“For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.” (Matthew 24:21). As we look back in the history of our world, many horrible things have happened. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 that drew the USA into World War II. The atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan by the USA on August 7, 1945, that ended World War II. The “911” attack on New York City by Muslim terrorists. Tidal waves and earthquakes…The global flood of Genesis 7:11…
“Step By Step,” we are studying the Book Of Revelation.” Key pillars of “The Revelation Of Jesus Christ” are being discussed, as opposed to a verse by verse study of one of the most neglected books of the Bible.
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As horrible as the previous, and other, events in world history have been, there is another event that will occur that will be far greater than anything that has ever happened…The four horsemen of the apocalypse. Antichrist. War. Famine. Death and Hell. Martyrs in heaven. Universal upheaval and devastation. The beginning of the great day of God’s wrath! I say again! “The beginning of the great day of God’s wrath!” God is in heaven in control of everything that has ever happened, is happening, and will ever happen, on Earth and elsewhere in His created world. The events of the future will be neither haphazard, nor random. They will occur, per the Sovereign work and design of God. (Mine)
No matter how frightening or devastating the time of tribulation may be, it will all be ordered by God, who will be seated on His throne. During this seven-year period, the purpose of God’s wrath will be to draw Israel to Jesus, as Messiah, and to judge sin. The judgment of the sins of believers in Christ has taken place on the cross on Calvary. The rapture of the church has removed the believers who are living from the earth. Their souls have already been cleansed and regenerated at the time that they accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, with their spirits being born again. Sin no longer indwells their spirits; but those Jews and Gentiles who have not been born again, have spirits that are full of sin and need to be regenerated with the indwelling Spirit of God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit); that will be the purpose of the tribulation. (Mine)
References: SSB (Scofield Study Bible) SRN (Scofield’s Reference Notes). MAC (MacArthur Study Bible). JER (Jeremiah Study Bible). RYR (Ryrie Study Bible).
This time of tribulation is also known as Jacob’s Trouble, and the 70th Week of Daniel, as follows:(Mine)
Jeremiah 30:7 New American Standard Bible (NASB) – Jacob’s Trouble
7 ‘Alas! for that day is great, There is none like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s distress, But he will be saved from it.
MAC. (30:7) time of Jacob’s distress. This period of unprecedented difficulty of Israel, as the verse defines, is set in a context of Israel’s final restoration. It is best equated with the time of tribulation (cf vv 8,9) just before Christ’s Second Advent, mentioned elsewhere (Dan 12:1; Matt 24:21,22) and described in detail by Rev chapters 6-19.
JER. (30:7) The time of Jacob’s trouble during the exile was a preview of the period of unparalleled suffering for Israel during the time of the Great Tribulation following the Rapture of the church (Dan 9:12; Joel 2:11; Amos 5:18). After this time of divine purging and judgment against the people of Israel, the Lord will break the yoke of foreign oppression for His people and they will live under the rule of Jesus, their Messiah.
SSB. (30:7) time of distress for Jacob. The time of trouble for Jacob is identical to the tribulation. See Rev 7:14 note:
SRN (Rev 7:14) See link below.
MAC (7:14) “the great tribulation.” These people didn’t go with the raptured church, since they were not yet saved. During the 7 year period they will be saved, martyred, and enter heaven. Though it is a time of unparalleled judgment, it is also a time of unparalleled grace in salvation (Mt 24:12-14). “washed their robes.” (cf 19:8. Salvation’s cleansing is in view (see Tit 2:11-14). “blood of the Lamb.” This refers to the atoning sacrifice of Christ (cf 1:5; 5:9; Rom 3:24, 25; 5:9).
JER (7:14). The ones who will be saved during the great tribulation, during this seven-year period, will be martyred for their faith. The Tribulation will be a time of both unparalleled affliction and unprecedented grace.
The following scripture is very important to understanding the purpose of the tribulation.(Mine)
Daniel 9:24 New American Standard Bible (NASB) Daniel’s 70th Week
Seventy Weeks and the Messiah
24 “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place.
SRN (9:24) See link below.
MAC (9:24) The purpose of Daniel’s 70th week. This prophecy tells of the future of Israel in the final end of the age. God promises 2 sets of 3 accomplishments each.
First, those related to sin are:
1. “finish the transgression,” i.e., restrain sin, and Israel’s in its long trend of apostasy, as in v 11).
2. “make an end to sin,” i.e., to judge it with finality (cf. Heb 9:26)
3. “make atonement for iniquity,” signifies to furnish the actual basis of covering sin by full atonement, the blood of the crucified Messiah who is “cut off” (vs 26), which affects the first two realities (cf. the fountain, Zechariah 13:1).
Second, those accomplishments related to righteousness are:
1. “bring in righteousness,” the eternal righteousness of Daniel’s people (Jews) in their great change from centuries of apostasy
2.”seal up vision,” i.e., no more revelation is needed and God will bring these anticipations to completion by their fulfillment in Israel’s blessing as a nation
3. “anoint the most holy place,” consecrate the Holy Place in a temple of the future that will be the center of worship in the millennial kingdom (cf. Ezek 40-48). Clearly this must be understood to sweep to the end of Gentile power and the time of Antichrist right before Christ’s return.
Summing up, the first 3 accomplishments are fulfilled in principle at Christ’s first coming, in full at His return. The last 3 complete the plan at His Second Advent.
RYR (9:24) “Seventy years.” Lit 70 sevens. This period of 490 years concerns “your people” (the Jews) and “your holy city” (Jerusalem). “to finish transgression.” To end the apostasy of the Jews. “to make atonement for iniquity.” Refers to the death of Christ on the cross, which is the basis for Israel’s future forgiveness (Zech 12:10; Rom 11:26-27), “to bring in everlasting righteousness.” In the millennial kingdom of Messiah (Jer 23:5-6). “to seal up vision and prophecy.” To set God’s seal of fulfillment on all the prophecies concerning the Jewish people and Jerusalem. “to anoint the most holy place.” The anointing of the Holy of Holies in the millennial Temple.
Seals, Trumpets, Bowls. Judgments of “the Lamb” that are poured out onto a sinful world. This judgment is accomplished by the Lord Jesus. He would not make his “bride” the object of such punishment. His “bride,” the church, has been removed from the earth when the rapture/catching up of the church took place (John 4:1-3, Ephesians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:50-54). There are seven trumpets, seven bowls, and seven judgments. Out of the seventh seal will come another series of seven trumpets, and out of the seventh trumpet will come another series of seven bowls of the wrath of God. The judgments culminate in the second coming of Christ. (Mine)
Revelation 6:1-2 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The First Seal—Rider on White Horse
1 Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, “Come.” 2 I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.
First Seal Judgment: The rider of the white horse had a bow and a crown. He went out conquering and to conquer. He is the Antichrist. (RYR)
The rider of the white horse is “the prince to come,”(Daniel 9:26) who will head up the revived Roman Empire and, ultimately, become the world ruler. He is Satan’s masterpiece and the counterfeit of all that Christ is, or claims to be. He is, therefore, cast in the role of conqueror, which seems to be the significance of a the white horse. (Walvoord Commentary)
Revelation 6:3-4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Second Seal—War
3 When He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come.” 4 And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him
Second Seal Judgment: Red horse. Indicates bloodshed (e.g.,”red horse; take peace from; sword.”)(RYR).
“He was given a great sword.” The sword was given to the Antichrist by God, who is in charge (Mine).
Revelation 6:5-6 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Third Seal—Famine
5 When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come.” I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6 And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.”
Third Seal Judgment: Black horse. Famine. (RYR)
“A denarius.” A person will have to spend a day’s wages for a loaf of bread with no money left to buy anything else (Walvoord Commentary).
Revelation 6:7-8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Fourth Seal—Death
7 When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come.” 8 I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.
Fourth Seal Judgment. Ashen horse; yellowish-green. Probably represents the inevitable result of disease that accompanies war and famine. “Death” claims the bodies, and “Hades” the souls and spirits of one-fourth of the world’s population. (RYR)
Hades is the abode of the dead. The horsemen have power over 1/4 part of the earth, to kill with the sword, hunger, and wild animals (Walvoord Commentary).
Revelation 6:9-11 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Fifth Seal—Martyrs
9 When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; 10 and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.
Fifth seal judgment. 9. “The souls of those who had been slain.” The martyrs of the first months of the tribulation period. 10. The martyrs are alive and speaking with the Lord in His presence. 11. “Rest for a little while.” i.e., wait a little while. It is difficult for these martyrs to understand why God would allow their murderers to live; yet God asks these saints to trust Him. (RYR)
Consider the following bullets of information, as is seen by John from Heaven:(Mine)
“those who dwell on the earth (vs 10).” They were persecutors of the Antichrist who murdered those who came to Christ in the tribulation…”their brethren who were to be killed, even as they had been killed (vs 11). (More tribulation saints will be murdered.) The murders will continue until the time of Christ’s return (second coming). Those who will be martyred during the tribulation will not receive their resurrection bodies until the end of the tribulation, according to Rev 20:4. In summary, there will be two classes of tribulation martyrs, as viewed by John from Heaven; those already slain, and those who are yet to be slain. The “dead in Christ” (those who had accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior prior to the tribulation) will have been raptured/caught up prior to the time of the deaths of the tribulation martyrs/saints being put to death for their faith in Christ. (Walvoord Commentary)
Revelation 6:12-17 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Sixth Seal—Terror
12 I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; 13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. 14 The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15 Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; 16 and they *said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”
Sixth Seal Judgment. 12. These cosmic disturbances are predicted elsewhere in Scripture (Isa 34:4; Joel 2:30-31; Matt 24:29). 16, When the Tribulation comes, men will act as if they believe the end of the world is at hand. (RYR)
All of the elements of a great catastrophic judgment of God are present, and that God is still in control and is undertaking a direct intervention into human affairs. Remember! The church-age “believers in Christ” are not present; they have been raptured out of the world before the tribulation began. God has inflicted His divine punishment upon a blasphemous world. (Walvoord Commentary)
Consider the wrath of God, in view that it is from the Lamb of God that these judgments are taking place on “those who dwell on the earth.” (Rev 3:10, 6:10, 8:13, 11:10, 13:14, 17:2, 17:8). The church has been raptured and translated to Heaven before the outpouring of God’s wrath. The church was very prominent in Chapters 2 and 3, but is not mentioned again until 22:16, except as the wife of the Lamb at the close at the close of the tribulation. Nowhere in scenes of earth that describe the end times (chap 6-19) is the church pictured as involved in the earthly struggle. Consider the following scriptures as they relate to the fact that believers will be delivered from God’s wrath, which point to the protection and removal of the church during these days of the wrath of God. (Mine)
1 Thessalonians 1:10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.
1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.
Revelation 3:10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
10 Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
“from the hour of testing.” As believers in Christ, we passed the test when we accepted Christ as out Lord and Savior, were born again, and were the recipients of His Holy Spirit which is “Christ in us” (Col 1:27)(Mine)
“keep you from.” Many have observed that the preposition, “from” (Gr., ek) is best understood as “out of,” rather than simply “from.” As the horrors of this tribulation period are unfolded in the following chapters of Revelation, it is evident that the promise to the church at Philadelphia is one of deliverance from this time of trouble. (Walvoord Commentary)
“the whole world.” The judgments will affect “every one,” in every corner of the earth. (Mine)
“those who dwell on the earth.” The tem, “earth dwellers,” is listed in the following scriptures: (Mine)
(Rev 3:10, 6:10, 8:13, 11:10, 13:14, 17:2, 17:8). (Mine)
Believers in Christ are called citizens of heaven, as opposed to “dwellers of earth.” (Mine)
Philippians 3:20 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;
Earth dwellers relate to those who choose the things of man, as opposed to things of God in heaven.
The Greek word for “who dwell” is katoikeó (2730), and means, “am established in (permanently).” (Mine)
Throughout Scripture, the husband is responsible for providing for the love, care, and welfare of his wife and family. Consider one of the most clearly directive of those passages: (Mine)
Ephesians 5:25 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,
The husband has the responsibility of loving and providing the utmost protection for his bride. It is consistent in view of this scripture to understand that Jesus, “the bridegroom of all bridegrooms,”will protect the church, who is His bride. It is easy to understand that Jesus will not put His bride, “the church,” in the midst of His own wrath that is being poured out on a world of unbelieving Jews and gentiles, who are not His bride.(Mine)
There may be those who say that the wrath of God does not occur until after the first four seals are poured out. It is, however, a truth that God is in control of everything that takes place, in every word, verse, and chapter of the book of Revelation. God is not simply an “onlooker..” He is totally in charge of every judgment that is described. The proof is clear, as follows:(Mine)
Psalm 103:19 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
19 The Lord has established His throne in the heavens,
And His sovereignty rules over all.(Mine)
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