THE BOOK OF REVELATION
GOD’S LAST DAY COVENANT
Revelation Chapters Four and Five
The Jewish Feasts offer a key to Understanding Revelation
The Book of Revelation is a transcript of God’s Covenant in the Last Days
Christianities Response to that Covenant
The Old Testament tells us about an Everlasting Covenant, it also tells us about God’s covenant with Israel. However, what is the new covenant, and how does it fit in with the everlasting covenant? The book of Revelation shows the new covenant in the setting of the EVERLASTING COVENANT and the SANCTUARY.
When we study the sanctuary truths revealed in both the Old and the New Testaments we see that Christ’s ministry of salvation involves more than the sacrifice, His death. Yes, Christ’s sacrifice is all sufficient and complete. Yet, now He, BECAUSE of that sacrifice He is declared worthy to begin the ministry in the heavenly sanctuary.
The earth is represented by the “outer court” of the sanctuary, the place where the altar of sacrifice stood. When Christ prayed: “I have glorified you on the EARTH. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do” (John 17:4) It was His earthly work that was completed, that is, the work He came to do in the “outer court” of salvation’s sanctuary – BUT THIS IS NOT HIS ONLY WORK!
The sanctuary has three phases:
- The outer court where the sacrifice is slain.
- The holy place where the priest ministers daily.
- The Most Holy Place, where the Priest ministers on the Day of Atonement.
The work of Christ on earth was represented by the activities done in the courtyard of the sanctuary. The sacrifice was Perfect and complete, yet even as the atonement in the wilderness sanctuary was then carried on inside the sanctuary, so Christ entered the heavenly sanctuary to apply the atonement for each responsive individual.
Christ’s life, death, and resurrection didn’t end His work of reconciliation; on the contrary, they laid the foundation for His heavenly priesthood. It was by His death, that His work in the heavenly sanctuary could begin. This is the focus of Revelation as well as Hebrews!
Hebrews focuses our eyes on the fact that we have a better priest, who presents the better blood, in a better sanctuary which is in heaven. In this heavenly sanctuary not made with human hands, Christ does what the services in the earthly sanctuary could only point to– He forgives sins.
Revelation is the revelation of Christ in all the phases of Ministry in that heavenly sanctuary. It reveals Christ accomplishing the reality of what the earthly services could only shadow forth. It takes us through the realities that the “festivals” and “services” pointed to.
It pictures Christ, not only as the Great High Priest working, first in the Holy Place, then moving into the Most Holy Place, but it also deals with the covenant relationship of Christ with His people. It shows how He deals with the sin problem, and assures a glorious destiny for those who are faithful and loyal to Christ.
Revelation also demonstrates to the whole universe the true nature of sin. Sin reveals the evil character of Satan, the scape goat, who set himself against God’s law and seeks to obtain the homage of mankind to himself, and to break mankinds covenant relationship with God. In direct contrast Christ reveals the true covenant and the nature of goodness, and heaven’s law, which is the character of God Himself.
This is the dual purpose of the sanctuary and the judgement. To reconcile God’s people to Himself and to expose sin for what it really is. And through it all to show for all eternity the righteousness and justice of God.
Importance of the PASSOVER in Revelation:
First of all we had the Spring feasts, which represented the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. These feasts represented Christ’s work in the “outer court” or His work upon earth. They are absolutely crucial to the events that follow in the heavenly sanctuary.
When John received the Revelation of Jesus Christ, there on Patmos, these events were already fulfilled. Christ’s death and resurrection were completed. Now Christ’s ministry in the heavenly sanctuary was revealed. Let’s just see how important the fulfilled Passover events are in Revelation.
In the first chapter it identifies Jesus as the fulfilment of the “spring festivals”. He is the one who died, rose and washed us from our sins in his own blood. (1:5) He is the one who lives and was dead, and lives forever more and has the keys to release people from sin and death. (1:17, 18)
He is declared worthy to officiate in the sanctuary and receive honor and power, because He is the Lamb slain and He redeemed us to God by His blood. (5:6,9,12)
It is because of Christ’s death that people can come out of tribulation with white robes washed in the blood of the Lamb. (7:14)
It is because of Christ’s death, and resurrection that we can have the strength to overcome and even defy death in order to serve Christ. (12:11)
The Book of Life, in which the names of the redeemed from earth are written, is possible only because the Lamb was slain and rose again. (13:8) Thus it is called “The Lamb’s book of life!”
Just like in Egypt, when the last terrible plagues came, and those with the blood of the Lamb over their door posts, were spared, so in the Revelation 16, God’s people who are cleansed by the blood will be protected from the plagues. (Ex. 12:13, Rev. 18:4)
Christ’s death and resurrection makes it possible for us to someday sing the song of Moses and the lamb on that sea of glass and eat at the marriage supper of the Lamb (15:3, 19:9)
IN CHAPTER ONE OF REVELATION
John sees one “like the Son of Man” walking among the candlesticks.
The “Passover” sacrifice has already been offered, and now Christ is Priest in the Holy Place.
The Son of Man, in Revelation 1:13, is dressed in garments worn by the High Priest in the earthly sanctuary service. (See Exodus 28:4, 29:5) The “robe” is translated from the Greek “poderes”. The “poderes” was a long robe worn by the Israelite high priest in his daily and yearly ministry. Hebrews tells us we have a High Priest in heaven, Revelation shows Christ in that role.
Only because Christ was sacrificed as our Passover, can He now function as High Priest. Priests in the earthly sanctuary could not function without the sacrifice. So Christ’s perfect sacrifice upon the cross enables Him to be our Perfect High Priest. John sees Jesus as High Priest and immediately Christ tells John, “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forever more!!!
In the earthly sanctuary, one of the Priest’s duties was to keep the lamps burning. Here in Revelation we see Christ, our heavenly High Priest attending to the lamps.
FIRST SHEAF PRESENTED BEFORE THE LORD
Revelation chapters 4 and 5
In these chapters we see the “first fruit sheaf” accepted before the Lord, and the outpouring of Pentecost.
Christ is declared “WORTHY” and is inaugurated into his royal priesthood.
A magnificent picture of the sanctuary in heaven emerges in these chapters. “After these things I looked and behold a door standing open in heaven”. . .and John saw “seven lamps of fire burning before the throne.” There are also golden bowls full of incense.
A door in heaven is open. (Rev. 4:1) What door is this?
The word “door” “thura,” in Revelation 4:1 appears many times in the Septuagint in direct reference to the door into the sanctuary. Leviticus 3:2 tells us the sacrifice is killed at the “thura” of the tabernacle.
And here in heaven we see the Lamb that has already been slain! The sacrifice was offered, and now the door into the heavenly sanctuary is open. The work of applying the atonement is to begin.
Just previous to this, John saw there was great consternation in heaven as to whether the work could move forward, as the One to perform it must be “worthy”. It is then that we see Christ, as the Lamb slain, He is declared as worthy. Why is He worthy? Because of His sacrifice on the cross, the work of the sanctuary can begin.
In Leviticus we read:
“And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you.” Lev. 23:11 The single sheaf, presented to the Lord here, during the Jewish feasts, speaks of the person of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the sheaf of first fruits (1 Corinthians 15:20-23) “For now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by Man came also the resurrection of the dead!”
Christ fulfilled the reality of this feast as He ascended to the heavenly Holy Places and presented Himself as the sheaf of the first fruits. And there, in the heavenly scene pictured in Revelation 4 and 5 He is declared WORTHY and His sacrifice is accepted ; to redeem out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation those who follow Him.
Jesus is the representative sheaf and the saints down through the ages will be the harvest at the end of the age, gathered into the heavenly kingdom.
But now comes the FEAST OF PENTECOST
For Christ’s first work is to light the lampstands! Notice again the seven lampstands in Revelation 4, this time they are referred to as seven spirits. “Seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God.” Remember the consternation – is anyone worthy? Before His ascension Jesus told the disciples to wait for the Promise of the Holy Spirit which would come upon them. And they would be witnesses “to the end of the earth”. (Acts 1:4-8)
When Christ was accepted as the “ONE” worthy to begin the work in the sanctuary, He sent out His Holy Spirit to His messengers on earth.
Compare this with Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost:
Acts 2.32-33 “This Jesus has God raised up, and has now exalted by His right hand, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he has shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.”
Revelation 4 and 5 show Christ being exalted in heaven, His sacrifice declared worthy and acceptable, the work of the sanctuary begun, and THE HOLY SPIRIT given to the church upon earth. The day of Pentecost marked the opening of Christ’s work in the heavenly sanctuary. The first phase of His Priestly ministry had begun in the Holy Place.
Christ’s ascension to heaven was the signal that His followers were to receive the promised blessing. For this they were to wait before they entered upon their work. When Christ passed within the heavenly gates, He was enthroned amidst the adoration of the angels. As soon as this ceremony was completed, the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples in rich currents, and Christ was indeed glorified, even with the glory which He had with the Father from all eternity. The Pentecostal outpouring was Heaven’s communication that the Redeemer’s inauguration was accomplished.
According to His promise He had sent the Holy Spirit from heaven to His followers as a token that He had, as priest and king, received all authority in heaven and on earth, and was the Anointed One over His people.
We are still in the chapters that deal primarily with Christ’s work in the Holy Place, fulfilling the Pentecost “festival”.
Chapters 4 and 5 showed Christ’s inauguration in the Holy Place as Priest. Chapter 1-3 show Christ tending the lampstands (churches)
Lampstands are fueled with oil. The oil represents the Holy Spirit, and Christ walks amongst His people in close relationship. This is the new covenant. This is the new covenant by which Christ seeks to free us from the bondage of sin.
Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant, by His blood
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, nd in their minds will I write them;
And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holy places by the blood of Jesus,
By a new and living way, which he has consecrated for us”
This is the new covenant and yet the writer of Hebrews does not totally disconnect it from the old covenant but says:
See that you do not refuse Him that speaks. For if they (speaking of Israel) didn’t escape when they refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaks from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: (when the ten commandments were given) but now he has promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, shows He will remove those things that are shaken, but those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.
When was the covenant made with the nation of Israelites? It was made 50 days after the first Passover, when God miraculously delivered them from Egypt. At that time they were gathered together at Mt. Sinai, and God proclaimed His covenant. (See Duet. 5)
Now, in the New Testament, 50 days after the deed that filled the whole universe with awe — that the Creator God would sacrifice Himself for His creatures, — we find a new covenant put into operation.
Christ’s inauguration in the heavenly sanctuary corresponds to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.
The seven lamps and seven spirits — all point to the day of Pentecost when Christ poured out His Holy Spirit upon the newly established church upon earth. The day of Pentecost came fifty days after the resurrection, just as the first (Pentecost) after the first (Passover) occurred fifty days after the children of Israel left Egypt and stood before the Mount Sinai —
The book of Revelation, just like the book of Deuteronomy deals with COVENANT making. After Christ’s inauguration, the new covenant, made with Christ’s own blood is now in force. With a covenant came the “blessings and curses”. Revelation sets forth the same. The covenant in which the law is to be written upon the heart also has its blessings and curses.
1. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life ..in Paradise.. (Rev. 2:7)
2. Be faithful until death and I will give you a crown of life. He that overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death. (Rev. 2:10,11)
3. To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knows saving he that receives it. (Rev. 2:17)
4. To him who overcomes will I give power to rule over nations and give him the morning star . (Rev. 2:27,28)
5. He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. (Rev. 3:5)
6. Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. (Rev. 3:12)
7. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. (Rev. 3:20,21)
* Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. (Rev. 1:3)
*Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. Rev. 20:6
*Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. (Rev. 22:14)
It is interesting that the first seal shows a white horse! There is a striking parallel here with Rev. 19. The white horse in Rev. 6:1 highlights the victory of Christ on the cross and the spread of His gospel, while the white horse in Rev. 19 shows Christ’s victory in the final conquest of evil at the second coming. The other three horses show the steady decline and turning into deadly falsehoods, that precious gospel.
The rejection of this gospel brings curses:
2. Peace is taken from the earth, and they kill one another (Rev. 6:4)
3. Wheat and Barley are measured out, they are scarce and expensive– unlike the blessings where the tree of life and the hidden manna are promised to God’s children. (See Rev. 6:5,6)
4. Death, and Hell followed with him. Power to kill with the sword and with hunger and with death and with wild beasts. (Rev. 6:8)
5. Persecutions of saints– but God will vindicate them in His investigative judgment (See Rev. 6:9)
6. Natural chaos and then the terror of facing God. Crying to the mountains and rocks, fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sits on the throne. (See Rev. 6:12-17)
* The judgments of the trumpets. (Rev. 8-11)
* The infliction of plagues. (Rev. 16)
* If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receives the mark of his name. (Rev. 14:10,11)
* This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Rev. 20:14,15)
Revelation 5 describes the enthronement and inauguration into the Royal Priesthood of Christ, “the slain Lamb” “the lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David.” (Rev. 5:5, 6)
And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. …Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals. And I looked and behold in the midst of the throne stood a Lamb as though it had been slain….He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. (Rev. 5:1-8)
Compare this to Deut. 17:18. When a new king was enthroned, he was given a scroll containing his duties to God and to the people.
Look in 2 kings 11:12 and 2 Chr 23:11 and you will see that
“They brought out the King’s Son, and put upon him the crown, and gave him the testimony. and made him king.”
History shows that the custom of the ancient near east was for kings to receive a “scroll” or book “to study and read it constantly and adhere diligently to all its instructions”. See also Saul’s coronation in 1 Sam. 11:25.
The author of Patriarchs and Prophets writes on page 702 writes:
At the inauguration of the king… David, by solemn rite, was consecrated to his office as God’s vicegerent. The scepter was placed in his hands. The covenant of his righteous sovereignty was written, and the people gave their pledges of loyalty. The diadem was placed upon his brow, and the coronation ceremony was over. Israel had a king by divine appointment.
Now what we see in Revelation 4-5 is Christ, the Son of God declared worthy to receive honor and power and glory. Because he has overcome, and now he is set down with his Father on his (Father’s) throne as his coregent. (See Rev. 3:21) The sealed scroll has the same meaning and significance as the Covenant Book in the enthronement ceremony of Isrealite Kings. It deals with the law and prophetic messages and covenantal stipulations. Jesus, as the lion of the tribe of Juda, the root of David, is seen here as the end-time ruler who, on the basis of the saving work of His death, and priestly ministry, now deals with His church.
“We have such an High Priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; a Minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” Hebrews 8:1, 2.
Here is revealed the sanctuary of the new covenant.
“Behold the Man whose name is The Branch; . . . He shall build the temple of the Lord; and He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon His throne; and He shall be a priest upon His throne.” Zech. 6:12, 13. “Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Heb. 7:25.
Christ’s ascension to heaven was the signal that His followers were to receive the promised blessing. For this they were to wait before they entered upon their work. When Christ passed within the heavenly gates, He was enthroned amidst the adoration of the angels. As soon as this ceremony was completed, the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples in rich currents, and Christ was indeed glorified, even with the glory which He had with the Father from all eternity. The Pentecostal outpouring was Heaven’s communication that the Redeemer’s inauguration was accomplished. According to His promise He had sent the Holy Spirit from heaven to His followers as a token that He had, as priest and king, received all authority in heaven and on earth, and was the Anointed One over His people.AA.038
When the sixth seal is opened two parties are brought to view. Each of the two is pictured in the final events of earth’s history. As Christ appears and the heavens recede like a scroll and every mountain and island is removed, those who have been deceived will flee from the face of Him who sits on the throne. What deception has deceived them? The deception that is now taught in many Christian circles that people do not have to repent and forsake their sins so that those sins may be blotted out. To them the coming of the Lord is a consuming fire and they cannot face it.
The other group is pictured standing before God’s throne with palm branches, worshiping God Who wipes away every tear from their eyes.
As it is shown that so many people will be rushing for the mountains begging them to fall upon them to hide them from the wrath of the God, we hear the question being asked: “WHO WILL BE ABLE TO STAND?”
It is chapter 7 that deals with the answer. The answer is
“These are they that have WASHED THEIR ROBES IN THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB AND MADE THEM WHITE IN THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB. Rev. 7:14
It is only through the blood of Christ that any of us can stand in that judgment. For it is only in Christ’s righteousness that we can be accounted as worthy of heaven. In other words– without the covenant, NONE will stand– no not one —
Now the importance of the covenant relationship understanding is crucial however. For the sixth seal still reveals a lot of people who are NOT covered.
For indeed none will be in the victorious crowd in the last days who is NOT in a firm covenant relationship with Christ. NONE.
Only those whose sins are covered by the slain Lamb of God, and are in that covenant relationship with Christ will be able to stand.
Thus Revelation’s first picture of the heavenly sanctuary depicts Christ’s work in the HOLY place. The sanctuary is NOW open. Previous to this no sanctuary work could be done as their was no blood– and without the shedding of blood there is no remission for sins– the blood of bulls and sheep couldn’t do it!
The major religious teachings DO NOT understand the covenant relationship. They see the new covenant as radically different from God’s dealings with the children of Israel under the OT.
Now there is a difference between the new and the old, because the old covenant was based on human priests, animal sacrifices and blood, and an earthly sanctuary. But CONTRARY to modern understanding the former was not an end in itself. (i.e. they were saved by works, we by grace) NO! The old was a type or a series of symbols of what was to come. The old portrays in symbols how God works out His covenant.
Therefore in the new covenant we have the REAL high Priest, the real and better cleansing blood, the heavenly sanctuary. Here the REAL work of dealing with sin takes place for it is ONLY through the BLOOD OF CHRIST that sin can be forgiven. Yet, the stipulations– that we walk in the commandments and statutes of moral uprighteness with our Lord and Savior WERE NOT done away with– they are still part of the covenant.
The curses and blessings of the old covenant were NOT done away with. Revelation reveals that they are still part of the new covenant. Sin that is unconfessed and unforsaken is NOT covered by that precious atoning blood of Christ and will stand against us in the investigative judgment.
THE CENTRAL AND KEY ISSUE IS: ARE WE IN A COVENANT RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST?
Revelation begins with Christ walking among the candlesticks (His churches) pouring out His Holy Spirit (the seven lamps and the seven spirits) upon His church and establishing the covenant with them.
These early chapters in Revelation show CHRIST’S beginning work after His ascension and carries us through the Christian era. Here is where the NEW COVENANT is established.
Here is where the wonderful provisions of “Christ’s blood” and the “Holy Spirit’s power”, are offered to the church and it’s people.
Yes, Revelation 4 and 5 is a joyous occasion praising God for the wonderful covenant He has made with the people of men, and honoring Christ for the sacrifice He was willing to suffer, in order that the covenant could be ratified and executed.
The following chapters also deal with the way people relate to that covenant.
And it all ends with the judgment resulting in bringing to view the two parties–One the redeemed, the other– those who rejected God’s covenant.
So yes, indeed the book in the hands of Christ is the book of the covenants…containing all God’s provisions and providences, His laws and commandments, His authority, as well as the reaction of the people. Each generation of peoples have added their “SEAL” or CLAIM that they are a covenant people.
Now we see the Christian era add their seals to the book claiming to be “members of God’s covenant”.
Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 2 Tim. 2:19
Many CLAIM to belong to Christ, many profess, they place their seals on the book of the covenant. But when Christ opens those seals it is seen HOW they related to that covenant. The claim is not good enough we must REALLY belong to Christ.
Here is what is revealed when the seals of Christendom are opened.
In the first seal, Christ moves forth on the white horse– this white horse appears again in Revelation 19:11 where the rider is called, faithful and true and the Word of God and King of Kings and Lord of Lords. This is the Christ declaring “the kingdom of heaven is at hand” the kingdom of grace proclaiming the victory of the cross–
The Messiah came to confirm the covenant with His people, (Dan. 9:27) but the covenant people of the new testament “forsake the covenant”.
Daniel 11:22-32 tells the story of the “new covenant people” …
These “new covenant people’s” “hearts are against the holy covenant…they have indignation against the holy covenant…they shall forsake the holy covenant…they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength and take away Christ’s “daily”…they will do wickedly against the covenant….
The four horses portray the polluting of Christianity’s power”.
The four horses galloping forth from the first four seals depict the sad story of how Christianity related to God’s Covenant. It began with Christ:
Psalm 45:4-7 “And in Your Majesty ride prosperously because of truth, humility and righteousness, and your right hand will instruct you in awesome things. Your arrow are sharp in the heart..”
But by the fourth horse, Christianity is pictured as death. The apostolic truths started out as strong and alive in God’s spirit, but gradually lost it’s purity as it moved on into stark famine of real spirituality, and ends up as “death”.
Let’s look at the seals for the announcement of the investigative judgment
In the fifth seal, the blood of the martyrs cries out with a loud voice:
“How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Revelation 6:10
Pictorial Aid for Bible Study
The four horses of Christendom have already galloped forth. The era of papal oppression, that little horn “which came up and made war against the saints and prevailed against them” (Dan. 7:21) for 1260 years (Daniel 7:25) has taken its toll.
But judgment has NOT YET BEGUN?
Daniel’s prophecy has declared that the Ancient of Days would came and judgment would be made in favor of the saints and against the beast (Daniel 7:22, 25) after the 1260 day/years. Now the injustice done to the sheer number of martyred saints who were slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held, cries out:
“How long, O Lord, until You judge?”
Lord, YOU received the authority and power to bring salvation, why has this system, which goes forth in YOUR name, trampled upon YOUR people and perverted YOUR truth? Why don’t YOU exercise your authority and judge?
But the great plan of salvation includes allowing sin to play out it’s full revelation, as well as GOD revealing HIS ULTIMATE GOODNESS. Thus mankind is given freedom to respond to God’s covenant. Thus it is revealed what the antagonism of the enemy of souls will do to the covenant of God and to the people who cling to God’s covenant.
BUT GOD WILL JUDGE– from the middle of the fifth seal to the seventh seal God reveals HIS judgment.
Notice what happens next? “Then a white robe was given to each of them.”
Judgment has NOT been going on before this. But NOW their cases are investigated. They were judged and vindicated. The sentences of the carnal, earthly courts are reversed. They were declared righteous! But they are still dead.
For “it was said that they should rest a little longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.”
This shows that the investigative judgment began after the tribulation of 1260 years, those martyred during the ages past, are vindicated, but this is not the second coming. In the future there will be another time when the beast will put to death those who follow the word of God. In Revelation 20:4 we read that people will be martyred during the time when the beast and his image try to force their mark on the whole world.
Yet, even here the promise is given that they will LIVE and reign with Christ. The investigative judgment is not at the second coming. The judgment is seen over and over again, to commence after the 1260 day/years of papal corruption and power, but before the second coming.
It is the sure promise that Christ will make the final decision as to who will receive eternal life — not some earthly powers which try to force false worship. It is very important to understand this. For it will help settle in the minds of God’s people the importance of the truths of the final crises.
The sixth seal shows the results of that investigative judgment. First we see what appears to be ALL the people, the high officials, the common people, the servants, all running in terror, for the day of God’s wrath has come, and they beg the mountains to fall upon them.
But there are some people who do have the real seal–the seal of God! In chapter seven we see a great multitude that no man can number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white. They are singing. They will hunger no more, and thirst no more, for the Lamb will be their shepherd, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
THE BOOK OF THE COVENANT
That book of the covenant, which God the Father gives to Christ, contains the history of God’s providences, His Divine utterances, His authority, His commandments, and the history of mankind’s response to His revelations and to His covenant of salvation. Due to the fact that Christ gave His blood to ratify that covenant, gives Him full and complete authority to do all that is required in the saving of those who respond, and to destroy all sin in the end.
The scroll of the covenant deals with all the stipulations and authority for dealing with the sin problem, both for vindication of those who have washed their robes in the Blood of the Lamb, and for destruction of all who forsake the covenant.
The Bible tells us why “God’s wrath goes forth”
BECAUSE THEY HAVE FORSAKEN THE COVENANT!
Jer. 22:9 “Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God,”
(Joshua 23:16, Judges 2:20, Ps. 78:37, Is.24:5, Jer. 11:3, Jer. 11:8, 10, Jer. 34:18, Ez. 16:59, Ez. 17:16-18, )
Hosea 8:1 “Set the trumpet to your mouth! He shall come like an eagle against the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed My covenant and rebelled against my Law.”
Revelation 14:12 Says those who stand and do not receive the wrath poured out without mixture are they that “keep the Commandments of God and have the FAITH OF JESUS.” A people in true COVENANT relationship with Christ.
The covenant document of God with his people, the book revealed in Rev. 5, contains the revelation of God’s will to men; it relates to God’s entire dealings with men– not just judgment, not just vindication, but all God’s dealings with man kind from the beginning to the end.
Trumpets and the Day of Atonement
How fitting it is, as we see all things focusing on the “Day of Atonement”, the HOUR OF HIS JUDGMENT, which the angel of Revelation 14 proclaims, is preceded by seven trumpets.
THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS
This feast was observed on the first day of the seventh month. Now the first day of every month was begun with the blowing of trumpets. So why make special mention of the blowing of trumpets on the first day of the seventh month?
The importance was, that in the seventh month, the trumpets were announcing that this was the month of the Day of Atonement, and all were to consecrate themselves to the Lord in preparation for this solemn day.
It is interesting that seven months pass. Each beginning with a trumpet blast. On the seventh month, we have the seventh trumpet blast announcing the day of atonement.
Are any bells ringing? Is anything corresponding in our minds?
Revelation! There we have seven trumpets blown consecutively, not all together . And when the seventh trumpet blows, in chapter 11, we see the inner door into the Most Holy of Heaven opened and we see the ark, while the 24 elders declare that the time of judgment has come.
It seems very likely that the blowing of the seven trumpets in Revelation correspond to the blowing of trumpets at the seven New Moon (or New Month) festivals in the Old Testament. Each new moon trumpet blowing was understood as a day of judgment in miniature, which warned people to prepare for the final judgment ushered in by the Feast of Trumpets. When the seventh trumpet blew, it was to announce the Day of Atonement was at hand.
In like manner, the trumpets in Revelation each have a warning function and after the seventh trumpet (Rev. 11:18) the judgment is announced and the ark of the covenant is shown.
Could the fulfilment of the feast of trumpets have occurred when the 1844 message was sounded around the world by Miller and others with the same message? The Millerites certainly believed that! Prepare to meet your God, they preached. They thought Christ was coming to earth at the time, but it was actually the announcement of the inauguration of the Day of Atonement.
The Jewish understanding of the Feast of Trumpets is an annual trumpet call to stand trial before God and seek for His cleansing grace. The ten days between the feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement were seen by the Jews as a time to prepare for judgment. They even have liturgy to capture the awesome qualities of judgment and trial. One of their ceremonies included going to a body of water and sprinkling crumbs on the water while praying; “You will cast all my sins into the depths of the sea, and they shall not be remembered or visited or come to mind,”
The ten days leading up to the Day of Atonement is a period of deep soul searching and repentance to prepare themselves for the final cleansing and judgment on the day of atonement.
It was also a time when the principles of the law were studied. At the time of the feast of trumpets, in Ezra’s time, he asked the scribe to bring the book of the law,. And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month, explaining to the people the principles of the divine law. “So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the meaning, and caused them to understand the reading.” . And he read the law to them. . . . And the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.”
THE DAY OF ATONEMENT
On the Day of Atonement all sin is dealt with. This is when the High Priest enters the Most Holy Place. Those who have embraced God’s covenant, whose sins have been confessed and forsaken are covered by the blood placed upon the mercy seat and there sins are then taken and placed on the instigator of sin and cast out into the wilderness (bottomless pit for 1000 years). Those who refused to confess and forsake their sins and enter into a covenant relationship with Christ are also cast out into the wilderness.
We know that Jesus is now still giving us opportunity to accept HIS covenant, to confess our sins, to repent in deep humility, and have our lives purified in obeying and living out the truth. Now is the time for wrongs to be righted and sins to be confessed, or they will appear against us in the judgment. We know we are living after the seventh trumpet has begun to sound, but it has not finished sounded– Christ has not yet appeared in the clouds of glory! We are living in the hour of HIS judgment, when our High Priest has gone into the Most Holy Place for the final work of Priestly Ministry.
Soon we will experience the Feast of Tabernacles–and enter the Promised Land.