corinthians 5:17, 20 - 6:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10; 1 Timothy 1:15a; 2:3-4; 1 John 4:9-10; 5:1a, 11:13, 20; Jude 24-25.

Heed the warnings of God. “Wherefore as the Holy Ghost saith,Today if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts…”

The reality is, whether you believe Him or not, God is true to His Word, and every promise WILL BE FULFILLED.

Saturday, September 9, 2023

The Tribulation Saints

Bobservations' Column
Titled - "The Tribulation Saints"
Written by: Pastor Bob Lawrenz

John, as our narrator, is telling us about all he sees in heaven. Last week we read that 6 of the 7 seals have been opened. The judgments have begun. And in today’s passage in Chapter 7 of Revelation, we have an interlude before the 7th and final seal is opened.

In Romans 9, Paul tells us that not all Jews are Jews. I know, it sounds ridiculous, but it is true. We are going to meet some true Jews today in the teaching. But as with today, so also was it true in Jesus’ day and before. The Jewish people can be defined three ways. 1) Those that can trace their blood lines back to Abraham. 2) Those that share the religious beliefs of Abraham, and 3) those can do both.

When Paul states in his Roman Epistle that there is a difference, this is what he is talking about: Some Jewish people can trace their bloodline back to Abraham, which is a fleshly connection. Other Jewish people can trace their religious faith back to Abraham’s. Others can do both; their earthly birthright and spiritual birthright are both founded in Abraham’s life, and his faith. This brings us the knowledge that God seeks a Spiritual seed, not a fleshly one.

This creates a problem: Much of Judaism, indeed much of Israel’s population today are referred to as Ashkenazi Jews. Genesis 10:1-3 states their blood line comes from Ashkenaz, great-grandson to Noah. Noah>Japeth>Gomer>Ashkenaz.

In contrast, Abraham came from another of Noah’s sons, Shem. Noah>Shem>Arphaxad>Shelah>Eber>Peleg>Reu>Serug>Nahor>Terah>
Abram, whose name God changed to Abraham. (Genesis chapters 10, 11 and 17:5).

So, the Ashkenazi Jews adopted God. And Abraham, being a Gentile of the Babylonian region, and also a descendant of Noah, put his faith in God, and obeyed His directive to leave the old idolatrous country, and in obedience, Abraham’s 12 sons became the first generation of the 12 Tribes of Israel.

Christians, like Abraham, heard God’s call and received the adoption He offers to everyone. The Ashkenzi’s adopted God, when in reality, God adopts those who put their trust in Him.

Romans 9:7, 8 - 

“Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, in Isaac shall thy seed be called. …They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” 

Sunday Morning's Audio Message:
Revelation 7:1-17 - "The Tribulation Saints"

Summary/Notes:  Coming Up!

As we begin in chapter 7, you will notice that there is somewhat of respite in between the opening of the sixth seal and before the seventh and final seal is broken. After all of the devastation, and furious judgment that we read about in the opening of the first six seals, this chapter is the calm before the storm. It’s a moment of promise and mercy. In the midst of wrath, God remembers mercy.” (Habbakuk 3:2).

Again, as a bit of a recap, we have been reading and studying about the future of the world. The apostle John recorded as the Lord instructed him to, the things which he had seen, the things which are, and the things which are to come. Future events recorded as the Lord Himself revealed it to him.

The opening of the first six seals described a period of wrath to come in six different phases:
  1. False peace
  2. War
  3. Famine
  4. Pestilence and Death
  5. Vengeance
  6. Fear as the final day of the Lord comes crashing down, literally!
The world up to this time is in full rebellion against God. We learned that there are people being converted during this time who are persecuted and killed for giving testimony to the Word of God. We know that vengeance belongs to the Lord, and in His timing, He will pour out His wrath upon His enemies.

The opening of the sixth seal we read that God’s fury comes. The people cry to the rocks to fall on them rather than have face the One who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. They cry out, “For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand.” Revelation 6:17

As we begin chapter 7, it acts as a bit of a pause between the sixth and seventh seals, and it provides the answer to the question: "Who is able to stand?" 
(Revelation 6:17).

Here we will discover that God is going to save two groups of people during the Tribulation:
  1. A special group of young Jews, 144,000 of them, who are sealed by God, and will evangelize during this period.
  2. A vast multitude of people, which no one could number, from every nation, tribe, kindred, and language.
There will be, then, at the end of this time period, a protection of certain people from the nations and certain from Israel who have come to faith in Christ, and they will go into the kingdom. Many of these believers will be killed, but not all of them. 

This is the time of which Paul spoke when he said, “All Israel will be saved" 
Romans 11:26. God will purge out the rebellious unbelievers, and the rest see their Messiah, believe, and are redeemed. A great number will survive all of this and enter in to the God's kingdom.

John describes four angels who are standing on the four corners of the earth.  They are holding the four winds of the earth so that the wind should not blow on the earth, sea or on any tree.

Four Angels - are powerful creatures, holding back the storm that is about to unfold. They have been given the power to harm the earth and the sea, revealing God’s displeasure.

Four corners - The Greek word for “corners” is zonia, and is translated “quarters.” These are the four quadrants of the compass; that is the angels will take up key positions on earth.

Four Winds of the Earth - indicating all the earth’s winds (north, south, east and west). The four angels will literally turn off, for a brief interlude, the essential engine of our earth’s atmosphere.

John sees another angel ascending from the east and holding the seal of the living God.  The angel cries with a loud voice to the four angels who are holding back the wind, and tells them not to harm the earth, the sea or the trees UNTIL the 144,000 are sealed by God.

Seal of the Living God - A “seal” often refers to a signet ring used to press its image into wax melted on a document. The resulting imprint implied authenticity and ownership protecting the contents. The seal of the living God is the name of God (see Revelation 14:1).

144,000 - These are Jews, sealed and protected by God while they accomplish His mission. They represent the twelve tribes of Israel, 12,000 from each tribe (Judah, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph and Benjamin). This refers to a missionary corps, or evangelists.  They are redeemed Jews who will be instrumental in the salvation of many Jews and Gentiles during the Tribulation period. They will be the firstfruits of a new redeemed Israel (Zechariah 12:10). Israel will finally be the witness nation she refused to be in the Old Testament (see Romans 11:25-27).

Which tribe is missing? Specifically, the tribes of the Northern Kingdom, through Ephraim, and also the tribe of Dan who has been omitted from this list, yet Joseph and Manasseh are included. We know that idolatry played a part, as did their dissatisfaction with the Lord’s provision. Rather than obey God, they built their own altar and temple to worship in. Pastor Bob will expound on this in today’s teaching.

There are distinctive groups of redeemed
  1. The church is already in heaven with the Lord having been raptured out of this world. 
  2.  The group of redeemed in chapter 6 is also in heaven. They are under the altar, slain because of the Word of God and the testimony which they had maintained. They cry out to God to avenge them, and God tells them they must wait because still, there are others who will come. 
  3. There is a great innumerable multitude. They come out of every nation, tribe, people groups and tongues. They appear to be standing on the earth. They are those who are redeemed and die during the tribulation in chapter 7.
A Great Multitude - While the tribulation period will be a time of judgment, it will also be a time of unprecedented redemption (See Revelation 6:9-11; 7:14; 20:4; Isaiah 11:10; Matthew 24:14).

This great multitude will stand before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes. They are holding palm branches. Salvation is the theme of their worship, and they recognize that it comes solely from Him. Their robes have been washed (Christ’s imputed righteousness, holiness).

One of the elders asks John who are these arrayed in white robes and where did they come from? John responds, you know who they are… These are the ones who come out of he the great tribulation, their robes have been washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb, referring to the atoning sacrifice of Christ.

His Temple - Refers to the heavenly throne of God (see 11:9). During the millennial kingdom, there will also be a temple on earth in a partially restored, but still fallen universe. In the final, eternal state with new heavens and earth, there is no temple; God Himself, who will fill all, will be its temple (21:22).

God’s presence will become their shelter and protection. The Lamb who has always been the Shepherd will lead them.

Jesus is the Good Shepherd, Who died as Israel's Passover Lamb and gave His life as the ransom price for His little flock in the Church age - but Jesus also gave His life for these Tribulation sheep, just as He did for you and for me. He is the one Who offers the water of life, freely and without cost to ALL who are thirsty, and He is the one who will wipe away all tears from their eyes.

Saturday, September 2, 2023

Seal Five, and Seal Team Six

Bobservations' Column
Titled - "Seal Five, and Seal Team Six"
Written by: Pastor Bob Lawrenz

“Write… the things which shall be hereafter.
Revelation 1:19.

Last week, we left off with verse 8 of Revelation 6. It is about the fourth horse of the Apocalypse, and its rider. This pale colored horse was ridden by Death, and Hell followed with him. Power was given to this horse and rider to kill with sword (or war), with hunger (or famine), with death (by innumerable means), and with the beasts of the Earth (or the animal kingdom).

N.B. (Nota Bene - Take Notice) - Studies have proven that HIV was transmitted to humans by a chimpanzee from the nation of Cameroon in Africa in the 1970's, or 80’s. But the first human case was discovered in 1959 with a man living in the Belgian Congo. The beasts of the earth can transmit terrible plagues to humans. There is much information about COVID-19 being the results of the common COVID virus (SR-2) being manipulated (changed) when somehow filtered through animal tissue until it is deadly to humans. If you recall the headlines from Britain 40 to 50 years ago, a form of encephalitis (a murrain) was somehow transmitted from bovines, and deadly to humans. A murrain spread across Europe in the 14th century that killed off thousands of cattle and sheep. It weakened humans a generation later to the point of susceptibility to The Black Death, or Bubonic Plague, which killed multiple thousands of people across that continent. The Biblical equivalent to murrain is the word Pestilence, a broad-based umbrella term covering many diseases. This 8th verse is not to be taken lightly! It is a strongly worded verse with historical significance. This is a warning of what’s coming to those non-believers remaining on earth. No one will be able to say, “Gee, I never knew!” The warnings have been in place since the writings of the Old Testament Prophets. Two hundred billion deaths will come from War, Famine, Multiple other causes, and even pestilences from animals well before the Lord’s return!

Please remind yourself, as we have covered, that the Church will be safely tucked away in heaven with the Lord Jesus Christ. We shall be perfectly happy missing all these judgments. And so far, we’ve only scratched the surface of them. The 7th and last seal judgment gives way to the trumpet judgments. The excitement continues as we delve deeper into this magnificent Book of Revelation. We will read of them, but we will not experience them.

“Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even also as you do.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:11.

Sunday Morning's Audio Message
Revelation 6:8-17 - "Seal Five, and Seal Team Six"

Summary Notes:  

This morning, as we continue in Revelation chapter 6, we look again at the fourth seal that is opened, along with the fifth and sixth seals. We must keep in mind that the church has already been raptured at this point, the Holy Spirit has been removed, and we (all believers) are in the presence of the Lord, but here on earth God's wrath is beginning to be poured out. 

Today, as we finish chapter 6, we are going to come face to face with God's vengeance.  We are in a seven-year period that we have called the time of tribulation.  It is also called the time of Jacob's trouble with reference to Israel's role in it.

This seven-year period, identified in the book of Daniel as seven years, and identified again in the book of Revelation as to half of it being 3 1/2 years.  This seven-year period is when Jesus Christ not only judges the ungodly but takes back the earth and the universe for His own possession.

The Gospel of Matthew records a sermon that Jesus taught called the Olivet Discourse, or the Sermon on the Mount.  He too discussed this period of time, the tribulation period.  He said that these seven years will be divided into two halves.  The first half he called the beginning of birth pangs, the pangs grow more intense and closer together as you get nearer to the great event.   Of course, that great event is not the birth of a child, but the arrival of the Son of God.  These birth pangs describe the pain that the whole earth and its inhabitants will feel, as the time of His arrival draws nearer.  The first half (Matthew 24:8) is called the beginning of birth pangs.  The second half (Matthew 24:21), is called the great tribulation. 

What's interesting, keeping in mind the chronology of these events, in the Gospel of Luke chapter 21:22-36, he describes this second half of the tribulation as the days of God's vengeance.  So, the first four seals take place in the first 3-1/2 years of the tribulation, and the fifth through the seventh seals take place in the second half of the tribulation period. 

To recap, we have been going through the opening of the seven seals of the scroll by our Lord Jesus Christ. The scroll contains information about Christ taking back the universe. He alone is worthy to open the seals. Each one is a judgement that takes place on the earth and upon the enemies of God. As each seal is broken, another scene develops. These seven seals unfold in a seven-year period yet to come in the future that we know as the time of tribulation, the time of Jacob’s trouble, Daniel’s seventieth 

Briefly, and you can go back to previous studies to refresh your memory, we saw that the first seal opened was false peace, coming through the false Christ.  While some think that the first horse and rider represent Jesus, this is wrong.  The rider of this white horse is a false Christ.  The Antichrist (Read Daniel 11:36-37, Isaiah 14). 

The first seal is opened, described are the white horse and its rider. He who sits on the horse is the false world leader, the one who will exalt himself above God, just like Satan.  Remember, he's carrying a bow which we learned was a banner.  Jesus will not need to carry a banner of peace when he returns. His second coming will be a time of wrath, of judgment, a fearful and mournful time for the wicked, but a day of peace for the righteous.  In fact, there is a complete description of our Lord when He returns in Revelation 19:11-16.  There is a stark contrast between this first horse and rider (the Antichrist), and Jesus who is King of kings and Lord of lords in chapter 19, it's crystal clear. 

The Antichrist's characteristics mimic those of Satan.  His goal is to deceive, to conquer, and to be worshipped.  Great multitudes will follow him to destruction. Pastor Bob goes into greater depth in the audio teaching.

The second seal we saw was war. The third seal was opened, and we saw was famine. The fourth seal was pestilence, which could also include natural disasters as described by the Lord, including an earthquake.

The Fourth Seal - 

We covered last week, but Pastor Bob will touch on another aspect of this fourth seal today.  Make sure that you read today's Bobservations' Column for a clarification of what is the cause of so much death.
  • The sword - war
  • With hunger - famine
  • With death, and by the beasts of the earth - pestilence
The fourth seal is opened, and John sees a pale horse. “...his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.” (Revelation 6:7–8). The result of this fourth seal is that one fourth of the earth’s population are killed “by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.”

John describes for us what was in the fourth seal opened, it is a pale horse (verse 8).  The Greek word for pale is "chloros."  It is where we get the English word "chlorophyll."  It describes the pale, ashen-green characteristic of the decomposition of a corpse. The rider of this horse is named Death, and Hell followed.   Go back and read today's Bobservations' Column for a greater understanding. 

The Fifth Seal -

The scroll’s fifth seal reveals those who will be martyred for their faith in Christ during the tribulation (Revelation 6:9–11; cf. Matthew 24:9). The souls of these martyrs are pictured as dwelling under the altar in heaven. God hears their cries for justice, and He gives each of them a white robe. The martyrs are told to wait “until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” God promises to avenge them, but the time was not yet (cf. Romans 12:19).

What we see here is vengeance, as those who have been martyred for the sake of Christ are praying that God would bring about swift vengeance.  These martyrs are those who have been killed for the Word of God and for the testimony that they held. 

When the Lamb had opened the "FIFTH SEAL," John saw under the "Sacrificial Altar," corresponding to the "Burnt Offering Altar," the "SOULS" of them that were slain for the "Word of God" and for the "testimony they held." The fact that their "SOULS" were under the "Sacrificial Altar" is proof that they had been offered as a "Sacrifice," that is that they were MARTYRS. But they were not the Martyrs of the Christian Church, for they had been resurrected and taken up with the Church. These Martyrs are those who will be killed for the "Word of God" and their "testimony" after the Church is caught out. What we see here is vengeance, as those who have been martyred for the sake of Christ are praying that God would bring about swift vengeance. These martyrs are those who have been killed for the Word of God and for the testimony that they held.
  • Under the Altar - probably a reference to the altar of incense, which pictured the saints' prayers ascending to God (verse 9).
  • Souls of the Slain - Christians martyred for their faith (verse 9). See also Revelation 7:9, 13-15; 17:6.
  • Rest Yet a Little Season - God will answer their prayer for vengeance, but in His time (verse 11). See also Romans 12:19.
  • Until...the number...was completed - More will be martyred for their faith.  God already know the number, and when that number is completed, He will move in to destroy His enemies (verse 11).

 The Sixth Seal -

When the Lamb of God opens the sixth seal, a devastating earthquake occurs, causing massive upheaval and terrible devastation—along with unusual astronomical phenomena: the sun turns black, and the moon turns blood-red, and “And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.” (Revelation 6:12–14). Survivors of the sixth seal, regardless of their social position, take refuge in caves and cry out to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (verses 16–17).

When the sixth seal is opened we see mass destruction on the earth, and throughout the universe.  These are nothing more or less than great physical convulsions that shall shake the earth, and that have been foretold by the Prophets and by Christ Himself. Such physical phenomena and changes have happened before. We must not forget the "GREAT DARKNESS" that for 3 days overspread Egypt in the days before the Exodus (Ex. 10:21-23), nor the "DARKNESS" that settled over Jerusalem and Calvary on the day of the Crucifixion of Christ. Matt. 27:45.

What is also described here is great fear.  Those alive during this time will cry out, and begin to pray, but not to God, they pray to the mountains and the rocks to fall on them.  They would rather die under the crushing weight of the rocks then face the wrath of God and the Lamb.
  • The Sixth Seal - While the first five seals will result from human activity that God uses to accomplish His purposes.  The opening of the sixth seal He begins direct intervention.  The previous five seals are the precursors to the full fury of the Day of the Lord, which will begin with the sixth seal (vs. 17).  The events described in the seal unleash the seventh, which contains the trumpet judgments (chapters 8, 9; 11:15-18:24) and the bowl judgments (chapter 16).
  • Great Earthquakes - There have been many earthquakes prior to this (Matthew 24:7), but this will be more than an earthquake.  Al the earth's faults will begin to fracture simultaneously, resulting in a cataclysmic, global earthquake (verse 12).
  • Moon Becomes Like Blood - Accompanying the earthquake will be numerous volcanic eruptions; and large amounts of ash and debris will be blown into the earth's atmosphere, blackening the sun and giving the moon a blood-red hue (verse 12).
  • Stars of Heaven Fall - In the Greek, the word "stars" can refer to any celestial body, large or small, and is not limited to normal English usage.  The best explanation is a massive asteroid or meteor shower (verse 13).
  • Late Figs - Winter figs that grow without the protection of leaves and are easily blown from the tree (verse 13).
  • Sky Receded as a Scroll - The earth's atmosphere will be somehow dramatically affected and the sky as we know it disappears (verse 14).
  • Every Mountain and Island are Moved - Under the stress created by the global earthquake, great segments of the earth's plates will begin to slip and shift, realigning whole continents (verse 14).
  • Wrath of the Lamb - Earth's inhabitants will recognize for the first time the source of all their trouble.  Incredibly, prior to this they will be living life as usual (verse 16).
  • Great Day - The sixth seal will commence what the prophets call "the Day of the Lord" (verse 17).
"And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. And the idols he shall utterly abolish. And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth." Isaiah 2:17-19

WhitestoneCF Media - Web TV

WhitestoneCF Media - Web TV