A Bible Study:
The Revelation to John
May 30, 2006
A Study of the Revelation to John
A Study of the Revelation to John
By Bernie Parsons - May 30, 2006
A Study of Revelation Chapter 6:1-17
Revelation 6:1: And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
Jesus—the slain Lamb—begins to remove the seven seals from the book. He opens the first one, and there is a sound like thunder, which is the voice of one of the four beasts telling John to come and observe. This thunderous sound was always associated with God, as we studied previously.
Revelation 6:2: And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
Zechariah 6:1: “And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass.
2: In the first chariot were red horses; and in the second chariot black horses;
3: And in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses.
4: Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What are these, my lord?
5: And the angel answered and said unto me, These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth.
6: The black horses which are therein go forth into the north country; and the white go forth after them; and the grisled go forth toward the south country.
7: And the bay went forth, and sought to go that they might walk to and fro through the earth: and he said, Get you hence, walk to and fro through the earth. So they walked to and fro through the earth.
8: Then cried he upon me, and spake unto me, saying, Behold, these that go toward the north country have quieted my spirit in the north country.
9: And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
10: Take of them of the captivity, even of Heldai, of Tobijah, and of Jedaiah, which are come from Babylon, and come thou the same day, and go into the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah;
11: Then take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set them upon the head of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest;
12: And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD:
13: Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.
14: And the crowns shall be to Helem, and to Tobijah, and to Jedaiah, and to Hen the son of Zephaniah, for a memorial in the temple of the LORD.
15: And they that are far off shall come and build in the temple of the LORD, and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. And this shall come to pass, if ye will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God.”
Notice the similarity between the horses of Zechariah, and the horses of Revelation. Also, take note that in the time of Zechariah, Joshua is named the Branch, and he will build the temple of the Lord. He will be both king and priest. Joshua, or Yeshua, is the Hebrew name that is rendered Jesus in the Greek. We see in this a foreshadowing of the coming of Jesus—Joshua, or Yeshua—who would be both king and priest, and who would establish the temple of God on earth—that is to say, the ekklesia, or called-out assembly of God. Zechariah is dealing with Babylon, while the Revelation deals with “Mystery, Babylon”, which is the Roman Empire.
In Revelation 6, he that sat upon the white horse was a conqueror, and a warrior. White signifies both purity, and victory. This signifies the wars that would take place, and death that would come by war. He was given the crown of victory, as was common for military victors in the Roman Empire.
Matthew 24:6: “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”
Revelation 6:3: And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.
4: And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
Jesus removes the second seal, and the second beast says to come and observe. John sees a red horse, the color of blood. Its rider has the power to remove peace, so that people turn on one another, killing one another, signifying civil strife, rather than military war. When this horse goes forth, blood flows.
Matthew 10:21: “And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.
22: And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
23: But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.”
(“Be thou faithful unto death”!)
Matthew 10:34: “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
35: For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
36: And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.”
Matthew 24:9: “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
10: And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.”
Revelation 6:5: And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
6: And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
The rider of the black horse holds a pair of scales, or balances, representing the scarcity of food, so much so that it would have to be carefully weighed in small amounts. Black generally signifies death, or some horrible occurrence. There would be a shortage of grain, although not of oil and wine, which were used to prepare bread from the grain. In other words, there would not be enough to eat.
Ezekiel 4:16: “Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, behold, I will break the staff of bread in Jerusalem: and they shall eat bread by weight, and with care; and they shall drink water by measure, and with astonishment:
17: That they may want bread and water, and be astonied one with another, and consume away for their iniquity.”
Revelation 6:7: And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
8: And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
This horse is pale, but not white. This pale horse represents the pallor of death. His rider is Death, and the Grave (Hell, or Hades) is his companion. We sometimes forget that God has the power to take our lives as He wills. Recall that we read earlier in our study:
Revelation 1:18: “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”
In chapter six, we see God unleash the power of Death, and his companion, Hades, the place of departed spirits. This death comes in the form of the sword, which denotes war; hunger, which speaks of starvation, or famine; with death, which represents pestilence; and with the beasts of the earth, which refers to wild animals, since those fleeing the cities to escape the sword, starvation, and outbreaks of disease, would tend to flee into the countryside. Recall the prophecies of Jesus:
Matthew 24:7: “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8: All these are the beginning of sorrows”
Matthew 24:15: “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
16: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:”
Ezekiel 14:21: “For thus saith the Lord GOD; How much more when I send my four sore judgments upon Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the noisome beast, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast?”
Revelation 6:9: And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
10: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
11: And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
Each of the four beasts announce the opening of one of the first four seals. They do not announce the opening of the fifth seal, because what John is next shown is something different. Instead of a destructive force being unleashed on the earth, John instead sees the souls of those already killed for witnessing and testifying of the word of God, beneath the altar. They were sacrifices, giving their blood, and their lives, for the Lord.
Leviticus 17:11: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”
Leviticus 17:14: “For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.”
Exodus 27:3: “And thou shalt make his pans to receive his ashes, and his shovels, and his basons, and his fleshhooks, and his firepans: all the vessels thereof thou shalt make of brass.
4: And thou shalt make for it a grate of network of brass; and upon the net shalt thou make four brasen rings in the four corners thereof.
5: And thou shalt put it under the compass of the altar beneath, that the net may be even to the midst of the altar.”
Leviticus 9:8: “Aaron therefore went unto the altar, and slew the calf of the sin offering, which was for himself.
9: And the sons of Aaron brought the blood unto him: and he dipped his finger in the blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar, and poured out the blood at the bottom of the altar:”
The lives of these righteous slain were poured out beneath the altar, and they cry out for vengeance upon their slayers. God is the avenger of the righteous, as we have already seen in our study.
Matthew 23:29: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,
30: And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.
31: Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.
32: Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
33: Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
34: Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
35: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
36: Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.”
Up until this fifth seal, death and destruction were unleashed on the general population, which affected the righteous, as well as the unrighteous. The righteous dead are calling for vengeance upon their unrighteous enemies. That God is vengeful, He made clear early on.
Deuteronomy 32:39: “See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.
40: For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever.
41: If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me.
42: I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh; and that with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy.
43: Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people.”
Psalms 58:10: “The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.
11: So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.”
Isaiah 59:17: “For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke.
18: According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence.
19: So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.
20: And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.”
Isaiah 63:1: “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.
2: Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat?
3: I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.
4: For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.
5: And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me.
6: And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.”
There are many more Old Testament scriptures that witness to the wrath and vengeance of God. The New Testament has its, share of them, as well.
Luke 21:22: “For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.”
Romans 3:5: “But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man)”
Romans 12:19: “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”
2 Thessalonians 1:6: “Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
7: And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
8: In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
10: When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.”
Hebrews 10:30: “For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.”
Jude1:7: “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”
Luke 17:29: “But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.”
Note that fire and brimstone are associated with God’s vengeance, and indicates the total wiping out of the sinning community, so that Jude refers to it as the “vengeance of eternal fire”. Not that this fire burns eternally, but that its consequences are eternal. Those who lost their lives in those wicked cities are forevermore cut off from God.
In the case of the souls under the altar crying out to God for vengeance, they are urged to be patient, because more of their righteous brethren are to be killed, as they had been. They are given white robes, signifying their purity and victory, in that they diligently sought God, even to the death, and had remained faithful even in death for their testimony of the Word of God.
Hebrews 12:2: “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3: For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
4: Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.”
Revelation 2:10: “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”
Revelation 6:12: And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
13: And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
14: And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
15: And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
16: And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
17: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
Read the same description of total destruction in Ezekiel 5, and Isaiah 34:
Ezekiel 5:1: “And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife, take thee a barber's razor, and cause it to pass upon thine head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weight, and divide the hair.
2: Thou shalt burn with fire a third part in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled: and thou shalt take a third part, and smite about it with a knife: and a third part thou shalt scatter in the wind; and I will draw out a sword after them.
3: Thou shalt also take thereof a few in number, and bind them in thy skirts.
4: Then take of them again, and cast them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire; for thereof shall a fire come forth into all the house of Israel.
5: Thus saith the Lord GOD; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her.
6: And she hath changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes more than the countries that are round about her: for they have refused my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them.
7: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye multiplied more than the nations that are round about you, and have not walked in my statutes, neither have kept my judgments, neither have done according to the judgments of the nations that are round about you;
8: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, am against thee, and will execute judgments in the midst of thee in the sight of the nations.
9: And I will do in thee that which I have not done, and whereunto I will not do any more the like, because of all thine abominations.
10: Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments in thee, and the whole remnant of thee will I scatter into all the winds.
11: Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD; Surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee; neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity.
12: A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee: and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them.
13: Thus shall mine anger be accomplished, and I will cause my fury to rest upon them, and I will be comforted: and they shall know that I the LORD have spoken it in my zeal, when I have accomplished my fury in them.
14: Moreover I will make thee waste, and a reproach among the nations that are round about thee, in the sight of all that pass by.
15: So it shall be a reproach and a taunt, an instruction and an astonishment unto the nations that are round about thee, when I shall execute judgments in thee in anger and in fury and in furious rebukes. I the LORD have spoken it.
16: When I shall send upon them the evil arrows of famine, which shall be for their destruction, and which I will send to destroy you: and I will increase the famine upon you, and will break your staff of bread:
17: So will I send upon you famine and evil beasts, and they shall bereave thee; and pestilence and blood shall pass through thee; and I will bring the sword upon thee. I the LORD have spoken it.”
Isaiah 34:1: “Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it.
2: For the indignation of the LORD is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter.
3: Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood.
4: And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.
5: For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment.
6: The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the LORD hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea.
7: And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.
8: For it is the day of the LORD's vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion.
9: And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch.
10: It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever.
11: But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness.
12: They shall call the nobles thereof to the kingdom, but none shall be there, and all her princes shall be nothing.
13: And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons, and a court for owls.
14: The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest.
15: There shall the great owl make her nest, and lay, and hatch, and gather under her shadow: there shall the vultures also be gathered, every one with her mate.
16: Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them.
17: And he hath cast the lot for them, and his hand hath divided it unto them by line: they shall possess it for ever, from generation to generation shall they dwell therein.”
Notice in verses 9 & 10 the use of the concept of fire and brimstone (sulfur), which we shall encounter later in the Revelation. It signifies such total destruction that the governments shall fall, and the land will be abandoned by humans and be overrun by wild animals. The dissolution of things refers to extreme re-ordering, and not the total disappearance of those things.
The Old Testament writers also made reference to the “dissolving of the heavens” or the “dissolving of the earth”. This indicates God’s power to change the powers that be. He sets up kings, and leaders of nations, and He takes them down. The writers of the New Testament were well aware of this.
Psalms 75:1: “Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.
2: When I shall receive the congregation I will judge uprightly.
3: The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved: I bear up the pillars of it. Selah.
4: I said unto the fools, Deal not foolishly: and to the wicked, Lift not up the horn:
5: Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck.
6: For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.
7: But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.
8: For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them.
9: But I will declare for ever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
10: All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.”
Isaiah 14:31: “Howl, O gate; cry, O city; thou, whole Palestina, art dissolved: for there shall come from the north a smoke, and none shall be alone in his appointed times.”
Isaiah 24:17: “Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth.
18: And it shall come to pass, that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake.
19: The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly.
20: The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.
21: And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth.
22: And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited.
23: Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.”
Isaiah 34:4: “And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.”
When did this all come to pass? It occurred in the generation to which Jesus came, and to which the apostles ministered. Changes occurred in the heavens and the earth. In other words, the order of authority was dissolved—that is, the existing leaders were taken out of the way, so that the true leader, Jesus Christ, might take His rightful role as king and priest to all of heaven and earth.
2 Peter 3:11: “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?”
This language used by Peter, and promoted by many as a description of total annihilation of the heavens and earth is actually Peter quoting Old Testament scriptures regarding the extreme changes that were coming to both heaven and earth. That is, Jesus Christ was going to rule heaven and earth, and all leaders in both places would serve under His rule (except for God, who was exempted).
Isaiah had prophesied this time of God’s vengeance, when heaven and earth would be dissolved—the regime would change in both worlds—and Christ would become all in all.
Isaiah 42:6: “I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;
7: To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.
8: I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
9: Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.
10: Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof.
11: Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains.
12: Let them give glory unto the LORD, and declare his praise in the islands.
13: The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies.
14: I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once.
15: I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools.
16: And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.”
Isaiah 66:18: “For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.
19: And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.
20: And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the LORD out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the LORD, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD.
21: And I will also take of them for priests and for Levites, saith the LORD.
22: For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.”
Isaiah 65:11: “But ye are they that forsake the LORD, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that number.
12: Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not.
13: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed:
14: Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit.
15: And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord GOD shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name:
16: That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes.
17: For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
18: But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.
19: And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.”
The prophet Isaiah foretold of a shakeup that was coming to both the heavens and the earth. The old order would be swept away—dissolved— in the time of judgment and vengeance, replaced by a new heaven and earth, where righteousness would prevail. This was a prediction of the coming of the Savior, Jesus Christ. The old regimes would cease, and soon be forgotten, as the new order came to be the norm.
Jeremiah 31:1: “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
32: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
33: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
34: And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
Hebrews 8:8: “For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:”
Hebrews 8:13: “In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.”
Hebrews 12:24: “And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.”
Hebrews 1:10: “And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:
11: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;
12: And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.”
2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
18: And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19: To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.”
Ephesians 4:21: “If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
22: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
23: And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24: And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
With the coming of Christ, the old heavens and earth were dissolved—their governments changed—as all things were placed under the authority of Christ. In this day of God’s wrath, things changed forever. Christ, who is not a Levite, is the new high priest. Christians, even Gentiles, are taken to be the priests of God Almighty. The old order, established under the old covenant (old testament) was done away, and replaced by the new order of Christians, under the new covenant (new testament) given by Christ. Under the old covenant, sins were remembered, and animal sacrifices were continually required. Under the new covenant, Christ was the last sacrifice, and sins were forgotten.
Matthew 24:29: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:”
Isaiah 13:1: “The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see.
2: Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them, shake the hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles.
3: I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, even them that rejoice in my highness.
4: The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the LORD of hosts mustereth the host of the battle.
5: They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the LORD, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land.
6: Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.
7: Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man's heart shall melt:
8: And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.
9: Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.
10: For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
11: And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
12: I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.
13: Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.
14: And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land.
15: Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword.
16: Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished.
17: Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it.
18: Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children.
19: And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.
20: It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.
21: But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there.”
Isaiah wrote about what would befall the Babylon in the day when the Medes would overrun them. Now, recall what we previously studied in Hebrews 12:
Hebrews 12:22: “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
23: To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
24: And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
25: See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
26: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
27: And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
28: Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
29: For our God is a consuming fire.”
Jeremiah 50:41: “Behold, a people shall come from the north, and a great nation, and many kings shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.
42: They shall hold the bow and the lance: they are cruel, and will not shew mercy: their voice shall roar like the sea, and they shall ride upon horses, every one put in array, like a man to the battle, against thee, O daughter of Babylon.
43: The king of Babylon hath heard the report of them, and his hands waxed feeble: anguish took hold of him, and pangs as of a woman in travail.
44: Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan unto the habitation of the strong: but I will make them suddenly run away from her: and who is a chosen man, that I may appoint over her? for who is like me? and who will appoint me the time? and who is that shepherd that will stand before me?
45: Therefore hear ye the counsel of the LORD, that he hath taken against Babylon; and his purposes, that he hath purposed against the land of the Chaldeans: Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out: surely he shall make their habitation desolate with them.
46: At the noise of the taking of Babylon the earth is moved, and the cry is heard among the nations.”
As the original Babylon fell, so shall the mystery Babylon fall!
Jeremiah 4:23: “I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.
24: I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.
25: I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.
26: I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger.
27: For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end.
28: For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.
29: The whole city shall flee for the noise of the horsemen and bowmen; they shall go into thickets, and climb up upon the rocks: every city shall be forsaken, and not a man dwell therein.”
Isaiah 2:17: “And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.
18: And the idols he shall utterly abolish.
19: And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.
20: In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats;
21: To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.”
When God unleashed His fury and wrath, and the first—which is Babylon—of the four great empires recorded in the book of Daniel fell, the prophets said that heavens and earth were shaken. The old heavens and earth were moved, or dissolved—that is, the governments were dissolved, and things changed catastrophically. After Christ came and died, God in His wrath and fury again brought down an empire—the fourth great empire recorded in Daniel, which is Rome—and the heavens and the earth were again shaken, and dissolved, and a new arrangement was put into place.
This is the great day of God’s wrath spoken of in the Old Testament prophecies; by Jesus, as recorded by Matthew, Mark, and Luke; and in the Revelation to John. Old things passed away, and all things became new. The Israelites had abandoned righteousness, but with the life and death of Jesus, true righteousness was restored to the earth.