Revelation 1:1, Must shortly take place/come to pass. John expected that the prophecies that followed were about to occur. This seems to be proof that the Book of Revelation (at least up to Rev 10:11) was written before A.D. 70. The second half of this book was John prophesying again (see Rev 10:11) and must have been written after the fall of Jerusalem at the hand of the Romans.
Revelation 1:2, Testimony. In the New Testament or Testimony (marturia) of Yeshua (as compared to the Old Testament, also known in the book of Revelation as the Word of Elohim), the word testimony (as found in many places) is either the Greek word marturia or marturion meaning “testimony, witness, or one who testifies.” Interestingly, our English word martyr comes from these Greek words. A martyr is one who testifies to their faith and is killed for it. These Greek words refer to both one who shares their testimony of the good news of Yeshua or the gospel message including their personal testimony. It can also refer to one who as a prophet testifies of future events, but the word is not confined to that meaning only. Consider this. One doesn’t have to be a prophet to testify to the future events that the Bible already tells us are coming such as the second coming, the establishment of Elohim’s kingdom on earth, punishment for the wicked and rewards for the righteous, the glorification of the saints as well as inclusion in the family of Elohim as his glorified and spiritual children. These are all future events and are part of the gospel message.
Marturia and marturian come from the root word martus which is “a witness in a legal or historical sense, a spectator to anything.” As born again believers in Yeshua, we are witnesses to the power of Yeshua in our lives and the validity of the gospel message. For example, Stephen was a martus or martyr (Acts 22:20) as he was preaching the gospel to those who stoned him (see also Rev 2:13 where Antipas was slain for his faith as well). In the Gospel of John, John the apostle writes (marturia) the record John the Baptist in John 1:19. In John 1:32, John the Baptist records or bears witness (martureo) of what he saw pertaining to Set-Apart Spirit coming down upon Yeshua. A little later, John the Gospel writer testifies (martureo) that Yeshua is the Son of Elohim (John 1:34). The word martureo is also used of those who viewed the miraculous resurrection of Lazaurs (John 12:17), and of John who was witness to or who bore record of (martureo) the death of Yeshua (John 19:35). Many more examples could be given, but you get the idea. Marturia and its cognates can have several meanings that include the gift of prophecy, but is not limited to that.
Revelation 1:7, Even they who pierced him. How will those who killed Yeshua see him at his second coming if they are dead? Only those alive on earth and the righteous dead will be resurrected at his second coming will see him. Perhaps, they will see him descending from the New Jerusalem in his power and glory at the end of the Millennium when he will resurrect all the unrighteous dead who then must appear before him on bent knew at the white throne judgment before being cast into the lake of fire. Or perhaps Yeshua is referring to the children of those who were responsible for his crucifixion, since their parents made the responsible for his death as well when they declared, “His blood be on us and on our children” (Matt 27:25).
Revelation 1:10, The Lord’s Day. This verse is one of the cliche biblical passages that mainstream church scholars use to “prove” Sunday’s replacement of the Sabbath. The problem with this position is that there’s no clear scriptural proof that the apostles ever changed the Sabbath to Sunday. What’s more, to view this passage as referring to Sunday is to take a phrase the early church fathers used as a euphemism for Sunday when pushing for Sunday in place of Sabbath observance and to retroactively apply this meaning to John’s use of the phrase. Frankly, it is biased and dishonest scholarship to take the phrase “the Lord’s day” with its second century colloquial meaning and then to back-apply this meaning to John’s use of the phrase when there’s no reason to believe this was John’s intended meaning.
Alternatively, the phrase, “the Lord’s day, can be a reference to the biblical term “the day of the Lord’s wrath” when YHVH, in the end times, will judge the nations for their wickedness. This is a point that several biblical scholars have made (see From Sabbath to Sunday, by Samuele Bacchiochi, p. 111; E. W. Bullinger’s Companion Bible footnote on Rev 1:10; The Jewish New Testament Commentary on this verse, p. 791, by David Sterns).
There is actually more scriptural proof that the phrase “the day of the Lord” is a reference to the seventh day Sabbath than to the first the week. In Isaiah 58:13, the prophet YHVH refers to the Sabbath as “my holy day…the holy day of the Lord.” So conceivably, it could have been on the Sabbath day itself that John received his vision on the island of Patmos about that great and terrible day of YHVH’s wrath that is to come on the earth just prior to the Messiah’s second coming.
Revelation 2:17, A white stone. The Romans of biblical times exchanged a token of friendship between friends that could be passed on down from one generation to another. The ritual consisted of two friends writing their names on a tile of wood or stone, which was then divided in half and each took the piece containing name of their friend. To produce the counterpart of the one of the pieces to the other friend (or his heirs) guaranteed friendship and hospitality. The white stone with a new name on it is likely a reference to this first century practice (Manners and Customs, p. 70).
Revelation 2:27, A rod of iron. Yeshua’s rod of iron is similar to the scepter of a king, which was taken from the shepherds rod, since a king was viewed as the shepherd of his people. The scepter was not only a symbol of protection, but of power and authority.
Revelation 2:28, The morning star. In the Latin Vulgate Bible (translated by Jerome in about A.D. 400 for the Roman Catholic Church) is the official Latin Bible of the Catholic Church the biblical term morning start is translated into Latin as lucifer. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, when morning star is translated as lucifer, it is not referring to the devil, but rather denotes the exalted state from which he fell. That exalted state refers to the glory of heaven or the morning star (Rev 2:28), and to Yeshua himself who Peter and John refer to as the Morning Star (2 Pet 1:19; Rev 22:16) (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09410a.htm). The name Lucifer appears in some Catholic liturgy. It would seem that this is not a reference to the devil, but to Elohim or to Yeshua.
Revelation 3:9, Worship/bow down before your feet. This scripture has puzzled many. Who are these saints before which those who are of the synagogue of Satan will at some time in the future bow down in worship? Who are those who are of the synagogue of Satan? First, the saints are wearing crowns (verse 11) and they have the name of Elohim written upon them (verse 12). We know that a group of saints will be ruling with Yeshua in his millennial kingdom (Rev 1:6; 5:10). These same saints will be part of the first resurrection (Rev 20:6), which occurs at Yeshua’s second coming. Not all saints will be kings and priests. There are levels of rewards (and responsibilities) in YHVH’s kingdom depending on how obedient one has been to his Torah-commandments. This Yeshua teaches in Matthew 5:19. Some saints will be the least in his eternal kingdom, while some will be the greatest depending on their level of Torah-obedience. Similarly, Yeshua identifies two groups of saints in his Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matt 25:1–13)—the wise saints and the foolish saints. The wise virgins will go into the wedding supper of Yeshua, and presumably will become his bride, while the foolish ones will be left outside. In Revelation chapter three, Yeshua further identifies two groups of believers: those who are spiritually lukewarm and those who are spiritually hot (Rev 3:14–22). It is not a stretch to connect those who are spiritually on fire in Laodicea with those in Philadelphia who have been faithful to his commands, who will be given a crown and who will be worshipped.
Can we further identify these faithful saints who will be worshipped (or before whom the knees of lower order saints will bend, which is the actual meaning in the Greek of the word worship) in Yeshua’s kingdom? They have crowns and are thus ruling as kings and have the name of Elohim written on them. Similarly, the 144 thousand have the seal of YHVH’s name on them (Rev 7:3–4 and 14:1), and they keep his Torah commandments and have the testimony or faith of Yeshua (Rev 14:12). These are the likely candidates for being those Yeshua describes in Matthew 5:19 who will be the greatest in the kingdom of Elohim, and who others will worship (Rev 3:9).
Why would people be worshipping (or bending the knee before) these glorified, resurrected and kingly saints? There are several possible explanations here for this. First, the bride of Yeshua will be ruling and reigning with Yeshua as a queen (in ancient Jewish thought) or like a king (under Yeshua, who is the King of kings, as presented in the book of Revelation). Second, Paul teaches us that those saints who will be resurrected will be literally adopted (Rom 8:15, 23; 9:4; Gal 4:5; Eph 1:5) into the family of Elohim as sons or children of YHVH Elohim.
In Galatians, Paul speaks of redeemed believers being both Abraham’s seed and being adopted as sons of Elohim (Gal 3:29; 4:5). Elsewhere where the term adoption is used in the Testimony of Yeshua, it is in reference to our relationship with our Heavenly Father, not with our earthly father, Abraham. The redeemed are therefore, sons or the seed of Abraham, yet adopted into the family of Elohim as spiritual sons (Rom 8:15, 23; Eph 1:5). In other words, the saints are literal sons or seed (physically) of Abraham, yet adopted sons (spiritually) of YHVH. This adoption will be finalized or completed at the resurrection when the saints receive their spiritual bodies (Rom 8:23), for then they will be like him for they shall see him as he is (1 John 3:2).
Elohim is a plural word in Hebrew and can mean many things, and has many usages in the Scriptures. It is used to refer to the Creator, YHVH Elohim, as well as to angels, kings, judges and humans in authoritative capacities. When the saints are resurrected, they will be as Elohim and will be part of the family of Elohim, though they will not be Elohim, who has existed forever and is the Creator of all things. It appears that these saints will be worshipped, not as YHVH Elohim, but as his created sons who have been elevated through the process of redemption, sanctification, glorification and adoption into members of the family of Elohim.
Revelation 3:14, The church at Laodicea.
Laodicean Church: Awaken!
Will you pass the test and make the grade?
Life is a series of tests. We either pass or fail them. YHVH is the school teacher who determines whether we will pass or fail, not us. His Word is our text book that tells us how to pass. If we learn the lessons and put to practice the things we have learned, we will pass. If not, we will fail.
The problem is that we’re not just in a regular school classroom where if we fail, it’s really not a big deal in the bigger scope of life. No. Our “classroom” is this life. Whether we pass or fail will determine not only whether we will obtain eternal life or eternal damnation, but if we pass, the grade we get will determine our level of rewards in YHVH’s eternal kingdom. As should be obvious, there are a couple of important things going on here: there is not only the issue of life after death, but if we pass the test of life and are granted eternal life, where will we be, what will we be doing and, most importantly, how close will we be to the Creator. Some people will be existing in close proximity to YHVH Elohim, while others will be living further away.
When YHVH calls us with his holy calling and we respond, we have a choice. The choice we make will determine whether we will be the least or the greatest in his kingdom (Matt 5:19). If we choose to obey him a little, we will be least in his kingdom. If we choose to obey him all the way, we will be the greatest in his kingdom. Our level of obedience to his commandments determines our level of rewards in his kingdom.
If we give him our all by loving Elohim with all our heart, soul and strength like virtuous Ruth did when she chose to forsake the world and follow Naomi and her Elohim, we can become the bride of Yeshua and live forever in his eternal kingdom. Ruth is a prophetic picture of Yeshua’s bride. The heart-attitude of the bride is: your people will be my people, your Elohim will be mine, and where you go, I will go (Ruth 1:16).
Yeshua refers to his bride in the book of Revelation. She is unreservedly faithful to him. Yeshua’s bride is comprised of those who are following the Lamb of Elohim wherever he goes. They don’t just follow him only when it is convenient, nor do they draw near to him with their mouths, but their hearts are far from him like so many other religious people (Isa 29:13; Matt 15:8)!
And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: and they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God. (Rev 14:1–5)
Yeshua demands total and unreserved commitment from his disciples. He said that his followers would need to love him more than anyone else including one’s closest family members. He said that he who loves mother and father, son or daughter more than him is not worthy of him (Matt 10:37). He said that whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever seeks to lose his life for Yeshua’s sake will find it (v. 39).
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. (Matt 10:37–39)
Moreover, whoever seeks the world and its things more than Yeshua is his enemy.
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with Elohim? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? (Jas 4:4–5)
Why does James call such people adulterers? Because they are two-timing Elohim. They love both Elohim and they are lusting for the things of this world. This is spiritual adultery, and it is also idolatry. Anything in our lives that comes ahead of our love, devotion and obedience to Elohim is an idol to us. It is not different than a person who cheats on their spouse.
Only those who overcome the world, the flesh and the devil will be in the kingdom of Elohim. Only those who endure to the end will be saved (Matt 10:22).
To the seven churches in chapters two and three of the book of Revelation, Yeshua commanded each church to overcome the world, the flesh and the devil. He promised great rewards to those who would put him first and be an overcomer.
Currently, we are trekking through the spiritual wilderness of this physical life preparing to go into the Promised Land of Elohim’s everlasting kingdom. YHVH is testing us to determine how much we love him or not. Will we be overcomers and make it into the Promised Land that he has prepared for us?
All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which YHVH sware unto your fathers. And thou shalt remember all the way which YHVH thy Elohim led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of YHVH doth man live. (Deut 8:1–4)
Ezekiel prophesied about an end times wilderness. He calls it “the wilderness of the peoples.” We’re in that wilderness right now. It’s not a literal wilderness like the children of Israel were in, but a spiritual one. There YHVH is making us pass under the rod to see if we will whole-heartedly obey him or not, or whether we still have rebellion (the love of the world, the flesh and the devil) in our hearts.
As I live, saith Adonai Elohim, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you: and I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith Adonai Elohim. And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: and I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am YHVH.
Yeshua is presently trying awaken his sleeping bride (the end times church) who is spiritually slumbering in the wilderness under a shade tree. YHVH Yeshua is knocking on the door of our lives a this moment. Will we open the door of our hearts and minds and let him in, or will we go back to sleep and remain in the comfort zones of our own spiritual complacency and idolatry where we, like the Laodiceans, have lifted up money, material possession and the cares of this world over obedience to YHVH?
And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of Elohim; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. (Rev 3:14–21)
Too many of us have given ourselves over to covetousness. Yeshua discusses this in Matthew 6:21–23.
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
Yeshua then goes on to tell his disciple that his followers can’t serve Elohim (God) and mammon.
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve Elohim and mammon.
Despite Yeshua’s warning, too many of us are trying to serve both Elohim and mammon. We have bought into the secular humanist American (and Western) societal lie that materialism and money can buy happiness.
The idea that one can serve both Elohim and mammon equally is a lie from the devil. Yeshua told his disciples to put him first, to seek the kingdom of Elohim and righteousness, and that all of our physical and material needs would be taken care of (Matt 6:33).
As we go through our daily lives, we face many tests. Will we pass or fail them? Will we obey YHVH and keep his Torah-commandments? Or maybe we will be more like the rebellious children of Israel in the time of the judges where “each man did what was right in his own eyes.”
Remember Yeshua’s Parable of the Ten Virgins? Five were wise and five were foolish. Five were obedient and had prepared themselves for the Bridegroom’s return and five had not prepared themselves. The foolish ones were shut out of the wedding feast. They had a place in Yeshua’s kingdom, but because they didn’t put him first, they failed to become his bride, which is the place of highest reward in his eternal kingdom. The unprepared Laodicean virgins would be the least in the kingdom.
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matt 5:19–20)
Revelation 3:14, The beginning of the creation of Elohim. (See notes at Gen 1:1–3.) Beginning is the Greek word arche meaning “beginning, origin; the person or thing that commences, the first person or thing in a series, the leader; that by which anything begins to be, the origin, the active cause; the first place, principality, rule, magistracy.” Various Bible translate this word differently. The NIV says, “The ruler of God’s creation.” J. P. Green reads, “the Head of the creation of God.” Ethridge’s Aramaic translation has “the Head of the creation of Aloha.” Murdock’s Aramaic translation reads, “the Chief of the creation of God.”
Revelation 3:21, Sat down…on his throne. Is Yeshua sitting on his Father’s throne as Elohim? First, John 1:1 says that Yeshua is God (Heb. Elohim). He is called God in other places in the Testimony of Yeshua as well (e.g. Tit 2:13; 3:4).
Second, in the book of Revelation, there is only one throne mentioned (e.g. Rev 3:21; 4:5; 5:6, 13; 7:10, 11, 17; 22:1), not two or three, as is often supposed; that is, one each for the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Please note Rev 22:1 where it mentions the throne (singular) of God and the Lamb. The Scriptures reveal that Yeshua is both the Lamb of God (John 1:29; 36) and God (Elohim).
What else can we deduct from this except that Yeshua is on the same throne with his Father, that they are one (or in Hebrew, echad meaning “a compound unity”). Also note Rev 3:21 where Yeshua says that he will sit down on his Father’s throne (singular). The word throne can be taken literally or metaphorically, but even so, it’s still singular, and it’s his Father’s throne and he’s on it (note also Rev 7:17). It must be a rather large throne!