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The Revelation to John

Old Orthodox Apocalypse Wall-painting from medieval Osogovo Monastery, Republic of Macedonia. Public Domain.
Old Orthodox Apocalipse Wall-painting from medieval Osogovo Monastery, Republic of Macedonia. Public Domain.

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Introduction to The Revelation to John

The theme of the book of Revelation is the redemption and the ascension of human beings from the natural to the divine plane of existence. Ed Rabel, in his audio series of metaphysical interpretations, says that the meaning of the book refers to the reality of the living presence of Jesus Christ and the meaning of the universal Christ spirit in each of us.

Many persons regard Revelation as a closed book: "This is too deep for me!" "Difficult to understand!" "So many terrible events recorded!"—and many other similar comments regarding Revelation are frequently heard. And, from a casual glance at the contents of the book, it would appear that such comments are fully justified. Thus it happens that while other books of the New Testament are given careful consideration, Revelation, for many persons, remains unread. However, it will be recalled that during the course of these lessons, several other books of the New Testament have appeared difficult at first reading; but such difficulties soon vanish when proper background information is supplied. May this not also apply to Revelation? Indeed, some background information is absolutely essential for the study of Revelation, and without such help it is likely to remain forever a closed book. But when we know why Revelation was written, and when it was written; and when we realize how its message imparted new strength and courage to the hard-pressed Christians of early days, then it becomes a truly readable and inspiring book. Moreover, when Revelation is properly understood, its thrilling message will be seen as applying not only to the early Christians, but also to many of our present-day problems.

The following notes should help readers of the New Testament to gain a better understanding and appreciation of this book called " Revelation."

Title of the book: Readers of the New Testament are familiar with the title Revelation. However, the Greek word Apocalypse is often applied to Revelation, and in some translations this is used as a title for the book. The word Apocalypse means a brief vision or disclosure of certain phases of Truth, or some forthcoming events. The veil that covers the future is momentarily drawn aside, and the writer describes what he was privileged to witness. Thus the word revelation clearly indicates the character of the book. Incidentally, it should be noted that the Revised Standard Version correctly states that this is the "Revelation to John," rather than "of John," as given in most translations.

The author: In the opening verse of Revelation, the author mentions his name—"John"—and this is usually regarded as indicating the Apostle John. However, from time to time this apostolic authorship has been questioned, mainly on account of the marked dissimilarity between Revelation and the Fourth Gospel. Even as early as the third century, some theologians pointed out that the style and subject matter of these two books clearly indicated that they could not have been produced by the same writer. Nevertheless, since Revelation was written some thirty-five years before the Gospel of John, there is a possibility that the writer's experiences during the intervening years produced a complete change of viewpoint. A change of this sort is noticeable in Paul's Epistles, as pointed out in Lesson Seven of this course. Could not a somewhat similar change have taken place with the Apostle John? The New Testament indicates that John was somewhat of a "firebrand" in his earlier days, for Jesus renamed him "Boanerges," meaning "Son of thunder." This new name was given after John and his brother sought to call down fire from heaven upon some offending Samaritans. (See Luke 9:52-56.) Moreover, John had witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in A.D. 70; and shortly after his arrival in Ephesus, he had been arrested and imprisoned on the Isle of Patmos (probably about A.D. 80). All this would readily account for the mental attitude revealed in this apocalyptic writing. In later years John apparently attained a calmer state of mind, plus a deeper understanding of Jesus' teaching—all leading to a complete change of style and subject matter, as seen in John's Gospel. In all probability, Revelation was written at Ephesus, shortly after John's release from his imprisonment, as mentioned above,about A.D.85.

Purpose of the book: This book was written in an effort to encourage the hard-pressed Christians to hold steady in their faith. The early church placed great emphasis upon the return of the Lord, and this hope enabled the Christians to endure persecution. But with the passing of the years, the persecutions grew in intensity, with the Christians suffering severely, and many of them being called upon to endure martyrdom. Small wonder, therefore, that they were asking, "Where is the promise of his coming?" (II Peter 3:4); while others, in their intense agony, were crying: "O Sovereign Lord . . . how long before thou wilt judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the earth?" (Rev. 6:10). The writer of Revelation, therefore, made answer: "Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him" (Rev. 1:7); and this was confirmed by the declaration from the Lord, "Behold, I come quickly" (Rev. 3:11 A.V.). Thus the persecuted Christians were assured that if they would remain steadfast—maintaining their faith, even in the midst of persecutions—their Lord would surely deliver them, punishing their persecutors, and opening the way for faithful Christians to receive the reward of "a new heaven and a new earth" (Rev. 21:1). The book therefore brought a message of hope, inspiring the early Christians with new courage; and it thus played an important part in preserving Christianity from extinction.

The apocalyptic viewpoint: In order to understand Revelation, or any similar book, it is absolutely necessary to have some knowledge of what is frequently termed "the apocalyptic viewpoint." Modern readers are accustomed to think in terms of gradually improving conditions. Indeed, many of our present-day laws and activities are directed toward this much-desired end. In ancient times—especially among Jewish people—the opposite attitude prevailed. Many outstanding teachers and writers openly proclaimed that the prevailing evil conditions were destined to become worse, and all man's efforts towards improvement were in vain. Here was the one gleam of hope: when evil conditions had reached their lowest point, and when man had exhausted all his strength, courage, and endurance, then the Lord Himself would intervene and usher in an entirely new state of affairs. Thus the saying arose, "Man's extremity is God's opportunity." Early Christians were taught to rejoice in their intensified troubles, since all this indicated that the time of divine intervention must be at hand. This "apocalyptic viewpoint" constitutes the key not only to Revelation, but also to several Old Testament books, such as Ezekiel, Joel, and Daniel, besides many apocalyptic books not included in our present Bibie.

Use of symbols: An outstanding characteristic of Revelation is its extensive use of symbols. This is noticeable in all apocalyptic literature. It should be noted that these symbols were used not only to represent persons, places, or events, but also for purposes of concealment. All apocalyptic books, including Revelation, were produced during periods of oppression and persecution. Indeed, apocalyptic books are frequently referred to as "tracts for troubled times"! The apocalyptic writers sought to encourage their readers by freely predicting the speedy overthrow of the oppressors and persecutors. However, a message of this type could not be given in plain language. Such a procedure would speedily bring about the arrest and execution of the author and all persons associated with him. Hence the message was couched in symbolic terms, and other devices of concealment were used; so that while the message would be readily understood by those persons "in the know," it would be meaningless to outsiders. In Revelation there are frequent references to "Babylon" and its overthrow, whereas the author was actually predicting the downfall of Rome. Several Roman emperors also figure in the story, but their identity is concealed through the use of symbols. These and many other references would be readily understood by the author and readers of Revelation; but the Roman censors would be hoodwinked, regarding the book as indicative of deranged mentality.

This extensive use of symbols raises a rather important question: How may we distinguish between what the author intended as symbolic, and what he regarded as literal happenings, connected for the most part with the future? For example: In Revelation there are frequent references to "earthquakes." (See Rev. 6:12; Rev. 8:5; Rev. 11:19.) But was the author here symbolically indicating a shake-up of government, with the summary deposing of persons in high places? Or was he predicting a physical catastrophe, with the wrecking of cities and countryside, and loss of life and property? Similarly, there are references to "plagues," "fire," and so on. Present-day readers may ask whether these are to be regarded as symbolic, or are to be taken literally. There is no general rule for making a distinction between the symbolic and the factual. However, a careful study of the context reveals that, in most instances, such references are to be regarded as symbolic. As already mentioned, the entire book is of symbolic character. When literal happenings of this sort appear to be indicated, it should be recognized that this represents the apocalyptic writer's idea of divine intervention. In those days, storms, earthquakes, and all catastrophic happenings were regarded as "acts of God," and these would represent what was deemed fitting punsihment for the oppressors and persecutors.

Present-day evaluation: Revelation is a very important book, and it should be studied from several different viewpoints.

(1) As literature: The Book of Revelation is an outstanding piece of literature, and it ranks high among the great books of the world. It is written in what may be termed the dramatic style, with the various episodes arranged in climactic order. The writer was an expert literary craftsman, excelling in description, action, suspense, and climax; he demonstrates his ability to hold the full attention of his readers from the opening chapter until the closing words. The term dramatic as here used does not infer that the book was written for stage production. It refers, rather, to the arrangement of the various episodes, and the many spectacular scenes presented in the book.

(2) As history: While the book itself cannot be regarded as historical, yet it deals with many actual happenings during New Testament times. It reveals the intensity of the persecutions directed against the early Christians, and indicates how they were enabled to hold steady during those agonizing times. Furthermore, the symbology used clearly depicts the activities of several Roman emperors, and other historical happenings. Sometimes questions are raised regarding the type of activities recorded in Revelation. Many of these appear to be of the vengeful type, and there is very little indication of the love and forgiveness usually associated with the Christian teaching. However, it should be recognized that Revelation follows along lines of apocalyptic teaching, rather than the Christ way as shown in the Gospels.

(3) As prophecy: Some writers regard Revelation as predicting certain dire happenings which are to take place in the distant future. Thus in certain quarters the book has been classified as "history written beforehand"—with the actual fulfillment taking place at the "end of the world." In this connection, two points should be carefully considered: (a) The author of Revelation distinctly states that the events recorded "must soon take place . . . for the time is near" (Rev. 1:1-3). Furthermore, there are the oft-repeated promises of Jesus, "Behold, I come quickly . . ." (Rev. 3:11 A.V.). (b) The main theme of Revelation concerns the overthrow of the Roman persecutors, and this "overthrow" actually took place with the conversion of the Emperor Constantine in A.D. 312-313. At that time the emperor made the declaration that Christianity should be the recognized religion throughout the Roman Empire. True, this overthrow did not come about exactly as predicted in Revelation, but it did take place, and to this extent the prophecy was fulfilled. From the historical viewpoint, the events recorded in Revelation would now appear to deal with the past, rather than with things yet to come. However, from a metaphysical viewpoint, the past, present, and future are depicted in Revelation.

(4) Regarding interpretation: Revelation presents quite a number of possibilities in regard to interpretation, and many interesting suggestions have been made from time to time. However, since Revelation contains so much symbology, it would appear that the most helpful interpretation is to be found along metaphysical lines. In this way, many of the scenes depicted in Revelation may be regarded as symbolic presentations of the trials and difficulties that we encounter on the journey from mortal consciousness to spiritual consciousness. Mainly, these trials and difficulties act as a cleansing process—getting rid of mortal ideas, in order that they may be replaced by spiritual ideas. Thus the recorded happenings in Revelation find their counterparts in human experience. Some events thus depicted may have reference to past experiences, while others indicate overcomings yet to be made. This method of interpretation will be followed in this lesson.

Before entering upon a detailed study of the events recorded in Revelation, an outline will be given, with the various episodes arranged in climactic order, so that the student may get a clear picture of the entire book, and also see the relationship of each section to the whole story. Following this, each section will be discussed in order, so that all details may become clear, and thus form a basis for the metaphysical interpretation which follows.

OUTLINE OF
THE REVELATION TO JOHN
  • Introduction (Rev. 1:1-3.)
  • Prologue Vision of the Son of Man (Rev. 1:4-20.)
  • Episode 1 (Rev. 2:1; 3:22.): Seven letters to the Churches of Asia (Minor)
  • Episode 2 (Rev.4:1;8:1.): The Seven Seals. (Brief Interlude: Rev. 7:1-17)
  • Episode 3 (Rev. 8:2; 11:19.): The Seven Trumpets. (Brief Interlude: Rev. 10:1; 11:13)
  • Episode 4 (Rev. 12:1; 14:20.): Three Great Portents.
  • Episode 5 (Rev. 15:1; 16:21.): The Seven Plagues.
  • Episode 6 (Rev. 17:1;20:14.): Overthrow of "Babylon."
  • Episode 7 (Rev. 21:1; 22:5.): A New Heaven and Earth.
  • Epilogue Warning, and Benediction. (Rev. 22:6-21.)

Introduction to The Revelation to John by Herbert J. Hunt, former Dean of Bible Studies for the Unity School of Christianity.


Revelation 1

(Online: ASV WEB)

Introduction and Salutation

1:1 This is the Revelation1 of Jesus Christ,2 which God gave him to show to his servants the things which must happen soon,3 which he sent and made known by his angel[1]4 to his servant, John,5 1:2 who testified to God's word,6 and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, about everything that he saw.

1:3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things that are written in it, for the time is at hand.7

1:4 John, to the seven assemblies8 that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from God, who is and who was and who is to come; and from the seven Spirits9 who are before his throne; 1:5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us, and washed us from our sins by his blood;10 1:6 and he made us to be a Kingdom,11 priests[2] to his God and Father; to him be the glory and the dominion12 forever and ever. Amen.

1:7 Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, including those who pierced him. All the tribes of the earth will mourn over him. Even so, Amen.

1:8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega,[3]"13 says the Lord God,[4] "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."

  1. Revelation. An unveiling, a disclosure of Truth, making known that which is hidden. (RW/revelation)
  2. Jesus Christ. Jesus is the name that represents an individual expression of the Christ idea. Jesus Christ is the form of the name that is commonly applied to the man of Galilee who demonstrated perfection. Christ, or perfect-man idea existing eternally in Divine Mind, is the true, spiritual, higher self of every individual. (MBD/Christ)
  3. must happen soon. When these people who wrote the books of the Bible wrote those books, they were attempting to solve problems of their day. Frank Guidici, The Book of Revelation Revealed, Segment 8.
  4. angel. messenger of God (MBD/angel)
  5. John. The great truth contained in this book is revealed through the disciple, John. After traveling the rocky, barren path of a pioneer soul, who has cleared a way to the inner kingdom, the outworkings of Spirit from the depths of being were revealed to him, in the truth he has lovingly given to humanity. John,the revelator, represents that quality in humanity which discerns both the spiritual and the evolutionary laws that are involved in creation.
  6. God's word. God in His capacity as creative power, and includes all the potentialities of Being. (MBD/word)
  7. the time is at hand. Divisions of time signify degrees of unfoldment. (MBD/time)
  8. to the seven assemblies. Historically understood, John names the seven churches in Asia. And that means in Asia Minor. These are churches, some of which were established by Paul when he was bringing the message to the gentiles. And apparently these were key churches during that time. He’s addressing himself to these churches. (Giudici, Segment 9. Metaphysically, the number [seven] representing fullness in the world of phenomena; seven always refers to the divine law of perfection. (MBD/seven)
  9. the seven Spirits. Signifies the natural human redeemed or rounded out; seven is the number of fulfillment in the natural. (MBD/Sardis)
  10. blood. Spiritual principles that rest on pure ideals. (RW/blood)
  11. he made us to be a kingdom. We are Christ consciousness. The realm of divine ideas. (RW/kingdom)
  12. dominion. This supreme authority comes as man realizes his oneness with the Father. (RW/dominion)
  13. I am the Alpha and the Omega. “There is but one presence and one power in the universe and in my life, God the good omnipotent. God is all there ever really was, is now and ever shall be.” This is the recurrent and the eternal message of Jesus Christ, of the Christ spirit in every man and it speaks through the author of our book of Revelation. (Ed Rabel, The Book of Revelation, Introduction) “The key to the mystery of life. Everything has its origin in an idea or a thought, whether it is a person, a possession, or the universe, and it has its completion, the manifestation of that thought form. Let me say that again. Everything has its origin in an idea or God thought, as its completion in the manifestation of that thought form.” Eric Butterworth, Podcast 15, The Alpha and the Omega.

A Vision of Christ

1:9 I John, your brother and partner with you in the oppression, Kingdom,1 and perseverance2 in Christ Jesus, was on the isle that is called Patmos3 because of God's Word and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 1:10 I was in the Spirit4 on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice,5 like a trumpet 1:11 saying, "[5]What you see, write in a book and send to the seven assemblies[6]:6 to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and to Laodicea."

1:12 I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. Having turned, I saw seven golden lampstands.7 1:13 And among the lampstands was one like a son of man,[7]8 clothed with a robe reaching down to his feet, and with a golden sash around his chest. 1:14 His head and his hair were white as white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire. 1:15 His feet were like burnished brass, as if it had been refined in a furnace. His voice was like the voice of many waters. 1:16 He had seven stars9 in his right hand. Out of his mouth proceeded a sharp two-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining at its brightest. 1:17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet10 like a dead man.

He laid his right hand on me, saying, "Don't be afraid. I am the first and the last, 1:18 and the Living one. I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. I have the keys of Death and of Hades[8]11. 1:19 Write therefore the things which you have seen, and the things which are,12 and the things which will happen hereafter; 1:20 the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands. The seven stars are the angels[9] of the seven assemblies. The seven lampstands are seven assemblies.

  1. Kingdom. The kingdom of heaven is the realm of divine ideas, producing their expression, perfect harmony. Christ consciousness. (RW/kingdom)
  2. perseverance (ASV, patience). An attitude of mind characterized by poise, inner calmness, and quiet endurance, especially in the face of trying conditions. Patience has its foundation in faith, and it is perfected only in those who have unwavering faith in God. (RW/patience)
  3. Patmos. The island to which John was banished. It is a rocky island in the Aegean Sea. This was where John received his vision. Metaphysically, Patmos is a place in consciousness where we realize through Spirit that the fleshly or carnal man produces nothing. When we are in Spirit the body is physically quiet; all sensation is primarily from the Spirit. So far as the I AM or spiritual is concerned the physical is as a rock, void of sensation or activity. When we still the outer we get the inspiration of Spirit within us. (MBD/Patmos)
  4. in the Spirit. Being “in the Spirit” refers to the inspiration that comes to one when one has entered into the Lord or master degree of the mind.
  5. I heard behind me a loud voice. Spirit is the "still small voice" in every man that hears and blesses and uplifts. Spirit is made manifest as perfect wholeness through the illumined mind. What John heard was a loud voice that sounded like a trumpet. It is the Logos or Word of God(RW/voice)
  6. the seven assemblies. The seven churches have been interpreted different ways: (1) Charles Fillmore referred to them as the faculties of the divine natural man. “Seven is the number of the complete natural man. Twelve is the number of the complete spiritual man. We have first that which is natural and then that which is spiritual, as Paul says. In other words, we complete the natural man. John the Baptist comes right out of the natural world. Then comes the Christ man with his five additional fundamental faculties of mind.” (Unity Archives, Chas. Fillmore Papers, 3026-24-886); (2) Ed Rabel interprets the seven assemblies as “seven great centers of intelligent worship, within our developing spiritual consciousness. They are called churches by the author because they are in reality, a legitimate part of our worship of God and of our personal spiritual development.” Ed Rabel, The Book of Revelation, Chapter 1.
  7. seven golden lampstands. The seven quickened and redeemed nerve centers in the human body. When the seven nerve centers in the organism are quickened, purified, and transmuted into Spiritual Intelligences, they may be compared to relay batteries, through which the Divine Live, Love and Intelligence manifest.
  8. son of man. Metaphysically, Christ is the one and only complete, ideal man in the mind of the everywhere present God (MBD/Son-of-God). Frank Guidici comments that John pictures Jesus in seven parts: lamp stands, one like a Son of Man, clothed with a long robe, and with a golden girdle round his breast, his head and his hair were white as wool. This is a symbolic picture of Jesus that ties into the seventh chapter of the Book of Daniel. There, it ties into the apocalyptic thrust and also ties into the type of Messiah that the Jewish people were looking for at that time. Frank Guidici, The Book of Revelation Revealed, Segment 9.
  9. seven stars. The seven stars of the right hand are our sevenfold powers of as human beings in intelligent action (see above annotation on seven assemblies), and the countenance as the sun is our strength: the wisdom and warmth of Divine Mind poured forth in unlimited splendor.
  10. I fell at his feet (ASV, right hand) The side of Truth, the side of power (RW/right).
  11. I have the keys of Death and of Hades. Sheol in Greek, Hades is the unseen world, or the abode of the dead. Generally, translated as hell. In reality, however, the word has reference to the grave or the pit. Metaphysically, Hades refers to the outer darkness, the realm of sense, in contrast to the inner or luminously spiritual. The keys of death and of Hades is the message of eternal life and I AM dominion through the Christ. As Jesus overcame so can we: In Christ shall all be made alive. (MBD/Hades)
  12. and the things which are. Thoughts lowered in vibration to the level of sense perception. The things that appear are the formulations of man's ideas of himself. (RW/things)


Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Rev. Jim Ernstsen and Rev. Lisa Herklotz.

World English Bible Footnotes:

[1] v1:1. or, messenger (here and wherever angel is mentioned)

[2] v1:6. Exodus 19:6; Isaiah 61:6

[3] v1:8. TR adds "the Beginning and the End"

[4] v1:8. TR omits "God"

[5] v1:11. TR adds "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last."

[6] v1:11. TR adds "which are in Asia"

[7] v1:13. Daniel 7:13

[8] v1:18. or, Hell

[9] v1:20. or, messengers (here and wherever angels are mentioned)


Revelation 2

(Online: ASV WEB)

Speaking to Our Desire

2:1 "To the angel of the assembly in Ephesus1 write:

"He who holds the seven stars in his right hand, he who walks among the seven golden lampstands2 says these things:

2:2 "I know your works, and your toil and perseverance, and that you can't tolerate evil men, and have tested those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and found them false. 2:3 You have perseverance and have endured for my name's sake, and have[10] not grown weary. 2:4 But I have this against you, that you left your first love.3 2:5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I am coming to you swiftly, and will move your lampstand out of its place, unless you repent. 2:6 But this you have, that you hate the works of the Nicolaitans,4 which I also hate. 2:7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes I will give to eat of the tree of life,5 which is in the Paradise6 of my God.

  1. the assembly in Ephesus. Metaphysically, this church stands for our desire nature. In reading this letter, we find that the desire nature of us is the first thing about us which becomes activated in the process of worship. Desire and appeal which are the meanings of the word, truth has caused your consciousness to desire more of God and more of God's good. Your desire for more of God and more of his good has become a church of worship within your soul, which the book of Revelation calls by its Greek name, Ephesus. (Ed Rabel)
  2. golden lampstands. Receptacles of spiritual light.
  3. first love. The first love that we feel for the things of God, when all our faculties are turned into higher channels. In his “first love” we are full of enthusiasm and zeal for Truth, God's word has power, and we are able to prove our faith in various ways.
  4. Nicolaitans. Historically, a heretical sect that was not very popular with the Christians during that time. Metaphysically, those with mixed spiritual thoughts. (MBD/Nicolaitans)
  5. To him who overcomes I will give to eat of the tree of life. The eternal life of God is within each of us. When we consciously realize the presence of this life in every part of our organism we are eating of the tree of life. (RW/eat)
  6. Paradise. Paradise means pleasure grounds, Elysium, region of surpassing beauty, Garden of Eden. It is a place in which all the elemental forces of Being are at the disposal of the soul that believes in the supremacy of the good. (MBD/Paradise)

Speaking to Our Spiritual Substance

2:8 "To the angel of the assembly in Smyrna1 write:

"The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life says these things:

2:9 "I know your works, oppression, and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews, and they are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 2:10 Don't be afraid of the things which you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested; and you will have oppression for ten days. Be faithful to death, and I will give you the crown of life. 2:11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. He who overcomes won't be harmed by the second death.2

  1. the assembly in Smyrna. Smyrna (myrrh, flowing, distilling) is substance. When all of our faculties are reinforced by spiritual substance, our spirit is one of unconquerable endurance and staying power. It is the invisible, intangible reality containing all potential of forms. It is not material, but it is the essence out of which all material can be distilled. We are then developing what we call the true prosperity consciousness, which is the purpose of the church of Smyrna within us.
  2. He who overcomes won't be harmed by the second death. When we are established in a true prosperity consciousness, based upon spiritual understanding of God's laws and God's substance, the comings and goings of outer forms of things will no longer hurt us. We do not feel damaged or cheated when certain forms of things change or are removed. When we really understand that God's spiritual substance fills every part of our lives, every moment of our lives, then we never feel separated from the true Source of our good. (Herbert Hunt, USRS Bible Interpretations.)

Speaking to Our Intelligence

2:12 "To the angel of the assembly in Pergamum1 write:

"He who has the sharp two-edged sword says these things:

2:13 "I know your works and where you dwell, where Satan's throne is. You hold firmly to my name, and didn't deny my faith in the days of Antipas my witness, my faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 2:14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to throw a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. 2:15 So you also have some who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans likewise[11]. 2:16 Repent therefore, or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of my mouth. 2:17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes, to him I will give of the hidden manna,2[12] and I will give him a white stone,3 and on the stone a new name4 written, which no one knows but he who receives it.

  1. the assembly in Pergamum. Pergamum means "strongly united; closely knit" representing the intellectual consciousness in us (strongly united, closely knit, tough texture, elevated, height, citadel); Pergamum is intelligence. More specifically, it stands for the cooperation of our intellect in the whole process of spiritual unfoldment. (Herbert Hunt)
  2. I will give of the hidden manna. The "hidden manna" is the inner substance, that which comes down out of heaven. We eat of it by affirmation; we affirm that we are fed by the one living substance. As our intellect becomes more spiritualized, we will somehow make contact with a new source of nourishment for our whole being, a type of nourishment which is hidden to ordinary thinking.
  3. I will give him a white stone. An ancient custom was to hand to an acquitted prisoner a white stone signifying his starting life afresh and free from stigma. Metaphysically, the "white stone" signifies for each of us a fresh start in life, free from tension, upsets, disappointments, and resentments of the past. (LIT Correspondence School, Lesson 9, Annotation 6)
  4. a new name. The "new name" is our individual concept of self and of God which is is a little different from that of any other person's. No other knows it, for it is peculiar to each of us. It would mean nothing to any one else. Also, it is ever changing, as the our concept of God and of ourself changes.

Speaking to Our Faculty of Faith

2:18 "To the angel of the assembly in Thyatira1 write:

"The Son of God, who has his eyes like a flame of fire, and his feet are like burnished brass, says these things:

2:19 "I know your works, your love, faith, service, patient endurance, and that your last works are more than the first. 2:20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate your[13] woman, Jezebel,2 who calls herself a prophetess. She teaches and seduces my servants to commit sexual immorality, and to eat things sacrificed to idols. 2:21 I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. 2:22 Behold, I will throw her into a bed, and those who commit adultery with her into great oppression, unless they repent of her works. 2:23 I will kill her children with Death,3 and all the assemblies will know that I am he who searches the minds and hearts. I will give to each one of you according to your deeds. 2:24 But to you I say, to the rest who are in Thyatira, as many as don't have this teaching, who don't know what some call 'the deep things of Satan,' to you I say, I am not putting any other burden on you. 2:25 Nevertheless, hold firmly that which you have, until I come. 2:26 He who overcomes, and he who keeps my works to the end, to him I will give authority over the nations. 2:27 He will rule them with a rod of iron,4 shattering them like clay pots;[14] as I also have received of my Father: 2:28 and I will give him the morning star. 2:29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies.

  1. the assembly in Thyatira. Metaphysically, Thyatira is the intense desire of the soul for the higher expressions of life (burning incense, inspired, perfume). Zeal is the central thought represented by this church; it is also connected with power and faith. (MBD/Thyatira)
  2. Jezebel. The animal soul, unbridled passions of sense consciousness. The animal soul is connected with the animal nature; it also becomes connected with the spiritual, and the individual becomes zealous for both the sense and the spiritual. Metaphysically, this is to commit fornication or adultery, the mixing spiritual thoughts so that they come into action. (MBD/Jezebel)
  3. I will kill her children with Death. The end of errors, sicknesses, pains, and the thousand and one inharmonies and discords that come about because of our zealous desire to do things apart from wisdom.
  4. a rod of iron. The rod represents spiritual power and life and of mastery, a symbol of our Christ dominion. When we have gained the Christ mastery, it is expressed in our thoughts as order and strength and in our body as life. (MBD/rod)


Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Rev. Jim Ernstsen and Rev. Lisa Herklotz.

World English Bible Footnotes:

[10] v2:3. TR adds "have labored and"

[11] v2:15. TR reads "which I hate" instead of "likewise"

[12] v2:17. Manna is supernatural food, named after the Hebrew for "What is it?". See Exodus 11:7-9.

[13] v2:20. TR, NU read "that" instead of "your"

[14] v2:27. Psalm 2:9


Revelation 3

(Online: ASV WEB)

Speaking to Our Dominion and Joy

3:1 "And to the angel of the assembly in Sardis1 write:

"He who has the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars says these things:

"I know your works, that you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.2 3:2 Wake up, and keep the things that remain, which you were about to throw away, for I have found no works of yours perfected before my God. 3:3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If therefore you won't watch,3 I will come as a thief, and you won't know what hour I will come upon you. 3:4 Nevertheless you have a few names in Sardis that did not defile their garments. They will walk with me in white,4 for they are worthy. 3:5 He who overcomes will be arrayed in white garments, and I will in no way blot his name out of the book of life,5 and I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. 3:6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies.

  1. The assembly in Sardis. Sardis was the capital city of ancient Lydia and one of the important cities of the Persian Empire. Sardis is in modern day Turkey’s Manisa Province. Metaphysically, Sardis refers to that place within you where you are able to, in a sense, gather yourself and exercise the spiritual power, dominion, and authority which is yours and exercise it in a positive, constructive, and beneficial way. (Ed Rabel/Revelation/Sardis)
  2. you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. A mixing of praise and criticism within one statement. They indicate that the Christ Mind judges that we have been using our individual power and dominion in an only slightly satisfactory way. We are divine, and yet our individual power and dominion is remaining dormant for the most part. (USRS Bible Interp/Rev 5)
  3. watch. A persistent looking toward the fulfillment of divine ideals. (RW/watch)
  4. walk with me in white. White garments is a symbol of both clean feeling about one's self, and a pure, non-negative attitude connected with self-control. (USRS)
  5. blot his name out of the book of life. To have a feeling of being useless in God's world. A feeling of suffering a loss of individuality. (USRS)

Speaking to Our Love Thoughts in Consciousness

3:7 "To the angel of the assembly in Philadelphia1 write:

"He who is holy, he who is true, he who has the key of David,2 he who opens and no one can shut,3 and who shuts and no one opens, says these things:

3:8 "I know your works (behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one can shut), that you have a little power, and kept my word, and didn't deny my name. 3:9 Behold, I give of the synagogue of Satan,4 of those who say they are Jews, and they are not, but lie. Behold, I will make them to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. 3:10 Because you kept my command to endure, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, which is to come on the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 3:11 I am coming quickly! Hold firmly that which you have, so that no one takes your crown. 3:12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God,5 and he will go out from there no more. I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God, and my own new name. 3:13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies.

  1. the assembly in Philadelphia. Philadelphia is a city in ancient Lydia, Asia Minor. The Greek word for brotherly love. Metaphysically, the church represents our faculty of love or the assembly of love thoughts in consciousness. (MBD/Philadelphia)
  2. key of David. He who has the "key of David” is the I AM. This I AM in its highest aspect is Christ. (MBD)
  3. no one can shut. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing in any time, place, or circumstances, you will always have opportunities open for your love nature to give and receive some kind of love. (Ed Rabel/Revelation/Philadelphia)
  4. the synagogue of Satan. If the “I AM” love thoughts are dominated by selfishness they become “the synagogue of Satan.” (MBD/Philadelphia)
  5. a pillar in the temple of my God. That state of inner peace, poise, and stability, which comes from correctly thinking about and giving and receiving the pure love. ( Ed Rabel)

Speaking to Our Faculty of Judgment

3:14 "To the angel of the assembly in Laodicea1 write:

"The Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Head of God's creation, says these things:

3:15 "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot. 3:16 So, because you are lukewarm,2 and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of my mouth. 3:17 Because you say, 'I am rich, and have gotten riches, and have need of nothing;'3 and don't know that you are the wretched one, miserable, poor, blind, and naked; 3:18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, that you may become rich; and white garments, that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see. 3:19 As many as I love, I reprove and chasten. Be zealous therefore, and repent. 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock.4 If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with me. 3:21 He who overcomes, I will give to him to sit down with me on my throne,5 as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father on his throne. 3:22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies."

  1. the assembly in Laodicea. Laodicea is a city in ancient Phrygia, Asia Minor, about forty miles from Ephesus. Metaphysically, the church represents the faculty of judgment in each person. It is the phase of judgment which bases its decisions on outer seemings and intellectual reasonings. (MBD/Laodicea)
  2. because you are lukewarm. Criticism pertaining to our lack of true discernment, and our human reluctance and fear about making personal decisions. (Ed Rabel/Revelation/Laodicea)
  3. have need of nothing. It is foolish for us to become too sure of the infallibility and complete self-sufficiency of our human judgment on its current level of development. No matter how good our judgment may have begun to be, human judgment still needs constant help from a higher source. (Rabel)
  4. I stand at the door and knock. If we, as individuals, open our mind and heart to the Christ Mind, ask for it to enter, it will do so. (Rabel)
  5. sit down with me on my throne. Good judgment is always called a throne, and we are told here by the Christ Mind that if we want to sit on the throne, we are aware of our own high state of inner good judgment. Through judgment, check your motive, make sure that your motive for evaluating anything, and for making any decision, is to do what is right and best. (Rabel)


Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Rev. Jim Ernstsen and Rev. Lisa Herklotz.


Revelation 4

(Online: ASV WEB)

The Soul in a Higher State of Consciousness

4:1 After these things I looked and saw a door opened in heaven,1 and the first voice that I heard, like a trumpet speaking with me, was one saying, "Come up here, and I will show you the things which must happen after this."

4:2 Immediately I was in the Spirit. Behold, there was a throne set in heaven, and one sitting on the throne2 4:3 that looked like a jasper stone and a sardius. There was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald to look at.3 4:4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones. On the thrones were twenty-four elders sitting, dressed in white garments, with crowns of gold on their heads.4 4:5 Out of the throne proceed lightnings, sounds, and thunders. There were seven lamps of fire burning before his throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. 4:6 Before the throne was something like a sea of glass, similar to crystal. In the midst of the throne, and around the throne were four living creatures5 full of eyes before and behind. 4:7 The first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like a man, and the fourth was like a flying eagle. 4:8 The four living creatures, each one of them having six wings,6 are full of eyes around and within. They have no rest day and night, saying, "Holy, holy, holy[15] is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come!"

4:9 When the living creatures give glory, honor, and thanks to him who sits on the throne, to him who lives forever and ever, 4:10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives forever and ever, and throw their crowns before the throne, saying, 4:11 "Worthy are you, our Lord and God, the Holy One,[16] to receive the glory,7 the honor, and the power, for you created all things, and because of your desire they existed, and were created!"

  1. saw a door opened in heaven. The scene shifts from earth to heaven. John has spoken to our earthly faculties. He now elevates our attention to our higher state of consciousness as a represented by heaven. (Frank Guidici/Revelation-4)
  2. a throne set in heaven, and one sitting on the throne. The great symbol which describes the sense of the presence of God. Knowing that this presence is One requires metaphysical thinking for comprehension. God is ONE but not in the sense of one object, one person, or one being. God is ONE in the true meaning of oneness itself. (USRS Bible Interp/Rev 8)
  3. like an emerald to look at. Precious jewels and rainbows have the appearances they have because of the effects of light. Without the radiance of light, we could not perceive the preciousness of jewels nor the beauty of a rainbow. Equating this idea with the description of the God presence, we are able to perceive God’s presence only as there is light in our consciousness. Light is the biblical symbol of living intelligence and spiritual awareness. (USRS)
  4. twenty-four elders sitting, dressed in white garments, with crowns of gold on their heads. Our twelve powers have a powerful beneficial action on our own inner nature, and outwardly into our life conditions and affairs. This two-fold direction of their benefits is symbolized in the number twenty-four. Clad in white garments: imbued with pure power; wore crowns of gold: increase greatly in value to our spiritual unfoldment; elders: find expression in a very stable and mature manner. (USRS)
  5. four living creatures. The four main aspects of human nature. lion: our physicality, the physical body; calf: our subjective and emotional nature, the emotional or astral body; man: our mental or intellectual nature, the mental body; eagle: our inspirational and intuitive nature, the etheric body. (USRS)
  6. six wings. Wings symbolize freedom from material limitation. (RW/wings)
  7. glory. The realization of divine unity; the blending and merging of man's mind with God-Mind (RW/glory)


Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Rev. Jim Ernstsen and Rev. Lisa Herklotz.

World English Bible Footnotes:

[15] v4:8. Hodges/Farstad MT reads "holy" 9 times instead of 3.

[16] v4:11. TR omits "and God, the Holy One,"


Revelation 5

(Online: ASV WEB)

A Vision of Overcoming in the Soul

5:1 I saw, in the right hand of him who sat on the throne, a book written inside and outside, sealed shut with seven seals.1 5:2 I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the book, and to break its seals?" 5:3 No one in heaven above, or on the earth, or under the earth, was able to open the book, or to look in it.2 5:4 And I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open the book, or to look in it. 5:5 One of the elders said to me, "Don't weep. Behold, the Lion3 who is of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David,4 has overcome;5 he who opens the book and its seven seals." 5:6 I saw in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, a Lamb standing,6 as though it had been slain, having seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. 5:7 Then he came, and he took it out of the right hand of him who sat on the throne. 5:8 Now when he had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 5:9 They sang a new song, saying,

"You are worthy to take the book,

and to open its seals:

for you were killed,

and bought us for God with your blood,

out of every tribe, language, people, and nation,

5:10 and made us kings and priests to our God,

and we will reign on earth."

5:11 I saw, and I heard something like a voice7 of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousands of ten thousands, and thousands of thousands; 5:12 saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb who has been killed to receive the power, wealth, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, and blessing!"

5:13 I heard every created thing which is in heaven, on the earth,8 under the earth, on the sea, and everything in them, saying, "To him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb be the blessing, the honor, the glory, and the dominion, forever and ever! Amen![17]"

5:14 The four living creatures said, "Amen!" The [18]elders fell down and worshiped.[19]

  1. a book written inside and outside, sealed shut with seven seals. The book, as used here, refers to our own individual self, or the sum total of our present development of consciousness. The seals on the book represent barriers to our process of insight. (Ed Rabel/Revelation/Chapter 5)
  2. No one in heaven above, or on the earth, or under the earth, was able to open the book, or to look in it. Most persons are not yet capable of full insight into themselves because of the presence of certain mental or emotional barriers, or blocks, seals. (Ed Rabel)
  3. the Lion. Jesus Christ purified His substance and His life and lifted them up until His life became a pure stream of divine life to cleanse us. The 5th chapter of Revelation reveals the full inner meaning of the atonement, of Jesus Christ's redeeming work on earth. If we understand it fully we shall understand the inner working of the divine principle in its redeeming work in our whole being. (MBD/lion)
  4. the Root of David. Jesus was descended from David. That’s an important point that’s made throughout the New Testament in the genealogy of Jesus, it’s recorded in both Matthew and Luke. He’s descended from the House of David. Because the belief developed that the Messiah was to come through the House of David. (Frank Guidici/Revelation-5)
  5. has overcome. To correct thoughts that fall short of the divine ideal. (RW/overcome)
  6. a Lamb standing. The lamb of Revelation stands for the gentle, kind, and forgiving nature of our inner Christ self. The Christ self of us is completely and totally harmless, absolutely understanding and forgiving, and mighty with a power, which cannot be measured. Only in this Christ-awareness, the lamb of God of you, can you or I ever gain insight into our whole nature, which leads to that eventual, priceless blessing called self-understanding. (Ed Rabel)
  7. voice. The power center in the throat controls all the vibratory energies of this organism. It is the open door between the formless and the formed worlds of vibrations pertaining to the expression of sound. Every word that goes forth receives its specific character from the power faculty. Therefore, the voice is the most direct avenue of expression of consciousness. (RW/voice)
  8. in heaven, on the earth. See annotation for 4:1.


Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Rev. Jim Ernstsen and Rev. Lisa Herklotz.

World English Bible Footnotes:

[17] v5:13. TR omits "Amen!"

[18] v5:14. TR adds "twenty-four"

[19] v5:14. TR adds "the one living forever and ever"


Revelation 6

(Online: ASV WEB)

The Chemicalization in Consciousness

6:1 I saw that the Lamb opened one of the seven seals,1 and I heard one of the four living creatures saying, as with a voice of thunder, "Come and see!" 6:2 And behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow.2 A crown was given to him, and he came forth conquering, and to conquer.

6:3 When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come!" 6:4 Another came forth, a red horse. To him who sat on it was given power to take peace from the earth,3 and that they should kill one another. There was given to him a great sword.

6:5 When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, "Come and see!" And behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a balance in his hand.4 6:6 I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A choenix[20] of wheat for a denarius,5 and three choenix of barley for a denarius! Don't damage the oil and the wine!"

6:7 When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the fourth living creature saying, "Come and see!" 6:8 And behold, a pale horse, and he who sat on it, his name was Death.6 Hades[21] followed with him. Authority over one fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword, with famine, with death, and by the wild animals of the earth was given to him.

6:9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been killed for the Word of God, and for the testimony of the Lamb which they had. 6:10 They cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, Master, the holy and true, until you judge and avenge our blood7 on those who dwell on the earth?" 6:11 A long white robe was given to each of them. They were told that they should rest yet for a while,8 until their fellow servants and their brothers,[22] who would also be killed even as they were, should complete their course.

6:12 I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake.9 The sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became as blood. 6:13 The stars of the sky fell to the earth, like a fig tree dropping its unripe figs when it is shaken by a great wind. 6:14 The sky was removed like a scroll when it is rolled up. Every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 6:15 The kings of the earth, the princes, the commanding officers, the rich, the strong, and every slave and free person, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains. 6:16 They told the mountains and the rocks, "Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 6:17 for the great day of his wrath has come; and who is able to stand?"

  1. seven seals, horse. These openings represent the gaining of insight into our own individual nature which comes to us when we let the Christ spirit become the directive power in our search for true inner understanding. Each seal opens a new facet of ourself to our own understanding. The four horsemen are symbols of very strong influences which are currently very active in human beings’ consciousness.(Ed Rabel/Revelation/Chapter 6)
  2. a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow. The white horse and rider is our awareness of Christ within. This comes before all else, conquers all else and remains after all else has come and gone. Christ within is king of all our world–the inner world, heaven and outer world, earth. If we ride the white horse, which represents our spiritual nature and if we give power to our spiritual nature, then everything will be just fine in our life. (Ed Rabel) and (Frank Giudici/Revelation 6)
  3. a red horse. To him who sat on it was given power to take peace from the earth. The red horse and rider stand for all our tendencies toward violence. Red in the Bible is the color which symbolizes passions and violence and this is a very active tendency in human nature. Those of us who give power to the red horse, who let emotions rule, which represents the emotional nature, don’t lead a very peaceful life. (Rabel) and (Giudici)
  4. a black horse, and he who sat on it had a balance in his hand. The black horse and rider symbolize the intellectual nature. If we’re too intellectual in life then we have to balance it with emotion, with love. Riding the black horse all the time can make us too intellectual, and turn us off to people. (Rabel) and (Giudici)
  5. I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A choenix of wheat for a denarius”. This saying indicates thoughts of anxiety.
  6. a pale horse, and he who sat on it, his name was Death. The pale horse and rider stand for the belief in the inevitability of death. Riding the pale horse is the one who wants to live his life on a physical basis, giving power to outer things, material wealth. Until the truth behind it is fully understood, this pale horse and rider will continue to play havoc with our human attitude toward the meaning of life. (Rabel) and (Giudici)
  7. “How long, Master, the holy and true, until you judge and avenge our blood”. Words of old disappointments and unhappy memories of being mistreated. These memories in us want to be assured that God's law of divine justice works. They need to be released from our subconscious (under the altar). (USRS Bible Interp/Rev 9)
  8. They were told that they should rest yet for a while. The assurance from the Christ Mind that God's law of divine compensation (justice) is always working, no matter how things may outwardly seem. (USRS)
  9. there was a great earthquake. The imagery of this sixth vision is so complex that it seems to defy analysis but it describes the process of God’s Law of Divine Justice and Compensation always working for our benefit. The earthquake symbolizes seeming chaos and confusion in our lives that becomes our greatest compensations and rewards. All of this upheaval that must take place is not just on an earthly level, it’s on a universal level. So everything is affected. The writer brings this idea out by painting these tremendous things that are going to happen here. These also picture the idea of divine intervention. These are all acts of God. (Rabel) and (Giudici)


Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Rev. Jim Ernstsen and Rev. Lisa Herklotz.

World English Bible Footnotes:

[20] v6:6. A choenix is a dry volume measure that is a little more than a litre (a little more than a quart).

[21] v6:8. or, Hell

[22] v6:11. The word for "brothers" here and where context allows may also be correctly translated "brothers and sisters" or "siblings."


Revelation 7

(Online: ASV WEB)

The Four Corners of Consciousness1

7:1 After this, I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the earth, or on the sea, or on any tree. 7:2 I saw another angel ascend from the sunrise, having the seal of the living God. He cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was given to harm the earth and the sea, 7:3 saying, "Don't harm the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, until we have sealed the bondservants of our God on their foreheads!"2 7:4 I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred forty-four thousand,3 sealed out of every tribe of the children of Israel:4

7:5 of the tribe of Judah were sealed twelve thousand,

of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand,

of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand,

7:6 of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand,

of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand,

of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand,

7:7 of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand,

of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand,

of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand,

7:8 of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand,

of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand,

of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.

  1. This chapter describes how we are saved; by bringing all our faculties into spiritual consciousness and dwelling in it. When this consciousness is complete, we are wholly at one with God and Christ. After the 6 seals are opened, and before the 7th is opened, there is a shift, an interlude which comes into the picture. The four winds at the four corners of the earth, believed to be harmful, are held back as there is a pause in the action.(Frank Guidici, Revelation 7)
  2. Sealed the bondservants of our God on their foreheads! Historically, when they were performing emperor worship and bringing their sacrifices and offerings to the emperor, then they received a mark. He’s contrasting this mark by saying that those who are faithful to God are going to have their foreheads sealed, but in a very special way.
  3. One hundred forty-four thousand. A wide number of people, 12 times 12: The 12 tribes and the 12 apostles. Seven represents fullness in the world of phenomena; twelve is the number of fulfillment in the spiritual (MBD/seven).
  4. Israel. Israel as a nation, in its highest significance, symbolizes spiritual consciousness. The thoughts that have been wrought in Truth and righteousness make the spiritual mind, or spiritual consciousness (MBD/Israel).

The Multitude from Purified Thoughts

7:9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude,1 which no man could number, out of every nation and of all tribes, peoples, and languages, standing before the throne2 and before the Lamb,3 dressed in white robes,4 with palm branches in their hands. 7:10 They cried with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation be to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"

7:11 All the angels were standing around the throne, the elders, and the four living creatures;5 and they fell on their faces before his throne, and worshiped God, 7:12 saying, "Amen! Blessing, glory, wisdom, thanksgiving, honor, power, and might, be to our God forever and ever! Amen."

7:13 One of the elders answered, saying to me, "These who are arrayed in white robes, who are they, and from where did they come?"

7:14 I told him, "My lord, you know."

He said to me, "These are those who came out of the great tribulation. They washed their robes, and made them white in the Lamb's blood.6 7:15 Therefore they are before the throne of God,7 they serve him day and night in his temple.8 He who sits on the throne will spread his tent9 over them. 7:16 They will never be hungry, neither thirsty any more;10 neither will the sun beat on them, nor any heat; 7:17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne shepherds them, and leads them to springs of waters of life. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

  1. A great multitude, which no man could number. As people, those who through the Christ consciousness have overcome the tribulations that are common to all humankind. The multitude was “out of every nation and of all tribes and peoples and tongues.” More metaphysically, the great multitude is a host of purified thoughts–thoughts that have passed through the “refiner’s fire” and have come out cleansed of the consciousness of sin.
  2. Throne. The focal point within the soul where the power of unselfish love, purified life–all the constructive forces of Spirit–have gained such a foothold that they form a nucleus or basis from which Spirit exercises its dominion.
  3. Lamb The lamb is the pure, innocent sinless life of God, poured into the race consciousness through Jesus Christ.
  4. Robes. The robes are the vital aura surrounding the body, which is redeemed and made white through a realization of the Christ Life, as the one purifying energy and substance. The palms are symbols of the victory of purity over sin.
  5. Angels, elders, four living creatures. Angels represent the original, unlimited thoughts of God; the elders are the redeemed faculties and the four living creatures are the purified elemental forces.
  6. Washed their robes, and made them white in the Lamb's blood. The blood of the Lamb is the life of Christ, and the robes are the thoughts in which humans “clothe” their ideas. When our thought life is cleansed by the Christ Spirit, we are indeed an overcomer.
  7. Throne of God. The center of thought in Divine Mind.
  8. Serve him day and night in his temple. The body is the temple of God, and the purified thoughts carry on all of the bodily activities under the divine law.
  9. Tent (Tabernacle, ASV). Where we dwell in the universal substance of Being (MBD/tabernacle).
  10. They will never be hungry, neither thirsty any more. It is an indication of the change that takes place in humankind’s consciousness, when the material outlook is dropped and spiritual realm is realized. It does not refer to physical death. … This describes the condition we will achieve when all our thoughts are purified and raised to spiritual consciousness.


Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Rev. Jim Ernstsen and Rev. Lisa Herklotz.


Revelation 8

(Online: ASV WEB)

Silence, then Thunder

8:1 When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven1 for about half an hour. 8:2 I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets2 were given to them. 8:3 Another angel came and stood over the altar, having a golden censer. Much incense was given to him, that he should add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne. 8:4 The smoke of the incense,3 with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel's hand. 8:5 The angel took the censer, and he filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it on the earth. There followed thunders, sounds, lightnings, and an earthquake.4

  1. Silence in heaven. Metaphysically, a state of consciousness entered into for the purpose of putting man in touch with Divine Mind (RW/silence). Here we have the grand climax to the narrative concerning the opening of the seven seals and also have symbolized the climax of all the steps leading to full self-understanding. The final and greatest step in self-discovery is achieved in the realization of how to become still, how to find silence within. This is a mark of the high spiritual development. It places a person in heaven, because true silence occurs only in heaven, and it results in miracles on earth (Ed Rabel, The Book of Revelation, chapter 8).
  2. Seven trumpets. Metaphysically, the seven seals can represent the process of denial. We’ll see that in order to bring a demonstration into our life we deny, then we affirm something, and then the demonstration occurs. The seven seals in a very general way are the denial process. The seven trumpets are the Affirmation. (Giudici, Revelation 8)
  3. Smoke of the incense.The smoke in the incense going up represents what was traditionally done In the temple. During times of prayer, they burned incense and this was symbolic of prayers going up to God (Giudici).
  4. Thunders, sounds, lightnings, and an earthquake. All of these things are manifestations of God. Any time the fire and loud noises are brought out in the scripture, it means the activities are manifestations of God (Giudici).

Afflictions are Partial1

8:6 The seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. 8:7 The first sounded, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth.2 One third of the earth was burnt up,[23] and one third of the trees were burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

8:8 The second angel sounded, and something like a great burning mountain was thrown into the sea.3 One third of the sea became blood, 8:9 and one third of the living creatures which were in the sea died. One third of the ships were destroyed.

8:10 The third angel sounded, and a great star fell from the sky, burning like a torch, and it fell on one third of the rivers, and on the springs of the waters.4 8:11 The name of the star is called "Wormwood." One third of the waters became wormwood. Many people died from the waters, because they were made bitter.

8:12 The fourth angel sounded, and one third of the sun was struck, and one third of the moon, and one third of the stars; so that one third of them would be darkened, and the day wouldn't shine for one third of it, and the night in the same way. 8:13 I saw, and I heard an eagle,[24] flying in mid heaven,5 saying with a loud voice, "Woe! Woe! Woe for those who dwell on the earth, because of the other voices of the trumpets of the three angels, who are yet to sound!"

  1. These visions describe only part of the Earth and its inhabitants to be afflicted at any given time. This fact symbolizes an important metaphysical point. Only a certain part of a person’s being can suffer; not one’s entire being. And only a portion of one’s existence can be afflicted at any given time; not one’s whole life. This may seem scant comfort, but at least it offers some comfort. Forms of earthly suffering, such as pain, disappointment, depression, anxiety, grief, lack, etc.; even though these hurt part of the man (1/3 of the earth), they do not and cannot harm the whole man. The Real Self of a person is always higher and greater than any part of himself that is suffering. And, eventually, new good can be brought forth even from suffering. (USRS Bible Interpretation, Revelation Lesson 9).
  2. Earth. Metaphysically speaking, the earth represents the consciousness of the physical body (RW/earth).
  3. Sea. The universal sensate thought of the race, which is to be dissolved and cast into the bottomless pit of nothingness (MBD/sea).
  4. Springs of water. Water represents material cleansing, and fire represents spiritual cleansing (MBD/water).
  5. Heaven. A state of consciousness in harmony with the thoughts of God. Heaven is everywhere (RW/heaven).


Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Rev. Jim Ernstsen and Rev. Lisa Herklotz.

World English Bible Footnotes:

[23] v8:7. TR omits "One third of the earth was burnt up"

[24] v8:13. TR reads "angel" instead of "eagle"


Revelation 9

(Online: ASV WEB)

Afflictions are Temporary1

9:1 The fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from the sky which had fallen to the earth. The key to the pit of the abyss was given to him. 9:2 He opened the pit of the abyss, and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke from a[25] burning furnace. The sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke from the pit. 9:3 Then out of the smoke came forth locusts on the earth, and power was given to them, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 9:4 They were told that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree, but only those people who don't have God's seal on their foreheads. 9:5 They were given power not to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion, when it strikes a person. 9:6 In those days people will seek death, and will in no way find it. They will desire to die, and death will flee from them. 9:7 The shapes of the locusts were like horses prepared for war. On their heads were something like golden crowns, and their faces were like people's faces. 9:8 They had hair like women's hair, and their teeth were like those of lions. 9:9 They had breastplates, like breastplates of iron. The sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots, or of many horses rushing to war. 9:10 They have tails like those of scorpions, and stings. In their tails they have power to harm men for five months. 9:11 They have over them as king the angel of the abyss. His name in Hebrew is "Abaddon,"[26] but in Greek, he has the name "Apollyon."[27]2 9:12 The first woe is past. Behold, there are still two woes coming after this.

9:13 The sixth angel sounded. I heard a voice from the horns of the golden altar which is before God, 9:14 saying to the sixth angel who had one trumpet, "Free the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates!"

9:15 The four angels were freed who had been prepared for that hour and day and month and year, so that they might kill one third of mankind. 9:16 The number of the armies of the horsemen was two hundred million[28]. I heard the number of them. 9:17 Thus I saw the horses in the vision, and those who sat on them, having breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of lions. Out of their mouths proceed fire, smoke, and sulfur. 9:18 By these three plagues were one third of mankind killed: by the fire, the smoke, and the sulfur, which proceeded out of their mouths. 9:19 For the power of the horses is in their mouths, and in their tails. For their tails are like serpents, and have heads, and with them they harm. 9:20 The rest of mankind, who were not killed with these plagues, didn't repent of the works of their hands, that they wouldn't worship demons, and the idols of gold, and of silver, and of brass, and of stone, and of wood; which can neither see, nor hear, nor walk. 9:21 They didn't repent of their murders, nor of their sorceries,[29] nor of their sexual immorality, nor of their thefts.

  1. These symbolic visions in chapter eight and nine are temporary disasters. None afflict the earth permanently. This is true of all suffering. It is always temporary. Suffering may be a part of a cycle within a person’s life, but it does not become a person’s life. A person’s life is eternal, and nothing that occurs as a part of that life, however, is eternal. Events and conditions are always temporary, and this is especially so regarding any form of suffering experience. Forms of earthly suffering such as pain, sadness, depression, anxiety, sorrow, lack, even though these do hurt part of the man and part of his life, 1/3 of the earth and its inhabitants, they do not and cannot harm the whole man and his whole life. Part of a person is always higher and greater than whatever may be going on in any part of him or any part of his life. (Ed Rabel The Book of Revelation 9).
  2. His name in Hebrew is "Abaddon," but in Greek, he has the name "Apollyon". Metaphysically, the name refers to destroyer; destruction. In Exodus and Joel, as well as in Revelations, locusts represent great destructive power. They quite commonly came up like great armies and ate every living plant in their path; also, the leaves and the branches of the trees. So Abaddon must stand for the error belief in utter destruction of life and form. The true life principle can never be destroyed; only the outer form of man's belief in materiality is destructible. So long as man believes in materiality or destruction, the outer destruction of forms will take place. (MBD/abaddon).


Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Rev. Jim Ernstsen and Rev. Lisa Herklotz.

World English Bible Footnotes:

[25] v9:2. TR adds "great"

[26] v9:11. "Abaddon" is a Hebrew word that means ruin, destruction, or the place of destruction

[27] v9:11. "Apollyon" means "Destroyer."

[28] v9:16. literally, "ten thousands of ten thousands"

[29] v9:21. The word for "sorceries" (pharmakeia) also implies the use of potions, poisons, and drugs


Revelation 10

(Online: ASV WEB)

The Angel with the Little Scroll

10:1 I saw a mighty angel coming down out of the sky, clothed with a cloud. A rainbow was on his head. His face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire. 10:2 He had in his hand a little open book.1 He set his right foot on the sea, and his left on the land. 10:3 He cried with a loud voice, as a lion roars. When he cried, the seven thunders uttered their voices.2 10:4 When the seven thunders sounded, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from the sky saying, "Seal up the things which the seven thunders said, and don't write them."3

10:5 The angel who I saw standing on the sea and on the land lifted up his right hand to the sky, 10:6 and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there will no longer be delay, 10:7 but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, as he declared to his servants, the prophets. 10:8 The voice which I heard from heaven, again speaking with me, said, "Go, take the book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the land."

10:9 I went to the angel, telling him to give me the little book.

He said to me, "Take it, and eat it up. It will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey."4

10:10 I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up. It was as sweet as honey in my mouth. When I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter. 10:11 They told me, "You must prophesy again over many peoples, nations, languages, and kings."

  1. He had in his hand a little open book. The little book stands for the letter of truth teaching in the form of a body of knowledge, which can be learned (Ed Rabel The Book of Revelation 10).
  2. When he cried, the seven thunders uttered their voices. Here he sees another mighty angel who appears with a scroll in his hand and the angel speaks and seven thunders boom, which means another series of judgements is about to come (Giudici, Revelation 10).
  3. Seal up the things which the seven thunders said, and don't write them. The writer is told to seal, not reveal, because these must be revealed at the right time (Giudici).
  4. Take it, and eat it up. It will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey. Metaphysically, to eat is to appropriate, to become conscious of the food that "abideth unto eternal life," and to use it (RW/eat). When our perceptive faculties first come in contact with the teachings they often make sweet and beautiful impressions . But knowledge digested into consciousness can often become difficult, or bitter, when we find ourselves involved in challenging, or unpleasant life situations. Having to work with truth can be a bitter effort, sweet to the mouth, bitter in the belly, but it is only when the truth teachings become the inner effort, which can be bitter, that the truth nourishes us, and strengthens us, and causes us to become more and more conscious of our own perfection (Rabel).


Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Rev. Jim Ernstsen and Rev. Lisa Herklotz.


Revelation 11

(Online: ASV WEB)

The Two Witnesses1

11:1 A reed like a rod was given to me. Someone said, "Rise, and measure God's temple, and the altar, and those who worship in it.2 11:2 Leave out the court which is outside of the temple, and don't measure it,3 for it has been given to the nations. They will tread the holy city under foot for forty-two months. 11:3 I will give power to my two witnesses,4 and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred sixty days, clothed in sackcloth." 11:4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands, standing before the Lord of the earth. 11:5 If anyone desires to harm them, fire proceeds out of their mouth and devours their enemies. If anyone desires to harm them, he must be killed in this way. 11:6 These have the power to shut up the sky, that it may not rain during the days of their prophecy. They have power over the waters, to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire. 11:7 When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them,5 and overcome them,6 and kill them.7 11:8 Their dead bodies will be in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. 11:9 From among the peoples, tribes, languages, and nations people will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not allow their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb. 11:10 Those who dwell on the earth rejoice over them, and they will be glad. They will give gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. 11:11 After the three and a half days,8 the breath of life from God entered into them, and they stood on their feet. Great fear fell on those who saw them. 11:12 I heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here!" They went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies saw them. 11:13 In that day there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified, and gave glory to the God of heaven. 11:14 The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe comes quickly.

  1. The 11th chapter is representative of an inner work, something that will take place in each one as we are being transformed into the perfect image and likeness of God (MBD/witnesses). After dealing with the interpretation of Revelation up to this point, a student might understandably get a bit weary with so much reference to difficulties and suffering. For a time, most souls go through cycles of existence in which the goal of all their efforts is simply to get what they think they want, and avoid as much trouble and pain as is humanly possible. This can be the goal of life for many persons. Some may spend whole lifetimes never growing beyond this goal. But some persons grow beyond this point and begin to see that self-seeking and finding ease and pleasure are not the highest goals to seek in life. Many Truth students come to realize that Spiritual Understanding is the most worthwhile of all goals. Then the direction of that person's life begins to turn away from certain past preoccupations and grows into new realizations. In studying metaphysical Bible interpretation, we are attempting to learn and understand Truth which will take us out of many of the old habits and limitations of mechanical existence. While we know that the nature of life, the essence of life, and the purpose of life are GOOD, we also reconcile ourselves to the fact that there are many factors yet within life which we still react to as NOT GOOD. And it is to help us receive more light on certain of these factors that our Bible, and especially the book of Revelation, so often deals with difficult or unpleasant subjects. (USRS Bible Interpretation, Revelation Lesson 10)
  2. Measure God's temple, and the altar, and those who worship in it. This has to do with the inner court and relates to the faithful. The faithful are to be measured and to be saved (Giudici, Revelation 11). Things are sometimes measured to find out not their size but their true value (MBD/witnesses).
  3. Leave out the court which is outside of the temple, and don't measure it. This refers to the outer court of the temple and to the unfaithful…those who are kept outside the inner sanctum (Giudici, Revelation 11).
  4. I will give power to my two witnesses. The two witnesses would stand for our good intentions and our positive attitudes. These two qualities of our consciousness, when they are alive and working, bear witness to our faith in God and to our devotion to the truth of Jesus Christ. Our good intentions, our positive attitudes, the two witnesses (Ed Rabel The Book of Revelation 11). Just below the heart is the seat of judgment; so metaphysically these witnesses have power to discern and judge the thoughts and intents of the heart, and to cause a drought to come into the earth or carnal consciousness, and plagues of different kinds, as well as fire to purify and put away error thoughts that oppose the Truth (MBD/witnesses).
  5. The beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them. The beast of Revelation is the metaphysical symbol of negativeness and violence still in existence in human nature. This negativeness comes from the abyss. There is no bottom to it, which means there is no basis of reality to it; there is no real substance to it. The bottomless pit symbolizes the enigma of unreality brought into an appearance of reality, of nothingness being cast into a mold of somethingness. (USRS Bible Interpretation, Revelation Lesson 11).
  6. And overcome them. The beast of Revelation must be some race error thought that has gained great ascendancy through the power of people's belief in it. This thought for a time keeps the witnesses from continuing their work, and they remain seemingly inactive. "They that dwell on the earth" (the carnal mind) rejoice, for they think that they are free to go on in their old error, sense ways, and not be brought into judgment for them; but in a very short time the word comes into greater activity than ever, with renewed power. (MBD/witnesses).
  7. And kill them. When sudden uprisings of negativeness come from that mysterious somewhere, bottomless pit in us, often, these two factors are its first victims. Good intentions can be ruined, and positive attitudes can go dead. The two witnesses can be killed (Rabel, The Book of Revelation 11).
  8. After the three and a half days, the breath of life from God entered into them, and they stood on their feet. Good intentions that are based on truth can never really die out in us. Positive attitudes based on truth can never really die out in us. Negativeness may emerge and seem to conquer these servants of the Lord in us for a spell, but life returns to them and they take an active place once more in our consciousness on a higher level than ever before (Rabel, The Book of Revelation 11).

The Rounding Out of Our Spiritual Perceptive Faculties

11:15 The seventh angel sounded,1 and great voices in heaven followed, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ. He will reign forever and ever!"

11:16 The twenty-four elders,2 who sit on their thrones before God's throne, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 11:17 saying: "We give you thanks, Lord God, the Almighty, the one who is and who was[30]; because you have taken your great power, and reigned. 11:18 The nations were angry, and your wrath came, as did the time for the dead to be judged, and to give your bondservants the prophets, their reward, as well as to the saints, and those who fear your name, to the small and the great; and to destroy those who destroy the earth."

11:19 God's temple that is in heaven was opened, and the ark of the Lord's covenant3 was seen in his temple. Lightnings, sounds, thunders, an earthquake, and great hail followed.

  1. The seventh angel sounded. The sounding of the seventh angle represents the rounding out and completing of our spiritual perceptive faculties in Christ. This heralds the coming of the kingdom of the Christ. The good news is, the kingdom of the Christ is coming, but there is still the third woe to deal with (Giudici, Revelation 11).
  2. The twenty-four elders. The assembling of the “elders of Israel signifies a drawing together in conscious unity of all the intelligent directive powers of the spiritual self, to the standard of peace and harmony. This process may take place without the conscious mind’s understanding its import. The whole consciousness is made up of objective and subjective thoughts and their results. Like a chemical solution, they go through changes on the subjective side that are observed in their outer appearance only, and but dimly understood (MBD/elders).
  3. The ark of the Lord's covenant. The Ark of the Covenant, sacred ark, or ark of the testimony, represents the original spark of divinity in man's being It is a covenant, or agreement, of the Father with the son that He shall inherit all that the Father has. This original spiritual spark is a very sacred, holy thing, because upon its development depends man's immortality. It is represented as occupying the most holy place in the temple and as being protected and cared for with great devotion. All that man is has been brought forth from this central spark, yet the sense-conscious man often neglects it and ignores its very existence (MBD/ark).


Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Rev. Jim Ernstsen and Rev. Lisa Herklotz.

World English Bible Footnotes:

[30] v11:17. TR adds "and who is coming"


Revelation 12

(Online: ASV WEB)

The Threat to Our Spiritual Awakening

12:1 A great sign was seen in heaven:1 a woman clothed with the sun,2 and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. 12:2 She was with child. She cried out in pain, laboring to give birth. 12:3 Another sign was seen in heaven. Behold, a great red dragon,3 having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven crowns. 12:4 His tail drew one third of the stars of the sky, and threw them to the earth. The dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child. 12:5 She gave birth to a son,4 a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron. Her child was caught up to God, and to his throne. 12:6 The woman fled into the wilderness,5 where she has a place prepared by God, that there they may nourish her one thousand two hundred sixty days.

  1. Heaven. Heaven is the realm of conscious harmony, a consciousness of peace in mind, body, and soul. Since we are free to think what we will, discordant thoughts may enter heaven. When this takes place, our harmony is disrupted and there is "war in heaven."
  2. A woman clothed with the sun. The woman described here symbolizes our own illumined and consecrated feeling nature. The child she is to deliver refers to our feeling nature blooming forth or giving birth to a higher and finer development of our own nature. To successfully become a finer and better person in every way often does involve certain kinds of travail, or creative suffering. This always occurs in our feeling nature, the woman. But it is of short duration and quickly resolves itself into the most rewarding of all events for any human being: the new birth of his better self (Ed Rabel, The Book of Revelation 12).
  3. A great red dragon This beast stands for our human tendency toward error and negativeness. This tendency constantly appears as a threat to our growth and spiritual unfoldment and development of consciousness (Rabel). Self-depreciation causes man to accuse himself of being inherently evil and incapable of achieving his divine stature as a son of God. This form of negation is satanic in its origin and nature and has a demoralizing effect on man.
  4. She gave birth to a son. Once our new birth begins, it must succeed, and it will continue. The new human-child is our improved self and is under divine guidance, protection, and spiritual nourishment during the whole glorious process (Rabel).
  5. The woman fled into the wilderness. Divine love gives our feeling nature protection and strength and feeds it, and enables us to continue this great process of self-evolution into greater and finer being and higher and ever higher awareness in consciousness (Rabel).

Divine Inspiration Defeats Self-Condemnation

12:7 There was war in the sky.1 Michael and his angels made war on the dragon. The dragon and his angels made war. 12:8 They didn't prevail, neither was a place found for him any more in heaven. 12:9 The great dragon was thrown down,2 the old serpent, he who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world. He was thrown down to the earth,3 and his angels were thrown down with him. 12:10 I heard a loud voice in heaven,4 saying, "Now is come the salvation, the power, and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ; for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them before our God day and night. 12:11 They overcame him because of the Lamb's blood, and because of the word of their testimony. They didn't love their life, even to death. 12:12 Therefore rejoice, heavens, and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and to the sea, because the devil has gone down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has but a short time."5

  1. There was war in the sky. Metaphysically this battle is taking place in consciousness, in truth (Giudici, Revelation 12). The archangel Michael is the leader of the heavenly army that wars against the dragon. Metaphysically, Michael is divine inspiration, and a realization of the all-conquering power of God; also a Godlike or perfect state of being (MBD/Michael).
  2. The great dragon was thrown down.The dragon is another name for Satan. The Idea of Satan assumes various forms in man's consciousness, but, as an idea of power, it originally had a legitimate place in divine order. It is when power is turned to selfish or destructive ends that the great dragon is "cast down to the earth." Frank Giudici comments that once the battle is won in consciousness, by getting our thoughts straight, then it’s going to manifest itself on Earth, at the right time, and in the right way (Giudici).
  3. To the earth. Metaphysically speaking, the earth represents the consciousness of the physical body (RW/earth).
  4. I heard a loud voice in heaven. The "great voice" from Heaven symbolizes the beginning of the reign of Christ, through whom comes salvation. When we free the mind from Satan, the resurrection of the body (salvation from the earth, or mortal concept of the body) into the consciousness of immortality follows, for Christ is "the resurrection and the life."
  5. The devil ... has but a short time. In a literal sense the time is relatively short compared with eternity. Metaphysically, man soon tires of discord and inharmony and longs for peace, that he may have by claiming his heritage as a son of God through the Christ. When he asserts his better nature, the Devil's reign over him is soon at an end.

Humanity's Two Wings

12:13 When the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. 12:14 Two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman,1 that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, so that she might be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. 12:15 The serpent spewed water out of his mouth after the woman like a river, that he might cause her to be carried away by the stream. 12:16 The earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the river which the dragon spewed out of his mouth. 12:17 The dragon grew angry with the woman, and went away to make war with the rest of her seed,2 who keep God's commandments and hold Jesus' testimony.

  1. Two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman. Charles Fillmore adopted the symbol of the winged globe from F.B. Dowd's The Temple of the Rosycross. It represents the relation existing between Spirit, soul and body. Soul gives wings to the body. Spirit is the enveloping principle, like the atmosphere in which both soul and body exist, and from which they draw their original inspiration. The winged globe is also a symbol of the earth and the soul. The earth has soul, as have its products of every description. All exist in the luminiferous ether, the anima mundi, the divine mother. When the people of the earth lift up their thoughts to God, the Animus Dei or directive Spirit, then the planet takes wings into a higher radiation of universal life—the mortal puts on immortality (James Teener, 1939 Dissertation 43).
  2. The dragon ... went away to make war with the rest of her seed. Historically, Satan [the dragon] is representing the Roman Empire since in the writer’s time, it was the Roman Empire that was persecuting the faithful, through emperor worship. They were made to go and bring offerings to the emperor, receiving a slip of paper or a mark on the had that verified they had performed their obligation (Giudici, Revelation 12).


Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Rev. Jim Ernstsen and Rev. Lisa Herklotz.


Revelation 13

(Online: ASV WEB)

The First Beast: Blasphemy and the Loss of Authority

13:1 Then I stood on the sand of the sea. I saw a beast coming up out of the sea,1 having ten horns and seven heads. On his horns were ten crowns, and on his heads, blasphemous names.2 13:2 The beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. 13:3 One of his heads looked like it had been wounded fatally. His fatal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled at the beast. 13:4 They worshiped the dragon, because he gave his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" 13:5 A mouth speaking great things and blasphemy was given to him. Authority to make war for forty-two months was given to him. 13:6 He opened his mouth for blasphemy against God,3 to blaspheme his name, and his dwelling, those who dwell in heaven. 13:7 It was given to him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them. Authority over every tribe,4 people, language, and nation was given to him. 13:8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been killed. 13:9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear. 13:10 If anyone has captivity, he will go. If anyone is with the sword, he must be killed.[31] Here is the endurance and the faith of the saints.

  1. I saw a beast coming up out of the sea. In this chapter we are introduced to the concept of the Antichrist. If God has a messiah, which is Jesus, then according to the author, the devil also has a messiah, the Antichrist. Historically, this will be a leader who personifies evil (the Roman Empire). Metaphysically, this is the loss of true authority and blasphemy.
  2. Blasphemous names. Many of the Roman emperors thought that they were manifestations of God, so they took upon themselves divine titles. This assumption of divine authority was seen as blasphemous (Giudici, Revelation 13).
  3. Blasphemy against God. Slowness, sluggishness, stupidity of speech: hence, speaking evil, reviling, slandering. One significance of blasphemy is the tendency in our own mind to fear that we can go too far in spiritualizing our thought and its environment (MBD/blasphemy).
  4. Authority over every tribe. Rightful power; mastery; or dominion. "For he taught them as having authority" (Mark 1:22). The Spirit of truth is the one and only authority in the study of Truth (John 16:13). (RW/authority). “Meantime, whilst the doors of the temple stand open, night and day, before every man, and the oracles of this truth cease never, it is guarded by one stern condition; this, namely; it is an intuition. It cannot be received at second hand. Truly speaking, it is not instruction, but provocation, that I can receive from another soul.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson, Divinity School Address)

The Second Beast: Officials and Priests Under an Emperor

13:11 I saw another beast coming up out of the earth.1 He had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke like a dragon.2 13:12 He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. He makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast,3 whose fatal wound was healed. 13:13 He performs great signs, even making fire come down out of the sky to the earth in the sight of people. 13:14 He deceives my own people who dwell on the earth because of the signs he was granted to do in front of the beast; saying to those who dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast who had the sword wound and lived. 13:15 It was given to him to give breath to it, to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause as many as wouldn't worship the image of the beast to be killed. 13:16 He causes all, the small and the great, the rich and the poor, and the free and the slave, to be given marks on their right hands, or on their foreheads; 13:17 and that no one would be able to buy or to sell, unless he has that mark, the name of the beast or the number of his name. 13:18 Here is wisdom. He who has understanding, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is six hundred sixty-six.4

  1. I saw another beast coming up out of the earth. Historically, the second beast has to do with the Roman officials who were under the emperor and their priests (Frank Giudici, Revelation 13).
  2. He had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke like a dragon. The two horns are affirmations and denials (RW/horns) but their message was evil.
  3. He makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast. Metaphysically, the Beast worshipers stand for the strange tendency in human nature where they become so impressed with the many appearances of error and negativeness in life that in a sense, they begin to worship it (Ed Rabel, The Book of Revelation 13).
  4. His number is six hundred sixty-six. The Beast may be a numeric reference to Nero Caesar, the emperor who is known for persecuting Christians, feeding them to the lions. Scholars tell us that when you take Hebrew letters and write them out numerically, the name Neron Caesar comes to 666. The numerical number for Jesus in Greek works out to 888. In between 666 and 888 we have 777 or perfection. 666 falls below the ideal of fulfilment or perfection. 888 rises above perfection (Giudici).


Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Rev. Jim Ernstsen and Rev. Lisa Herklotz.

World English Bible Footnotes:

[31] v13:10. TR reads "If anyone leads into captivity, into captivity he goes. If anyone will kill with the sword, he must be killed with a sword." instead of "If anyone has captivity, he goes away. If anyone is with the sword, he must be killed."


Revelation 14

(Online: ASV WEB)

The Pure in Consciousness Sing a New Song

14:1 I saw, and behold, the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him a number, one hundred forty-four thousand,1 having his name, and the name of his Father, written on their foreheads. 14:2 I heard a sound from heaven, like the sound of many waters, and like the sound of a great thunder. The sound which I heard was like that of harpists playing on their harps. 14:3 They sing a new song2 before the throne, and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the one hundred forty-four thousand, those who had been redeemed out of the earth. 14:4 These are those who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins.3 These are those who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These were redeemed by Jesus from among men, the first fruits to God and to the Lamb. 14:5 In their mouth was found no lie, for they are blameless.[32]

  1. One hundred forty-four thousand. Metaphysically, this is the opposite of 666 the number of the beast. These 144,000 are named as the redeemed. 12 stands for wholeness and perfection. 12 also stands for the powers of mankind. 12 times 12 stands for the 12 powers in us, combined with wholeness and perfection in manifestation (Ed Rabel, The Book of Revelation 14).
  2. They sing a new song. Those who turn to the Christ within, those who are willing to work with a concept of God as absolute good and know that life is good, they will sing a new song. Changing our consciousness we put ourselves in tune with absolute good as if it were a new song (Frank Giudici, Revelation 14).
  3. Not defiled with women, for they are virgins. “Not defined with women” is an unfortunate, literal association of women with sensuality. Metaphysically understood, virginity is a state of consciousness, and this passage refers to those discussed in the previous chapter who are not blasphemous. Like the ten (women) virgins in Matt. 25:113, these represent the senses who are pure. They are five in number, but have a twofold action—five in the inner realm, and five in the outer world. The way to supply oil for the lamps of the virgins, even of the foolish ones, is to affirm that the life source, Spirit, from which comes the power of hearing, smelling, feeling, seeing, and tasting, is not material but spiritual (MBD/virgins). Annie Rix Militz adds “The comparison which Jesus makes between the two kinds of followers of Truth is again made in the parable of the Ten Virgins. The foolish man who hears and does not, is like the foolish virgins who had their lamps but were unprovided with sufficient oil. Many are now hearing the words of Christ and are expecting to demonstrate all that he did, even to the overcoming of death. But how can we do all the works unless we obey all the directions?” (The Sermon On The Mount–An Interpretation 133).

Three Proclamations of Good News

14:6 I saw an angel flying in mid heaven,1 having an eternal Good News to proclaim to those who dwell on the earth, and to every nation, tribe, language, and people. 14:7 He said with a loud voice, "Fear the Lord, and give him glory; for the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and the springs of waters!"

14:8 Another, a second angel, followed,2 saying, "Babylon the great has fallen, which has made all the nations to drink of the wine of the wrath of her sexual immorality."

14:9 Another angel, a third, followed them,3 saying with a great voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead, or on his hand, 14:10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is prepared unmixed in the cup of his anger. He will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb. 14:11 The smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever. They have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name. 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints,4 those who keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."5

14:13 I heard the voice from heaven saying, "Write, 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.'"

"Yes," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors; for their works follow with them."

  1. I saw an angel flying in mid heaven. The first angel, or eternal gospel, has an eternal Good News: God is about to reveal himself, in contrast to worshiping the ember. He speaks of the eternal gospel. This is just building up this whole idea that he’s involved in here, that we are to worship God, who is about to reveal himself (Frank Giudici, Revelation 14).
  2. A second angel followed. The second angel uses Babylon to refer to Rome. Why does he use Babylon? Because the people remember very well their ancestors’ time of Babylonian captivity, so Babylon comes to be a symbol for captivity and is simply a reference to Rome, not literally to Babylon but to Rome. Saying that Babylon has fallen is a reference to Rome. Identifying the inequities of the Roman empire (Giudici).
  3. Another angel, a third, followed them. The third angel warns against worship of the beast. If you worship the beast, you will be punished. The beast, once again, is symbolic of the Roman Empire (Giudici).
  4. The patience of the saints An attitude of mind characterized by poise, inner calmness, and quiet endurance, especially in the face of trying conditions. Patience has its foundation in faith, and it is perfected only in those who have unwavering faith in God (RW/patience).
  5. The faith of Jesus. Jesus did not claim an exclusive supernatural power, which we usually accredit to Him. He had explored the ether energy, which He called the "kingdom of the heavens"; His understanding was beyond that of the average man. However, He knew and said that other men could do what He did if they would only have faith. He encouraged His followers to take Him as a pattern for faith and to use the power of thought and word. Divine healing is due to the application of the same law that Jesus used. In most instances, He demanded faith on the part of those He healed; and with this faith as a point of mental and spiritual contact, He released the latent energy in the atomic structure of the ones in need of healing, and they were restored to life and health (RW/faith of Jesus).

Heralding the Coming Kingdom of Christ

14:14 I looked, and behold, a white cloud; and on the cloud one sitting like a son of man,[33] having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.1 14:15 Another angel came out from the temple, crying with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, "Send forth your sickle, and reap; for the hour to reap has come; for the harvest of the earth is ripe!" 14:16 He who sat on the cloud thrust his sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.

14:17 Another angel came out from the temple which is in heaven. He also had a sharp sickle. 14:18 Another angel came out from the altar, he who has power over fire, and he called with a great voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, "Send forth your sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for the earth's grapes are fully ripe!" 14:19 The angel thrust his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vintage of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.2 14:20 The winepress was trodden outside of the city, and blood came out from the winepress, even to the bridles of the horses, as far as one thousand six hundred stadia.[34]

  1. And in his hand a sharp sickle. God is ready to reap His harvest, to reveal Himself, have this great conflict between the powers of good and evil, to set his kingdom up on earth. ... We see the heralding of the coming of the Christ, the kingdom of the Christ, denial and affirmation produces that kind of demonstration, a real realization within us of our own Christ consciousness, or Christ in dwelling ... our ability to achieve Christ consciousness (Frank Giudici, Revelation 14).
  2. Gathered the vintage of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. Memorialized by Julia Ward Howe in The Battle Hymn of the Republic: “He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored; He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword: His truth is marching on.”


Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Rev. Jim Ernstsen and Rev. Lisa Herklotz.

World English Bible Footnotes:

[32] v14:5. TR adds "before the throne of God"

[33] v14:14. Daniel 7:13

[34] v14:20. 1600 stadia = 296 kilometers or 184 miles


Revelation 15

(Online: ASV WEB)

Truth: A Sea of Glass Mixed With Fire

15:1 I saw another great and marvelous sign in the sky: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them God's wrath is finished.1 15:2 I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who overcame the beast,2 his image,[35] and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God. 15:3 They sang the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb,3 saying,

"Great and marvelous are your works, Lord God, the Almighty!

Righteous and true are your ways, you King of the nations.

15:4 Who wouldn't fear you, Lord,

and glorify your name?

For you only are holy.

For all the nations will come and worship before you.

For your righteous acts have been revealed."

15:5 After these things I looked, and the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened.4 15:6 The seven angels who had the seven plagues came out, clothed with pure, bright linen, and wearing golden sashes around their breasts.

15:7 One of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever. 15:8 The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power. No one was able to enter into the temple, until the seven plagues of the seven angels would be finished.

  1. Seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them God's wrath is finished. A reference to getting close to the end of the time of destruction, close to the time of deliverance, like the darkest hour before the dawn (Frank Giudici, Revelation 15).
  2. I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who overcame the beast. The sea represents the clarity of Truth and its omnipresence. Those who have overcome self ("the beast") stand beside this sea (clear perception of Truth) and behold their possibilities of infinite perfection realized.
  3. They sang the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb. The song of Moses is sung right after the Israelites were freed from Egypt, so the identification is made with deliverance (Giudici). Both are songs of praise. Combined, the two songs render new praise and glory to God, the Holy One. They symbolize the truth that eventually all men will come to recognize God as supreme ruler and realize their oneness in Christ.
  4. The temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened. Historically, the Tent, or the Tabernacle, was the early temple that Moses and his people would set up in the wilderness. This is another reference to Moses and the idea of deliverance. This temple is not earthly but set in Heaven and means that everything is all set in Heaven or in consciousness (Giudici).


Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Rev. Jim Ernstsen and Rev. Lisa Herklotz.

World English Bible Footnotes:

[35] v15:2. TR adds "his mark,"


Revelation 16

(Online: ASV WEB)

The Bowls of God’s Wrath1

16:1 I heard a loud voice out of the temple, saying to the seven angels, "Go and pour out the seven bowls of the wrath of God on the earth!"2

16:2 The first went, and poured out his bowl into the earth, and it became a harmful and evil sore on the people who had the mark of the beast, and who worshiped his image.

16:3 The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became blood as of a dead man. Every living thing in the sea died.

16:4 The third poured out his bowl into the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. 16:5 I heard the angel of the waters saying, "You are righteous, who are and who were, you Holy One, because you have judged these things. 16:6 For they poured out the blood of the saints and the prophets, and you have given them blood to drink. They deserve this." 16:7 I heard the altar saying, "Yes, Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are your judgments."

16:8 The fourth poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was given to him to scorch men with fire. 16:9 People were scorched with great heat, and people blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues. They didn't repent and give him glory.

16:10 The fifth poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was darkened. They gnawed their tongues because of the pain, 16:11 and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores. They didn't repent of their works.

16:12 The sixth poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates.3 Its water was dried up, that the way might be made ready for the kings that come from the sunrise. 16:13 I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits, something like frogs; 16:14 for they are spirits of demons, performing signs; which go forth to the kings of the whole inhabited earth, to gather them together for the war of that great day of God, the Almighty.

16:15 "Behold, I come like a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his clothes, so that he doesn't walk naked, and they see his shame." 16:16 He gathered them together into the place which is called in Hebrew, Megiddo.4

16:17 The seventh poured out his bowl into the air. A loud voice came forth out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, "It is done!" 16:18 There were lightnings, sounds, and thunders; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since there were men on the earth, so great an earthquake, so mighty. 16:19 The great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered in the sight of God, to give to her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. 16:20 Every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 16:21 Great hailstones, about the weight of a talent,[36] came down out of the sky on people. People blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, for this plague is exceedingly severe.

  1. Once again, these plagues are an identification with the time of Moses. The people knew that during the time of Moses, when the plagues came, it meant that deliverance was right at hand. Because shortly after the plagues hit, then what happened? Then the Israelites were able to flee Egypt. The writer was telling us now with these plagues, these seven plagues, deliverance once again is almost at hand. He places it in the context of this great battle at Armageddon that’s supposed to take place. (Frank Giudici, Revelation 16)
  2. Go and pour out the seven bowls of the wrath of God on the earth! Destruction and plagues poured out over the Antichrist. The first five plagues are reminiscent of five plagues inflicted on the Egyptians in the time of Moses. (Giudici)
  3. The sixth poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates. These plagues are an identification with the time of Moses. The people knew that during the time of Moses, when the plagues came, it meant that deliverance was right at hand. The writer is telling us with these seven plagues, deliverance once again is almost at hand. (Giudici)
  4. He gathered them together into the place which is called in Hebrew, Megiddo. The great battle between God and the beast is to take place at Armageddon (Giudici). Metaphysically, Armageddon represents that place within our consciousness where there is a struggle between our choice of following negative impulses or practicing truth thinking. The battle of Armageddon is that inner struggle, and this struggle ceases only with the victory in favor of truth thinking (Ed Rabel, The Book of Revelation 16).


Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Rev. Jim Ernstsen and Rev. Lisa Herklotz.

World English Bible Footnotes:

[36] v16:21. 1 talent is about 34 kilograms or 75 pounds


Revelation 17

(Online: ASV WEB)

The Great Whore and the Beast

17:1 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, "Come here. I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who sits on many waters,1 17:2 with whom the kings of the earth committed sexual immorality, and those who dwell in the earth were made drunken with the wine of her sexual immorality."2 17:3 He carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness. I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet-colored animal, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns. 17:4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of the sexual immorality of the earth. 17:5 And on her forehead a name was written, "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF THE PROSTITUTES3 AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." 17:6 I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered with great amazement. 17:7 The angel said to me, "Why do you wonder? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. 17:8 The beast4 that you saw was, and is not; and is about to come up out of the abyss and to go into destruction. Those who dwell on the earth and whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel when they see that the beast was, and is not, and shall be present.[37] 17:9 Here is the mind that has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sits. 17:10 They are seven kings. Five have fallen, the one is, the other has not yet come. When he comes, he must continue a little while. 17:11 The beast that was, and is not, is himself also an eighth, and is of the seven; and he goes to destruction. 17:12 The ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority as kings, with the beast, for one hour. 17:13 These have one mind, and they give their power and authority to the beast. 17:14 These will war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings. They also will overcome who are with him, called and chosen and faithful." 17:15 He said to me, "The waters which you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages. 17:16 The ten horns which you saw,5 and the beast, these will hate the prostitute, and will make her desolate, and will make her naked, and will eat her flesh, and will burn her utterly with fire. 17:17 For God has put in their hearts to do what he has in mind, and to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God should be accomplished. 17:18 The woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth."

  1. The great prostitute who sits on many waters. Rome (through a veiled reference to Babylon) (Frank Giudici, Revelation 17).
  2. The kings of the earth committed sexual immorality. Metaphysically: those times when in our human thinking, we put our thought of I am, into our negative emotions [fornication] (Ed Rabel, The Book of Revelation 17).
  3. The mother of the prostitutes [harlotry]. Those who involve themselves in emperor worship were guilty of idolatry, or playing the role of prostitute [harlot] (Rabel)).
  4. The beast. The emperor of Rome, most likely Nero who persecuted the early Christians (Rabel)).
  5. The ten horns which you saw. The other Roman emperors will turn on Rome and destroy it (Rabel)).


Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Rev. Jim Ernstsen and Rev. Lisa Herklotz.

World English Bible Footnotes:

[37] v17:8. TR reads "yet is" instead of "shall be present"


Revelation 18

(Online: ASV WEB)

The Fall of Babylon

18:1 After these things, I saw another angel coming down out of the sky, having great authority. The earth was illuminated with his glory. 18:2 He cried with a mighty voice, saying, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great,1 and she has become a habitation of demons, a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird! 18:3 For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her sexual immorality, the kings of the earth committed sexual immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from the abundance of her luxury."

18:4 I heard another voice from heaven, saying, "Come out of her, my people, that you have no participation in her sins, and that you don't receive of her plagues, 18:5 for her sins have reached to the sky, and God has remembered her iniquities. 18:6 Return to her just as she returned, and repay her double as she did, and according to her works. In the cup which she mixed, mix to her double. 18:7 However much she glorified herself, and grew wanton, so much give her of torment and mourning. For she says in her heart, 'I sit a queen, and am no widow, and will in no way see mourning.' 18:8 Therefore in one day her plagues will come: death, mourning, and famine; and she will be utterly burned with fire; for the Lord God who has judged her is strong. 18:9 The kings of the earth, who committed sexual immorality and lived wantonly with her, will weep and wail over her, when they look at the smoke of her burning, 18:10 standing far away for the fear of her torment, saying, 'Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For your judgment has come in one hour.' 18:11 The merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise any more; 18:12 merchandise of gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, fine linen, purple, silk, scarlet, all expensive wood, every vessel of ivory, every vessel made of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble; 18:13 and cinnamon, incense, perfume, frankincense, wine, olive oil, fine flour, wheat, sheep, horses, chariots, and people's bodies and souls. 18:14 The fruits which your soul lusted after have been lost to you, and all things that were dainty and sumptuous have perished from you, and you will find them no more at all. 18:15 The merchants of these things, who were made rich by her, will stand far away for the fear of her torment, weeping and mourning; 18:16 saying, 'Woe, woe, the great city, she who was dressed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls! 18:17 For in an hour such great riches are made desolate.' Every shipmaster, and everyone who sails anywhere, and mariners, and as many as gain their living by sea, stood far away, 18:18 and cried out as they looked at the smoke of her burning, saying, 'What is like the great city?' 18:19 They cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and mourning, saying, 'Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had their ships in the sea were made rich by reason of her great wealth!' For in one hour is she made desolate.

18:20 "Rejoice over her, O heaven,2 you saints, apostles, and prophets; for God has judged your judgment on her." 18:21 A mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and cast it into the sea, saying, "Thus with violence will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down, and will be found no more at all. 18:22 The voice of harpists, minstrels, flute players, and trumpeters will be heard no more at all in you. No craftsman, of whatever craft, will be found any more at all in you. The sound of a mill will be heard no more at all in you. 18:23 The light of a lamp will shine no more at all in you. The voice of the bridegroom and of the bride will be heard no more at all in you; for your merchants were the princes of the earth; for with your sorcery all the nations were deceived. 18:24 In her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all who have been slain on the earth."

  1. Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great. The beginning of a lament over the destruction of Rome (Frank Giudici, Revelation 18). Metaphysically, All of the products of negative emotions (Babylon), or abominations, shall be reduced back into harmlessness, or nothingness. Our soul shall be cleansed of the abomination of negative emotions and their harmful results. Further, all negative emotions in us fail to survive in the long run. Every negative emotion, Babylon, carries its own seal of doom for itself. (Ed Rabel, The Book of Revelation 18).
  2. Rejoice over her, O heaven. Metaphysically, while some may hate the thought of losing their anger over something, we will rejoice and give thanks that a great, freeing, cleansing, purifying has actually taken place deep within our soul. (Rabel)).


Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Rev. Jim Ernstsen and Rev. Lisa Herklotz.


Revelation 19

(Online: ASV WEB)

The Rejoicing in Heaven

19:1 After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, "Hallelujah! Salvation, power, and glory belong to our God: 19:2 for true and righteous are his judgments. For he has judged the great prostitute, who corrupted the earth with her sexual immorality, and he has avenged the blood of his servants at her hand."

19:3 A second said, "Hallelujah! Her smoke goes up forever and ever." 19:4 The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne, saying, "Amen! Hallelujah!"

19:5 A voice came forth from the throne, saying, "Give praise to our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, the small and the great!"

19:6 I heard something like the voice of a great multitude, and like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of mighty thunders, saying, "Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns! 19:7 Let us rejoice and be exceedingly glad, and let us give the glory to him. For the marriage of the Lamb has come,1 and his wife has made herself ready." 19:8 It was given to her that she would array herself in bright, pure, fine linen: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

19:9 He said to me, "Write, 'Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.'" He said to me, "These are true words of God."

19:10 I fell down before his feet to worship him. He said to me, "Look! Don't do it! I am a fellow bondservant with you and with your brothers who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God, for the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy."

  1. For the marriage of the Lamb has come. A marriage, symbolizing the return of Jesus and his union with his faithful followers. Metaphysically: the Lamb refers to Jesus and the bride in this instance means the faithful followers (Frank Giudici, Revelation 19).

The Rider on the White Horse

19:11 I saw the heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it is called Faithful and True.1 In righteousness he judges and makes war. 19:12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has names written and a name written which no one knows but he himself. 19:13 He is clothed in a garment sprinkled with blood. His name is called "The Word of God." 19:14 The armies which are in heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in white, pure, fine linen. 19:15 Out of his mouth proceeds a sharp, double-edged sword, that with it he should strike the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod.[38] He treads the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of God, the Almighty. 19:16 He has on his garment and on his thigh a name written, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."

  1. I saw the heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it is called Faithful and True. The conquering hero, the rider on the white horse. Metaphysically, the rider represents our spiritual nature, that of our triumphant Christ nature (Frank Giudici, Revelation 19).

The Beast and Its Armies Defeated

19:17 I saw an angel standing in the sun. He cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the sky, "Come! Be gathered together to the great supper of God,[39] 19:18 that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, and small and great." 19:19 I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him who sat on the horse, and against his army. 19:20 The beast was taken, and with him the false prophet who worked the signs in his sight, with which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.1 19:21 The rest were killed with the sword of him who sat on the horse, the sword which came forth out of his mouth. All the birds were filled with their flesh.

  1. The beast was taken, and with him the false prophet… These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. The battle has been won. Metaphysically: When we’re working with negative thoughts, we eliminate them from our consciousness in stages. (Frank Giudici, Revelation 19).


Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Rev. Jim Ernstsen and Rev. Lisa Herklotz.

World English Bible Footnotes:

[38] v19:15. Psalm 2:9

[39] v19:17. TR reads "supper of the great God" instead of "great supper of God"


Revelation 20

(Online: ASV WEB)

The Thousand Years1

20:1 I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 20:2 He seized the dragon,2 the old serpent, which is the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole inhabited earth, and bound him for a thousand years, 20:3 and cast him into the abyss, and shut it, and sealed it over him, that he should deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years were finished. After this, he must be freed for a short time. 20:4 I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God, and such as didn't worship the beast nor his image, and didn't receive the mark on their forehead and on their hand. They lived, and reigned with Christ for the thousand years. 20:5 The rest of the dead didn't live until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 20:6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over these, the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with him one thousand years.

  1. This is the aftermath of Armageddon. Sometimes known as The Millennium. A 1000 year span where the Earth will be free of all evil (a release of all negative thoughts.)
  2. He seized the dragon, the old serpent, which is the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole inhabited earth, and bound him for a thousand years. Satan, bound a thousand years, stands for those periods in our life when we are not being tormented and deceived by our own negative thinking. When we enjoy the blessed freedom to learn and grow in consciousness through prayer, meditation, and truth thinking, these periods of spiritual freedom can last a thousand years, that is, for an unlimited, unspecified time, as long as negative thinking is held in check. (Ed Rabel, The Book of Revelation 20).

Satan’s Doom

20:7 And after the thousand years, Satan will be released from his prison,1 20:8 and he will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to the war; the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 20:9 They went up over the breadth of the earth, and surrounded the camp of the saints, and the beloved city. Fire came down out of heaven from God, and devoured them. 20:10 The devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet are also. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

  1. And after the thousand years, Satan will be released from his prison. We hold the Devil, or negative thinking, in check for a while, we keep our thoughts in check, but then we let Satan on earth once again… our practice slips and we start again. (Frank Giudici, Revelation 20)

The Dead Are Judged

20:11 I saw a great white throne, and him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. There was found no place for them. 20:12 I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and they opened books. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works.1 20:13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it. Death and Hades[40] gave up the dead who were in them. They were judged, each one according to his works. 20:14 Death and Hades[41] were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 20:15 If anyone was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire.

  1. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works. The last judgment. Metaphysically, judgment day is always taking place within our own consciousness. We, in our humanity, are the ones who criticize and condemn each other and ourselves. God does not judge us (Frank Giudici, Revelation 20).


Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Rev. Jim Ernstsen and Rev. Lisa Herklotz.

World English Bible Footnotes:

[40] v20:13. or, Hell

[41] v20:14. or, Hell


Revelation 21

(Online: ASV WEB)

The New Heaven and the New Earth1

21:1 I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth have passed away, and the sea is no more.2 21:2 I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready like a bride adorned for her husband. 21:3 I heard a loud voice out of heaven saying, "Behold, God's dwelling is with people, and he will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 21:4 He will wipe away from them every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; neither will there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more.3 The first things have passed away."

21:5 He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." He said, "Write, for these words of God are faithful and true." 21:6 He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give freely to him who is thirsty from the spring of the water of life. 21:7 He who overcomes, I will give him these things. I will be his God, and he will be my son. 21:8 But for the cowardly, unbelieving, sinners, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers,[42] idolaters, and all liars, their part is in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death."

  1. The temporal powers have been dealt with, and the present age has been brought to a close, after all evil (error) has been eliminated. Then comes the New Jerusalem, the birth of a new consciousness.
  2. I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth have passed away, and the sea is no more. The sea was considered to be the great divider of mankind. The sea separates us. Now there’s no separation. We are all one. We are all together (Frank Giudici, Revelation 21).
  3. He will wipe away from them every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; neither will there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more. Heaven and earth brought together. Heaven coming down and earth coming up to meet it, and all become one. Metaphysically: there is no death. There is no weeping anymore. There is no crying or mourning or pain (Giudici).

Vision of the New Jerusalem

21:9 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls, who were loaded with the seven last plagues came, and he spoke with me, saying, "Come here. I will show you the wife, the Lamb's bride." 21:10 He carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 21:11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, as if it was a jasper stone, clear as crystal; 21:12 having a great and high wall; having twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. 21:13 On the east were three gates; and on the north three gates; and on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. 21:14 The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them twelve names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb. 21:15 He who spoke with me had for a measure, a golden reed, to measure the city, its gates, and its walls. 21:16 The city lies foursquare, and its length is as great as its breadth. He measured the city with the reed, Twelve thousand twelve stadia[43]. Its length, breadth, and height are equal. 21:17 Its wall is one hundred forty-four cubits,[44] by the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. 21:18 The construction of its wall was jasper. The city was pure gold, like pure glass. 21:19 The foundations of the city's wall were adorned with all kinds of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire[45]; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; 21:20 the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprasus; the eleventh, jacinth; and the twelfth, amethyst. 21:21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls. Each one of the gates was made of one pearl. The street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. 21:22 I saw no temple1 in it, for the Lord God, the Almighty, and the Lamb, are its temple. 21:23 The city has no need for the sun, neither of the moon, to shine, for the very glory of God illuminated it, and its lamp is the Lamb. 21:24 The nations will walk in its light. The kings of the earth bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. 21:25 Its gates will in no way be shut2 by day (for there will be no night there), 21:26 and they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it so that they may enter. 21:27 There will in no way enter into it anything profane, or one who causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.

  1. I saw no temple. The temple in Jerusalem had always been a connecting link between man and God, but now we realize that God dwells with man. There is no separation. There’s no need for a temple as Heaven and Earth has always been one. (Frank Giudici, Revelation 21).
  2. Its gates will in no way be shut. Anyone who wants can come in and out. Diversity and inclusivity are now part of our consciousness. All people are one. (Giudici).


Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Rev. Jim Ernstsen and Rev. Lisa Herklotz.

World English Bible Footnotes:

[42] v21:8. The word for "sorcerers" here also includes users of potions and drugs.

[43] v21:16. 12,012 stadia = or 2,221 kilometers or 1,380 miles. TR reads 12,000 stadia instead of 12,012 stadia.

[44] v21:17. 144 cubits is about 65.8 meters or 216 feet

[45] v21:19. or, lapis lazuli


Revelation 22

(Online: ASV WEB)

The River of Life1

22:1 He showed me a[46] river of water of life, clear as crystal,2 proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb, 22:2 in the middle of its street. On this side of the river and on that was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruits, yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 22:3 There will be no curse any more. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants serve him. 22:4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 22:5 There will be no night, and they need no lamp light; for the Lord God will illuminate them. They will reign forever and ever.

22:6 He said to me, "These words are faithful and true. The Lord God of the spirits of the prophets sent his angel to show to his bondservants the things which must happen soon."

22:7 "Behold, I come quickly. Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book."

  1. New Jerusalem and the New Heaven come down and become one. There is no separation from God. There is no need for a temple. There’s no more sea, the great divider of humankind. There’s no more death. There’s no pain or mourning. There’s no weeping. Everything is beautiful and is one.
  2. He showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal. All negative thinking is the cause of the negative experiences that we see in life. Anything negative can and will be thrown away creating our own heaven. (Frank Giudici, Revelation 22).

Epilogue and Benediction

22:8 Now I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. When I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who had shown me these things. 22:9 He said to me, "See you don't do it! I am a fellow bondservant with you and with your brothers, the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God." 22:10 He said to me, "Don't seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand. 22:11 He who acts unjustly, let him act unjustly still. He who is filthy, let him be filthy still. He who is righteous, let him do righteousness still. He who is holy, let him be holy still."

22:12 "Behold, I come quickly. My reward is with me, to repay to each man according to his work. 22:13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. 22:14 Blessed are those who do his commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life,1 and may enter in by the gates into the city. 22:15 Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. 22:16 I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify these things to you for the assemblies. I am the root and the offspring of David; the Bright and Morning Star."

22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" He who hears, let him say, "Come!" He who is thirsty, let him come. He who desires, let him take the water of life freely. 22:18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book, if anyone adds to them, may God add to him the plagues which are written in this book. 22:19 If anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, may God take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book. 22:20 He who testifies these things says, "Yes, I come quickly."

Amen! Yes, come, Lord Jesus.

22:21 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with all the saints. Amen.

  1. Blessed are those who do his commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life. We are divine. And in our ideal state we are immortal beings with a right to our eternal divinity. (Ed Rabel, The Book of Revelation 22).


Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Rev. Jim Ernstsen and Rev. Lisa Herklotz.

World English Bible Footnotes:

[46] v22:1. TR adds "pure"


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