"The Power of the Lamb:" Notes on the Book of Revelation.
By Charles Elliot Fox
Honiara, Solomon Islands: Provincial Press, .
Canon Tasiu* [*Tasiu means "Brother" in Mota language.] Charles Fox CBE, widely known as Dr. Fox, in his 99th year, has produced a series of Commentaries on the Gospels of Mark, Luke and John together with one on the Book of Revelation. Congratulations Brother!
The late Archbishop, John Chisholm, asked Tasiu Charles to do Mark and Luke for Selwyn College, John for Bishop Patteson Theological Centre and Revelation for the Melanesian Brothers.
The idea was for the students to learn simple but good English at the same time as the thoughts on the Books.
In doing this work Tasiu Charles shows that he is not a retired Priest, but still an active member of the staff in the Church of Melanesia on sick leave. He is a true Solomon Islander nicknamed as "Kakamora", a small and a mischievous sprite, believed to inherent these islands. He said that he still has a special work to do for his people in Melanesia.
His many friends in Melanesia will always remember him as a devoted Priest in God's Church. He has a love for his work and friends. He gained respect and confidence by many who knew him and worked with him—a man. of many gifts and high intellectual ability. There are a few men if any in the Solomon Islands who have a wider knowledge of up to-date information. of the world, whether be scientific discoveries, rugby or cricket.
A person of that calibre is able to write a series of commentaries that will be understood by all levels.
The simplicity, clarity and brevity of this series is of great advantage in understanding the word of God.
+ Norman Melanesia.
The writer of this Book is John, an elder, so he had seen the beginning of the Christian Faith and perhaps had been as a boy with Peter and John though more with the former, as he writes much of Jesus as the Lamb; indeed this is "the book of the Lamb" and the story of those to whom the Lamb is Lord and God, and what that story would be in John's own time, and in future times in both present and future times, for John is a great Christian Prophet.
He was a prisoner in the island of Patmos far from his home in Ephesus and he asks peace from God and. what he writes comes to him through an angel (messenger) of Jesus Christ, the first born from the dead, and ruler of our world. He it was who made us free from all our sins, paying for them by six hours on the cross. He is coming from his home and all men will see him, even those who hurt him. He is God of all.
(1 verse 9). I am your brother and share all you suffer, and on the Lord's Day we call Sunday a loud voice told me to write all I saw, and send it to the churches of Asia, seven of them, meaning the whole Church. I saw seven lamps, and moving among them is a man in a long robe, a gold belt, his head and hair as white as snow, his eyes looked through you, his feet moved swiftly and his voice was like the sounds of the sea on our reefs, and in his right hand he held a star for each church, from his mouth came keen words and his face shone in power.
John fell, but was filled with the Spirit and told not to be afraid, for Christ was the man who died and came back to life again and had power over death.
 John and His Work
John thought of the world as at the creation—a glorious garden full of the most splendid music, fair merriment and laughter, and rewarding work for all who lived in it; a happy world of paradise for men and women.
But unfortunately alongside this beautiful world was another and quite different world, a dark world, the home of demons with their king, Appollyon, the Devil, and there lived those whose home it was, not only the Ruler, but others also called the Beast and the Little Beast, the evil woman of the streets and those who give us false teaching, any of whom might find their way out of the darkness of hell into the land of light. John and Peter agreed about some things; Jesus had said heaven and earth will pass away. Both John and Peter believed this. Also that the companions of Christ would have the work after death of bringing in those who had made a mess of their lives in this world. Peter was John's teacher.
What would happen if all in the dark land held by right the power to choose his future, either to follow those in the land of light, or to follow someone who came from hell? He would write the result of such a thing that happened in .his day, which would be repeated in later times; so as to warn all those who would have to choose.
The general plan of John's book is to tell of the result of one of the devils from the dark world wandering into the beautiful garden that the Gardener had made, in order to spoil it and destroy the Gardener, led by their king Apollyon the Destroyer. The results were always seen by John as retribution for what men had been persuaded to do to one another in his time. They would be repeated, he was sure in the future history of the great company of the followers of Christ, the Gardener.
First, feeling full of the Holy Breath, John gave his message from Christ to the company of Christians of his day. It is for us too.
 John sees the Gardener and wishes peace to the whole company from the Father, who is eternal, whose life flows to us, and from Jesus Christ, his faithful witness, the prince over the garden, the first to die and live again, who set us free by giving his life for us. See, he comes from his home to make us priests to worship, though all men work for the Almighty. He says, "I am your brother John, in distress but keeping on through faith, on the island of Patmos, and on Sunday the breath of God flowed through me, and I heard the voice of a shell behind me, telling me to write my vision to the Community of the followers of Jesus. He said "Don't be afraid, it is I", as he had to Peter in the storm. I fell at his feet".
The Gardener said, "I have power over death and life after death. As for the seven stars I hold, they are the thoughts of the Eternal for each Community of Followers, and the golden lamps are the Communities themselves in the Garden".
John was a great Christian prophet about the year 95 A.D., perhaps younger than the Apostles, Peter and John, but the friend rather of Peter, whom he knew. It is the gospel of the Lamb, only spoken of to St. John the Baptist. John was a Jew, knowing well and quoting the history of Israel; but he was also a very great poet using that history to illustrate what he says, and this he insists are the words of Christ himself through an angel.
Instead of following his imagery I have tried here to express the meaning of some similes without forgetting for a moment it is some of the greatest poetry John has written, even if some be hard for us to see.
Apollyon's first visit to the Garden was to get groups of men to fight each other and so spoil the Garden. In a vision he saw a War and knew it would be repeated in later history, but much worse as we saw in our time, and called the Great War.
 A Leader grew up in Germany who did all well in that country and set out to ride on a white horse, as a friend to others. But one man In England saw he had a war-bow hidden on him, meaning that he meant to fight and conquer and rule others. A great War came. John says that the man on the white horse was the leader. Then came the Red Horse and blood shed, thousands killed. Then the Black Horse, very little food or money and great poverty. Then the Pale Horse. Death everywhere from a sickness we all called Flu. On my island about one third of my people died. But Flu went all over the world and more died from Flu than in the fierce fighting. Results of War should be a warning to the people of the whole Garden.
John had seen the terrible end of Jerusalem. After the dropping of the bomb on Japan came the wrath of the Lamb—a small nation overcame a great nation and its Leader walked out in deep disgrace. The bomb was dropped on Japan and killed or maimed many. Some thought it good, as Japan gave up, and the war came to an end. Others agreed with St. Paul that you can't do evil to do good. (Romans 3:8). The small country overcame the great one and the Leader of the great one left in deep disgrace. But the retribution was sent for the time the bomb was dropped, a deep, dark cloud of fear layover the whole Garden.
Was a bomb needed? The English Leader (Churchill) thought it unusual. Japan was ready to give up before the bomb was dropped.
So too England fell low, perhaps because of colonisation and pride, to conquer other countries like India and rule them and sometimes to get wealth.
America may rise again. The Lamb brings down and lifts up.
John has many splendid pictures of the result of man choosing well, and of the result of the final choice of evil, and of the result of the final choice of evil, which he calls the Second Death—to cease to exist for men and angels, and in the end the Devil and all that is evil.
The Message of God and the word of Jesus Christ himself those who hear it read will be happy for hearing it, for the time is near. To the Seven Groups in Asia, generosity and peace from Him who is and was and is coming, from the Seven Spirits before his throne (one Holy Spirit) and from Jesus Christ who rules and can be trusted, the first to live after death, ruler of the Kings on Earth, who loves us and sets us free from our sins by his own blood On the Cross and made us kings and priests to his God and Father. To him be glory and power for ever and ever. So shall it be. He is corning from Heaven and each of us will see him even those who hurt him, and his coming will mean bitter tears to some of us in the Garden. "I am Alpha and Omega", says the Lord God, who is and was and comes, the Almighty.
To the Company at Ephesus write, "He who knows the thoughts of God and then walks among you and knows your ways. You work hard and bravely and cannot bear evil men, but there is this, you do not love as you did. I might put out your light to men, but it is well that you hate the loose living the part of Nicholas teaches. To him who wins through evil times I will give the right to eat from the tree of eternal life in the Garden of God.
To the Company at Smyrna write, "I was dead and came back to life. I know how hard it is for you and you seem poor but are really rich, and false Jews speak evil of you. Some of you will go to prison and cruel treatment. But hold fast till death and you will receive glorious life. He who wins through evil times, will be free of harm in the Second death the final destruction of soul and body.
 To the company at Thyatira write, "These are the words through us I know where you live, where Satan rules, yet you hold fast even when they killed Antipas my friend. But I have a few faults to find. Some follow the teaching of Balaam tempting my people Israel, that they eat food sacrificed to idols and the loose living of Nicholas. Give this up or I will make war on them with words that go through. To him who wins through evil times I will give hidden manna, the Giver of Strength, and a white stone to show them clean and a new name he has won.
To the company at Thyatira write, "These are the words of the Son of the Great Gardener whose eyes see through and who moves fast. I know all your ways of love and service yet you tolerated among you a wicked woman who teaches evil life and will not give it up. She shall live great pain and her lovers and children will die and all the Companies will see that I search men's hearts and know them by what they do. To him who wins through evil times and also to those of you who do not follow their teaching or trust what they call "the deep things of Satan", I will give authority over man and the Morning Star. (Hope that the dawn will appear).
To the company at Sardis write, "God's thought was; He who has the Holy Spirit, I know your ways; said to be alive, but dead. Wake, and use your strength to finish your work. You must wake or I shall come suddenly like a thief. A few of you are clean and they shall walk with me as clean. He who wins through evil times shall be clean and his name will be written in the Book of Life, and I will tell my Father he is mine.
To the company at Philadelphia write, "God's thought was; I open and shut where no other can. I open a door for you though your strength is small. I will make your enemies, the Jews (Satan's people) bow to you, so that they see you are my dear people. I will defend you from the evil coming and no other shall take your reward. He who wins through evil times shall be a part of my home, on him the name" of my [6/7] God and my city, the new city which will come down to earth, and my own new home."
The thought of God about Laodicea is the truth as God sees it, they are neither cold nor hot, better one or the other, So he must spit them out. You say how rich I am, certainly. Miserable company, you are poor, blind and naked. Get from me clothes to hide your shame and ointment to make you see I knock at your door for I am outside, if anyone hears me knock and calls me in, we shall sit together on my Father's throne. I am stern with those I love.
That was the company of companions of the Gardener in John's day about A.D. 90. John was sure what happened then would be repeated in some form in the history of the companions.
In my vision I saw a door open in heaven and heard a voice like a shell, saying "come up here and I will show you what is to come". I saw a throne standing in heaven and one sitting on the throne. Round the throne in a circle were twenty-four thrones, and on them I saw twenty-four Elders sitting dressed in white with gold crowns. From the throne peals of thunder and seven flaming lamps burning. In the centre grouped round the throne were four animals, full of eyes, who never stopped singing:
"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God the Almighty".
Every time the animals glorified, honoured and gave thanks to the One on the throne, who lives for ever, the twenty-four Elders bowed down their crowns in front of the throne saying "You are our Lord and our God".
Only here do we read of them, but in our Bibles we read of the powers that be in heaven and of the Seraphim and Cherubim falling down before God and St. Paul writes of things in heaven; Thrones, Dominations, Sovereigns, Power. The twenty-four Elders seem to be great beings.
up to Heaven, but Heaven coming down to earth. A great multitude that no man could number and in a wonderful city.
 When I lived for years as a Solomon Islander on a large island among heathen people, I found they believed in a great spirit called Hato, who came down from the heavens to care for us, his people, and free us from sickness and injury, even our dogs. There was a sacrifice to him of our choicest animal which all but I partook of, and then all day singing and dancing and many wonderful prayers in their languages, some as fine as some of our best English ones, to Hato, to keep us safe.
Could not that have been dim shadow in the minds of my people of the twenty-four Elders in white, who continually offer our prayers to God so John writes; "but they bow low to Him who sits on the throne, and give him praise and worship, casting down their crowns, to show that all their power is from him, the Eternal Father; for through Him alone all things exist". The twenty-four Elders said to John, "Do not worship me, only the One Eternal'.
Before the throne was a group of four animals, praising their Creator for their natural life, and strength and beauty (man among them for his physical life). They must have been planted in the Garden long before man making the garden a paradise for man, for him to rule over and cherish, and for him and them to become friends. John speaks of all the animals and birds, each with its natural strength and beauty, singing with joy before their Creator:
"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord. the Almighty".
So sing all living things to God; they praise him for life, strength, skill, or beauty.
Then John seemed to look into Heaven where God was on his throne and John could only think of all the lovely colours he had ever seen; the Holy Spirit glowed from the throne. [8/9] Before it is a sea of glass to reflect in creation the glory he has seen, and round the throne are four and twenty Elders, beings older than John, the Cherubim and Seraphim, the wise who Job said shouted for joy at the creation. They bowed down before Him who was and is and ever more shall be, no other before Him and they threw down to Him their crowns—whatever their status or deeds had been. In God's right hand was a sealed up book of the future with many leaves arid a voice asked "Who can open this?" But no of the future one could, till from the very middle of the throne came a lamb, (Jesus Christ), and took the writing and the Elders played music and held bowls full of the prayers of the followers of Christ, for the Lamb had been killed, and that paid for the sins of all men and set them free. John heard every created thing, Elders and Angels and every thing in heaven and earth created by God. Then the Lamb breaks the first page of the book; not only the Elders but every kind of animal rejoices. We hear of the first trouble men will bring on themselves, and they will do it because God gives them freedom to choose good or evil; we call it God's judgement, though it was Man's on Man. The first is on fighting War.
This was the first thing written; made clear for us. And he saw Christians who died asking "for how long?" and were waiting under the shadow of the cross and were told to wait for their brothers; but the moon lost its light and so did man and the great leaders and mountains and islands were moved and great changes came in the earth and all became full of fear. There was confusion on Earth and people blinded to the Truth.
A man of the Garden heard of a cross on a little hill. Not knowing what this was, or why, he set out through thick bushes, brambles and thorny creepers, which wounded him and bound him up so tightly that he felt helpless and hardly able to move. But he struggled on, at last he saw the cross with Jesus nailed on it. And he looked up at the face of Him on the cross, the Son of God, and saw flow gently down from him a little blood. And at that moment all the brambles and [9/10] thorny creepers withered away, and this man who came stood up, and became a free man again. So have Christians, one by one. For he was slain for us.
Did the Devil see for a moment, see the Gardener on the cross, and think he had won the battle, whereas he had lost the War for ever?
John saw the souls of those Christians killed who were under the Altar, the Cross of Christ and were told to be patient till all were gathered in.
After the War came the great retribution, great changes in the world and great fear and more damage to the Garden till the first fruits of God's peoples, perhaps the first fruits of all the tribes of the Garden, were made clean—12,000 from every race on earth.
I saw in the right hand of the One on the throne the book with words written in it, but held fast, and a great Angel called in a loud voice "Who is fit to break open the book (of the future) and no one could do it either in earth or in heaven, and I let tears fall, but one of the Great Beings said "Don't be sorry, the Root of David (Jesus) has won his fight and can open the book". And there standing at the very centre of the Throne and the living creatures and the Great Beings stood a Lamb sacrificed already, with perfect power and insight to send the Breath of God over all the Garden.
He came and took the book from the right hand of Him on the throne. The four living creatures and twenty-four Great Beings fell down before the Lamb. Each had music and bowls full of sweet fumes, the prayers of Christ's companions and they sang a new song, "Worthy are you to take and open the book, for you have been killed and with your blood have bought men for God from every nation to be kings and priests of God, and rulers on earth". I heard the voices of many angels round the throne, thousands of thousands. Worthy is the Lamb who was killed to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and blessing. So sang everything made in Heaven or in the earth or [10/11] under it or in the sea. Blessing and honour and Glory to Him on the throne and to the Lamb.
God was full of anger when the sixth page was torn open and there was great confusion and darkness in the Garden. Great men failed like the leaves of a tree in a gale and heaven was lost to sight, and nations were changed, and people hid themselves, though rich and strong, from the Face of God, in great fear but things had to wait and the earth be spared until God's servants in Israel receive his mark *. [* The marks were in the forehead—so lie in the heart and the head—useful work for God.] When this was done I looked again and saw a great multitude, all peoples of every language and race and colour.
After the wars made by evil men and their results John saw a quite new sight, the sealing of 144,000 * [* Perhaps the first fruits of all the trees of the Garden.] 12,000 from each tribe with Christ's name on their faces from the book of the future which was opened by the Lamb who created all things for God and has heard thousands of priests and kings and I saw a great multitude, no one could count them, they were all in white with palm branches a sign of those who win. The Elders and all bowed down and asked John "who are they?" and were told; "These are those who have come through the great Trouble and are clean from all sin by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus' death on the Cross) and they will never hunger or thirst again; God will wipe every tear from them.
After this there was a pause to give men time to change their lives and then there was confusion in the Garden—the pollution of the sea and land and water and all as John saw in his time, but would be repeated and we know in our own time because God allows us freedom to see the good and evil, and choose that and call it the judgement of God, not ours on ourselves and as it is always with John. Light failed (sun) and man was blind. There was great loss of life.  The Wrath of the Lamb is the name for the results of man's evil ways. None can know of the abyss which we call Hell and is the home of all evil spirits and of Satan. To come to it is to die the second death, where even a spirit may die and from which there is no rising again. Anyone coming to it will never live again. Out of it comes all evil thoughts. From the smoke of hell pour out clouds of locusts. Great storms came and much of the earth was spoiled, and rivers and seas polluted as we know in our day. With us the locusts mean drugs excess of nicotine and alcohol, which hurt but do not kill us.
Of the Lamb of whom we write or Little John writes in different places, John the Elder writes as follows:-
Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty who was and is and who is to come.
Our Lord and God, you are worthy to receive glory and honour and power.
For you created all things and through you they came to be and to live.
You are worthy, Lord Jesus, the First and the Last and the Living One.
For you were killed, and by your death you bought men for God, from every race and colour and language.
You have made them kings and princes to serve our God, and they will rule on earth.
The Lamb who was killed is worthy to receive power and wisdom and strength, honour and glory and praise.
To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honour and glory and power for ever.
This is the Lord of the Melanesian Brothers and Companions.
 THE WOMAN
I saw a huge sign in the sky. The figure of a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her foot and a crown of twelve stars upon her head. She was giving birth to a male child and cried out in her pain in bringing the child to birth. (Jesus)
The angels sounded the 7th shell and another sign was seen in the sky and I saw it was a huge red snake. His tail swept down many stars from the sky and threw them on the earth. The snake took his place in front of the woman when she gave birth to the child so as to devour him as soon as he was born. The child was taken to Egypt and then to a quiet village in Galilee for twenty years. The woman went into the desert where a place was ready for her and to take care of her. In our times Christians retire into quiet Christian life.
Then war burst out in Heaven. Michael and his angels fought with the snake and were too strong for him and threw him down to earth. The snake is the Devil who deceives the whole world, and his evil angels with him. Then I heard a great voice in Heaven saying "Now comes Salvation and Power for our King" for the one who abuses our brothers has been thrown down. Now came a sound like the sea on reefs on our beaches. Then I saw Heaven wide open and a white horse whose rider is called Faithful and True and the armies of Heaven followed him. Those who had received the mark of the Beast were thrown to the second death, and Satan was thrown down from his home and tied up, though not altogether, because we were forgiven our sins on the cross and the Holy Spirit given to us who is the giver of strength and a great chain held him fast. The great chain is the prayers of the Brothers and other Christians. Satan is near his end.
John says Apolloyon will sleep the second death from which there is no awakening. He will cease to exist as well the two Beasts, the Harlot, and False Prophet. John adds Death and Hell will do so also and nothing evil will last for ever as Christ does.
 After Adam and Eve spoiled the garden, the garden was neglected and became full of evil, with flowers and trees and rivers, and perhaps a few graceful and beautiful animals, who still lived when men directed and loved and cherished the early animals.
But Christ had said "make all things new" and after the Devil and his friends had ceased to exist, Jesus came and refreshed the old garden, making it far more a Paradise than it had ever been. John said "he used to come down and walk with the people" in the garden. John rose to great heights in his visions especially about the future of man.
The 1,000 years is modern civilisation, the Church tolerated but not persecuted.
THE SMALL BEAST
The Small Beast may represent the witchery and evil customs of our old religion and its evil spirits.
I have sat in a leaf house with a dead man just laid on the floor and the Elders of the village in a circle round him, fishing with rods and a bait of sacred leaves for his evil spirit (soul). The good part had already gone to a Happy Land. And a bite came, they rushed down to the sea and drowned the evil soul, as our Lord drowned some 2,000 devils by allowing them to go into a herd of pigs and so be drowned.
There was much good in the old religion, but evil also—John would have known it in Asian countries.
The evil spirit of a dead man could go into a living man and cause him to die.
THE LAST VISION
The last bowls was the last judgement. After that John had a vision of a very wonderful thing. Not Christians going [14/15] from Heaven where God had his throne, as if it were a great gathering of all humanity with Christ coming down and living among them as their ruler and their saviour. The snake was not able to destroy the woman, and the Harlot, and the Beasts, and Satan too were overcome by Christ and his companions and had to sleep the second death which means they did not exist any more. All those who seek only wealth were sad at the fall of the great city of Rome.
There were Songs of victory in Heaven.
After this I seemed to hear the great sound of a huge multitude in heaven, singing 'Alleluia' Victory and Glory and power to our God! He judges fairly, he punishes justly, and he has condemned the famous harlot, the evil woman who corrupted the earth with her fornication. He has avenged his servants that she killed. They sang again 'Alleluia'. The smoke of her will go up for ever and ever. Then the twenty- four Elders and the four animals prostrated themselves and worshipped God seated there on his throne and they cried "amen, alleluia".
Then a voice came from the throne saying "Praise our God, all his servants, and all men both great and small, who fear him"! Then I heard what sounded like the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of a mighty waterfall, like loud peals of thunder. I heard them say 'Praise God' For the Lord, our Almighty God" is King"! Let us rejoice and be glad, let us praise his greatness! For the time has come for the wedding of the lamb, and his bride the Church has prepared herself for it. She was allowed to dress herself with clean shining linen (the linen is the righteous deeds of God's people).
Then the angel said to me "Write this: Happy are those who have been invited to the wedding feast of the lamb". And the angel added "These are the true words of God"! I fell down at his feet to worship him but he said to me "Don't do it! I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brothers, all those who hold to the truth that Jesus revealed. Worship only [15/16] God"! The witness Jesus gave is the same as the spirit of prophecy. And there was a great battle at the end when Satan was captured and bound up and chained down until 1,000 years were ended. The 1,000 years mean modern civilization. Satan is only partly bound because of Calvary and the coming of the Holy Spirit and the prayers of the Brothers and all Christian people. Happy and Blessed are those who share in the first Resurrection and the second death, ceasing to exist cannot touch them but they will be Priests of Christ and reign with him.
The seventh shell sounded, and it was the end; but John had a last great vision. He remembered what Jesus said of a new Heaven and a new Earth, and he thought not of people going up to Heaven, but of Heaven coming down to earth as a holy city. It had walls, and twelve gates north, south, east and west, for people of all races to go in if they were the followers of the Lamb. It was big enough for all. In it was the throne of God and of the Lamb. In it was the river of eternal life, and trees giving health; sorrow and tears would pass away; but none foul or false could enter the city. It would give light to the heathen and to the kings of the people, and there Christ will rule for ever and ever over those for whom He gave His life, over that great multitude. It is John's vision of the Christian Church, as it should be and may be.
John's last vision is for all of us to work for.
John knew well the history of his people. He knew well how evil had come in and destroyed them, and when he looked round his own world he found the same things—the evil growing stronger and stronger. Through an angel he received the words of Christ that it would be the same in later times of the Church. Indeed, in our own world we see the shadow of the evils John spoke about. John believed that all people must come to worship the Eternal Father, and bring us all together in a happy humanity, in which Christ will be seen and known.
"There is none who rules the world, but only you, O God".
 I saw standing before the Throne with its four animals and the circle of the Elders, a Lamb that seemed to have been sacrificed . . . and had the spirit of God whom he has sent out all over the world. The lamb came forward to take the pages of the book sealed together. When he took them, the four animals bowed before him, with the twenty-four Elders, each holding a harp and a gold bowl of incense, full of the prayers of the saints. They sang a new hymn.
You are worthy to take the sealed book and break the seals because you were sacrificed and with your blood you bought men for God of every race, people and languages, and made them a line of Kings and priests to serve our God and rule the world.
Printed at Provincial Press, Honiara