Ready? Here is our agenda: (it’s a busy one)
- 6 Seals,
- the 144,000,
- the great multitude,
- the 7th seal (ushering in the trumpets),
- 6 trumpets,
- the angel and the little scroll,
- the 2 witnesses,
- the 7th trumpet (ushering in the bowls,
- (A GREAT handout just below)
- I also updated the Handout/printouts last night for you
I will make this post a little longer since we cover a lot, but I am going to lighten it with a little humor like I did in the Old Testament. I miss those days 😂. I will try to keep this simple, BUT I am home, so PLEASE ask me any questions. By the way, if you are feeling lost like a ball in weeds on some of this, don’t. Of the 404 verses in Revelation, more than 278 of them make some allusion to the Old Testament. That is 68.8% of the verses! Cool huh.
Jesus begins to open the seals. With each seal opened, the scroll is able to be unrolled a little more, revealing bit by bit the judgments God has in store during the tribulation period. The first four of the seven seals release what are known as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse because the judgments appear symbolically as a horse and rider bringing devastation in their wake. Keep in mind: The Seals and the Trumpets happen rapidly (in a 3.5 year time period).
The First Seal – introduces the antichrist (or someone on his team) onto the scene as a rider of a white horse. This rider wears a crown and has a bow (no arrows-no war) and will deceive many with a time of PEACE.
The Second Seal- Despite the promises of peace from the antichrist, WAR will break out after this seal breaks. A red rider on a horse slays a significant number of people.
The Third Seal- A rider on a black horse will spread FAMINE throughout the earth. With whatever population is left on the earth after the warfare, they will have to survive by bare means of food.
The Fourth Seal- DEATH, riding upon a pale horse, wipes out one-fourth of the earth.
(War brings famine. Famine brings death)
The Fifth Seal- Those martyred will ask God how long until He judges the earth. They are told to be patient…I have more work to do.
The Sixth Seal-Catastrophic natural events occur earthquake, the sun turning black, the moon turning blood-red, and mountains and islands disappearing into rubble. The times are so horrible people are praying for death.
Pause there. Before opening the 7th seal, there is a second vision going on that he must write down. I think of it like I am watching TV, and suddenly we have “Breaking News Alert”-
“This is John, reporting from WGOD; we have a large number of people from the 12 tribes of Israel that have been protected and sealed so they can proclaim that Jesus was the messiah after all. Even though the genealogical records were lost when the temple was destroyed in 70AD-those in the “control tower” knew which tribe they belonged to or had a copy backed up in the cloud, no pun intended. It appears that Judah was listed first, not the firstborn son of Rueben. Also, from the video recording, the tribe of Levi was included in the numbers, so that means one tribe had to be bumped off the list. My teleprompter is telling me it is the tribe of Dan. Let me see if I can find an eyewitness to explain this. Oh, look, here is one now: Excuse me, by the way, I like your wings. Can you tell me what you witnessed here? (Obviously, the angel has a deep southern accent in my head)
“Well, there I was- holding the corner of the sky when the 144,000 were saved. Evidently, Judah was listed first since the Covenant runs through his line.” “Mr. Angel, why would it not go through Rueben the firstborn? “Well, you see, the darn fool slept with his daddy’s concubine and lost that right” “Sir, can you tell me where Dan is?” “I was fixin’ to ask you the same thing, but I reckon he cannot be trusted with this mission since he has always loved worshipping idols, the darn fool.”
A great multitude:
Keep the bigger picture in mind. This is about the Revelation of Jesus Christ. What happens when He reveals himself- a great multitude of people during these 3.5 years get saved! The Heavens worship Him for this! Then the 7th seal is opened. EVEN heaven is in awe that they fall silent for half an hour!! (I have trouble believing my oldest daughter will be able to for 30 minutes!)
The Seventh Seal- The 7th seal sounds the trumpet! Recall the trumpet from the Old Testament. What did it mean? (Think back to stories like Jericho). Whenever they were about to battle, and the Lord was with them, they sounded a Trumpet. It was the Lord’s battle to fight for them.
The First Trumpet- Hail, fire, and blood will rain down on the earth and wipe out one-third of all plant life.
The Second Trumpet-A burning mountain falls into the sea, turns one-third of the ocean to blood, and one-third of all sea life dies.
The Third Trumpet – A star called wormwood poisons one-third of all the freshwater supply. The water supply will be poisoned and undrinkable.
The Fourth Trumpet-One-third of the moon, stars, and sun darkens.
The Fifth Trumpet- (I am going to hone in on this one because it’s fascinating)
- The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. Who is the star? From Isaiah, we know Lucifer is the star. Many of the angels who sided with him were locked up when he fell from heaven (way before this). Others were cast down to roam the earth with him. Note: Jesus was ALWAYS in control (think back to Job when the devil had to come to give his account where he was hanging out). Well, Jesus (still in control) allows Satan to unlock his friends for a short time.
- 2 When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. 3 And out of the smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. 4 They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 They were not allowed to kill them but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes. 6 During those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.
- 🤬 about to get real!
- 11 They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek is Apollyon (that is, Destroyer). (who has John 10:10 in their head??)
12 The first woe is past; two other woes are yet to come.
The Sixth Trumpet-Four fallen angels are released and wipe out people from sulfur (the same material used to wipe out Sodom) and fire pouring out of their mouths. They manage to wipe out one-third of mankind.
YET many still did not repent. 😢
COMMERCIAL BREAK- Again, we end the 6th seal. Another vision is starting to play on a different screen, and John picks up his quill to write and…
Chapter 10- NOT ALL IS REVEALED! John is specifically told…Don’t write down what you just heard! Oh, the humanity! What do you think it was??
During the commercial break, it is snack time:
“Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but ‘in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.’” 10 I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. 11 Then I was told, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings.”
God’s final judgment really is bittersweet. The enemy will be defeated, but many unbelievers will perish.
The Two Witnesses
The 2 witnesses come to preach the Gospel. for 3.5 years (42 months). So they began preaching when the 1st seal opened. The 7 years of Tribulation are divided into ‘Tribulation/Great Tribulation. ALL this is JUST the first half!
(I am not going to expound on this but if you want more to research, go back to the 70 weeks of Daniel). This is happening AS the seals and trumpets are being opened. Does that make sense? John just has so much to write down!
4 They are “the two olive trees” and the two lampstands, and “they stand before the Lord of the earth.”
I KNOW we read this Bible fast, and it was like drinking out of a fire hydrant. BUT when you start over one day and do this again, when you read books like Zechariah, you will see the BIG picture when you read things like the “crazy visions.” This was one of the visions: Zechariah asks about the meaning of the olive trees and the branches supplying the oil, and the angel who speaks to him says, “These are the two anointed ones who stand by the Lord of the whole earth” (Zechariah 4:14). In other words, God’s power to sustain His work is flowing through two individuals set apart for the task.
The two witnesses preach UNTIL they were finished with their testimony (42 months)…then they will be killed, and their bodies showed (I assume on electronic/social media devices) to the whole world.
Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.
What? Who are the two witnesses, you asked? I don’t know?? There are three primary theories on the identity of the two witnesses in Revelation:
- Moses and Elijah: The witnesses will have the power to turn water into blood (11:6), which duplicates a miracle of Moses (Exodus 7). And the witnesses will have the ability to destroy their enemies with fire (11:5), which corresponds to an event in Elijah’s life (2 Kings 1). Also, the fact that Moses and Elijah both appeared with Jesus at the transfiguration (Matthew 17). Last but not least, Jewish tradition expects Moses and Elijah to return, based on the prophecy of Elijah’s coming in Malachi 4:5 and God’s promise to raise up a prophet like Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15-18)
- Enoch and Elijah: are seen as possibilities for the two witnesses because of the unique circumstances surrounding their exit from the world. Enoch and Elijah, as far as we know, are the only two individuals whom God has taken directly to heaven without experiencing death (Genesis 5:23; 2 Kings 2:11). Hebrews 9:27, which says that all men are appointed to die once. The fact that neither Enoch nor Elijah has yet experienced death seems to qualify them for the job of the two witnesses, who will be killed when their job is done. In addition, both Enoch and Elijah were prophets who pronounced God’s judgment (1 Kings 17:1; Jude 1:14–15). Interesting, I know!!
- Two unknown believers whom God calls to be His witnesses in the end times. God is perfectly capable of taking two “ordinary” believers and enabling them to perform the same signs and wonders that Moses and Elijah did. There is nothing in Revelation 11 that requires us to assume a “famous” identity for the two witnesses.
OK…I can’t help it. When I was trying to find pictures of the two witnesses, this was my favorite!!
Since you won’t ask questions: I WILL 😁
We end the read with a question from me I am hoping one of you can answer for me:
19 Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the Ark of his Covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a severe hailstorm.
The last time we read about the Ark of the Covenant was when King Josiah brought it back to the temple in 2 Kings 23. The temple was demolished in 586 BC by Nebuchadnezzar, right? So, where did the Ark go? So even if Nebuchadnezzar had it, when they rebuilt the Temple (Ezra and Nehemiah), was the Ark brought back to the temple?? If not, what did the High Priest do on the Day of Atonement? When the Veil tore at the Crucifixion, I just pictured it there the whole time? Where was it?? (I know it’s with Jesus now…but was the temple without an Ark that entire time?? No wonder Indiana Jones can’t find it.