The Assembly of Thyatira

Historical and Geographical Background:

Situated on the confines of Mysia and Ionia. According to Pliny it was known in earlier times as Pelopia and Euhippia.  The city was known as “Pelopia” (Greek language: Πελοπία), but it was named Thyateira (Θυάτειρα) by king Seleucus I Nicator in 290 BC. He was at war with Lysimachus when he learned that his wife had given birth to a daughter. Its prosperity received a new impulse under the Roman Emperor Vespasian. The city contained a number of corporate guilds, as potters, tanners, weavers, robe-makers, and dyers. It was from Thyatira that Lydia the purple-seller of Philippi came, Paul’s first European convert, (Read the following;

Act_16:14  And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple of the city of Thyatira, one reverencing God, listened, whose heart the Lord opened thoroughly to pay attention to the things being spoken by Paul.

Act_16:40  And going out from the prison, they went into the house of Lydia. And seeing the brothers, they exhorted them, and went out.).

The numerous streams of the adjacent country were full of leeches. The principal deity of the city was Apollo, worshipped as the Sun-God under the surname Tyrimnas. A shrine outside the walls was dedicated to Sambatha, a sibyl. The place was never of paramount political importance.

 

colossae Patmos Island
Illustrated Map of the Patmos Island and the Seven Assemblies.

Map of the Asia Minor area with location of Thyatira

Religious Background:

Nicator named it “Thyatira” (Greek, “thygater”, for daughter) on being informed that a daughter had been born to him.  Thyateira (also Thyatira) was the name of the modern Turkish city of Akhisar (“white castle”). The name comes from Koine Greek “Θυάτειρα” (Thuateira). The Turkish equivalent of Thyateira is Tepe Mezarlığı, meaning hill graveyard.

This city became well known for the center for trade guilds.  Memberships were compulsory and also essentials for the privileged and purpose of trading.  Corporate bodies, well organized must add, providing few benefits and taking actions in their interests.  Each guild was under the patronage of a pagan deity, to whom were paid proceedings, feast and in other meaningful manner every year to that particular pagan deity.  The believer must be a participant of the pagan activity which also had an essential appeal to the flesh.  This was very difficult to the new believer in Christ because there is only One God and Savior, Jesus Christ the Only Lord and Way.

In 1922, the Patriarch of Constantinople appointed an Exarch for Western and Central Europe with the title Archbishop of Thyateira. The current Archbishop of Thyateira (since 1988) is Gregorios Theocharous. The Archbishop of Thyateira resides in London and has pastoral responsibility for the Greek Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom.  The see of Thyatira is also included, without archiepiscopal rank, in the Catholic Church’s list of titular sees.

This particular assembly represent the medieval papacy (600 A.D. to 1500 A.D.).  Among all the seven assemblies, this particular one was the least of them in a geographical area (size of the city was the smallest among the seven assemblies) but the longest of the letters dictated by the Lord to John.

The Assembly:

Let’s start with the Bible Study of this particular assembly.

Rev 2:18

(18)  And to the angel of the assembly in Thyatira, write: These things says the Son of God, the One having His eyes as a flame of fire, and His feet like burnished brass:

In the previous verse please notice once again, as in the past messages send by the Lord to the other assemblies that he called his angel that have the specific task of the delivery of this message or letter.  As always this is very important because the Lord is confining this important task to someone that He can trust and knows will not let Him down during the process of the delivery of the letter.  There a few remarkable moments described by the Bible in where some of the messengers of the Lord had been intercepted by the devil and it has been trying in a delivery manner by the devil, to interfered and intercept such message, to either stop totally the delivery or delay until the very last minute such delivery. It is why the Lord name specifically angels for the delivery of messages.  Here is an example of this event;

Dan 10:12-13

(12)  And he said to me, Do not fear, Daniel. For from the first day that you set your heart to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard. And I have come because of your words.

(13)  But the king of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty one days. But, lo, Michael, one of the first rulers, came to help me. And I stayed there with the kings of Persia.

In the same command voice the Lord said… “, write”…  This particular command was designated to John, whose is used by the Lord as a scribed for the message.

The Lord God continues His dictation to John by saying the following;…” These things says the Son of God, the One having His eyes as a flame of fire, and His feet like burnished brass:”, and the first thing you must noticed is the pluralistic term God uses at the beginning of the message in relation to the different subjects He wants us to know. Right after the Lord is described as (the below charts are based on the LITV Bible (Literal Translation of the Bible) (you will find this translation on http://www.e-Sword.net this is a trusted and completely free of charge software)):

The Son of GOD

36 verses found, 37 matches

Matthew 5 verses found 5 matches
Mark 2 verses found 2 matches
Luke 4 verses found 4 matches
John 7 verses found 7 matches
Acts 2 verses found 2 matches
Romans 1 verse found 1 match
2 Corinthians 1 verse found 1 match
Galatians 1 verse found 1 match
Ephesians 1 verse found 1 match
Hebrews 4 verses found 4 matches
1 John 7 verses found 8 matches
Revelation 1 verse found 1 match

the One having His eyes as a flame of fire

1 verse found, 1 match

Revelation 1 verse found 1 match

His feet like burnished brass

2 verses found, 2 matches

Revelation 2 verses found 2 matches

 

These are all attributes that only you can find them under the New Testament.

(Rev 2:19)  I know your works, and the love, and the ministry, and the faith, and your patience, and your works; and the last being more than the first.

In the above verse the Lord started by indicating the positive points of the assembly of Thyatira.  Keep in mind that the Lord always see us for what we are and how we are.

The first He mentioned is that the Lord knows her “works”, but also noticed how in this particular translation the last word is also the one that is at the beginning of this assembly positives points.  There is a big difference among the two, and that is that the first one is about their labor in the field of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

  1. Toil
    1. (Verb) work extremely hard or incessantly.

“We toiled away”

  • (Synonyms) work hard, labor, exert oneself, slave (away), grind away, strive, work one’s fingers to the bone, put one’s nose to the grindstone.
  • (Noun) exhausting physical labor.

“a life of toil”

  • (Synonyms) hard work, labor, exertion, slaving, drudgery, effort, industry, ‘blood, sweat, and tears.

G2041  (ἔργον / ergon)

er’-gon

From ἔργω ergō (a primary but obsolete word; to work); toil (as an effort or occupation); by implication an act: – deed, doing, labour, work.

Total KJV occurrences: 176

And the second one is in regard to the “deeds” of the assembly, this is very noticeable when the Lord indicated that “…the last being more than the first…”.  All of these attributes are connected to the “fruits of the Spirit”;

Gal_5:22  But the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith,

Eph_5:9  For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth,

  • Love
    1. G26 ἀγάπη / agapē

ag-ah’-pay

From G25; love, that is, affection or benevolence; specifically (plural) a love feast: – (feast of) charity ([-ably]), dear, love.

Total KJV occurrences: 116

  • Ministry
    1. G1248 διακονία / diakonia

dee-ak-on-ee’-ah

From G1249; attendance (as a servant, etc.); figuratively (eleemosynary) aid, (official) service (especially of the Christian teacher, or technically of the diaconate): – (ad-) minister (-ing, -tration, -try), office, relief, service (-ing).

Total KJV occurrences: 34

  • Faith
    1. G4102 πίστις / pistis

pis’-tis

From G3982; persuasion, that is, credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly constancy in such profession; by extension the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: – assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.

Total KJV occurrences: 244

  • Patience
    1. G5281 ὑπομονή / hupomonē

hoop-om-on-ay’

From G5278; cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy: – enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting).

Total KJV occurrences: 32

  • Works ( this particular used of this word at the end of the attributes of this assembly are more like “Deeds”).

In all these attributable gifts given by the Lord to this assembly, they were working in conjunction, none of them bigger than the other, until…

Thyatira Positive Elements (Click on this link to see the Graphic on the Positive Elements of Thyatira assembly)

(Rev 2:20 LITV)  But I have a few things against you, that you allow the woman Jezebel to teach, she saying herself to be a prophetess, and to cause My slaves to go astray, and to commit fornication, and to eat idol sacrifices.

Now here is the only point that this particular assembly neglected:

Enabling outside sources to infiltrate into the cell of the Body of Christ (please notice that I am indicating this as a “cell of the Body of Christ” and not the “Body of Christ”) and not stopping such actions.  As a result of enabling this outside intervention of this woman, a chaos was created and the gears of the Gospel were not turning properly if so.  Some of the consequences of this inadvertent event are:

    1. Belief or opinion contrary to orthodox religious (especially Christian) doctrine.

“Huss was burned for heresy”

  1. Synonyms: dissension, dissent, nonconformity, heterodoxy, unorthodoxy, apostasy, blasphemy, freethinking; agnosticism, atheism, nonbelief; idolatry, paganism

“an age in which scientists were often accused of heresy”

  1. Opinion profoundly at odds with what is generally accepted.
  • Implosion of the cell of the Body of Christ
  • Distrust
  • Ignorance purposely or inadvertently of the Word of God
    1. Unavailability of the Holy Spirit for the understanding the Word of God (Holy Bible)
  • Spiritual fornication which is one of the most difficult sins to be recognized by the human mind when is out of the influence of the Holy spirit
  • Co-participating with the idol sacrifices
  • Many more

Let’s have a review of who was “Jezebel”:

There is a total of 20 verses with 23 matches of her name in the Holy Bible, indicating to us how important is to understand the When, Why and How of Jezebel.

1st King16:31 talks about how this particular woman became part of the history of Israel (Northern Kingdom).  Ahab (Omri’s son (Omri was the king that the people of the Northern Kingdom considered to be the founder of such, even though there were kings before him)) after becoming the king of Israel married a “Sidonian Princess” with the name of “Jezebel” and by doing so, Ahab offers his loyalty and worshiping to their deity “Baal”.

The queen Jezebel wanting to keep her religious believe among the people of Israel, demanded to replace all in the high places of the kingdom the altars from the ones dedicated to “YHWH” and in place of them to put the ones belong to Ba’al and was dedicated to eradicating the worshiping to “YHWH” in the land of Israel by also killing the prophets of GOD, read 1st King 18:4, 1st King 18:13.  It is amazing to me, the kind of demonic spirit this woman was posses with that Elijah (the prophet of GOD) was not afraid of confronting the false prophets from Ba’al, nor the army but with a single treat from this woman Elijah escaped trembling and hiding in a cave, read 1st King 19:2.

During this time, there was a farmer with a small but beautiful vineyard, his name was Naboth and who was a man of God.  The Ahab desired Naboth vineyard but unable to acquire it, his wife Jezebel promised to him (Ahab) to get the vineyard as a present for him.  Utilizing many non-legal and non-truthful ways had the people of Israel stoning Naboth and as a result of the death of him the property passed to Ahab’s hands, read 1st King 21:5 – 1st King 21:15.

It was not until GOD Himself demanded from His prophet Elijah to hit the road and to understand that He had many more of His prophets to do the task if it was necessary, to talk to the king Ahab.  In conclusion, Jezebel was push out of the window of her palace and ate by the dogs, read 1st King 21:23, 2nd King 9:10 – 2nd King 9:37.

Background on the City of Zidon (Sidon) and their deity Ba’al:

The city flourished as part of a loose confederacy of city-states spread along the coast of the land of Canaan. Although they shared “a common linguistic, cultural, and religious inheritance, the region was very rarely politically united, with each city operating as a sovereign state ruled over by a king or local dynast” (Miles, 26). This brought Sidon into competition with the other states of Phoenicia for trade and, especially, with the city of Tyre. In the 10th century BCE, the balance of power shifted to Tyre primarily due to the leadership of that city’s kings, Abibaal and, after him, his son Hiram. Tyre forged trade agreements with the newly minted kingdom of Israel-Judah and her king David. This agreement made Tyre wealthy and Sidon, trying to compete, entered into their own pacts with the kingdom of Israel including the marriage of the Sidonian princess Jezebel, daughter of Ethbaal, to King Ahab of Israel (a story famous from the Bible). Jezebel’s insistence on maintaining her own religion and personal identity was an affront to a number of Ahab’s subjects and, most notably, the prophet Elijah who denounced her. Jezebel and Ahab’s rule was ended by a coup by the general Jehu and, with it, Sidonian trade agreements with Israel.

The Purple dye is what gave the Phoenicians their name from the Greeks, Phoinkes, and meaning `the purple people’ and although it would come to be commonly associated with the city of Tyre, its manufacture was originally at Sidon.

baal1
Ba’al was a Phoenician deity that among other powers attributed to him were being judge of the gods, the lord of the wind and weather, controller of the rain, storm, thunder and lighting.  It was also attributed to him the renewal of the vegetation every year.

There are a few things in common with this particular assembly and Jezebel:

  1. They were knowledgeable of the purple dye process /trade
  2. They were not unaware nor ignorant of the Word of GOD
  3. They were given the gift of repentance for them to take the step forward and recognize their sinning life
  4. Jezebel was brought to be part of the People of GOD / Thyatira were a cell of the Body of Christ
  5. The Chaldean priest who interpreted the esoteric doctrines of the Babylonians mysteries was called “Peter”, The Catholic church foundation of their principles is that their founder was the apostle “Peter” (by no means I am implying that the apostle Peter is not an apostle of the Lord Jesus, but in the other hand is one of the most important apostle for the Body of Christ).
  6. The insignia wore by the Babylonian priest above mentioned had two keys; one for the deity Janus and the other for Cybele. The Catholic Church have both symbols on the arms of the Papal garment symbolizing spiritual authority.
  7. The danger to Thyatira assembly came not by the persecution from the gentile world nor by the animosity of the Jewish attitudes, but instead came from within and so the same for the people of the kingdom of Israel when they brought such Jezebel to their lives.
  8. Jezebel acquired by “inquisition” Naboth’s vineyard and during the medieval the Catholic Church did so including the “Dark Ages” period.

(Rev 2:21 LITV)  And I gave time to her that she might repent of her fornication. And she did not repent.

(Rev 2:22 LITV)  Behold, I am throwing her into a bed, and into great affliction those committing adultery with her, unless they repent of their works.

The same way God offered to Jezebel the opportunity to repent, so He is doing with the members of the cell of the Body of Christ from the Assembly of Thyatira.

Joh 3:14-18 LITV

(14)  And even as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,

(15)  that everyone believing into Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

(16)  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone believing into Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

(17)  For God did not send His Son into the world that He might judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

(18)  The one believing into Him is not condemned; but the one not believing has already been condemned, for he has not believed into the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Notice how the Lord indicate, He will throw Jezebel “into a bed”, this particular expression is an expression of pain and immobilization, as if she will be a “disable/handicap” woman.  If you remember the Jezebel in the narrative from the Book of Kings was thrown from the castle window and the dogs ate her to the point of no recognition, but of course that was her physical body.  There is a second death and that is where the subject has no choice in the matter and no more opportunities are offer.

The Lord continue saying how He will put into “Great Affliction” those committing adultery with her.

Please notice how the Lord is using the verb “committing”, as an indicative of a continual and present action of the verb, indicative that those are the ones not repenting for their actions as Jezebel did.

The other important point to observe here is the point of the terms “”Great Affliction” = “Great Tribulation”:

  1. Great = G3173 μέγας – megas
    1. meg’-as
      1. Including the prolonged forms, femine μεγάλη megalē, plural μέγάλοι megaloi, etc.; compare also G3176, G3187], big (literally or figuratively, in a very wide application): – (+ fear) exceedingly, great (-est), high, large, loud, mighty, + (be) sore (afraid), strong, X to years.
      2. Total KJV occurrences: 195
    2. Affliction = G2347 θλίψις – thlipsis
      1. thlip’-sis
        1. From G2346; pressure (literally or figuratively): – afflicted, (-tion), anguish, burdened, persecution, tribulation, trouble.
        2. Total KJV occurrences: 45

This particular term is not used but only for the moment in where the biggest event in human history will take place other than the “Coming of the Lord” of course.  This cannot be confuse with a tribulation, nor with a difficulties, nor for that matter with problems, under no circumstances should be so, but understand this is what is called in the Bible “The Great Tribulation”.  Unless of course they will repent of their actions, then and only then they will not go thru such event.

Rev 2:23 LITV

(23)  And I will kill her children with death; and all the assemblies will know that I am the One searching the inner parts and hearts. And I will give to each of you according to your works.

The Lord make very clear that the punishment for her children will be death, such sin cannot have any root left, must be taken completely out of the heart of the Body of Christ.  Look the way the Lord indicate how “all the assemblies”, as a plural noun, expressing that this will apply not just to the Thyatira assembly, which is this letter send to but to the rest of the assemblies.

Many times over, this part of the verse is interpreted as if we are save by works, which based on the Bible we are save by Grace, but the Lord and the Word of God doesn’t contradict itself at all.  This is because the Lord is talking here as if the Grace is no longer in action on earth, but under the “Great Tribulation” process in where your actions will take you out to the throne of God after being decapitated and in Heaven, wash out by the “Blood of the Lamb”:

Rev 7:14 LITV

(14)  And I said to him, Sir, you know. And he said to me, These are those coming out of the great tribulation; and they washed their robes and whitened them in the blood of the Lamb.

This is because there is no one that will go to the Father but Thru Him (Jesus Christ our Lord):

Joh 14:6 LITV

(6)  Jesus said to him, I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Rev 2:24-25 LITV

(24)  But I say to you and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this teaching, and who did not know the deep things of Satan, as they say: I am not casting another burden on you;

(25)  but what you have, hold until I shall come.

Observe how the Lord is making clear that this is for everyone that is reading this letter and not only to the assembly of Thyatira, the Lord says “…But I say to you and to the rest of Thyatira…”.  Indication that it is directed to the reader of this letter whether he is from the assembly of Thyatira or not and including Thyatira members.

Also and in a clear form the Lord indicates that those that are not mixed or infected with the teachings or doctrine of Jezebel and those that did not know the deep things of Satan are going to pass thru such burden.  In contrast with the deep things of God, of which we are call to pursue them and ask for them in prayer to receive them through the Holy Spirit on knowledge, wisdom and understand of the Word of God.  Read below:

1Co 2:10-15 LITV

(10)  But God revealed them to us by His Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.

(11)  For who among men knows the things of a man, except the spirit of a man within him? So also no one has known the things of God except the Spirit of God.

(12)  But we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit from God, so that we might know the things that are freely given to us by God.

(13)  Which things we also speak, not in words taught in human wisdom, but in Words taught of the Holy Spirit, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things.

(14)  But a natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

(15)  But the spiritual one discerns all things, but he is discerned by no one.

Rev 2:26-27 LITV

(26)  And the one overcoming, and the one keeping My works until the end, “I will give to him authority over the nations,”

(27)  and “He will shepherd them with an iron staff” (they are “broken to pieces like clay vessels”), as I also have received from My Father. Psa. 2:8, 9

On verses 26 and 27, is the promise to the overcoming, but in this particular case, the overcomer must also keep the works of God until the end, but if you remember at the beginning of the letter there are two ways in where this term is expressed:

  • Toil
    • This is in where the member of the Body of Christ must work in every level to start the fields of the Gospel of the Lord. In where, as in human terms we say, blood, sweat and tears are brought to the field hoping the labor will be enough and that the seed of the Gospel is in a good grounds for it to grow and sustained the storms.
  • Deeds
    • Our main job as a members of the Body of Christ is to live a life in Christ like behavior by feeding the hungry, protecting the homeless and the widow, promoting the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, Discipleship others and in prayer and supplication to ask the Lord for the Body of Christ and Israel protection waiting patiently for the Coming of the Lord.

The Lord says He will give to those that do as He ask, authority over the nations to the point of shepherd them with an iron staff.  That is an incredible authority, like no one ever will have, supervised by the Lord Jesus our Savior.  Look in the parenthesis of the verse on how the Lord says that these nations are broken to pieces like clay vessels and that reminds me the vision that the prophet Daniel had of the statue in different metals, where the feet were a mix of Clay and Iron (please referred to my earlier Bible Study in this web in regard to the Book of Daniel).

Also if you read Psalm 2, which is in where it is a reference of the above verse, please notice that there are three speakers in that Psalm (Please read Psalm 2).

Rev 2:28-29 LITV

(28)  And I will give to him the Morning Star.

(29)  The one who has an ear, hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies.

But that is not all that the Lord is given away, there is more, much more.

He is giving “the Morning Star”, I tell you that we already have the Morning Star which is Jesus Christ our Lord.  Of course the Lord closes the Letter with the advice to everyone that either are listening or reading these letters (not just the Thyatira letter) not just to read them, but to hear them and put them into practice.

God Bless You !

The Assembly of Pergamos

The Assembly of Pergamos

 

Historical Background:

 

Pergamon /ˈpɜrɡəmən/ or /ˈpɜrɡəmɒn/ or Pergamum /ˈpɜrɡəməm/ (Ancient Greek: τὸ Πέργαμον, to Pergamon, or ἡ Πέργαμος, hē Pergamos) was an ancient Greek city in Aeolis, currently located 26 kilometres (16 mi) from the Aegean Sea on a promontory on the north side of the river Caicus (modern-day Bakırçay). Today, the main sites of ancient Pergamon are to the north and west of the modern city of Bergama in Turkey.

Some ancient authors regarded it as a colony of the Arcadians, but the various origin stories all belong to legend. The Greek historians reconstructed a complete history for it due to confusion with the distant Teuthrania.  It became the capital of the Kingdom of Pergamon during the Hellenistic period, under the Attalid dynasty, 281–133 BC.  Pergamon is cited in the Book of Revelation as one of the seven churches of Asia.

Map of Asia Manor  by 188 BC

(Map of the city of Pergamum and also the Kingdom of Pergamum after the treaty of Apamea in 188 B.C.)

Pergamum_acropolis_model

(Model of the Acropolis of Pergamos / Museum of Berlin)

During 399 B.C. the city of Pergamos was recapture by the Syrian and it was of no importance on the antiquity until 301 B.C. when it became the capital of the new kingdom of Pergamon, founded in 281 B.C by Philetaerus and giving a beginning to the Attalid dynasty.

The Attalids became some of the most loyal supporters of Rome in the Hellenistic world. Under Attalus I (241–197 BC), they allied with Rome against Philip V of Macedon, during the first and second Macedonian Wars, and again under Eumenes II (197–158 BC), against Perseus of Macedon, during the Third Macedonian War. For their support against the Seleucids, the Attalids were rewarded with all the former Seleucid domains in Asia Minor.

The Attalids ruled with intelligence and generosity. Many documents survive showing how the Attalids supported the growth of towns by sending in skilled artisans and by remitting taxes. They allowed the Greek cities in their domains to maintain nominal independence. They sent gifts to Greek cultural sites like Delphi, Delos, and Athens. They defeated the invading Celts. They remodeled the Acropolis of Pergamon after the Acropolis in Athens. When Attalus III (138–133 BC) died without an heir in 133 BC, he bequeathed the whole of Pergamon to Rome in order to prevent a civil war.

Pergamon was briefly the capital of the Roman province of Asia, before the capital was transferred to Ephesus.

After a slow decline, the city was favored by several imperial initiatives under Hadrian (117 – 138). It was granted the title of metropolis and as a result of this an ambitious building program was carried out: massive temples, a stadium, a theatre, a huge forum and an amphitheater were constructed. In addition, at the city limits the shrine to Asclepius (the god of healing) was expanded into a lavish spa. This sanctuary grew in fame and was considered one of the most famous therapeutic and healing centers of the Roman world. Galen, after Hippocrates the most famous physician of antiquity, was born at Pergamon and received his early training at the Asclepeion.

Pergamon reached the height of its greatness under Roman Imperial rule and was home to about 200,000 inhabitants.  The Library of Pergamon was renowned, and second only to the Library of Alexandria, although not approaching Alexandria in scholarship.  The city was an early seat of Christianity and was granted a bishopric by the second century.  During the Third Century was badly damaged by an earthquake and ransacked by the “Goths” after.

FYI Important Background on Pergamos

It is also known as “the city of the serpent”, and for its greatness in the religious influence of that time in history.

Asclepius
Asclepius

(Asclepius with his serpent-entwined staff / Archaeological Museum of Epidaurus).

This particular assembly is well known for the influence in medicine and what is known today as Phycology.

The link below will give you access to a brief but incredible video by 700 Club, just click in the link:

http://www1.cbn.com/700club/seat-satan-ancient-pergamum

 

Mercury and Merchant approach vs Asclepius and the naked Graces
Mercury and a merchant disapproving Asclepius and the naked Graces (Meritrine, Hygeia and Panacea)

Mercury (Hermes) & merchant approach disapproving Asclepius (Physician) and the naked Graces (Meditrine, Hygeia and Panacea)

The first temple of this cult was erected in Pergamos in 27 B.C.  Aesculapius was identical to Phaethon (Nimrod = founder of the original Babylonian religion, eventually developing the worship of his widow Semiramis and his posthumous son (the Ashtoreth and Tammuz of Phoenicia, Isis and Horus of Egypt, Aphrodite and Eros of Greece, Venus and Cupid of Rome))

When Cyrus conquered Babylon, they found a new center at Pergamos and that king became “Pontifex Maximus”, highest priest of the pagan system.  When Rome took power over Pergamos the cult was assimilated and very well transferred to Rome by Pergamos.  One of the most clear influence on such cult in Rome is the fact that the Caesar was appointed “highest priest” and ultimately in 378 A.D. of Damasus, the Bishop of Rome with the complete and permanent absorption of “Babylonianism” into the Roman Church (this could possibly be seeing reflected with Thyatira).

During the year 312 A.D. Constantine set out to defeat the forces of Maxentius, empire rival.  His father prospered when he prayed to the God of the Christians, Constantine resorted to the same actions.  It is said the next morning he saw a shining cross in the sky with an inscription above it that read: “in hoc signo vinces” (In this sign thou shall conquer”, marked all the shields of his army with the mark, and after a bloody battle defeated Maxentius and immediately after declared his conversion to Christianity.  Constantine assumed headship of the church, repealed the persecution with the “edicts of Diocletian” advancing Christianity to high office in the state.  Pagan temples were converted to Christians churches; heathen festivals and customs were converted in to Christians ones; pagan priest slipped into office as Christians priests and so on.

Exposition of Revelation 2: 12-17

(Rev 2:12)  And to the angel of the assembly in Pergamos, write: These things says the One having the sharp, two-edged sword:

Once again in Revelation 2: 12 the Lord is dictating to the apostle the letter that the angel (messenger) is going to take to Pergamos.  There is only one angel that will be given the task and responsibility of this letter, not only because it is trusted by the Lord Almighty to accomplish such action, but more so because the angel’s personal relationship with the assembly.

Meaning of the name “Pergamos”;  it is a compound word:

  • Per” = pervert, perturbation, mixed, objectionable
  • gamos” = marriage

When the Lord described Himself as the “…the One having the sharp, two-edged sword…”, He is without a doubt that He is the Highest Authority in Command, Highest Priest and no one else is (Read Book of John 1: 1-4).

(Rev 2:13)  I know your works, and where you dwell, where the throne of Satan is. And you hold My name, and did not deny My Faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful witness; who was killed alongside you, where Satan dwells.

In this verse the Lord started to describe the attributes of this assembly:

  1. Know your works (this particular assembly is not lazy)
  2. Knows the place where the assembly dwell, where the throne of Satan is (the Lord is indicating here that even though the assembly is dwelling under the same location as where the throne of Satan is, they (the assembly) is not part of Satan.
    1. We, as the assembly of the Lord, are called to be among the ones that lives in this world but not been part of the world.
      1. Joh_14:17 the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive because it does not see Him nor know Him. But you know Him, for He abides with you and shall be in you.

There is always a truth about this assembly related to the action of dwelling in the place where Satan’s throne is, and that is the fact that a throne is a chair located in the center of a room to make comfortable the person more respected and which is not use by any other member of the room but the person destine for.  Understanding this, we can come to the conclusion that this assembly, even though did the works and dwelled where it was commanded to, more so hold the Name of the Lord (the assembly was of the family belong to the Lord, so they claim:    (Eph 3:14)  For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,(Eph 3:15)  of whom every family in Heaven and on earth is named,).  It is evident that even when they hold and called themselves members of the family of the Lord, this assembly did not gave the Lord the recognition He deserved and in His place the throne was occupied by Satan.

It is also very interesting that is mentioned that this particular assembly never denied “His Faith” (it is spelled in capital letters, indicative of the Lord’s Faith and not the assembly’s faith, in accordance with the Strong words this particular term of faith is:

G4102

πίστις

pistis

pis’-tis

From G3982; persuasion, that is, credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly constancy in such profession; by extension the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: – assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.

Total KJV occurrences: 244

In other words, they knew the Word, did the works, dwelled among the place we had been called to dwelled, hold the name of the Lord (members of the Family), and also never denied the Lord’s Faith or His Gospel. They, Pergamos, were so confused on their own well-being and totally out of their track in the real Gospel that they couldn’t distinguished between what was right and what was not.

This assembly allowed the satanic forces to influence them so strongly, to a point in were a faithful witness of the Gospel of the Lord was sacrifice to the idols and they didn’t raise their voices against such actions.  How a believer raise his/her voice? You may ask.  The answer is, by Prayers, Supplications, Fasting, and Studying the Word of Truth.

When any or all of those elements are placed in a subordination level to allow the public non believer to dictate and mandate our course of action, we as believers becomes co-participators of such actions.  The verse end by the Lord emphasizing such actions were taking place in “Satan’s dwelling place”.  This is very important because it tells us how they (Pergamos) allowed themselves to be influenced by the outside forces even when they had all the elements in their favor.

(Rev 2:14)  But I have a few things against you, that you have there those holding the teachings of Balaam, who taught Balak to throw a stumbling-block before the sons of Israel, to eat idol sacrifices, and to commit fornication.

(Rev 2:15)  So you also have those holding the teaching of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

On verses 14 through 15 the Lord is indicating to the assembly their negative points, let’s put them in a sequence manner:

  1. This assembly allowed …those holding the teachings of Balaam…
    1. To throw a stumbling block against the sons of Israel
      1. Read Numbers 22: 1-41
    2. To eat idol sacrifices
      1. Read Numbers 22: 40
    3. To commit fornication
      1. Read Numbers 22: 41
    4. Pergamos also allowed …those holding the teaching of the Nicolatians…
      1. What is the teachings of the Nicolatians that God Himself hate so much?
        1. Nicolaitans
        2. Nicola’itans (followers of Nicolas). A sect mentioned in Rev_2:6; Rev_2:15, whose deeds were strongly condemned. They may have been identical, with those who held the doctrine of Balaam. They seem to have held that, it was lawful to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit fornication, in opposition to the decree of the Church rendered in Act_15:20; Act_15:29. The teachers of the Church branded them with a name, which expressed their true character. The men who did and taught such things were followers of Balaam. 2Pe_2:15; Jud_1:11. They, like the false prophet of Pethor, united brave words with evil deeds.
  • In a time of persecution, when the eating or not eating of things sacrificed to idols was, more than ever, a crucial test of faithfulness, they persuaded men, more than ever, that was a thing indifferent. Rev_2:13-14. This was bad enough, but there was a yet worse evil. Mingling themselves in the orgies of idolatrous feasts, they brought the impurities of those feasts into the meetings of the Christian Church.
  1. And all this was done, it must be remembered, not simply as an indulgence of appetite, but as a part of a system, supported by a “doctrine,” accompanied by the boast of a prophetic illumination, 2Pe_2:1. It confirms the view, which has been taken of their character to find that stress is laid, in the first instance on the “deeds” of the Nicolaitans. To hate those deeds is a sign of life in a Church, that otherwise is weak and faithless. Rev_2:6 To tolerate them is well-nigh to forfeit the glory of having been faithful under persecution. Rev_2:14-15.

(Rev 2:16)  Repent! But if not, I will come to you quickly, and I will make war with them by the sword of My mouth.

Here int verse 16 the Lord advised to the assembly of their only possible option to take, that is to “Repent”, otherwise (if the assembly does not repent) The Lord will come quickly.  The phrase “…come to you quickly…” means the following:

G5035

ταχύ

tachu

takh-oo’

Neuter singular of G5036 (as adverb); shortly, that is, without delay, soon, or (by surprise) suddenly, or (by implication of ease) readily: – lightly, quickly.

Total KJV occurrences: 12

Read please the following:

(2Pe 3:9)  The Lord of the promise is not slow, as some deem slowness, but is long-suffering toward us, not having purposed any to perish, but all to come to repentance.

(2Pe 3:10)  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with rushing sound, and having burned the elements will be dissolved, and earth and the works in it will be burned up.

(Rev 2:17)  The one who has an ear, hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To the one overcoming, I will give him to eat from the hidden manna. And I will give to him a white stone, and on the stone a new name having been written, which no one knows except the one receiving it.

In verse 17 there is a once again a personal implication and application of the assembly for everyone that is part of the assembly of the Lord. We are commanded to make our voices heard and our Prayers brought to the Throne of the Lord on behave of the Gospel of Truth.  We must work diligently to prepare ourselves to the battle, wearing the all armor of God as is described by the apostle Paul (read below):

Eph_6:11  Put on all the armor of God, for you to be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil,

Eph_6:13  Because of this, take up all of the armor of God that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having worked out all things, to stand.

It does follows the verse by indicating the promise to overcomer, which is in this assembly the following:

  1. Will eat of the hidden manna
  2. Will receive a white stone
    1. Encrypted with a new name
      1. Known only by the one receiving the stone

Thank you for reading and I hop/e in the Lord this will be of great help to your spiritual life.  God Bless You All.

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The Assembly of Smyrna / Second Letter to the Assemblies (Book of Revelation)

Background and History:      Smyrna

Smyrna is known today as “Izmir”, located in Turkey and as a major city with a population of approximately 300,000 habitants.  It has an excellent harbor, import/export few items such as tobacco, grapes, cotton, figs, olive oil and other.

The original city was destroyed about B.C. 627, and was deserted and in ruins for four hundred years. Alexander the Great contemplated its restoration, and his design was carried out after his death. The new city was built a short distance south of the ancient one, and became the finest in Asia Minor, being known as the glory of Asia. It was one of the cities which claimed the honor of being Homer’s birthplace. A splendid temple was erected by the Smyrnaeans to his memory, and a cave in the neighborhood of the city was shown where he was said to have composed his poems. Smyrna’s fine harbor made it a commercial center; but it was also distinguished for its schools of rhetoric and philosophy. Polycarp was the first bishop of its church, which suffered much from persecution, and he was said to have suffered martyrdom in the stadium of the city, A.D. 166. It is argued with some plausibility that Polycarp was bishop of Smyrna at the time of the composition of Revelation, and was the person addressed here. This question, however, is bound up with that of the date of composition (see Trench, “Epistles to the Seven Churches”). The city was a seat of the worship of Cybele the Mother of the gods, and of Dionysus or Bacchus.

Alyattes, the king of “Lydia”, successfully conquered it, putting an end to a history of two and one-half millennia.  Alexander the Great, during the fourth century, put in charge one of his four generals to build in its place the most beautiful, well build and planned city in Ionia.  The result was known as the “Flower of Ionia”.   27 B.C. Smyrna went under the Romans control and which became a great allied to the Romans during the Syrian/Mithridatic wars.  From 27 B.C. to 324 A.D it was a powerful city with great material prosperity.  From the years 178 A.D. throughout 180 A.D. suffered many seismic disturbances but always rebound from it.

Today, Smyrna (Izmir), is known as “The Paris of the Levant”.  The richly embellishment of the temples and splendid buildings, in a perfect symmetry of those encircling “Mount Pagos” resulted in the title “the crown of Smyrna”.

Please Click on this link to be able to see a Map of what is today "Izmir" also known as Smyrna during Bible Times.
Please Click on this link to be able to see a Map of what is today “Izmir” also known as Smyrna during Bible Times.

Religion

There is a legend that surround the origins of this great empire, and which it also has to do with their polytheistic believes.  Never the less, the beginning of the Roman religious believes were “animistic” in character.  Their believe were, everything that was around them and that inhabited the Earth had its own spirit or numen. They truly believe, they were watched over by their ancestors’ spirits called “genius” (for male) and “juno” (for female).

Early in their history due to the Sabine influence, the romans had as prominent gods the following:

  • Mars
    1. The god of war
      1. Vital role in the beginning of the Roman history.
        • In accordance with the legend of the foundation of Rome, he was the father of Romulus and Remus.
  • Quirinus
    1. The god who watched over the people and government of Rome was the deified Romulus.
  • Jupiter
    1. The leader of the gods

All the three gods were worshiped at the temple on the Capitoline Hill, which they were known as the Capitoline Triad.  This Sabine influence did not replace the former believe but instead, they were added to their worship.

Later on the Monarchy period, the Etruscan influence was such, that the Capitoline triad underwent a transformation:

  • Jupiter still at the pinnacle of their religion.
  • Mars was replaced with Juno
    1. Juno became the wife of Jupiter
  • Quirinus was replaced with Minerva
    1. Minerva was the daughter of Jupiter and Juno
      1. goddess of wisdom

Once the Greeks were settled on the South of the Italian peninsula, also influence their religious believes.  These last influenced the Romans by giving to the Romans the power to create their mythology, and as a result, an eloquent and pictographic gamma of characters of Roman gods were borrowed from the Greek gods.

Examples of such are:

Roman gods                                      Greek gods

  • Jupiter                                          Zeus
  • Mars                                             Ares
  • Minerva                                        Athena
  • Apollo                                           Apollo

This particular process on any culture in were the influence is operating this way is called “syncretism”, a distinctive nature displayed by the Romans gods vs the counterparts was the fact that they displayed a frugal nature.  The believer’s faith was guided by a college of “pontiffs” (an assembly of the highest ranking priest in the Ancient Roman/does this sound familiar?).  The highest among them was “pontifex maximus”, position hold by patricians until the third century B.C. a plebian Roman could hold such position.  Also even though this position was a highly wholly spiritual function, there was later on politicized. A great example of this was Julius Caesar, whose was the pontifex maximus during the first Triumvirate.

Each god had their own temple, priest or flamines.  While the college was task with the affairs of the gods, the flamines represented their particular deity.  The most important priest represented the Capitoline Triad, there was an exception to the rule and that was the priestesses to Vesta, goddess of the hearth, all were men. The Vestal Virgins (as they were known) priestesses were ordered to remain celibate for the entire thirty years of service and their task was to keep the sacred fire of Vesta burning in the temple. Many privileges were given to them, among some, privilege to own properties, to vote, no longer under the control of their parents, highly regarded and a reason why many patrician families wished their daughters to be given the position.  The title of Vestal Virgins were appointed by the pontifex maximus by a drawing lots.  Some of the downsides of the Vestal Virgins were for example that if the priestess fail to remain celibate for any period of the thirty years of service the punishment was to be buried alive.

During the beginning of the Empire, the emperor were deified after death, but it was not until Julius Caesar that the emperor was deified during their terms and after him many others will follow, there were couple exceptions; Caligula and Nero.

Worship of the imperial cult became a commonplace and even many of the emperors believed to be themselves “gods”.  Commodus, for example, believed to be Hercules himself, Diocletian found affinity with Jupiter.  Never the less, the one who made himself to be placed in a statue in the Jewish temples around the Roman Empire was Caligula.

Christianity started as a marginal and persecuted sect, but ended up the official state religion.  As the Christians grew in number and with the ability to influence the Emperor Constantine, convinced by the Christian teachings, Constantine marched into a battle with the banner of Christ, and with heavy odds against him and his army, won the battle and attributed to Christ the victory calling it a divine intervention.

Immediately after his victory, Constantine passed the “Edict of Milan”, professing tolerance toward Christians and their believes.  He ended baptized and the majority of his successors were Christians.  Julian was an exception to that rule, trying to reinstate the traditional Roman gods, but with no much result.  It was not but until 380 A.D. that Christianity became the State Religion.

During the month of December (December Saturnalia), on what is known as the “Via Sacra” (Sacred Way), passage that runs from the Coliseum, the Capitoline Hill (Capitoline Triad Temple Location) and Temple of Jupiter, marches and religious festivals took place.

Up to now is a brief view of the religious practices of the Roman Empire during the first, second and portion of the third centuries.

Let’s start with the Biblical passage for our delight, which is located in the 2nd Chapter of the Book of Revelation verses 8-11. Keep in mind I am using the Literate Translation which you will be able to find by downloading e-Sword program ( www.e-Sword.org ) which is a great tool for Bible Studies and is totally free of charge.

(Rev 2:8)  And to the angel of the assembly of Smyrna, write: These things says the First and the Last, Who became dead, and lived:

Once again we can see how the Lord Jesus Christ appointed the angel to take the message to the assembly of Smyrna. This is indicative that there is always a particular messenger for the plan of God in our lives.  This particular messenger knows the target in question and understand the all details regarding the assembly of Smyrna.

“These things says the First and the Last”…  Please pay attention to the way the Lord uses the first word in the sentences, which is in a plural manner.   It is indicating to us, the multiple things the Lord sees in our lives that many times we have no idea of them.  Immediately after it is brought up one of the names that our Lord is known by: and these can be read in four more locations in the Bible:

  1. Isa 41:4
  2. Rev 1:11
  3. Rev 1:17
  4. Rev 2:8
  5. Rev 22:13

It is not until the Book of revelation that this particular Name of God is used in Capital Letters (this could be observed if you use the LIT Translation vs the KJV).

Another portion that is curious to observe in the verse the use of …”Who became dead, and lived:”…  By using this particular name, God Himself becomes a witness of His selfish act in the Cross for all mankind.

As you continue reading this passage, you can’t stop noticing the theme of “death” in the letter.

As you know the word “Smyrna” means “Myrrh” which is a spice used to either preserve the bodies after death and as an aromatic spice, which is what normally we know about it.  Never the less, there is a passage in  Genesis 37:25 that mention specifically this spice and is in relation to the narrative of Joseph son of Jacob.

Also in Exodus 30:23 it is mentioned to be included as part of the group of species and other ointments to be use for the anointing of the tabernacle, the ark of the testimony, the table and vessels, the altar of incense and the altar of burnt offering with vessels, the laver and his foot, also Aaron and his sons. Such anointed group of spices and oils was going to be presented to the children of Israel as a holy anointing oil throughout the generations.

In Esther 2:12 you can see the use of Myrrh in the anointing of the royal queen before to be presented to the king.

Myrrh is also found in the Bible as one of the three gifts the wise men presented to the Christ Child, according to the gospel of Matthew. According to the gospel of Mark, Jesus was offered wine and myrrh before the crucifixion.

In Isaiah 60:6 expressed the Word of God that will be given presents to the Lord Jesus during the millennium but among the gifts presented to Him one will be out of the equation, and that is “myrrh”.  Myrrh was representative of the pain and suffering of our Lord as a human on this earth, but that will be all behind Him once He entered the millennium and after.

(Rev 2:9)  I know your works, and the affliction, and the poverty; but you are rich. And I know the evil speaking of those saying themselves to be Jews, and they are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.

The Lord in verse 9 started to give the commendations of the assembly of Smyrna.  The Lord started by saying to the assembly:

  1. I know your works
  2. I know your affliction
    1. G2347
    2. θλίψις
    3. thlipsis
    4. thlip’-sis
      1. From G2346; pressure (literally or figuratively): – afflicted, (-tion), anguish, burdened, persecution, tribulation, trouble.
    5. Total KJV occurrences: 45
    6. Notice how this word is used to denote one of the qualities of the spice of myrrh which is to be pressure in order for the spice to be effective in its natural way.
  3. I know your poverty
    1. G4432
    2. πτωχεία
    3. ptōcheia
    4. pto-khi’-ah
    5. From G4433; beggary, that is, indigence (literally or figuratively): – poverty. This is used when there is nothing at all available, there is nothing you can reach for. Extreme poor.
    6. Total KJV occurrences: 3
      1. But you are rich
      2. Is this not knowing of your worth by choice or by ignorance on the part of the assembly? Does the assembly knows they are rich but choose to be poor or do they think they are really poor?
  • (2Co 8:9) For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that being rich, He became poor for your sake, so that you might become rich by the poverty of that One.
  1. I know the “evil speaking” of those saying themselves to be Jews
    1. G988
    2. βλασφημία
    3. blasphēmia
    4. blas-fay-me’-ah
    5. From G989; vilification (especially against God): – blasphemy, evil speaking, railing.
    6. Total KJV occurrences: 19
      1. They Are Not
      2. They are synagogue of Satan.
        1. As I have read this particular section of the verse, my head started spinning in questions about why is this said here by the Lord? There is also an important point that we must remember, the Lord was very straight and clear to the adversary and his followers, and He never deviated.
        2. If we read John chapter 8, we will noticed the level of tension that existed among Jesus and the so called “religious leaders of the Jews”, in particular in verse 18 and 19.
        3. In John 8:19 the religious leaders asked the Lord … (Joh 8:19) Then they said to Him, Where is your father? Jesus answered, You neither know Me, nor My Father. If you had known Me, then you also would have known My Father.
          1. In the above phrase in Bold/Italic/Underline format they were trying to tell Jesus that He (Jesus) was a “Bastard” (this is what is known today as a sarcasm). The below verses demonstrate how intense was the tension, and when you read these verse read it as if you were a Jew…
        4. (Joh 8:39) They answered and said to Him, Abraham is our father (here is the second time in this chapter they said to Jesus in an indirect way that He was a “Fatherless Child” (Bastard)). Jesus said to them, If you were children of Abraham, you would do the works of Abraham.
        5. (Joh 8:40) But now you seek to kill Me, a man who has spoken the truth to you, which I heard alongside of Abraham did not do this.
        6. (Joh 8:41) You do the works of your father. They said to Him, We were not born of fornication; we have one father, God (This is the third time in this chapter they indicated to the Lord that “He” (Our Lord Jesus) was a “Bastard”).
        7. (Joh 8:42) Then Jesus said to them, If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I went forth and have come from God. For I have not come from Myself, but that One sent Me.
        8. (Joh 8:43) Why do you not know My speech? It is because you are not able to hear My Word.
        9. (Joh 8:44) You are of the Devil as father, and the lusts of your father you desire to do. That one was a murderer from the beginning, and he has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own, because he is a liar, and the father of it.

(Rev 2:10)  Do not at all fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw you into prison, so that you may be tried; and you will have affliction ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

We as Christians know that it is very difficult to be a “Follower of the Way” (as we used to be known before the term Christians came about).  We must pray for those that persecute us, forgive those that torment us and bless those that curse us, right?  Of course we must.  But there is also a reminder from the Lord that no matter what we will go thru in life, He will never leave us nor forsake us.

1Ki_8:57  Jehovah our God is with us as He has been with our fathers; He shall not forsake us or leave us,

Also in this particular verse there is an important part that many believers omit as they read this passage, that is the reality of a an accuser that is always ready to point his fingers at us just to make our lives a “living hell”, he is called the devil.  This part on this particular verse can’t and most not be confused with the part of the “Great Tribulation”, this part of the  verse is what we will see on a daily basis just for been part of the “Special Elite Unit” called “Christians” or “Follower of the Way”.  One way or another, there is no doubt that the Lord never leaves us nor forsake us, read below:

Heb_13:5  Set your way of life without money-loving, being satisfied with present things; for He has said, “Not at all will I leave you, not at all will I forsake you,” never! Deut. 31:6

Another part on this verse that strike me is the fact that the Lord advised of ten days of afflictions. These ten days put me to think, why the Lord mentioned those ten days in a specific manner?  If we go back in history, we will be able to notice that between the End of the First Century and all away to the end of the Second Century there were a total of ten Roman Emperors. Let see them one by one in a list:

Name Succession Reign / AD Time in Office
Trajan Caesar Marcvs Vlpivs Nerva Traianvs Avgvstvs Adopted and Heir of Nerva Jan/98 – Aug/117 19 yrs 7 mths
Hadrian Caesar Pvblivs Aelivs Traianvs Hadrianvs Avgvstvs Adopted and Heir of Trajan Aug/117 – Jul/138 21 yrs
Antoninus Pius Caesar Titvs Aelivs Hadrianvs Antoninvs Avgvstvs Pivs Adopted and Heir of Hadrian Jul/138 – Mar/161 22yrs 7 mths
Marcus Aurelius Caesar Marcvs Avrelivs Antoninvs Avgvstvs Adopted son/son-in-law and Heir of Antoninus Pius and

Co-Emperor with Lucius Verus until 169

Mar/161 – Mar/180 19 yrs
Lucius Verus Caesar Lvcivs Avrelivs Vervs Avgvstvs Adopted son Heir of Antoninus Pius and son-in-lawof Marcus Aurelius; Co-Emperor with Marcus Aurelius until his death Mar/161 – Mar/169 8 yrs
Commodus Caesar Marcvs Avrelivs Commodvs Antoninvs Avgvstvs Natural son of Marcus Aurelius; Co-Emperor from 177 ?/177 – Dec/192 15 yrs
Pertinax Caesar Pvblivs Helvivs Pertinax Avgvstvs Proclaimed by the Praetorian Guard Jan/193 – Mar/193 3 mths
Didius Julianus Caesar Marcvs Didivs Severvs Ivlianvs Avgvstvs Won auction by the Praetorian Guard for the position of Emperor Mar/193 – Jun/193 2 mths – 4 days

(65 Days)

Septimius Severus Caesar Lvcivs Septimivs Severvs Pertinax Avgvstvs Seized power with the Support of the Pannonian Legions Apr/193 – Feb/211 17 yrs 10 mths
Caracalla Caesar Marcvs Avrelivs Severvs Antoninvs Pivs Avgvstvs Son of Septimius Severus; Co-Emperor with Severus from 198; with Severus and Geta from 209 until Feb 211; Co-Emperor with Geta until Dec 211 ?/198 – Apr/217 19 yrs

Emperors Timeline 2nd Century (Click on this link to see a timeline of the Second Century Roman Emperors).

(Rev 2:11)  The one who has an ear, hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. The one overcoming will not at all be hurt by the second death.

As it was with the first assembly, the Lord tells us to pay attention to this message of this assembly, because it is not particular to them but to all of the believers in Christ.  Also it important to say that the affirmation of the Lord by explicitly saying this message is through the Holy Spirit, this is visible because the word “Spirit” is in Capital letter “S” indicative of the Third Person of the Trinity of God.

The last but not the least point to talk about is how the Lord indicates to the one overcoming this particular time will not be hurt by the second death and you might ask; what is the second death?  The Bible gives us the answer and here it is:

Rev_20:6  Blessed and holy is the one having part in the first resurrection. The second death has no authority over these, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with Him a thousand years.

Rev_20:14  And death and hell were thrown into the Lake of Fire. This is the second death.

Rev_21:8  But for the cowardly and unbelieving, and those having become foul, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all the lying ones, their part will be in the Lake burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

Remember always to Pray to the Lord before and after of your Bible Study for His guidance, knowledge, wisdom and understanding on the Word and God Bless You.

This is a Timeline of Major Events during the First Century in relation to the Church of Christ.

Please Click on the below link to see the Timeline in a PDF File.

Church First Century Events PDF View

The Book of Revelation: Introduction to the Seven Assemblies

As a Review and for our benefit we will bring some important details we already cover on Chapter 1 of the Book of Revelation, and these are the following:

  1. This is the only Book on the Bible that promise a Blessing to the “Reader” and also to the “Hearers”, see the following verse;
    1. Rev 1:3
  1. Blessed is the one reading, and those hearing the Words of this prophecy, and keeping the things having been written; for the time is near.
  1. The Book of Revelation is a Prophetic Book, read the below verse;
    1. Rev 1:3
  1. Blessed is the one reading, and those hearing the Words of this prophecy, and keeping the things having been written; for the time is near.
  1. For this blessing to take effect of the prophetic Book of Revelation, we must keep the things having been written, read the verse below please;
    1. Rev 1:3
  1. Blessed is the one reading, and those hearing the Words of this prophecy, and keeping the things having been written; for the time is near.

All these is because one reason and one reason only for the “Follower of the WAY” (The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ), … for the time is near

It is also very important to mention that the Book of Revelation is the only Book that has what is called the “Divine Outline of the Book”. This particular point can be seen in the following verse:

  1. Rev 1:19
  • (19) Write what things you saw, and what things are, and what things are about to occur after these things.
    • …things you saw… This is use in a past sentence indicative of all the Apostle John saw in chapter one of the Book of Revelation.
    • …things are… This is use in a present way, indicative of what the Apostle witness and saw in chapters 2 and 3, which is in relation to the Seven Assemblies in the area of Asia Manor which is known today as “Turkey”
  1. (Seven Assemblies Map)
  • … things are about to occur after these things…   (meta tauta)   This is expressed in a future sentence. This is indicative of the future events once the events on chapter 1 and chapter 2 and 3 (the Seven Assemblies will go through their lives as followers and believers of the Gospel of the Lord) will take place.   This also could be seen in the following verse:
    1. Rev 4:1 LITV

After these things I saw. And behold, a door being opened in Heaven! And I heard the first voice as a trumpet speaking with me, saying, Come up here, and I will show you what needs to happen after these things.

If we are capable to put this in perspective for everyone to see it in a visual way, just imagine a straight time line in where there is the Book of Revelation displayed in chapters by numbers and cause of time base on events of “past”, “present” and “future events”, this time line will look like this:

(Time Line of things and events base on the Divine Outline).

It is very important for us to bring to your attention the fact that in chapter 1 verse 4 it is mentioned the Holy Trinity of GOD, let’s see it:

Rev 1:4 LITV

(4) John to the seven assemblies in Asia: Grace to you, and peace, from the One who is, and who was, and who is coming, and from the seven spirits which are before His throne;

  • It does mentioned God Almighty when is referring to … His throne…
  • The Lord Jesus as …the One who is, who was, and who is coming…
    • o This could be validated by the Gospel of John chapter 1 verses 1 and 2:
      • Joh 1:1-2 LITV
      • In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
      • He was in the beginning with God.
    • The Holy Spirit when it does mentioned … the seven spirits which are before His throne…
      • o Read the following verse;
        • Isa 11:2 LITV
        • And the Spirit of Jehovah shall rest on Him; He will have the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and power, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Jehovah.
          • These are known as the seven manifestations of the Holy Spirit (count the underline description on the above verse)

Continuing our journey to the beginning of the Seven Assemblies (Revelation chapters 2-3) is very important to notice the Seven Assemblies during these two chapters in Revelation mentioned, unless you are in deep knowledge of the Asia Manor area and or the Middle Eastern history, you otherwise will not know these assemblies. The question remain of, Why these particular assemblies? Why more important assemblies of their time are not mentioned?   Such assemblies are the assembly of Antioch (Paul’s headquarters assemblies), the assembly of Jerusalem, the assembly of Corinth and so on. The question remains, why?

The Bible (The Word of GOD) is a collection of 66 Books written by more than 40 Authors with different backgrounds, written in 3 different languages, through a time of approximately 1500 years with a divine engineering precision in where everything has a meaning and a time. For the Followers of the Way (Jesus Christ or Lord) means that the Bible is without a doubt the Word of GOD and has a Divine Authority.

Understanding this is why the question of “why these seven assemblies” in particular and not other assembly were chosen but these.   Let’s make reference to our Seven Assemblies Map in a PDF File to refresh our memories on their location.   (Seven Assemblies Map).

  1. These seven assemblies were real geographical locations of temples and assemblies of the time.
  2. As warning or reprimand to all the assemblies, in fact the seven letters applied to all the seven assemblies. Read the following verse:
  • Rev 1:11 LITV
    • (11) saying, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last; also, What you see, write in a scroll, and send to the seven assemblies of Asia: to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamos, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.
  1. This also could be taken as a personal advised (homiletic) in order for the believer to keep him/her in the right track of the Word of God and keeping the things having been written because the “time is near”.
  • Rev 2:7 LITV
  • (7) The one who has an ear, hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. …

There is one important point of view that could very well, and in my personal and humble opinion, is the strongest of all the points mentioned, which is from a prophetic and historical point of view.

If you remember the Book of Acts is the last Book in the Bible that mentioned anything about the development and circumstances in were the assembly of the Lord went through from a historical view for about 30 years. There are some points that had been gathered with the Apostle’s epistles and letters, but many gaps exist. My believe is that these Seven Assemblies, and very specially due because the order in were they are mentioned in the Bible and only the order in were they are mentioned, tells us the rest of the story. These Seven assemblies are:

  1. Ephesus
  2. Smyrna
  3. Pergamos
  4. Thyatira
  5. Sardis
  6. Philadelphia
  7. Laodicea

(Time Line of the Church History base on the Seven Assemblies)

Graphical representation of the Book of Genesis and the Book of Revelation

The Book of Revelation Comparison Table

Click on the above PDF File for you to be able to see the correlation between the Book of Genesis and the Book of Revelation and their parallel until the End Times.

This PDF File will help you to understand the Dragon, the Beast out of the Sea and the Beast out of the Earth

This is visual representation on a PDF File that will help you to understand the role and relation of the Dragon, the Beast out of the Sea and the Beast out of the Earth.  Just Click on the link below for you to be able to see the file.

Image description on a Diagram of the Dragon and the Beasts 1 and 2

The Book of Revelation: Chapter One

Before we start getting in depth of the Book of Revelation of the Bible, there are few simple things, we had either being indoctrinated wrongfully (in a volunteer manner or subconsciously allowing so), also in many occasions it has been a misunderstood of terms and or learned throughout generations and accepted without questions much less the repercussions of damages cause by such false interpretations.   I like to make very clear to everyone who gives me the privileged to reach you, that the ultimate Word of Truth is the Lord GOD, also during our Bible Study I will be using the LITV Translation of the Word of GOD. Many are familiar with the KJV or derivatives, but whatever you choose please go on Prayer to the Lord before hands on.

Terms to make clear for our own understanding of the Book of Revelation are as follows:

John the Apostle

  • Son of Zebedee; younger brother of James; the beloved disciple of Christ, a relative of Annas the high priest, a son of Mary the sister of Barnabas, and surnamed Mark, the father of Simon Peter.
  • The name of the Book is the Book of “Revelation”
    • It is the only book in the New Testament that is essentially “Prophetic”.
    • It is call this way because the intention of the Book of Revelation is to “reveal” to humankind the “Only Begotten Son of GOD, Jesus Christ”’ as it is said in the following verse in the Gospel of John and at the first Chapter of the Book of revelation;
    • Joh 3:16
      • For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone believing into Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    • Rev 1:1
      • A Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to Him to show to His slaves things which must occur quickly. And He signified by sending through His angel to His slave, John,
  • It is very important to notice, because many of “us”, have the tendency to call this Book “the Book of Revelations” with a plural “s” on its name; that this is far from the truth.   The name of the Book is “The Book of Revelation” as a singular unit and not a plural unit.   Read the below verse;
  • Rev 1:1-2
    • A Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to Him to show to His slaves things which must occur quickly. And He signified by sending through His angel to His slave, John,
    • who testified of the Word of God and the witness of Jesus Christ, even as many things as he saw.
  • In addition, the name of this Book and its meaning comes from the first word of the Book of Revelation itself, this is in the Greek language;
    • o ἀποκάλυψις
    • o apokalupsis
    • o ap-ok-al’-oop-sis
      • From G601; disclosure: – appearing, coming, lighten, manifestation, be revealed, revelation.
      • FYI:
        • Total KJV occurrences: 18 (this is in Mathematical terms the expression of; 18= 3 x 6 or as you can see the number 666 which is also the number of the beast.)
  • This Book is the Revelation of Jesus Christ to humankind
  • Another term to defined before hand in a clear way are the following:
    • Jew – a member of the chosen people of GOD since the beginning of times and to whom the “Promise Land” was given. They are descendent of the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (who later in his life was renamed by God Himself as Israel (Gen_32:28 And He said, Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, because you have wrestled with God and with men, and have prevailed.)).
      • A Jew is a member of the people and cultural community whose traditional religion is Judaism and who trace their origins through the ancient Hebrew people of Israel to Abraham.
  •  Gentile – In accordance with the Bible this is a person that is not a member of any of the family of the 12 Tribes of Israel, and when a gentile was converted to Judaism, he was called a proselyte. Cornelius (Acts 10 – 11) was the first gentile of whom we have record who came into the Christian Church without first being a proselyte to Judaism. He was introduced to the gospel of Jesus Christ through a series of divine manifestations both to him and to Peter. Read below;
    • Act 10:1-2
    • But a certain man, Cornelius by name, was in Caesarea, a centurion of a cohort being called Italian, one devout and fearing God, with all his house, both doing many alms to the people and praying continually to God.
    • Under the New Testament the “gentile” is any man or woman that had not accepted the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is also known as a non-believer.
  • The Church – This is the “Body of Christ” and to which, each person (either a Jew and/or gentile) becomes a New Creature thru repentance of his/her sins and acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ as the Only Begotten Son of GOD and Savior of his/her soul. Once this acknowledgement is taking place, the person is known as a “Followers of the Way”; noticed on the verses below how the word “Way” is spelled, with a capital “W” and in a singular subject…
    • Act_9:2   Saul asked from him letters to Damascus, to the synagogues, so that if he found any being of the Way, both men and women, having bound them he might bring them to Jerusalem.
    • Act_19:23 And about that time there was no little disturbance about the Way.
    • Act_24:14 But I confess this to you that according to the Way, which they say is a sect, so I worship the ancestral God believing all things according to that having been written in the Law and the Prophets,
  • The believers were later on called in the city of “Antioch” Christians. See the following;
    • Act_11:26 And finding him, he brought him to Antioch. And it happened that many of them were gathered to them in the assembly a whole year. And they taught a considerable crowd. And the disciples were first called Christians at Antioch.

Gods Plan of Salvation  (Click on this link to see this PDF File)

Bible Books Chronological Order  (Click on this link to see this PDF File)

In conclusion, what we will see as a purpose of the Book of Revelation is the “unveiling of the Lord Jesus Christ and what is going to be happening as a result of His unveiling”, once again please read verse one on chapter one of the Book of Revelation and you will see it very clear;

Rev 1:1

A Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to Him to show to His slaves things which must occur quickly. And He signified by sending through His angel to His slave, John,

Let’s see the importance of this verse on the introduction of this Book.

  1. As we said before this is the “unveiling of the Lord Jesus Christ and the events that will take place after such unveiling”.
  2. Noticed the word at the end of this sentence in the verse that we are reading; “…occur quickly…”, this particular phrase is to give to the reader the extreme and most emotional feeling of urgency and readiness. In a way this phrase is an indicative of one event happening over the other without the receiver of such acts gets any opportunity of rest (+ quickly, + shortly, + speedily).
  3. Noticed also in this verse how it is important the job of the angels in the lives of the followers of the Lord. God gave the task to one of His angels to take through the spiritual world the message to His “slave” John.
    1. The definition of the word slave;
      1. A slave, bondman, man of servile condition
        1. a slave
        2. one who gives himself up to another’s will those whose service is used by Christ in extending and advancing his cause among men
        3. devoted to another to the disregard of one’s own interests
        4. a servant, attendant

Rev 1:2 who testified of the Word of God and the witness of Jesus Christ, even as many things as he saw.

  1. This verse is the resume of John the Apostle and his achievement through his ministry.  This is given not by the mouth of the Apostle but thru the declaration of the Holy Spirit in an indication of the Apostle’s dedication to the Lord’s will and desire, been the Apostle a “slave” of Jesus Christ. This is an important verse; here we see how the Lord sees each of our labor and us. Please let me make very clear, no action or doing will give to anyone without exception a free ride to Eternity, the gift of Eternity with the Lord is received by the acceptance of Him in our hearts as the only Savior of our lives. Never the less there is also important to know, once you make that step of acceptance of the Lord as your only Savior, there is in you as a Follower of the Way a responsibility to work in the field of the Gospel of the Lord by disseminating the Word of GOD, and those that accept the Word of GOD and repent thru Jesus, in you there is a responsibility to “discipleship” the lives of those new believers until they are capable to be ministers on their own in such fields as you are, and finally as a believer you must care for the needy, the widow and the orphan. See graphic below;

Job Description of a Disciple of the Lord  (Click on this link to see this PDF File)

Rev 1:3

(3) Blessed is the one reading, and those hearing the Words of this prophecy, and keeping the things having been written; for the time is near.

Since my childhood I have heard many leaders/preachers/others making reference of this verse, but I must admit even when I, myself had done the same, there are not many of them that the reference allotted to such verse is either full or partially right. It is completely clear; the Book of Revelation is the only Book of the Bible that promise a blessing. But many times over, that blessing had been said it is for the reader of such Book, when in reality the blessing promised in this Book is not only to the reader but also to the hearers of the Book. The term “reader” is in a singular term, making an incredible and interesting point that must be seeing with the spiritual eyes of the Holy Spirit, every believer must work independently on the fields of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus. Even when no labor will give you a free pass to Salvation / Eternity with the Lord (remember that such Gift is by Grace and Grace only), never the least, you and only you are responsible to disseminated the message of the Gospel, there will be many listening to what you saying, how you saying it, why you saying it… Most important is the fact that those who are listening will be blessed by the hearing and the hearing of the Word of GOD. Read the below verse:

  • 1Th 2:13

(13) And because of this we give thanks to God without ceasing, that having received the Word of hearing from us, you welcomed it as of God, not as a word of men, but as it is, truly the Word of God, which also works in you, the ones believing.

There is an important warning given in this verse for those that are reading and/or hearing, which is, “you must keep the things having been written”. The things having been written are not only in the Book of Revelation but is indicative of the things written on the Word of GOD, this is very clear because the moment that is speaking to the reader and the hearers is does specifically stated, “…of this prophecy…” but this specification is not so then after. It does specifically gives another warning as an ultimatum, said that the “…time is near”.

Rev 1:4

(4) John to the seven assemblies in Asia: Grace to you, and peace, from the One who is, and who was, and who is coming, and from the seven spirits which are before His throne;

In verse 4 is very noticeable the speaker is changing, from the Holy Spirit to John the Apostle, from here on the Apostle is writing to the “seven assemblies in Asia”.

Before we continue with our study, once again we must establish the clarity of some terms of which, we as followers had been conditioned to accept without questioning neither their definitions nor their roots. These terms are as follow:

  1. Assembly
    1. G1577
    2. ἐκκλησία
    3. ekklēsia
    4. ek-klay-see’-ah
  1. a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place, an assembly
  2. an assembly of the people convened at the public place of the council for the purpose of deliberating
  • the assembly of the Israelites
  1. any gathering or throng of men assembled by chance, tumultuously in a Christian sense an assembly of Christians gathered for worship in a religious meeting
  2. a company of Christians, or of those who, hoping for eternal salvation through Jesus Christ, observe their own religious rites, hold their own religious meetings, and manage their own affairs, according to regulations prescribed for the body for order’s sake
  3. those who anywhere, in a city, village, constitute such a company and are united into one body
  • the whole body of Christians scattered throughout the earth
  • the assembly of faithful Christians already dead and received into heaven Synonym : See Definition5897
  1. from a compound of 1537 and a derivative of 2564; a calling out, i.e. (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both):-assembly, church. see GREEK for 1537 see GREEK for 2564

Many versions of the Bible use in this verse the term “church” and even though, we (believers) have been told it is an acceptable translation of the term, there is my personal experience; such translation is far from it. If we look closely to the verse composition, it is simple to see the fact that it is talking not about a church, as we know it on today’s society (by this means a group of believers under a roof singing and listening a preacher exhortation/message), but instead about a “public gathering”. I like to make reference to “Early Church History by Verlyn D. Verbrugge; Zondervan Quick reference Library” in page 13 indicates that the public gathering of the “Followers of the Way” were mainly in homes and in some instances in synagogues as is it presumably due to the general believe of the time that Christianity was a sect from Judaism (this is paraphrasing the content). This took place around the end of the Second Century or even further into the beginning of the third century AD.

John continues with the normal salutation to the reader and hearers of the Book. During his salutation he (John) also included the name of the “One” and with that unique title he also address the different times and space known to man, past, present and future.   John does it in a way in were the present is at the beginning of the statement, “from the One who is, and who was, and who is coming…” . This is due to the fact that God does not want his people to worry about their lives based on their past experiences, nor to worry about the future of them either. He (GOD) is the Only Living God and as is stated on his Word, He has everything under His care and plan for His people:

  • Heb_13:5 Set your way of life without money-loving, being satisfied with present things; for He has said, “Not at all will I leave you, not at all will I forsake you,” never! Deut. 31:6

When the Apostle refers to the “One”, the Holy Spirit is talking through John about the Lord Jesus Christ. Noticed how the term “One” is spelled out in the middle sentence, on a capital “O”, this is distinctive to a proper name.   This proper name belongs to non other than the “Only Begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ”.   This particular observation also help you to understand the point of the Trilogy in GOD, but this just to mention it because that could be a study by itself.

[It is very important to indicates that in many translations, this is over looked (reason to such omission could be the translator effort to accommodating the text to the particular time of the reader to use the translation, or whatever reason might be), it is clear this is omitted in many translations. If that is the case on your translation, please try to find an “LITV” translation of the Bible for your personal use. My advise to the serious Bible reader download e-Sword, here is the llink ( http://www.e-sword.net/ ). This is a great source for your Bible Study and has many translations in many languages to fit your needs and demand.   Rick Meyers wrote it and it is my main source for my Bible Studies such at this one]. Let me demonstrate this to you by using the same verse but in different translations such as the “LITV”, the version used is inside the parenthesis, remember we are using the following verse “Rev. 1:4”. Do you notice the difference? :

  1. (LEB) John, to the seven churches in Asia: grace to you and peace from the one who is and the one who was and the one who is coming, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne,
  2. (LITV) John to the seven assemblies in Asia: Grace to you, and peace, from the One who is, and who was, and who is coming, and from the seven spirits which are before His throne;
  3. (MKJV) John to the seven churches which are in Asia. Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is coming; and from the seven spirits which are before His throne;
  4. (Murdock) John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and quietude, from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;

Let’s continue our Bible Study on “Rev 1:4”:

Rev 1:4

  • (4) John to the seven assemblies in Asia: Grace to you, and peace, from the One who is, and who was, and who is coming, and from the seven spirits which are before His throne;

I like to bring your attention to the rest of the verse, which non-the less is as interesting as the rest, “…and from the seven spirits which are before His throne…”, on this particular expression many believers/leaders/preachers/and what not, many even do not even talk about it, but those that do so think this is referring to the seven angels of the seven assemblies and just a few know this is actually talking about the “Third Person of the Trilogy, The Holy Spirit”. J. Vaughan, Fifty Sermons, 8th series, p. 156. Also makes this observation in regard to this point. We should look the following verse in the Book of Isaiah:

  • Isa 11:1-2

(1) And a Shoot goes out from the stump of Jesse, and a Branch will bear fruit out of his roots.

  • (2) And the Spirit of Jehovah shall rest on Him; He will have the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and power, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Jehovah.

Here the Scripture is talking about the Lord Jesus Christ, but interesting enough, in verse 2 indicates several qualities, which also are known as the “seven manifestations of the Holy Spirit”. Let’s see them all in a simple lay out:

  1. …The Spirit of Jehovah shall rest on Him…
  2. …The Spirit of Wisdom…
  3. …The Spirit of understanding…
  4. …The Spirit of Counsel…
  5. …The Spirit of Power…
  6. …The Spirit of Knowledge…
  7. …The Spirit of Fear of Jehovah…

This was the way the Holy Spirit was known before the “Grace” or “Redemption thru the Blood of Jesus on the Cross”. Noticed in “Rev 1:4” also indicates that these “seven spirit are before His throne” which is also a very clear indication of the seven manifestations of the Holy Spirit.

Another observation I like to make, is the fact that many believers/preachers/leaders/and what not, they think the number 7 is the number of perfection or a divine number, but not so. The number seven “7” is the number of completion, for example:

  • Seven days of creation
  • Seventh day was the day God rested
  • Seven Angels and Trumpets
  • Seven Seals
  • Seven assemblies
  • Seven stars

And so on, as you see, you as a believer might come to the conclusion that the number seven is “divine” in nature, but read the below verse and you will notice it is not so, but instead, the meaning of “completion”, let see these verses;

  • Rev_12:3 And another sign was seen in the heavens. And, behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns! And on his heads were seven diadems,
  • Rev_13:1 And I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten diadems, and on its heads names of blasphemy.

I am sure you will agree with me that the number seven is not a divine number but instead a number of completions, we might say perfection, and whether is Heavenly inspired or not.

Rev 1:5-6

(5) even from Jesus Christ the Faithful Witness, the First-born out of the dead, and the Ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him loving us and washing us from our sins by His blood,

(6) and made us kings and priests to God, even His Father. To Him is the glory and the might forever and ever. Amen.

On verse 5 The Holy Spirit through John the Apostle, is recognizing some titles that our Lord Jesus is entitle to, let’s see them one by one:

  • 1) The Faithful Witness
    1. Isa_55:4 Behold, I gave Him a Witness to peoples, a Leader and Commander of peoples.
    2. 3Jn_1:12 Witness has been borne to Demetrius by all, and by the truth itself. And we also bear witness, and you know that our witness is true.
    3. Rev_3:14 And to the angel of the assembly of Laodicea, write: These things says the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Head of the creation of God:
  • 2) The First-born out of the dead
    1. Col_1:18 And He is the Head of the body, the assembly, who is the Beginning, the First-born out of the dead, that He be preeminent in all things;
  • 3) The Ruler of the kings of the earth
    1. Dan_8:25 And also through his skill he will make deceit succeed in his land. And he will lift himself up in his heart, and be at ease; he shall destroy many. He shall also stand up against the Ruler of rulers, but he shall be shattered without a hand.

He Loves us and washed us from our sins, verse 5 could be seeing in the following verse:

  • 1) Joh 3:16
    1. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone believing into Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
  • 2) Rom_3:25
    1. whom God set forth as a propitiation through faith in His blood, as a demonstration of His righteousness through the passing over of the sins that had taken place before, in the forbearance of God,
  • 3) Rom_5:9
    1. Much more then, being justified now by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath through Him.

Verse 6 said that we are made kings and priests to God, let see that in the following verses:

  • 1) Rev_5:10
    1. and made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign over the earth.

Rev 1:7

(7) “Behold, He comes with the clouds,” and “every eye will see Him, and the ones who pierced” Him, and all the tribes of the earth “will wail on account of Him.” Yes, Amen. Dan. 7:13; Zech. 12:10

It is without a doubt, the one who is the subject in this verse is the Lord Jesus Christ, but before we start to see how and why He is coming with clouds, there is a great deal to remember that He also left with clouds, let see that in the following verse;

  • Act_1:9
    1. And saying these things, as they looked on, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him from their sight

So what better way to coming back but the same way He was taken, brought up by the clouds:

  • Luk_21:27
    1. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and much glory. Dan. 7:13

Jesus Christ Himself sited the above verse and He is not a liar…

On verse 7 there is a portion that many, in today’s generation, think they know exactly what it mean:

  1. “every eye will see Him, and the ones who pierced” Him, and all the tribes of the earth “will wail on account of Him.” Yes, Amen.

Young generation can’t understand their lives without what is call “world wide web”, this is what allowed anyone on one part the world to connect with anyone around the other part of the world, whether is by video/text/or any other media created with such purpose. Having this in mind, many think what the Bible is referring to in this portion is about such capabilities. It might be so, but to be honest, I really doubt it. The human mind is so limited specially in regard to the spiritual world in were God, as in every dimension, is the One who control every wave and every thing that in such dimensions exist. Please remember that for God, there is not such thing as Time/Space/Matter etc.

Please read the below verse:

  • Eph 3:18
    1. that you may be given strength to grasp, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and depth and height,

Is quite difficult to put this image in perspective, but I will do my best to help you to see such incredible image of a man given him/herself to what I call “The Fourth Dimensional Model of a Man of GOD”. Please understand that God is not limited to any dimension at all, or to any number of dimensions for that matter, nor I am saying that God is either the fourth dimension or nothing of that nature, absolutely not. Here is a simple graphic to illustrate visually the four dimensions that the Apostle Paul is referring to:

The Four Dimensions of The Man of God  (Click on this link to see this PDF File and the below file link is amazing)

( Here is what is call a “Tesarrac”, which is a square in a fourth-dimensional level.)

8-cell

This image above described, will help you appreciate how a Christian is when he /she has a personal relationship with the Lord.  Nothing will pull you out of Him…

In other words, the man that is dedicated to God and God’s work, nothing else is either in or out that will pull him/her from the magnificent power of His Grace.

Going back to our point on verse 7 that said the following; “““every eye will see Him, and the ones who pierced” Him, and all the tribes of the earth “will wail on account of Him.” Yes, Amen.”.   This particular verse is an incredible statement of power from our God and Lord, especially when mentioned in a very specific way those who pierced Him. See that the statement is not to the future generations only, but to all generations and all humankind. The very dramatic and descriptive way in were the Holy Spirit through John the apostle express, “all the tribes of the earth will wail”… This action of wailing is a painful deep rooted to the core of the bone scream.

Rev 1:8

(8) I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, says the Lord, the One who is, and who was, and who is coming, the Almighty.

This verse is always brought up by many preachers/leaders/ministers/believers you name it, but it is interesting to know that in accordance with the Hebrew customs the name of Yahweh could not even being pronounce (there were no vowels capable to give a sound), could not either to be written, it was against the Hebrew customs. Also there was a particular custom when the “scribes” were writing the Word of God the name of God, “Elohym” was written with the first letter of their alphabet (א ) (Alef) and last letter (ת) (Tav) at the end of the name indicative of the beginning and the end, but when it was translated in the Greek Language there was no letter such as (ת) so they used their last letter on the Greek Alphabet which is Omega (W/w).   The name of Elohim is the name given to God Himself as the Creator of all, but the Name “YHWH” is when the God of Israel is closest to the humankind in demonstrating His attributes of kindness and love toward His creation/the humankind. There was so until God came as the form of Christ the Savior. Let’s see Rev 21:6 in different translations to demonstrate my point:

Rev 21:6

(6) And He said to me, It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the Ending. To the one thirsting, I will freely give of the fountain of the Water of Life.

Rev 21:6

(6) AndG2532 he saidG2036 unto me,G3427 It is done.G1096 IG1473 amG1510 (G3588) AlphaG1 andG2532 (G3588) Omega,G5598 theG3588 beginningG746 andG2532 theG3588 end.G5056 IG1473 will giveG1325 unto him that is athirstG1372 ofG1537 theG3588 fountainG4077 of theG3588 waterG5204 of lifeG2222 freely.G1432

Rev 21:6

(6) καιG2532 CONJ ειπενG3004 V-2AAI-3S μοιG1473 P-1DS γεγονανG1096 V-2RAI-3P εγωG1473 P-1NS | | [ειμι]G1510 V-PAI-1S | τοG3588 T-NSN αλφαG1 N-LI καιG2532 CONJ τοG3588 T-NSN ωG5598 N-LI ηG3588 T-NSF αρχηG746 N-NSF καιG2532 CONJ τοG3588 T-NSN τελοςG5056 N-NSN εγωG1473 P-1NS τωG3588 T-DSM διψωντιG1372 V-PAP-DSM δωσωG1325 V-FAI-1S εκG1537 PREP τηςG3588 T-GSF πηγηςG4077 N-GSF τουG3588 T-GSN υδατοςG5204 N-GSN τηςG3588 T-GSF ζωηςG2222 N-GSF δωρεανG1432 ADV

Rev 21:6

(6) ויאמר אלי היה נהיתה אני האלף והתו הראש והסוף אני אתן לצמא ממעין מים חיים חנם׃

In the verses above, I like to show you that even when in many translations this verse of Revelation 21:6 has the letters Alpha and Omega spelled out, they are not in the originals.   When it does talks about the Alpha and the Omega, there is a beginning already known from point a to point z (speaking in a figurative point of view), in other words, we know all about the beginning on the Word of God, the letter (A/a) “Alpha” is spelled out in the original document in the Greek language (see this fantastic event in αλφαG1 N-LI above in the Greek translation), but when is concerning the Ending of Times as is written, because this event had not taking active action yet the symbol (W/w) appears in the Word of God on its original text and not spelled out as a word “Omega”, until the moment this events will take active and complete action by the Lord of lords Jesus Christ the Savior, then and only then will be spelled out.

Rev 1:9-10

(9) I, even your brother John, and co-sharer in the affliction, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, came to be in the island being called Patmos because of the Word of God, and because of the witness of Jesus Christ.

(10) I came to be in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

On verses 9 and 10 John the Apostle is given a clear cut declaration of his actions, making sure of his emotional and physical state of mind, indicating that there is not a mental or sycophantic disturbance, nor a physical debility nor anything other than his own human power and authority on his own recollections of vision and acts declared by him. He is also showing that he is in power of his own actions and that no one is in any way shape or form forcing him to make such statements of his vision. He also declared the location of this vision, the Island of Patmos.   Interesting enough John said very clear the reason of him to be in such Island is due to his believes, of him to be a witness of the Lord and because of the Word of God.

During the Roman political power, it was considered an illegal act to declare anything to the public and even on privates meetings against the political power of the Roman engine, the ruler at the time of John the Apostle’s exile was the emperor “Domitian”. It was a normal practice to exile those who in one way or another were violators of such actions.   Traditionally it is known that the apostle John was exile to the Island of Patmos due to his believes and predications of the Word of God (this is very clear in verse 9) it was in Patmos where the Apostle had his vision. This was one of three islands in the Sporades area. This is a very clear demonstration of the validity of the Word of God especially if you read the below verse:

  • Rom 8:28
    1. But we know that to the ones loving God all things work together for good, to those being called according to purpose;

As you see, even when John the apostle was exile, the Lord used such circumstances to make His will and power noticed, not just in John’s life but transcending through the generations for us to be able to prepare for our encounter with the Lord.

Illustrated Map of the Patmos Island and the Seven Assemblies.  PDF File.  Double Click on this link.
Illustrated Map of the Patmos Island and the Seven Assemblies. PDF File. Double Click on this link.

Rev 1:11

(11)   saying, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last; also, What you see, write in a scroll, and send to the seven assemblies of Asia: to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamos, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.

The beginning of this verse is a very powerful introduction of the Only Living God, noticed how God use something that the human mind can identified with as a point of departure, to a point of end, without using the word eternity. God is expressing the only limitation the humankind could relay to, that is “time”. God is not subject to time, nor limited to anything known to us, nor to anything not known by us, but because this is the best way in were the human mind can realized the power of the All Mighty, He Himself give that point as a point of reference to the humankind.

We already cover the reference to the Alpha (A/a) and to which we must add that the numerical value in the Greek alphabet of this letter is one (1) and coincidentally is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, and the Omega (W/w) which is the letter number 24 in the Greek alphabet, but a numeric value of 800, the real direct translation to Omega is “The Great O”. You can always make reference to the earlier graphic of the fourth dimension of the man of God mentioned earlier.

The Lord continued commanding the apostle to write whatever he sees and most importantly to send it to the “Seven Assemblies of Asia”. Here is when things take a little bit of a turn. This particular turn will be seeing and analyzed by all of us in the next two chapters. Once we start to do so, I will respectfully suggest hanging in there because it could be a bumpy ride. For now I will like to mention these seven assemblies by name:

  1. Ephesus
  2. Smyrna
  3. Pergamos
  4. Thyatira
  5. Sardis
  6. Philadelphia
  7. Laodicea

We will go into details in regard of why these seven assemblies and not any other, even when there bigger and more prominent assemblies in the area, such as the assembly of Antioch (the headquarter of Christianity) or for that matter the assembly of Jerusalem. Or you might ask why in the Asia area and not in Judea or anywhere else?

Seven Assemblies Map  (By Clicking on this link you will be able to see the Seven assemblies and also the Patmos Island in where the Apostle John was exile.  The arrows indicate the order in were the Lord mentioned the Assemblies by name.)

Rev 1:12-20

(12) And I turned to see the voice which spoke with me.

(13) And having turned, I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, having been clothed to the feet, and having been girded with a golden girdle at the breasts.

(14) And the hairs of His head were white as white wool, as snow, and His eyes as a flame of fire;

(15) and His feet like burnished brass having been fired in a furnace; and His voice as a sound of many waters;

(16) and having in His right hand seven stars; and a sharp, two-edged sword proceeding out of His mouth, and His face shining as the sun in its power.

(17) And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet, as dead. And He put His right hand on me, saying to me, Do not fear. I am the First and the Last,

(18) and the Living One; and I became dead; and, behold, I am living forever and ever. Amen. And I have the keys to hell, and of death.

(19)   Write what things you saw, and what things are, and what things are about to occur after these things.

(20) The mystery of the seven stars which you saw on My right, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are angels of the seven assemblies, and the seven lampstands you saw are seven assemblies.

From 12 through the 20th verse there are many important points to speak about:

  1. John the apostle is specifically expressing he hears an audible voice, to make sure that the readers understand this is not from his imagination.
  2. The Apostle mentioned for the first time what he described as seven “lampstands
    1. These lampstands, as the Apostle described them, are made of gold.
  1. The lampstand are the seven assemblies, one lampstand for each assembly. We know that the believer is the messenger of the “Light” which is Christ. See verse below:
    1. Eph_5:8 for you then were darkness, but are now light in the Lord; walk as children of light.
    2. Eph_5:13 But all things being exposed by the light are clearly revealed, for everything having been revealed is light.
    3. Col_1:12   giving thanks to the Father, who has made us fit for a share of the inheritance of the saints in light,
    4. 1Th_5:5 You are all sons of light and sons of day; we are not of night, nor of darkness.
    5. 1Ti_6:16 the only One having immortality, living in light that cannot be approached, whom no one of men saw, nor can see; to whom be honor and everlasting might. Amen.
    6. 2Ti_1:10 but now revealed through the appearance of our Savior, Jesus Christ, indeed making death of no effect, bringing life and incorruptibility to light through the gospel,

Each of us has the responsibility to give by grace what by grace we had received; we are the lampstand and not the light that shines through, so any lampstand could be replaced but not the light;

  • Act_20:24 But I make account of nothing, nor do I hold my life precious to myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, fully to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

These lampstand were made of “Gold

  • Gold Valued and used because of its rarity, beauty, and workability. It can be melted without harm and is extremely malleable. Thus it can be used for cast objects, inlays, or overlays.
    1. These characteristics are the ones that should exist in every one who truly believes and is a “Follower of the Way” Jesus our Lord.

The Apostle also described what is known as “One like the Son of Man”, this is also the same description found in Daniel 7:1 and in Rev 14:14, let’s read the verses:

  • Dan_7:13 I was looking in the night visions. And behold! One like the Son of Man came with the clouds of the heavens. And He came to the Ancient of Days. And they brought Him near before Him.
  • Rev_14:14 And I saw; and behold, a white cloud and on the cloud One sitting like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle.

John the Apostle is also describing the Lord in an amazing incredible way, with a great detail and power.   It says He has “…seven stars in His right hand; and a sharp two-edge sword proceeding out of His mouth…

  1. The seven stars
    1. These seven stars are angels of the seven assemblies, keep your eyes and ears open to the description that is given from the Lord to John the apostle of what the seven stars are, once again “…the seven stars are angels of the seven assemblies…”.         We as readers normally start to assuming based on what we call common sense, this part of the description never stay that the seven stars are seven angels, one for each of the seven assemblies, and of course it might be so, but it also might be that they all work as a one when it comes to the assemblies, whether one worked on one assembly or all work on one assembly, not for me to know but one way or the other these are seven angels with a lot to deal with. Also there are many speculations about these particular angels to be the human leaders/pastors/ministers and so on, others think these angels are actually heavenly angels that work in favor of the assemblies during their ministry on earth, don’t know. I can’t tell now for sure because as the word of the Lord says:
  1. 1Co_13:12 For now we see through a mirror in dimness, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will fully know even as I also was fully known.

The Apostle also indicated of the two-edge sword coming out of His mouth, and we all know how Paul describes the Word of God:

  • Eph_6:17   Also, take “the helmet of salvation,” and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God; Isa. 59:17 LXX-Isa. 11:4; MT-Isa. 49:2; LXX and MT-Hos. 6:5
  • Heb_4:12 For the Word of God is living, and powerfully working, and sharper than every two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of both soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge of the thoughts and intentions of the heart;
  • Isa 59:21
    • As for Me, this is My covenant with them, says Jehovah: My Spirit who is on you, and My Words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your seed, or out of the mouth of your seed’s seed, from now on and forever, says Jehovah.
  • Isa 11:4
    • But He shall judge the poor in righteousness, and shall decide rightly for the meek of the earth. And He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and He shall cause the wicked to die with the breath of His lip.
  • Isa 49:2
    • And He made My mouth like a sharp sword; He hid Me in the shadow of His hand, and made Me a polished arrow; He hid Me in His quiver;
  • Hos 6:5
    • So I have hewn them by the prophets; I have slain them by the Words of My mouth; and your judgments have been as the light that goes forth.

If this Bible Study was helping you or any one that you know, please leave your comments and or send your email comments.  Also disseminate this Bible Study to educate others.  God Bless You and keep reading.

Daniel and the End Times

Daniel 10 is just an introduction to the chapters 11 and 12.  These two chapters are so precise that many skeptics and other non-believers experts indicate that there is no other way for these chapters to be written other than after the events and many go even further, saying that there is no other way other than no just being written after the events but also that the writer was an actual eye witness.  We (The Believers and followers of the WAY, that is the Lord Jesus Christ) know that there is no such a thing but the total power and inspiration of the Holy Spirit in Daniel.

If we go with those skeptics thinking we will find out that there is a few details that will not allow such argument to be valid, for example:

If in fact these chapters were written after the fact (as the skeptics claim) they were written after the Septuagint translation (this translation was about 270 BC), but there is no argument that the Book of Daniel is part of the Old Testament and as a result of such, the Book of Daniel was included on the Books for the translators that had the task to bring the “Writings” from the Hebrew to the Greek language.  These were new generations of Hebrews born and raised on a non-native land that could not speak nor write or read their native language but Greek, enormous Hebrew population in this part of the World.  This action is not a singular manifestation of this time and location, this is also seen in our time, for example, here in the USA the Spanish speakers population had force the English speaking population to translate documents and laws to Spanish language, but the new generation of such Spanish speakers born and raised in the USA losses the ability of their parents language.

Many of these events on this chapter are in fact subsequent to the period of the Septuagint translation.

Drop of Knowledge:

(For you to have an idea of what is happening on the other side of the world not known at this point by the Europeans and this other half of the world is that the “Maya” civilization is taking shape in a land later known as Mexico, event verified by carbon tests in 1956 AD). The History of the World Mayan Empire (Double click for you to see the Image that will allow you to see the World Empires development on the beginning of the century including the world not known at the time, the “New World” later known as the American Continent).

In an interesting way we must understand that in this particular chapter 11 of the Book of Daniel there is a historical narrative of events (for convenience let’s say from verse 1 throughout verses 20), and of course a mix of historical with a connotations of a futuristic events to the end times in the middle and end part of the chapter (let’s say verse 21 through maybe verse 35 and from there on the end of the chapter are verses related to the end times).

(Dan 11:1)  And I, in the first year of Darius the Mede, I was standing for a supporter and for a fortress for him.

This verse is the end of chapter 10, which is the end in where the Angel is speaking to Daniel in regard to the Angel’s support to the King Darius from the Medes. As we saw in the previous chapters.

Daniel’s Timeline Based on Chapters on PDF (Double this link for you to be able to see the image in a PDF File)

(Dan 11:2)  And now I will declare the truth to you: Behold! Three kings shall stand up in Persia; and the fourth shall be rich in all greater riches. And when he is strong through his riches, he shall stir up all against the kingdom of Greece.

(Ezr 4:6)  And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, they wrote an accusation against the people of Judah and Jerusalem.

(Est 1:1)  And it happened, in the days of Ahasuerus (he is Ahasuerus who reigned from India even to Ethiopia, over a hundred and twenty seven provinces)

(Est 1:2)  in those days when King Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom in Shushan the palace,

Ahasuerus also known as Xerxes I is the king here in verse 2 Chapter 11 in the Book Daniel the kings that preceded him were

1.      Cambyses

2.      Bardiya

3.      Darius I

Xerxes I lead a 2 million men Army, which were on a training for a period of four years for this battle, against the Greeks forces, and even though he (Xerxes I) was defeated on the battle, still causing to the Greeks a great deal of moral, financial and political devastation.

(Dan 11:3)  And a mighty king shall stand up and shall rule with great authority and do according to his will.

This is of course Alexander The Great.

(Dan 11:4)  And when he stands up his kingdom shall be shattered and shall be divided to the four winds of the heavens, and not to his posterity, nor according to his authority with which he ruled. For his kingdom shall be pulled up and given to others besides these.

During these verses we could say it is in regard to Alexander the Great, and incredible leader that conquered the entire known world known at that time.  It is very important to mention that the Battle in where Xerxes I and the Greeks were involved in, as we mentioned before was a major trigger of bitterness for Alexander to battled the Persians.  Alexander the Great die in a mysterious manner as a young man in his early thirties (maybe thirty two years old or a little bit later) as a result of what was believe an infectious disease.

After his death, his kingdom was divided among his four generals, not because Alexander did not had any descendent, but because the descendent of Alexander were kill before they were able to take over power.

Alexander The Great Territory divided among his Generals  (Double Click on this link to be able to see the image in a PDF File)

These are the four winds of heavens:

Ø      Ptolemy = South (Egypt)

Ø      Seleucus = North (Syria/Palestine)

Ø      Antigonus

Ø      Perdiccas

For the purpose of our Bible Study we will concentrate on Ptolemy and Seleucus Alexander The Great Territory divided among his Generals  (Double click in this link to be able to see the image in a PDF File).

There is a continue struggle for power between Ptolemy and Seleucus and as a result of their geographical location, Israel is place in between both, suffering the consequences of their struggle for power.

(Dan 11:5)  And the king of the south shall be strong. And one of his rulers, even he will be strong on him, and he will rule. His rule shall be a great rule.

(Dan 11:6)  And at the end of the years they shall join together, and the king of the south’s daughter shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement. But she shall not keep the power of the arm. And he will not stand, nor his arm. But she and those who brought her shall be given up, also her begetter and her supporter in these times.

(Dan 11:7)  But the shoots of her roots will stand in his place, and he shall come to the army and will enter into the fortress of the king of the north. And he will act against them and will show strength.

(Dan 11:8)  And he will also bring their gods with their casted images, with silver and gold vessels of their possessions, into exile to Egypt. And for years he will stand away from the king of the north.

(Dan 11:9)  And the king of the south will come into his kingdom and will return to his own land.

(Dan 11:10)  But his sons shall be stirred up and shall gather a multitude of great forces. And one certainly shall come and overflow and pass through. And he will return to his fortress and be stirred up.

(Dan 11:11)  And the king of the south will be bitter and will go out and fight with him, with the king of the north. And he shall raise a great multitude, but the multitude shall be given into his hand.

(Dan 11:12)  And having carried away the host, his heart will be lifted up. And he will cause myriads to fall, but he shall not be strong.

(Dan 11:13)  For the king of the north shall return and raise a greater host than the former. And at the end of times, years, coming he shall come with a great army and with much equipment.

(Dan 11:14)  And in those times many shall stand up against the king of the south. And the sons of the violent ones of your people shall rise up to establish the vision, but they shall stumble.

(Dan 11:15)  And the king of the north shall come and pour out a siege mound and seize a fortified city. And the arms of the south shall not stand, nor his choice people, for there will be no firmness to stand.

(Dan 11:16)  But he who comes against him will do as he desires, and none shall stand before him. And he shall stand in the glorious land, and destruction shall be in his hand.

(Dan 11:17)  And he shall set his face to go in with the might of all his kingdom, and upright ones with him; so he shall do. And he shall give the daughter of women to him, to destroy it. But she shall not stand, nor be for him.

(Dan 11:18)  And he shall turn his face to the coastlands and shall capture many. But a ruler shall make cease his reproach for him, but his reproach shall return to him.

(Dan 11:19)  And he shall turn his face toward the fortresses of his own land, but he will stumble and fall and shall not be found.

(Dan 11:20)  And one who passes over a tax exacter shall stand in his place, for the glory of the kingdom. But within a few days he will be shattered, but not in anger and not in battle.

The woman here in verse 6 is Berenice.  Antiochus made peace with Ptolemy II, ending the Second Syrian War. Antiochus repudiated his wife Laodicea I and exiled her to the city of Ephesus.  To seal the treaty, he married Ptolemy’s daughter Berenice and received an enormous dowry.  Later in history there is another player call Antiochus III also known as the “Antiochus the Great” and as a perspective there is Antiochus IV, and I mentioned this particular because it is Antiochus the IV the one that will have to do with our Bible reading and not the one that the history mentioned as “Antiochus the Great”.

This is a period of around 125 to 130 years of war between powers.

From verse 5 all away throughout verse 20 in the chapter 11 of the Book of Daniel it is expressed the struggle for power among these two kingdoms of the King of the North and the South.

In verse 17 we see also another woman mentioned, and this woman is Ptolemy XII’s daughter “Cleopatra”.  Cleopatra originally ruled jointly with her father, Ptolemy XII, and later with her brothers, Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIV, whom she married as per Egyptian custom, but eventually she became sole ruler.  As pharaoh, she consummated a liaison with Julius Caesar that solidified her grip on the throne.  She later elevated her son with Caesar, Caesarion, to co-ruler in name.

Here is where Antiochus IV take action and seized the throne by force and there is again a power struggle.

During this time a great power is emerging and will be known  as the Roman Empire.  This Roman Empire is building a great navy and is becoming an incredible part of this struggle for power.

Roman Empired Beginnings (Double click on the link for you to be able to see the image on a PDF File)

(Dan 11:21)  And a despised one shall stand up on his place, and they shall not give to him the honor of the king. But he shall come in while at ease and make strong the kingdom by intrigues.

(Dan 11:22)  And the forces of the overflow shall be swept from before his face, and they will be shattered, and also the ruler of a covenant.

There is believed by Scholars that the person that is referred here in verse 21 throughout 23 is a High Priest from Jerusalem named Onias III.  This priest was killed around 170 to 171 BC.

(Dan 11:23)  And after they join themselves to him, he will practice deceit; for he shall come and shall be strong with a few people.

(Dan 11:24)  He will go in safely, even into the rich places of the province. And he shall do what his fathers have not done, nor his fathers’ fathers. He shall plunder and spoil and scatter goods among them. And he shall devise his plots against the strongholds, even for a time.

(Dan 11:25)  And he will stir up his power and his heart against the king of the south with a great army. And the king of the south will be stirred up to battle with a great and very mighty army. But he shall not stand, for they will devise plots against him.

(Dan 11:26)  Yea, those who eat his food shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow. And many will fall down slain.

(Dan 11:27)  And both of them, the kings, shall have in their hearts to do evil, and they will speak lies at one table. But it will not prosper, for the end still shall be at the appointed time.

(Dan 11:28)  And he will return to his land with great wealth. And his heart shall be against the holy covenant. And he will act, and he shall return to his land.

(Dan 11:29)  At the appointed time he will return and come against the south. But it will not be as the former or as the latter.

(Dan 11:30)  For the Kittim ships will come against him. And he will be pained and turn back and be furious against the holy covenant. And he will act, and he will return and heed the forsakers of the holy covenant.

(Dan 11:31)  And forces will stand away from him, and they will profane the sanctuary, the fortress. And they shall remove the regular sacrifice, and they will place the abomination that desolates.

If you like to see more details about these event please read 1 Maccabees chapter 1 and 2 (the Maccabees are books included in the Apocrypha books and in which is treated of Jewish history under the Maccabean princes).

During this struggle of power, the ones that bring equilibrium to the battle is the Roman’s fleet, which coincidentally is a power that is commencing to emerge in the area and is the kingdom with the most powerful naval fleet at the time.  The naval fleet is located in what is known today as Cyprus, the name that is given here in this chapter is “Kittim”, located at the Mediterranean Sea (known then as Great or Upper Sea).  Antiochus III is humiliated by the Roman fleet commander, in where the Commander of the Fleet draw a circle on the sand and ask to Antiochus III to decided what he was going to do before he (the fleet commander) will step out of the circle, and as a result of this humiliation, Antiochus III bring all his fury against Jerusalem including the practice of idolatry and location of his idols in the Holy of Holies, desecrating the Temple.

Scale of the Holy of Holies   Roman Empire Beginnings  (Double click on this link for you to be able to see the image on a PDF File)

After the Maccabean revolt the power is brought back to the Jewish people and the Temple is re-dedicated on the third anniversary of the revolt, and what is known today as “Hanukkah”.  Please read below:

(Joh 10:22)  And the Feast of Dedication took place in Jerusalem, and it was winter.

(Dan 11:32)  And he will defile by flatteries those who do evil against the covenant. But the people who know their God will be strong and will work.

Here is prophesied the victory of the People of God on the Maccabees revolt.

(Dan 11:33)  And those who understand among the people will instruct many, yet they will stumble by the sword and by flame, by exile and spoil for days.

(Dan 11:34)  And when they shall stumble, they will be helped with a little help. But many will join them with hypocrisy.

(Dan 11:35)  And many of those who understand shall stumble, to refine and to purge them, and to make white to the time of the end. For it is yet for the appointed time.

From here on, that is from verses 36 through 45 the way in where the chapter is related to the reader is in a way that does not fit history yet, and appear to be for the end times.  Up to verse 35 the scholars agreed that it is so précised to history events that the only way this was written was by after the facts and as an eyewitness of the events, but we know that was not the case, I must say.  This was inspired by the Holy Spirit to Daniel the Man of God.

Once again, from verse 36 and through out verse 45 the way the vocabulary is constructed and used it is as if it was for the end times and in no way for the moment in where history had been written.

(Dan 11:36)  And the king shall do according to his will. And he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god; he shall even speak marvelous things against the God of gods and shall prosper until the fury is completed. For that which is decreed shall be done.

(Dan 11:37)  He shall not regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women; yea, he will not come to any god. For he shall magnify himself above all.

In these verse there is clear view that the one who is described in these verse is the one of the end times, as we will see in the below references:

(Rev 13:6)  And it opened its mouth in blasphemy toward God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, and those tabernacling in Heaven.

(2Th 2:2)  for you not to be quickly shaken in the mind, nor to be disturbed, neither through a spirit, nor through speech, nor through letter, as through us, as if the Day of Christ has come.

(2Th 2:3)  Do not let anyone deceive you in any way, because that Day will not come unless first comes the falling away, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,

(2Th 2:4)  the one opposing and exalting himself over everything being called God, or object of worship, so as for him “to sit in the temple of God” as God, setting forth himself, that he is God. Dan. 11:36; Eze. 28:2

(Eze 28:2)  Son of man, say to the ruler of Tyre, So says the Lord Jehovah, Because your heart is lifted up, and you have said, I am a god, I sit in the seat of gods, in the heart of the seas; yet you are a man, and not God, though you give your heart as the heart of gods.

There are few things we must bring to a clear view on this particular passage, and you as a reader must understand that when you read this passage you must read it and see it from a Jewish point of view only.

Lets start with some of those points… he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god…  This is very interesting because here the word “god” is used in lower case, that is that the figure here indicated will not allowed any idol to take his place, does that sound familiar to you?  Remember that the anti-Christ (means the impostor) will try to replace and duplicate God in every way and as a result of it he (the impostor) will not share his limited glory.   … he shall even speak marvelous things against the God of gods…  In this part of the verse 36 the word “God” is in Capital letter, which means that is referring to the “Only Living God”, and as we read before in the Book of Revelation Chapter 13 verse 6 that will be a power given to him (the impostor) by God, but not because the impostor have such authority on his own, I must make that clear.  … and shall prosper until the fury is completed…  This means that there will be limited time to the impostor’s power.

In verse 37 in Chapter 11 of the Book of Daniel, there is a very important point that I like to speak about and that is the following, … He shall not regard the God of his fathers…  It does say that he (the impostor) shall not regard the God (Capital Letter as for the “Only Living God”) of his fathers.  That phrase makes me think that the impostor is either from a Jewish branch or a descendent of such people.  With this statement I will not like to alarm or make uncomfortable anyone, but I am only expressing what I feel is the interpretation of this passage from my point of view.  Remember that the only people in the history of human kind that expressed in such ways were and are the Jewish people.

There is also another part of this verse 37 that intrigues me, and of course please remember that you must read and see this chapter from a Jewish point of view only and not as a gentile, and that is the following … nor the desire of women… this is a statement that expressed one of the requirements for the Messianic man, this is an echo of Genesis 3:15…

(Gen 3:15)  And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He will bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.

(Dan 11:38)  But in his place he shall honor the god of forces, and he shall honor a god whom his fathers did not know, with gold and silver and with precious stones, and desirable things.

(Dan 11:39)  And he shall act in the strongholds of the fortresses with a foreign god, whom he shall acknowledge. He shall multiply in glory, and he shall cause them to rule over many and shall divide the land for a price.

Once again here we see this particular phrases that are only from the Jewish point of view and not from a gentile world, and manifesting one of the most punishable sins under the Jewish Law, which is idolatry.

(Dan 11:40)  And at the end time, the king of the south will engage in butting with him. And the king of the north shall come against him like a tempest, with chariots and with horsemen and with many ships. And he shall go into the lands and shall overflow and pass over.

(Dan 11:41)  And he shall enter into the glorious land, and many will be stumbled. But these shall escape out of his hand: Edom and Moab, and the chief of the sons of Ammon.

(Dan 11:42)  And his hand will stretch out against the lands, and the land of Egypt shall not escape.

(Dan 11:43)  But he will rule over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all Egypt’s desirable things. And the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.

(Dan 11:44)  But news shall trouble him from the east and from the north. And he will go out with great fury to destroy and to devote many to destruction.

(Dan 11:45)  And he shall plant his palace tents between the seas, in the glorious holy mountain. Yet he shall come to his end, and there is not a helper for him.

From the verse 40 and throughout 45 there is a more view of the end times in the passage but with a more unclear vision of what the meaning is for this passage.  We might try to understand it but it is a little bit complicated.  For instance, many people bring this chapter of Daniel with a conjunction of Ezekiel 38; this particular chapter expressed the king of Gog from the land of Magog.  It is for you to study such chapter and to come up with your own conclusion about if this chapter is talking about this scenario in chapter 11 in Daniel, my personal and humble opinion is that is not the same scenario.

Gog and Magog Map in PDF  (Double in this link for you to be able to see the file in PDF Format)

In this lasts verses, the scripture make references to three landmarks, these are; Edom, Moab and the chief of the sons of Ammon and these portions of lands today are known as the Jordan.  If you notice in the image provided as a reference for your understanding of this Bible Study, the region mentioned here was on the time of Joshua the regions of the tribes of Manasseh, Gad and Reuben accordance with the Book of Joshua. In October 1994 there was a peace treated signed by Israel and Jordan.  In Deuteronomy chapter 4 there is reference to the land of the Jordan as a refuge land to the manslayer:

The Jordan River in Biblical Times  (Double  click in this link to be able to see the image in a PDF Format)

(Deu 4:42)  that the manslayer might flee there, he who killed his neighbor unawares, and did not hate him in times before, and that he fleeing to one of these cities might live:

(Deu 4:43)  Bezer in the wilderness, in the tableland, for the Reubenites; and Ramoth in Gilead for the Gadites; and Golan in Bashan for the Manassites.

Is this part of the end times?

We must agree that verses 36 throughout 45 are verses related to the time of the Great Tribulation and the Armageddon Battle.  Since 400 AD this particular chapter of the book of Daniel it has being viewed as a passage of the anti-Christ.  It is a possibility that between verse 35 (verse in where the historical and narratives events ends in this chapter) and the verse 36 (verse 36 is a post church event) had being few years.

The important thing to understand for us, “the believers in the Lord Jesus Christ”, is that before the anti-Christ to be reveal, the Church (Body of Christ) will be taking away by the Lord Himself and as a consequence of such action the Holy Spirit of God will also be removed from this Earth, leaving completely clear the road for the reveal of the anti-Christ.  You must remember that neither God nor the Holy Spirit of God can be where the sin is present and active, because God is “The Living God” and the Scripture says the following about sin;

Rom_7:8  But sin taking occasion through the commandment worked every lust in me; for apart from Law, sin is dead.

Rom_8:2  For the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus set me free from the law of sin and of death.

We Must be ready for the encounter with Him…

From the gentile king to the King of kings…

This file contain the images related to the Bible Study of Chapter 4 in the Book of Daniel.

Dan 4:1 LITV

(1)  Nebuchadnezzar the king to all the peoples, the nations, and the tongues that dwell in all the earth: Your peace be multiplied. Dan 4:2 LITV

(2)  It seemed good before me to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has done with me.

It is very impressive to read Chapter 4 in the Book of Daniel.  Not everyone can realized how this chapter tell us, the way God Himself work on the life of any person whether he or she is His follower or not, but one thing is for sure, as long as it is part of the will of God, it will work for good, read Romans 8:28:

Rom 8:28 LITV

(28)  But we know that to the ones loving God all things work together for good, to those being called according to purpose;

Something of form, which was usual in proclamations, or circular letters, or any official document issued by the king, Dan_4:1. The royal style which Nebuchadnezzar makes use of has nothing in it of pomp or fancy, but is plain, short, and unaffected – Nebuchadnezzar the king. If at other times he made use of great swelling words of vanity in his title, how he laid them all aside; for he was old, he had lately recovered from a distraction which had humbled and mortified him, and was now in the actual contemplation of God’s greatness and sovereignty.  There is nothing more powerful than a simple text, document or expression, without the elaboration, which could lean toward the misunderstanding of the real root and reason of the idea that is intended.  There is no doubt that by now Nebuchadnezzar knew that there was only One Living God, the Most High God, as He was known by the gentile world.

It is also very interesting to noticed how king Nebuchadnezzar expressed in a form of a testimony the marvelous works that God had done with him, that is very clear at the end of verse two and is also a normal behavior on those that have a personal experience with the God of Heaven to be open witness to the rest of the world.  The declaration is directed not only to his own subjects, but also to all to whom this present writing shall come – to all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth.

Dan 4:3 LITV

(3)  How great are His signs! And how mighty are His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His rule is from generation to generation.

In verse three, there is an immediate element that, whether we can recognize it or not as such, it does exist, and that is the overwhelming influence of the Spirit of the Lord using king Nebuchadnezzar to bring a clear knowledge of the Kingdom to come of the Lord Jesus Christ to the gentile world, please read below:

2Sa 7:12-16 LITV

(12)  When your days are fulfilled, and you lie with your fathers, then I shall raise up your seed after you, who shall come out from your bowels, and I shall establish his kingdom.

(13)  He shall build a house for My Name, and I shall establish the throne of his kingdom forever.

(14)  I shall be a father to him, and he shall be a son to Me. When he sins, then I will chasten him with a rod of men, and with strokes of the sons of men.

(15)  But My mercy shall not be taken from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you.

(16)  And your house shall be established, and your kingdom before you forever. Your throne shall be established forever.

Luk 1:32-33 LITV

(32)  This One will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.

(33)  And He will reign over the house of Jacob to the ages, and of His kingdom there will be no end.

So God use anyone at any giving moment in life to declare His Glory to those that must be manifested.

Dan 4:4-9 LITV

(4)  I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at ease in my house, and flourishing in my palace.

(5)  I saw a dream, and it terrified me, and the thoughts on my bed and visions of my head troubled me.

(6)  So I made a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known to me the meaning of the dream.

(7)  Then the magicians, the conjurers, the Chaldeans, and the star-gazing ones came in. And I told the dream before them, but they did not make its meaning known to me.

(8)  But at last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods. And I told the dream before him, saying,

(9)  O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you, and no secret troubles you, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and its meaning.

From verses 4 thru 9 we see how the events took place as king Nebuchadnezzar himself narrated the facts of his experience.   Look at the way the king said how he was in a relaxing mode, with nothing to worry about nor to be concerned, indicating with this, that this event was not a result of his worry ness or troubles, which were none at the moment of his experience until the dream came to his life.  In many moments of our life’s it does happened and whenever we expected the least, things hit us hard and disturbed our peace confusing us a troubling way.  On those moments we must react as the Psalmist said:

Psa_46:10  Be still and know that I am God! I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth.

Noticed also how the king ordered to his court advisers, that is why they are there for, but also after knowing that no matter how smart or brilliant a human mind is, what really counts in the human life is the relationship of the man and God.  Looked at the following verses:

Pro_2:6  For Jehovah gives wisdom; out of His mouth are knowledge and understanding.

Pro_2:7  He lays up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to the ones who walk in integrity,

Pro_2:10  When wisdom enters into your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul,

Pro_3:13  Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gets understanding.

Look at how the king Nebuchadnezzar called Daniel by his (Daniel’s original name) Jew name first, indicative that Daniel never give up his roots nor his faith or traditions even when he was forced to do so.  A man of God should never put his faith or his roots in the Lord in second place, but above and beyond all and everything, including his own life.

So the king leave to the man of God to determined the meaning of the dream that bother him (the king) so much and for so long.

Dan 4:10-18 LITV

(10)  As to the visions of my head on my bed, I was looking, and, behold, a tree was in the middle of the earth. And its height was great.

(11)  The tree became great and strong, and its height reached to the heaven, and its appearance to the end of all the earth.

(12)  Its leaves were beautiful, and its fruit plentiful, and food for all was in it. The beasts of the field sought shade under it, and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches, and all flesh was fed from it.

(13)  I was looking in the visions of my head on my bed. And, behold, a watcher, even a holy one, came down from the heaven.

(14)  He cried with might and said this: Cut down the tree and cut off its branches. Shake off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the beasts flee from under it, and the birds leave its branches.

(15)  But leave the stump of its roots in the earth, even with a fetter of iron and bronze, in the grass of the field. And let it be wet with the dew of the heavens, and his lot be with the beasts in the grass of the earth.

(16)  Let his heart be changed from man’s, and let the heart of the beasts be given to him. And let seven times pass over him.

(17)  This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the command by the word of the holy ones, so that the living may know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men and gives it to whomever He will. And He sets up over it the lowest of men.

(18)  I, Nebuchadnezzar, have seen this dream. Now you, O Belteshazzar, declare its meaning, since all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to reveal the meaning to me. But you are able, for the spirit of the holy gods is in you.

For us to understand this particular dream of Nebuchadnezzar, we also have to understand what was considered the whole earth aspect of it.

During this time of the Babylonian kingdom, the Earth is not what we think of it in today’s time.  The Earth was described by the Babylonian as, if Babylonia it self was the center of Earth (I hope you can see the parallel of this with Israel been the center of the Earth in accordance with the Jews traditions.  Please keep in mind that the devil had always trying to imitated all that the Only Living God had done).  In this particular descriptive map of the Earth, been Babylonia the center of the Earth, it was crossed thru what was called “bitter river” or “Oceanus” from which the word Ocean is coming from (Please see the image page number 1 on the PDF File Format on this Bible Study).

So by definition the tree was in the center of the Babylonian kingdom, considered the center of the Earth, making it more dramatically troubling for king Nebuchadnezzar.

The verses 11 and 12 are simple and understood, the tree was the Babylonian kingdom as it grew in power allowed by the will of God.  Remember that the Babylonian king was used by God to do God’s will and all authority was given to him.

You can see such in chapter 1 verse 2:

Dan 1:2 LITV

(2)  And the Lord gave Jehoiakim, king of Judah, into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god. And he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.

In verse 13 it is described by the Babylonian king how a “watcher” or “holy one”, please observe that the first thing in this particular description is the way the noun of watcher or holy one is written, in a lower case letters.  This particular observation allow us to think that the watcher was an angel of God and not “The Angel of GOD”, they represent the same Only Living God but the echelon of each of them is very significantly different.  One is a servant of God the other is part of the Only Living God.

Please keep in mind who is narrating such events is a gentile king with absolute no knowledge of the God of Heaven.  As a result, his descriptive narrative of the event is limited to the mind that is receiving it.

In verse 14 the incredible rude, painful and almost full of passion description of the watcher’s action tell us that there was no chance of repentance and with no way out or possible solution with a good end.  We must understand that when God desire to take action in our lives, he does not hesitate or enquired from anyone advised, but do what His will determined is best for our lives.   When that happened there is no source of life of any kind if His will is against us, but in the opposite could set your life forever free.

In verse 15 it is very clear that God’s will was to mutilate and to control Nebuchadnezzar’s life and to summit in to His will the power He Himself gave to the Babylonian king.

Verse 16 tell us how God was going to make a king of the most powerful kingdom on Earth (center of the Earth), a beast changing his heart and giving him to the mind of a wild beast.  Absolutely atrocious, inconceivable in any human mind even in today’s time.  Total humiliation to the most powerful man on Earth.  This action and change of heart was going to last seven years.

Verse 17 declares how Nebuchadnezzar’s hear felt in regard to God’s decision in his life as a human and king, and how that changed him as a man, to the point in were he admitted to be second under the command of God Himself.  In this verse also king Nebuchadnezzar express how the “living” is under the control of the Most High.  For a man to understand this deep and full knowledge of God, most be taken thru a lot on his life and back.  But this knowledge only comes from the personal relationship acquired between the human kind and God thru the acceptances of the ultimate subordination to the only authority with such power, God Himself and under the Grace thru Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, please read:

Eph_1:17  that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full knowledge of Him,

Eph_4:13  until we all may come to the unity of the faith and of the full knowledge of the Son of God, to a full-grown man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,

Col_2:2  that their hearts may be comforted, being joined together in love, and to all riches of the full assurance of the understanding, to the full knowledge of the mystery of God, even of the Father and of Christ,

2Ti_2:25  in meekness teaching those who have opposed, if perhaps God may give them repentance for a full knowledge of the truth,

In verse 18 noticed how king Nebuchadnezzar still under the ignorance of his idolatry, but even that he is under such misunderstanding, the king still with a meek heart to comprehend that only the servant of God could given the answer he needed.

Dan 4:18-27 LITV

(18)  I, Nebuchadnezzar, have seen this dream. Now you, O Belteshazzar, declare its meaning, since all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to reveal the meaning to me. But you are able, for the spirit of the holy gods is in you.

(19)  Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was stunned for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The king spoke and said, O Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its meaning trouble you. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream is to those who hate you, and its meaning is to your foes.

(20)  The tree that you saw, which became great and strong, whose height reached to the heaven and its appearance to all the earth,

(21)  and its leaves being beautiful, and its fruit plentiful, and food for all being in it, under which the beasts of the field lived, and in its branches the birds of the sky had their home:

(22)  It was you, O king, for you have become great and strong. For your greatness has grown and reaches to the heavens, and your rule is to the end of the earth.

(23)  And as the king saw a watcher and a holy one coming down from the heavens, and saying, Cut the tree down, and destroy it. Yet leave the stump of its roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and bronze, in the grass of the field. And let him be wet with the dew of the heavens, and his lot be with the beasts of the field, until seven times pass over him.

(24)  This is the meaning, O king, and this the decree of the Most High, which has come on my lord the king:

(25)  And you shall be driven from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be fed with grass like oxen. And you shall be wet with dew of the heavens; and seven times shall pass over you until you know that the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of men, and He gives it to whomever He desires.

(26)  And in that they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots, Your kingdom shall be enduring to you after you have realized that Heaven rules.

(27)  So, O king, let my advice be pleasing to you: Even break off your sins by righteousness, and your iniquities by pitying the poor, whether there will be duration to your prosperity.

Now, after we see this narration taking place, in a very explicit and expressive way, in a more remarkable and significant expression was the meaning of it, to the point in were Daniel was confused and troubled by the meaning of it.  The meaning of such dream was very clear.  King Nebuchadnezzar was the tree in the dream, which became very powerful and rich without measure.  Up to this point every thing was great, until Daniel declares to the king that the real meaning was in favor of the king’s enemies and not on the king’s favor.  There are many times that we as people of God, are called to tell the truth does not matter how harsh could be.  So as the Only Living God says it, the king Nebuchadnezzar was going to become a beast for seven years and the throne of his kingdom was going to be kept until the moment that the king will recognize the power and all authority comes only from Heaven, that is The Only Living God, The Most High.

Please observed how merciful is God All Mighty, to the point in where He (The Most High) allowed the king to keep his kingdom even thru his trial, and after the king will admit his power comes from God and God only, the kingdom will be return to him (the king Nebuchadnezzar).

Daniel as an adviser of the king and most of all, man of God, advised the king on what he (the king) should do.  This expression is a very good example to all the members of the body of Christ, to understand that under any and every circumstances we are called to be truthful to the Lord and His kingdom by telling others what the Word of the Lord advised for the best result of everyone’s life.

Dan 4:28-33 LITV

(28)  All this came on the King, Nebuchadnezzar.

(29)  At the end of twelve months, he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.

(30)  The king spoke and said, Is this not great Babylon that I have built for the house of the kingdom, by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?

(31)  The word was still in the king’s mouth when a voice fell from the heavens, saying, O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: The kingdom has been taken from you!

(32)  And you shall be driven from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. You shall be fed with the grass like oxen, and seven times shall pass over you until you know that the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of men, and that He gives it to whomever He desires.

(33)  The same hour the thing was fulfilled on Nebuchadnezzar. And he was driven from men, and he ate the grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of the heavens, until his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws.

From verses 28 through 33 is visible the result of a foolish heart.  Exactly as the Lord’s Word was said, it was exactly the way executed.  It is impressive how the human without the presence of God his/her life is just a beast of the wild, nothing more nothing less.  What makes a human different from any other is the presence of the Holy Spirit of God in his/her life.

Dan 4:34-37 LITV

(34)  And at the end of the days, I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted up my eyes to the heaven, and my understanding returned to me, and I blessed the Most High. And I praised and honored Him who lives forever, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His rule from generation to generation.

(35)  And all those living in the earth are counted as nothing. And He does according to His will among the army of Heaven, and among those living in the earth. And no one is able to strike His hand or say to Him, What are You doing?

(36)  At that time my reason returned to me, and the glory of my kingdom, my majesty, and my brightness returned to me. And my advisers and my nobles sought to me. And I was reestablished in my kingdom, and excellent greatness was added to me.

(37)  Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and honor the King of Heaven, for all His works are truth, and His ways are justice. And He is able to humble those who walk in pride.

From verses 34 through 37 the king Nebuchadnezzar expressed how the experience brought him back in a humble but more powerful way.  Noticed in verse 34 how the king, after being under the human spirit, without knowledge and understanding of the spiritual world, he (the king) is capable to recognized the Lord of Host, the Only Living God, The Most High, and repenting himself from his old ways, is re-established to a higher level in the power of his kingdom and into the eyes of those that were part of his court.  Even more as it is said in verse 36 more power was added to him after he declared God as the only source of knowledge and understanding under the sun, as the Only Living God and The Most High.  The God that no one will ask or tell what to do, unless is under the will of God Himself.  The result of Nebuchadnezzar experienced is very similar to the one lived by the just Job, but in the case of king Nebuchadnezzar, he (the king) was not a Jew nor a man with the knowledge of God.  So do not think that this might not happened to you.  Pray this will not happened to you.

This is the only chapter in the Bible written by a gentile and a gentile king.

Praise the Lord, our Savior, Jesus Christ.