Last Days Prophecy
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Opening of the Seven-seal Book
(Revelation Ch. 6)
As we come to chapter 6, the scene shifts to the earth, and the question is: What happens on the earth when the church leaves? The 7 year (1 week, Dan.9:24-27) Tribulation Period starts immediately after the catching up of the saints (1 Thes.4:16-17). as I understand it. The opening of the seven-sealed book is the specific subject of Revelation chapter 6, on through verse 1 of chapter 8. These seven seals open up the Tribulation period. The Lord Jesus breaks the seals, and the four horses gallop onto the scene.
It is interesting to consider that upon Babylon are the first and the last judgments. Babylon, at the Tower of Babel, represents the first organized rebellion against God (Gen.11:1-9). Babylon also represents the last rebellion against God, both religiously (Rev.17), and politically (Rev.18). This brings to an end man's little time on this Earth.
The important thing for us to remember is the One who is worthy to open this book. He is directing everything now.
The Book of Revelation is the revealing (unveiling) of Christ Jesus. He is no longer walking among the lampstands, for they have all been removed from this Earth. He is no longer the High Priest, standing as Intercessor (Heb.4:14; 10:21). In the Tribulation Period, He is the Executor of God's will upon the Earth as He opens the seals of the book. All the judgments of the Tribulation period accompany the seals out of which come the trumpets, the persons and the bowls.
The Great Tribulation is activated from Heaven. Christ Jesus directs the entire operation. This is the reason that Psalm 2:9 says: "Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron...." There are millions who do NOT like this. Too bad. It is fact! No one on Earth will be able to put down the rebellion that is taking place! Only Jesus can do it!
What we see taking place from now on in the Book of Revelation from chapter 6-18 is God’s holy and righteous wrath poured out in judgments on the Earth.
The church will be delivered from this period of judgmental wrath! (1 Thes.1:10; 5:9; Rev. 3:10). WHY? Is it because they are such nice, sweet, kind and obedient people? NO! NO! NO! They are sinners because ALL people are sinners (Rom.3:10, 23) . . . BUT they are saved sinners by the grace of God. Only those who reject the grace of God go into the Great Tribulation period.
There are certain features that are brought into focus which increase the intensity and the ferocity of the Great Tribulation.
Revelation 6:1-11 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. 2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. 3 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. 4 And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword. 5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. 6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. 7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. 8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. 9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. (KJV) . . . This Passage in NO way has anything to do with the pre-trib rapture of the church. This Passage begins the Tribulation period . . . NOT the Rapture!
Isaiah 13:6-9 Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. 7 Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man's heart shall melt: 8 And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames. 9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. (KJV) . . . The day of the LORD shall come as a critical judgment from the One and Only Almighty God!
Some Bible-believing, devoted Christians place the beginning of God’s judgments of the world (the Great Tribulation) at the opening of the first seal of Revelation 6. But when we do a careful study of Scripture, the things that happen on the day of the Lord, really do not agree, or match up with the opening of the first seal.
(1.) In Matthew 24:5-7, Jesus describes the first four seals in the same order as they are presented in Revelation 6:2-5 (false christs, wars, famine, pestilence and death). But Jesus finishes by stating that: “All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (Mat.24:8). “Sorrows” is another term for “birth pangs” or the pains a woman experiences right before giving birth to a child. As we see in the Passage from Isaiah 13:6-9 above, the day of d the Lord will bring on the full “birth pangs and sorrows.” The apostle Paul confirms this when he describes the day of the Lord:
1 Thes. 5:2-4For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. (KJV) . . . TRUE birth pangs, sorrows and travails come at the day of the Lord.
I think that the first seals are NOT a part of the day of the Lord, and is further confirmed in Mark.
Mar 13:4-7 Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled? 5 And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: 6 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 7 And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet. (KJV) . . . This and Luke 21:7-9, is a parallel Passage to Matthew 24. Here Jesus clearly lists the events of the first 2 seals of Revelation 6 (false Christs, wars and rumors of wars) and says “the end shall not be yet.” In other words, these things will take place before the day of the Lord really begins. I think that the day of the Lord starts at the opening of the 6th seal.
If we venture further into chapter 24 of Matthew, Jesus describes the day of The Lord with the same signs we see from the Old Testament and Revelation Chapter 6.
Mat 24:29-30 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (KJV) . . .
The phrase “after the tribulation of those days” is highly debated because so many people who study Bible prophecy have the phrase “the tribulation” or “the Great tribulation” or “the 7 year tribulation” imbedded in their minds because it has become a commonly used term for the end times. BUT, please consider that the phrase “the tribulation”, as a proper noun, is NEVER used in the Old Testament to describe the end times judgment and it is not used there as a title. Our Lord Jesus merely describes the times that pave the way for the day of The Lord as “tribulation” (troubles). I think part of the reason for the confusion is the writing style of the apostle Matthew, as it jumps around chronologically. But Jesus does confirm the same signs: a dark sun, the moon no longer giving light and the “stars of heaven falling” and too, the “powers being shaken”. These powers like principalities, are a reference to angelic beings (Eph. 6:12).
My opinion: It seems to me that the general Tribulation Period starts with the opening of the 1st seal in Rev.6:1, with the Antichrist making a 7 year peace contract (7 years = 1 week) contract with Israel, then 3 ½ years later, he breaks the contract (Rev.6:3-4; Dan.9:27); and that is when the Great Tribulation begins with the opening of the 6th seal, when God’s holy wrath will come down full force.
Topics on the Coming Rapture
Beware of False Doctrines
Church Replaces Israel?
Conditions Before Rapture
Confusion Over Doctrines
Day of the Lord
Day of the Lord 2
Focuses on Jesus
God Deals with Church and Israel Differently
Mark of the Beast
No One Knows When!
Opening Seventh Seal
Reason for the Day of the Lord
Receiving New Bodies
Timing of the Day of the Lord
What Is the Day of the Lord?
Why I Believe in the Pre-trib Rapture