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End Time Events – Seals, Trumpets, Great Tribulation, Antichrist, Rapture. Jul 23, 2017. OTG Ministry.
The opening video shows scenes that closely resemble the things that will occur during the upcoming time of Tribulation (Rev 6:1-19:21). It is important to know that small children will not be present during the tribulation, nor will be people whom will have been born again and know Christ as their Lord and Savior prior to the Tribulation. Small children and born again believers in Christ will have been caught up in the rapture and taken to Heaven by Christ (John 14:2,3,6) prior to the onset of the Tribulation. In the video we see events which many of the world might claim to be natural disasters being caused by climate change, or by “mother nature.” But, it must be understood that it is God whom will be responsible for everything that will happen during the tribulation. Also, “there is no mother nature!”
The purpose of this article is to look back to the first seal of the judgments of the Tribulation, and then show the events that have taken place in this study since Christ broke that seal (Rev 6:1). We will move forward, through the judgments of the trumpets that will be concluded in 14:20, and continue through the judgments of the bowls of wrath, which is God’s wrath being poured out on this world (Rev 15-16). We will see the destruction of Religious Babylon (Rev 17) and Commercial Babylon (Rev 18). We will see the conclusion of the Tribulation at the Battle of Armageddon (Rev 19) as Christ, His angels, and His raptured saints descend from heaven to earth to fight the nations that are attacking Israel (Zech 14:1-3; Rev 19:11-21). As has been shown in prior articles, the time and judgments of the Tribulation come as a result of a sovereign decision of God. Every act of judgment, or wrath, that will take place during the Tribulation, will be due to a decision of God, and only of God. Of the judgments, each seal is broken by Christ (Rev 6:1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 8:1). Each trumpet is sounded as a result of Christ having given the trumpets to angels, who release each judgment on the earth (Rev 8:2). Each bowl judgment of God’s wrath comes as a result of each bowl of wrath being poured out on the earth by an angel (Rev 16:1). The judgments of the seals, trumpets, and bowls are God’s tools to draw left-behind Jews to saving faith in Christ, and to judge sin. Gentiles in the Tribulation will be subject to the same judgments, and may also be drawn to saving faith in Christ.
The purpose of the Tribulation is to bring Israel, and unsaved Jews around the world, to saving faith in Christ. The focus of the Tribulation is on Israel, and has no purpose for small children or born again believers in Christ. The Tribulation is also known as “The 70 Weeks Of Daniel,” with the 70th week being the last seven year period that covers the time period of Rev 6:1-19:21 (Jer 30:7; Dan 9:24). All people that will be present during the Tribulation (Jew and Gentile) will have been left behind from when the rapture of the church occurs (Jn 14:2,3,6; 1 Cor 15:50-54; 1 Thes 4:13-18). Anyone, Jew or Gentile, whom will be left behind from the rapture, will be left behind because they will not have been born again. They will have the opportunity to come to saving faith in Christ during the Tribulation, although persecution or death may be the outcome for such believers from the forces of the Anti-Christ (13:7-8, 13:15-17). The purpose of the “seventy weeks of Daniel” is stated in Daniel 9:24: “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” A detailed study of the 70 weeks of Daniel is shown in the Walvoord Daniel Commentary (9:24-27), and clearly focuses on Israel as being the purpose of the 70 weeks, which ends in Tribulation. The church, “born again believers in Christ,” has no place or purpose in the 70 weeks or Tribulation. A careful focus on the summary of 9:27 is recommended, per: https://bible.org/seriespage/9-prophecy-seventy-weeks
The events of the Tribulation are shown in capsule form in Matt 24-25. Note, Mt 24:3 of The Ryrie Study Bible, states that Mt 24:4-14 lists characteristics of the first half of the Tribulation period, whereas verses 15-28 deal with the second half. The judgments of Matt 24:6-7 are outlined in Rev 6:1-8 (Ryrie note, Mt 24:6-7). Mt 24:15 “abomination of desolation.” This relates to the “man of sin” (2 Thes 2:4), the Antichrist, who at this midpoint in the Tribulation breaks the covenant that he made with the Jewish people at the beginning of the Tribulation (Dan 9:27) and demands that they and the world worship him. Those who resist will be persecuted and many will be martyred; that is the reason for the urgency of the instructions in verses 16-22. The church will have been translated (raptured, mine) before the time begins (1 Thes 4:13-18), per Ryrie note on Mt 24:22.
The Judgments of the Tribulation are as follows: (The Ryrie Study Bible). https://www.moodypublishers.com/authors/r/charles-ryrie/
The Seven Seals (Rev 6:1-8:6) Antichrist. War. Famine. Death. Martyr’s prayers. Great earthquakes.
The Seven Trumpets (Rev 8:7-9:21) A third of vegetation burned. A third of the sea judged. A third of fresh water judged. A third of the luminaries darkened. Increased demonic activity. A third of mankind killed.
The Seven Bowls (Rev 15:1-16:21) Malignant sores. Sea turned to blood. Fresh waters to blood. Men scorched with fire. Darkness over the kingdom of the Beast. Invasion from the east. Greatest earthquake and widespread destruction.
We will now continue with our discussion of Revelation 14. .
The next phase of the vision given to John in this chapter (14) introduces “another angel” flying in the midst of heaven, literally “in mid-heaven,” having the everlasting gospel to preach to the entire world. The reference to “another” seems to be to an angel in addition to the seven angels introduced in 8:2 and also in contrast to “another angel” in 8:3 and 10:1. J. B. Smith notes that the remaining portion of the chapter “presents a seven-fold division consisting of the appearance of six angels including a vision of the Son of man between two groups of three angels each.” (John Walvoord Commentary, Revelation Chapter 14).
Revelation 14:6-20 (NKJV)
Concerning The Eternal Gospel
6 Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people—
6 Comment. Ryrie Study Bible. “the everlasting gospel to preach.” God’s last call of grace to the world before the return of Christ in judgment.” (notice, carefully…”the last call of grace.”)
7 saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”
8 And another angel followed, saying, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”
8 Comment. Ryrie Study Bible. “Babylon is fallen.” This fall is described in detail in chaps 17-18. For “Babylon,” see 17:5. Religious Babylon is discussed in Rev 17. Commercial Babylon is discussed in Rev 18.
Concerning Beast Worshipers
9 Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”
12 Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.
12 Comment. Ryrie Study Bible. Saints will be able to endure, knowing that God will punish their enemies (vs 9-11). See 13:10. (these saints are those people who have come to saving faith in Christ during the tribulation, mine).
13 Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”
10-13 Comment. Ryrie Study Bible. The wicked will be tormented in the lake of fire forever (Rev 20:10-15, mine), with no hope of annihilation or restoration. In contrast, the righteous will have rest forever.
Concerning The Harvesting Of The Earth
14 Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. 15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” 16 So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped. 17 Then another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. 18 And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.” 19 So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
20 And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.
20 Comment. Ryrie Study Bible. Apparently a reference to Armageddon (16:16; 19:17-19), when the blood from the slaughter will flow 180 miles, to the depth of about 4.5 feet. The blood of horses added to that of the large armies of human soldiers could easily cause such an enormous river of blood.
We have now completed a review of the Tribulation that discusses the seal and trumpet judgments. The bowl judgments of God’s wrath will be discussed in our next Revelation article. However, it is important for us to add greater detail to the harvesting of the earth of Rev 14:14-19, as follows.
The Elect: The Jews In The Harvest
Matthew 24:30-31 (NKJV)
30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
24:30-31 Comment. Consistent with the second coming of Christ will be the gathering of Jews from all over the world. Notice in vs 31, “His elect.” Those whom are identified in Deuteronomy 14:2 are the elect people of God, “the chosen people of God.” However, in the harvest, not all Jews are saved (are born again). The Jews of the harvest were left behind from the rapture because they had not accepted Christ as Lord and Savior; they were not born again. During the tribulation, some of those Jews which did not come to saving faith in Christ prior to the rapture will accept Him as their Lord and Savior, and will be born again; others will remain in a state of unbelief; “they are not born again.” The saved and unsaved Jews are identified in Mt 24:40-41; John 3:3 provides clarification.
Matthew 24:40-41 (NKJV)
40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left.
40-41 Comment: Those Jews which are taken, are taken in death to the Judgment of Rev 20:10-15; they had not been born again during the tribulation. Those Jews that are left, are left to enter the Kingdom of God (the 1,000 year reign of Christ) because they were born again during the tribulation. John 3:3, “unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” In the rapture, those that are taken, are taken to heaven with Christ (1 Thes 4:17). Those that are left behind (Jews and Gentiles) are left behind on earth to come under God’s judgments during the tribulation (1 Thes 1:10, “Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” 5:9-10, “9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him).
If we were to say that those whom are chosen for salvation will be present during the tribulation, that would violate the teaching of the rapture of the church when the born again believers in Christ are removed from the earth during the rapture (John 14: 2,3,6) prior to the tribulation. The elect of Matt 24:31 are clearly identified as being Jews, per Deu 14:2:
Deuteronomy 14:2 (NKJV)
2 For you are a holy people to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
We will now consider the comments of Dr. John Walvoord (deceased), as they relate to born again believers in Christ not being present on earth during the Tribulation.
1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 N(NKJV)
9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.
5:9-10 Comment. Walvoord Commentary, 1-2 Thessalonians. John Walvoord. https://bible.org/seriespage/chapter-5-day-lord
Verses 1-5 reveal that the day of the Lord will come suddenly, unannounced, and inescapably on an unbelieving world. But, we as Christians will have no part in it, because we do not belong to that period of time. Verse 9: Paul was saying expressly that our appointment is to be caught up to be with Christ; the appointment of the world is for the day of the Lord, the day of wrath. One can not keep both of these appointments. We make our appointment for salvation, and the rapture when we trust in Christ as our Savior from sin. Certainly after the church is raptured, some in the tribulation will turn to Christ, and Rev 7:9-10 states that there will be an innumerable company of martyrs. Many will be saved after the church has to gone to heaven, but they will experience the awfulness of that period. As the wrath of God is poured upon the earth, it will involve them too. Many believers who come to faith in Christ during the tribulation will also die during that terrible time. The reason they will be subjected to those things is that they were not ready for Christ when He came for His church. But, we who have trusted in Him, who have believed in Christ as our Savior, are not appointed to that day of wrath. We are appointed to meet Christ in the air and to be forever with Him.
Dr. Walvoord clearly makes the case that at the time of the rapture, all born again believers in Christ will be caught up to Heaven with Christ, and will be forever with Christ (1 Thes 4:18). Christ will not be present on earth during the tribulation; neither will be the born again believers in Christ who come to saving faith in Christ prior to the rapture (John 14:2,3,6). “We can’t be in two places at the same time” (in heaven and on earth).
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