The Book of Revelation; An Apocalyptic Art Gallery featuring Symbolist, Visionary, & Mystical Art. Illustrations of the Prophet John's visions of the future: Featuring realistic paintings and pictures of Revelations signs and wonders; Illustrations of Eschatological art and word paintings by American Illustrator Howard David Johnson, who studied four years under the world's foremost Biblical scholars at the Center for Judeo-Christian Studies and whose illustrations have been published all over the world by distinguished learning institutions and publishers including the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.

  Mystery Babylon the Great woman sitting on seven-headed dragon  from Revelation

Presents:  The BOOK of REVELATION ~ EXPLAINED

"Blessed are they that read and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things that are written therein : for the time is at hand."

A Symbolist Art Gallery with detailed commentary on the visions and prophecies... Throughout history people have read the book of Revelation and tried to fathom it's mysteries. It's astonishing predictions are coming true very day.

The 2nd Angel poured out his Vial upon the Sea

Apocalypse ; Apokalypsis - ( Greek  )  1.) literal -  an uncovering or unveiling ; to appear. 2.) An act of communicating or revealing divine truth. 3.) Something that is revealed ; especially of an enlightening or astonishing nature. Syn. Revelation - an incredible or enlightening disclosure.~ American Heritage College Dictionary 

"The second Angel poured out his Vial upon the Sea" ... And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. 6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy." ~ Revelation 16 : 5

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The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse  - conquest famine death war

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: 

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.

      Fallen-FALLEN is BABYLON the GREAT  giant angel meteors smashing New York        Into The Lake of Fire (Satan thrown into Hell by Michael)        And the 3rd Angel poured out his vial upon the Rivers       

"Fallen! FALLEN!! ~ is Babylon the Great!"  "...Into the Lake of Fire"  and "...The  Second Angel poured out his vial on the Rivers" 

The Book of Revelation: An Expository Systematic Analysis

The Seventh Seal - King Jesus enthroned in Heaven w angel holding the scroll

"The Seventh Seal"

Keys to Unlocking the Meaning: 

Webster’s Dictionary: Revelation \rev-e-l-‘la-shen\
1. An act of revealing or communication divine truth.2.) a: An act of revealing to view b: something that is revealed; especially of an enlightening or astonishing nature. Syn. An incredible and enlightening disclosure. (The word “Revelation” translates from the Greek Apokalypsis*)

 Re.1:1- “The Revelation of Jesus Christ…”


So here we have the first key. John, the author, proclaims the writing: The Incredible and Enlightening Disclosure of Jesus Christ, that is, it reveals Christ---it is the Revelation of Christ---it is the fullness of Christ revealed---
There are three distinct views of Christ in the New Testament:
1. The Christ revealed in the Gospels: The Savior-The Messiah-God himself clad in flesh come to Earth to atone for the sins of humanity.2. The Christ revealed in the Epistles: The Counselor-The Guide-The Head of the Church.3. The Christ revealed in the Revelation: The Eternal God-The Resurrected Lord-The Creator-The Triumphant King! So we see Revelation completes our picture of our Lord, gives it that third dimension. Jesus Christ is the central theme of the book. Re.1:1 continues: “Which God gave unto him,…” (“him”, being the Apostle John…)…

The SECOND TRUMPET (Apostle John seeing vision of meteor hitting Earth)

"The Second Trumpet"

    “To show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass;…” Which translates literally “to unveil”.   Not to ONE servant but to ALL servants. This is not John’s Revelation, but Christ’s Revelation given to Johns to give to us His (God’s) servants (Plural) So the Book proclaims we have the God given right as his servants to understand! In addition to this, the Book offers a special blessing to all who read it… The only book in the Bible to do so! (Re. 1:3)

This Book is NOT Beyond Understanding... it is MEANT to be Understood!

 

 The Sixth Trumpet (The four angels coming out of River Euphrates)       The TWO WITNESSES – Enoch & Elijah preaching in Tribulation era Jerusalem        The Seventh Trumpet The seventh angel sounds the seventh trumpet heralding the third woe  

"The TWO WITNESSES" - Enoch & Elijah preaching in Tribulation Era Jerusalem.  Scroll down for more on the Seven Angels with Seven Trumpets~


So, we see in chapter one a statement of the theme and purpose of the book; a special note of emphasis as to who the book is for; a promise of special blessings to all who read it; a charge for all Christians to live as priests and kings (v.6); the promise of his return in the sight of all men; a vivid description of our glorified Lords visual appearance (v.13) which no other book offers in the N.T.; and we see that chapter one is both an introduction and cover letter for the rest of the book, which was first sent to seven churches, each receiving a personal letter after the cover letter, then the prophecy. (v.4)Looking deeper, we can see this book deals not only in future tense, but also in past, and present tenses, as well. (v.19)

 

Christian Martyrs in the Colosseum (fearless Christians sing before Nero)

"The Blood of the Martyrs" 

 

The Angel of the Church at Philadelphia (Book of Revelation Guardian angel)

"The Angel of the Church at Ephesus" 

 

The Herald of YHVH -Angel flying in modern city with Wormwood approaching

"Wormwood"

 

When it comes to interpreting The Book of Revelation:

There are various camps of thought ~

Historic

Sees the book as the history of the churches struggle against world systems.  This goes beyond the Roman period and follows thru to the present time.  

 

Futurist~

  With the futurist view, you can read the book and believe that it meant what it said and it said what it meant.  You don’t have to go twisting things to make them fit here and there, and changing them to fit some scheme.  The futurist view takes the Revelation just as it says, to be understood just as it is. The book as prophetical. 

Preterist~

 Seeks to make all the events correspond to the Church’s struggle against Imperial Rome.  It sees the whole book transpiring during the period of Roman history when the church went thru great persecution by various emperors.  It interprets the book as completed and fulfilled.  

 

Spiritual or Eclectic~

Sees it as a spiritual allegory in which every man is free to interpret it as he desires, in effect saying nothing means what it says, bringing a sense of total confusion to the book and removing it’s authority and teaching potential.  

 

 

The Bible declares that “God is not the author of confusion” (1 Corinthians 14:33) It was never God’s intention to give us a book full of symbols that could not or should not be interpreted…

In the last verse of chapter one God himself explains what two of the symbols of Revelation mean.  The “Seven Stars” represent seven angels or messengers to the churches, while the “Seven Golden Lamp stands” symbolize the churches themselves.  

God sets an encouraging pattern here by showing that all of the symbols in The Book of Revelation have definite meanings. Why does God choose these lamp stands to symbolize the church?  The Apostle Paul gives us the answer to that question. In Ephesians 1:22 and 23 he pictures the church as the body of Christ on Earth today.  Its purpose is to spread the light of the gospel to this dark and needy world.  God himself told his followers, “You are the light of the world.”  

 The pattern I see here is that God, knowing the future, knew also that when he gave this Revelation, that it would be a part of the collected writings of God, and the keys to the meanings of his symbols are written in the preceding books of the Bible.  It is all contained and preserved there for us in the Word of God…

 

 

The Lamb of GOD holding the 7 Sealed Scroll (Christ in Heaven before the throne)

The Vision from Revelation 5: "The Lamb of GOD holding the Seven Sealed Scroll having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth." MMXVII

Gabriel-The Angel who stands in the presence of God The BOOK of LIFE (Archangel in Heaven with open book) Only worship God-Do not worship angels
"The Angel who stands in the presence of God" "The Book of LIFE" "I am thy fellow servant~ Worship the LORD"

 

The Majesty of the Resurrected and Glorified Messiah!



1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: 2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. 4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; 5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 7 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. 8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. 9 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.

Revelation Chapter  Onc ~ King James Version

The Vision of the Glorified Christ in Heaven with John

"The Vision of Christ the King" MMXVII


 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, 11 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. 12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 13 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 with a golden girdle. 14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. 16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. 17 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: 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. 19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; 20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou saw in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou saw are the seven churches.


(Re. 1:12-18) Christ is seen standing in the midst of these churches, symbolized by the seven lampstands, watching over them and guiding them to maturity He is intimately interested in everything the church does and ,everything that happens to it. The description John gives of Jesus is awe-inspiring. He wears the clothing of a priest  and a judge- a long robe secured with a golden sash. He performs the role of a priest on behalf of all his children, but he is forced to manifest himself as a judge to all who have rejected his offer of forgiveness. His white head and hair symbolize his pure, mature wisdom, while his flaming eyes seem to burn a hole through a man whose life has been unrighteous. God’s feet are like burnished bronze glowing in a furnace. In the Bible bronze is always a symbol of judgment. The Old Testament altar of sacrifice and the implements used in the sacrifice were made of bronze. 

 

Past -  Present - and Future !

God gave John a simple outline of the entire Book of Revelation in verse 19

“Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will happen after these things;” “The things which you have seen” refers to the vision of Christ which John saw in chapter one. “The things which are” alludes to the seven churches of chapters two and three and looks at the entire church era up to Christ’s return for his own. “The things which will happen after these things” includes all the events after Christ takes his church out of the world, the Tribulation, the Thousand year reign, the Battle of Armageddon, the White Throne Judgment, etc.  This description begins in chapter four and concludes in chapter twenty-two. 

The Archangel Gabriel Sounding the Trumpet       The END of TIME (The vision of the angel with feet spanning land and sea)     St Michael and the Dragon from Revelation 12

Gabriel Sounding the Trumpet" MMXII [left], "The END of TIME" MMXIV "Michael and the Serpent"MMXVI

 

The Seven Sevens of the Apocalypse  

      The End of Man's futile efforts to govern himself heralded by the sounding of seven trumpets, one at a time is recorded in the Holy Bible's last book; The Revelation of Jesus Christ as written by John, the beloved disciple who also wrote the Gospel. The seven trumpets are sounded by seven angels and the horrifying events that follow are chronicled in Revelation 8-11. The seven angels trumpets sound after the LAMB broke the seventh seal and there was silence in Heaven for about half an hour.... These seals secured the apocalyptic document, the title deed to the Earth in the right hand of Him who sits on the great white throne. The trumpets are referred to in Koine Greek as σάλπιγγος (salpingos, salpinx); this was a straight, narrow bronze tube with a mouthpiece of bone and a bell and do not resemble modern our modern day trumpets.

The FIRST Trumpet (Angel fiery hailstones shower the Earth)

"The First TRUMPET"

The Seven Trumpets

Revelation 8:2 – 11:19  


"...And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth:

Book of Revelation Howard David Johnson

"The Second TRUMPET"

The Third TRUMPET (Angel with city and star in flames)

"The Third TRUMPET"

 and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up. And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed. And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter. 

The Fourth TRUMPET heralds destruction of sun moon and stars

"The Forth TRUMPET"

The Fifth TRUMPET heralds angel falling to Earth

"The Fifth TRUMPET "

Book of Revelation Howard David Johnson

"The Sixth TRUMPET"

Book of Revelation Howard David Johnson

"The Seventh TRUMPET"

And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise. And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabitors of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound! And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail. 
And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he 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. 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. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. 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 striketh a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they 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. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon. 

Abaddon –aka Apollyon  Angel of the Bottomless Pit    

"Abaddon aka Apollyon Angel of the Bottomless Pit"

       One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter. And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. 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. 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. For their 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. 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: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts." 

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The Seven Sevens of the Apocalypse

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1.)         The Seven Churches, 2:1 – 3:22             2.)      The Seven Seals, 6:1 – 8:1                3.)    The Seven Trumpets, 8:2 – 11:19

4.)         The Seven Personages, The woman The Dragon  The man child  The Remnant  The Archangel Michael The Beast out of the sea The Beast out of the Earth 

5.)          The Seven Bowls, 15:1 – 16:21

6.)         The Seven Dooms, 17:1 – 20:15  Ecclesiastical Babylon, Political Babylon, Anti-Christ and the False Prophet, Satan, Gog and Magog.

7.)         The Seven New Things  New Heavens   New Earth   New City   New Nations  New River  New Tree of Life  New Throne

         Symbolically in the Bible and in Creation seven is the number of Completion and Perfection; (seven colors in the rainbow, seven octaves on the musical scale and so on.)  

 

The New Heaven and the New Earth (The angel shows John the new Heaven and the new Earth)        Heavens Gate (from the Book of Revelation a vision of the Gates of Heaven)         The New Jerusalem (The angel shows John the New Jerusalem coming down from Heaven)

More of John's Visions of things to come: "And I saw a new Heaven, and a new Earth". "Heaven's Gate", and "The New Jerusalem coming down from Heaven"

Are these events far off or are they near?

JUST A FEW OF THE FULFILLED PROPHECIES OF THE END OF THIS AGE:

 =============================================================================================

   * The rebirth of the nation Israel in May 1948 * The Jew's recapture of Jerusalem in 1967 * The rise of Russia ( Magog ) as a powerful enemy of Israel. * The Arab confederation against Israel. *  The rise of a military power in China that can field hundreds of Millions of soldiers. * The revival of the dark occultic practices of ancient Babylon. * The revival of the old Roman empire in the form of a multi-national confederacy. ( The E.U. ) * The unprecedented turn to drugs. * Open homosexuality as a political force. * The coming of plagues. * The increase in internal revolutions. * The increase of wars. * The increase of famines. * The increase in pollution.* The increase in lawlessness. * The decline of the family unit. * The open departure of many Christian Churches policies from the Bible's teachings. * The move toward a one world government. * The move toward a one world religion. *

Many of these seemed absolutely IMPOSSIBLE a generation ago... believe it - or not!

The Vision of the Throne Room of God

The Eagle Headed Seraph (beast living creature seraphim throne room of Heaven) The Holiest of Angels? 

 The Seraphim; Tradition places These 6-winged angels in the highest rank in the Christian Angelic Hierarchy. A seminal passage in the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1-8) used the term to describe six-winged beings that fly around the Throne of God crying "holy, holy, holy". This Throne Room scene has profoundly influenced World Theology, Literature and Art. Interpretations are often seen in works depicting angels, heaven and apotheosis. Seraphim are also among the celestial beings in the Apocryphal Book of Enoch, and the Book of Revelation's "Living Creatures" from before the Throne" pictured here from chapter Four. 

The Human Faced Seraph (living creature beast seraphim throne room of Heaven)
The Eagle Headed Seraph The Human Faced Seraph
Angels are organized into several orders, or "Angelic Choirs"

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The Lion Headed Seraph (seraphim beast living creature throne room of Heaven) Thomas Aquinas (Summa Theologica) and also Pseudo-Dionysius (On the Celestial Hierarchy) drew on passages from the New Testament, including Ephesians 1:21 and Colossians 1:16, to develop a chain of command of three Hierarchies, Spheres or Triads of angels, with each Hierarchy containing three Orders or Choirs. 
1 First Sphere
A. ) Seraphim B. ) Cherubim C. ) Thrones
2 Second Sphere
A. ) Dominions or Lordships B. ) Virtues or Strongholds C. ) Powers or Authorities
3 Third Sphere
A. ) Principalities or Rulers B. ) Archangels C. ) Angels
3 Personal guardian angels
The Bull Headed Seraph (throne room of Heaven beast living creature seraphim)
The Lion Headed Seraph The Bull Headed Seraph

Who was John the Revelator?

John, the Son of Zebedee was only 16 and the only of the original 12 disciples with the courage to come to comfort Jesus as he hung on the cross, and took over care of his mother, Mary. He wrote one of the Four Gospels and three epistles before being plunged into boiling oil in Rome and suffering nothing from it. It is said that all in the audience of Coliseum were converted to Christianity upon witnessing this miracle, according to Tertullian (in The Prescription of Heretics) and that his church at Ephesus grew to over 80,000 including outlying cell groups flocking to see "the sorcerer even the Romans couldn't kill". He was called "The beloved disciple", and was the only apostle to die of old age. John was banished to the isle of Patmos to silence him, but from there had the apocalyptic visions and wrote The Book of Revelation which boldly predicts Christ’s victory and eternal universal dominion.

 

" I've often thought that some of the most fantastic creatures and visions in all of the literature of mankind were found in the sacred texts of active religions. Sensitive subject matter to say the least. Few artists in history have even dared to attempt to paint these symbolic visions because of the controversies surrounding them... While studying legends, myths, and traditions for illustration projects I've also been studying William Blake, Moreau, Rochegrosse, Delville, and the Symbolic artistic tradition. In my paintings, I have endeavored to realize decadent mythology and sacred religious texts in my photo-realistic paintings with the same style of vision and reverence they showed in their works "~HDJ 

 

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This is a work in progress ~ Check back soon for more~

 

 

An Examination of Christ’s Messages to the Seven Churches….  

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These letters are the only time Christ spoke DIRECTLY to the Church after the resurrection...

The Seven Churches to whom these letters were sent were not the largest or most famous of their time. 

Rome and Antioch both had much larger congregations with many famous people among them. 

 

A Special Outline of the Topics covered in the various chapters of Revelation:

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The letters to the seven churches found in chapters two and three are dictated to John by Jesus himself.  These letters represent the

 last recorded quotations of Jesus and are the  only words he ever spoke directly to the church on Earth that are in the Bible...

We see in verse nineteen of chapter one that Jesus breaks the book into three distinct sections:

A.   “The things you have seen” 

 Chapter 1 The introduction, (a cover letter to all the churches) and the vision.

B.   “The things which are”  

 Chapter 2 & 3 The message to the seven churches (The Church Age)

C.   “ The things that will happen after these things”  

 Chapters: 4 - 22 (The Prophecy)

The story that takes place in Heaven…..4, 5, 19 & 20

The Earthly story…………………6, 8, 9, 16, 19 & 20

The Informational chapters………..7, 10-15, 17 & 18  

The Description of the New Heaven………….21 & 22    

Why were these specific churches chosen?  

===============================================================================================================

This question has intrigued Biblical scholars for centuries and has led to a variety of explanations.  Personal messages from God himself to these specific, local churches commended their good deeds and corrected or rebuked sin and worldly tendencies. 

The Lord obviously chose these particular churches because they had the combinations of strengths and weaknesses, and differing characteristics that would convey many lessons to all his churches, throughout its history!

The third application of the letters is to the individual church members of those churches, the letters are full of tremendous comfort and challenge, even rebuke and correction for all of us in every age, on many occasions these letters have borne deep personal meaning to me, in my everyday life.

A fourth message from these divinely dictated letters is a prophetic one.  Revelation is presented from an Eternal vantage-point, in a book that’s overwhelmingly prophetic in content, it’s only reasonable to think these messages would also have prophetic application.  It is also reasonable to assume this is the main reason choosing these seven particular churches and placing them in this specific order pleased our Lord.

Looking at them in this light it is remarkable to note that they break up and describe perfectly the Seven Periods of Church History.

So, we see, the letters counseled specific churches of that day, that they were a type of the different kinds of churches, that they have deep, personal messages to each of us, and they have a prophetic application.

 

Prophetic Application of the Letters:

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Ephesus ~ A.D. 33-100 (Duty without Love)

    The Ephesian church is the prophetic image of the Apostolic Church.  Like the Church of Ephesus, the dominant historical characteristics of this era were correct doctrine, circumspect conduct, and zealous labor for the Lord, but waywardness in heart attitudes. 

As their love fore Christ began to wane, they more and more served out of a sense of duty.  In their own estimation, their acceptance by the Lord depended on their performance for him. 

This attitude opened the door to legalism.

One of the crucial issues for a vital faith is correct motives.  As we remember how Christ has loved us, our natural response is to love him in return. (See I John 4:9 & 10)

 

Smyrna~ A.D. 100-312 (Poor but rich)

   The suffering church at Smyrna was prophetic of the great era of persecution under ten diabolical Caesars.  The motives of the church were purified during this long and difficult period.  Millions of Christians met cruel martyr’s deaths rather than renounce Christ or swear allegiance to Caesar as Lord.  The ruins of the great coliseum in Rome’s foundations are still stained with the blood of the martyrs.

This was a period of tremendous witness and heroic faith.  Even the wicked Roman Empire was shaken by the testimony of these Christians.

 

Pergamos~  A.D. 312 – 590

    During the era that the church at Pergamos symbolized, the church merged with the state.  Emperor Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the empire and massive and systematic persecution of Christians stopped.  But this apparent blessing to the church became a curse.  Within a few short years Emperor Theodosios (A.D. 378-398) made church membership compulsory, and all who resisted were put to the sword!  This is the worst calamity to ever befall the church, completely changing its nature.  It entered into its Great Apostasy, taking on the spirit and pattern of Imperial Rome.

The Church compromised its position more and more in order to gain power and favor.  A church hierarchy began to develop, with the Bishop of Rome, (later referred to as the Pope) claiming increasing prominence because of his proximity to the ruler of the empire.  He sought to strengthen his claim with the Declaration of Apostolic Succession- alleging his office in Rome was linked directly to Peter and that the big fisherman (and not Jesus) was the foundation of the church.  As the church of Pergamos compromised with the world’s paganism and immorality, its symbolic and prophetic counterpart in the fourth and fifth centuries committed spiritual adultery in an impure alliance with the Roman Empire.

 

Thyatira:  A.D. 590 – 1517   (the Great Counterfeit)

    The major characteristics of this church paralleled the church era that spanned the Middle Ages.  During this time the dominant church fabricated a system that, like Jezebel, bound the people to image worship, superstition and witchcraft; I mean priestcraft (Freudian slip).  These scripture verses indicate this church will still have some adherents and some power into the “Great Tribulation” (v.22) but the Believing remnant from this prostituted form of Christianity will be present at the rapture and will be delivered from the clutches of the “Mother Church” by Christ’s return. (v. 25)

 

Sardis: A.D. 1517-1750 (Dead Orthodoxy)

    This church symbolized the Reformation Era.  During this period of history the church was reformed but not revived!  Some essential doctrines were reclaimed, such as the truth that people can be justified with God only by faith, but the changes did not shake loose the elaborate rituals and Human traditions of the medieval church.  Complacency and a new legalism set in, and only a few tasted the Power of the Holy Spirit for Christian living.

 

Philadelphia: A.D. 1750 – 1925 (Revival & Evangelism)

     This was the great missionary era of the church.  Believers awakened to the millions who had never heard the name of Jesus, and many missionary movements began during this period.  During this period the church sensed its need for revival and God sent spiritual leaders like Wesley, Whitefield, Edwards, Finney, Spurgeon, and Moody (to name a few) sparking revivals sweeping across England and America and other English-speaking countries.  Out of this great spiritual awakening rose many universities and churches dedicated to Christ.  Unfortunately, missionary zeal began to wane after World War I, and though some evangelistic movements continued to flourish, many of the schools and churches that arose during this period have long since abandoned their Christian heritage. 

  The Philadelphian church is still present in the world and it will be here until the rapture,(1Thess 4:15-17; 1Cor.:15:51&52) but it is not the dominant force in the professing Christian church today.

   I wish to God with all my heart that it were!

 

Laodicea: A.D. 1900–Tribulation (compromise & Apostasy)

      Near the turn of 20th century the scholars at many theological seminaries, particularly in Europe, introduced what they called “Higher Criticism” of the Bible.  They were eager to examine the historicity and accuracy of the scriptures by using research methods used in secular education.  

     Many of the leading critics professed, at best, a lukewarm relationship with God, and this was reflected in their hazy views of scripture.  More and more often skeptics began to deny outright the faith – all in the name of scholarship – and before long they had “Demythologized” Jesus into a mere man.

     This satanic infection spread like wildfire through the seminaries in Europe and the U.S. and by the 1920’s it was echoing in the pulpits of American churches.  The western world was caught up in the scientific and philosophical rationalism and the church got sucked into the vortex because so many of its leaders had never experienced a deep faith in Jesus.

      The sad truth is that thousands of churches around the world today call themselves Christians, but Christ is nowhere to be in them.  Tragically, most of the unbelieving world look at them and want no part of their sham- and I don’t either!

     Although this Laodicean lukewarmness is the predominant characteristic of the church age today, there are signs that the Philadelphian fervor is reviving evangelistic efforts in these closing days of human history.  That’s consistent with God’s pattern of always showering down Grace before hurling blasts of judgment.

     The unbelievers of this era will find themselves enmeshed with the Judgments of God during the Great Tribulation which is soon coming upon this Earth, but those who have been faithful to God will be taken out of this world before the Judgment.

II.  “Meta Tauna”  ~Greek for "After these things"

============================================================

Some think that, at this point, the Rapture of the church takes place.  It may be, but the book itself nowhere in plain speech says so.  It is only an opinion, and should be stated as an opinion and not as an unequivocal teaching of scripture.  It is striking to one of us who browses thru revelation commentaries and hears teaching concerning the book the Utter Dogmatism with which so many put forth their opinions, as if they know all about it, and their say so settles the matter.  We think a spirit of reverent humility and openness of mind would be more becoming in those seeking to understand a book like this.

     It is important to note that the church has been the main theme of the Revelation until chapter six, and in chapters five and four the church is in Heaven and isn’t seen on the Earth again till Ch. 19. 

     The Big Question is: if the church is on the Earth in Chapters one thru three and is described as present in Heaven in chapters 4 and 5, “where is the church during the earthly devastation described in chapters 6 through 19, and how did it get wherever it is?

     Jesus’ promise to deliver the faithful church is given to us in Rev. 3:10, but critics may say this is vague.  Paul, given a large part of the responsibility of outlining the destiny of the church describes it more clearly in First Thessalonians 4:15-17 and First Corinthians 15:51; 52.

     It is obvious from these verses and others that Paul predicts a time when Jesus will raise the bodies of dead believers and simultaneously change living saints to immortals.

     Why then, would Jesus promise that a special group of saints would go to Heaven without experiencing death?

     The answer is, that they will be the generation of Christians that happens to be on the Earth at the time when God’s striving with rebellious men turns into an avalanche of judgment on the Christ rejecting world and Satan also – a judgment so terrible that God will not allow his people to suffer thru it.  This tribulation is for those who have rejected God’s salvation – not his children!

Will the Church go through the Tribulation?      Will the Church go through part of it?     Will the Church be spared it altogether?

These questions have caused a great deal of controversy among true believers.  Many Bible students who believe that a time of great testing and judgment will culminate in the return of Jesus as King of Kings are disagreed on whether the church will have to endure this suffering along with the unbelieving world, so let’s take a look at the cases for all three and make our decision then.

     First, let’s examine the idea that the church will go thru the entire Tribulation: 

     Scripture teaches clearly that believers will be kept from the “Time of Trial” which God is sending upon the world to try the unbelievers. (Rev. 3:10)

     Part of the confusion on this issue rises from a failure to distinguish Two Stages in Jesus’ second coming.  One passage of scripture speaks of his return in the air and in secret, like a “thief in the night”.  Another part of the scripture describes Christ’s return in Power and Majesty to the Earth, with every eye seeing Him. 

     Both of these can be true only if there are two separate experiences in which Christ appears in the future.

     Although Revelation 4:1 does not specifically refer to Christ’s reappearance at the Rapture, it seems reasonable to ascertain that the Apostle John’s departure for Heaven After the Church Era closes in Chapter 3 and Before the Tribulation chronicle begins in Chapter 6 strongly suggests a similar catching away for the Church.  Now, the Church is mentioned Nineteen Times in the first three chapters of Revelation and isn’t mentioned Once as being on Earth from Chapters 4 through 19!  And it’s in these chapters that the great outpouring of God’s wrath is described in detail.

     Those who want to make a case of the Church going through the Tribulation – this is the case that they can make.  The unrepentant Church of Thyatira will go into the Great Tribulation.  (Rev. 2:18-29)  A large part of the professing church is missing a very important element - Jesus Himself!  This Apostasy in the Last Days was predicted by the Apostle Paul in his second letter to Timothy (3:1-5) “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof”.  Powerless, empty spiritually, established social systems, lacking the vitality and vivacious leadership of the Holy Ghost.  In Rev. 3:10 Jesus promises only to take the Christians who have “kept the Word of his Perseverance”, or lived the Gospel!

 

Chapter 5 Basically I perceive Chapters 4 and 5 of Revelation to be John’s literal description of the vision of saints and angels worshiping God in Heaven culminating with “The Lamb (Jesus) which was slain” stepping forward to collect the seven sealed scroll or as many Biblical scholars put it: “The Title Deed of the planet Earth”, bought back from the Devil by God Himself with His shed blood. The Jews have a law concerning forfeiture which says after six years and all through the seventh year the original owner or kinsman may purchase back said property if they could pay the price written on the outside of the seven-sealed scroll.

     Man couldn’t pay the price to Satan to get the world back Adam forfeited to him in the Garden, but Jesus (our kinsman) was worthy and did it for us!

 

The Tribulation Chronicle

Between Revelation Chapters 6 thru 19 we find the horror story of the Bible.

     For those of us who understand what the prophets have taught, picking up the morning newspaper can be a traumatic experience.  Headline after headline screams out a confirmation of these terrible predictions.   

The Great Sign - The Woman and the Dragon

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REVELATION 12 SIGN IN THE HEAVENS



 Revelation, Chapter 12: 1 A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
2 She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth.
 

This Great Sign in the Heavens occurred on September 23, 2017 When Venus Mars and Mercury aligned with Leo and Jupiter ended its 9 month stay in Virgo's womb...

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse  

4 horseman of the Apocalypse The Beast from the Throne

 

"... 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."

1st White horse rider 2 Thess. 2:3, 7-8 2nd horse/ War (more destructive power than ever before) 3rd horse/ famine (black) this famine follows in the wake of war – should we have an atomic war right now, the whole balance of the world’s food supply would be in a most precarious position.  2/3 of the world is starving right now and there are very few nations which have a surplus of food.  Imagine what would happen if a full scale atomic war was fought and all the food supplies became contaminated and inedible.  We can easily see the possibility of a terrible famine coming over the entire Earth.

4th horse/ Death – 25 % of the Earth's population will die, with our population approaching 8 billion, it is difficult to imagine such carnage.

The Mystical Saint John's Vision of the Harlot Church

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Howard David Johnson Art The Great Harlot

 

The Mark of the BEAST = 666

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"  And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the lamb ; and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever; "... and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name."

 "De esse et chimere: So if this isn't the Catholic Church this prophecy is talking about here, I ask you, What other city in history besides Rome has ever sat on seven hills and ruled over the kings of the Earth? Now, if this is so, it also stands to reason that the harlot's daughters would be the Protestant Churches...who came back to mother after a 500 year misunderstanding." From the book of Revelation, 14 : 9 

Book of Revelation Howard David Johnson painting     Second Coming of Jesus Christ in the Clouds   Gabriel The Archangel of the LORD appears to the prophet

 

The Second Coming of Jesus Christ

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INDEX of GALLERIES ~ LINKS to LARGER ART  

The Realistic and Fantastic Art Galleries of Contemporary American Illustrator Howard David Johnson

Click on these Fun Educational Realistic Art Gallery link icons  for Two-fisted Tales of VALOR & Frontline Combat featuring Legendary Warriors of History, Knights and ladies of Arthurian Legend, Celtic, Nordic, Asian and Olympian gods & monsters, unicorns, dragons, fairies... and more!

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Presenting many NEW illustrations for 2018!

Dinosaur Art Realistic Art Fantastic subject matter Brontosaurus Tyranosaurus Rex

All these pieces of art and the text are legally copyrighted and were registered with the U.S. Library of Congress Office of Copyright by the author, Howard David Johnson All rights reserved worldwide. Permission for many academic or non-commercial uses is freely and legally available by simply contacting the author via e-mail or visiting www.howarddavidjohnson.com/permission.htm

Celebrating  20- plus Years on the World Wide Web 1996- Today!

With a background in traditional media including oils, pastels & colored pencils, Howard David Johnson embraces leading edge digital media in the creation of his depictions of fantasy, folklore, mythology, legend, religion, and heroic history. He works in  a wide variety of media * Oil paintings * Acrylic Paintings * Prismacolor Paintings * Drawings * Chalk & Oil Pastel Paintings * Photography * 2D &3D Digital Artistry & Mixed Media *  

 

Business and Retail Services: 

 

                                            

 

Who is American Illustrator Howard David Johnson?

In one of David's invitations to the Florence Biennale Contemporary Art Exhibition, (a partner in the United Nations' Dialog among Nations), UN Secretary General Kofi Anon wrote him: "Artists have a special role to play in the global struggle for peace. At their best, artists speak not only to people; they speak for them. Art is a weapon against ignorance and hatred and an agent of public awareness... Art opens new doors for learning, understanding, and peace among nations."

      Howard David Johnson is a contemporary realistic artist and photographer with a background in the natural sciences and history.  David works in a wide variety of mixed media ranging from oil on canvas to digital media. David's realistic illustrations have made appearances in every major bookstore and game shop chain in America as well as magazines and educational texts around the world. 

   Some of David's more prestigious clients have included the University of Texas, the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge in England, The Australian Mint, The National Geographic Society, Paramount Studios, Universal Studios, MGM Studios, Warner Brothers Home Video, ABC/Disney, CBS TV, PBS TV, The History Channel, Enslow Educational Publishers, Adobe Photoshop, Auto FX, Tree-Free Greeting, Verizon wireless, Apple IPOD, Penguin, Doubleday (Now Random House), Harlequin Top Historical Romances, and the History Book of the Month Club, as well as appearing in periodical publications like Popular Photography and the Wall Street Journal.   

 

A Traditional style portrait of the artist. [Photo by his son Erich.]

   After a lifetime of drawing and painting, David's Traditional Art was exhibited in the British Museum in London in 1996, ( 3 years before he got his first computer ) as well as numerous American ones since, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

 

    Working in a variety of media David offers his customers a variety of options and more than three decades of experience. As an illustrator he has not only used the computer but has been involved in the development and marketing of software for Adobe Photoshop. Digital art, Colored pencils, Pastels, Mixed media, & also Oil Paintings can also be commissioned for select projects.Digital illustration projects start at $500.U.S. and group rates are available. David delivers custom made copyright free illustrations & old fashioned customer service when he does work-for-hire. To publish existing pieces of his realistic art, David sells licenses starting at only $99.USD.

 

 

                                            

You can e-mail for more details at: 

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All these pieces of art and the text are legally copyrighted and were registered with the U.S. Library of Congress Office of Copyright by the author, Howard David Johnson All rights reserved worldwide. Permission for many academic or non-commercial uses is freely and legally available by simply contacting the author via e-mail or visiting www.howarddavidjohnson.com/permission.htm