22: The Fourth Window

castle windows_2

The Issues: What is Christ Doing on Earth?

Witnessing, against all opposition!

Revelation 8:2-11:19

We again join John as he moves along the gallery. We stop and look through the fourth window.1 Here we shall see events of the Christian age being dramatized differently from how we’ve seen them through the first three windows.

This time six angels’ trumpet-blasts precede natural, demonic and social phenomena. They end only “when the seventh angel has sounded (10:7)” or, in Paul’s words, “at the last trumpet (1 Corinthians 15:52).”

This is the scenario in which the Good News, the Gospel of the Kingdom, will be proclaimed. This message might be good, but the messengers are in dire straits.2

Setting the scene

The Angels with the Trumpets

Seven angels standing before God are given seven trumpets.3 Since they are standing before God, these seven angels appear to be heralds (of something about to happen). Trumpets such as the ones that they are holding are mentioned in the description of the second coming of Christ (Matthew 24:31), and in the description of the resurrection of the dead (1 Corinthians 15:52). Seven times in Revelation we hear the sound of trumpets (Revelation 8:2, 6–8, 10, 12; 9:1, 13; 11:15). Besides, heavenly voices once heard by John sounded, to him, like trumpets (Revelation 1:10; 4:1). So, this writer feels that what might strike fear in God’s enemies is sweet music to the believer!

An Angel with the Censer

Another angel, carrying a golden censer, comes and stands at the altar. He is given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, ascends before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel takes the censer, fills it with fire from the altar, and hurls it on the earth; there are peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake. It is then that the seven angels who hold the seven trumpets prepare to sound them.

Because the sound of the trumpets follows the rising prayers of the saints, it appears that, at last, the prayers of the souls under the altar [the martyrs] are about to be answered? They had cried out, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood (Revelation 6:9-10)?” So, judgments are about to fall on those who persecute God’s people. With St. John we see each angel, we hear the sound of his trumpet sound, and we watch the event that follows.4

As the first four of the seven trumpets are blown the environment is partially and slowly affected — to bring people to their senses.5

The plain statements of Jesus recorded in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 about disasters natural and social, and even religious in the form of deceptions, should not be overlooked. Let’s recall them.

● Matthew 24:5-7 — For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.

● Mark 13

● Luke 21:8-11 — “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them. When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.” Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.

● Luke 21:24-25 — They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.”

Jesus had forecast that even the Jewish people, who had felt so secure, would not be exempt from tribulation during the period between the first and second advents.

● Matthew 24:15-16 (and Mark 13:14) — “So when you see standing in the holy placethe abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel — let the reader understand — then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains…

● Luke 21:20 — “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near.”

The Sound of the Trumpets

The first trumpet sounds and the Earth is targeted by hail and fire.6
Hail and fire mixed with blood is hurled down upon the earth. A third of the earth is burned up, a third of the trees are burned up, and all the green grass is burned up.

The second trumpet sounds and the Sea is targeted by a blazing mountain.
Something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, is thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turns into blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea die, and a third of the ships are destroyed.

The third trumpet sounds and the rivers and springs are targeted by the star which is called “Wormwood.”
A great star, blazing like a torch, falls from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water — the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turn bitter, and many people die from the waters that have become bitter.

The fourth trumpet sounds and the sun, moon and stars are targeted by darkness.
A third of the sun is struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turn dark. A third of the day is without light, and also a third of the night.

In answer to the prayers of the souls under the altar, the essentials for life have been partially affected as punishment of their persecutors.

The Cry of the Eagle

Golden_Eagle_in_flight_-_5 copy

While we are watching, we hear an eagleflying in midair and calling loudly: “Woe! Woe! Woe!8 to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts [that are] about to be sounded by the other three angels!”

What follows now is judgment upon people, but notice which people.

The fifth trumpet sounds, and the people who have not been sealed9 are tormented (targeted) by locusts which ascend in smoke from the Abyss.
To the star that has fallen from the sky is given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. When he opens the Abyss, smoke like the smoke from a great furnace rises and darkens the sun and sky. Now, out of the smoke locusts come down on the earth. These locusts are given power like that of scorpions. They are told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.10 They are not granted the power to kill them, but only to torture the unsealed for five months. The agony they suffer is like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes a man. During that period men seek death, but cannot find it; they long to die, but death eludes them. The locusts look like horses prepared for battle. On their heads are something like crowns of gold, and their faces resemble human faces. Their hair is like women’s hair, and their teeth like lions’ teeth. They have breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings is like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. They have tails and stings like scorpions, and in their tails they have power to torment people for five months. They have as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in the Hebrew language is Abaddon; in the Greek language, Apollyon.11

● The star’s being given a key with which it opens the Abyss hints strongly at its representing an individual, a superhuman individual. Although, in Revelation 12: 7-13, the devil is pictured as a dragon that has been cast out of heaven and thus could be the one who is symbolized here, the focus of this narrative in Revelation 9 strangely is not on the star that has fallen from the sky but on the locusts and their source. In that case, then, consider these:

The Abyss is referred to in Luke 8:31 as the place to which unclean spirits did not want to be consigned by Jesus. It is also the term that is used in the LXX of Genesis 1:212 in its description of the primeval world of darkness and chaos.

Smoke/Darkness

Locusts with the power of scorpions. Locusts strip the vegetation, but these locusts have no authority to do that. Given the power of scorpions, these locusts torment people who do not have the seal of God.

Their ruler is the destroying one

God’s people are not harmed

Here, forces, unnamed and nonspecific yet demonic, are symbolized. They target those who do not have the seal of God in their foreheads.

Dr Jon (Jonathan K.) Paulien, SDA theologian, suggests13 that this represents the triumph of secularism over Christianity: “The sight of God is obscured to all except to those who know Him.”

There is a secular drift in Christian society, and the results are devastating. People cannot live without a knowledge of God and not suffer. God must be in their picture for them to live sane and fulfilling lives.

“The gospel is first distorted and then partially obliterated. This opens the way for demonic darkness. Throughout it all, God is faithful in judgment. Where the gospel is ignored or deliberately distorted, the consequences are immediately felt. Throughout it all, His ultimate purpose is to bring humanity to repentance.”14

Paulien has also observe that, in his own denomination, the slip into secularism generally follows this order: The prayer life dies. Then does the study of Scripture. Consequently standards change and church attendance ends. Any kind of religious authority is rejected and an anti-institutional stance is adopted with a hostility to religion.14

Charles H. Spurgeon addressed this phenomenon with this illustration:

I have heard that a shepherd once stood and watched an eagle soar out from a cliff. The bird flew far up into the air, and presently became unsteady and reeled in its flight. Then one wing dropped and the other; presently, with accelerated speed, the poor bird fell rapidly to the ground. The shepherd was curious to know the secret of its fall. He went and picked it up. He saw that where the eagle lighted last on a cliff, a little serpent had fastened itself upon him; and as the serpent gnawed in farther and farther, the eagle in its agony reeled in the air. When the serpent touched the heart the eagle fell. Have you never seen a man or woman in the church, in society, rising and rising; the man becoming more and more influential, strong apparently, widely known, asserting power far and near; but by and by, growing unsteady, uncertain, reeling, as it were, in uncertainty, inconsistency, and at last fall to the earth, and lay there in helpless disgrace, a spectacle for angels to weep over, and scoffers and devils to jeer at? You do not know the secret of the fall, but the omniscient eye of God saw it. That neglect of prayer, that secret dishonesty in business, that stealthy indulgence in the intoxicating cup, that licentiousness and profligacy unseen of men, that secret tampering with unbelief and error, was the serpent at the heart that brought the eagle down.15

We are reminded that the name of their king, the angel of the Abyss, in the Hebrew language is Abaddon [”destruction” (See Job 26:6; Proverbs 15:11)], and in the Greek language, Apollyon [”the destroying one”].

Today there is a preoccupation with death and destruction; it’s in music and movies; teenage suicide (self destruction) is endemic, pandemic and epidemic. People, created by God, have removed Him from the picture and, consequently, feel useless and unwanted, without purpose or design, and have nothing to live for. They do indeed desire death. They long to die.

One would be justified in thinking that people would turn to God, the creator, and worship Him when they hear the sound of His trumpet blasts. After all, the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, one day long ago was able to intimidate all his subjects (except three!) with the sound of music (Daniel 3:1-12). On the contrary, with the first woe past, two other woes are yet to come.

The sixth trumpet sounds, and four angels that have been bound at the River Euphrates are released.16Assisted by 200,000,000 troops they set out to kill a third of humanity.

The scene is fantastic.

Look at the riders. Their breastplates are fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. They are protected.

Look at the horses. From their mouths come fire, smoke and sulfur. The horses, not the riders, are the killers.

And the Euphrates? In Old Testament times the Euphrates was the lifeblood of the ancient city of Babylon, the archetypical enemy of God’s people in Old Testament times. In this vision the Euphrates symbolizes the source of these destructive forces.17This is not the “river glorious” of the hymn. This is not the “river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells (Psalm 46:4).”  This is not the River of Life that flows through the New Jerusalem. In this vision it is the lifeblood of the City of Babylon, the Great.18Valued by its inhabitants to be its lifeblood, it is actually the breeding ground of destructive forces.

So, what effect does this have on the survivors of this onslaught? “The rest of mankind (the two thirds, the majority, the ones who are not killed by these plagues) still do not repent of the work of their hands; they do not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor do they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.”

We stand their aghast, and think back to the events of the night that Babylon (“on-the-Euphrates”) fell. Belshazzar (the co-regent in the absence of his father, Nabonidus, the king) and his court, were drinking wine, and praising the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone (Daniel 5:4). Daniel, the prophet, reprimanded him by saying, “You have set yourself up against the Lord of heaven. . . . You praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or understand. But you did not honor the God who holds in his hand your life and all your ways (Daniel 5:23).”

Edwin Arnold recalled the scene that night in his poem of 1852, “The Feast of Belshazzar.” It ends in these words:

That night they slew him on his father’s throne,
The deed unnoticed and the hand unknown;
Crownless and sceptreless Belshazzar lay,
A robe of purple, round a form of clay.

A world which forgets God, worships things other than God, and is prepared to persecute His people, will inevitably reap the results, as did ancient Babylon and Belshazzar. The perpetrators of war will march inexorably across the landscape of history; there will be no stopping them.

“The world is unhappy. It is unhappy because it doesn’t know where it is going and because it senses that, if it knew, it would discover that it was heading for disaster.” Nothing has changed since Valery Giscard d’Estaing (President of France, 1974-1981) said that late in 1974.19

September 24, 1965 TIME Magazine published an article titled “War as a Permanent Condition.” Permanent? Permanent!

After all of these disasters on land and sea, on the water springs and celestial bodies, we might well ask, “What is Christ doing on earth? I thought He was redemptive, not judgmental! Where are all the Christians? Where are all the missionaries, His messengers?”

Yet, it is in this setting that the Gospel will be proclaimed

Enter the Gospel

It is now that another mighty angel is seen descending from heaven. Robed in a cloud, a rainbow above his head, a face like the sun, and legs like fiery pillars, he’s holding a little scroll, which lies open in his hand. He plants his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, and gives a loud shout like a lion roaring. Just then, seven thunders speak. John is about to record what they said, but a voice from heaven says, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down.”20

The angel then raises his right hand to heaven and swears.

The Good News

He swears by the eternal Creator of everything, “There will be no more delay! When the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished21, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.”

The mystery of God is the Good News, the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. St Paul explained something of its nature and its revelation in these words:

“Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him (Romans 16:25-26).”

No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began (1 Corinthians 2:7).

For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles — Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets (Ephesians 3:1-5).

And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains (Colossians 4:3).

In these Scriptures we learn of the mystery. In the next we learn of its riches, its goal.

I have become its [the Church’s] servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness — the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:25-27).

In summary, the mystery, then, is the counsels of God, once hidden, but now revealed in the Gospel22 and changing the lives of believers. It will be accomplished at the end. As Jesus said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come (Matthew 24:14).”

There is good news and bad news

John is told, “Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” When he asks for the little scroll, the angel says, “Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.”

John obeys, and in his mouth it’s sweet but in his stomach it turns sour.

The meaning of the bad news

“You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings.

God will not leave himself without witness. While there are plagues there are also people who can explain what is happening and testify to His love displayed in His Son, Jesus Christ.

John is given a measuring rod and told to measure the temple of God and the altar, and count the worshipers there. He is not to measure the outer court “because it has been given to the Gentiles. The Gentiles will trample on the holy city for 42 months.”

This part of the vision is not about the Gentiles. It is not about most of the Christians (described as worshipers in the temple). It is about the few (symbolized by “two”) who are prepared to proclaim the Gospel at any cost. These are Christians who, as was John the Revelator, apart from the majority of believers, are prepared to follow their Lord’s example and, consequently, face the destructive force of the beast from the abyss. This is their story.

Power and Protection Promised to God’s Prophets for a Period

“I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.”

The two witnesses are said to be “the two olive trees and the two lamp-stands that stand before the Lord of the earth.” This is an allusion to the reference in Zechariah 4 to Zerubbabel, the ruler of post-exilic Judah for more than 20 years after c.527 B.C.,23 and to Joshua, his contemporary high priest.24 The two witnesses thus take on the roles of kings and priests of God in a world25 of turmoil.

There are serious consequences for any who attempt to harm them. If anyone tries to harm them, “fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies.” This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die. These men have power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want. These are reminiscent of Jeremiah 5:14; 1 Kings 8:35; Exodus 4:9; 7:17-21.

To urge that the events pictured here should be limited to 1,260 years, from A.D. 538-1798, as some have done, is to miss the mark. The two witnesses will prophesy throughout this time, i.e. the “1260 days.” When one considers the description of the period between the first and second advents of Christ, made by Jesus himself and recorded in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 it is reasonable to conclude that the events, and their duration, that we are viewing through this 4th window represents the Christian era, the long-term equivalent of the period of Christ’s own witness. Christ, the faithful and true witness has ascended to heaven. The work of the 2 witnesses is essential in his absence.

Their martyrdom will be followed by their resurrection.

Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. For three and a half days men from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth. But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God will enter them, and they will stand on their feet, and terror will strike those who saw them. A loud voice from heaven will to them, “Come up here.” And they will go up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies look on.

● The two witnesses will end their witness at the end of the 1,260 days. After that they will be killed, left unburied for 3½ days, and then arise and ascend to heaven. We have not yet reached the time when Jesus has left Himself without witness(es). The time when this prophecy ends must yet be in the future.

● In the meantime there is no peace guaranteed for God’s witnesses until the second coming of Jesus.

● Given that the seven trumpets are a description of partial judgments upon mankind prior to the final outpouring of judgment pictured as the seven last plagues, the moving picture of the two witnesses answers the implicit question: “Where are the true Christians and what have they been doing during the sounding of the trumpets?”

● Here is the answer: The Lord’s witnesses, few in number, (only two, compared with the 4 angels released from the Euphrates, the 200,000,000 horsemen and the swarm of locusts) have been active apart from the worshipers in the temple. They have been “out there” in the wicked world,26 never knowing when their work will be completed, but knowing that, when it is, death at the hand of the beast from the abyss is inevitable. And, as death is inevitable, so too is their reward: their resurrection and their ascension!

At that very hour there is a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapses. Seven thousand people are killed in the earthquake, and the survivors are terrified and give glory to the God of heaven.

In the words of Jesus: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come (Matthew 24:14).”

In the words of Revelation:The second woe has passed; the third woe is coming soon.”

Then, suddenly, the seventh angel sounds his trumpet, and we hear loud voices in heaven, declaring: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.”

Paul wrote: “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed — in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).”

The twenty-four elders, who are seated on their thrones before God, fall on their faces and worship God, saying: “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign. The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great — and for destroying those who destroy the earth.”

The prayers of the righteous will at last have been answered. The Gospel will have been proclaimed. The enemies of God will have been punished for what they have done. Believers will have been rewarded.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).

Endnotes

1 Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy (Revelation 1:3). For this reason, if not for any other, I focus on and follow the script itself.

2 dire straits. Compare Revelation 10:9-11:11 with Matthew 24:4-14.

3 seven trumpets. Gk. σαλπιγξ = salpigx. Rather than being the musical instrument with which we are familiar, this instrument was used in war and for religious ceremonies (1 Corinthians 14:8). See Horn, Siegfried H., ed., Seventh-day Adventist Bible Dictionary, (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1979) art. “Trumpet.”

Salpinx_player  Warrior playing the salpinx. Attic black-figure lekythos, late 6th–early 5th century BC. (© Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons)

4 Each event that followsNote: I have taken an uncomplicated approach to interpreting these judgments.

5 The environment is slowly affected. If, however, each target, specifically, is symbolic of some other reality, at this stage the writer is unable to be dogmatic about its meaning.

6 Hail and fire. See my Preface and Chapter 18: “The Revelation,” Interpretation

7 an eagle. Textual evidence favors “eagle” (Gk: αετος), not “angel.” (Photo: Golden eagle in flight in the United Kingdom by Tony Hisgett, Birmingham, U.K. From Wikimedia Commons)

8 Woe. Gk: ουαι (pron. “oo-ah-ee) = Alas! (an exclamation of grief)

9 not sealed. Please return to the Third Window and consider the observations there about the seal of God.

10 the seal of God on their foreheads. Revelation 7:3 — “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.”
Revelation 14:1 — “Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.” Here, those who are sealed are identified as members of the family of God.

11 Apollyon. Gk. Απολλυων = the Destroyer. However, the word is a present participle, as if it should be translated “The Destroying One.”

12  Genesis 1:2. Darkness was over the “deep” (Gk: αβυσσος)

13 Paulien. . . suggests. Class notes NTST 579, Andrews University M.A. Extension School 1990, Avondale College, NSW, Australia

14 Paulien, Jon, Decoding Revelation’s Trumpets (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 1988), 418.

15 T. Cuyler quoted by Spurgeon, Charles H., My Sermon Notes, Vol. 1 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1993), 108.

16  “. . . the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released (Revelation 9:15, NIV, cf. NASB, NRSV et al).”

Comment regarding the “hour, day, month and year” is required at this point. The KJV, with its “prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year” makes it appear that a period of time had elapsed before the release of the 4 angels, thus prompting historicists who employ the “year-day” principle to add them together and arrive at a date on which the prophecy might have been fulfilled.

17 The Euphrates symbolizes. At this point it is profitable to recall a principle of prophetic interpretation referred to in chapter 12. The peoples and places of the Old Testament are universalized by the New Testament. Jesus initiated this idea with statements like those in Matthew 8:11-12; 21:43. The Apostles Paul and Peter pursued the same route in Romans 9, 10,11 and Ephesians 2:11-16 and 1 Peter 2:9. See also Hebrews 12:22-24.

“An underlying principle seems to govern Christ’s application of Israel’s promises: the removal of the old ethnic restriction among the new-covenant people entails the removal of the old geographic Middle East Center for Christ’s Church. . . . It ‘Christifies’ the old territorial holiness and thus transcends its limitations.”   LaRondelle, Hans K., op.cit., 142.

18 The City of Babylon, the Great. See Revelation 18

19 See The New Yorker of December 16, 1974 (online)

20 “Seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down.” So how can we even attempt to?

21 accomplished. Not revealed, but accomplished (NIV), finished (KJV, NASB), fulfilled (NRSV), from τελεω (Gk.)

22 mystery. G. Abbott-Smith, Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1969), art. μυστηριον

23 Zerubbabel. SDABDic, art, “Zerubbabel”

24 Joshua. Haggai 1:12-14; 2:2-4

25 kings and priests of God. 1 Peter 2:9 and Revelation 1:6

26 the wicked world. In Matthew chapters 10 and 24 Jesus describes the circumstances in which His witnesses will find themselves, thus confirming the truth of our understanding of what we have been viewing.

© 2010, Angus McPhee