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have reference to symbolic words. In Acts 11: 28 Agabus signified by the Spirit that there
should be a dearth. How he did it we are not told, but the manner in which he prophesied
the bondage of Paul in Acts 21: 11 by a sign may suggest his method in Acts 11: The
only other reference is Acts 25: 27.
The introduction of the angel in the opening verse is important. This angel does not
leave the apostle until the last chapter is reached. The first six chapters of Zechariah
afford a striking parallel. Angels figure largely in Israel's history. They are found with
Abraham (Heb. 13: 2), they were connected with the giving of the law (Acts 7: 53,
Gal. 3: 19). They are prominent in the Gospels and the Acts. They figure prominently
in the second coming of the Lord (Matt. 16: 27; 24: 31; I Thess. 4: 16; and
II Thess. 1: 7), and the Epistle to the Hebrews contains twelve references to them. The
Revelation contains more than 70 references to angels, linking the book with Israel and
the kingdom, and severing it from the church which is the body by the fact that in the
prison epistles angels are only mentioned once, and that by way of contrast (Col. 2: 18).
Let the reader open any concordance and observe the continuous angelic ministry of the
Revelation. There is the angel sent to John, there are angels who have control of the
vials, the seals, the plagues, the trumpets, the woes, the waters, the winds, and the seven
assemblies. We emphasize the last clause because of the unwarranted license taken with
Scripture which makes these seven angels (so prominent elsewhere in the Revelation as
real angels in the true sense) into bishops, deacons, synagogue overseers, and the like.
The archangel Michael is the prince that standeth for Israel (Dan. 10: 21, 12: 1), and it
would seem that he delegates these seven angels to watch over the people of the Lord
during their time of fierce trial.
Of those who deny or ridicule the idea of angelic ministry we would say that they only
need their eyes opened (see II Kings 6: 16 and 17). Heb. 1: 14 declares that they are
ministering spirits, and such they appear throughout the Revelation.
The description of the message as testified by John is of importance. It is threefold,
(1) The Word of God, (2) The testimony of Jesus, and (3) All things that he saw; but
these three are not divided, they are one. What John saw in the vision was the Word of
God and the testimony of Jesus. What is this testimony? How shall we decide its
meaning? The usage of these words in the book itself will help us. There are seven
references to this testimony of Jesus, four of them being linked to the other description,
"the Word of God."
A | 1: 2. John testifies. The angel his instructor.
B | 1: 9. John in Patmos for the testimony.
C | 6: 9. "Souls." Martyrs promised judgment and told to wait.
D | 12: 17. The remnant who keep this testimony.
A | 19: 10. The angel linked with John.
B | 19: 10. The prophecy (cf. verse 11 "and I saw heaven opened").
C | 20: 4. "Souls." Martyrs and their judgment awarded.