The Time of the End
A Study About the Book of Revelation
Arlen L. Chitwood
Redemption, Marriage, Regality
And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals.
Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?”
And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it.
So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it.
But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”
And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb 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.
Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. (Rev. 5:1-7)
(Background material for this chapter can be found in the preceding chapter, Chapter 8.)
“Redemption” in the title of this chapter has to do with the earth, not with man. It has to do with that which occurs through the breaking of the seals on the seven-sealed scroll in Revelation chapter five, which has to do with the redemption of an inheritance belonging to man, though not presently in man’s possession.
And, in connection with the redemption of this inheritance, the redemption of the earth, two marriages are seen — one between God and Israel (which will follow Israel’s repentance, resulting from judgments associated with the redemption of the inheritance), and the other between Christ and His bride (which will follow a revelation of the bride at the judgment seat). Both are part and parcel with the redemption of the inheritance. Both are inseparably tied to this redemption, with both occurring in an automatic sense in connection with this redemption.
That is to say, with the redemption of the inheritance occurring, two marriages will also occur. One (redemption) cannot occur without the other (marriage), as seen in the account of Boaz redeeming the inheritance (a field, belonging to the family) and taking Ruth as his wife in the process in Ruth 4:1-10 (foreshadowing, in type, one of the two marriages — Christ and His bride).
Then, redemption (of the inheritance, the earth) and marriage (God and Israel, Christ and His bride) lead into the realm where everything has been moving since man’s creation and fall almost 6,000 years ago, as seen in the opening three chapters of Genesis. Both redemption and marriage lead into regality, with man, at long last, realizing the purpose for his creation in the beginning — ruling the earth, the redeemed inheritance, in the stead of Satan and his angels.
In this respect, redemption, marriage, and regality form the subject at hand in Revelation chapters five through the first part of chapter twenty, or in the four chapters of the book of Ruth, or in Jeremiah chapters thirty through thirty-three. Redemption has to do with the domain which is to be ruled, the earth; then, marriage and regality have to do with those who will rule the redeemed domain — Christ in the midst of Israel (His Father’s restored wife) on earth, seated on David’s throne; and Christ with His wife in the heavens, seated on His own throne (Joel 2:27; Luke 1:31-33; Revelation 2:26, 27; 3:21).
Beginning in the Book of Genesis
The whole of the matter — redemption, marriage, and regality — has its foundation in the opening chapters of Genesis, where that which is seen in later Scripture is introduced after exactly the same fashion that it is later seen. It must be this way, for the foundation is set forth in a perfect, unchangeable manner at the beginning; and the remainder is simply detail and commentary that progressively builds upon the previously laid foundation.
Beginning in the opening verses of Genesis, after God created the earth and subsequently brought it into a ruined state because of Satan’s sin (Genesis 1:1, 2a), He then restored the earth for man immediately prior to man’s creation (Genesis 1:2b-28; cf. Isaiah 45:18). That would be to say, He redeemed the earth, with a view to man (with his wife), ruling the restored domain. Thus, redemption (restoring the ruined earth), marriage (Adam and Eve together), and regality (ruling the restored domain) are seen at the beginning of Scripture, providing the central focus for the remainder of Scripture.
But Satan, the incumbent ruler of the domain, stepped in and brought about man’s fall. And because of man’s fall, man became a ruined creation; and, as occurred when Satan had previously fallen, the material creation once again found itself in a ruined state (Genesis 3:1-19). And, for man to realize the purpose for his creation, this necessitated redemption, not only for himself but also for the material creation over which he was to rule.
And this is what God then set about to do. God stepped in and began to act in the first realm, relative to man’s redemption. God clothed Adam’s and Eve’s naked bodies (they had lost the covering of Glory previously enswathing their bodies) with coats of skin from one or more animals, requiring death and shed blood (Genesis 3:21).
And God’s judgment upon sin in this manner, on man’s behalf — requiring death and shed blood for redemption — is not only seen immediately following man’s fall in Eden but also throughout the next 4,000 years, culminating in the Son’s finished work at Calvary.
(E.g., note the very next chapter, Geneis 4, with events foreshadowing that which would occur 4,000 years later — Cain slaying Abel, Israel slaying Christ; the blood of Abel crying out from the ground [an unredeemed ground, under a curse], and the blood of Christ speaking better things than that of Abel’s [which would allow the One who died and shed His blood to redeem not only man but also to ultimately effect redemption for the ground from which Abel’s blood had cried; cf. Genesis 4:10; Hebrews 12:24; Revelation 5:6, 9, 12, 13; 6:1].)
But any action toward redeeming the earth would not occur for 6,000 years (i.e., action other than God’s immediate judgment upon sin at the beginning by once again bringing the material creation into a ruin). Redemption for the material creation, by and through the judgment that God now required, rendered by the only One whom God recognized as qualified to act in this realm, would not occur until the end of Man’s Day. And it would occur by and through the act of the second man, the last Adam, the One who died and shed His blood.
This is what Revelation chapters five through nineteen are about. They are about effecting a redemption of the creation subjected by man’s fall to “the bondage of corruption” (Romans 8:20, 21), bringing to pass “the times of restoration of all things” (Acts 3:21). And this, among other related things, will allow the Son to reign at the end of the redemptive process, as seen in Revelation chapter twenty.
(Relative to man’s redemption, no difference exists today from that which existed in Eden almost 6,000 years ago. The whole panorama of salvation, past, present, and future — spirit, soul, and body — requires death and shed blood throughout. God’s requirements were set at the beginning, they were set perfect, and, accordingly, no change can ever occur.
In the past aspect of salvation, the salvation that we presently possess [having to do with man’s spirit], the death of God’s Son and His shed blood are required [Christ’s finished work at Calvary].
In the continuing aspect of salvation [present, to be realized in the future], the salvation of the soul, death and shed blood are, as well, required. But now it is death in relation to the individual. Now it is the death of the old man [cf. Romans 6:1-13; Colossians 2:12; 3:1-10]; and, as well, it is also Christ’s shed blood as before, but not His blood relating to His finished work at Calvary; now it is His blood on the mercy seat in heaven; now His work as High Priest is in view [cf. John 13:4-12; Hebrews 4:14-16; 9:11, 12; 1 John 1:6-2:2] — a work on behalf of those presently being saved [a present divine work, which has to do with the saving of the soul]. And this present work can occur only because those presently being saved have “passed from death to life” [past aspect of salvation] and can now be dealt with in the spiritual realm.
And the redemption of the body, as seen in Romans 8:23 [not to be confused with the resurrection of the body], has to do with the future adoption into a firstborn status and is part and parcel with the salvation of the soul.
All is based on and requires death and shed blood.
[Ref. the author’s books, Salvation of the Soul and God’s Firstborn Sons (the Appendix) for more information on the preceding.]
Relative to the redemption of the earth, as well, no difference exists today from that which existed in Eden. This is evident from comparing the past redemption/restoration of the pre-Adamic earth with the future redemption/restoration of the post-Adamic earth.
When God brought about a judgment upon and a subsequent restoration of the pre-Adamic earth, man did not yet exist. His creation occurred following the redemption/restoration of the earth. Thus, man did not fit into the equation, and God could redeem/restore the earth simply on the basis of His past judgment of sin by reducing the earth to a ruin, as occurred before man’s creation.
Once man appeared on the scene though, reducing the earth to a ruin once again [judgment, allowing for redemption] was no longer sufficient in and of itself, as before. Judgment now must not only befall the earth but man upon the earth as well. And, as with man’s present redemption, death and shed blood must be involved in the future redemption of the earth in this respect, for not only is man now inseparably involved but this future judgment will befall man, not the earth.
“Judgment” upon the earth itself is past. This judgment occurred almost 6,000 years ago, in Genesis 3:17-19 [with the absence of death and shed blood, as also seen in the previous judgment of the earth in Genesis 1:2a]. But judgment upon those dwelling on the earth, now inseparably connected with a redemption of the earth, by and through judgment, is still future [and this part of the earth’s judgment, resulting in redemption, will necessitate death and shed blood (for death and shed blood must exist where man is involved, else there can be no redemption)].
Note how this is set forth in chapter five following a search for One worthy to take the scroll and break the seals on the scroll. Christ was the only One found worthy — in heaven, on earth, or under the earth — to take the scroll from His Father’s right hand, break the seals of the scroll, and bring about the earth’s redemption by and through judgment upon the earth-dwellers [5:1ff]. And doing this, He is seen acting in two realms [providing the reason why He was the only One found worthy, for He was the only One who could act in these two realms] — as “the Lion of the tribe of Judah,” effecting judgment [5:5] and as “the Lamb that was slain,” effecting redemption/restoration [5:6, 9, 12, 13; 6:1], which will occur through judgment.
This redemption/restoration of the earth will occur at the end of the 6,000 years. And this is what is so vividly described in Revelation chapters six through nineteen, which results from the breaking of the seals of the seven-sealed scroll introduced in chapter five.
Redemption of the domain — the earth — was provided for the first man, the first Adam, prior to the time that he was to reign; and redemption of the same domain will be provided for the second Man, the last Adam, prior to the time that He is to reign.)
With the preceding in mind, attention can now be directed to how this whole panorama of events is dealt with in the books of Ruth, Jeremiah, and Revelation. That which is seen in the books of Ruth and Jeremiah draws from that which is seen in Genesis and, with Genesis, provides the necessary information for one to understand that which is seen in the book of Revelation. And the book of Revelation, in turn, draws from all three books in this same respect.
Continuing with this type-understanding of the matter, note everything in a larger context in both the books of Ruth and Jeremiah, as this material reflects on that which is seen being carried out in the book of Revelation. Ruth deals with one aspect of the matter — with Christians in relation to the redemption of the inheritance and marriage, followed by regality; Jeremiah deals with the other aspect of the matter — with Israel in relation to the redemption of the inheritance and marriage, followed by regality; and Revelation brings both of these Old Testament accounts together and deals with both Christians and Israel in relation to the redemption of the inheritance and marriage, followed by regality.
And the whole of the matter rests upon and provides detail and commentary for that which began to be revealed in the opening chapters of Genesis.
Continuing in the Book of Ruth
Everything in the book of Ruth moves toward a goal, seen in chapter four. Thus, in a larger sense, the entire book deals with that which is realized at the end of the book — Boaz redeeming the inheritance (a field belonging to Elimelech’s family [which had to do with a family property inheritance; cf. Joshua 19:1-51]), Ruth becoming Boaz’s wife through the process of this redemption, and with regality brought into the picture. The book, from beginning to end, moves toward or deals directly with redemption (of a forfeited family inheritance), marriage (of the prospective bride [Ruth] to the redeemer of the inheritance [Boaz]), and regality (the redeemer and Ruth together, with regality seen through their great grandson, King David).
Ruth and Orpah, by marriage, became members of Elimelech and Naomi’s family in the first chapter of the book. But, because of the deaths of all three male members of the family, all three women lost any access that they might have had to an inheritance, a field, belonging to the family (which was now in another person’s possession, requiring redemption if ownership was to revert back to the family).
(It is evident from comparing Scripture with Scripture that redemptive work of this nature required headship, which could be exercised only by a male member of the family.
Taking this back to the beginning in order to lay a proper foundation, it wasn’t Eve partaking of the forbidden fruit that brought about the fall [though indirectly it did, for this left Adam without a choice other than to also partake of the fruit (e.g., cf. Genesis 2:15-17, 21-24; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Timothy 2:13, 14)]. Adam, as the federal head of the human race, had to partake of this fruit to bring about the fall [Romans 5:12-14].
In this respect, the fall occurred at the time Adam partook of the fruit, not at the time Eve had previously partaken of the fruit. It was at the time Adam partook of the fruit that both Adam and Eve lost the covering of Glory that had previously enswathed their bodies, which they tried to replace with fig leaves [Genesis 3:6, 7].
The fall occurred by one man’s “disobedience” [partaking of the forbidden fruit] as redemption subsequently occurred through one Man’s “obedience” [culminating in His finished work at Calvary]. As in the fall, so must it be in redemption. Headship, as it would be seen in the Man alone, must be seen throughout [Romans 5:15-19].
And this would not only be true as it pertained to the fall and subsequent redemption of man, as seen in Romans chapter five, but in the redemption of individuals [a slave or a widowed woman] or land in the Mosaic Economy. Only males are spoken of in connection with these types of redemption in Leviticus chapters twenty-five, twenty-seven, and Deuteronomy chapter twenty-five [e.g., “One of his brothers; or his uncle, or his uncle’s son may redeem him . . . .” (Leviticus 25:48b, 49a)]
Generic thoughts or terms are not being used in these passages when referring to individuals. Rather, from the way that the whole of the matter surrounding redemption is handled in Scripture, beginning in Genesis, these passages can only have to do with redemption, requiring headship [which can be exercised only by a male].
And understanding this fact is a major key to understanding the redemption of the inheritance and Ruth’s widowhood in the book of Ruth — not only in the text at hand but throughout the book as different facets of the matter are seen and dealt with.)
Following Elimelech’s death, the family rights to the field (as these rights had to do with redemption, resulting in a change of ownership) passed to his wife, Naomi, evident from that which is stated in Ruth 4:1-5. But, as is also evident, neither Naomi nor her daughters-in-law could redeem the property (with Ruth later revealed to be the only daughter-in-law that could have anything to do with the property in this respect [Orpah had previously turned back to the things of the world and, though still a member of the family, was no longer in view relative to the property, the family inheritance; thus, the book does not deal with her beyond the first chapter]).
As previously shown, a male member of the family (exercising headship) was required if the inheritance was to be redeemed. This is why Naomi immediately showed such an interest in Boaz when Ruth, at the end of the day, told Naomi in whose field she had been gleaning. Naomi knew that Boaz, a near kinsman, could not only redeem the field but could redeem Ruth’s widowhood as well (Ruth 2:19ff).
Christians in like manner, though members of the family (God’s family), have lost access to their inheritance — the earth, over which the new creation “in Christ” was brought into existence to rule as co-heir with the One who would redeem the inheritance. And this access was lost in time past, long before the new creation “in Christ” had been brought into existence. It was lost through the first man, the first Adam’s fall. The earth (the forfeited inheritance) is now in another’s possession. It is now in Satan’s possession, in possession of the incumbent ruler of the earth.
God had restored the earth for man. The earth, in a chaotic and ruined state, resulting from Satan’s sin, had been removed from this state, which could only be viewed as an act of redemption (which is the idea behind restoration, whether pertaining to man or the earth).
Man had been created to rule this restored domain. And, though man found himself in a position to wear regal garments and reign, the fall occurred before he wore these garments and held the scepter.
(Note that any vestiges of “sin,” which would necessitate ruin [death as well where man is concerned] could not have existed in connection with the material creation at the time of man’s creation. Bringing conditions of this nature to pass would have necessitated a redemption/restoration so complete that nothing would then exist relative to the ruin of the pre-Adamic earth. Nothing associated with the pre-Adamic ruin could have been brought over into a post-Adamic world [e.g., the entire fossil record existing today, which has to do with dead things (which is associated with sin, decay) could not be dated back farther than man’s creation and subsequent sin]. The preceding would have had to be the case for several reasons.
First, God created man from the ground, and He would not have created sinless man from that which was still connected, in any way, with the earth’s previous ruined state.
Further, man, who knew no sin, was to rule the restored domain; and man, who knew no sin, would not be placed on an earth that still retained some past connection with sin, which would be the case with an unredeemed earth. Things of this nature would be the reason why God did not create man until after He had restored the earth.
And this same type of removal of the earth from that connected with sin, as well, can be seen in that which will occur yet future. The earth will be redeemed/restored — it must be redeemed/restored — before man, once again, finds himself enswathed in Glory and in a position to wear regal garments and reign.)
But once Satan had brought about man’s fall, things relative to both man and the earth changed completely. Sin and death entered into the picture, and man found himself in a ruined state, separated from God; and, as a result, the earth became in a ruined state once again, exactly as had previously occurred following Satan’s fall (Genesis 1:2a; 3:6-10, 17-19; Romans 8:20, 21).
Now, both man and the earth needed redemption, restoration. Man now not only found himself separated from God but he, because of that which had occurred, forfeited the domain over which he was to rule; and he was completely incapable of acting relative to redemption/restoration in either realm.
As previously shown, God began to act almost immediately relative to man’s redemption (Genesis 3:21), but the redemption of the earth was another matter. Aside from the immediate judgment upon the earth in Genesis 3:17-19, redemptive work for the earth (which would be brought to pass by and through subsequent judgmental activity) was put on hold for 6,000 years.
In the type from the book of Ruth, during the interval of time between access to the inheritance being lost beyond retrieval in chapter one and the inheritance being redeemed in chapter four, certain events are seen. These events, from a typical standpoint, have to do with Christians and cover time during the present dispensation and at the end of the dispensation (slightly over 2,000 years).
These events have to do with Ruth gleaning in Boaz’s field, foreshadowing Christians gleaning in Christ’s field, the world; these events have to do with Boaz, at the end of the harvest, redeeming the inheritance (a field) and taking Ruth as his wife, foreshadowing Christ, at the end of the harvest, redeeming the inheritance (a field, the earth) and taking the bride (comprised of Christians) as His wife; and these events have to do with regality, seen at the end of Ruth chapter four in the type and seen in Revelation chapter twenty in the antitype.
Continuing in the Book of Jeremiah
The account in Jeremiah deals with Israel in relation to the forfeited inheritance. But because of Israel’s actions at the time of Christ’s first coming (rejecting the offer of the kingdom of the heavens, with resulting consequences), the account contains a reference to Christians as well (as the account in the book of Ruth, through “Naomi,” contains a reference to Israel as well).
(Through God’s promises to Abraham and his seed through Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob’s twelve sons, Israel in the Old Testament was made the repository for both heavenly and earthly promises and blessings, which were to be realized in both heavenly and earthly spheres of the kingdom [cf. Genesis 22:17, 18; 26:3, 4; 28:12-14; Hebrews 11:8-16].
An earthly theocracy existed for about eight hundred years in the Old Testament, from Moses’ day to the time of the Babylonian captivity seen in the Jeremiah text under discussion. This kingdom existed from the time that the Glory indwelt the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle at Mount Sinai during Moses’ day to the time that the Glory left the Temple and ascended back into the heavens from the Mount of Olives at the time of the Babylonian captivity [Exodus 40:33-38; Ezekiel 8:4; 9:3; 10:4, 18; 11:22, 23].
At Christ first coming, He offered the other sphere of the kingdom to the Jewish people, the heavenly sphere, the kingdom of the heavens [Matthew 3:1, 2; 4:17; 10:5-7]. This is what they rejected, and this is what was taken from the nation [Matthew 21:33-45], not the earthly sphere, the kingdom covenanted to David. And this heavenly sphere of the kingdom is presently being offered to the new creation in Christ — Christians — a creation that God called into existence [following Israel’s rejection] to be the recipient of that which Israel had rejected [cf. Ephesians 2:11-15; 3:1-11; 6:10-18; 1 Peter 2:9, 10].
And, with the preceding in mind, one can easily see how the Church is mentioned in Jeremiah’s prophecy dealing with Israel. In Jeremiah 33:22, both spheres of the kingdom are seen. And though both spheres would have pertained to Israel alone at the time this was written, a different situation exists following the heavenly sphere of the kingdom being taken from Israel.)
The account of Jeremiah’s redemption of the inheritance in the first part of chapter thirty-two (vv. 6-14) is set in the middle of a larger section having to do with Israel’s future restoration and that which God will do for the nation in that coming day, following Israel’s repentance (chapters 30-33).
God will re-gather His people, provide cleansing from all their iniquities, make a new covenant with them, and place them in their own land. All four chapters are filled with God’s promises in this respect.
Then, once a cleansed nation has been restored to the land under a new covenant, the nation will realize a redeemed inheritance, as the restored wife of Jehovah, within a restored theocracy.
The Jewish people realizing a redeemed inheritance in that day is shown by God instructing Jeremiah to redeem a piece of property immediately prior to the Babylonian captivity being completed, with a view to redeemed inheritances of this nature being realized when the people returned from captivity (Jeremiah 32:15, 42-44). That’s what Jeremiah’s redemption of the inheritance is about.
Jeremiah’s redemption of the inheritance simply showed another part of that which God would one day do for His people. Not only would a cleansed people be restored to the land under a new covenant, but God would redeem the inheritance (in this instance, the earth, over which Israel would rule in a restored theocracy); and God would again take Israel as His wife (a necessity for a restored theocracy to exist).
In that coming day, Jeremiah describes God’s attitude toward and the actions of His restored people in these words:
Then it [a restored nation in a restored land] shall be to Me a name of joy, a praise, and an honor before all nations of the earth, who shall hear all the good that I do to them; they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and all the prosperity that I provide for it.
Thus says the LORD: “Again there shall be heard in this place-of which you say, ‘It is desolate, without man and without beast’ – in the cities of Judah, in the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without man and without inhabitant and without beast,
the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who will say: ‘Praise the LORD of hosts, for the LORD is good, for His mercy endures forever’ – and of those who will bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause the captives of the land to return as at the first,”' says the LORD. (Jeremiah 33:9-11)
Thus, Jeremiah’s prophecy follows the same order as that which is seen beginning in Genesis and continuing in Ruth. Jeremiah presents the redemption of a field (with “the field,” as in Ruth, pointing to and foreshadowing the world, the earth [Matthew 13:38]). And this redemption is set within a larger context having to do with Israel during the Messianic Era.
The larger context presents Israel as the restored wife of Jehovah (Jeremiah 33:11). And occupying this position, in connection with a redeemed inheritance (a field, foreshadowing the redemption of the earth yet future, by which God will again take Israel as His wife), Israel will exercise regality in relation to the redeemed inheritance in a restored kingdom.
Ending in the Book of Revelation
All of the preceding is brought together in the book of Revelation, where the outworking of the matter is seen. And the redemption of the inheritance, taking possession of a clear title deed to the earth, occupies a large part of this book — from chapter five through chapter nineteen.
In a direct manner, the redemption of the inheritance — seen by the breaking of the seals on the seven-sealed scroll, and that which ensues — occupies all of chapters five and six, chapters eight through ten, the latter part of chapter eleven, and chapters fifteen and sixteen. In an indirect manner, the redemption of the inheritance is seen in all of the remaining material, beginning with chapter seven and ending with chapter nineteen.
The redemption of the inheritance, allowing the Son to hold the title deed to the earth, is the crux of what this last book in Scripture is about. By and through this means, not only will the inheritance be redeemed but the Father will have taken to Himself a wife once again (restored Israel); and the Son, as well, will have taken to Himself a wife (the one being acquired by the Spirit during the present dispensation). And because of all this, the Son, in that day, will be able to take the kingdom and reign.
The wife of Jehovah, as “a kingdom of priests and an holy nation” (Exodus 19:5, 6), will occupy the earthly sphere of the kingdom, in a restored theocracy, realizing earthly promises and blessings. And the wife of the Son, as co-heirs with Christ, as “a royal priesthood [lit., ‘a kingly priesthood’], a holy nation” (1 Peter. 2:9; cf. Revelation 5:10), will occupy the heavenly sphere of the kingdom, in a restored theocracy, realizing heavenly promises and blessings.
(The Septuagint rendering [Greek version of the Old Testament] of the quoted part of Exodus 19:6 is identical to the Greek wording in the quoted part of 1 Peter 2:9. The former relates to the earthly seed of Abraham [Israel], and the latter relates to the heavenly seed of Abraham [the Church] — two of God’s three firstborn Sons who will ascend the throne, hold the scepter, and reign in the kingdom.)
That which was lost by Adam in the book of Genesis is seen regained by Christ in the book of Revelation. And between these two times — separated by 6,000 years — man has the accounts in Ruth and Jeremiah to help him better understand not only that which happened in Genesis but also that which is about to happen when the Son takes the seven-sealed scroll from His Father’s right hand, as seen in the book of Revelation.