Locusts Revelation 9

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Revelation 9:1-12 NKJV Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit. (2) And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit. (3) Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. (4) They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. (5) And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man. (6) In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them. (7) The shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were crowns of something like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. (8) They had hair like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. (9) And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle. (10) They had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails. Their power was to hurt men five months. (11) And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon. (12) One woe is past. Behold, still two more woes are coming after these things.

I’ve read more interpretations to those locusts than I care to think about. I’ve seen those locusts placed at more time periods that I care to count. The fact of the matter is, we wouldn’t expect to see physical locusts fitting that description. Most people know those locusts are a symbol. The question is, after reading Revelation chapter 8, why would people take shortcuts interpreting those symbols, the time frame, and the entire prophecy and vision?

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We see an angel coming down to earth to open what was described as a bottomless pit. In Heaven, angels can see this world, and God sees everything that happens in this world. What would a bottomless pit represent? In simple terms, the pit tells us it contains an endless string of deceptions. Locusts came out and their leader was the devil.

The star is referred to as a person. Coming from the sky tells us, he was an angel. Previous chapters in Revelation told how a star is used to represent an angel. That particular angel needed a key. He also had to receive orders, and follow specific instructions and timing. All of those orders originated at God’s throne.

Revelation chapter 8 told us about the sun, moon, stars, day, and night loosing a third of their light. Chapter 9 tells us about smoke coming out of a bottomless pit turning sunlight dark. What do we get when we combine the two trumpets? We see how the light was darkened. Previous chapters in Revelation told us how deceptions would creep in. That pits tells us, the devil will have more deceptions than we can count. That tells us, the devil will try hard to hide the true identity of those locusts as well as the lessons in this chapter, and the entire book of Revelation.

Let’s take a quick look from Heaven to see what John saw. He looked in the pit that was opened and couldn’t see the bottom. How else would he describe that pit. The angel was described as a star. Compared to the darkness from that pit, the angel was nothing less than a contrast.

First smoke came out of the pit. In warfare, smoke is used as a screen, or type of camouflage. The devil doesn’t want this world to see what is happening. That is why it is important to stick with a vision from Heaven. The locusts came from the pit, then descended upon the earth. Are they trying to imitate angels from Heaven? They don’t look like angels? Who could mix them up?

Previous chapters in Revelation described beings in Heaven with different faces. Those locusts had human faces. What does that tell us? Look at those locusts from the aspect of how they would approach people. First you would see their faces and crowns. Then you’d see the similarities to a horse, than a locust, and lastly, you’d see the tail of a scorpion. It is plain to see they are designed to deceive. First they hide their identity until they were close enough to use that stinging tail. The smoke is used to conceal their real identity and intent.

The story formed its own link between grass, trees, and people. A symbol we’ve seen before in Revelation. We are in a building process. Since the vision reviews details we’ve learned, we can expect this part will add to that knowledge.

For some reason those locusts were told to only torture people, not kill them for five months. Why that time period, and what does it mean? It is a physical five months or a spiritual five months? How do we find out? Does context provide the answer? The vision uses symbolism, so the five months must also be a symbol. Pointing to what though? The only thing we are told is, people will seek death in those days. Was, or is there a time when a great number of people looked forward to dying?

As with real locusts, those symbols have wings. They can fly. They can cover great distances in a short amount of time. But why? For what? They follow orders from Satan. No matter what they do, it leads to no good.

What on earth could fit the description John recorded? Is that how Heaven views evil angels? Are those locusts evil angels? How would an evil angel look to you if you were and angle in paradise?

The end of the fifth trumpet ends with a warning. We have two more terrors to look at.

A Door Open in Heaven Revelation 4

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Revelation 4:1-5 NLTse Then as I looked, I saw a door standing open in heaven, and the same voice I had heard before spoke to me like a trumpet blast. The voice said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after this.” (2) And instantly I was in the Spirit, and I saw a throne in heaven and someone sitting on it. (3) The one sitting on the throne was as brilliant as gemstones–like jasper and carnelian. And the glow of an emerald circled his throne like a rainbow. (4) Twenty-four thrones surrounded him, and twenty-four elders sat on them. They were all clothed in white and had gold crowns on their heads. (5) From the throne came flashes of lightning and the rumble of thunder. And in front of the throne were seven torches with burning flames. This is the sevenfold Spirit of God.

When we see a door open in Heaven, we know it must be important. What is happening in Heaven? In previous letters John told about doors opening. “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Philadelphia. This is the message from the one who is holy and true, the one who has the key of David. What he opens, no one can close; and what he closes, no one can open. “I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close. You have little strength, yet you obeyed my word and did not deny me.” (Revelation 3:7-8 NLTse). Was John writing about this door that opened in Heaven?

The word, “then,” tells us something. After John recorded those letters to the churches, he saw this vision of Heaven. John recorded a sequence of events in Heaven. First those letters had to be written, given to angels, and delivered to the churches. Once that task was competed, John looked up and saw an open door. John tied this vision in with the previous story that had a voice. John heard the same voice he heard earlier.

It was the Lord’s Day, and I was worshiping in the Spirit. Suddenly, I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet blast. It said, “Write in a book everything you see, and send it to the seven churches in the cities of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.” When I turned to see who was speaking to me, I saw seven gold lampstands. And standing in the middle of the lampstands was someone like the Son of Man. He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest. His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes were like flames of fire. His feet were like polished bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves. (Revelation 1:10-15 NLTse).

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We see how that voice was Jesus. We also see how John took us back to the description of Jesus in chapter one, tying chapter one and four together. The serious Bible student will see how all those chapters, stories, and letters in Revelation are tied together. John recorded Revelation to emphasize that point. The age old method of cutting Revelation apart to study it doesn’t agree with the way Revelation was recorded.

John used the voice he heard to send us back to a particular point in the Bible, a reference point we have to respect. We see how the voice is tied into all seven churches, and the sevenfold Spirit of God confirmed that message. The statement, “this message is written for this world,” is very specific, and provides its own, unique method of guiding readers.

The voice of Jesus, told John, “Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after this.” When Jesus sets an order of events, we have to respect the sequence. The question is, why did John, the man who loved Jesus, not mention Jesus by name in chapter 4? Why use the voice to identify Jesus? That is the unique writing style Jesus uses. That style of writing sends readers back to the proper spots in the Bible to find answers. This shows us exactly how Jesus and the Bible reveal answers. Men do not always use that style of study. Some times they use less than reliable man made styles. Methods of study that more or less rely on personalities, traditions, and preconceived ideas. None of which are close to the Spirit guided study method.

John saw someone sitting on a throne. Since John already gave a vivid description of Jesus in another location, who could the figure on the throne be? It seems we have two choices, God or the Holy Spirit. Since the Bible doesn’t contain a description of the Spirit in physical form, we have to think the figure on the throne is God. When we read more of the story, we see how John confirmed that Jesus was in a different location in that scene.

Then I saw a Lamb that looked as if it had been slaughtered, but it was now standing between the throne and the four living beings and among the twenty-four elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which represent the sevenfold Spirit of God that is sent out into every part of the earth. (Revelation 5:6 NLTse).

When we look ahead, we see how chapter 5 is tied in to chapter 4, as well as chapter 1, and all the information in between. Studying Revelation is not as easy as people want the world to think. It cannot be explained using a single sentence, series of sentences, or one story taken out and made to stand on its own. Jesus designed Revelation to show how stories are related and interwoven to give a specific message no one can alter. That is the scene inside the door Jesus can open and no one can shut. No matter how hard the world tries to cover up Revelation, the book is still here to show us how to gain the proper understanding.

John described God using the only words he could think of to tell about His brilliance, gemstones. Why John decided to use gems, which are usually rather small to describe the largest being he ever encountered is a mystery all its own. But what else did John have? The only other thing was a rainbow. We can see how John is trying to describe colors.

Have you ever tried to describe the colors of a sunset? Words cannot describe everything, but people do try. We can’t even be sure of the colors John saw, based on the fact, jasper and carnelian come in a variety of colors from yellow, to red, and shades of blue. Jasper has a wider range of colors, reds and greens being the most common. Carnelian usually comes in yellows, oranges, reds, and shades of brown. Most of those colors are found in a sunset, but John chose not to reference a sunset in his description of the scene he saw.

John used an emerald to describe the back of the throne. Emeralds are normally green, but John described it like a rainbow. Was that the shape of the glow, or was the glow primarily green?

You’ll notice John didn’t mention too many particular colors. People tend to drift off the subject when colors are mentioned, claiming this color represents this, that color represented that. Which may be true in one particular story, but that doesn’t hold true for every story in the Bible.

John also saw twenty-four elders on twenty-four thrones. The seats must have been elaborate for John to call them thrones. John saw a throne or two during his time. You have to wonder how they compared to those he saw in Heaven. Without a doubt, God’s throne surpassed the other twenty-four. Now we have a set of thrones to consider. “Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne. “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.” (Revelation 3:21-22 NLTse).

Those thrones established a link with the end of the previous chapter. The throne at the end of chapter 3 is a promise. The twenty-four thrones John saw in chapter 4 are a reality. Thrones in different time frames, but the same general location, Heaven.

The white the elders wore and their crowns set up more connections to previous chapters.

Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. The devil will throw some of you into prison to test you. You will suffer for ten days. But if you remain faithful even when facing death, I will give you the crown of life.

(Revelation 2:10 NLTse)

All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine.

(Revelation 3:5 NLTse)

I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown. All who are victorious will become pillars in the Temple of my God, and they will never have to leave it. And I will write on them the name of my God, and they will be citizens in the city of my God–the new Jerusalem that comes down from heaven from my God. And I will also write on them my new name.

(Revelation 3:11-12 NLTse)

John is establishing a view of Heaven using words recorded in previous stories to fill in details. The churches were given a view of Heaven, then John was shown a vision of Heaven confirming the promises in those letters. John is showing how messages from Heaven are confirmed, another important feature in Bible Study. We have to be able to show how and where messages are confirmed. Without that confirmation, how do we prove the message is from Heaven? John is writing in a style that not only provides that confirmation, but teaches us how confirmation is established.

John used a series of light sources to complete his description of the vision he saw. One is lightening accompanied by thunder. Light and sound, visions and voices go together. Then John sees seven torches with flames in front of those thrones. John included the interpretation for those torches in his story. Those torches represent the seven Spirits of God. We are right back in chapter 1, and the seven letters given to those angels. There is a connection between those elders and the Spirit.

The vision John saw was in Heaven. A door had to be opened for John to see that scene. The doors and room were enormous, without measure, something no human hands could have ever made. Colors filled the room, along with light. Colors no person could describe. All the colors in the rainbow, but not the colors we have to strain to see, or obstructed by anything. The colors were real, like John could reach out and touch them.

John saw God’s throne, the center of the room, and center of attention. Those colors centered on God and radiated out from His throne. There were also flashes of lightening accompanied by the sound of thunder. Something was happening. Something new was being introduced. Something important was about a happen in Heaven, and it was John’s job to witness and try to describe the events that were about to unfold.

Thyatira

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Revelation 2:18-29 NLTse (18) “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Thyatira. This is the message from the Son of God, whose eyes are like flames of fire, whose feet are like polished bronze: (19) “I know all the things you do. I have seen your love, your faith, your service, and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in all these things. (20) “But I have this complaint against you. You are permitting that woman–that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet–to lead my servants astray. She teaches them to commit sexual sin and to eat food offered to idols. (21) I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to turn away from her immorality. (22) “Therefore, I will throw her on a bed of suffering, and those who commit adultery with her will suffer greatly unless they repent and turn away from her evil deeds. (23) I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches out the thoughts and intentions of every person. And I will give to each of you whatever you deserve. (24) “But I also have a message for the rest of you in Thyatira who have not followed this false teaching (‘deeper truths,’ as they call them–depths of Satan, actually). I will ask nothing more of you (25) except that you hold tightly to what you have until I come. (26) To all who are victorious, who obey me to the very end, To them I will give authority over all the nations. (27) They will rule the nations with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots. (28) They will have the same authority I received from my Father, and I will also give them the morning star! (29) “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.

 

By the time Jesus gets to the letter to Thyatira, things take on a more serious note. Thyatira received two descriptions of Jesus, His eyes of fire, and feet like polished bronze. Jesus tells them, He has seen the love they had for Him, as well as their faith and patients. Jesus also sees how they have been improving. Jesus’ sight is not a once a week, or once a month ordeal, but a constant process.

But Thyatira has a problem. They were watching a false prophet compared to Jezebel leading people away. As usual, Jesus compares that departure to adultery, which is having an affair with another partner while married. What are some of the details we’re supposed to notice about Jezebel?

Jezebel was the daughter of a pagan king. She married Ahab, one of Israel’s kings and led him into the worship of Baal. She appointed her own prophets and ran her own worship services. Her prophets were eventually defeated and killed by Elijah. Eventually Jezebel lost her life, was killed and eaten by dogs. A short overview of Jezebel doesn’t begin to explain the problems Christians faced while living among some of the world’s worst pagans in a lawless age. Against all those odds, their faith and love for Christ kept growing. They had an idea of how to choose between a productive and destructive road.

That was the beginning of the Christian era. Paul referred to it as the last days. No one will deny, Jesus sent them prophets, teachers, leaders, signs, angels, and occasionally, a personal appearance. Today it seems we are left on our own, with the exception of leaders and people claiming to be teachers. When did all of that change, and who changed it? There is no record of any change in the Bible. There was an absence of communication for about four hundred years after the temple was rebuilt, and Jesus’ birth. There were a number of books written by prophets when Israel was exiled and needed an increased number of visions. But what about today? Have we reached such an advanced age, we no longer require contact with Jesus, or the protection He offers?

The devil didn’t go away. Entire countries are still controlled by Satan. Leaders are still influenced by Satan into making poor decisions. Some governments look at the people they tax as a never ending source of income for themselves, friends, families, and business associates. Today people look at that as business as usual, an expected byproduct of life. In Jesus’ life time, they looked at those taxes as oppression. Today we are happy to chose which people tax us, and write up new tax laws. Israel split up over taxes right after Solomon’s reign. That led them down a slippery path when Israel’s new king introduced a few ideas he learned in Egypt. Israel went straight back into bondage without crossing the wilderness. That trip across the wilderness was only necessary to reach the promised land, not to loose it.

Jesus was going to allow the Jezebel style of church and state union to continue. Jesus didn’t condemn that union, or government control over religion. It was to stand as a contrast to the New Testament form of religion a handful of people were introducing to this world. We know that’s still true today. Except today, we have a new set of contrasts. They don’t call the worship of money, and self reliance a religion anymore. Today they call it, “freedom from religion.” It still disgraces God, ignores Jesus, discards every message from Heaven, and in some cases, involves spending large sums of money to disprove any claim there is a God. Most of the world is influenced by the very threats Jesus warned about in the letter to Thyatira. People chose to go their own way. People chose to mix the true faith early Christians had with the idolatry Jezebel spread throughout Israel. Today we just give it different names, and say, “those warnings were for other people in a different time.” Today we fall for the same deceptions Jesus warned the early churches about. We lack the cooperation those letters stressed. Most people have a dimmer view of Heaven than any of those single churches were given. But today a lack of Heavenly guidance is referred to as success and growth, a higher degree of understanding that cannot be clearly defined or explained. We’ve traded the manna from Heaven for a mixture of spiritual food offered to demons and idols.

Jesus asked them to hold onto what they had until He returned. All those early Christians died, and Jesus hasn’t returned. What were they supposed to hold onto, and doesn’t that statement show, this letter, and the others are for our benefit?

Thyatira was also given two visions of Heaven that included the Morning Star, and authority. How did they interpret that authority and leadership Jesus promised them? Did they look at it on a physical or spiritual level? Was that authority a symbol? If so, what did it point to? Later John identified Jesus as the Morning Star. “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this message for the churches. I am both the source of David and the heir to his throne. I am the bright morning star.” (Revelation 22:16 NLTse). If the Morning Star was a symbol, what about the rest of the promise?

Lord’s Day

 

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Revelation 1:10-20 NLTse (10) It was the Lord’s Day, and I was worshiping in the Spirit. Suddenly, I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet blast. (11) It said, “Write in a book everything you see, and send it to the seven churches in the cities of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.” (12) When I turned to see who was speaking to me, I saw seven gold lampstands. (13) And standing in the middle of the lampstands was someone like the Son of Man. He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest. (14) His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes were like flames of fire. (15) His feet were like polished bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves. (16) He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth. And his face was like the sun in all its brilliance. (17) When I saw him, I fell at his feet as if I were dead. But he laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. (18) I am the living one. I died, but look–I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave. (19) “Write down what you have seen–both the things that are now happening and the things that will happen. (20) This is the meaning of the mystery of the seven stars you saw in my right hand and the seven gold lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

 

The beginning of Revelation tells us exactly where the information in this book came from, directly from Jesus in Heaven. That is one of the most important details at the beginning of every chapter in Revelation, as well as the beginning of every prophecy in the Bible. Every prophet identified where and how they received the message. That is one of the many safety features God installed in the Bible. At times authors tell us messages are from false prophets, kings made decisions without praying, asked counselors, or received advice from other sources. As we proceed through those stories, we are given the opportunity to see how each event turned out. This created a series of contracts to learn from. We can put together a series of events when people followed God’s orders, and see how it turned out. Then we can compare those results to see how decisions without praying turned out. We can also see how reliable those counselors and false prophets were.

When we get to timing in Revelation chapter one, John kept the lesson rather simple. Jesus is the First and Last. He has been around a lot longer than any of us, has seen a lot more, has generations of experience, and will be around a lot longer than many of us. In other words, Jesus should be our only reliable source of information.

John also tells us, this book contains information on events from the past and the future. Some events were happening, or some prophecies were being fulfilled in John’s time. How do we tell which prophecies have been fulfilled, which were being fulfilled in John’s day, which were fulfilled after John, and which prophecies are we waiting to be fulfilled? This can get very confusing if we didn’t have a timeline. A timeline needs a base point, or point to begin. A type of foundation to build on. From there we have to look at key words in the Bible God placed there to indicate a series of events following a particular order. This happens, then that happens, this follows, and finally we see this event. That sequence is achieved using simple words. The KJV generally used the word, “and,” to show a sequence of events.

Rev 5:1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.

Rev 5:2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?

Rev 5:3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.

Rev 5:4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

Rev 5:5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

Rev 5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

Rev 5:7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.

Each verse begins with the word, “And,” showing a simple sequence of events. John saw a book. John had to notice that book before the next event could take place. After John noticed the book, an angel asked who could open it. The question had to be asked before moving onto the next event. No one in Heaven or earth was able to open that book. That fact had to be established before moving onto the next event. One of the elders told John about a Lion from the Root of David. Jesus was first introduced as a Lion, before appearing as a Lamb. Each event had to follow that particular order. Each event is identified by the word, “And,” which is commonly known as a linking word, tying all those events together.

People tend to disagree with the timing in Revelation. They want to ignore those linking words that tie events together in the order Jesus said they have to occur. That is one of the most important details in the Bible, and one of the most ignored details in scripture. Why? I’m not sure. I look at those linking words and find it easy to follow prophetic timing. There is no excuse to be confused. Each event is recorded in perfect order, just the way Jesus said they will occur, key words link them all together, and anyone can follow the simple order. But people insist Revelation is a book of mystery, and they have to put prophecies in the right order. What order? People tend to look at the world for guidance on the sequence of events recorded in Revelation. People prefer to have earth’s history dictate prophetic timing. That is the way of the world. Where does that come from? The world – not from Heaven. Which source are you going to trust?

Modern Bible translators saw how Revelation told about one event, the next event, so on, and so forth. Many of them took the word, “and,” used in the KJV, and changed it to the word, “then.” The original Greek word can be translated either way.

John tells us, he was praying when the message began. This is an important point to consider. Will God approach us with a message, do we have to first approach God, or does it work both ways? Communicating with God is another subject we have to be aware of in scripture, and we should be studying.

John was told to write a book. Not just deliver a message, but write a book. Notice how Jesus told John how to deliver the message. That is another feature we need to pay attention to. Whenever we receive messages from Heaven, we are told who to share it with, and how to share it. This is another safety feature God uses. Often people create their own message, determine who to deliver it to, how, and when to deliver it. Where is the Spirit in their message? Taking a few words out of scripture does not make it a message from Heaven. Priests and Pharisees took a few lines out of scripture. Did that make every one of their messages a message from Heaven? The devil took out a few sentences from scripture and used them to try and trick Jesus. Did the devil’s message come from Heaven, or his own imagination? Just because someone takes a few sentences out of scripture does not make it an inspired message.

People often want to focus on symbols, especially in books like Revelation. The Bible has a general rule about symbols. Typically symbols are identified and explained in the story they are found in, more often than not in the same chapter like here. The seven candlesticks represent the seven churches, and the seven stars are seven angels. This rule of interpretation was recorded in the first chapter to teach us how symbols are defined, and this rule applies not only to the entire book of Revelation, but the entire Bible.

Jesus is seen standing among those candlesticks, which shows His relationship with those churches. Jesus has to travel from one church to the next, hence the need for an angel to go to each church, which shows Jesus’ concern and the protection He offers. When Jesus was arrested, He reminded everyone, all He had to do is say one word and legions of angels would be sent to protect Him.

Jesus is wearing a long robe. Is this His robe of righteous or another rode. The only clue we are given is, the robe is covered by a golden sash across His chest. Is the gold significant or the chest it covered? We could look at what gold represents, but would gold represent the same thing here as it does in other stories? The fact is, John is seeing a vision of Jesus in Heaven. If we take an interpretation for what gold represented in a story taking place on earth, would it be the same?

Jesus’ head is white like wool. What does white hair normally represent? Old age here on earth. White hair may also represent age, experience, and wisdom. Let’s put ourselves in John’s shoes for a moment. John saw Jesus a few years ago. Could Jesus have aged that quickly in Heaven, or did Jesus take on a form He exhibited before He came to this world to be born, live, grow, and die?

What did John think when He saw the one he lived with white hair? Did John think, things happening here on earth gave Jesus white hair? Did that white hair instill a spot of concern in John? We have to admit, John wrote words he was inspired to write, and left out his personal ideas about the views he witnessed.

Jesus’ eyes were like flames of fire. What did John think? Eyes normally are a key to identify people. When their eye color changes, that is something people are sure to notice. It was one of the details John noticed and recorded.

Eyes of fire may make people think, Jesus has something to get excited about. Something wasn’t right. But at that time, Jesus had a number of people doing the best they could with what they had, and what they understood. Or were they? How was the world accepting the message, and how was the enemy trying to rewrite the message? Was anyone getting the message right?

Jesus feet were like polished bronze. Bronze usually represents bondage, like when Nebuchadnezzar put Jehoiakim in bronze chains and led him away to Babylon. But is that story about an event on earth the same as an event in Heaven? This is why we have to allow the story to interpret symbols. Are all details within a scene a symbol? When you dress, are your cloths a symbol? Are they always a symbol? Sometimes they may be, and at times they may not be. We have to follow the story, looking for more information, and at times changes in the details.

Jesus’ voice was another detail that stood out. It wasn’t like the voice John knew, but a distinct voice that could carry all the way from the halls of Heaven to earth.

Stars in His right hand is a place people like to linger, but the stars are identified as symbols within the story. Jesus told John what those stars and candlesticks represented. Having angels in His right hand was a scene Jesus wanted John to see. The angels protect the church, and were seen in Jesus’ right hand. We don’t need scholars to explain the details. Jesus established the scene, controlled the scene, told John what items were used as symbols and what they meant. What more do we need?

Can you imagine John’s reaction to the scene? There John was, standing in Heaven’s court. A second ago John was on a desolate Island with some of Rome’s most notorious prisoners. John was lucky to be alive. John had to rely on prayer everyday so he wouldn’t become one of the island’s many victims. Food was scarce. People killed for a meal. Nothing grew on the Island. Fresh water was also limited. Each day seemed like a challenge. Then one day, the Heavens open up. John saw the light, then thought for a moment, this is it. This is the day I get to leave this world. But it was only a vision.

John saw the one he loved, Jesus. But it wasn’t the same Jesus John knew on earth. Jesus was different in some ways, and the same in others. His hair was different, much longer and now it was white. It wasn’t that long ago he saw Jesus. His clothing was different. That was to be expected. But Jesus didn’t choose to dress like the kings of this world. Jesus didn’t need jewels and gold to show His title. A gold sash was all He needed.

John looked down at Jesus’ feet. They were a little darker than before. John remembered the last thing Jesus did before he was arrested. No one cleaned Jesus’ feet, but look at them now. Heaven is so different than this world.

Hearing from Jesus was something else. His voice seemed to carry on forever. The tone in His voice told John, the message was important, one that would carry to the ends of the world. It began with seven letters to a collection of seven groups of followers in seven locations.