I meant to make a chronological outline to describe the judgments of God that begin in Revelation 6. This is what you get.
I am one of those people who always wanted to understand end times events (Eschatology), but the explanations I received almost exclusively used King James English, which only helped to cloud the answers or they were thinking about events based upon traditional teachings, [Consider that I was born in the early 1950s. The world I grew up in was shaking in their boots over the potential of a nuclear war with Russia. Part of the evidence for that thinking and fear was that Russia had placed missiles, which we all assumed were nuclear weapons, on Cuban soil – Cuba was a Russian ally then, and still is.] Russia, and the Roman Catholic church, then, as almost every prophecy teacher thought, played some role in end times prophecy, and they would go to extremes to show you the listener why.
Something for your consideration.
Islam came on the scene about 670 AD after Muhammad received his direction and guidance from an “angel named Daniel” who choked him nigh unto death, as the angel convinced Muhammad to follow his instructions.
As many of you know from experience and history, Islam has done nothing but slaughter people and grow in power; that is, until 1924 when the Ottoman Caliphate was crushed by the British (with a bit of help,) made illegal, forced to separate, and disbanded.
What most of us fail to realize is that Islam never went away, and factions, under the banner of the Muslim Brotherhood, continued to thrive using Egypt as its base. In 1979 the US embassy in Iran was captured, and the Americans there were taken hostage for over a year. This event though called many things – such as the Islamic awakening. An Ayatollah, named Khomeini once again ruled Iran; and, it was now under a Caliphate once again. None of us here in the United States understood the ramifications of this event. During that year as hostages America was coming up on a presidential election; then-President Jimmy Carter had to face California Governor Ronald Reagan for the Presidency. What most people don’t realize, is that Ronald Reagan, the former actor, played several cowboy roles, and since old cowboy movies, with Farsi voice-overs, were the staple in Middle Eastern movie houses, the Iranians, and Muslims everywhere, feared the no-nonsense cowboy style which drew first and shot, then asked questions later. Within days of President Reagan’s election, the American hostages were released.
As fortunate as the release of hostages was, something had changed forever, as Islam began the slow, tedious process of taking over the world once again. Why Eschatology teachers refused to look at relatively NEW evidence, such as the Islamic revolt, and old evidence that Josephus and Tacitus brought us about how it was Assyrians (ancestors of the Muslims) that brought about the destruction of the temple in 70 AD. Yes, as conscripted troops they operated under the Roman banner, but Josephus tells us that Titus, upon learning of their actions, attempted to stop them from destroying the temple.
Well that was a bit more than I expected to say, and it is not exactly where our study is going, but perhaps it helps to direct your thinking about the possible pool of contenders for the role of Antichrist as we go on.
As a lead into Revelation chapter 6, you need to know that at this point in the chronology, the church has been removed from the Earth.
The idea of the church being removed from the Earth is comprehensive, and should not be presumed to mean everyone. Pay attention to what Matthew told us, as it applies.
Matthew 7:21 NASB “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father, who is in heaven, will enter.
What that means specifically, I am not sure, but here is one more example to confuse you – the parable of the ten virgins.
Matthew 25:1-13 NASB “Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. (2) “Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. (3) “For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, (4) but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. (5) “Now, while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. (6) “But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ (7) “Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. (8) “The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ (9) “But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ (10) “And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. (11) “Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ (12) “But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ (13) “Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.
Obviously, there is a problem here. One might reasonably assume that the virgins represent the church, but if that is the case, then 50% of the “church” will miss the rapture (Many would preach a message like this for the purpose of motivating you through fear. I don’t see a need for that type of motivation, but I do want you motivated.) Does that mean that half of the church is going to hell? I don’t think so, but it would mean that they will have to endure the wrath that God is almost simultaneously going to start pouring out upon the earth and its inhabitants, including Israel, for rejecting Jesus and his sacrifice paid on their behalf.
You need to understand something.
What is coming upon the earth is WRATH. However, Jesus took all the wrath that our sin demanded, upon Himself. Those of us who have accepted His sacrifice – of His life and body, are deemed to be “in Him,” and therefore, no longer subject to God’s wrath. God’s wrath is the time period we mistakenly call the tribulation. Sure, there is a point within this time, in which it is said, the tribulation will be so great that unless God intervenes, and He does, that NO ONE would survive; but that is all under God’s wrath. Jesus told us that tribulation of various shapes, sizes, and pains would be a constant aspect of our lives as believers. Why? Because Satan sees us targets that look like Jesus and is trying to kill us.
On that note, let’s dive into Revelation chapter 6.
Seals; Trumpets, and Bowls. God’s wrath upon the Earth.
God’s wrath is contained within, seven seals, the seventh of which opens the seven trumpets. The seventh trumpet, like the seals, begins the seven bowl judgments. The bowl judgments, like hot tar being poured out, covers the Earth, and everyone is affected.
To get a context, Revelation chapter four opens with after these things. Since chapter three ends with the Laodicean church – the last church age, then the admonition, “after these things” primarily means the end of the church age; and, the beginning of the time of wrath and the migration into the millennial reign of Christ.
In Revelation chapter five, John sees a scroll, sealed with seven seals, and the awareness that no one is worthy to open the seals; that is until Yahshua comes on the scene. When He does it is not as the powerful king that He is, it is as the slain Lamb, the one who paid the price for us.
Jesus takes the scroll and opens the first seal. (This event and the character it unleashes is the first thing the world experiences after the rapture of the church. Keep in mind that what is released with each opening is an aspect of God’s wrath, nothing less.)
With the scroll now open, what is the first thing we see?
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.” 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. (Revelation 6:1-2 NASB)
This rider on a white horse with a bow in his hand is nothing less than the Antichrist.
Many have interpreted the bow as the gospel of Christ, but it is not. What did I say about the time period? It is a time of God’s wrath, and God, quite frequently, uses people to help carry out His plans; this is no different.
One more thing to consider, since Satan never made anything original, why would he start now, and this white horse scenario is nothing more than a copy of God’s intent and plan. We need to look at Revelation 19:11.
Revelation 19:11 NASB And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness, He judges and wages war.
Jesus is the only one who is “faithful and true,” and, He is finally here to end the nonsense.
One of the names of the Antichrist is the beast, so watch what happens.
Revelation 19:19-20 NASB (19) And I saw the beast and the kings of the Earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. (20) And the beast was seized, and with him, the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.
So, there is no doubt that this guys reign of terror comes to an end.
What do we know about the Antichrist? A majority of our information will come from Daniel’s prophecies.
Daniel 8:23-24 NASB “In the latter period of their rule, When the transgressors have run their course, A king will arise, Insolent and skilled in intrigue. (24) “His power will be mighty, but not by his own power, And he will destroy to an extraordinary degree And prosper and perform his will; He will destroy mighty men and the holy people.
- An insolent king will arise.
Insolent is the Hebrew word ‛az and means strong, mighty, fierce. There is no mistake about this, this man is serious trouble, and should not be perceived in any other way.
- “skilled in intrigue.”
Intrigue is the Hebrew word chı̂ydâh and means riddle, difficult question, parable, enigmatic saying or question, perplexing saying or question. Most of us who experienced the Obama administration would probably define it as one of intrigue, as his spokespeople talked in riddles and perplexing sayings. It is out of these ramblings that we got the costly and useless nuclear arms deal with Iran; a deal that is now haunting us under the Trump administration.
He will make a treaty with many?
Daniel 9:27 NASB “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.”
The passages about the “treaty” say absolutely nothing about Israel, and we should not assume that Israel will gain anything by this treaty.
My opinion: It is commonly understood that Islam only calls for peace treaties to reload their weapons, and this will be no different.
- One week, in Biblical speak, equals seven years.
What a coincidence, as seven years is the length of time that God’s wrath upon the earth is supposed to last.
- A firm covenant with many is nothing less than a realignment under the guise of a peace treaty. (Keep in mind that accords are most often made amid warfare.)
But do you see Israel’s name in there? Nope.
- “in the middle of the week he will break this covenant of peace, and put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering;”
There is something blatantly evident in this statement. This guy suddenly has the control and ability to stop temple sacrifices in Jerusalem. The implication is that Israel is, to some degree, overrun, and the invading force is allowing them to function in the rebuilt temple.
But what if there is something else that is restraining this insolent king from this kind of takeover? Oh, there is.
Revelation 11:3-12 NASB (3) “And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” (4) These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. (5) And if anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies; so if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way. (6) These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying; and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire. (7) When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. (8) And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. (9) Those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb. (10) And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate, and they will send gifts to one another because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. (11) But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them. (12) And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” Then they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them.
Does the Antichrist have a bitter end? Oh, absolutely.
Revelation 19:19-20 NASB (19) And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. (20) And the beast was seized, and with him, the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.
With this, we will end the look into the first seal.