Apocalypse2: The Book of the Apocalypse to John

With the seventh trumpet the third Throne Vision begins, stating that now “the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Lamb”, who “has taken his great power and begun to reign” (11:15-17). When the temple in heaven has been opened, in a quick sequence the forces of adversary show themselves (ch.12 & 13): the dragon to endanger the child and his heavenly woman (even on earth), the beast from the sea all mankind, the beast from the earth empowering that beast by using its image, its mark and the number of its name (666).

In the fourth Throne Vision the Lamb is seen on Mount Zion, the “holy hill” of Ps 2:6 (on which the Lord did set his king), with the 144,000 who, as it were accompanied by a voice from heaven, sing a new song before the throne and its beings (14:1ff). In various ways, angels are preparing “for the hour of judgment of him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the fountains of water”, as blessings are promised to those who die in the Lord. Seated on a white cloud, One like a son of man then begins the harvest of the earth (14:14ff)
The fifth Throne Vision shows another group of people singing another song, the Song of Moses (“the servant of God”) and the song of the Lamb, before the sea of glass before the throne (4:6), now mingled with fire (15:2). When now the temple (“of the tent of witness”) in heaven is opened, the seven angels with the seven plagues come forward, to receive the seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God. After the sixth bowl has been poured out, the dragon, the beast and the false prophet send out their demonic emissaries to assemble the kings of the whole world for the (last) battle at Armageddon – now that the cleansing of the earthly cosmos had progressed to the throne of the beast and its kingdom.

In the Interlude, when the seventh bowl has been poured out (into the air), out of the temple, from the throne, an “It is done” sounds (16:17) – the activity coming from the throne including an earthquake, great “as had never been since human beings were on the earth”, the great city splitting into three parts. Then one of those seven angels carries John away “in the Spirit” (17::3), to show him the judgment of the woman sitting on a scarlet beast. To John, marveling, the angel explains what he sees. He witnesses the announcement of the fall of “Babylon the great” as well as the anguish of those who benefited from her: kings of the earth, merchants and sailors – the song of a mighty angel putting all this in perspective.

The sixth Throne Vision, with a double “Hallelujah” by the voice of a great multitude, focuses attention on God sitting on the throne and the beings at the throne, who join in praise with their own “Hallelujah”, once more the voice of a great multitude with a last “Hallelujah” announcing the coming marriage of the Lamb, confirmed by the fourth beatitude (19:9). Heaven having been seen opened, in six visions John sees the last stages of trial and triumph and judgment unfolding: from the Rider on the White Horse to the battle in which the beast and the false prophet are captured, to the chaining of the dragon for a thousand years and to the thrones of those judging people for the first resurrection, to the annihilation of the armies of the Deceiver and to the Great White Throne and the judging of the dead.

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