Posts Tagged 'Antichrist'

Panic Podcast: Christ in the Revelation, Part 5

Good morning, everybody! Welcome to our “last-day-of-summer” podcast. Today I want to look at Christ as He is portrayed as “the warrior Messiah” in Revelation chapter 19 and 20. It’s an exciting study, to before you listen, please read those two chapters. May the Lord bless you as we study His Word together.



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Studies in Daniel and Revelation

The Beasts of Revelation

Remember, chapter 13 is still considered a “parenthetical passage,” a pause in the consecutive order of the Revelation. What we are reading is a continuation of the “vision within a vision” John saw in heaven, symbolizing what will be happening on the Earth during the Tribulation. This vision is full of symbols and they must be treated as symbols and not taken literally, even though the people and events they symbolize will be real people and events.

The Beast from the sea, 13:1—10, 18

The “sea” is a symbol of population. The Beast from the sea symbolizes a nation and specifically the leader of that nation who will rise to world-wide prominence. It also symbolizes a supernatural spirit which will be the inspiration for the Beast. We know that this particular Beast symbolizes or represents the personal Antichrist. Here is what we know about him—

  • At this time, we do not know who the Antichrist is or will be. Though many Christians find inventive ways to “prove” that the Antichrist is the Pope, or President Obama or Javier Solana, the fact is it is highly unlikely he is a man now prominent in world affairs.
  • Daniel 7:24 teaches us that the Antichrist will NOT be revealed until AFTER the formation of the ten-nation confederacy is formed within the boundaries of the old Roman Empire. The Beast, the Antichrist, will rise to prominence quickly from one of the ten-nations and attempt to gain control of all of them during the first half of the Tribulation. His rising to power from “sea of humanity” symbolizes his dominance over the ten-nation confederacy near the middle of the Tribulation.
  • The Antichrist will be the head-of-state of one of the ten nations at the beginning of the Tribulation and will gain power over the other nine during the last half of the Tribulation. During this time, he will claim god-like supremacy over the lives of people, and will be worshiped by the citizens of the ten-nation confederacy (Dan. 8:25; 11:36—45; 2 Thess. 2:4).
  • During part of the last half of the Tribulation, the Antichrist will make Jerusalem his seat of power (Dan. 11:45). In fact, his capital will be in the Temple of God (2 Thess. 2:4). This is where the abomination of desolation will be placed (Dan. 9:27; 12:7—13; Matt. 24:15—22; Rev. 11:1—2; 13:12—18).
  • Even though the Antichrist will be a man and not a supernatural monstrosity, he will be inspired and empowered by Satan and the other rulers of the ten-nation confederacy. However, it must be noted that it is God who will allow Satan to empower this man and inspire him in his plans (Dan. 8:24; 2 Thess. 2:8—12; Rev. 13:1—2). It is also God who will allow the other national leaders to give the Antichrist power of their countries in order to destroy Israel.

Common titles of the Antichrist

Throughout Scripture, this Son of Perdition is given different name, each one describing his character and his nature. Among his titles are the following—

  • Antichrist. This is the most common and most descriptive title for he will be Christ’s greatest opponent on Earth. Although the word occurs only four times in the Bible in relation to this personal Antichrist of the future, whenever it is mentioned, he is the one people think of.
  • The Assyrian. Isaiah 10:20—27; 30:18—33; 31:4—20; Micah 5:3—15. While the prophecies of these Scriptures concern the Assyrian king in the day they were uttered, it becomes clear that there is a future fulfillment of these prophetic words and a future “Assyrian King.” He will oppress Israel in the years just preceding her final restoration. The territory that made up part of the old Assyrian kingdom will be part of the Antichrist’s country, hence this title.
  • The King of Babylon. Isaiah 14:4. This is one prophecy that had a partial fulfillment in the overthrow of Babylon by the Medes and Persians. Its complete fulfillment will occur during the restoration of Israel (“day of the Lord”), which will happen with the Lord return
  • The Oppressor, Faithless Man. Isaiah 16:1—5.
  • Gog. Ezekiel 38 and 39 will be fulfilled at Armageddon.
  • The Little Horn. Daniel 7:8, 24; 8:9, 23.
  • A Stern-faced King. Daniel 8:23
  • The prince that will come. Daniel 9:26—27.
  • King of the North. Daniel 11:36—45. This is the king of the Syrian division of the old Grecian Empire. He is called the king of the north because he will come from this northern division of Greece, north of Palestine.
  • Man of sin or lawlessness. 2 Thessalonians 2:1—12
  • Son of Perdition or “man doomed to destruction.” 2 Thessalonians 2:1—12

Beast from the earth, 13:11—17

This is a second beast, distinct from the first. He is called “the false prophet” in Revelation 16:13; 19:20; 20:10, which are the only passages in the Bible to mention him. He will be prophet for the Antichrist, but he will be a false prophet. Here is what we know about this man—

  • He rises to prominence after the rise of the Antichrist. John refers to him as “another” beast. The word allos (“another”) means “another of the same kind.” This suggests that many of his characteristics will be the same as those of the Antichrist.
  • He will rise to prominence “from the earth,” meaning he will come from “the people of the earth,” it does not mean that he will be some kind of supernatural demonic who rises from the grave. The two beasts will be two men, not demons or resurrected evil men from the past.
  • He will be lamb-like and genuine in appearance only and will be perfectly suited to fill the role of a leader of a new religion.
  • He will have similar power to that of the Antichrist and he will allow Satan to work through him to the benefit of the Antichrist.
  • He will exercise “miraculous powers” that will deceive many into thinking the Antichrist is man from God or God Himself. Satan is known as the deceiver of men, but his deception will reach its zenith during the final three and one half years of man.
  • He will have a statue or image of the Antichrist erected in the Jewish temple, where people will “worship” it according to Matthew 24:15. Apparently, this statue or image will be so lifelike it will appear to be alive; those who do not pay it homage will be killed.
  • The false prophet will institute a program to will mark and identify the Antichrist’s supporters and distinguish them from those who don’t support him. This marking will result in the martyrdom of many, but not all, who refuse to take the mark. The so-called “worship” of the Antichrist will be a mixture of political adulation and religious devotion. Many scholars have noted that this “worship” will not be willing on the part of many, but they will feel forced and coerced into it. Unfortunately, the doom of all who willingly or unwillingly participate in this apostate worship has already been determined, Revelation 14:9—11.

The mark or brand that will be on some will take one of three forms:

· A “mark,” which will be seen by others.

· The “name of the beast,” that is, of the Antichrist.

· The “number of his name.” The common notion is that the letters of the Antichrist’s name will add up to 666 because the in both Greek and Hebrew there is not separate system of numbers; the letters of their alphabet have a numeric value.

The mark or brand of the Beast will be given sometime during the latter half of the Tribulation. Many people today speculate what form the mark or marks will take, but there is no way anyone can guess what it will look like from where we stand today.

The seven-headed, ten-horned Beast, 17:1, 3, 7—17

The Beast mentioned in chapters 11—20 is fleshed out in chapters 13 and 17. Remember, the Beast is a symbol of a man because the nature of a beast characterizes this man of the future; he will be “beast-like,” that is, cunning, wild, amoral, and undisciplined.

We have already discussed this Beast as the Antichrist. However, this Beast as a symbol symbolizes a total of three things:

  • A man. The Beast is the Antichrist, the “beast from the sea.”
  • A supernatural being. The Beast is also the “beast out of the Abyss,” the one empowering and inspiring the Antichrist.
  • An empire or nation.

The Beast, while without question symbolizes the Antichrist, must also symbolize these other two things

The Beast from the Abyss, 11:7; 17:8

Speculation abounds as to who or what this Beast is. The Abyss is not a place where human spirits go, so whoever this Beast is, it cannot be a human being, reincarnated or otherwise. The Abyss is, as taught in the Bible, a kind of prison for demonic spirits (Luke 8:31; Rev 9). It is to be the future place home of Satan for a thousand years, as well. At the present time, however, there are there are only imprisoned demonic spirits there.

This Beast, then, has to represent some sort of demonic spirit. Perhaps he will be a kind “arch demon,” under the direct control of Satan. It seems he will be the controlling influence behind the Antichrist, giving him all the power and charisma he needs to rise to political heights. In fact, a key statement concerning this demon is this—

…[H]e once was, now is not, and yet will come… (17:8)

This is a cryptic statement that means exactly what it says: this demon was on the earth at one time, now he is not, but he will be released back onto the earth in the future. This demon will be the controlling impulse behind the Antichrist, who will form another nation, symbolized by the beast. This is nothing new; the kingdoms of this world currently belong to Satan. It is true that nothing happens without God allowing it to happen and from to time God interferes in Satan’s plans for his kingdoms, but when Satan was tempting Jesus in the wilderness, he offered the Lord the kingdoms of the world and Jesus did not deny his right to do so (Luke 4:5—6).

From the dawn of Israel’s history, five prominent kingdoms or nations were used of Satan to destroy God’s plan. Satan has been battling God’s plan for the redemption of His people by trying to wipe Israel off the map because from Israel would come their Savior. Throughout history, we can see how Satan has used five kingdoms to do this. However, as we have seen, God has taken advantage of Satan’s plans to destroy Israel and turned Satan’s nefarious plans around to merely discipline and chastise His people. The five kingdoms were: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece. These are the five kingdoms before the time of John. The sixth kingdom, Rome, was in existence during John’s time but Rome was Israel’s protector for a time, not her persecutor. A seventh kingdom or nation will arise during the Tribulation in the form of 10 smaller nations. This nation (the ten-nation confederacy) will continue to do what all of Satan’s kingdoms have always done: persecute Israel. The Beast will establish and rule an eighth nation, and it will become the most godless nation that has ever existed on earth and will persecute Israel more intensely than any other nation. This eighth and final nation will exist solely to destroy Israel and put a stop to God’s plan for the redemption of Israel, God’s people.

One of the key passages of Scripture that shows the demonic control of nations is Daniel 10:1—11:1. In the last verse, 11:1, we read this—

And in the first year of Darius the Mede, I took my stand to support and protect him.

Michael was the Prince behind the nation of Israel and it was Gabriel’s job to strengthen him, and ultimately, Israel. This section in Daniel illustrates the fact that angels and demons have direct influence over and responsibilities for different nations on earth. God ordains certain angels, like Michael, to bring about the rise or fall of nations in order to bring about God’s will for His people on earth. These verses all illustrate how Satan tries to prevent that from happening in order to thwart God’s plans.

Now, consider this passage—

So he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come; but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince.) (10:20—21)

That is a reference to the coming of Alexander the Great. But notice the phrase “the prince of Greece.” Who does that refer to? Alexander, yes, but also to the force behind Alexander, a “demonic prince.” And it is that “demonic prince,” who will return to earth after John’s time (remember Rev. 17:8) to pull the strings of the Antichrist as he will be the antitype to Alexander.

The extent of the Antichrist’s reign, 13:5—18

In understanding the full extent of the influence of this future political leader, the Antichrist, the common thinking is that he will reign over the world. If we read the prophecies of the Bible without studying them, it is easy to come to that conclusion. However, as powerful as this man will be, and he will be powerful, he will not be a “world-wide dictator.” Consider—

1. Revelation 13 limits the empire of the Antichrist to the ten nations that are yet to be established within the territory of the old Roman Empire.

2. Daniel 7:7—8, 17—27 limits the Antichrist’s reign to the ten nations of the future confederacy.

3. In Daniel 11:40—45, it is stated that when the Antichrist breaks his peace treaty with the Jews (Daniel 9:27) and enters Palestine in the middle of the Tribulation and passes a law that all must worship him that—

Many countries will fall, but Edom, Moab and the leaders of Ammon will be delivered from his hand. (11:41b)

Clearly if these countries escape the Antichrist and they are bordering the Antichrist’s seat of power, it is reasonable to conclude that nations across ocean or on the other side of the world will also escape his dominion.

4. Most of Israel will escape the Antichrist when he takes Jerusalem by escaping into Moab and Edom, where they will find protection, Daniel 9:27.

5. Daniel 11:44—45 speaks of “many” nations not under control of the Antichrist, and he engages them in war.

6. Zechariah the prophets wrote than many people, even some within the Antichrist’s ten nation confederacy, will refuse to take his mark and survive. Note the wording of this passage—

Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, they will have no rain. (Zechariah 14:16—17)

7. “All” as it is used is various Scriptures does not mean necessarily mean “all.” Sometimes, when the Bible uses “all” it uses it as a synecdoche. That almost unpronounceable literary term simply means that sometimes a part of something is used to represent the whole and vice versa. The definition is as confusing as the word itself, so here are some examples—

  • Genesis 6:17. If we took this verse literally, then we would have to conclude that Noah and his family and all the animals on the ark died. Not to mention all the fish and sea animals.
  • Joshua 6:21—25. Not everybody in Jericho died because we know, for example, Rahab and her family were spared.
  • 2 Samuel 6:5, 15. Not everybody in Israel was involved, for not every citizen could play a musical instrument and babies and the sick and infirm and elderly could not be brought together as the text suggests.
  • Daniel 2:37—38; 4:1, 11—12, 20. We are told that Nebuchadnezzar ruled over all men, but we know that was never true. He never ruled over Greece or Rome or many other nations.
  • Matthew 3:5—6. Not everybody in Judea was baptized. No Pharisee or Sadducee would have done such a thing, and many people in that area never heard of John the Baptist much less baptized by him.
  • Luke 2:1—3. Laws made by Roman emperors were only binding on Roman citizens or those living under Roman law.

There are numerous examples, but hopefully the above handful give you a sense of what “all” often means in Scripture.  This is why the careful Bible student must have a thorough knowledge of “all”  Scripture before making conclusions.  It is always dangerous to build a doctrine upon one verse.  The wise believer, desiring to have a full understanding of the Word of God sees the need to compare Scripture with Scripture.  Naturally, this proper kind of Bible study takes time and effort, which explains why so many of our church members and even clergymen are so ignorant of what is really in the Bible.   There is nothing worse, or as dangerous, to the well-being of the Body of Christ  than a lazy Christian.

(c)  2009 WitzEnd

Studies in Daniel and Revelation

What must soon take place, Part Two

Last time, we looked at what is going to happen during the first half of the seven-year Tribulation. Now, we will look at the events that will characterize the last three-and-one-half-years.

Parenthetical Passage, 10:1—11:13

This lengthy pause in the consecutive order of the Revelation takes place between the 6th and 7th trumpets and gives additional information about some events that will occur during the trumpet and bowl judgments.

The Mighty Angel, 10:1—11

This “Mighty Angel,” though not named, is undoubtedly Jesus Christ, who was last seen breaking open the seals of the scroll in chapter 5. John is told to take the scroll and eat it, which symbolically indicates that he received what was written on it, that is, the rest of the Revelation.

This scroll is the same one that Daniel was told to “seal up” in Daniel 12:4—9. The reason it tasted sweet to John at first and later turned sour was that the deliverance of his people, the victory of Christ and the establishment of the Kingdom was “sweet” to John, but the judgments inflicted upon sinful man were “sour,” or distasteful.

The Temple, 11:1—2

This temple is not Herod’s Temple, as it was destroyed in 70 AD, over twenty years earlier. Nor is it the temple described by the prophet Ezekiel in Ezekiel 40—48, because Christ will establish that one at His Second Advent (Zechariah 6:12—13). This temple will be the one rebuilt by the Jews just prior to the Tribulation and will be destroyed, either by earthquake (Rev. 16:18—19) or by the Antichrist when he takes Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:1—5).

The Two Witnesses, 11:3—13

These two witnesses are exactly what they are purported to be: men. They are not covenants or churches or two groups of people. By examining some details and facts about these men, we can determine with some certainty who they will be.

· The will be Christ’s witnesses, 12:3

· Their ministry will run throughout the last half of the Tribulation, 11:1-3; 12:6, 14; 13:5; Dan. 7:25; 12:7.

· They will prophesy and preach, Mal. 4:5, 6

· They will be wearing garments symbolizing their mourning of the terrible judgments about to come, 11:3.

· They are represented before the Lord as the two olive trees and the two candlesticks, 11:4. This verse, along with Zechariah 4:3, 11-14 indicates that these two men were standing before the Lord in Zechariah’s time, around 546 BC, and will still be there in John’s day, around 90 AD.

· They will have amazing power to not only foretell the future, but also to cause droughts and disease on the earth, 11:5-6.

· As soon as their work is completed, the beast from the Abyss will kill them, 11:7-10. This proves they are men and not angels; that they are mortal human beings, not glorified men or men resurrected from the dead.

· Their corpses will be on full display, for all to see. After three-and-one-half days, they will be resurrected and taken up to heaven, just as John was, as indicated by the phrase, “Come up here,” 11:12.

· Their rapture from the earth will cause a major earthquake, 11:13, and many will come to believe. This is the same earthquake mentioned under the 7th bowl, 16:17-21.

In identifying these two men, three points need to be considered. First, they were seen in heaven by Zechariah 600 years before John saw them preaching on the earth in our future. Second, the fact that they are to be killed proves without a doubt that they will be men and not some kind of supernatural being. Finally, this verse taken from Hebrews 9:27–

[M]an is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.

There are only two human beings since the creation of the world who have never died: Elijah and Enoch. That Elijah will be one of the prophets is beyond doubt, as Malachi 4:4-5 indicates. Both Elijah and Enoch never died, but were translated, or taken to heaven in bodily form, Genesis 5:21-24; Hebrews 11:5; 2 Kings 2:11. Both Enoch and Elijah were known to be prophets of judgment (Jude 14-15; 1 Kings 17-18). It seems logical to conclude that both these men will have to physically die, otherwise Hebrews 9:27 is a lie.

The 7th Trumpet and the Third Woe, 11:14-20:3

Despite the phrase The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever, this 7th trumpet is not the last trumpet that heralds the return of Christ and at this point in the Revelation, the Tribulation is far from over. This will be exclaimed by those in heaven in anticipation of Christ’s ultimate victory.

Under this final trumpet judgment call, come all the events and judgments of the last half of the Tribulation, including all the bowl judgments.

Performers of the Tribulation, 12

In chapter 12, we have a complete “mini revelation” given to John in the form of several performers. What John sees he sees in heaven, but what these performers symbolize will be real people and events that will occur on the earth. Many commentators make the mistake of not taking Revelation in consecutive order, and claim what John saw in dramatic form was a kind of history of Israel. If Revelation is to be understood, then it must be taken literally where possible and read in consecutive order, just like we would read any other book.

The Woman Clothed in the Sun

This woman, seen in heaven, symbolizes the nation of Israel as it will exist on the Earth during the Tribulation. There are four reasons to support this conclusion:

· Israel is often referred to as a “woman” throughout the Old Testament, Isaiah 54:1-6; Jeremiah 3:1-14. In fact, the entire book of Hosea was written to show how Israel had become like an adulterous wife.

· There are three classes or groups of people on the earth according to 1 Corinthians 10:32; Gentiles, Jews, and the Church. At the time of the vision, the Church will be gone, leaving only Jews and Gentiles on the earth.

· The sun, moon, and 12 stars must symbolize the same things they did in Joseph’s dream in Genesis 37:9-11.

· The nation of Israel, regathered during the Tribulation, will fulfill in reality what the happens to the woman symbolically. In verse 6, the woman flees into the desert. This is clearly in fulfillment of what will happen to Israel according to Isaiah 16:1-5; Psalms 60:8-12; Ezekiel 20:33-38; Daniel 11:36-45; Hosea 2:14-23; Matthew 24:15-22.. The result of this persecution will be the conversion of Israel as a nation in a single day when Christ returns, Romans 11:26-27; Revelation 19:11-20:6; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10.

The Male Child

There are several theories as to who the Woman’s male child represents. Among the popular ideas that many believe, but that are incorrect, include: Jesus Christ, the True Church, and those who are baptized in the Holy Spirit.

Since the sun-clothed woman represents Israel, her male child must also be Jewish, therefore it cannot be the Church, either in part or whole, and since the Beast will try to kill the male child, it cannot be Jesus Christ. The male child must be alive, not some kind of resurrected or supernatural person or persons. The male child represents a remnant of believing Jews who will “come out” of Israel. Given what we see happening to this male child, the symbol can find its fulfillment only in the 144,000. This vision is the fulfillment of Isaiah 66:7—8.

What we see happening to the male child is what will happen to the 144,000, a small group to “come out” of Israel, that will be “caught up to stand before the throne in heaven (Revelation 12:5, compare with 14:1—5). The child is delivered from the Dragon at the time of the travail of the woman (12:1—6). The same thing will happen to the 144,000 (14:1—5). The child will be persecuted by the Dragon (12:1—6) and so will the 144,000, but God will mark them and protect from demonic assault (9:4). Neither the male child or the 144,000 are mentioned again as being on the earth after the 7th trumpet sounds. The male child is to rule the nations (12:5), and so will the 144,000, along with the saints when Christ comes back. The male child is seen in heaven (12:5) and so are the 144,000 (14:1—5). The male child is a baby compared to the size of the woman, and so will be the 144,000 when compared to the whole nation of Israel.

Consider what Daniel wrote in his vision of the translation or rapture of the 144,000—

1`And at that time [the beginning of the great Tribulation] stand up doth Michael, the great head, who is standing up for the sons of thy people [Michael is seen delivering Israel], and there hath been a time of distress [the three-and-one-half years of the Tribulation in Dan. 12:7—13; Rev. 11:1—3; 12:5—6, 14—16; 13:1—7)], such as hath not been since there hath been a nation [Matt. 24:15—26; Jer.30:7] till that time [when Michael stands up to cast out Satan and deliver the male child], and at that time do thy people [Israel] escape [Heb. Malat, meaning to escape also implies translation], every one [144,000] who is found written in the book. (Daniel 12:1, YLT)

The Dragon

The word “dragon” is 13 times in the New Testament and all in the book of Revelation. It is always a symbol of Satan. This is the first time he is mentioned in Revelation. It should be noted that Satan is not a dragon, he is a spirit being. He is symbolized as a dragon, just as Jesus Christ is represented as a Lamb.

The seven heads and ten horns symbolize the same nations as the seven heads and ten horns on the beast in Rev. 13:1—4; 17:1—8.

A War in Heaven

The “war” or more properly a “skirmish,” in heaven in Revelation 12 does not refer to the casting of Lucifer from heaven, along with the angels that followed him. This event occurred in the dateless past. What John is seeing in the form of a vision is another “war” in heaven that will occur in the middle of the Tribulation. It will take place in Heaven and will include the archangel Michael leading the army of God against Satan and his fallen angels.

As a result of this struggle, Satan and his minions will forever be barred from Heaven. They have access to it today: Rev. 12:10; Job 1:6; 2:1. Little wonder the second half of the Tribulation will so much worse than the first; Satan and many of the demons will be given free reign on Earth.

(c)  2009 WitzEnd

Studies in Daniel and Revelation

What must soon take place, Part One

That phrase, “What must soon take place,” refers to the future events Jesus revealed to John while John was in exile on the island of Patmos. During his exile, the apostle was given a glimpse of what the world would be like in the future, both his and ours. It is interesting to note that both John and the Old Testament prophet Daniel both saw prophetically the same future time and both men were in exile when they were given their visions.

The future begins with Revelation 4:1, so everything John saw from that point on is what will be happening in the future, even though John writes as though the events were happening at the moment he saw them.

1. The future in heaven, 4:1—5:14

A. The Heavenly Tabernacle. From chapters 4 and 5, we learn that there exists and will exist in heaven a literal tabernacle, after which the on Earth was patterned, Hebrews 8:1—5; 9:1—10, 22—24; 10:1.

  1. The heavenly door, 4:1.
  2. The heavenly throne, 4:2—5. This throne is seen throughout the book of Revelation. It is also described in Daniel 7:9—14; Isaiah 6; Hebrews 8:1; 12:1—2.
  3. The heavenly elders, 4:4—11; 5:8—10; 7:13; 11:16—19; 14:3; 19:4. These elders are redeemed individuals; the word “elder” is never used to describe angels or other worldly creatures. Their white robes represent their righteousness.
  4. The sea of glass, 4:6. This area is located in front of God’s throne and is where the saints and angels gather to worship the Lord at various times (7:9—17; 15:2—4).
  5. The living creatures, 4:6—8. These created beings sole purpose seems to be to declare God’s holiness. They are seen throughout the book.
  6. Worship, 4:9—11; 5:8—14.
  7. The scroll, 5:1—4; 10:1—11. This scroll or book is central to the Revelation for within its pages are contained the events that make up our future. This particular book is not the “Book of Life,” nor does it contain any names or promises or anything other than the Biblical text indicates. The “seals” that secure the scroll are the seals of 6:1—8:1.
  8. The Lamb, 5:5—7. This is the symbol of Christ, the root of David, as taught in Gen. 49:10; Micah 5:1—2; 2 Sam. 7:8—17; Ps. 89:35—37; etc.

2. The Lesser Tribulation, or the first half of Daniel’s 70th Week, 6:1—9:21

The seven seals and the first six trumpets take place in succession during the first half of the Tribulation. The seventh trumpet introduces the second half of the Tribulation, also known as the Great Tribulation.

A. The First Six Seals, 6:1—17.

  1. The first seal, 6:1—2. The rider of the white horse seen as this seal is opened in represents the rise of the Anitchrist at the beginning of the Tribulation. The events of this seal fulfill the prophecies of Daniel 7:8—9, 23—25; 8:8—10, 20—23; 11:35—45.
  2. The second seal, 6:3—4. This is picture of the war that will result following the rise of the Antichrist, Dan. 7:24; 11:40—45.
  3. The third seal, 6:5—6. This symbolizes a great famine following the war.
  4. The fourth seal, 6:7—8. Death and Hell are symbolized by riders on horseback. Death and Hell are always the result of any war. See also Matthew 24:6—7.
  5. The fifth seal, 6:9—11. Here is a picture of the first martyrs of the Tribulation. These are people who will find the Lord after the Rapture and during the Tribulation. They will be killed sometime between the Rapture and fifth seal.
  6. The sixth seal, 6:12—17. This seal introduces the time of God’s wrath. The first five seals describe the wrath of man, which will be bad enough but nothing compared to the misery that many will face when God pours out His wrath because of the persecution of His people. There will seven horrific events that happen under this seal: an earthquake, the dimming of the sun, the darkening of the moon, a meteor shower, and cataclysmic events in the sky and changes in the geography of the earth.

Parenthetical Passage, 7:1—17

Chapter 7 is the first of several “parenthetical passages” in the book of Revelation. These are so named because they contain additional information about events just revealed. They are a pause in the action that gives the reader an expanded view of particular events or persons that will help them to understand what John saw.

This parenthetical passage sheds some light on events in-between the 6th and 7th seals that will be happening concurrently during the main events of those two seals. These two events are as follows:

  • The sealing of the 144,000 Jews, 7:1—8. We know these people will be Jews because they are taken from the tribes of Israel. They get saved after the Rapture and will be sealed or marked by God as they pass through the coming trumpet judgments so they would not be harmed (9:4). The 144,000 will be caught up to heaven under the 7th trumpet. The seal will be the name of the Father written on their foreheads.
  • The Tribulation saints, 7:9—17. These Gentiles will find the Lord, like the 144,000, after the Rapture and will die for Christ, the majority of them slain by the Antichrist.

C. The 7th Seal, 8:1

The 7th Seal, 8:1. The 7th seal seems pretty mild; silence in heaven.

Parenthetical Passage, 8:2—6

This is the second pause; it explains the work of the priestly angel and the preparations for the upcoming trumpet judgments. These are events that will happen after the 7th seal and just before the first trumpet.

The following trumpet judgments are literal; they are just as literal as the plagues upon Egypt and will be for the exact same purpose: to protect Israel during the first half of the Tribulation.

D. The First Four Trumpets, 8:7—12

  1. The first trumpet, 8:7. Hail, fire and blood, the destruction of a third of the earth.
  2. The second trumpet, 8:8—9. One third of the sea turned to blood.
  3. The third trumpet, 8:10—11. One third of the fresh water rivers poisoned.
  4. The fourth trumpet, 8:12. Destruction of one third of the planets.

Parenthetical Passage, 8:13

The third parenthetical passage is a brief one, a single verse; a pronouncement of three woes.

E. The Final Two Trumpets, 9:1—21

  1. The fifth trumpet, also known as “the first woe,” 9:1—12. Demonic creatures will be let loose upon the Earth. They will torment human beings but will not kill them.
  2. The sixth trumpet, or “the second woe,” 9:13—21. Two hundred million supernatural demonic creatures will be freed from the Abyss and will proceed to slay one third of all human beings.

This event will conclude the first half of the Tribulation. The worst is yet to come.

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