Prophecy – Part 76 – Revelation

Unless stated otherwise, all Scriptures come from the KJV Bible.

As we get started today let’s remember Proverbs 3:5-6, God’s great promises for help.  We will need God’s strength and understanding of His Word as we get further into the book of Revelation.  We will need to withstand Satan’s attack as he attempts to convince us that we cannot understand the Book of Revelation and receive God’s promised blessing.

“Trust in the Lord with ALL thine heart; and lean NOT unto thine own understanding.  IN ALL THY WAYS ACKNOWLEDGE HIM, and he SHALL direct thy paths.  Be not wise in thine own eyes: Fear the LORD, and DEPART from evil”  (Proverbs 3:5-7). 

Also, the Lord Jesus Christ provides some wonderful protection for us which will help in our study of His Word:

“Finally, my brethren, be STRONG in the Lord and in the POWER OF His might.  Put on the whole ARMOUR OF GOD, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against

         principalities,

         against powers,

         against the rulers of the darkness of this world,

         spiritual wickedness in high places.

Wherefore take unto you the WHOLE ARMOUR of God, that YE MAY BE ABLE TO WITHSTAND IN THE EVIL DAY, AND HAVING DONE ALL, TO STAND” (Ephesians 6:10-13,   emphasis added).

THE BREAKING OF THE SEVENTH SEAL:  THE AWESOME PREPARATION FOR JUDGMENT (8:1-5).

As the rightful heir of the universe, THE LAMB took the scroll (the title deed to the earth) from the Father’s hand, Revelation 5:7.  As He unrolled it and broke the first six seals, divine judgments were poured out on the earth.

But then He broke the SEVENTH SEAL and a unique response occurred: THERE WAS SILENCE IN HEAVEN FOR ABOUT HALF AN HOUR.

A review of the visions up to this point makes it clear that John had heard a good deal of noise in heaven.

  • Emanating from God’s throne were sounds and peals of thunder (Revelation 4:5).
  • The four living creatures did not cease to say, “…Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come” (Revelation 4:8).
  • The twenty-four elders added their song of praise (4:11).
  • In Revelation 5:2 (NKJV) John “saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?’ “
  • In response to the Lamb’s taking the title deed to the earth (5:5-7), we see a number loudly praising God:

 first, the four living creatures,

second, the twenty-four elders (Revelation 5:9-10),

then an innumerable host of angels (5-11-12), and

finally, all of creation (5:13) joined in praising God.

  • When the Lamb opened the first seal, John “heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, ‘Come’ ” (Revelation 6:1).
  • He heard the same when the second (6:3), third (6:5), and fourth (6:7) seals were opened.
  • With the opening of the fifth seal came the cries of the martyrs for vengeance (6:9-10).
  • The breaking the sixth seal brought the loud roar of a powerful earthquake (6:12).
  • In the interlude between the sixth and seventh seals an angel “…cried out with a loud voice to the four angels, to to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying ‘Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads’ ” (Revelation 7:2-3, NKJV).

Later in that interlude John saw:

“…a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.  And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen’ ” (Revelation 7: 9-12).

After all that loudness, as the full fury of the final judgments is about to be released, SILENCE falls on the heavenly scene.  The implication is that when the judgment is about to happen and the seventh seal is broken and the scroll unrolled, both the redeemed and the angels are reduced to silence in anticipation of the grim reality of the destruction they see written on the scroll.  The HALF HOUR of silence is the calm before the storm.  It is the silence of foreboding of intense expectation of awe at what God is about to do.

And silence is the only proper response to such divine judgment.

  • In Psalm 76:8-9 the psalmist wrote, “…The earth feared and was still, when God arose to judgment.”
  • Habakkuk declared, “But the Lord is in His holy temple:  Let all the earth keep silent before Him.” (Habakkuk 2:20).
  • Zephaniah declared: “Be silent in the presence of  the Lord God; for the day of the Lord is at hand,…” (Zephaniah 1:7, NKJV).
  • Zechariah 2:13 (NKJV) commands, “Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord, for He is aroused from His holy habitation.”

While eternal heaven has no time, the apostle John who is seeing the vision does.  Each minute of that half hour of silence must have increased the sense of agonizing suspense for John.

Heaven, which had resounded with loud praises from the vast crowd of redeemed people and angels, became DEATHLY STILL.  the hour of God’s final judgment had arrived–the hour when the saints will be vindicated, sin punished, Satan vanquished, and Christ exalted.  The greatest event since the Fall is about to take place and all heaven is seen waiting in suspenseful expectancy.

LET’S CONSIDER THE FUTURE

NOTE:  When the Lord has accomplished His present purpose of building His Church and removing it from earth to heaven, there is still much to be done.  Remember, His basic purpose for the tribulation period is to prepare for the establishment of His earthly millennial kingdom.  This preparation will include the following events, which will be examined in greater detail later.

  • The period of time between the Lord’s return for His Church and His second coming to earth to rule is usually called “the Tribulation Age” or “the Tribulation Period,” for the Scriptures describe this as a time of unprecedented, worldwide trouble (Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:21-22, 29).
  • As we shall see, the unsaved will suffer from intense divine judgments.
  • Israel will be severely persecuted and saved Gentiles will suffer martyrdom.
  • The entire period of some seven years will be a time of unrest, strife, violence, wickedness and anguish, especially during the closing three and half years. This seven-year period is that part of the Day of the Lord when God will judge His earthly enemies and will establish a new world order with the Lord Jesus Christ as ruler.
  • He then will prepare those who are left on earth for salvation (John 3:16, Acts 1:8).  Why?
  • The Rapture has taken place and the church is already in heaven.
  • If the Millennial Kingdom will be populated from earth dwellers who are left after the Rapture, then they must become acquainted with entrance into heaven by salvation (John 3:16; Matthew’s two-gate explanation of salvation, Matthew 7:13-14; Romans 10:9-13).
  • The broadcast of salvation will be done by various means during the period of time between the Lord’s return for His Church and His second coming to earth to rule.

Now let’s consider God’s purpose for the Tribulation Age.

The purpose for the Tribulation Age is to prepare earth dwellers for:

  • Jesus’ second coming to earth.
  • The establishment of His earthly MILLENNIAL KINGDOM.
  • This preparation will include the following events, which will be examined in greater detail later.
  1. The worldwide Ministry of the Gospel of the Kingdom (Matthew 24:14).
  • There will be an intensive evangelistic ministry during the first half of the Tribulation Age (Matthew 24:14; Revelation 7).
  • This will give people everywhere the opportunity to be saved and to prepare for the Lord’s earthly kingdom.
  1. The Bringing of the Elect of Israel to Repentance Hosea 5:14-6:3).
  • This is necessary for the Lord’s return to earth (Deuteronomy 30:1-3; Joel 2:12-32).
  • Also, the fulfillment of God’s covenant promises to The Jews  (Micah 7:18-20.
  •  These promises include their salvation (Romans 9-11; Jeremiah 31:31-34).
  • Their restoration to Palestine (Deuteronomy 30:1-10; Ezekiel 36:16-38; 37:15-18).
  • WITH David as their King (2 Samuel 7:16; Ezekiel (34:23-24; 37:24-25).
  1.   The Visitation of God’s Wrath upon Wicked Gentiles (Isaiah 13:9-13;26:11).
  • In the past God used Gentiles to chasten disobedient Israel (2 Kings 17:5-18; Isaiah 10:5-18).
  • When these nations were satanically motivated with hatred and credited their victories to their pagan deities, they, too, incurred God’s wrath and became subject to His judgments.
  • During the Tribulation Age, God is going to use the nations’ intense persecution of Jews, under the leadership of Satan, to bring the elect remnant of Israel to repentance.
  • Then He will pour out the woeful expressions of His wrath upon these Gentiles for their abusive treatment of Israel and for their unprecedented wickedness (Isaiah 13:11; Ezekiel 38:16-39:7; Zechariah 12:9; Revelation 6:1-17; 8:7-13:18; 16:1-21; 19:11-20:3).

TIMING OF THE TRIBULATION PERIOD:

According to the pre-tribulation rapture view, which I hold, the Tribulation Age will extend from the Church’s rapture to and including the Battle of Armageddon, which immediately follows the Lord’s second coming to earth. This age consists of both unknown and known qualities of time.

An unknown quantity of time exists between the Church’s rapture and the Beast’s confirmation of a peace treaty with Israel according to 2 Thessalonians 2:3. It would appear that the revelation of the Beast out of the sea (Satan’s earthly human agent) to be the beginning of his biblical prophetic career.

According to Daniel 7:23-24, the beast will begin to fulfill biblical prophecy by obtaining the leadership of a Middle East ten-nation federation.  At this time, the beast will confirm an existing treaty that assures Israel will be living at peace with her Arab or Muslim neighbors.  How much time these events will take is not revealed and so it is best that we do not speculate.

The known quantity of time is indicated by the “seventieth week” of Daniel 9:24-27.  This begins with the Beast’s confirmation of this peace treaty with Israel and will span seven years.  Apparently the Tribulation Age will continue a little more than seven years.

Good Questions:  Are You Ready for Heaven?

Or, will you have to go thru these awful years of the Tribulation?

APPLICATION/CHALLENGE:

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.  Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Corinthians 13:5). 

Let’s consider salvation to ensure your arrival in heaven.

The following are contained in God’s Word and they should be recognized as verses that tell you how you can go to Heaven:

  1. John 3:16
  2. Romans 3:23; 6:23 – all people are sinners and need God’s free gift of salvation.
  3. Ephesians 2:8-9
  4. Romans 10:9-13
  5. There are two paths one can travel to heaven or hell, Matthew 7:13-14.
  6. Ask yourself which path YOU are following!!!