♦ The messenger in Sardis sounds his trumpet:
9:1 And the fifth messenger sounded, and I saw a Star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.
The Star that came down was not the messenger of Sardis; it was the Anointed SAVIOR, the Holy Spirit. He came to the lowest of humanity to bring them out of the darkness of ignorance and into the light of truth. (See Psa. 139:8, Eph. 4:7-10 and 2 Pet. 1:16-19.)
This Star appears to have fallen from an exalted position. But, this word “fall” means to perch on something rather than falling from a position. This Star was the SAVIOR with the key to the bottomless pit. In the first part of Revelation, we learned that he had the keys to hell and death. Isaiah (22:22) prophesied that the key of David would be upon the shoulders of the SAVIOR. In Revelation 3:7, the key of David is the same key that the SAVIOR had. This key was to open the bottomless pit that no man could shut. According to
Revelation 20:1-2, he who had the key to the bottomless pit also had power over the serpent (devil, adversary).
It has been said that both the SAVIOR and satan have keys to the bottomless pit. If this was true, it would be impossible to restrain satan (Rev. 20:3), he could just unlock the pit and come right back out again. This bottomless pit symbolized the carnal realm, a realm void of truth. It did not have a physical location except in the minds of the people. This realm is where corruption has no limits. The church in Sardis was dead but gave the appearance of being alive, that is, they gave the appearance of being holy. They were into humanism; their values were based on their human nature rather than on the principles and power of the Kingdom of Righteousness. Their desire to satisfy the lust of their flesh warred against the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was going to come upon them and reveal their unrighteousness.
9:2 And he (the SAVIOR) opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.
The smoke that came out of the pit was created by their carnal concepts. The smoke was said to have darkened the sun and the air. The sun symbolized the communication of Yahweh through signs and through the Word of Truth, which the church of Sardis was obscuring by living according to the understanding of their carnal minds. The air that was polluted by the smoke symbolized their concepts and shared experiences. In his ministry, Paul used metaphoric language when he spoke of their carnal concepts.
Eph. 2:2-3. Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this age (world), according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
Notice that Paul used the word conversation and connected it to the air. The church in Sardis was very influential in their carnal ideas, but there were a few that were hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit that did not walk according to carnal reasonings.
The SAVIOR, the Anointed Word through the messenger of Sardis, came and opened the bottomless pit; the Anointed Word (truth) revealed the false doctrines and beliefs without foundation. Out of these false doctrines rose a cloud of confusion that prevented the people from seeing the True Light of the Melchisedec order.
When the SAVIOR brought in the new order, it brought judgment forcing the people to see truth and take responsibility for their own actions. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, revealed the heart of man; he opened the pit.
9:3 And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
Carnal leaders (symbolized as the locusts) came with their confusion (smoke) and were given positions of honor, contaminating (as the poison of a scorpion) the minds of the babes in Christ.
These leaders ministered according to their own carnal understanding. They were from out of the earth (earthen vessels), not from the exalted realm of the FATHER.
1 Cor. 15:47, “The first man is of the earth.” The Word is sown in the earth (Mark 4:3-20).
Luke 6:45, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart (thoughts and feelings) brings forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart (thoughts and feelings) brings forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart (thoughts and feelings) his mouth speaks.”
Without the SAVIOR, the Anointed Word of the Holy Spirit, the messenger of Sardis could not bring his church into deeper truths he would have been no different than those carnal leaders that refused to let go of the dead Levitical order.
9:4 And it was commanded them (the locust, the carnal leaders) that they should not do wrong (hurt) to the garden (grass) of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal (of the Holy Spirit) of Yahweh in their foreheads (their minds).
These carnal leaders were commanded not to hurt the garden of Yahweh. The garden of Yahweh is the place where he plants his seeds of truth in their minds. At this time there were only a few who had fertile ground for the seed of the Holy Spirit to take root and grow. See the SAVIOR’s parable in Luke 8:5-8.
These carnal leaders were, also, commanded to not hurt the trees. Remember, the trees represent Yahweh’s spiritual leaders (see chapter 7).
Even though they were being an offence in the Church, the locusts could not prevent the Anointed Word from being manifested in the earth. As the Holy Spirit dealt with the churches, he exposed their motives and the condition of their minds. He revealed to them how carnal concepts create havoc in their lives. They could not receive deliverance until they realized they had something to be delivered from. Removing the cover off the pit, the depths of who they were, exposed their unrighteousness.
9:5 And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but (that they) should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he strikes a man.
Carnal leaders and Spirit-filled leaders were going to function in the church together for five months. This would allow time for comparison, for judgment. The number five is used to represent the time of grace. Yahweh gave the church in Sardis five months to see and correct the errors of their ways. Just as a scorpion injects poison into their victims, so was the influence of the carnal leaders in the church in Sardis; they poisoned those they influenced by their false doctrines. Those influenced by false teachings would be either tormented by shame and guilt for their error, or they would rebel and fight against the Spirit of Righteousness.
9:6 And in those days shall men plot (seek) death, and shall not perceive (find) it; and shall long after (desire) death (to die), and death shall shun (flee) off (from) them.
According to the King James’ version of the Bible and many other versions, this verse appears to be saying that there was a time when people could not die; they wanted to die but it was impossible to do so. I researched this scripture in great length to learn what John was to tell the messenger in Sardis. After looking up every Greek word, its number, and meaning, this is how 9:6 should have been written:
“In those days men plot their death but not perceive it (in their ignorance they did not recognize what they were doing), both, desiring death (evil) and (at the same time wanting) to shun death off themselves (not wanting the “consequences” of evil upon them).”
The Wisdom of Solomon 1:12-16, from the Apocrypha, says it better.
Seek not death in the error of your life: and pull not upon yourselves destruction with the works of your hands. For Yahweh made not death: neither has he pleasure in the destruction of the living. For he created all things, that they might have their being: and the generations of the world were healthful; and there is no poison of destruction in them, nor the kingdom of death upon the earth: For righteousness is immortal: But ungodly men with their works and words called it to them: for when they thought to have it their friend, they consumed to naught, and made a covenant with it, because they are worthy to take part with it.
Many people desire the ways of the world, but they do not like to reap the fruit of what they have sown. They call for death by giving into the lust of the flesh and at the same time, they do not like the consequences—they want death off them. The church in Sardis was the same way; they walked after the lust of their flesh but desired the comfort of the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Gal. 6:7-8, Be not deceived; Yahweh is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap. For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life age lasting (everlasting).
Gal. 5:16-17, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that you cannot do the things that you would.
Rom. 8:4-7, That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is opposition (enmity) against Yahweh: for it is not subject to the law of Yahweh, neither indeed can be.
The messenger in Sardis was not bringing his congregation into righteousness and holiness. To “mind” the things of the flesh is to entertain negative ideas, to have feelings for the works of the flesh or to have the same interest as the lower nature of mankind. Being exposed was not going to be pleasant for them, but it had to be done before they would desire righteousness. This is why the angel said, “Woe,” which means “grief.”
9:7 And the shapes of the locusts (carnal forces) were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were laurels (crowns) similar to (like) gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.
The locusts, shaped like horses, were preparing their emotions to win the battle. The carnal leaders in the church in Sardis were emotionally prepared to battle against the Spirit of Righteousness. To win this battle against the false leaders, the believers had to put on the armor of Yahweh. (See Ephesians 6:11-18.) According to Paul, they had a choice to yield to righteousness or unrighteousness, but whichever they chose would be their captain—Yahweh unto righteousness or the lust of the flesh unto sin.
Rom. 6:12-13, Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield you your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto Yahweh, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto Yahweh.
The golden laurels were worn to symbolize that a battle had been fought and the person wearing the laurel was the victor. Here we see these laurels were only “similar” to gold. In Revelation 4:4, when speaking of the twenty four elders having gold laurels, it was stated, “They had on their heads laurels of gold,” it did not say, “similar to gold.” To say it is similar, is to say it is an imitation; I call it fool’s gold. Even though unrighteousness (death) appears to be winning the battle against righteousness (Life), unrighteousness will not win. The SAVIOR came to bring all humanity into Life. Life will swallow up death in all its forms whether in this life or the life to come.
Isa. 45:22-24, Look unto me, and be you saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. Surely, shall one say, in Yahweh have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.
1 Cor. 15:25-28, For [Christ] must be King and reign until he has put all [his] enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be subdued and abolished is death. For he [the FATHER] has put all things in subjection under his [Christ’s] feet. But when it says, all things are put in subjection [under him], it is evident that he [himself] is excepted who does the subjecting of all things to him. However, when everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will also subject himself to [the FATHER] who put all things under him, so that God may be all in all [be everything to everyone, supreme, the indwelling and controlling factor of life]. AMP
These locusts had faces of men; they were in the image of the old man—the adamic nature. They symbolize the carnal forces in mankind. Paul told the church in Corinth that the Church would change into the image of the glory of the Lord; they were going to put on the new man.
2 Cor. 3:18, But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Col. 3:10. Put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.
9:8 And they (the locusts) had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.
The woman is symbolic of the Church (Eph. 4:23-32) and her hair symbolizes the glorious manifestation of righteousness that covers her (1 Cor. 11:15). The church in Sardis was using the religious system as a covering for their carnal social gatherings.
The teeth that were as the teeth of lions symbolized the carnal members in the church bickering and backbiting one another. Paul said, in Galatians 5:15-16, that biting and devouring one another was fulfilling the lust of the flesh. I like best what the psalmist David wrote:
Ps. 10:3-11, For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire, and blesses the covetous, whom Yahweh scorns (abhors). The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after Yahweh: Yahweh is not in all his plans (thoughts). His ways are always grievous; your judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he scoffs (puffs) at them. He has said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity. His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity. He sits in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places does he murder the innocent: his eyes are set lurking (privily) against the poor. He lies in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lies in wait to catch the poor: he does catch the poor, when he draws him into his net. He crouches, and sinks (humbles) himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones. He has said in his heart, Yahweh has forgotten: he hides his face; he does not see the goal at all (will never see it).
Instead of biting and devouring each other they should have loved one another.
John 13:34-35, A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another.
1 Pet. 5:8, Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour.
9:9 And they (the locust) had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.
Iron is a symbol of strength. The locusts’ strength came from what they fed upon; this is symbolized by the iron being used as the breastplate. The breast is the place of nourishment. The carnal leaders hung on to the natural, carnal, ways of the Levitical order.
Jer. 1:18, For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land. (Also see Dan. 7:7).
The wings of the locusts sounded like chariots of many horses running to battle. According to The Journals of Physiological Science, flying locusts couple their wing-beat to one another when they are flying. They leave behind a wake of turbulent air. The air is full of violent motion and is agitated. When chariots of many horses run to battle, they run as one toward their enemies and the air is full of violent motion, being greatly agitated. This violent air symbolizes the confusion brought on by the carnal concepts and unnecessary rules of those who refused the SAVIOR—the Holy Spirit—the new order.
Acts 15:10-11, Now therefore why tempt Yahweh, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord the Anointed SAVIOR we shall be saved, even as they.
The wing “sound” symbolizes the church of Sardis joining together in ideas that deceived many. The angel said to the church in Sardis, “You have a name that you are alive,” implying they caused many to think they were spiritual, but they were not. Many in this church were caught up in false ideas —synchronizing their wings together caused them to have a strong influence in the church.
10 And they had tails like unto scorpions, and (there were) stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.
These carnal forces were represented as tails like scorpions. They had the power to hurt others by poisoning their minds. The sting of a scorpion causes great discomfort, or torment, to its victims. This was the only effect the carnal leader (the locusts) could have in the church. They were not given the power to kill (destroy) the babes in Christ; they could only torment them. Their influence was as a poison; it paralyzed the growth of their victims, causing them to remain in their sins.
1 Cor. 15:55-56, O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
Isa. 32:6-7, The vile person will speak wickedly (villainy), and his heart will work iniquity, to practice hypocrisy, and to utter error against Yahweh, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail. The instruments also of the churl (stingy way) are evil: he devises wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speak right.
In Isaiah 9:14-17, we learn that a prophet that teaches lies is the tail which causes Yahweh’s people to error. Yahweh calls these prophets hypocrites and evildoers. The SAVIOR called the Pharisees hypocrites because they appeared to be righteous, but inwardly they were full of iniquity (see Matthew 23:27-28).
Matt. 23:13-15, But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you shut up the Kingdom of Heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither suffer you them that are entering to go in. (Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayer: therefore you shall receive the greater damnation) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you compass sea and land to make one convert (proselyte), and when he is made, you make him twofold more the child of the valley of Hinnon (hell) than yourselves.
Rom. 16:17-18, I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which you have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord the Anointed SAVIOR, but their own heart (belly); and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. (Also see 1 Cor. 3:19.)
11 And they (the locusts, the carnal leaders) had a king (sovereign ruler) over them, which is the angel (evil force) of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue has his name Apollyon.
The names “Abaddon” and “Apolluon” both mean destroying messenger. These carnal forces brought destruction into the church. The church was being influenced by superstitions and witchcraft that had no foundation of truth.
Review of the church of Sardis: The Word of Truth (the Holy Spirit) came to the church in Sardis to reveal their lack. This church had to be exposed to the Spirit of Righteousness before they could feel guilt or humility. Because of their spiritual condition they did not feel the need to think differently (repent). Their old nature had to die; they had to realize the error of their ways if they were going to be victorious when they faced the soon coming tribulations.
9:12 One grief (woe) is past; and, behold, there come two griefs (woes) more hereafter.
♦The messenger of Philadelphia sounds his trumpet:
13 And the sixth messenger sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before Yahweh,
The sixth messenger was from the church in Philadelphia. His message came from the four horns of the altar that were before Yahweh. This voice symbolized the operation of the Anointing in the Philadelphian church; the Spirit of Revelation was operating in their midst.
The golden altar before Yahweh is the same as the altar of incense that was before the mercy seat in the tabernacle in the wilderness. This golden altar is also spoken of in Revelation 8:3. The saints in Philadelphia desired righteousness and truth. The altar of incense represented their prayers ascending up to the FATHER.
The horns on the altar symbolized the power and authority of the Holy Spirit.
The voice coming from the horns of the altar symbolized the prayers that were going to be answered—there was going to be a releasing.
The horns on the altar in the O.T. were physical points of contact Yahweh established for the people to receive protection. In First Kings 1:50-53, Adonijah, fearing Solomon, caught hold of the horns of the altar and was spared death.
9:14 Saying to the sixth messenger which had the trumpet, Loose the four messengers which are bound in the great river Euphrates.
The Philadelphian messenger was not reprimanded by the SAVIOR even though it was said he had little strength; instead, he was given an assignment to release four messengers bound in the Euphrates River. Euphrates is a real river located in western Asia, but the river has a spiritual meaning. The FATHER used the Euphrates River as a symbol of bondage because it played an important role in the in the lives of the Israelites. There were four messengers that were bound in this spiritual river, and they needed to learn something from this Philadelphian messenger.
River Euphrates: copied from Bible Guide. See the following map #18.
“In the Bible it is referred to by several names, among them the “great river” or just “the river”. Along its banks flourished some of the important cities of Mesopotamia, the greatest of which was Babylon. Throughout all periods it was the boundary between east and west, between the spheres of influence of Assyria and Egypt, and each of the great empires attempted the conquest of the borderland of Syria and Palestine.”
Euphrates was the fourth river that came out of the Garden of Eden, but most importantly, it was the boundary line for the Israelites. They could only go as far as the Euphrates River on one side and to the river of Egypt on the other side. The Israelites could possess all the land between these two rivers (See Deut. 11:22-25 and 1 Kings 4:21.)
Gen 15:18, In the same day Yahweh made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto your seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:
The Euphrates River symbolized bondage and the limitations of the carnal realm. The message of the Kingdom of Yahweh is one of love and mercy, and it was going to bring them freedom from their bondages. There were four messengers out of the seven that were bound by one form or another in the carnal realm and they needed to be released. The Philadelphian messenger was told he would have an influence on those that were in bondage to the doctrine of satan.
Rom. 6:12-14, Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto Yahweh, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto Yahweh. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace.
Many Israelite leaders were holding the people in bondage to the sacrificial laws that were done away with through the SAVIOR. These four messengers needed encouragement and spiritual strength to remove the adversary’s influence from their church. When this was done, those that were influenced by the adversary would know that Yahweh’s love was revealed through the revelation given to them by the Philadelphian messenger.
Ephesus needed help – 2:4, 6, “I have somewhat against you because you have lost your first love. But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.” In Revelation 2:13, it is indicated that the Nicolaitans were of the doctrine of satan. This church was bound because they lost their love for the people that were in bondage to the Nicolaitan doctrine. They had lost their first love because of iniquity and false prophets in their day. The church in Ephesus needed the Philadelphian messenger to show them how to love their enemies, how to bless those who cursed them, how to do good unto those who hated them, and how to pray for those who despitefully used and persecuted them (Matt. 5:44).
Smyrna needed help – 2:9, “I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of satan.” Notice, these Jews made up the synagogue of satan; they were a synagogue of adversaries. They were living in fear of those that called themselves Jews but were not. These Jews were not Abraham’s seed by faith in the Anointed SAVIOR; they were still in the old order proclaiming to be Yahweh’s sons because they were of the lineage of Abraham (Gal. 3:26-29). These Jews needed to be converted before they were given positions of authority in the assembly. The Smyrna messenger was told not to fear them.
The church in Smyrna needed the Philadelphian messenger to show them how to humble themselves before the mighty hand of Yahweh and to learn how to cast all their fears upon him. They needed to trust Yahweh in their persecution and be persuaded that he would establish and strengthen them (1 Pet. 5:6-10).
Pergamos needed help – 2:13, 14, “I know your works, and where you dwell, even where satan’s seat is.” They were allowing the doctrine of Balaam to be taught in their church, which was a stumbling block to their congregation. Spiritual fornication and idolatry were being tolerated by the leaders of the church. These fornicators and idolaters had to have been teachers or people of influence because they were casting a stumbling block before the people. Sinners, or unbelievers, would not have had that much influence on the congregation.
The church in Pergamos needed the Philadelphian messenger to educate them on how to choose spiritual leaders among them. These leaders needed to be sound and fruitful in the doctrine of the Kingdom of Righteousness.
Thyatira needed help – 2:20, “You suffered that woman Jezebel, which calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants.” The messenger in Thyatira was allowing the Jezebel doctrine to influence his congregation. These were false prophets and seducers. They needed the Philadelphian messenger to teach them to hear the voice of Yahweh and to educate them on how to choose leaders among them.
The sixth messenger could not help the church in Sardis until they were ready to hear truth. One has to hunger for righteousness in order to be filled with the Holy Spirit and they lacked desire for righteousness. They had no foundation for truth and they did not have spiritual ears to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. Yahweh said, when he, the Spirit of Truth, came to them they wouldn’t even know he was there. He said he would come just as a thief comes and goes before he is detected. There were some in the church that were hearing truth and were not influenced by the false doctrines.
The four messengers were seeking truth even though they were in bondage. Because of their carnality, it limited the power of the Holy Spirit.
Keep in mind that the seventh messenger has not sounded his trumpet yet.
9:15 And the four messengers were loosed, to prepare (which were prepared) for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, in order (for) to slay the third part of men. (This scripture should have read: “And the four messengers were loosed to prepare for the hour and day and month and year so that they might slay the third of the men.”)
Notice in the above verse, the phrase “which were prepared” should have been translated “to prepare.” “Which were” sets the scene in the past. It is very important to keep the past, present, and future tenses where they belong or the messages will be confusing.
Four of the messengers of the seven churches were in bondage and needed to be encouraged and energized by the Anointing. The locusts (carnal forces) were prepared to do battle, but the four messengers were not prepared to confront them. They needed to be emotionally and mentally prepared before they could stir up their congregations to be overcomers. The Philadelphian messenger could help prepare them for battle.
John 15:26, When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the FATHER, even the Spirit of Truth, which proceeds from the FATHER, he shall testify of me:
John 16:13, Howbeit when he, the Spirit of Truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.
According to the KJV of the Bible, in verse 6, we read where men sought to die but could not. Now in verse 15, there are four messengers that are going to kill them. The “third” symbolized a “portion” of the people. (See also Zech. 13:7-9.) The four messengers were going to be able to destroy the carnal nature in a portion of those in the churches.
Now let us reason together concerning verses 6 and 15. By reading verse 6 correctly, we see how lust kept the people in death and at the same time they did not want to reap death which was the fruit of that what they had sown. These people needed someone to teach them how to crucify the old man of sin that kept them in death (carnality); they needed to be overcomers. The Philadelphian messenger had the message of hope and restoration.
The messengers in Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, and Thyatira had the potential to bring the message of reconciliation to their congregations because they desired truth and were respected. But they had to be released from their own bondage to ignorance before they could bring their followers up higher.
In each of the four churches, there was some lack that needed to be addressed. They needed to believe they could do all things through the strength of the Holy Spirit. They needed to understand that the Spirit of the FATHER was greater in them than the adversary was in the world. They needed to believe that no weapons formed against them could stand. And most of all, they needed to hear and understand the voice of their Heavenly FATHER; to know truth and righteousness.
Rom. 8:21, The creation (creature) itself also shall be liberated (delivered) from the bondage of corruption into the glorious freedom (liberty) of the children of Yahweh.
2 Tim. 2:6, The husbandman that labors must be first partaker of the fruits.
After their release, the four messengers were able to teach their congregation how to kill the carnal nature in themselves. The releasing of these people brought forth a great army of soldiers for the Kingdom of Righteousness. They spread the message of Love throughout Asia and the rest of the world.
9:16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.
Here the scene changes and John sees a great army of believers, symbolized as horsemen that were too many to count. The first “thousand” means an immeasurable immensity and is found only in this scripture. Some translators omitted it. The next word “thousand” means “myriad” or “indefinite number.” This great army came through the releasing of the four messengers from their spiritual bondages.
9:17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone (sulfur).
18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.
The breastplate in John’s vision was made up of fire, jacinth, and brimstone (sulfur), which makes a blue flame. The breastplates represented the protection of the babes as they are nourished by the Anointing—that which gives the milk of the Word. The fire represented judgment, the cleansing process the believers go through. These riders were reprimanded by the Holy Spirit. They had already gone through fiery judgment and their lives, in return, brought judgment upon those around them. (See Ephesians 6:11-18 to learn of the armor worn by the army of Yahweh.)
Most writers say the word “jacinth” is only the color deep blue, but in Revelation 21:19, 20, jacinth is said to be a gem and a part of the foundation of New Jerusalem. It represented the twelve apostles (Rev. 21:14-19).
Sulfur: copied from Wikipedia.
“It is an essential element for life. In nonscientific context it can also be referred to as brimstone. English translations of the Bible commonly referred to sulfur as “brimstone”, giving rise to the name of ‘fire and brimstone’ sermons, in which listeners are reminded of the fate of eternal damnation that awaits the unbelieving and unrepentant. It is from this part of the Bible that Hell is implied to “smell of sulfur”, although sulfur, in itself, is in fact odorless. Sulfur burns with a blue flame.”
In Hebrews 12:29, Yahweh is said to be fire; he is not a fire of damnation, but a fire that purifies through correction and love (1 John 4:8-17). When the FATHER’s judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness (Isa. 26:9). The releasing of the four messengers that were to slay a third part of men (carnality) produced this great army of anointed believers, but the horses they rode upon, which represents the strength and love of the FATHER, did the killing.
9:19 For their (the horses) power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.
In verse 17, the horsemen were not the ones in charge; it was the “horses” that had the power to kill and to hurt. Yahweh dwells in temples not made with hands. When we understand that it is the Anointed within that fights our battles, it is easy to see that the horses symbolize the power of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the believers. It was not by physical strength, but through the power of the Anointing within the believers that made them able to convince the ungodly to repent. The horsemen had to have their breastplate of righteousness on, but they went in the power and might of the Anointed SAVIOR, which is symbolized by each of the horses having a head of a lion.
Remember that the Anointed was to come with ten thousand of his saints to execute judgment and to convince the sinners that they needed salvation.
Jude 1:14-15, Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his saints, to make (execute) judgment (justice) upon all, and to convince all hearts (are ungodly among them) of all their ungodly actions (deeds), their (which) wickedness (they have ungodly committed), and of all their hardness (speeches) which ungodly sinners have spoken against him (the Spirit of Righteousness).
This fire, smoke, and brimstone represent the same type of fire that came out of the mouths of the lions; it also made up the breastplate. Judgment came forth from the Lion’s mouth. Truth brings judgment because it reveals unrighteousness. Truth was not given in its fullness to the Church; it was given in types and shadows, which is symbolized by the smoke. The Church was in its infancy and needed the milk of the Word to grow and mature into a full manifestation of the Holy Spirit. The immaturity of the Church has created many doctrines throughout the ages.
Rom. 10:17, Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of Yahweh.
The army of Yahweh brought the fiery judgment that would cleanse the people from their sins, even as Yahweh does today. (See 1 Corinthians 3:10-16.)
The power of the horses was not only in their mouths, but was also in their tails; the tails had only the power to sting. The tail, being behind the horse, represents what a person sees after the power of Yahweh has passed over them. The word “serpent” is the same word used for satan and the devil, which is adversary. When truth comes forth, it causes adversity for the receivers—truth becomes an adversary when it comes against unrighteousness. Truth has a way of hurting those bound in carnality. I’m sure it was not a comfortable feeling when the churches came under the judgment of the Holy Spirit any more than it is for us today. Because many truths are just common place in most churches today, I think conversion is much easier now.
At this time, a complete new administration was being set up in the earth—the Levitical order was over and the Melchisedec order was taking its place. When truth was accepted, it caused the believers to feel guilt and shame for their unrighteous living and at the same time it brought them hope for new life. The horses (the power of the Holy Spirit) brought death to the old man of sin.
9:20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:
21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.
Notice that not every carnal person was killed by the army of Anointed believers. Those who had not repented of the works of their hands continued to worship that which had no life. They were controlled by the works of their flesh and not by the Spirit of Righteousness. (See Galatians 5:19-21 for a list of works of flesh.)
II Thss. 2:3-4, Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called godly (God), or that is worshipped; so that he (as God) sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is godly (God).
Review of the church in Philadelphia:
After the four messengers were released from the bondage of the Levitical order, a great army went out. This great army of Yahweh had the power to bring Life by killing the old man of sin. The church in Philadelphia had more spiritual depth than the other six churches. Its messenger had little strength, which indicated that not many were receiving his message, but because he had kept the faith and had not fainted, a multitude of believers came forth from his ministry when the Holy Spirit came upon him.