Prophecy – Part 84 – Helpful Review; various scripture passages
NOTE: Because of our insertion of material appropriate for preparing for Satan’s attack, we are going to go through a helpful review before continuing further in our study of Revelation.
With this review we will be considering the divine Judgments of the Tribulation Age, notable, some we have already reviewed somewhat.
NOTE: Adapted from the Practical Christian Theology – pages 456-459
FACT: The Lord will send upon wicked earth dwellers three series of unprecedented judgments during the Tribulation age.
FACT: This will be for
- their gross sins,
- their defiance of God, and
- their persecution of His people both Israel and saved Gentiles.
“And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; And I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible” (Isaiah 13:11).”
“Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be over past. For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain” (Isaiah 26:20-21).
All of these judgments being expressions of divine wrath:
“And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God” (Revelation 15:1). They will bring unprecedented suffering to wicked mankind.
“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matthew 24:21-22).
NOTE: The first two series, all except the seventh Trumpet Judgment, occur during the first half of the Tribulation Age. The seventh Trumpet Judgment and the Bowls of Wrath take place during the second half of this age.
How long these judgments continue is not always clear. The record of these judgments is introduced by the apostle John’s seeing God’s judgment throne set up “And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne” (Revelation 4:2) and the Lord Jesus installed as judge (see Revelation 5:2-7).
THE FIRST SERIES, RELEASED BY UNROLLING A Scroll and Breaking Its Seals (Revelation 6:1-17; 8:1)
Seal One (6:1-2) The rider on a white horse.
Taking place at the start of the Tribulation Age, this judgment seems to refer to the beginning of the Beast’s prophet political career, when by military conquest he will gain control of a Middle East ten-nation federation (Daniel 7:7-8,24, 8:9; 11:21-35). This will upset the political-military equilibrium of the Middle East.
Seal two (6:3-4): This represents the rider on a red horse.
This represents the conflict that will be triggered by the Beast’s political conquest. See verse 8 for the magnitude of this war.
Seal three (6:5-6): This represents the rider on a black horse.
This represents the famine that results from the conflict.
Seal four (6:7-8): This represents the rider on a green (KJV “pale”) horse.
This represents the death that this war will inflict by arms, disease, famine, and animals and/or insects, with “death” claiming the body and “hades” claiming the soul and personhood. Death will exert itself over a fourth of the earth (Matthew 24:6-7).
Seal five (6:9-11): This represents the early martyrs.
This is a vision of the godly people who will be slain for Jesus’ sake in the first half of the Tribulation Age (Matthew 24:8-10). Standing before God’s heavenly throne, they call for divine vengeance on their enemies. They were told to rest until the remainder of God’s people are martyred, apparently during the second half of this age (Revelation 13:7, 15).
Seal six (6:12-17): This is a vision of the time of their vengeance.
God grants the martyrs’ request with a preview of the events that are by portrayed by this Seal Judgment. These revealed events will come to pass immediately before Jesus’ second coming to earth (see Revelation 16:18-20; Matthew 4:29-30; Haggai 2:6-7). The Lord will avenge His people upon His return (Revelation 11:8; Zechariah 14:1-3; Daniel 7:26-27).
Now we jump from Seal six to Revelation 8:1.
Seal seven (8:1): There is silence in heaven.
This is the calm before the storm of the next series of judgments that will visit the earth.
THE SECOND SERIES, Released by Blowing Trumpets (Revelation 8:2-9:21; 11:14-13:18)
Trumpets were used in Bible times for signaling (Numbers 10:1-10; Matthew 24:31; I Thessalonians 4:16; I Corinthians 15:57).
Introduction to this series of Judgments (Revelation 8:2-6)
Following the Seal Judgments, the first six Trumpet Judgments will take place on earth in the first half of this age. The first four Trumpet Judgments affect a third of the earth, perhaps focusing on the Middle East. Being interpreted literally, we see that they affect various elements in nature and the people who are dependent upon them. The last three Trumpet Judgments are “woes,” affecting the entire earth.
Trumpet One (8:7: Storm, destroying vegetation; this will destroy timber, fuel, and food
Trumpet Two (8:8-9): Volcanic eruption, turning the sea to blood
Trumpet Three (8:10-11): Meteorite collision, contaminating fresh water
Trumpet Four (8:12): Curtailment of celestial light
Trumpet five, or the first Woe (9:1-12): Torment of humans
- This woe will be inflicted by demons who are released from the Abyss (vv. 1-3).
- These demons have supernatural appearance (vv. 7-10); these demons will torture unsaved humans for five months (vv. 4-5, 10).
- People will seek death but will not be able to die (v. 6).
Trumpet Six or the Second Woe (9:13-21). Slaughter of humans
- This woe will be inflicted by 200 million demons who will be led by four fallen angels (vv. 14-15).
- These leaders have an unearthly appearance (v. 17).
- They will slay a third of mankind (vv. 15, 18).
The first half of the Tribulation Age is hardly a peaceful time as some teach, for the fourth Seal Judgment and the sixth Trumpet Judgments together will destroy half the world population. Note the difference of earth dwellers (Revelation 9:20-21).
Trumpet Seven or the Third Woe (Revelation 11:14-13:18): Satan’s world rule. There is first an introduction to this judgment (Revelation 11:15-12:17).
ONE, heaven’s anticipation (11:15-19),
TWO, the heavenly signs (12:1-17):
- of the woman, Israel (12:1-2) and
- of the dragon, Satan (12:3-17).
The seventh Trumpet judgment (13:1-18) consists of Satan’s activities upon his confinement to earth (chapter 12 during the second half of the Tribulation Age (11:14; 12:12).
Revelation 13 gives the political entity: the Middle East ten-nation federation (vv. 1-2; Daniel 7:7, 23-24). And the men through whom Satan will rule over the earth – the Beast out of the sea (Revelation 13:1-10) and his deputy, the False Prophet (Revelation 13:11-18).
THE THIRD SERIES, RELEASED BY POURING OUT BOWLS OF DIVINE WRATH (REVELATION 16)
Notice closely that this series of Judgments described as bowls (vials) of God’s wrath, will occur near the end of the Tribulation Age. These will be released by angels pouring out of their contents on all who received the MARK OF THE BEAST (Revelation 16:2b).
Introduction to this series of judgments (Revelation 15:1-8):
(a) martyrs’ song (vv. 1-4) and
(b) the preparation for these judgments (vv. 5-8).
- Bowl One (16:2): foul, painful ulcers (Exodus 9:10)
- Bowl Two (16:3): coagulation of sea water
- Bowl Three (l6:4-7): turning fresh water to blood (Exodus 7:20)
- Bowl Four (l6:8-9): increase in solar radiation
- Bowl Five (16:10-11): supernatural darkness (Exodus 10:22)
- Bowl six (16:12-16): drying up the Euphrates River (Exodus 14:21-22)
This is to prepare the way for the kings of the East. Their aim will be to attack the Beast (Daniel 11:44). But with Jesus’ unexpected return, they will all end up in Palestine at the Battle of Armageddon (Zechariah 12:2-3; Revelation 19:17-21).
- Bowl seven (16:17-21): Earthquake and hail (Exodus 9:23)
This judgment will include a great earthquake that splits “the great city” of Babylon, levels the cities of the nations (16:19; 17:16-17; 18:8-10) and moves the islands and mountains (16:20).
Also, there will be devastating hailstones weighing 110 pounds each. This takes place immediately before the Lord Jesus’ second coming to earth (Matthew 24:29-30; Revelation 19:11-16). This judgment will avenge the early martyrs of the fifth Seal Judgment, as shown in the sixth Seal Judgment (Revelation 6:9-17).
So great will be the devastation of these judgments that, unless these days are shortened, no human life would survive (Matthew 24:21-22). Still, as destructive and painful as these judgments will be, the wicked will not repent of their evil works (Revelation 9:20-21; 16:21). Their giving God glory (Revelation 11:13) only indicates their acknowledgment that these judgments are from Him.
THE BEAST’S CAREER DURING THE TRIBULATION AGE
No doubt, the most prominent earthly human of the Tribulation Age will be Satan’s Agent, “the Beast,” or “the Beast out of the sea” (Revelation 13:1-8), who is often called “the Antichrist” (I John 2:18).
NOTE: Other biblical designations for this person are “the Wicked One” (2 Thessalonians 2:8), “the Son of Lawlessness” “the Son of Perdition” (v. 3), “the Little Horn” (Daniel 7:8; 8:9), “a king” (Daniel 8:23), “the Prince” (Daniel 9:26), “the Desolator” [one who causes horror] (Daniel 9:27), “the King of the North” (11:21-45), “the Abomination of Desolation” Matthew 24:15, and “Gog” (Ezekiel 38:2-3; 39:1). He is depicted by the king of Babylon (Jeremiah 25:12; chapters 50-51) and by the Assyrian (Isaiah 10:5).
- How has today’s study challenged you?
- What application(s) have you made for yourself?
- If you are not sure if you are saved, please follow God’s Word to assure you arrival in heaven at the Rapture (I Thessalonians 4:13-16).
*Read John 3:16-21 and apply to your life.
*Read Romans 10
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