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Bible Commentaries

Larkin's Study of the Prophetic Book of Holy Scriptures

Revelation

- Revelation

by Clarence Larkin

THE ANNOUNCEMENT

“Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall SEE HIM, and they also which PIERCED HIM: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen.” Revelation 1:7.

This refers to the Second Stage of Christ’s Coming, the “Revelation” or “Appearing.” The First Stage of His Coming, the “Rapture,” is not mentioned in the Book. This will fulfil Zechariah 12:10, “They (the Jews) shall look upon Me (Jesus) whom they have PIERCED.” This is confirmatory of the view that the Book of Revelation deals mainly with the events that follow after the “Rapture” and precede and attend the “Revelation” or the coming to the earth of the Lord.

It is difficult to imagine the grief and remorse that will fill the hearts of those Jews who shall witness the return of the Lord to the Mount of Olives, when they shall see in His hands and feet the PRINT OF THE NAILS,” and He shall be revealed as the One they crucified. Like Thomas they will cry, MY LORD AND MY GOD.” John 20:24-29. The Prophet Zechariah (Zechariah 12:9-14) describes it as a time of great BITTERNESS and a day of great mourning in Jerusalem, when families will separate themselves from their neighbors and mourn every family apart. And not only shall the Jews mourn because they rejected Him when He came the first time, but the nations of the earth will WAIL when they realize that He has come back, not as a Saviour, but a Judge to punish them for their iniquities.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

THE TITLE
THE BLESSING
THE SALUTATION
THE ANNOUNCEMENT

I. THE THINGS WHICH THOU HAST SEEN

THE VISION
THE DIVISIONS OF THE BOOK

II. THE THINGS WHICH ARE

THE MESSAGES TO THE SEVEN CHURCHES
THE CHURCH AT EPHESUS
THE CHURCH AT SMYRNA
THE CHURCH AT PERGAMOS
THE CHURCH AT THYATIRA
THE CHURCH AT SARDIS
THE CHURCH AT PHILADELPHIA
THE CHURCH AT LAODICEA

III. THE THINGS WHICH SHALL BE HEREAFTER

THE HEAVENLY DOOR
THE HEAVENLY THRONE
THE FOUR AND TWENTY ELDERS
THE FOUR BEASTS
THE SEVEN SEALED BOOK
DANIEL’S SEVENTIETH WEEK

THE SEVEN SEALS

FIRST SEAL
SECOND SEAL
THIRD SEAL
FOURTH SEAL
FIFTH SEAL
SIXTH SEAL

THE INTERVAL BETWEEN THE SIXTH AND SEVENTH SEAL

THE SEALING OF THE 144,000
THE BLOOD WASHED MULTITUDE
SEVENTH SEAL

THE SEVEN TRUMPETS

FIRST TRUMPET
SECOND TRUMPET
THIRD TRUMPET
FOURTH TRUMPET
FIFTH TRUMPET
SIXTH TRUMPET

THE INTERVAL BETWEEN THE SIXTH AND SEVENTH TRUMPET

THE LITTLE BOOK
THE TWO WITNESSES
SEVENTH TRUMPET

THE SEVEN PERSONAGES

1. THE SUN-CLOTHED WOMAN
2. THE DRAGON
3. THE MAN-CHILD
4. THE ARCHANGEL
5. THE JEWISH REMNANT
6. THE BEAST OUT OF THE SEA
ISAIAH’S FOREVIEW
DANIEL’S FOREVIEW
PAUL’S FOREVIEW
JOHN’S FOREVIEW
7. THE BEAST OUT OF THE EARTH

THE INTERVAL BETWEEN THE “SEVEN PERSONAGES” AND THE “SEVEN VIALS”

THE LAMB ON MT. ZION
THE THREE ANGEL MESSENGERS
THE HARVEST AND VINTAGE

THE SEVEN VIALS

PRELUDE: THE SEA OF GLASS
THE TABERNACLE OF TESTIMONY
FIRST VIAL
SECOND VIAL
THIRD VIAL
FOURTH VIAL
FIFTH VIAL
SIXTH VIAL

THE INTERVAL BETWEEN THE SIXTH AND SEVENTH VIALS

THREE UNCLEAN SPIRITS
SEVENTH VIAL

THE SEVEN DOOMS

1. ECCLESIASTICAL BABYLON
2. COMMERCIAL BABYLON

THE INTERVAL BETWEEN THE SECOND AND THIRD DOOMS

THE HALLELUJAH CHORUS
THE MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB
THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON
3. THE BEAST AND FALSE PROPHET
4. THE ANTICHRISTIAN NATIONS

THE INTERVAL BETWEEN THE FOURTH AND FIFTH DOOMS

SATAN BOUND FOR 1000 YEARS
THE FIRST RESURRECTION
THE MILLENNIUM
SATAN LOOSED
5. GOG AND MAGOG
6. SATAN’S DOOM
7. THE WICKED DEAD

THE SEVEN NEW THINGS

1. THE NEW HEAVEN
2. THE NEW EARTH
3. THE NEW CITY
4. THE NEW NATIONS
5. THE NEW RIVER
6. THE NEW TREE OF LIFE
7. THE NEW THRONE
THE AGES OF THE AGES
THE EPILOGUE

FOREWORD

This work is the result of 25 years’ study of the Book of Revelation. Twice within 6 years the writer gave a 4-months’ course of Sunday morning sermons to his people on the Book. These lectures have also been given in Bible Institute Courses, illustrated with large, colored, wall charts.

The Book of Revelation is interpreted from the Futurist Standpoint. Chapters two and three cover the present Church Dispensation. From chapter four until the end of the Book all is future. The writer’s purpose is to show that the Book of Revelation is to be taken literally, and that it is written in chronological order. The text of the Old Version is used and is printed at the top of each subject. The chapter and verse divisions are ignored. The text is emphasized by the use of capitals and black type. This helps to explain it and make it clear to the general reader. The descriptive matter of the book is emphasized in the same manner.

The book is also illustrated with over 30 charts, maps, and diagrams. Numerous cuts of symbols, beasts, etc., spoken of in the Book of Revelation are distributed through the book at the place where they are mentioned, and add greatly to its value by elucidating the text and saving much explanatory matter.

The make-up and printing of the book is unique. The writer has broken all rules of book-making in his desire to make the average reader see and grip the truth. This he has been able to do because of his skill as a draughtsman, and because the Printers of the book, who are lovers of the truth and like to see it “Rightly Divided,” were in sympathy with the writer’s purpose, and have done everything they could to make the “printer’s art” express the writer’s thought.

A book gotten up in this way is naturally more expensive to print than an ordinary book. The writer had to spend weeks and months in study and designing the charts, maps, diagrams, cuts, etc. These had to be inked in and lettered by hand. Then plates had to be made of the drawings, and electros of the plates. The emphasizing of the descriptive matter with black type costs extra, but all this trouble and expense makes the book doubly valuable. While there are but 210 pages in the book, the size of the type, and the enlarged page, 6 x 9 inches, make it equivalent to an ordinary book of 400 pages.

There is nothing fantastical in the book. It contains no speculative matter, nor opinions of the writer. The book is not a commentary made up of quotations from other writers. The writer is neither a copyist or compiler. The only Author the writer has sought to follow is the Author of the Book the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore the writer lays no claim to originality. All he has sought to do is to clearly present the MIND OF CHRIST as revealed in the Book, having in mind the CURSE to which every expositor of the Book subjects himself. “If any man shall ADD unto these things, God shall ADD UNTO HIM the ’PLAGUES’ that are written in this Book, and if any man shall TAKE AWAY from the words of the ’Book of this Prophecy,’ God shall TAKE AWAY HIS PART OUT OF THE BOOK OF LIFE,’ AND OUT OF THE HOLY CITY, AND FROM THE THINGS WHICH ARE WRITTEN IN THIS BOOK.” Revelation 22:18-19.

The writer’s aim has been to prepare a standard work on the Book of Revelation, from the Futurist Standpoint, that can be used as a text-book in Theological Seminaries and Bible Schools, and be of invaluable service to the busy pastor in his exposition of the Word of God. The book is sent out with the prayer that God will bless its testimony in these days when the prophetic utterances of the Book of Revelation are rapidly approaching their fulfilment.

CLARENCE LARKIN.

“Sunnyside”

Fox Chase, Phila., Pa.

THE BOOK OF REVELATION



I. THE THINGS WHICH THOU HAST SEEN

THE VISION .

“I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the Kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the Isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the SPIRIT on the LORD’S DAY, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a Trumpet, saying, I am ALPHA and OMEGA, the FIRST and the LAST: and, What thou SEEST, write in a book, and send it unto the Seven Churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. And I turned see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw

SEVEN GOLDEN CANDLESTICKS;

and in the midst of the Seven Candlesticks one like unto the

SON OF MAN,

clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps (breast) with a golden girdle. His Head and his Hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His Eyes were as a flame of fire; and His Feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His Voice as the sound of many waters. And He had in His Right Hand “Seven Stars”; and out of His Mouth went a sharp two edged Sword; and His Countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. And He laid His Right Hand upon me, saying unto me, “Fear not; I am the FIRST and the LAST: I am He that LIVETH, and WAS DEAD; and behold, I am ALIVE FOR EVERMORE, AMEN; and have the KEYS of HELL (Hades, the Underworld), and of DEATH (the Grave). Write the things which thou hast SEEN, and the things which ARE, and the things which shall be HEREAFTER (after these); the Mystery of the ’Seven Stars’ which thou sawest in my right hand, and the ’Seven Golden Candlesticks.’ The ’Seven Stars’ are the ANGELS (Messengers) of the ’Seven Churches’: and the ’Seven Candlesticks’ which thou sawest are the SEVEN CHURCHES.”

TABLE OF CONTENTS

The Title--Revelation 1:1-3.

The Salutation--Revelation 1:4-6.

The Announcement--Revelation 1:7.

The Testimony Of The Almighty--Revelation 1:8.

I.

“THE THINGS WHICH THOU HAST SEEN.”

The Vision Of The Son of Man--Revelation 1:9-20.

II.

“THE THINGS WHICH ARE.”

The Messages To The Seven Churches--Revelation 2:1 to Revelation 3:22.

III.

“THE THINGS WHICH SHALL BE HEREAFTER.”

1.The Heavenly Door.Revelation 4:1.
2.The Heavenly Throne.Revelation 4:2-3; Revelation 4:5-6.
3.The Four And Twenty Elders.Revelation 4:4.
4.The Four Beasts.Revelation 4:6-11.
5.The Seven Sealed Book.Revelation 5:1-14.

Daniel’s Seventieth Week

1. THE SEVEN SEALS .

FIRST SEAL--A White Horse.Revelation 6:1-2.
SECOND SEAL--A Red Horse.Revelation 6:3-4.
THIRD SEAL--A Black Horse.Revelation 6:5-6.
FOURTH SEAL--A Pale Horse.Revelation 6:7-8.
FIFTH SEAL--Souls of Martyrs.Revelation 6:9-11.
SIXTH SEAL--Physical Changes.Revelation 6:12-17.

___________________________________

INTERVAL

Between The Sixth And Seventh Seals

(1)Sealing of 144,000.Revelation 7:1-8.
(2)Blood Washed Multitude.Revelation 7:9-17.

___________________________________

SEVENTH SEAL--Silence.Revelation 8:1.
Golden Censer.Revelation 8:3-5.

2. THE SEVEN TRUMPETS .

FIRST TRUMPET.Hail--Fire--Blood.Revelation 8:7.
SECOND TRUMPET.Burning Mountain.Revelation 8:8-9.
THIRD TRUMPET.Star Wormwood.Revelation 8:10-11.
FOURTH TRUMPET.Sun--Moon--Stars Smitten.Revelation 8:12.

The Angel Warning

“Three Woes” Announced. Revelation 8:13.

FIFTH TRUMPET.
FIRST WOE--Plague of Locusts. Revelation 9:1-12.

SIXTH TRUMPET.
SECOND WOE--Plague of Horseman. Revelation 9:13-21.

___________________________________

INTERVAL

Between The Sixth And Seventh Trumpets

(1)Little Book.Revelation 10:1-11.
(2)Two Witnesses.Revelation 11:1-14.

___________________________________

SEVENTH TRUMPET.

THIRD WOE--Cover Remainder of the Week.
And Includes the “Seven Personages”
The “Seven Vials” and “Four Dooms.”
Revelation 11:15 to Revelation 20:10.

THE MIDDLE OF THE WEEK.

3. THE SEVEN PERSONAGES .

FIRST PER.The Sun-Clothed Women.Revelation 12:1-2.
SECOND PER.The Dragon.Revelation 12:3-4.
THIRD PER.The Man-Child.Revelation 12:5-6.
FOURTH PER.The Archangel.Revelation 12:7-12.
FIFTH PER.The Jewish Remnant.Revelation 12:13-17.
SIXTH PER.The Beast Out of the Sea.Revelation 13:1-10.
SEVEN PER.The Beast Out of the Earth.Revelation 13:11-18.

___________________________________

INTERVAL

Between The “Seven Personages”

And The “Seven Vials.”

(1)The Lamb On Mt. Zion.Revelation 14:1-5.
(2).The Three Angel Messengers.Revelation 14:6-7.
(3).The Blessed Dead.Revelation 14:12-13.
(4).The Harvest And Vintage.Revelation 14:14-20.

4. THE SEVEN VIALS .

Prelude. Revelation 15:1.

(1).The Sea Of Glass.Revelation 15:2-4.
(2).The Tabernacle Of Testimony.Revelation 15:5-8.
FIRST VIAL.Boils.Revelation 16:1-2.
SECOND VIAL.Blood On The Sea.Revelation 16:3.
THIRD VIAL.Blood On The Rivers.Revelation 16:4-7.
FOURTH VIAL.Great Heat.Revelation 16:8-9.
FIFTH VIAL.Darkness.Revelation 16:10-11.
SIXTH VIAL.Euphrates Dried Up.Revelation 16:12.

___________________________________

INTERVAL

Between The Sixth And Seventh Vials
Three Unclean Spirits.Revelation 16:13-16.

___________________________________

SEVENTH VIAL.Great Hail.Revelation 16:17-21.

5. THE SEVEN DOOMS .

FIRST DOOM--Ecclesiastical Babylon.Revelation 17:1-18.
SECOND DOOM--Commercial Babylon.Revelation 18:1-24.

___________________________________

INTERVAL

Between The Second And Third Dooms.

(1).The Hallelujah Chorus.Revelation 19:1-7.
(2).The Marriage Of The Lamb.Revelation 19:8-10.
(3).The Battle Of Armageddon.Revelation 19:11-21.

___________________________________

THIRD DOOM--The Antichrist And The False Prophet.Revelation 19:20.
FOURTH DOOM--The Antichristian Nations.Revelation 19:21.

___________________________________

INTERVAL

Between The Fourth And Fifth Dooms

(1).Satan Bound.Revelation 20:1-3.
(2).First Resurrection.Revelation 20:4-5.
(3).The Millennium.Revelation 20:6.
(4).Satan Loosed.Revelation 20:7.

___________________________________

FIFTH DOOM--Gog and Magog.Revelation 20:8-9.
SIXTH DOOM--Satan.Revelation 20:10.
SEVENTH DOOM--The Wicked Dead.Revelation 20:11-15.

6. THE SEVEN NEW THINGS .

First New Thing--The New Heaven.Revelation 21:1.
Second New Thing--The New Earth.Revelation 21:2-8.
Third New Thing--The New City.Revelation 21:9-23.
Fourth New Thing--The New Nations.Revelation 21:24-27.
Fifth New Thing--The New River.Revelation 22:1.
Sixth New Thing--The New Tree.Revelation 22:2.
Seventh New Thing--The New Throne.Revelation 22:3-5.
The Final Testimony And Warnings.Revelation 22:6-21.

II. THE THINGS WHICH ARE

THE MESSAGES TO THE SEVEN CHURCHES .

It is worthy of note that the “Messages to the Seven Churches” are inserted between Two Visions, the “Vision of Christ” in the midst of the “Seven Lampstands” in chapter one and the “Vision of the Four and Twenty Elders” round about the Throne, in chapter four.

As chapter four is a vision of the “Glorified Church” with the Lord, after it has been caught out (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17), then the Second Division of the Book--

“The Things Which Are,”

and which includes chapters two and three, must be a description or prophetic outline of the “Spiritual History” of the Church from the time when John wrote the Book in A. D. 96, down to the taking out of the Church, or else we have no “prophetic view” of the Church during that period, for she disappears from the earth at the close of chapter three, and is not seen again until she reappears with her Lord in chapter nineteen. This we shall find to be the case. See .

This interpretation of the “Messages to the Seven Churches” was hidden to the early Church, because time was required for Church History to develop and be written, so a comparison could be made to reveal the correspondence. If it had been clearly revealed that the Seven Churches stood for “Seven Church Periods” that would have to elapse before Christ could come back, the incentive to watch would have been absent.

While the character of these Seven Churches is descriptive of the Church during seven periods of her history, we must not forget that the condition of those churches, as described, were their exact condition in John’s day. So we see that at the close of the First Century the leaven of “False Doctrine” was at work in the Churches. The churches are given in the order named, because the peculiar characteristic of that Church applied to the period of Church History to which it is assigned. It also must not be forgotten, that, that which is a distinctive characteristic of each Church Period, does not disappear with that Period, but continues on down through the next Period, and so on until the end, thus increasing the imperfections of the visible Church, until it ends in an open Apostasy, as shown on the chart--“The Messages to the Seven Churches Compared with Church History.”

It is noteworthy that the “Salutation” to each Church contains a reference to some characteristic of the Son of Man as described in chapter one. We will now consider each message separately.


The Messages to the Seven Churches Compared with Church History

The Church as Seen in the Book of Revelation

III. THE THINGS WHICH SHALL BE HEREAFTER

We have now come to the Third Division of the Book. The Three Divisions of the Book do not overlap nor are they concurrent. The word translated “hereafter,” would be better translated “after these things.” The word “hereafter” permits a “time space,” while the words “after these things” refer to the things that shall immediately follow the completion of the “Church Age,” as prefigured in the Messages to the Seven Churches. The Church disappears from view with the close of the third chapter and is not heard of again until the nineteenth chapter, where her marriage to the Lamb is announced. Revelation 19:7-9. The removal of the Church at the end of the third chapter opens the way for God to renew His dealings with Israel, and take up the broken thread of Jewish History. That the portion of the Book from chapter three to the end of chapter nineteen is largely made up of symbols taken from the Old Testament, as the Tabernacle, Ark of the Covenant, Altar, Censer, Elders, Cherubim, Seals, Trumpets, Plagues, etc., is conclusive evidence that we are here back on Jewish ground, and that the Parenthetical Dispensation of the Church is complete, and that the last or “Seventieth Week” of Daniel’s “Seventy Weeks” is in course of fulfilment. It is clear therefore that we must look for the explanation of these symbols to the Old Testament.

Chapters four and five are introductory and preparatory to the “Prophetic Action” of the “Seals,” “Trumpets” and “Vials,” and must be considered first.