This future is written down in a scroll or book which has been sealed. Jesus Christ breaks open the seals in chapter 6. Chapters 6 through 18 reveal the events of the Tribulation Period with very descriptive language.
9 - Daniel's Seventieth Week: Jacob's Time of Trouble
As you read Revelation remember that John was looking at things that were at least two thousand years in the future. He was using First Century experiences and words to describe at least Twenty-first Century events. Chapter 19 tells of the second coming of Jesus Christ and the battle of Armageddon.
Chapter 20 speaks of the Messianic Kingdom of Jesus Christ. Chapters 21 and 22 finish the Book of Revelation with a description of eternity. I will begin with chapter 6 and the start of the Tribulation Period. I want to point out that the first series of events closely parallel what Jesus Christ said would be the signs of the end.
Chapter 24 of the Gospel of Matthew lists these signs. Below each of the quoted scriptures from Revelation in this first section, I will write the corresponding signs given by Jesus in Matthew. Please note that I will maintain the order of these signs as given by Jesus as well as the order of the Book of Revelation. 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. For many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
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Many scholars believe that this rider on the white horse is the Antichrist. Notice that even though he has a bow for a weapon he has no arrows to shoot. This could be a reference to the peace treaty that he will make with the Jews and Gentiles.
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No war will be involved in his conquering of the world. The world will receive him as the man with the answers to humanity's problems. This would fulfill Jesus' prophecy that false Christs or Messiahs will appear at the end. How will it be possible for the Antichrist to come to such a position of power in the world without conquering it by force?
I believe the Bible gives us two methods he will use to attain this power. The Prophet Daniel mentions several times a descriptive phrase of the Antichrist or "little horn" as he calls him : "[The Antichrist has] a mouth speaking great things"; "I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spoke"; "and a mouth that spoke very great things" 18 The Antichrist is going to be an orator the likes of which the world has never seen.
Something similar has happened in our recent history. In , Adolph Hitler took over a political party that had around fifty members. By the membership of the Nazi Party numbered in the hundreds of thousands. Millions more in Germany and around the world believed in him.
This was all do to the fact that Adolph Hitler was a mesmerizing orator. Because of this ability millions of people died during World War II. The other method revolves around the Antichrist and his administration's ability to perform lying wonders and miracles. The apostle Paul said concerning the Antichrist: "Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.
So the world will indeed be enchanted with this false messiah who will speak great words to their ears.
When they see the lying wonders they will think that God Himself has come down to earth. 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.
For nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom As Daniel said, by peace he "shall destroy many".
After the Antichrist deceives the world, he will then raise an army with weapons and will cause a world war. The Book of Revelation states: "And they worshipped the dragon [i. Who is able to make war with him And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. 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.
This passage in Revelation is saying that people on the earth will spend great amounts of money to buy food it lists a day's wages for the First Century here. In the future Tribulation Period famine from the war will be worldwide. 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.
All these are the beginning of sorrows. The current population of the earth is around six billion people. If these events took place in the next few years, more than 1. The death and destruction from this war will result in the spread of diseases from all the dead bodies lying around. Animals will be running loose and will be so hungry they will start attacking human beings. If numerous nuclear weapons are involved in this war it could result in an increase in earthquake and volcanic activity. 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.
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And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
During this Tribulation Period, the Antichrist and his followers will persecute those who believe in Jesus Christ. He will kill many for their beliefs during this time as John saw in heaven. Jesus said that those who endure to the end will be saved. 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?
Cosmic events will take place possibly as a result of a worldwide nuclear holocaust or by the hand of God. The world will finally know that they have worshiped a false god. But instead of turning to the true God they will try to hide from Him. The horrific part for the world is that this is just the "beginning of sorrows". In chapter 7 of the Book of Revelation, God stops the flow of events that John saw taking place during the Tribulation Period to show him two unique groups of His servants. The first group consists of , Jews from the tribes of Israel who are living on the earth during the Tribulation Period.
These cannot be Gentiles because John specifically mentions twelve Jewish tribes as the origin of these persons. Gentiles are not descended from the tribes of Israel. God does something special with these Jewish servants of His. An angel of God tells four other angels who were carrying out the judgments on the earth during the Tribulation Period to stop until God can protect these Jews from harm:.
And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. The angel is to put the seal of God on the , Jewish servants of the Lord, which will protect them from the judgments that are to come with the opening of the seventh seal.
Later in Revelation we will see that the Antichrist also requires his followers to receive a mark on their foreheads or right hands. To be a servant of God after the first coming of Jesus Christ means that you believe in Jesus as the Messiah and that you live your life according to His will. During the Tribulation these Jewish servants will be fulfilling God's will by evangelizing the people who are living on the earth at that time.
These servants may have accepted Jesus as their Savior after witnessing the first few seal judgments of God.
The Time of Jacob's Trouble Trilogy
The second unique group in chapter 7 of Revelation is the result of the preaching of these Jewish servants. After witnessing this sealing of God's servants, John saw a much larger number of persons in heaven:. And one of the elders answered, saying to me, Who are these which are arrayed in white robes?
And from where came they? And I said unto him, Sir, you know. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. A heavenly elder told John that the blood of the Lamb had saved this multitude of people during the Great Tribulation Period. Since this episode occurred right after the sealing of the Jewish servants the logical conclusion is that it was their preaching that led to the salvation of many of this multitude. As mentioned earlier in this chapter, the Antichrist and his followers will persecute and kill the followers of Jesus Christ.
They will be extremely successful in this persecution during the Tribulation Period as John states that those saved and killed were too many to count. After this interlude in the future events that John was witnessing, he now starts again with the opening of the seventh seal. And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. Pre-Wrath Tribulationists say that the Rapture takes place at this moment because they believe this is when God begins to pour out His full wrath upon the earth and its inhabitants.
The fact that John mentions that there was silence for half an hour does indicate that something, the likes of which have never been seen on earth, is about to happen. The seventh seal starts the upheaval in the earth's weather patterns. This is in response to the prayers of the saints of God in which His justice would finally come upon the earth: "I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, do You not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
This also allows seven angels to prepare to blow their respective trumpets that will bring further judgments upon the earth.