THE BOOK OF REVELATION
By: Bertrand L. Comparet
Lesson #3 Of A Series Of 14, Transcribed From Audio Tapes
Clifton A. Emahiser’s
1012 North Vine Street
Fostoria, OH 44830
Phone (419) 435-2836
[Unless in brackets, all of the message is by Bertrand L. Comparet.] Well, we’ve been studying the Book of Revelation. We had gotten through the first five of the seven “churches” to which the messages were sent. The sixth in this list is the “church” at Philadelphia; this is Revelation 3, verses 7 to 13: “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of testing, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
This ancient city of Philadelphia was founded by king Attalus the 2nd of Pergamos at a natural gateway of the trade route between Pergamos and the East. It was situated at the edge of quite an active volcanic region, so that earthquakes there were so common that the historian Strabo wondered why anybody would live there. Something like Japan, where they get one or more earthquakes everyday. The city was called “little Athens” because of its paganism and many pagan temples. Hence, Yahshua said, “He that overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God.” It was under siege many times by Byzantines, Crusaders, barbarians and Turks, and was the last city of Asia Minor to be captured by the Turks after an eight year siege in 1390 A.D. The name means “brotherly love.” The time period covered by this overlaps the period of the “church” at Thyatira because this Philadelphia “church” represents the developing Protestantism. You could probably assign as dates for it, 1550 to say 1850 A.D. [See note #1 at end of lesson.]
The Reformation was fully established in England in 1558. The Huguenots had started in France by 1550; became quite a large movement there by 1561. The Reformation was established in Scotland in the 1560s. In Germany and Scandinavia, Martin Luther died in 1546, leaving a very vigorous Protestant “Church” movement under way. Thus these people, these early Protestants, had followed the advice of Revelation 18, verse 4: “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Of the seven “churches” listed representing seven different ages in the development of the Christian “Church”, only two were not criticized; Smyrna, the congregation in the period of pagan persecution, and Philadelphia. Hence, this period of the “church” at Philadelphia covers the expansion of Protestantism in the Israel nations. Also, the vast missionary work that they soon began and which extended in force up till World War I, He says, “... I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it ...” [See note #’s 2 and 3 at end of lesson.]
In Revelation 10, verses 1 to 11, John sees the vision of an angel, a mighty angel holding a little open book in his hand, the Bible, published in the ordinary languages of the different countries so that it could be read by the people, and that open book had become an open door. He said: “... I also will keep thee from the hour of testing, which shall come upon all the world ...” As long as the “Church” kept the spirit of the rise of Protestantism, the conditions which exist today, testing to see whether anything is fit to remain that could ride out the storm. But while the Spirit of Yahshua is in them, they’ll have the power to put down all these other things. [See note #’s 2 and 4A at end of lesson. – See also note #2 at Lesson #1.]
Seventh and last, the message to the “Church” of Laodicea which represents the “Christian Church” of our own time. Modernism took its rise in the last half of the eighteen hundreds, so you could date the beginning of this period possibly 1850, and we’re still in it.
[Revelation 3:14-22]: “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of Yahweh; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
The city of Laodicea was founded between 261 and 246 B.C., eleven miles from the city of Colossae. You remember Paul wrote an epistle to the Colossians. The sight of Laodicea is now entirely deserted. Very few ruins remain, and none of those of imposing size. It was a small city until after the Roman period began; then it rapidly became great and rich, becoming a center of banking and financial transactions. Destroyed by an earthquake in the year 60 A.D., the Roman emperor offered them financial help to rebuild, and they said “we don’t need it, we’ve got plenty of money of our own.” It was renowned for the beautiful glossy black wool of their sheep, and garments woven of this. They also manufactured a medicine reputedly good for the eyes. Well, of this period – the period of modernism – Paul, in 2nd Timothy 3, verses 1 to 5 said [See note #5 at end of lesson.]:
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of Yahweh; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” And he certainly described the so-called “church” of our day. How often have you heard the passage quoted: “Behold I stand at the door and knock”, followed by the remark “how wonderful that is?” To the contrary, it’s probably the most tragic thing in the Bible! Yahshua the Christ locked out of his congregations, saying, “I’m standing on the outside knocking. Will anybody let me in?”, and finding very few takers. Well today’s “churches” consider themselves rich. They have big congregations, huge buildings, great publishing houses turning out all sorts of heretical and blasphemous works. Lots of ministers with D.D. degrees; but no knowledge of Yahshua the Christ or Yahweh Elohim. They have a large influence upon the portion of the public that calls itself “Christian” without knowing what Christianity is. So they say “we are rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing.” Yet they’re poor in the sight of Yahweh, blind to all truth, lacking the white robes of righteousness, naked. Therefore the ultimate fate, “I will vomit thee out of my mouth.” The expression not merely of rejection, but of utter disgust. Thus, in this message to the seven “churches”, you have a true written history of the seven stages of development of the Christian “Church”, from the crucifixion and resurrection down to the second coming of Yahshua the Christ.
Going on now to the fourth chapter, there’s a complete change of scene and subject matter. Revelation 4, verses 1 to 7: “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of Yahweh. And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four living ones (your King James Version says ‘beasts’; that’s the Greek word zôon and means ‘living creatures’, an all inclusive word for anything that has life from a microbe to an elephant) – four living ones, full of eyes before and behind. And the first living one was like a lion, and the second living one was like a young bullock, and the third living one had a face as a man, and the fourth living one was like a flying eagle.”
Up to this point, the prophesy of the Book of Revelation had been concerning the “Church.” Now you turn to prophesy of general world history, from John’s time on to the end. Now of the one that sat upon the throne, it said “like a sardius stone and a jasper.” The sardius is the blood red carnelian. Jasper is a form of quartz, which may be of many different colors. These are the first and the last of the twelve stones in the high priests’ breast plate; see Exodus 28, verses 15 to 21. Yahweh, being Yahshua the Christ, always emphasized “I am the first, and I am the last”, and here it is kept consistent in the symbolism. In the first chapter of Ezekiel, the prophet Ezekiel saw Yahweh sitting on his throne, surrounded by a radiant glory like a rainbow. So also John saw it here. But you notice that, whereas Yahweh dwells in the light that no man can approach unto, for the purpose of giving such a vision to his prophet He tones that light down. He even makes it green that is the easiest on the eyes of all colors. Always thoughtful. In Ezekiel’s vision, Yahweh’s throne was supported by four living creatures. Now in Ezekiel’s vision, the symbolism was doubled. Each one of these four living creatures had four faces – the front, the back, and each side of his head – and they were the faces of a man, a lion, an ox and an eagle. So the symbolism definitely is the same. And what is that symbolism? During all the years of the Exodus, when the tribes of Israel made their camp at night, they made their camp in the form of a hollow square, three tribes on each side. In the center were the Levites with the Ark of the Covenant. Of the three tribes on each side of that square, one was the leader in command of that group of three. That leading tribe flew its banner, showing where the command post was on that side of the square. [See note #’s 4B and 6 at end of lesson.]
On one side, the leading tribe was Judah, and its banner was a lion. Another side; the leading tribe was Ephraim, whose banner was the bull or ox. The third side, the leading tribe was Reuben, whose banner was a man. And on the fourth side, the leading tribe was Dan, whose banner was the flying eagle. So where would you expect Yahweh’s throne to be anyway; but in the middle of the encampment of His people? Remember, He said “you only have I known of all the families of the earth.” True, He has to give us a spanking once in a while for our misdeeds, but nevertheless, we are His people, and He has promised that He would be with us. These 24 elders – that word presbyter, elder, is a title of respect and authority, and not necessarily of age – there were 24 of them; twice 12. Who might they be? We’re not told specifically, but we can pretty well judge it. Logically; the 12 patriarchs. Each would be presiding over the tribe of his descendants, which would account for 12 of them. For the others, the 12 Apostles were told by Yahshua the Christ – this is Matthew 19, verse 28, in the regeneration, when the son of man shall sit on the throne of his glory, “ye also shall sit upon 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel.” Therefore, it’s a pretty logical assumption that in that we know the 24 elders. Then, Revelation 5, verses 1 to 3, John says:
“And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a scroll” – your King James Version says ‘book’; but it’s a mistranslation, naturally. The Greek word biblíon means a little scroll. A book with pages laid together flat and bound along one edge, the name of that is codex. [See note #7 at end of lesson.] This was a scroll, and a book couldn’t fit the description at all, but a scroll does – “I saw in the right hand of him that sat upon the throne a scroll, written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.” [Comparet demonstrating]: rolled up like this, and sealed. Just peel off the seal so you could open it up to read what was inside. “And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.”
Thus, John knew that this indicated some tremendously important knowledge – and how were you going to find out – no one being worthy to open it? So, he said he wept much because no one could open it. So he was told “weep not because the lion of the tribe of Judah has prevailed to open the seals.” And he says “I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four living ones, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of Yahweh sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the scroll out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.” Well, Yahshua the Christ, of course, was of the tribe of Judah, the kingly tribe. As a matter of fact, when he lived in Jerusalem – if you disregard entirely his natural claim to the throne as being Yahweh in human form, and consider Him as merely a man – He was the legitimate heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Judah because Herod had killed every other person who stood nearer in the line of descent, so that here was the surviving legitimate heir. Remember how, when He came into the city the people all greeted Him as son of David? So the lion of the Tribe of Judah, and then the Lamb, as we know – He was the Lamb of Yahweh, as the apostle John told us: “Having seven eyes which are the seven Spirits of Yahweh.” Remember that in the message to the seven “churches”, to the “church” in Sardis Yahshua the Christ said: “These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of Yahweh, and the seven stars.” Thus we read that the Lamb opens these seven seals, one after another.
Now we’re never told what was written in words on this scroll, either inside or outside, but it is at the opening of each scroll that we see action, a little drama portraying some great historical event or process. The first seal which He opened – this is Revelation 6, verses 1 and 2, and symbolizes a period from 31 B.C. to 180 A.D.: “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 living creatures saying, Come and see. 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.” Thus, the rider of this horse had a crown, and he symbolized the Roman Empire in the period of conquest and expansion of the empire. He rode on a white horse – the Roman Emperors always rode a white horse in their public appearance. And conquering – Roman generals in their triumphal parades practically always rode a white horse. Now he was given a bow. That is a weapon which strikes at a distance. In other words, the fighting was not to be in Rome. The fighting was to be at a distance from Rome. The beginning of Rome as an empire is often dated from the battle of Actium in 31 B.C. You remember that after the death of Julius Caesar, Rome, having no king, had a triumvirate of three generals who divided power among themselves. There was Pompey and Augustus Caesar and Mark Antony. Pompey got himself killed off, and that left the power between Augustus Caesar and Mark Antony. [See note #8 at end of lesson.]
The east had been assigned to Antony, and he went down to Egypt and fell for Cleopatra. He was leading the Egyptian navy in a battle with the Roman navy, and when it looked as though the fighting was going to begin, the barge that Cleopatra was on turned around and fled back to port. She got out of there! When Antony saw her barge go, he didn’t stay there to direct the fleet. He turned and fled, also pursuing Cleopatra. The Egyptian fleet was thoroughly defeated and sunk by the Roman fleet. With the Roman legions about to take the capital of Egypt, you remember, Cleopatra and Antony committed suicide. That left Augustus Caesar in complete command of the Roman Empire and he became its first crowned emperor.
At the time John wrote this, the expansion of the empire was going on. During this period, up to 180 A.D., at home in the city of Rome, there was a period of peace and tranquillity and prosperity, the prosperity being based upon what they could loot from the other nations they conquered. The Roman armies were always marching farther out, conquering nations farther and farther away. Augustus began the golden age of Rome. He suppressed corruption and gave them an able administration. Of course, true to the Roman nature, the Roman administration at all times was a hard and brutal one. But, at times it was relatively honest. His lasted until 14 A.D. Tiberius, who ruled from 14 to 37 A.D., was also an able ruler, but he ruled definitely by military power. It was not a matter of trying to be a politician and getting along with anybody; he ruled by the might of the army. He was followed by the insane Caligula, who ruled from 37 to 41 A.D. Rome was a circus of horrors, of course, under Caligula. Caligula, you remember, said he wished that all the world had just one neck between them so he could lop it off with his sword.
He was followed by Claudius, who ruled 41 to 54 A.D. and continued administrative reforms trying to give a reasonably efficient regime. Then Nero, 54 to 68 A.D. – Nero was another one with a very strong touch of insanity. At the very start of his reign, for a short time he ruled well under the guidance of the philosopher Seneca. But his growing insanity made the latter part of his reign horrible. The next six emperors in a row were of little consequence, finally ending with a reign of terror under Domitian, 81 to 96 A.D. It was in the reign of Domitian that John wrote Revelation, when he was in exile on the island of Patmos. He was followed by what were called the five good emperors; Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. Their rule, running from 96 to 180 A.D., saw peace at home and reasonably good rule, considering what ancient empires were. [See note #’s 9 & 10 at end of lesson. – See also note #1 at lesson #1.]
Hence, the symbolism of this event, the crowned rider on the white horse armed with a bow, going out conquering and to continue his conquest, that was borne out by history. Then the second seal, Revelation 6, verses 3 and 4 (this covered from 180 to 312 A.D.): “And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, Come and see. 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.”
Now, you notice the complete change here. This is not a war of conquest with the bow to strike enemies at a distance. With a sword you can only hit a man who is substantially within arm’s reach. This was fighting at home, “To take peace from the earth.” Now the prophetic world means no more than the area occupied by the empires of the Babylonian succession of empires. For example, Luke 2, verse 1: “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.”
The word translated “world” there is the Greek word oikouméne, literally “inhabited world”, and with an additional connotation of “civilized.” Now quite obviously, Caesar Augustus couldn’t order the taxing of China, or the Incan Empire in Peru, or any of those things. The world of Bible prophesy is the nations surrounding the Mediterranean Sea and extending eastward into western Asia. In other words, “take peace from the Roman world, and that they should kill one another”; internal warfare. This period began with the reign of the emperor Commodus, 180 to 192 A.D. He’s one of the bloodiest and most licentious tyrants in history. The next two years, 192-193, saw two emperors reign with nothing accomplished for either of them, then followed by Septimius Severus, who reigned from 193 to 211. Caracalla, 211 to 217 A.D., was noted for extreme brutality. Elagabalus, 218 to 222 A.D., noted only for his debauchery. Alexander Severus, 222 to 235, a tolerably mediocre ruler. Then there was a period of chaos. There were thirteen emperors in the next 33 years, each of them put in office by military force by the Roman armies that decided they’d make him, their general, the emperor, nearly all of them assassinated by soldiers in order that they could replace him with someone else. Claudius II, who ruled 268 to 270, then Aurelian, 270 to 275, not so much of an administrator, but he was an able general who held back for a time the encroachment of the so-called barbarians, the people of the Scythian Israel tribes who were moving into the Roman Empire. [See note #’s 11, 12, & 13 at end of lesson.]
In the next nine years, 275 to 284, there were six completely unimportant emperors. Then Diocletian, 284 to 305 A.D., was an able administrator, made many reforms but with a huge increase in bureaucracy and expense to the tax payer. And also the last terrible persecution of Christians came under Diocletian. Diocletian abdicated in 305 A.D., leaving total chaos, civil war, multiple civil wars because every military leader who could get much of an army to back him was trying to seize the throne. This lasted from 305 to 312/313 when Constantine, through military power, took the throne. You remember, in 312 A.D. he issued his proclamation of toleration for the Christian “Church.” Thus, the total period of this second seal, when you had civil war in Rome, was 180 to 312 A.D. Then we come to the third seal, covering 212 to 400 A.D., Revelation 6, verses 5 and 6: “And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature 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. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures say, A measure of wheat for a denarius, and three measures of barley for a denarius; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” [See note #’s11 & 14 at end of lesson.]
Your King James Version, with one of its most ridiculous mistranslations, says “a measure of wheat for a penny.” But it’s the Roman coin, the denarius. Now you note that the rider on this horse had no crown and no weapons, so he was not an emperor. This measure, a choínikos, was equal to just a trifle over a quart. The denarius, the coin, with which you could buy a quart of wheat, equaled possibly 22 to 24 cents in today’s money. It was a day’s wage for a common laborer. You remember, in one of Yahshua the Christ’s parables He told about the farmer who employed workmen by the day and promised each one his penny (your King James Version says), but it is rather a denarius. And even those hired for the last hour got the same denarius wage. It was the common wage of a laborer. Now that phrase “and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine” doesn’t make good sense, does it? And whenever you run into that, you know you have a problem of mistranslation again. It’s also translatable “see that thou be not unjust regarding the oil and the wine.” Now that will begin to make sense, once we know what they are talking about.
The black horse, of course, symbolized depression and gloom. The balanced scale that the rider carried was a common Roman symbol for two things; one, justice, and the other commerce. You remember, that while coined money had come into pretty general use, it was by no means universal. Not only did they, with the scale, weigh out the weight of many commodities to be sold, but also a good deal of the purchasing was done with bars of gold or silver bullion which had to be weighed to find out the weight from which you could calculate the worth. Taxes of the Roman Empire could be paid either in money or in an equal value of produce, such as wheat, oil and wine. You had to be able to value the produce properly in terms of money so that the tax collectors would not unjustly collect too much for their own graft. Thus, here was a definite denarius for a quart of wheat or for 3 quarts of barley, and with apparently some fluctuation in value of the oil and the wine, but to be fair and just in collecting taxes in oil and wine.
In 212 A.D. the emperor Caracalla, in what looked like on the surface a move of generosity, conferred Roman citizenship on all free men living in the Roman Empire. Well, anytime you are told that any act of truth and generosity was practiced by one of the Roman emperors, don’t believe it. Of course, all people living in Rome paid a tax, but there was an additional tax collected from those who were Roman citizens. Up until that time, Roman citizenship was a jealously guarded privilege. You remember when Paul was arrested on one occasion, the centurion in charge of the soldiers had ordered that he be flogged. They beat him to make him tell what he had done, that he might confess to something. Paul said “Are you going to flog a Roman citizen before he’s been tried and condemned?” That got the centurion quite alarmed, as he would have been in difficulty had he done that because, while Rome was brutal, nevertheless she had her rules, and one of her own soldiers or officers who broke those rules were to be treated with equal brutality. So the centurion said, “I’m a Roman citizen too, but it cost me a great sum of money to buy Roman citizenship.” Paul answered “I was born a citizen.” Well, Caracalla then made all free men in the Roman Empire citizens in order to make more people pay more taxes.
From the death of Constantine in 337 A.D. there was a period of civil war until 351, when finally one emperor got control again and the empire was split in two. The easterly half governed from Constantinople, later Istanbul, and the western half, governed in the city of Rome – that was 379 A.D. Well, the Roman taxes had always been heavy. You remember how bitter the people were in Judea about having to pay taxes to Rome, and how they hated the tax collectors, the publicans? Shortly after this, from about 395 or so, the combination of excessive taxes and the barbarian invasions that were biting deep into the empire ruined first the provinces, the outlying provinces of Rome, and finally Rome itself. Rome was no longer able to defend the provinces, so the so-called barbarians, who were the people of Israel having gotten around the east end of the Black Sea, began moving up into the Danube valley and westwardly, heading for the head of the Adriatic Sea and the Italian peninsula itself. [See note #’s 16 & 17 at end of lesson.]
One after another was lost to Rome as the so-called barbarians, the Israelites, took them over. With a smaller base from which to draw taxes, the Italian peninsula, of course, was taxed even more heavily. The burden of taxes was so great that it wasn’t much use trying to farm. You remember that you had steps in the downfall of Rome? First the burden of taxes was so great that the little individual peasant farmers had to give up and quit. They came to the city to become a land-less city rabble which was the eventual downfall of Rome. Their lands were taken over by some of the big wealthy people who, just as you have today, combined them into enormous farms, but the burden of taxation became so great that even they were not able to keep operating, and they abandonedthem. Hence, even in Italy you had great areas formerly farmed and productive, now abandoned and going back to weeds.
The power of the empire was breaking down after the time of Constantine; meantime, the power of the “church” was gradually building up from the time that Constantine made it the state religion. Starting, you might say, from 212 A.D. as a definable date when citizenship was conferred as a burden upon all the free men, you had going on to about 400 A.D., this period of increasingly hard times and increasingly heavy taxation bringing about financial ruin. There is, of course, an awful lot more to the book we’re going to have to take up later. I haven’t completed my studies to my own satisfaction on the rest of it, and I don’t intend to go off the deep end about this particular book, I can assure you. I don’t on any of them, especially this one. We’ll go on with the opening of the rest of these seals in the next meeting. [End of Comparet’s Lesson #3.]
CRITICAL NOTES ON LESSON #3
Comments by William Finck initialed W.R.F.
Comments by Clifton A. Emahiser in brackets in lesson text as “your transcriber”
or initialed C.A.E. in critical notes.
Note #1: The index to the Loeb Library Strabo lists two Philadelphias in Anatolia, one in Mysia and one in Lydia, which upon actually examining the text must be one and the same place, which Strabo mentions twice. W.R.F.
Note #2: I would not correlate the separation of protestants from the “Catholic Church” with Rev. 18:4. First, the protestants did suffer much by the “church” because of the withdrawal. Second, Babylon did not fall with the Reformation, as it does at Rev. 18 (vs. 2). Third, the “protestant” churches have turned out not much better than the “catholic”, for they have “strained out” the gnats (most of the idols, some rituals & other practices) and swallowed camels (“missionary” work, universalism, humanism etc.)!!! W.R.F.
Comment by Clifton A. Emahiser: All this is very true, but because of Israel’s seven times punishment (360 x 7 = 2520 years), Yahweh has been bringing Israel through a process in that punishment. Therefore, the switch from Catholicism to Protestantism is but one step in that process to bring true Israel back in good standing with Yahweh once more, and it has been brutal as the prophets had warned. Isaiah 42:16-20 illustrates part of that process:
“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. 17 They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our gods. 18 Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see. 19 Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I sent? who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as YAHWEH’S servant? 20 Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears, but he heareth not.”
Yes, the move from Catholicism to Protestantism only partially opened true Israel’s eyes, and John in the Book of Revelation prophesied of that process, and Comparet does quite well in identifying the terrible transition that took place (though truly the Reformation does not represent the fall of Babylon at Rev. 18:2). It appears, though, we have more painful events yet ahead of us! Thus, “Protestantism” is not the final answer. To see that, all we have to do is observe what the “Protestant churches” have become today! Protestantism, in some ways, is merely warmed over Catholicism. C.A.E.
Note #3: Long before “missionary work” began, Jeremiah 31:34 and Ezek. 37:26-28 should have been manifest to the “church”, which ignored these things. Comparet’s pride along the lines of “missionary work” befuddles me, for it is this idea that is the reason for all of our troubles! Where did Comparet suppose that we were told to “convert” the other races? W.R.F.
Comment by Clifton A. Emahiser: I must fully agree with William Finck on this statement. It only proves that as well as Comparet did in many areas, he was a long way from being perfect, and it is justified to point out his misjudgments. So it appears that Comparet’s works are tinged with a bit of odious universalism. One should really check out William Finck’s Scripture references at Jeremiah 31:34 and Ezek. 37:26-28, for the proclamation we hear from “church” pulpits that “we should know the Lord” will no longer be taught, as it was never true in the first place. Also take special notice of Ezek: 37:28: “And the heathen shall know that I Yahweh do sanctify (set apart) Israel, when my sanctuary [set-apart place] shall be in the midst of them for evermore.” As you can plainly see, there is no place for the other races among us! C.A.E.
Note #4A: Here Comparet appears to use the word “church” correctly: the body of Israelites who believe in Yahshua Christ: whether or not they are organized or assembled. As for the “rise of Protestantism”, all of these “protestants” were targeted and persecuted by the enemy (who had taken over the “Catholic Church”), and that persecution continued when the protestants’ “churches” were also taken over by the enemy. There was no true “gain” in Protestantism that endured, but much turmoil and death as it was created. [See notes at Lesson #1, note #2; and note #2 in this Lesson.] W.R.F.
[Note #4B: Is the word “Church” also correctly used here? It seems to be. It is unfortunate that Comparet made no distinction, such as using “church” when referring to an organized entity with a professional priesthood (Catholic or Protestant), and then using the words “ekklesia” or “assembly” when referring to the body of His people Israel who are in the world and keep the faith. W.R.F.
Note #5: Strabo mentions the black wool of Laodicea (12.8.16), and also says that after an earlier earthquake – at least 100 years before that mentioned by Comparet here – “[Julius Caesar] also restored the city of the Laodiceians” in his own time. Then, like now, men tempted fate, insisting on living in hazardous areas. W.R.F.
Note #6: That green light is “the easiest on the eyes of all colors” is apparent, but is such a statement relevant here? John said that he saw this vision “in the spirit” (Rev. 4:2), and we shouldn’t assume that Spirit has the same physical limitations which this body has. W.R.F.]
Note #7: “Codex” is not a Greek word. While John is surely describing a scroll, biblion, the diminutive of biblos, “A paper scroll, letter”, the biblos was a book, with leaves and bound at one end. Grammatically a “biblion” could be a “little book”, but apparently this is not how the Greeks used the word. The making of bound books is described – though not in minute detail – in the Greek Anthologies, as I recollect. W.R.F.
Note #8: Lepidus, who died five years before Actium in 36 B.C., was the third member of the triumvirate with Octavius (Augustus) and Antony. Pompey was defeated and died, as did his sons, in the earlier Civil War in the days of Julius Caesar. W.R.F.
Note #9: There were only five, not six, emperors between Nero and Domitian: Galba, Otho, Vitellius (totaling about 15 months in 68-69 A.D.), Vespasian and Titus. I would not consider these last two to be “of little consequence.” W.R.F.
Note #10: Even according to Comparet, Christians were persecuted under Trajan, Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius. Is it meet to consider these “good” emperors? W.R.F.
Note #11: Some details differ in this list of emperors from the information which I have, but nothing of great significance. W.R.F.
Note #12: 13 emperors in 33 years between A. Severus and Claudius II were as follows: 1.- Maximus I; 2.- Gordianus I; 3.- Gordianus II; 4.- Pupienus; 5.- Balbinus; 6.- Gordianus III; 7.- Philippus; 8.- Decius; 9.- Gallus; 10.- Volusianus; 11.- Aemilianus; 12.- Valerianus; 13.- Gallienus. Note: 2&3 and 4&5 and 9&10 all ruled together as did 12&13 for a time. W.R.F.
Note #13: Quintillus, who was emperor for part of 270 A.D., just before Aurelian, is missing here. W.R.F.
Note #14: Officially, Diocletian was co-emperor with Maximianus. W.R.F.
Note #16: The Roman empire was split east/west 364 A.D. W.R.F.
Note #17: Many Scythian-Israelites had long been, and all along been, expanding west, the Germans always pressuring Gaul and often succeeding. W.R.F.