A Study of Revelation

4* they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.

The key to understanding this verse is understanding the prophecy of Isaiah:

Isaiah 59:2
2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.

Sin separates man from God. Because of Israels’ sins God “hid his face” from them. Today, when we obey the gospel, our sins are forgiven, and God does not his his face from us. We receive forgiveness when we obey him. We see him “face to face,” and he hears our prayers. “And His name will be on their foreheads” takes us back to chapter 14:1.

Rev. 14:1
14:1* ¶ Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads.

If we are his bond-servants today we are among the 144,000, and His name is on our foreheads. We belong to God because we are committed to him, we do not belong to the devil, we do not have the mark of the beast on our foreheads.

5* And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.

This is the same symbolism we saw in 21:23. Light is symbolic of the sinless state in which Christians live. Darkness represents sin or the dwelling place of those outside the church. Jesus said:

John 8:12
12* ¶ Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

Those in the Lord’s church are considered by God to be in a sinless state and Jesus is our light.

We are also told that “they will reign forever and ever.” We have already started our reign! When we overcome this world of sin by becoming Christians, we begin our reigning with Christ. This is the description that is given to us in 20:4.

Art used by permission by Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1992.
To order prints visit:
“Revelation Illustrated”

Rev. 20:4
4* Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Christians are living and reigning with Christ today. Rev. 5:10 says that we reign on earth. As Christians, our reign with Christ has begun, and if we remain faithful, we will continue to reign with him throughout eternity.

6* ¶ And he said to me, “These words are faithful and true”; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place.

Art used by permission by Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1992.
To order prints visit:
“Revelation Illustrated”

The angel proclaims : “These words are faithful and true”. They are definitely going to take place. He says that “the things which must soon take place.” This is similar to 1:1 which states that Jesus is going to show John things which must “must soon take place.” This means that the events recorded in Revelation are soon to begin taking place. It does not mean that they will shortly be finished. It means that they will take place all during the Christian dispensation.

7* “And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.”

This verse helps us to understand how certain phrases and symbols dealing with amounts of time are used in the book of Revelation. Jesus said he would come quickly; yet, nearly two thousand years have passed since he made this statement. In terms of man’s understanding of time, two thousand years does not pass “quickly,” but with God this is a short time.

Again, in Rev. 1:1 we have a similar statement that some people use as a basis of interpretation for the entire book.

Speaking of the things revealed in Revelation, Jesus states that he is going to show his servants things which must soon take place. There are a few who say that this means the events foretold in the book of Revelation will be fulfilled within a few hundred years after its writing. This interpretation uses man’s understanding of time rather than God’s. Notice that in verse 6 above the angel tells John that he has shown him things that will soon take place. But this verse we have Jesus saying, “I am coming quickly.” You can’t say in one place that “soon” means a few hundred years, and then “quickly” means nearly two thousand years or more. Both refer to the same identical period of time, the entire gospel age.

Notice also that a blessing is pronounced upon those who “heed the words of the prophecy of this book.” If we follow the commandments of God we will of all men be most blessed.

8* I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things.
9* But he *said to me, “Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Worship God.”

Art used by permission by Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1992.
To order prints visit:
“Revelation Illustrated”

At the conclusion of this great vision John fell down to worship before the angel. The angel immediately tells him no to do this because he is John’s fellow servant. John is admonished to worship God. We have seen this before in the book of Revelation in chapter 19:10.

Why would John make the same mistake twice? It may be that here John falls down to worship God in the presence of the angel. Our worship must be presented directly to God. We cannot worship him through another man or image. Everyone is responsible for his or her own acts of worship to God. If John was not permitted to bow down before an angel in order to worship God, we must not bow down before other men to worship God.

10* And he *said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near.

Jesus is speaking here, we know this by the identification he gives us in verse 12. The prophecies in this book deal with our present gospel age or the “last time”

1 Jn. 2:18
18* ¶ Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.

The time of the fulfillment of the things written in the book of Revelation began in John’s day and continue to our day. The events in the book of Revelation are not confined to a short period of time. These prophecies were to begin immediately in John’s day but they will not be completely fulfilled until Christ returns.

11 “Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.”

To understand what is being said here we must remind ourselves of the context of this verse. Verse 10 states, “do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book.” Then verse 11 indicates that there will be no change in the status of these individuals who read these prophecies. Those who are unjust will still be unjust; those who do wrong will continue to do wrong; those who are filthy will continue to be filthy; those who are righteous will continue to practice righteousness; those who are holy will continue to be holy. The book of Revelation has the final revelation from God to man, but it revealed nothing which would change the plan of salvation which God had already given to man. Those who were unjust before this revelation was given to John would continue to be unjust after it was given. The same would be true for those who were filthy, and righteous and holy. This revelation did nothing to change the way one renders obedience to God’s will. This is an important point to keep in mind since there are some who believe that there is a coming thousand year reign of Christ on earth, and that God will at that time establish a new method of salvation for man whereby man may have a second chance at salvation. The book of Revelation in no way changed God’s plan of salvation.

12* “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.

When Christ comes again it will be to reward those who have been faithful to him. There will be no second chance, no period of tribulation for the wicked, there will be no setting up of an earthly kingdom for a thousand years. Everything on this earth will be finished and judgment will take place. Everyone will be judged according to their works.

2 Cor. 5:10
10* For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

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