Jesus at 40 days old
was taken to the
Jesus was taken to the Temple in Jerusalem
Jewish religious ritual of
when he was
40 days old.
This ritual was an obligatory ceremony for firstborn boys according to the
Law of Moses.
His mother was also there for her Jewish religious ritual of
Purification or Cleansing.
Scripture refers to the offering of a
pair of doves or two young pigeons,
probably indicating that
Mary and Joseph
were not wealthy enough to afford a lamb.
Also, the firstborn son had to be redeemed as well. See Numbers 18:14-16.
The redemption price set by God was
Jesus is the sacrificial lamb and the savior of the whole world.
When the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses,
Joseph and Mary took Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord,
as it is written in the Law of the Lord,
“Every firstborn son is to be designated as
holy to the Lord.”
They also offered a sacrifice according to what is specified in the
Law of the Lord:
“a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
Revelation 12:10 calls Satan the
“accuser of our brothers and sisters,
who accuses them
before our God day and night.”
The context of the verse describes a cosmic battle
between a great red dragon
(identified as Satan in Revelation 12:7)
and the angelic hosts of heaven.
The dragon is hurled to the earth
the authority of the
is locked in place
(verse 10), and the
believers are victorious:
“And they overcame him
blood of the Lamb
and by the
word of their testimony,
and they did not
love their lives to the death”
(Revelation 12:11, NKJV).
During the tribulation of the end times,
Satan’s wrath against God’s’ people,
(the “woman” of Revelation 12)
But the believers
promised to overcome
Dr. Charles Ryrie comments on Revelation 12:11:
“The believer’s defense
against Satan is
(1) to bank on the merits of the death of Christ,
(2) to be active in witnessing, and
(3) to be willing to make any sacrifice, including death”
(The Ryrie Study Bible, Moody Press, 1978, p. 1,801).
Down through the centuries, the “great dragon” Satan has despised the mercy, love, grace, and forgiveness that God pours out on believers in Jesus Christ. With relentless, evil determination, the devil hounds us, fixated on destroying our walk with God and chasing us back into a spiritual prison. But, day by day, night by night, believers always overcome him “by the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 12:11).
Satan’s tireless goal in the life of every Christian is to prevent, disrupt, and cut off his or her relationship with God. He “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). But the devil’s only real power over believers is to throw our sins and transgressions in our faces. He is the accuser. Thankfully, the sacrifice of Christ has effectively dealt with the problem. It is the blood of Jesus Christ—the blood of the Lamb—that redeems people, setting them free from slavery to sin and Satan’s control.
Scripture gives us vivid pictures of Christ’s redemptive work on the cross. Peter explains that “God paid a ransom” to save us from our old empty way of life. “And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God” (1 Peter 1:18–19, NLT). The tribulation saints will have “washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14). When Jesus Christ died, His precious blood “purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9). Jesus’ blood was poured out “for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28), and it “purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
Satan tries to condemn us, but we overcome by the blood of the Lamb. “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1–2). Jesus freed us from the spiritual chains of sin (John 8:35–36; Romans 6:17–22).
The next time Satan tries to hurl past failures in your face, remember that “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned” (John 3:17–18).
All believers—past, present and future—overcome the accuser by the blood of the Lamb. Jesus Christ’s death is the definitive basis for our victory over the enemy of our souls. The apostle Paul asks, “Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us” (Romans 8:33–34, NLT). Despite everything in the devil’s arsenal that he can throw at us, “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).
Paul tells the Colossians, “For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross. So don’t let anyone condemn you” (Colossians 2:12–16, NLT).
We must not allow the devil to deceive us with lies and accusations. Every charge he can bring against us is canceled, nailed to the cross, and overcome by the blood of the Lamb. It may seem strange that, in Revelation 12, a raging dragon is overcome by a slain lamb. Lambs are not usually seen as dragon-slayers. But such is the power and efficacy of the death of Christ. Because of Christ’s shed blood on the cross, sin has lost its grip on us. Whenever Satan accuses us, we can sing, “My chains are gone; I’ve been set free.”
The book of Revelation provides an overview of prophetic events that will occur in the end time before Jesus Christ’s second coming and beyond.
This section of Scripture includes many symbols, including “seven seals,” the sounding of “seven trumpets,” and “seven last plagues” to be poured out of “seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God” (Revelation 5:1; 8:2, 6; 15:1, 7).
The seals, trumpets and plagues represent a series of events that will affect all mankind during these momentous times.
The sounding of the seventh trumpet announces the culmination of God’s plan for this world and the remaining steps that He will take to ensure that His plan is accomplished for all of mankind.
What does the Bible say about this last trumpet, and what does it mean for you?
What is the message of the seventh trumpet in Revelation?The apostle John recorded what he saw in vision:
“Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!’
“And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: ‘We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was and who is to come, because You have taken Your great power and reigned. The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear Your name, small and great, and should destroy those who destroy the earth.’
“Then the temple of God was
opened in heaven,
and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple.
And there were
noises, thunderings, an earthquake,
and great hail”
And Satan Fell like
What does the
seventh trumpet mean?
The sounding of the seventh trumpet signals the long-awaited arrival of the Kingdom of God on earth.The sounding of the seventh trumpet signals the long-awaited arrival of the Kingdom of God on earth. This trumpet, which is also called the third “woe” (Revelation 9:12; 11:14), will be one of the most important announcements in human history. The establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth is the fulfillment of biblical prophecies recorded throughout the Bible.
In the interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, God through the prophet Daniel revealed that eventually a kingdom would arise that would destroy all the human governments that preceded it. Most important, God said this kingdom “shall never be destroyed … and it shall stand forever” (Daniel 2:44).
Years later, Daniel also had a dream in which God confirmed the coming of this eternal kingdom. In his vision Daniel saw “One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven,” who “was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.”
And again, Daniel noted that His dominion “shall not pass away, and His kingdom [is] the one which shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:13-14).
What did Jesus teach regarding the Kingdom of God?During His earthly ministry, Jesus was the representative of the Kingdom of God, and this subject was the basis of His teaching. As Matthew wrote: “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom” (Matthew 4:23; compare Mark 1:14; Luke 8:1).
After Jesus’ death and resurrection, He spent 40 days with His disciples before ascending into heaven. He spent this time “speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3). The Kingdom of God, which has been prepared by God the Father and His Son from the foundation of the world (Matthew 25:34), was clearly the focal point of His teaching.
The Kingdom of God has likewise been the focus of God’s people throughout the ages. Abraham “waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10), and Jesus instructs us to pray for this Kingdom to come (Matthew 6:9-10). Additionally, Jesus said that seeking this Kingdom and God’s righteousness is to take priority in our lives (Matthew 6:33).
After the seventh trumpet, John heard the 24 elders worshipping God (Revelation 11:16-18). Their praise of God also reveals what conditions will be like at that time.
These elders say that the nations were angry, that God’s wrath has come, that the time for rewarding God’s faithful people has come and that God will soon destroy those who destroyed the earth.
Let’s now consider how these end-time events relate to the establishment of the Kingdom of God.
The nations were angryIn the book of Revelation, seven seals are opened before the blowing of the seven trumpets. The second seal, represented by a rider on a red horse (one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse) signifies war. War, of course, is what often happens when nations become angry with each other. And Bible prophecy indicates that wars will escalate prior to the return of Christ.
When Jesus gave signs of the end of this present age in His Olivet Discourse—signs which correlate with the seals in the book of Revelation—He said, “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” (Matthew 24:7).
Some of the conflicts between nations during the end times are specifically identified. Bible prophecy indicates that a major conflict will erupt between powers warring over control of the Middle East. “At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind” (Daniel 11:40).
In addition to this conflict, Zechariah 14:2 says that in the end all the nations will come together “to battle against Jerusalem.” When Christ returns, these armies will unite to fight against Him and quickly be overcome (Revelation 19:19-21).
The wrath of GodAs the seals are successively opened in the book of Revelation, the seventh seal includes the seven trumpets. These trumpets are actually punishments called the wrath of God that will come upon the
earth’s inhabitants because of mankind’s sins (Revelation 6:16-17).
So, by the time the seventh trumpet sounds, mankind will have already been suffering from the wrath of God.
The wrath of God, however, is not yet complete. Because humans will still refuse to repent of their sins and acknowledge Jesus as the King of the earth, seven last plagues—also called “seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God” that will follow the seventh trumpet—will wreak additional devastation upon mankind and the earth (Revelation 15:7).
In these seven last plagues, “the wrath of God is complete” (verse 1).
What happens to faithful Christians at the seventh trumpet?In praising God at the sounding of the seventh trumpet, the 24 elders also noted that the time had come for the dead to be judged and God’s faithful people to be rewarded. (Do you know what the Bible means by a converted, faithful Christian?
See our online article
“Many Are Called,
Few Are Chosen"
The Bible shows that the sounding of this trumpet is indeed the great hope of the saints throughout the ages.The Bible shows that the sounding of this trumpet is indeed the great hope of the saints throughout the ages.
In teaching about the resurrection of the dead, Paul wrote:
“Behold, I tell you a mystery:
We shall not all sleep,
but we shall all be changed—in a moment,
in the twinkling of an eye, at the
For the trumpet will sound,
and the dead will be raised incorruptible,
and we shall be changed”
(1 Corinthians 15:51-52).
On another occasion Paul wrote:
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
The judgment of GodThe last item mentioned by the 24 elders as they praise God is that those who destroy the earth will be destroyed (Revelation 11:18). These are people “who have, in their conquests, spread desolation over the earth and who have persecuted the righteous, and all who have done injustice and wrong to any class of men” (Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament).
Thus, in their praise of God, the 24 elders summarize what has led up to the blowing of the seventh trumpet and what is yet to occur.
Remembering the seventh trumpet
The blowing of the prophetic trumpets is such an
important part of
God’s plan of salvation for mankind
that one of God’s annual holy days
pictures these events.
The Feast of Trumpets
return of Christ,
His judgment upon mankind, and most important,
peaceful Kingdom of
God here on earth.
The seventh trumpet.
The seventh trumpet (and the third woe) sounds, and
immediately there are
loud voices in heaven saying,
“The kingdom of the world has become
the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah,
and he will reign for ever and ever”
The twenty-four elders say
, “The time has come for . . . destroying those who destroy the earth”
Obviously, God is about to wrap things up once and for all.
At the sound of the
of God is opened in heaven,
“within his temple
the ark of his covenant"
And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a severe hailstorm”
Thus end the seven trumpet judgments. All is set for the seven angels with the seven bowls of God’s wrath. These angels stand inside the now-open temple, ready to step forward and bring the final judgments on earth (Revelation 15).
In his vision in Revelation 19:7–10, John saw and heard the heavenly multitudes praising God because the wedding feast of the Lamb—literally, the “marriage supper”—was about to begin. The concept of the marriage supper is better understood in light of the wedding customs in the time of Christ.
These wedding customs had three major parts. First, a marriage contract was signed by the parents of the bride and the bridegroom, and the parents of the bridegroom or the bridegroom himself would pay a dowry to the bride or her parents. This began what was called the betrothal period—what we would today call the engagement. This period was the one Joseph and Mary were in when she was found to be with child (Matthew 1:18; Luke 2:5).
The second step in the process usually occurred much later, when the bridegroom, accompanied by his male friends, went to the house of the bride. If he came in the night, he and his companions would create a torchlight parade through the streets. The bride would know in advance this was going to take place, and so she would be ready with her maidens, and they would all join the parade and end up at the bridegroom’s home. This custom is the basis of the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25:1–13. The third phase was the marriage supper itself, which might go on for days, as illustrated by the wedding at Cana in John 2:1–2.
What John’s vision in Revelation pictures is the wedding feast of the Lamb (Jesus Christ) and His bride (the Church) in its third phase. The implication is that the first two phases have already taken place. The first phase was completed on earth when each individual believer placed his or her faith in Christ as Savior. The dowry paid by the bridegroom’s parent (God the Father) would be the blood of Christ shed on the Bride’s behalf. The Church on earth today, then, is “betrothed” to Christ, and, like the wise virgins in the parable, all believers should be watching and waiting for the appearance of the Bridegroom (the rapture). The second phase symbolizes the rapture of the Church, when Christ comes to claim His bride and take her to the Father’s house. The marriage supper then follows as the third and final step. It is our view that the marriage supper of the Lamb takes place in heaven between the rapture and the second coming (during the tribulation on earth).
Attending the wedding feast will be not only the Church as the Bride of Christ, but others as well. The “others” include the Old Testament saints—they will not have been resurrected yet, but their souls/spirits will be in heaven with us. As the angel told John to write, “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:9). The marriage supper of the Lamb is a glorious celebration of all who are in Christ!
The imagery and symbolism of marriage is applied to Christ and the body of believers known as the church. The church is comprised of those who have trusted in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and have received eternal life. Christ, the Bridegroom, has sacrificially and lovingly chosen the church to be His bride (Ephesians 5:25–27). Just as there was a betrothal period in biblical times during which the bride and groom were separated until the wedding, so is the bride of Christ separate from her Bridegroom during the church age. Her responsibility during the betrothal period is to be faithful to Him (2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:24). At the rapture, the church will be united with the Bridegroom and the official “wedding ceremony” will take place and, with it, the eternal union of Christ and His bride will be actualized (Revelation 19:7–9; 21:1-2).
In the eternal state, believers will have access to the heavenly city known as New Jerusalem, also called “the holy city” in Revelation 21:2 and 10. The New Jerusalem is not the church, but it takes on some of the church’s characteristics. In his vision of the end of the age, the apostle John sees the city coming down from heaven adorned “as a bride,” meaning that the city will be gloriously radiant and the inhabitants of the city, the redeemed of the Lord, will be holy and pure, wearing white garments of holiness and righteousness. Some have misinterpreted verse 9 to mean the holy city is the bride of Christ, but that cannot be because Christ died for His people, not for a city. The city is called the bride because it encompasses all who are the bride, just as all the students of a school are sometimes called “the school.”
Believers in Jesus Christ are the bride of Christ, and we wait with great anticipation for the day when we will be united with our Bridegroom. Until then, we remain faithful to Him and say with all the redeemed of the Lord, “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20).
From the beginning, God’s plan of salvation has always involved a massive global strategy. The Lord told Abraham that his people would be “beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore” (Genesis 22:17, NLT) and that in them “all nations on earth will be blessed” (verse 18). In Revelation 7:9, the apostle John sees “a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’” (Revelation 7:9–10, NKJV).
John describes an immense gathering of people standing in front of the Lamb’s throne in heaven, wearing white robes and joyously celebrating with palm branches as they worship God in a loud voice. Who are these multiethnic, culturally diverse, multilingual people of every nation, tribe, and language? The answer is given in Revelation 7:14: “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Scripture leaves no room for doubt: these are the ones saved through faith in Jesus Christ during the Great Tribulation.
John 3:16 tells us that God loved the
whole world so much that He sent
His only Son—the Lamb of God—to save people who
believed in Him from all around the globe.
Jesus told His disciples, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone” (Mark 16:15, NLT). Christ was slain as the sacrificial Lamb of God to redeem people from “every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (see Revelation 5:9, NKJV).
Before we received Christ as Lord and Savior, we were stained crimson by sin (Isaiah 1:18). It is
“the blood of Jesus” shed on the cross that
“purifies us from all sin”
(1 John 1:7).
We are redeemed by
“the precious blood of Christ,
a lamb without blemish or defect”
(1 Peter 1:18–19).
is only possible by the
blood of the Lamb
(see Hebrews 9:11–28)
Revelation 7 provides a possible connection between the
numberless multitude from all nations, tribes, and tongues
144,000 sealed servants of God
The 144,000 are from the tribes of Israel,
while the multitude
is from every tribe and nation.
John sees the 144,000 on earth
and the numberless multitude in heaven (verse 9).
It seems that the mission of the 144,000
will be to evangelize the post-rapture world and
proclaim the gospel during the tribulation.
As a result of their ministry,
millions—the “great multitude . . . from every
nation, tribe, people and language”
—will come to faith in Christ.
This redeemed multitude
from all nations, tribes,
and tongues are those who will forever worship
“before the throne of God
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne
will shelter them with his presence”
these worshipers as victorious overcomers
whom He will “make a pillar in the temple of my God.
Never again will they leave it.
I will write on them the name of my God and the
name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem,
which is coming down out of heaven from my God;
and I will also write on them my new name”
They will live in God’s constant
protection and presence
This vast crowd from all nations, tribes, and tongues suffered famine, thirst, extreme deprivation, and persecution during the Great Tribulation (Revelation 6:5–6; 13:16–17). Since its earliest days, the church of Jesus Christ has suffered oppression and mistreatment, but nothing as terrible as experienced by those believers saved in the last half (3.5 years) of the tribulation period (Matthew 24:21; Daniel 12:1; Jeremiah 30:7). During that time, the beast or Antichrist will have authority to unleash terror on “every tribe and people and language and nation” (see Revelation 13:1–10; see also Revelation 16:1—18:24).
This multitude from
all nations, tribes, and tongues is a
great throng of
faithful believers worshiping
Lamb of God on His heavenly throne.
These citizens of heaven will
“eat from the tree of life”
(Revelation 2:7) and enjoy
“springs of living water”
“They will never again be hungry or thirsty;
they will never be scorched by the heat of the sun.
For the Lamb on the throne will be their Shepherd.
He will lead them to springs of life-giving water.
And God will wipe every tear from their eyes”
(Revelation 7:16–17, NLT).
The term living stones in 1 Peter 2:5 is used as a metaphor to illustrate the secure and intimate relationship believers have with Jesus, who is described in the previous verse as the “living Stone” (1 Peter 2:4). Together, these two verses picture how Christ and His followers are joined by God Himself: “
As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but
chosen by God and precious to Him—you also,
like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house
to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices
acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”
(1 Peter 2:4–5).
The foundation of
God’s building is
His Son, Jesus Christ, the
The “living stones,” in turn, are believers who come to Jesus and place their lives upon this foundation. The living Stone is “precious” to those who believe (1 Peter 2:7), but some men reject the living Stone in order to build their lives their own way, not God’s way (see Psalm 118:22 and Luke 6:46–49). Unbelievers cast this living Stone aside, not caring that Jesus is the only true foundation upon which they can build securely (1 Corinthians 3:11).
In a metaphor much like that of the living Stone, Jesus is described as the chief cornerstone in Ephesians 2:19–22. Peter references Jesus as the cornerstone in Acts 4:11–12, stating that “salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” God accepts no one who refuses to become a part of His building. And God is just like all builders—He has a foundation upon which all workers must build (Matthew 7:24–27).
Believers, then, are the “living stones” of the church that Jesus promised to build (Matthew 16:18). As living stones, we have new life in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). As integral parts of the building of God, we have security in Christ (John 6:37). As the Master Builder, God places His living stones just where He wants us to be (1 Corinthians 12:18). As living stones, we are connected to one another in the body of Christ (Romans 12:5). Our Lord, the foundation Stone, is alive forevermore and will never crumble. He will support us eternally.
Peter goes on to describe the function of the
to “declare the praises”
of Him who called us
out of the darkness of sin
into the light of life and glory
(1 Peter 2:9).
This is the “job description”
of a living stone:
a speaker of praise, a declarer of
and love and light
The spiritual house God
is building is designed for
and we, the
all we do
(1 Corinthians 10:31).