Thousands of years ago, thousands of years even before the creation of Adam, God created seven great angels. These angels were going to be the top angels, the first rank of His spiritual government until the saints would come of age, at which point the government would be given to those saints (Daniel 7:27).
At that time, God and the Word had no children. No offspring. If something were to happen to both of them – impossible, yes, but in theory – these angels, even though they were not created in the image of God, would have been Their heirs.
Before Isaac was born, who was the heir of Abraham’s fortune by default? Genesis 15:2-3. As has been mentioned, Isaac pictures Christ, and Abraham pictured the Father. So until Jesus became the Christ and created Adam, the heir of the Father was a being who was not His son, but one born in His house – one created by Him, not born of His likeness.Someone corresponding to Eliezar of Damascus.
Who else could that have been, but someone who “sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty”? The one who was the “anointed cherub” (Ezekiel 28:12, 14).Anointed as what? As the steward of God’s house!
What were these angels supposed to do? Hebrews 1:14. They were de facto heirs until the children were spiritually born, but they knew that the children, whom they were supposed to help raise, would one day supplant them! (Galatians 4:1-7).
After a time, this had to rankle some of the more carnal angels. To go from sons and heirs of God, to servants of beings far weaker and smaller than them in every sense, would be a difficult adjustment for any being to make. So Lucifer and many others rebelled, earning him the name Satan, a Hebrew word meaning “adversary”.
But despite their disobedience, God was patient and fair. They justified their rebellion with the argument that the men who were being created could not obey God perfectly. That no one could. And so God agreed not to punish them yet, to wait until the evidence proved Him right beyond any question. He cast them out of heaven, but gave them a job to do on Earth in the interim.
To understand that job, read Psalms 82. Think about whom this could be addressed to. World rulers? Kings? It’s addressed to gods. Whom has the world worshiped as gods? Deuteronomy 32:17. But not only that – these are beings whom GOD has called Gods!
In the Hebrew, it literally says God judges “among the Elohim”!ButPsalms 82:1 cannot be addressed to us, for we are not yet qualified to judge as an Elohim because our own obedience is not yet full! (2 Corinthians 10:6).
We have not been given the authority to judge the nations but the seven spirits of God have been! (Daniel 4:17, Jude 1:8-10).They have the authority to decree things upon the Earth – subject to God’s veto, of course.
Psalms 82 is clearly written to Elohim who are currently tasked with judging the world, and who are doing it badly – that can ONLY be the angels! The angels were all sons of God, servants created in the house of God – therefore they would have carried the name of Elohim!
And as it happens, every angel named in the Bible carries God’s name – Gabri-el, Micha-el, and even Lucifer, whose Hebrew name is Hill-el (more on that later). They are all Els! This is why Job 1:6 and Job 38:7 calls the angels, including Lucifer, the “sons of Elohim”.
This is also why Ephesians 3:14-15 says that the family of God IN HEAVEN is named for the Father, El, and thus every member carries the last name of Elohim! And in the Hebrew, that’s exactly what Psalms 82:1 says – that God judges among the Elohim!
With this in mind, read through Psalms 82 and see it as God speaking to the seven angels, warning them to do their jobs better... or else. Because God did call them Elohim, and He DID put them in power – but He also has the power to kill them “like men”! Compare that verse to Ezekiel 28:9. This alone proves the “gods” in Psalms 82 are NOT men! They are angels, who are immortal unless God chooses to destroy them like men, as if they WERE men!
This chapter tells us a great deal about what the angels were put on this Earth to do. We know they were sent here to help create the children of God (Revelation 22:9). This passage tells us exactly what God expected of them – defend the poor, do justice, deliver the innocent, etc. Basically, God gave them the Ten Commandments and said “do and teach them” (compare to Matthew 5:19).
But did the angels understand God’s command? Psalms 82:5.So what happened? Same verse.When the rulers of the Earth misunderstood and misapplied the laws of God, it made “All the foundations of the earth... shake” (Rotherham).
Among other things, this has proven to everyone that angels are not qualified to be the heirs of God. And therefore, God must have children who are BORN – not created “in His house”, as Eliezar was. And when they are born, God will judge among the Gods, and give His inheritance of “all nations” to the saints of The Most High (verse 8).
When you call your children together and give them the same instructions at the same time, each of them will walk away with a different understanding of what you want. Each of them will do the same job differently, and all of them will claim – and believe – they are doing exactly what you asked!
To illustrate this, look at 1 Samuel 15:1-8.God told Saul to utterly destroy Amalek. He was explicit – nothing was to be saved alive. Nothing. Yet Saul did the exact opposite in verse 9. In verses 10-12 Samuel came to tell Saul that God wasn’t happy with what he had done... and what were the first words out of Saul’s mouth? Verse 13.
“I have performed the commandment of the LORD!” – this is what Saul believed he had done, even as he was leading the sheep he had spared in direct rebellion against God’s command! Compare this to Matthew 7:21-23. Samuel reminded him that God said to kill everything, and his response? “Oh, I did – I just saved the best of these sheep to sacrifice to God! But we destroyed the rest, just like God said!” Even after it was pointed out, Saul STILL believed he had carried out God’s orders! He had merely improved on God’s command!
Samuel and Saul argued about it for quite a while, the rest of the chapter, until Saul finally accepted that he had made a mistake. But by then it was too late. There was no way for him to be forgiven – it was a simple command: “thou shalt kill everything”. There was no possibility of misunderstanding. The only way Saul could have disobeyed it is if he thought he knew better than God. And that’s something God cannot tolerate in His leadership.
And that leads us back to the angels. God called the angels to Him and gave them the law, and told them to teach righteousness. Each one of them said “yes, sir”, and then proceeded to do what HE thought was best. And one of them turned out to be exactly like Saul – Lucifer.
Many, if not all of them, would tell you, “I have obeyed the commandment of the Lord!” and believe it to be true! When in fact, they only obeyed their perception of the law. Their interpretation of the law. And only those laws they felt were most important. What exactly happened as a result, and how each one of them did their job differently, is…
LESSON 59 – THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD
To understand the differences between the seven top angels, you have to know how God created them. To do that, we have to study the symbols God chose to represent them. Remember, God’s symbols are perfect. He chose them for a reason.
We studied many of these symbols as symbols in Lesson 24. But we didn’t ask the question “why THESE symbols? What is it about a flame of fire, an eye, or a rainbow that reminds God of angels?” What do these things have in common? Compare Ezekiel 1:13, Hebrews 1:7, Revelation 1:20, Revelation 5:6, Zechariah 4:10.
These are all symbols of angels; and they are represented in many ways, as fire, lamps, lightning, stars, eyes, and so on. These are not dissimilar – they all fall into the same category. What do they ALL have in common? Matthew 6:22 tells us what that is, while explaining why “eyes” are included in this list – they are all a source of light!
Every symbol for an angel involves light. More importantly, there are SEVEN angels, and therefore SEVEN sources of light. Now look at one more symbol. Around the throne of God, what do you see? Ezekiel 1:28, Revelation 4:3. A rainbow! And how many colors are there in a rainbow? Seven! Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet!
But where do these colors come from? They are diffracted from the sun, the original light source. As you may know, black is the absence of any color. White is the presence of ALL color. When you pass white light through a prism, it bends the light and spreads it apart so we can see what it is made of – a rainbow. Or more accurately, a spectrum of color.
So how does God symbolize Himself? 1 Timothy 6:16, John 8:12, etc. So God IS light – the light of the world. As I’ve said many times, God’s metaphors don’t break. He designed the universe to fit these metaphors. They are perfect. And that means everything that is true about physical light is ALSO true about God’s light.
So when you take the physical light of the world, the sun, and pass it through a prism you get seven colors. The light breaks up into seven distinct pieces. Likewise – for the metaphor God gave us to hold true – God’s light, His spirit, must ALSO break up into seven distinct pieces, seven distinct spirits. Each of which contains a different piece of God’s nature!
FRACTIONS OF GOD
As an example of this, see 1 Corinthians 12:4-11.This is one spirit – but God divides it among various people, giving them different gifts. In the same way, God has divided His spirit among the angels, giving each of them different gifts. Different personalities.
But if you added them all back up – just like putting a rainbow back through a prism – it becomes whole again, white light. If you add up all the gifts of the spirit, you have God’s complete spirit, His whole nature. Each of the top seven angels received one fraction of God’s spirit.
But that means each of them, by definition, is incomplete. Imagine taking God’s spirit and chopping it up into seven pieces. Take Galatians 5:22-23 for example. These are all great things – these gifts of the spirit. But no ONE of them is enough to make a true Christian!
If you show only love, and nothing else – no judgment, no mercy, no patience, no faith – you are not a true Christian. You are in fact, the definition of a modern Protestant false Christian. If you show only judgment, and no mercy, no love, no compassion, no patience, you are not a true Christian. You are actually closer to a Muslim.
You must combine these attributes, and put on the WHOLE armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). But if you go into battle wearing only a sword and a shield and forget to wear your shoes, you will lose. With just your helmet and your pants, you will lose. You must be perfect and entire, lacking nothing! (James 1:4).
Each of the seven angels received only one portion of God’s spirit. One color of His rainbow. To ever reproduce the true light, they would have to work together in harmony, for a common purpose – which of course, would be doing God’s will. Some of them being in rebellion and all of them being carnal, that is quite impossible... for now.
Most people don’t realize that the book of Revelation was addressed, not to the church as a whole, but to a specific group of churches in what is now modern Turkey. Read Revelation 1:4, 10-11. So this whole book was written to this group of seven churches. And yet, we’re reading it and using it as well – why? Because we are one of those seven churches!
The candlesticks represent the churches, but ONLY the candlestick represents the church – the fire on top is a separate symbol, and represents something else! What? Revelation 4:5. The lamps or flames ON TOP of the candlestick picture the angels on top of the churches – ruling them. So why did God call them stars? Ever see a picture of a candle? The flame looks a great deal like a star!
So the flame or star at the top of the candlestick is the angel ruling over that church. The seven-branched candlestick itself represents one of the seven churches, and each candlestick has a single base which branches out into seven lights – and Jesus is the foundation of the church, whose spirit breaks up into seven pieces!
But why are there seven churches? Isn’t there just the one? 1 Corinthians 12:12-14.Yet Revelation shows us seven churches. So this is speaking of separate groups of the same church; but why only seven, then? There have been thousands, millions of groups since Jesus died – why only talk to these seven? Because all those millions of groups were a part of one or another of those seven churches!
These things were addressed to the angels in charge of seven different churches – not to the churches themselves! (Revelation 2:1, 8, 12, etc.). And there were of course literal churches at seven literal cities in Asia Minor, modern Turkey. But this was only the physical type of a much larger, MUCH more significant spiritual thing!
What was John writing down? Revelation 1:19. The things John was about to write had TWO meanings – they were things which ARE, and the things which ARE TO COME – at the time John wrote, of course. So these letters to the seven churches were about things that were happening then, AS WELL AS prophecies of things to come later!
It is obvious that these particular seven angels correspond to the seven angels of God spoken of elsewhere.So while Psalms 82 is addressed to all of them collectively, Revelation 2-3 is addressed to each of them individually!
Remember, God gave those seven angels authority to let them prove they were not worthy of it. In order to do that, they had to each have an opportunity to be in charge, each one of them having an opportunity to “judge the fatherless, plead the cause of the widow” before God replaced him with someone else.
This is true on many different levels which we will explore later, but for now what it means is that since the time of Christ, each of the seven top angels has had a chance to hold the reins and guide world affairs, and each time we have seen why they are not qualified to do so.
Each of these seven messages gives us a great insight into the greatest weaknesses of each of the seven spirits of God. It also allows us to explain the history of the last two thousand years with much greater understanding. That, in turn, allows us to better understand our own age, and why Jesus wondered “when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8).
NOTE: Due to the fact that almost all of these events took place after the Bible was written, I have to quote historical facts here quite a bit, and I cannot rely on the Bible alone. I will not be citing references and quoting authorities in the interests of space. I will, however, include enough key phrases and proper names that you can easily track down the facts for yourself online.
Read Revelation 2:1-7.Does that sound familiar? Jude 1:3.No church since the first century has had the kind of work, the kind of zeal that was baptizing 3,000 or 5,000 in a single day, and going to every country in the way that the original apostles did. The mighty miracles that were done then have seldom been repeated in the millennia since.
They were persecuted, and there were false gospels and false apostles already who had to be tested, which God praised them for doing. But in spite of that, over time, they became weary with well doing and the church left its first love – which we can already see happening in passages such as 3 John 1:9-11, 2 John 1:7, 2 Thessalonians 2:7, etc.
Remember Jesus’ last words to them? Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 1:8. His last command was to LEAVE Jerusalem and go to all the Earth. Yet years later in Acts we still find most of them still hanging out in their comfort zone – see Acts 8:14, where “the apostles at Jerusalem” sent John and Peter. That means a minimum of 4 apostles were in Jerusalem at the time: Peter, John, and “the apostles” who sent them. In Acts 15 we find a large number of apostles, including Peter and James, still in Jerusalem – 20 years after Jesus gave that command to go to all the world!
So while they did do a great deal of work early on, many of them lost their zeal and got stuck in a comfortable routine in Jerusalem. So God threatened to remove their candlestick – to “snuff out” the flame on the top of it, to take away the “light of the world”, which they were so determined to leave under a basket (Mark 4:21).
The church was founded in 31 A.D., and lasted until about the year 100. At that point, the deception was so rampant that the true Christians were being put out of what had been the churches of God. So it was time for God to start fresh with...
After God removed the candlestick from Ephesus – took the angel off the top of that church – it was time for the next angel to take over. Read about Smyrna in Revelation 2:8-11.First, who is this “synagogue of Satan”? It can only be a church which served the devil. Not openly, of course – but by serving that other Jesus Paul warned us about in 2 Corinthians 11:4.
In the first century church, they TESTED those who claimed to be apostles, and they TESTED their gospels. Satan was already working, but made little headway, in the Ephesus church. There were very few false Christians.
Sure, there were always people who were not that interested in the truth, or who tried to keep it halfway, but they were not serving false doctrines because most of them had not been “adapted” to fit Christianity yet!
But by the second century the number of false Christians, those who claimed to be spiritual Jews, began to outnumber the true Christians. It became harder to sort them out. The devil’s churches got better organized, began working hard to take the sun-worship religion and give it Christian names and invent Biblical-sounding reasons why these false doctrines should be kept. But they really didn’t develop a convincing counterfeit until the end of this era.
The greatest problem facing Christians of this era was violent persecution from the Roman Empire, which increased gradually, culminating in a 10-year reign of terror known as the Diocletianic Persecution in 303-313 A.D. (ten years long, notice – just as God predicted ten days in verse 10!). This era ended with the Edict of Milan by Constantine in 313 which granted Christians equality and religious freedom. Smyrna was therefore 100-313 A.D..
After the death of Diocletian, Constantine took over the Roman Empire and, though a pagan sun-worshiper himself, moderated Diocletian’s policies a great deal, and finally “converted” to Christianity. At least, that’s how the world sees it. In fact, it was a simple political game to get more popular support from the by-then enormous nominally Christian population.
Constantine never became a true Christian, of course. And by the time of Constantine there were dozens, hundreds of different sects all calling themselves Christian. Constantine, since his motives were mostly political, tried to get the biggest ones – those farthest from the truth – to get along and come to a consensus on doctrine (Matthew 7:13-14, etc.).
The biggest issues of the day were the trinity, the nature of Christ (was He human, divine, neither or both), Sabbath or Sunday, and keeping Passover on the 14th as a memorial or Sunday as a celebration of the resurrection. The doctrines which came out of these “church councils” presided over by a Roman emperor were the foundation for Catholicism.
And it was easy for Constantine to “convert” to this new version of Christianity, because by this time it was literally baptized paganism. It was full of sun-worship traditions Constantine had always observed as a pagan, such as crosses, Easter, Christmas, and observing Sun-day as “his” Sabbath. It was hardly more different than a Methodist “converting” to being a Baptist.
Regardless, with the rise to power of Constantine, the persecution of Christians by pagans almost completely stopped. But now they had another enemy – a far worse enemy. Orthodox Christianity, the adolescent great whore. Read Revelation 2:13-16.
God’s primary complaint against Pergamos was they had fallen for some of their deceptions – the idols, the fornication with other gods, and things like that. The remark about Antipas being martyred shows that persecution wasn’t completely over, but instead of being killed by pagans, history shows they were mostly being killed by so-called Christians who hated their “heresy” – their heresy of reading the Bible and obeying it.
Rome was the center of false Christianity, and was also the center of the world-ruling power at the time, though that was soon to change. Thus it is aptly depicted as Satan’s seat. And while influential, and the official state religion, false Christianity did not RULE the beast.
During this era, the Roman Empire was divided into an Eastern Empire, with Constantinople as capital (modern Istanbul), and a Western Empire in Rome. Rome was invaded several times, and the first three horns of the beast of Daniel 7:7-8 rose during this time. The barbarians overwhelmed the Western Roman Empire, but ironically they were themselves Christianized in the process. So Pergamos was from 313-554.
Justinian was emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire in Constantinople, and had dreams of rebuilding the dead Roman Empire. He was a devout (false) Christian, and desired to conquer the world and set the Pope at the head of the Empire.
To do that he had to retake Italy from the barbarians. Over the next few decades the three kingdoms – Heruli, Vandals, and Ostrogoths – who had conquered the Western Roman Empire were destroyed by Justinian. These first three horns were “rooted up”. No vestige of them remained. Their populations were absorbed by surrounding nations, and they were never heard of again.
But as Daniel says, in their place rose up a little horn speaking blasphemies – the first real Pope. In a vain effort to establish continuity back to Peter, the Catholic Church claims Popes all the way back to the first century, but they had no legitimate power outside of Rome itself until the time of Constantine (early 4th century), and little real power in the barbarian kingdoms of the 5th and 6th centuries until the time of Justinian.
It was the arrival of this new power, this new horn, the resurrected image of the beast of Revelation 13, that marks the beginning of Thyatira. You can see that when you read Revelation 2:19-25.If you compare that to the first part of the chapter, something stands out – Rome had a change of gender!
Until Thyatira, the first three churches faced “them which say they are apostles”, “the synagogue of Satan”, and “Satan’s seat”, respectively. These are all masculine titles! Which means they were civil powers, not spiritual powers! The beast, not the whore, was in power!
But with Thyatira, God refers to their enemy as “that woman Jezebel”, and accuses those who follow her of adultery – something that never happened until the Thyatiran age, the age when Rome became a spiritual power, no longer a beast only, but a beast dominated by the great whore!
So the Thyatiran age began when Rome stopped being the beast and became the whore. As proof that they were the same entity, look at what they taught – both the Pergamons (Pergamese?) and the Thyatirans faced the same doctrines; teaching the church to commit fornication, and eat things offered to idols, etc.
Of course, it wasn’t just the EATING of the things offered that was the problem – after all, what idols would they be offering to? Paganism was basically extinct in the civilized world in the 6th century. At least, by name. But Christianized paganism was full of idols – crosses to honor the sun-god, and idols of saints, even one of Jupiter renamed as a statue of Peter!
But back to the true church. History, which I don’t have space to quote here, records that the true church, the Sabbath keepers who kept the holy days, mostly left the areas around Rome and fled the persecution of the whore. They wound up on the fringes of the old Roman Empire, living in the Alps in remote villages where heretics could disappear.
This is why God praises their “works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first”. God mentioned works twice, and of course He wasn’t stuttering. The works at the end of this era would be greater than the works at the beginning of it – with a long span of patience in between. Which is exactly what we see in history.
But to Jezebel, and those who followed her, God says “I will cast her into a bed, and... into great tribulation... And I will kill her children with death”.Thyatira had the misfortune to be the era in history known to modern scholars as the Dark Ages.
It was a time of suffering in Europe, more than any other in history – it really was great tribulation. Because as the church grew in power, it suppressed all opposition and all knowledge not sanctioned by Catholicism. Whenever it could, it did so violently, torturing accused heretics until they recanted or until they died – often both. It martyred, according to some historians, as many as 50,000,000 Christians.
But God was not blind – and in this same prophecy, He warned of how He would repay her. He would “kill her children with death”. In no small part due to the Catholic Church’s suppression of even basic knowledge of science, including hygiene, Europe faced some of the most destructive plagues in human history in the Middle Ages.
There are many precedents for God punishing people with disease, but there is one probable example where He specifically used the bubonic plague. In 1 Samuel 5:6, the Philistines had all the symptoms of the plague as punishment for stealing the Ark; the mice would be carriers, and the “emerods” or “tumors” fit the description of the black plague pretty well.
The plague in Europe began in the year 541 – just about the time God promised to punish Thyatira with death. By the year 700, it had caused a drop in Europe’s population of 50%, or roughly 100,000,000 people.
The plague was a constant fear throughout the Middle Ages, for it was not an isolated event – it came back again and again. It was a time of awful suffering, of absolute terror. Anyone could be carrying the plague that might kill the entire town. But that first major plague outbreak was nothing compared to the great Black Death.
The Black Death was the same species of plague, but refers to the greatest outbreak in history which swept across Europe in the years between 1346-1353 and wiped out between 75 million and 200 million people – again halving the population of Europe! It was not confined to Europe, and it reduced the global population by 25% in under 20 years, and the population levels didn’t recover for 300 years.
The only places that were relatively untouched were those places that had little contact with the outside world, such as alpine villages – precisely the places that the true church had been forced to flee for safety from persecution!
And this is also the time pictured by the woman hiding in the wilderness in Revelation 12:4-6, 13-17 – where she fled from the face of the dragon.This was the time in history that the Catholic Church made the most brutal war with the saints, and overcame many of them. The more God punished her children, the more vicious and cruel were her persecutions – and the more God punished her and killed her children with the Black Death.
Back to the exact prophecy again, it said the latter works were more than the first works; this reflects the fact that towards the end of the Thyatiran era, the Waldensians, Anabaptists, and the other groups with some fragment of the truth of God did a great deal to pave the way for the coming Reformation.
There had been others earlier on, such as the Paulicians, who had spread truth. But the earlier movements fizzled, while the “latter works” set the stage for the Protestant Reformation. You can read more about these churches online – just remember that most historians can’t distinguish a true church from the false church.
As Revelation 2:24-25 indicates, this era marked a long, slow survival of the church of God; it did very little growing or changing, but was wholly consumed with staying alive. They literally had to each memorize sections of the Bible for fear that the whore would take away their Bibles!
Because of this, God said He would give them no other burden than what they already had. Their greatest threat was the constant power of the Catholic Church, and some of them were overcome by the deception, which was God’s main complaint about them. Thyatira lasted from 554-1453.
In 1440 the first western printing press with movable type was invented, and in 1452 it was perfected enough to allow the first Bible to be printed. Then in 1453 the Turks overran Constantinople, which had by then changed its name to Byzantium and was the capital of the Byzantine Empire.
While similar in doctrine to Catholics, they rejected the authority of the Pope and were not quite so draconian in their policies as their Roman colleagues. As a result of this, they retained much knowledge of science and history in their libraries. Knowledge that the Catholic Church had suppressed and destroyed during the Dark Ages.
Knowing the city was falling, the monks fled to Europe carrying with them the precious knowledge from the east, bringing it into Europe at the precise moment that a printing press made mass distribution possible! These two defining events together mark the end of the Dark Ages.
Without the knowledge, there would have been nothing to print; without the printing press, there would have been no way to distribute the knowledge cheaply. Until then books had to be copied by hand, and were extremely expensive. The Bible could take years for a lone scribe to copy by hand.
But with the printing press, suddenly a Bible could be printed, on average, about once a week. Later dozens, then hundreds, could be produced in a day as the process was refined. Thus a flood of knowledge poured into Europe and back out again, faster than the Catholic Church could suppress it.
This very shortly led to the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther got most of the credit, but he was not the first, nor the most important of the reformers. Ultimately, Martin Luther liked the Catholic Church; he just wanted them to change some of their policies – celibate priests, indulgences, etc. He dreamed, not of destroying the false church (as I do), but simply re-forming it!
And that’s exactly what he did, unfortunately. He created a new church that was just like her mother, but with a few minor changes – which ultimately led to Lutheranism, which is one of the only Protestant denominations to display the crucifix in their churches the way Catholics do.
Others took the opportunity to make a wider break with Catholicism. Many rejected any form of idolatry, and things such as crosses were rejected as the idols they so clearly are, which led to riots of iconoclasm – idol-destruction. The Protestant cry was “sola scriptura, sola gratia, sola fide” – “the Bible alone, grace alone, faith alone”.
But unlike how those words are interpreted today, they were not saying we should have grace or faith instead of the Ten Commandments. On the contrary, those laws were highly respected by most of the reformers. They wanted grace instead of the works of penancewhich the Catholic Church taught would pay back sins! Not grace instead of obedience to the Ten Commandments!
Naturally, even in their lifetimes, many people did interpret this as an excuse to be lawless, but the initial idea was a reaction to the Catholic idea of penance, indulgence, pilgrimage, charity, and similar “works” helping to buy salvation. Which of course, is all wrong.
There were dozens of key reformers, thousands of people who wrote and thought and disagreed, and millions of people involved in the subsequent wars between Catholics and Protestants, or Protestants and different-brand-of-Protestants. And many more who were martyred for their beliefs by those who disagreed, with both Protestants and Catholics alike guilty of burning heretics at the stake.
In the end, the problem was that most of them would not make a large enough break from the mother Church. Many died for the stand they did take, but in spite of their claim of “sola scriptura”, they followed the Catholic Church’s polices on the Sabbath, keeping Sunday instead; they kept Easter instead of the Biblical Passover, and many other things.
In short, they went part way – but not far enough. They compromised with the great whore, and proved themselves to be her daughters after all (Revelation 17:5).That is why Sardis received one of the worst reviews of any of the churches, in Revelation 3:1-5.
God was angry with them because they chanted “the Bible alone!” but obeyed the Catholic Church and kept Sunday. So they had a name that they were alive – but they were dead. They worked – but their works were not perfect before God!
But in spite of that, there were a few names even in Sardis who obeyed God. And history shows us this is true – there WERE men who kept the WHOLE Bible. They argued for the Sabbath and other true doctrines. These men did not compromise on the Sabbath and held to what they knew to be true – and that’s the only way to walk with God in white.
If you want to look them up, a few examples are Karlstadt, Glaidt, and Fischer – they may not be true Christians, but they were much closer than most of the age. Sardis lasted from about 1453-1611.
The Protestant Reformation lost steam by the end of the 16th century. People had been sorted into camps by then – Lutherans, Wesleyans (who became Methodists), Calvinists (who became Presbyterians, among others), Church of England, Catholics – and as usual, God’s camp was so small it basically disappeared.
But in 1611 the King James Bible was published, and with it a new chapter of world history opened. This was the first Bible in the language of the common people which was affordable, and meant to be used – with study helps like cross-references and translation notes. The earlier Geneva Bible of 1560 had started the trend, but the KJV improved on it significantly.
One of the most important ways that the Catholic Church kept people under control was by keeping them illiterate, and keeping the Bible and all other knowledge in Latin – which, for the most part, only the priests could read or speak. Getting the word of God into the hands of the people so they could think for themselves was necessary to break that power.
And that’s what started the Philadelphia era. Read Revelation 3:7-12.God opened a door before the Philadelphia missionaries that no man could shut – no church could control the access to the Bible any more.
The Catholic Church could no longer stem the tide of knowledge that opened up to the world, and no man – not even the Pope – could keep the missionaries from going to every corner of the globe and preaching God. Never before had a great door been opened up like this for the preaching of the gospel.
The missionaries and the churches over the next few hundred years were never as perfect as they could be – they only had a little strength, remember – but they sincerely believed what they believed in, and were zealous enough to tell the whole world. God respected that. And used it.
During this time, God said He would make those of the synagogue of Satan – the Catholic Church – come and worship before their feet. And starting in the late 16th century, the Catholic countries were greatly impoverished and lost many key wars, and gradually more and more of the power fell into the hands of Protestant NW Europe – not coincidentally, the Israelite countries.
Those countries had to humble themselves before the Protestant countries of Western Europe, and they knew then that God had loved Ephraim, Manasseh, and the other Israelite countries, the Protestant countries, and not the children of Jezebel.
God also promised to protect Philadelphia from “the hour of temptation”; many have incorrectly interpreted this to mean the Great Tribulation in the last few years of this age spoken of in Matthew 24:21, but that’s not what it said at all! This isn’t the great TRIBULATION, this is an hour of TEMPTATION! There is a big difference, even though both start with a “T”!
A tribulation is a time of persecution and punishment! A temptation is a time of good times when you are tempted to sin because you don’t need God, a time when you are offered other alternatives to doing what God said! Philadelphia didn’t have to go through a time of rampant deception – in fact, there was less deception in Philadelphia than in any other era since Ephesus!
And this is how we establish the end of this era. The deception was relatively minimal up until the 1920’s. So many things changed during that decade it is hard to catalog them. But a new attitude took over in every science, every religion, every field of study.
The hatred for the law, largely unknown until then even in Protestant churches, became widely taught. Evolution became a big issue, taught in all the universities. Farming became more and more dominated by pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers. Banking became more and more manipulated, and we stopped using gold for money shortly thereafter – paving the way for rapid inflation.
Physics changed from classical Newtonian cause-and-effect ideas to a modern set of theories based on the uncertainty principle, which says the effect can precede the cause, and that you simply can’t know many things – such as an electron’s location and its momentum at the same time. Do you suppose God knows where all the electrons are and how fast they’re moving?
Education, health, psychology, and everything else changed drastically during the few years surrounding that one decade. Each one of these things is an article, even a book in it self. Suffice it to say that since the 1920’s, the world has faced greater deception in more fields than any period in history has ever faced. And it has continued, and worsened, up to our day. And so Philadelphia is from 1611-1927.
Read Revelation 3:15-21.Laodicea’s eyes need anointed with eye salve because THEY ARE DECEIVED! They were not kept from the hour of temptation, but were cast into it head-first! Today evolution has done away with the need for any God – that has never been true in human history. Today every preacher gives us another reason why the law is done away and we need to do nothing but “believe” to be saved!
We have more wealth than any nation has ever possessed since the dawn of time. It is easy to believe we need NOTHING from God! Never before has Satan been standing on more street corners offering us more ways to justify rebellion from God than today! This is the hour of temptation that Philadelphia didn’t have to experience... but we do.
And we are proud of it! We are more tolerant of sin than any other age in history – idolatry, paganism, adultery, homosexuality, murder, theft, lies – never before in history have such things been not only tolerated, but GLORIFIED! And our churches tell us that God LOVES our tolerance for sin, our compassion on the rebellious.
But at the same time, because of the abundance of sin, what did Jesus prophesy? Matthew 24:12. Broken families are not only common, they have become the rule. A child having both of his parents living in the same house is the exception, the freak in society – that is how far we’ve come. The love of many has grown cold, because every one of them has been told that the law is evil and to even try to obey it offends God! So OF COURSE iniquity abounds!
It also destroys faith, for without keeping the law, and knowing that you are pleasing to God, you cannot have faith; which is also exactly what Jesus prophesied for our time in Luke 18:8. Thus, we are in the heart of Laodicea. The world believes it is rich and increased with goods and has need of nothing – and it will believe that until Jesus returns to destroy it.
Those, in brief, are the seven church eras in the last 2,000 years. Now the fact is, these eras can be found in the Old Testament, in fact three full cycles – Adam to the Flood, Noah to Egypt, Egypt to Christ. They are likely to be repeated again in the future. There is much, much more to be said; in fact I’ve written an article on Old Testament Church Eras, but I have more important things to tell you today.
WHAT THAT TELLS US ABOUT THE ANGELS
From those descriptions we can infer a great deal about the attitudes of the angel who must have led such an era. For example, the first era was characterized by great zeal and righteousness. We would expect it to have been led by one of the more righteous angels.
As it happens, the name “Gabriel” means warrior of God. So Gabriel’s fraction of God’s nature was the part that contained zeal, energy, aggressiveness – which can only be Ephesus. And those can be great qualities, but as we said earlier, any one fraction is incomplete without the others.
What Ephesus lacked was focus on the goal. Staying power. They endured a lot, but they wound up becoming “weary with well-doing” (2 Thessalonians 3:13). Of course, that’s something that Thyatira excelled at, and which God praised – their staying power (Revelation 2:25-26).
But Thyatira didn’t have the energy to make the impact on history that Ephesus did. Sardis had the energy to make an impact with the Protestant Reformation, but compromised so much along the way that nothing really came of it.
The other era which was even more highly praised than Ephesus was Philadelphia. Philadelphia means brotherly love in Greek. And no time in history has shown more brotherly love than the 17th to early 20th centuries. More decent acts that showed thought for the good of your fellow man took place during those years than perhaps in all of history combined.
We would expect this era to be led by the most righteous chief angel – Michael. Now, as it happens the name Michael is Hebrew for he who is like God. And if you had to describe God in one word, if you had to finish the phrase “God is...”, what would you say? 1 John 4:8.
So if Michael is like God, and if Michael is the most righteous angel in charge of God’s righteous armies, you would expect Michael to be the most loving. And since God names things what they are, it can only be that Michael received the fraction of God’s nature that is love. And since that is the most important fraction (1 Corinthians 13:13), it makes sense why Michael is the most righteous! See how it all comes together?
THE PRIDE OF GOD
God is a truly balanced, perfect being. God is merciful. Zealous to judge evil. Patient. Willing to suffer for what He believes in. Loving. Even proud! In Proverbs 16:18, pride is clearly bad. But in Micah 5:4, the same word is mistranslated as “the majesty of the name of the Lord”.
But the word means pride – it should say “the pride of the name of the Lord”. In Isaiah 14:11, Satan’s “pomp” or “pride” is brought down to the grave – the same Hebrew word ga’own. Yet God thunders with the voice of His pride – deliberately mistranslated “excellency” in Job 37:4-5.
Psalms 68:34 says God’s “excellence” or “majesty” is over Israel.But the original Hebrew word is ga’avah – the same exact word used in Proverbs 29:23,where it says “A man’s pride shall bring him low”. So a man’s pride shall bring him low, but God’s pride is over Israel! As you learned long ago, pride is only wrong if it is unjustified or if it leads you to be unrighteous.
The only reason they mistranslated these words when referring to God is that they were afraid to call God proud! Their doctrines did not allow that possibility, so they simply changed the word of God to fit their preconceptions.
But what if I said any of the things in Job 38-41? If I said any of that – true or not – you would call me proud, wouldn’t you? Pompous, full of myself, arrogant, a know-it-all – right? Yet God said it. So God has pride – but it is JUSTIFIED because God is RIGHT. God IS glorious. He IS righteous. He IS kind and loving. But what if He weren’t?
What if He acted just like He did in Psalms 50:10-15, saying He was rich, and increased with goods, and had need of NOTHING from you – but in fact He was miserable and poor and wretched and blind and naked? Why, then He’d be a Laodicean! Compare that verse you just read to Revelation 3:14-20.
The words are nearly identical, and the heart is the same. The only difference is that God actually doesn’t need anything! But for a corruptible mortal to behave that way is not only offensive to God, it’s just plain stupid. But that is the hallmark of Laodicea – because the Laodicean angel received the fraction of God’s spirit that contained boasting and pride!
Surely you have guessed that I’m speaking of that angel who was lifted up by his pride in Ezekiel 28:17 and Isaiah 14:12-14.Everyone knows his name is Lucifer – but that’s a Latinization of his name. The original Hebrew word is Hillel.
If you think about it, you notice there is a trend among God’s angels – Gabri-el, Micha-el, Hill-el. The -el ending denotes “of God”. Naturally, since they all received a fraction of God’s nature – Warrior of God, Love of God, and... what does Hillel mean?
Because the answer again contradicts what translators want to believe, it’s very difficult to get the right answer. The typical answer is “light-bringer”. But the word Hillel comes from a root word Halal which means “praise, glory, boast”. I don’t speak Hebrew and, as I said, it’s hard to get an honest answer because no one wants this particular answer except me. But it seems to me [reasoned conclusion alert!], that Hillel really should be translated as Pride of God!
Think about it – is God not proud, the way He speaks of Hillel/Lucifer/Satan in Ezekiel 28:12-14? Doesn’t every scripture about Satan indicate his own enormous PRIDE? Isn’t that the very essence of the Laodicean angel? Doesn’t it picture an attitude that feels itself so worthy of worship, it belongs on the throne alongside God, ruling over all the other angels of God?
The other angels are not mentioned by name in the Bible. Based on their attitudes as displayed in Revelation 2-3, and as witnessed by the history of their eras, we could say that the remaining angels might [wild guess alert!] be named something like the Hebrew translation of Humility of God, Patience of God, Wisdom of God, and Judge of God.
The last one (Judge of God) would be the name Daniel, and I’ve always thought Ezekiel 28:3 might be dual, talking about a different, angelic Daniel as well as the prophet Daniel. But this is simply speculation. The fact is, it doesn’t say what their names are – not in so many words. But if you understood the Bible well enough, you would find the answer in it.
The first part of Lesson 24 explained how angels are in charge of various regions of the Earth. Specifically, that Michael was in charge of Daniel’s people – Israel (Daniel 12:1), and Gabriel was in charge of the Medes (Daniel 11:1). But you’ve learned a lot since then, and we can tie that knowledge closer to home now.
For example, we now know who Israel is – the USA, British Commonwealth, and NW Europe. Therefore we know that it is Michael who is in charge of these countries today. We also know that the Medes in prophecy became the Muslim bloc of nations today. Therefore Gabriel is in charge of them.
As we’ve studied many times, the Catholic Church gets her power from the Dragon – Hillel or Lucifer. Through the Pope he guides the great whore at Rome, who in turn rides the beast. Therefore all the nations over whom Rome holds sway are guided, more or less directly, by Satan.
Just as he once guided Persia, as their prince – back when Persia contained the center of his false religion at Babylon! But when Persia was conquered by the Greeks and then the Romans, he moved his capital to Rome, new Babylon!
Think about it – what, exactly, is the sin of the Pope? Daniel 11:36-37, Revelation 13:5, Daniel 7:25, etc. He magnifies himself! He believes himself to be the vicar, the replacement of God on Earth! Is that not exactly what Laodicea does?
Catholicism has changed the laws of God, exactly as the world’s churches have done today in this Laodicean era following their mother’s example! And is that not exactly what the Devil himself did to earn himself the name Adversary? Romans 1:25. Aren’t they both guilty of that same sin? Isaiah 65:5. Isn’t that just saying “I am rich and wise and have need of nothing from you, God”?
The rest of the world divides up more or less equally into a total of seven great blocks. The Slavic nations of Eastern Europe and Russia are linguistically and culturally – and most importantly, religiously – very closely allied. They believe much as the Roman Catholics do, with some minor differences. They can only fit Sardis, who broke from the Catholic Church but not nearly enough!
The Oriental religions and nations form another major block; due to their patient, indirect mindset I suspect they are Thyatira. Interestingly, the black plague which punished Thyatira in Europe hit China hardest of all, wiping out half the population at one point – and half of a much larger population than Europe.
Black Africa groups together as another distinct culture as well; and the central Asian and eastern Russian nomadic peoples form another group – making a total of seven ethnic, cultural, and political divisions.
Since we’ve connected the other five blocks pretty well, the last two must correspond to Smyrna and Pergamos somehow. I suspect, with little real evidence, that the nomads are Smyrna and the Africans are Pergamos, but these are details; in general, the pattern fits well enough as a whole that the details can be solved later.
Thus, there are seven distinct regions, each governed by one of the top angels; IN ADDITION TO seven distinct eras, when each of those angels in turn was elevated above the others to take the first chair running the world.
HOW MANY REBELLED?
As we studied long ago, of the seven top angels we have only two mentioned as being righteous. We have assumed, with good reason, that the others are a part of the rebellion. Daniel 10:21 strongly implies that Michael is Gabriel’s only righteous ally against the forces of darkness – of the top seven angels, of course.
Looking at the pattern of world regimes we just studied, it is clear that, of those groups, only two believe the law is important – the Protestants and the Muslims. Michael and Gabriel. Granted, neither believe it as firmly as they used to – due to the influence of the Laodicean angel in worldwide affairs – but still, “do unto others” is a fundamental principle in both religions.
On the other hand, the Catholics don’t believe the law is even relevant – they deleted a commandment, after all – and sin is totally redefined by the Church and can be paid off with penance and donations to the coffers of the Church. The same goes for the Slavic countries. The other groups either have a completely unrelated religion that isn’t even close to the Bible (Hindu, Tao, Buddha, etc.), or are Christian or Muslim in name only (Black Africa, Central Asia, etc.).
So given that information, it looks like 2 regimes are righteous – defined as lovers of God’s law – and 5 are not. Remember, we’re not talking about conversion – God never asked the angels to teach people about Christ. He asked them to judge the fatherless and help the widow. Simple OC righteousness was the best He ever hoped for from them – and even that, He got rarely enough.
OLD TESTAMENT ALLEGORIES
Much understanding is concealed in the Bible in the form of analogies and metaphors. I might even go so far as to say that MOST of the understanding in the Bible is buried that way. You’ve had only the tiniest glimpse so far, but it should be enough to show you that God buried patterns relating to the plan of God EVERYWHERE. Once you start to perceive that, it is staggering how much is in the Bible that no one has ever suspected.
Paul plainly told us this in 1 Corinthians 10:11.The things that happened to them literally happened, but they also happened according to a very specific plan that God wanted recorded for OUR instruction. Paul specifically meant the Exodus here, and cited as examples things we’ve already talked about in the lessons, things like the Rock they drank from representing Christ, or them being baptized in the sea (the Father’s spirit, water) and the cloud (Christ’s spirit, air).
But Paul also made it clear this was not the ONLY metaphor in the OT. For example, in Hebrews 11:17-19 he showed that Abraham offering Isaac was a type of the Father offering Christ. So you could say these things happened to Abraham “as examples”, “for our admonition”.
He also made another connection between Sarah and Hagar – and their sons – and the mountains of Jerusalem and Sinai (Galatians 4:22-31), then went on to show that both corresponded to the New and Old Covenant, then went even farther to show that we are born after the spirit, because of a promise, and not after the flesh, in bondage.
There are many examples of this in the Bible, and once you know to look for it, you can find in the lives of every major OT figure a direct parallel to some deep spiritual truth. I’ve dug out a lot of these, but there will not be space to cover it in this Correspondence Course. That’s what the feasts are for – a time to meet and share the deep things God has revealed to us with one other.
TWO VS. FIVE
Now that we know what to look for, we can find a lot of reasons to back up the idea of five rebellious angels and only two righteous. One of the most obvious being, how many angels are beside the throne of God? Exodus 25:18-20.
We can find many examples using the lives of OT figures as metaphors. For example, when Abraham (a type of the Father, remember) went to offer Isaac (Christ), whom did he take with him? Genesis 22:3. Abraham had hundreds of servants. Why only two? Especially when they didn’t even help! (Verses 5-6). Maybe it was because the Father, when offering Jesus, only had two angels to help?
But earlier, when God appeared to Abraham, how many men did He have with him? Genesis 18:1-2. So God and two angels appeared to Abraham. Later in the chapter, when Abraham pulled God aside to talk to Him about Sodom (Genesis 18:22), how many angels went on and appeared to Lot? Genesis 19:1, 13.
The point of all of this is that when God went and judged evil, He took TWO men with Him; two angels. Angels are always referred to as “young men” when their age is mentioned at all (Mark 16:5). And when he offered Isaac, Abraham took two “young men” with him.
But that was only true when working with Abraham or Lot. When working with the sons of Abraham, only ONE angel appeared! See Genesis 16:11, Genesis 21:17.Later, when working with Israel, how many angels was God going to send? Exodus 23:20-23. We’ll come back to this point a little later.
You may be skeptical of what I’m about to do next, and accuse me of pulling out random examples of “five” in the Bible. But if they’re so random, how come they always have the exact same kind of story associated with the number?
The Philistines were often enemies of Israel. God had been (literally) plaguing them for stealing the Ark in 1 Samuel 5:1-12. They were seeking a way to get rid of the punishment of God – in the process, they happened to mention how many Philistine kings there were in 1 Samuel 6:1-6.
Note that they themselves compared themselves to the Egyptians. We have seen many times that the Egyptian kings and armies correspond to Satan’s angelic armies. So when God is punishing these angelic armies, symbolized here by the Philistines, He punishes FIVE of them.
When Joshua was invading the Promised Land, how many kings made war with him? Joshua 10:5. What was it that destroyed the armies? Verse 11.Compare that to Revelation 16:21, Exodus 9:22-26, Psalms 18:12-14, etc. There is a common theme in all of these verses of destroying the wicked.
But let’s continue the story of the five kings in Joshua 10:15-21. These five kings were put in a pit with a stone on top. KEPT THERE until the rest of the enemies are pursued. Remind you of Revelation 20:1-3? So then continue the story in Joshua 10:22-27.
So Joshua – Hebrew for Jesus, remember! – and the men of Israel and his armies (the saints and righteous angels), were told to put their feet on the necks of these kings. Compare that to Psalms 18:40, Mark 12:36 and 1 Kings 5:3-4.
Genesis 3:15-16 also seems connected, by having the head of the serpent bruised. You could extend the connection a step farther with scriptures like Malachi 4:3, Isaiah 14:19 and Ezekiel 28:17-18. Weren’t the kings of the Amorites “laid before kings”? So the Amorite kings were killed and hung on trees for all to see – kinda like Isaiah 14:15-17, or the brazen serpent of Moses? (Numbers 21:8-9).
So with all these connections, we can go back to the original story and say that Joshua was pursuing these five wicked angels, and then cast them into a bottomless pit until the rest of the armies were subdued. Once that happened, they came back to judge those who were in charge of the rebellion.
Joshua showed all nations just how weak and powerless these rebels were, these fallen angels they had been serving all those years, then cast their dead bodies back into the bottomless pit. Where, we must infer from other scriptures, their bodies will ultimately be consumed by fire and “never shall they be any more”.
Is Saul portrayed as a type of Satan? Compare 2 Samuel 1:19 with Isaiah 14:12. Saul was also a head taller and beautiful – just like Satan. Also he rebelled against the commandment of the Lord, just like Satan. Then tried to kill David, a type of Christ – just like Satan. So then in 1 Samuel 31:1-6,we find Saul, three sons, and his armor-bearer – totaling five – died in the same day.
What was it that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrha? Genesis 19:24.How many cities were there in the plains of Sodom and Gomorha? Genesis 14:8. Most people don’t realize that it wasn’t just Sodom and Gomorrha that were destroyed: Genesis 19:17. “All the plain” was to be destroyed – all five cities. But Lot objected in verses 20-22.Lot, having apparently left his jacket (and his faith) in Sodom, was afraid it would be cold in the mountains and begged to be allowed to stay in the plain.
So this time, one of the five was spared – otherwise, how much was destroyed? Verses 24-29. Was Lot happy in Zoar? Verse 30. Curiously, much later, another prophecy of Lot’s descendants the Moabites also fleeing to Zoar was made in Isaiah 15:5.
All of these have the common theme of five wicked leaders being destroyed. In a moment, you’ll see another powerful reason to believe the same thing. But first let’s go a bit deeper into the angelic hierarchy.
As we mentioned earlier, Ishmael was guided by Gabriel, whose descendants and their allies became the Arabs and the Muslim world today. Isaac was guided by Michael. So read Genesis 25:16, Genesis 35:22. Why would the two most righteous powers guided by the most righteous angels BOTH rule over nations divided into TWELVE tribes?
Most people derive the significance of twelve from the tribes of Israel, but as you can see I’m pointing the significance of those twelve tribes even deeper. It can’t be accidental that they BOTH had twelve sons! God had a direct hand in this, controlling the conception of Jacob’s sons (Genesis 29:31), so there was a plan at work here.
The simple, obvious answer is this: Israel was one nation guided by one angel. Ishmael was one nation, guided by one angel. But we know that under those angels are lesser echelons of angels. If you were in charge of a nation, would it not be most efficient to divide the labor equally among your lieutenants?
Therefore, knowing how the nations were divided, we can infer that the top seven angels each have twelve angels under them! There are quite a few other reasons to believe this, but once again I have to keep this brief.
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
In Job 12:7-9, Job said “But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this?”
This is not merely flowery prose. This is a command. A command that no one has ever taken seriously. God designed the world. He designed the atoms, the planets, and most importantly He designed the lifeforms. Most importantly of all are the creatures which He used in the temple as sacrifices.
In Revelation 5:6 we see a rather fanciful beast, a lamb with seven horns and seven eyes. Have you ever seen such a lamb? Surely not. Throughout the Bible the lamb which represented Christ was a normal two-eyed and two-horned lamb without blemish. So why would Christ be represented by such a strange seven-eyed and seven-horned creature here?
But there’s another thing. In Lesson 18 I noted, but did not explain, the fact that all clean mammals have horns. There are no exceptions. No unclean animal has true horns (rhino horn is made of tightly packed hair, elephant tusks are teeth, etc.). Not only that, all animals with horns have TWO – no more, no less!
So let’s ask the beasts – why? Why do they only have two horns and eyes, while the Lamb in Revelation had seven? To answer that, we only have to ask three simple questions. What does a horn represent in the Bible? And what do eyes represent in the Bible? You should know these first two answers off the top of your head – a horn is a kingdom, and an eye is an angel which would rule over that kingdom!
The third question is, what is the time frame on this symbolic seven-horned lamb? It says “as it had been slain”. But when was the Lamb slain? Revelation 13:8, 1 Peter 1:20.When was Jesus’ plan made? Hebrews 4:3. So this pictures the Lamb, not as He now is, but as He was before the foundation of the world! At His FIRST sacrifice!
Now Revelation 5:6 says clearly that those exact eyes on that same Lamb represent the seven spirits “sent forth into all the Earth”, to rule over the horns on the same Lamb! So why would God, knowing this, create lambs in the time of Adam having only 2 horns? Because the other five had rebelled and were to be plucked up by the roots! (Compare to Daniel 7:8).
The other five eyes were going to be put out, and their kingdoms uprooted! God knew this before the world was because they had already rebelled by then! And God knew those five would never again be trusted as a part of His government alongside Gabriel and Michael, the cherubim that cover the throne of God, standing over the HEAD of all things like horns!
And so the lamb that God created alongside Adam was itself a prophecy to the fallen angels of their judgment! Thus, quite literally, the beast has taught you that the hand of God has wrought this! But there’s more!
All mammals from the giraffe to the mouse to the blue whale to the human have a skeleton built upon variations of the same pattern. In particular, all mammals have seven neck vertebrae. No matter how big or long the neck, they always have the same number of neck vertebrae.
This is odd because other types of animals such as birds and fish and non-mammals have a widely varying number of vertebrae in the neck. Why would the clean beasts all have seven? What are they trying to teach us? It should be obvious – all animals have one head, of course. Doesn’t the body of Christ have one Head?
And aren’t there seven spirits that connect Christ’s throne in heaven with the rest of His body here on Earth? Just as the head is the control center for the entire body, and communicates with the body through the nerve trunk in the neck and spine?
But there’s still more! Because after the seven neck vertebrae come twelve thoracic vertebrae in the upper spine! Just as we learned earlier that after the top seven angels came another rank of twelve spirits per angel! Which is WHY there were twelve tribes!
After that comes five lumbar vertebrae, and then the sacrum and pelvis, none of which I can presently explain. But just the top three sections mirror exactly what we already know about the government of God – one head, seven neck, and twelve upper back. One Christ, seven angels, and twelve angels. One Christ, seven deacons, and twelve apostles.
One octave of music, seven major divisions on a piano and twelve lesser divisions. One source of light, seven divisions under it. One tabernacle with seven candles and twelve loaves of shewbread. One temple with 70 candles and 120 loaves of shewbread (2 Chronicles 4:7-8). Seventy palm trees and twelve wells (Exodus 15:27), seventy elders and twelve princes... on and on throughout the Bible it goes.
All of it pointing back to a future prophecy of Christ, then seven groups of kings and twelve groups of priests. Do you begin to glimpse how much there is to know? How many things are buried in the Bible, which become obvious if you just ask the right questions, if you just “ask the beast”, and let it teach you?
But I’ve strayed from the point again. Each of the seven angels received only one portion of God’s spirit. One color of His rainbow. By themselves, each of them was bound to be a failure because none of them were complete. None of them had all knowledge. Each of them had many flaws in their character. In order to function as God wanted, they would have had to function as a whole – just as the spectrum of seven colors must be recombined to radiate the true light.
In the same way, none of the church eras had the right answer. Each church was a disconnected assemblage of people from all over the world, and each was influenced by the angel of the age. But each true Christian who found salvation did so by taking the strengths of that era, and eliminating the weaknesses.
They became worthy of eternal life because they became the sons of God by adopting the true, WHOLE nature of God – the nature that combines the best of all seven eras in order to become the light of the world. Only in this manner is any Christian fit to rule at Christ’s side.
We opened with a Psalms addressed to the angels. It’s fitting that we close with another one, Psalms 2. Are not verses 1-3 describing the rulers of the Earth – the angels – plotting a rebellion, to cast off the bonds of God’s law?
God’s response in verses 4-9 shows that God is going to pluck up their kingdoms and put His Son in charge over the Earth. But God leaves them with a warning, and a way to avoid their destruction in verses 10-12.
Only two of those angels have taken it to heart, which is why the Lamb, when we see Him return in His kingdom, will only have two eyes and two horns.