Welcome to another blog from Upstream Teaching Ministry.
In the Book of Revelation, we see three sets of 7 events. The Bible uses metaphors for these events referring to seals, trumpets and bowls. Before we get into this, we’re going to tell what we don’t know! We don’t know if they all take place during the great tribulation. However, we can know that they all occur in the future from when John wrote the book of Revelation. We also know that these things lead up to the return of Jesus Christ. We also don’t know if they all happen in the same time period or possible three in a row. Pastor Richard is confident that they overlap each other but we can’t know for sure.
There’s a lot of symbolism involved in a great deal of this so we need to prayerfully ask the Lord has to how to understand all this.
So, what do we know? These events; the seals, the trumpets and the bowls of wrath represent increasing severity and frequency right up to Jesus’ return, just like labour pains before birth. Have you ever seen those Russian dolls which have another one inside each time to open one up until you have a collection of dolls from one larger doll? These signs we see in Revelation are a little like that, they keep coming and there are more and more inside the others.
We also know for sure that the plagues and diseases, wars and calamities are aimed at the ungodly. If you're a believer in Jesus Christ, this is great news folks! Revelation 3:10 says that the Lord is going to protect His saints. Praise God! 1 Thessalonians 5:9 says For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, and 1:10 says And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
As believers, we’ve been redeemed from sickness and poverty, but not persecution. It’s doesn’t matter whether we are talking about the great tribulation or just normal life here on earth, the same rules apply. So, the sickness and diseases, the plagues and disasters Revelation is referring to here, we are redeemed from those curses. They are not for the Saints of God. Hallelujah! So, there’s some good news right there!
There are some very clear and obvious types and shadows in the Old Testament regarding this time period found in the book of Exodus. You remember Moses and Pharaoh and all those plagues? Here, it’s Jesus Christ Who is saying ‘Let my people go!’ And, Satan is Pharaoh and he doesn’t want to let people go. So, God pours out plagues upon the land. But look at the Israelites in the land of Goshen. They weren’t touched by the plagues! God will pour out plagues and calamities on the earth but He will protect His children.
Revelation tells us that certain plagues are actually aimed at the ungodly. Revelation 6:12-17 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
This plague is clearly aimed at the ungodly. Matthew 24:29-30 refers to the same thing. Jesus says we will then see the sign of the Son of Man in heaven and He’ll appear. The point is simply that the 6th seal is an example of a plague specifically aimed at the ungodly.
God’s desire is to preserve the church during all this. Revelation 7:2-3 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. God has given us the real seal, it’s the real deal! We have the Holy Spirit and we will be preserved.
Revelation 9:4 talks of an army of locusts that ascend from the pit but it says they are commanded to only hurt those who don’t have the seal of God in their foreheads (the Holy Spirit).
One of the bowls of wrath is the boils are sores, but they are only poured out on those who have the mark of the beast (Revelation 16:1-2).
So, all these types and shadows show that these various plagues do not touch those who belong to the Lord but rather those who take the may of the beast.
What about the ‘seals’? There are 7 seals that the book of Revelation refers to. Let’s go through them one at a time.
The first seal is a white horse with a rider who wears a crown and carries a bow. This is the antichrist. He’s on a white horse because people perceive him falsely to be good.
The second seal is a red horse with a rider who has a sword and takes peace from the world, which represent war.
The third is a black horse and the rider has a scale in his hand. He represents poverty and lack on the earth.
The fourth is green (it says ‘pale’ but the meaning is green) and he spreads death.
The fifth is a picture of the martyrs crying out for vengeance.
The sixth seal says the sun goes black and the moon turns to blood, there’s an earthquake and men great and small hide in caves. This is just prior to the coming of Jesus.
The seventh seal is then opened and the 7 trumpets are inside the seventh seal (hence the Russian doll analogy). There’s a lot in here which we won’t go into right now but something that is comforting is that the angel of God protects all the servants of God until they have been sealed (Revelation 7:2-3). This is good news!
But, we need to address the 144,000. We’re going to go there next week. We will explain why this is not just physical Jews but rather all those who believe in Jesus Christ. It’ll be super encouraging, so you won’t want to miss it.
We’ll see you next time for some more End Time Prophecy Revealed.
Have a blessed week!
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