Revelation Prophecy – Preview of Tribulation Judgments

I. Video Data. 1

The judgments of the tribulation.

II. Overview. Revelation. Chapters 6:1-18:24. 

A. Revelation 6:1 begins the first of three series of judgments in the book (seals, chap. 6; trumpets, chap. 8-9; bowls, chap. 16). Some see the later series as recapitulating the earlier series. But, more likely, the three series are consecutive, each succeeding one following the preceding one. Rev 6:2. A reference to the Antichrist. Also see Matthew 24. 2

1. Matthew 24:3. Verses 4-14 list characteristics of the first half of the tribulation period, whereas verses 15-28 deal with the second half. 2

2. Matthew 24:6-7. See the same judgments outlined in Rev 6:1-8. 2

3. Matthew 24:14. “The gospel of the kingdom. This is the good news that will be preached during the tribulation days concerning the coming of Messiah and setting up of His kingdom. See Matt 3:2. Evidently, many will respond (Rev 7:9-10). 2

4. Matthew 24:15. “ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION.” This is the man of sin (2 Thes 2:4), the Antichrist, who at this midpoint of the Tribulation breaks the covenant 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 of verses 16-22. 2

5. Matthew 24:29-30. “THE SUN…THE MOON…THE STARS.” These astral phenomena, which will accompany the return of the Son of Man, are foretold in Isa. 13:9-10 and Joel 2:31; 3:15. 2

B. Revelation chapters (6:1-18:24) describe the tribulation, during which God will exercise His wrath toward rebellious sinners, and work to bring Israel to repentance. This section assured first century believers that persecutors of God’s people would not ultimately escape justice. Seals, trumpets, and bowls are labels that John used to describe the judgments of this time period.  3

C. The vision of the glorified Son of man in chapter 1 led to the writing of the seven letters to the churches (chaps. 2-3), Similarly, the throne room vision of chapters 4-5  sets the stage for the opening of the scroll with its sequence of seals, trumpets, and bowls (chaps. 6-16). The dramatic portrayal of God’s righteous judgment is now under way. 4

D. Chapter 6 introduces the seal judgments, which make up the first quarter of the Tribulation Period. The seventh seal then introduces the seven trumpets, which indicates that we are carried to the second quarter of the Tribulation. The seventh trumpet, in turn, introduces the seven bowl judgments, which comprise the last half of the Tribulation Period. Everything else between chapters 7 and 8 must be placed within the consecutive events of these three judgments. John saw the seven seals broken, one at a time; then, the seventh one introduced the seven trumpets, and finally the seventh trumpet introduced the seven bowls. Each of these judgments, whether breaking a seal, blowing a trumpet, or pouring out a bowl, is a symbolic announcement in heaven of an event that actually takes place on earth. These judgments take place consecutively. 5 

E. The opening of chapter 6 of the book of Revelation marks an important milestone in the progressive revelation of the end of the age. In chapter 5 John is introduced to the seven-sealed book in the hand of Christ. In chapter 6 the first six seals are opened with the resultant tremendous events occurring in the earth. The interpretation of these events depends upon the understanding of other portions of the prophetic Word. If the events portrayed are taken in any literal sense, it should be clear that they describe an event yet future, in the words of Christ “the things which shall be hereafter” (1:19). The opening of the seals ushers in the terrible judgments to fall upon this earth after the Church has been caught up to glory, as we saw in chap. 4:1. 6

1. The events here revealed also depend for their interpretation on the question of whether a translation of the church has already taken place. Though the book of Revelation itself does not determine this important question with finality, it is significant that the church so prominent in chapters 2 and 3 is not mentioned again until 22:16 except as the wife of the Lamb at the close of the tribulation. Nowhere in scenes of earth which describe the end time (chaps. 6-19) is the church pictured as involved in the earthly struggle. Further, the hope of the rapture mentioned to the church of Thyatira and the church at Philadelphia does not appear in the detailed prophetic program which unfolds in the book of Revelation. This lends credence to the conclusion that the rapture of the church has occurred before the events pictured beginning with chapter 4. 6

2. There is a remarkable similarity between the progress of chapter 6 as a whole and the description given by our Lord of the end of the age in Matt 24:4-31. In both passages the order is (1) war (Matt 24:6-7; Rev 6:3-4), (2) famine (Matt 24:7; Rev 6:5-6), (3) death (Matt 24:7-9; Rev 6:7-8), (4) martyrdom (Matt 24:9-10, 16-22; Rev 6:9-11), (5) the sun darkened, the moon darkened, and the stars falling (Matt 24:29; Rev 6:12-14), (6) a time of divine judgment (Matt 24:32-25:26; Rev 6:15-17). The general features of Matthew 24 are obviously quite parallel to the events of the book of Revelation beginning in chapter 6. Walvoord. 6

III. Context.

A. A message that is not given within its proper context, becomes a pretext, which means that “it’s not true.”

B. The above noted scholars have made the point that the events of Revelation 6:1 through 18:24 find their place in future prophetic events that relate to the Tribulation, the Antichrist, and God’s judgment on those who will be left behind from the rapture of the church. The severity of the time is described by Jesus in Matthew 24:21: “For there will be a great Tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.” The context  of Matt 24:21 will dictate that nothing, even within the worldwide flood of Genesis 7:10 through Genesis 7:24, will be as severe as the judgments that God will pour out upon the earth during the time of Matthew  Chapter 24, or anywhere within Revelation Chapters 6 through 18.Yet, there are pastors, teachers and other theologians, who will take a verse out of Matthew 24, in particular, as well as Revelation 6-18, and try to match it to a condition of the world that is taking place now; that is pretexting. A passage that can be used to relate to the events of today is 2 Timothy 3:1-5. The Matthew and Revelation passages that are addressed in this paragraph relate to the time of the Tribulation which will take place after the rapture of the church. The 2 Timothy passage addresses conditions that are present upon our earth now, and are confined to the church age, and will be present on our earth until the time of the rapture. 

C. The time and conditions which will be present upon our earth when the Tribulation begins is found in Daniel 9:27:

1. “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.” Daniel 9:27, NASB.

2. Ryrie notes. (Daniel 9:27). “he.” The Antichrist will make a pact with many (of the Jewish people) at the beginning of the tribulation period. “But 3 1/2 years later Antichrist will break his covenant, and desecrate the Temple by demanding worship of himself. (See notes on Matt 24:15 and 2 Thes 2:4). At Christ’s second coming, Antichrist and his false prophet will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev 19:20). 2

3. Before the time of the events of Matthew 24 and Revelation 6-18 occur, the Antichrist will make a pact with unsaved Israel, which has not happened yet, and will not occur until the church is raptured from Earth to heaven (John 14:1-6; 1 Cor 15:50-54; 1 Thes 4:13-18; Tit 2:13.

4. “The Day of the Lord” relates to the Tribulation and Millennium, as was written by the Old Testament Jewish Prophets (Zeph 1:14; Joel 1:15; Isa 13:6; Ezek 30:3; Joel 2:1. Rryrie. 2

5. “The Day of Christ” (Phil 1:6, 10; 2:16) relates to the return of Christ for the rapture of the Church (Ryrie).] “Rapture” is taken out of context when it is used to mean “Day of the Lord.”

IV. Conclusion.

A. God’s plan for eternity is not based on the ungodly actions of His created beings. God has already made a plan that is based on His sovereign eternal purpose; i.e., Rom 11:25, which is the “fullness of the Gentiles.” Such a fullness is the time when a Godly determined number of Gentiles comes to belief in Christ as Lord and Savior, Messiah. At such a time (Rom 11:25), the hardening of the Jews toward Jesus will be removed and the Rapture will take place, with Jesus coming in the air, taking His believers to Heaven with Him (John 14:1-6); the Antichrist will be revealed with His pact with unsaved Israel taking place (Daniel 9:27); the Tribulation will begin, with the judgments of Matthew 24 and Revelation 6:1-18:24 being poured out on earth by God, through Christ and God’s angels, on all (unbelievers, Jew and Gentile) who remain on the earth (See Rev 6:1, 6:3, 6:5, 6:7, etc.). The judgments of the Tribulation do not come at the hands of Satan, the Antichrist, mankind, or “mother nature” (there is no mother nature!). 

B. It is important to know that the judgments of Matthew 24 are shown in a capsule view of the judgments of Revelation. Those judgments have not begun yet, and will not begin until after the Rapture of the church takes place. No one should relate any event that is taking place on earth now, to any judgment that is prophesied to happen in either Revelation 24 or the Book of Revelation. The fall of Adam and Eve, with the resulting curse (Gen 3:17), has affected, and will continue to affect all of the perfection that is shown in Genesis 1 and 2, until the curse is removed in the eternal state (Rev 22:3). 

C. As opposed to Jesus coming in the air at the Rapture to take His church with Him to Heaven, these verses: “Zechariah 14:1-5, 9, Matthew 24:29-30 and Rev 19:11-21” show Christ returning to earth with believers of all times, and angels, to set up His prophesied “earthly, millennial kingdom on earth,” where Christ will rule and reign for 1,000 years. After 1,000 years, the eternal state of the New Heaven, New Earth and New Jerusalem will be the reigning place of God, and of Christ ( Rev 21:1-3, 22).

D. Much more can be said on the subject of Matthew 24, and how it relates to the prophecies of the Book of Revelation, but I will stop here.

V. Footnotes.

1. John Ankerberg Show. Dr. Jimmy DeYoung (M. Div., Ph. D., 1940-2021). 

2. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., 1925-2016). Ryrie Study Bible.

3. Dr. Daniel Green (Th. M., D. Min.). The Moody Bible Commentary.

4. Dr. Robert H. Mounce (Th. M., Ph. D., December 30, 1921 – January 24, 2019). The Book Of Revelation, The New International Commentary On The New Testament.

5.  Dr. Tim LaHaye (D. Min., D. Litt.; 1926-2016). Revelation Illustrated & Made Plain.

6.  Dr. John F. Walvoord  (Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., 1910-2002). Revelation Commentary.

VI. My Bucket List shows the references, of people and documents, that I use when I write my articles.

VII. My Websites To Follow. Eternity Equipping The Saints Website Israel Website Israel, History And Prophecy


Author: Equipping

You may contact me by emailing me on my site's email address, as follows: The Church is the Church, and Israel is Israel. The Church did not replace Israel, and is not spiritual Israel. In the New Testament, “church” and “Israel” are mentioned as being separate entities. In the New Testament “church” is mentioned 112 times; Israel is mentioned 79 times; both are mentioned as being separate entities The Kingdom “has not yet come,” and will not come until the Jewish bloodline of Israel accepts God’s chosen king (Deuteronomy 17:15), which will take place at the end of the Tribulation when the nation of Israel faces decimation and calls on Messiah, Christ, in faith, to save them (Zechariah 12:10). Individual salvation is of the Jews (John 4:22), and comes through Christ (John 14:6). Things are discussed in this website that relate to God’s creation, from “eternity to eternity,” and all that is addressed within those parameters. Consider Isaiah 43:13, “Even from eternity I am He, And there is no one who can rescue from My hand; I act, and who can reverse it?” The Moody Study Bible adds a comment: “God is the ruler of all, and there is nothing that can stand against Him. His will is irresistible. The Bible Knowledge Commentary adds this thought: “No one can reverse what God puts into action or thwart His plans.” The articles that are found in this site may relate to anything that is found in the Bible, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22.21, as well as anything else that may relate to the Bible..

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