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PROPHECY

A Door Was Opened In Heaven

THE FIRST VISION IN HEAVEN Revelation 4:1-5:14

A. 4:1-8- The throne, the elders, and the zoa (four living ones)

        B. -8-11 The utterances of the zoa and the elders. Theme: creation.

A. 5:1-7 The throne and the book: the Lion and the Lamb.

        B. 8-14      The new song of the zoa and the elders. Other heavenly utterances. 
                                                                                             Theme: redemption.

A DOOR WAS OPENED IN HEAVEN: ...COME UP HITHER Revelation 4:1

In dealing with the subject of the Resurrection, we must divide the subject into two categories:

The Dead and the Living.

THE DEAD

The widow’s son I Kings 17:21,22
The Shunamite’s son 2 Kings 4:32-36
The man revived touching Elisha’s bones 2 Kings 13:21
Jairus’ daughter Mt. 9:24,25
Young man of Nain Lk. 7:14,15
Lazarus Jn. 11:43,44
Dorcas Acts 9:40,41
Eutychus Acts 20:9-12

ALL OF THESE DIED AGAIN - NOW LET US LOOK AT THOSE WHO CAN’T DIE

Jesus Christ Mt 28: 5,6; I Cor. 15:23
Thief on the cross Lk. 23:41-43
Saints that slept Mt. 27:52
Four and twenty elders Rev. 4:4
The slain of God Rev. 6:9
Others that should follow Rev. 6:11; 12:11,17; Mt. 10:39*; Rev. 13:10
Two witnesses Rev. 11:11-12
Die in the Lord Rev. 14:12-13
Of the brethren Rev. 19:10

THE LIVING THAT ARE CHANGED BY GOD’S POWER

Enoch Genesis 5:24
Elijah II Kings 2:11; Mt. 17:3
The Church Rev. 3:10; 7:9,14-17 (Blood of Lamb)
The 144,000 Jews Rev. 7:3-8; Mt. 24:30, 31; Rev. 14:1-5
There are many gatherings by God of His people through out Scripture.

THE CERTAINTY OF THE RESURRECTION

It is possible that when Christ arose, He took not only a first-fruit of men whom He raised bodily (Mt. 27:52,53), but also the souls of all the righteous in Hades, (Eph. 4:8; Ps. 68:18). Henceforth all believers go into Christ’s presence at death, while the unbelievers continue to go to Hades, as in Old Testament times.

THE OLD TESTAMENT TEACHING AS TO A BODILY RESURRECTION

Israel had proof of the possibility of a bodily resurrection. But the belief in such a resurrection goes back further than that. Abraham expected that God would raise Isaac from the dead on Mt. Moriah (Gen. 22:5; Heb. 11:19). Job confidently expected to see God in his flesh (Job. 19:25-27).

THE NEW TESTAMENT TEACHING AS TO A BODILY RESURRECTION

As to the teaching of a future resurrection we note the following:

1. Christ Himself taught it - John. 5:28, 29; 6:39, 40, 44, 54; Lk. 14:13 ,14
2. The Apostles taught it - Acts 24:15; I Cor. 15; I Thess. 4:14-16; Phil. 3:11;
Rev. 20:4-6, 12, 13

And finally, the resurrection of Christ is the guarantee of our own bodily resurrection (I Cor. 15:20-22; 2 Cor. 4:14; I Cor. 6:14; Rom. 8:11). He "abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Tim. 1:10).

THE NATURE OF THE RESURRECTION

"But some one will say, How are the dead raised? and with what manner of body do they come?" (I Cor. 15:35). This is now our subject for investigation. We note first that the Scriptures speak of three kinds of resurrections:

1. A judicial resurrection, in which the believer has been raised with Christ (Rom. 6:4,5; Eph. 2:5,6; Col. 2:12,13).
2. A spiritual resurrection, equivalent to regeneration (John 5:25,26).
3. A physical resurrection (John 5:28,29).

THE FACT OF A BODILY RESURRECTION

In four ways at least the Scripture indicates that the body is to be raised:

1. In clear statements to that effect (Job 19:25, 26; Ps. 16:9; John 5:28, 29; I Cor. 15:44).

2. In the declaration that the body is included in our redemption (Rom. 8:23-26; I Cor. 6:13-15, 19, 20). When Christ died for us, He died for the whole man.

3. In the kind of body with which Christ was raised. He was raised in a physical body (Lk. 24:39; Jn. 20:27); and to deny the physical resurrection is to deny the physical resurrection of Christ (I Cor. 15:13).

4. In the literalness of the Lord’s return and the judgments. The Man Christ Jesus will return to judge not disembodied spirits, but embodied men (I Thess 4:16, 17; Rev. 20:11-13).

THE TIME OF THE RESURRECTION

PRE-TRIBULATION VIEW

"... Come up hither," Revelation 4:1

The Church Age closes with the Laodicean period, and the First Vision with Revelation 3:22. The Church is not mentioned by name as a church after that in the Revelation. It is referred to as:

The Bride of Christ to become the wife of the Lamb Revelation 19:7-9
Its descent with the Lord noted in Revelation 19:211-16
It is seen on earth Revelation 2 and 3
It is seen in heaven Revelation 19

The Rapture is not spoken of as such in the Revelation, because this book deals primarily with Israel and its future. The question before us now is, just where does the Rapture occur in the interim between the end of chapter 3 and the beginning of chapter 19?

The first prevalent interpretation of the question of the time of the rapture in relation to the tribulation period is the pre tribulation interpretation, which holds that the church, the body of Christ in its entirety, will, by resurrection and translation, be removed from the earth BEFORE any part of the tribulation takes place. This is based on the literal method of interpretation.

THE ESSENTIAL BASIS OF THE PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE POSITION

The pretribulationist believes in a dispensational interpretation of the Word of God. The church and Israel are two distinct groups with whom God has a divine plan. (Rev. chapters 7,14) The church is a mystery, unraveled in the Old Testament. This present mystery age intervenes within the program of God for Israel (Rom. 11:11) because of Israel’s rejection of the Messiah at His first advent. This mystery program must be completed before God can resume His program with Israel and bring it to completion (Jer. 30,31). These considerations all arise from the literal method of interpretation.

THE DOCTRINE OF IMMINENCE

Many signs were given to the nation Israel, which would precede the second advent, so that the nation might be living in expectancy when the time of His coming should draw nigh. Although Israel could not know the day nor the hour when the lord will come, yet they can know that their redemption draweth nigh through the fulfillment of these signs.

To the church no such signs were ever given. The church was told to live in the light of the imminent coming of the Lord to translate them in His presence (Jn. 14:2, 3; Acts 1:11; I Cor. 15:51, 52; Phil. 3:20; Col. 3:4; I Thess. 1:10; I Tim. 6:14; Jas. 5:8; I Pet. 3:3,4). Such passages as I Thess. 5:6; Titus 2:13; Rev. 3:3 all warn the believer to be watching for the Lord Himself, not for signs that would precede His coming. It is true that the events prior to the second advent are used by some to denote the rapture time period.

DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE RAPTURE AND THE SECOND ADVENT

There are a number of contrasts to be drawn between the rapture and the second advent, which will show that they are not viewed as synonymous in Scripture.

THE RAPTURE THE SECOND ADVENT
Removal of all Believers The believers appear with Christ
Comes for His bride Returns with His bride
Tribulation starts The millennial kingdom starts
No signs to precede it A multitude of signs precede it
Brings comfort Brings judgment
The church's program Israel and the world's program
Its a mystery Predicted in both Testaments
Believers are judged Israel and Gentiles judged

MID-TRIBULATION VIEW

"And after three days and an half ... Come up hither." Revelation 11:11 & 12

According to this interpretation the church will be raptured at the end of the first three and one-half years of the seventieth week of Daniel 9. The church will endure the events of the first half of the tribulation (Rev. 7:14), which, according to the mid-tribulation rapturist,are not manifestations of divine wrath.

The rapture is said to occur in connection with the sounding of the seventh trumpet and the catching up of the two witnesses in Rev. 11. In common with postribulationism it holds that:

A. The church is promised tribulation on the earth and is in need of purging.
B. That Scripture does not teach the doctrine of imminence.
C. That the church is seen on the earth after Rev. 4:1

POST-TRIBULATION VIEW

"... for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready." Revelation 19:7

The essential basis on which Post-tribulationism rests:

1. A denial of dispensationalism and all dispensational distinctions.

2. It is only thus that they can place the church in that period which is particularly called "THE TIME OF JACOB’S TROUBLE" (Jer. 30:7).

3. Consequently, the position rests on a denial of the distinctions between Israel and the church.

4. The position must rest on a denial of the Scriptural teaching concerning the nature and purpose of the tribulation period.

5. They must deny all distinctions observed from the Scriptures between the rapture and the second advent, making them one and the same event.

6. The postribulationist must deny the doctrine of imminence, which says that the Lord may come at any time, and substitute the teaching that a multitude of signs must be fulfilled before the Lord can possible come.

 There is a very great danger in this belief because:

You may not be ready or even looking for his coming.

(a) "Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not." Luke 12:40

(b) "Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch." Mark 13:35-37

This theory holds that the church will continue on the earth until the second advent at the end of this present age, at which time the church will be caught up into the clouds to meet the Lord who has come into the air on His way from heaven to earth for the second advent, to return immediately with Him to fulfill the events of Daniel 9:24.

HOLY, HOLY, HOLY,         Revelation 4:8

God’s holiness proclaimed, prior to judgment. See Ps. 93; 97; 99; Isa. 6:3

        THE DAY OF THE LORD

One of the major lines of prophecy running throughout the Old Testament and continuing through the New Testament is the prophetic truth related to the DAY OF THE LORD.

    THE TIME AREAS WITHIN THE DAY OF THE LORD

The scope of the Day of the Lord has been a matter of debate among interpreters of the Scriptures. Some refer the Day of the Lord to the years of the tribulation period only. Others relate this to the second coming of Christ to the earth and the judgments immediately connected with that event. There are, however, two major interpretations of this question. The one is the view of Scofield who says:

"The day of Jehovah (called, also, 'that day,' and 'the great day' is that engthened period of time beginning  with the return of the Lord in glory, and ending with the purgation of the heavens and the earth by fire preparatory to the new heavens and new earth (Isa. 65:17-19; 66:22; 2 Pet. 3:13)."      C.I. Scofield, Reference Bible, Pg. 1349

Thus the Day of the Lord would cover that time period from the return of Christ to the earth to the New heaven and earth after the millennium. The other view is that expressed by Ironside who says:

"... when at last the day of grace is ended the day of the Lord will succeed it ... The day of the Lord follows (the rapture). It will be the time when the judgments of God are poured out upon the earth. It includes the descent of the Lord with all His saints to execute judgment on His foes and to take possession of the kingdom ... and to reign in righteousness for a thousand glorious years."

This second view coincides with the previous one as to the terminus, but begins the Day of the Lord with the tribulation period so that the events of the tribulation, the second advent, and the millennium are all included within the scope of the Day of the Lord.

The term DAY OF THE LORD occurs in many scriptures and in addition, the phrase THAT DAY or THE DAY or THE GREAT DAY occurs more than seventy-five times in the Old Testament. The frequency with which it occurs will evidence its importance in the prophetic Scriptures. These passages reveal that the idea of judgment is paramount in all of them. This is so clearly brought out in Zechariah 1:14-18. This judgment includes not only the specific judgments upon Israel and the nations at the end of the tribulation that are associated with the second advent, but, from a consideration of the passages themselves, includes judgments that extend over a period of time prior to the second advent.

Thus, it is concluded that the Day of the Lord will include the time of the tribulation, Zechariah 14:1-4 makes it clear that the events of the second advent are included in the program of the Day of the Lord. 2 Peter 3:10 gives authority for including the entire millennial age within this period. If the Day of the Lord did not begin until the second advent, since that event is preceded by signs, the Day of the Lord could not come as a "THIEF IN THE NIGHT," unexpected, and unheralded, as it is said it will come in I Thessalonians 5:2. The only way this day could break unexpectedly upon the world is to have it begin immediately after the rapture of the church. It is thus concluded that the Day of the Lord is that extended period of time beginning with God’s dealing with Israel after the rapture at the beginning of the tribulation period and extending through the second advent and the millennial age unto the creation of the new heavens and new earth after the millennium.

    THE EVENTS OF THE DAY OF THE LORD

It will be evident that the events within the Day of the Lord are indeed momentous, and a study of this period must include a study of a great part of the Prophetic Scriptures. It will include the prophesied events of the tribulation period, such as:

1. The federation of states into a revived Roman Empire (Dan. 2,7; Rev. 13)
2. The rise of the political ruler of this empire, who makes a covenant with Israel (Dan. 9:27; Rev. 13:1-10)
3. The formulation of a false religious system under the false prophet (Rev. 13:11-18)
4. The pouring out of the judgments under the seals (Rev. 6)
5. The separation of the 144,000 Jewish witnesses (Rev. 7)
6. The trumpet judgments (Rev. 8-11)
7. The rise of God’s two witnesses (Rev. 11)
8. The persecution of Israel (Jer. 30; Rev. 12)
9. The pouring out of the bowl judgments (Rev. 16)
10. The overthrow of the false professing church (Rev. 17,18)
11. The events of the campaign of Armageddon (Ezk. 38,39; Rev. 16; 19)
12. The proclamation of the gospel of the kingdom (Mt. 24:14)

It will also include the prophesied events connected with the second advent, such as:

13. The return of the Lord (Mt. 24:29,30)
14. The resurrection of Old Testament and Tribulation saints (Jn. 6:39,40; Rev. 20:4)
15. The destruction of the Beast and all his armies and the False Prophet and his followers in the Beast worship (Rev. 19:11-21)
16. The judgment on the nations (Mt. 25:31—46)
17. The regathering of Israel (Ezk. 37:1-14; Rom. 11)
18. The judgment on living Israel (Ezk. 20:33-38)
19 Restoration of Israel (Amos 9:15)
20 Binding of Satan (Rev. 20:2,3)

Further it will include all the events of the millennial age, with the:

21. Final revolt of Satan (Rev. 20:7-10)
22. Great white throne judgment (Rev. 20:11-15)
23. Purging of earth (2 Pet. 3:10-13)

These, and many related subjects, must be then studied.

THE TRIBULATION PERIOD IN SCRIPTURE

Although this subject has been touched on briefly in a previous connection, it is necessary to set forth the teaching of the Scriptures on this important eschatological doctrine.

    THE NATURE OF THE TRIBULATION

There is no better way to come to an understanding of the Scriptural concept of the tribulation than to let Scripture speak for itself. It is impossible to set forth all the declarations of the Word on this subject. A few will suffice. The line of revelation begins early in the Old Testament and continues through the New Testament.

1. "When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the LATTER DAYS, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shall be obedient unto his voice; ... he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them". (Deut. 4:30,31)

2. "And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to SHAKE TERRIBLY the earth" (Isa. 2:19; Rev. 6:15,16).

3. "Behold, the Lord MAKETH THE EARTH EMPTY, and maketh it WASTE, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof." (Isa. 24:1)

4. "The land shall be utterly EMPTIED, and utterly SPOILED; for the Lord hath spoken this word." (Isa. 24:3).

5. "Therefore hath the curse DEVOURED the earth, and they that dwell therein are DESOLATE: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are BURNED, and few men left."   (Isa. 24:6)

6. "The earth is utterly BROKEN DOWN, the earth is clean DISSOLVED, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall REEL to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again." (Isa. 24:19-20)

7. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the INDIGNATION be overpass. For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to PUNISH the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no morecover her slain." (Isa. 26:20,21)

See also Joel 1:15; 2:1,2; Amos 5:18,20; Zeph. 1:14,15; Mt. 24:21-22; Lk. 21:25-26

From these Scriptures it is inescapable that the nature or character of this period is that of WRATH, JUDGMENT, INDIGNATION, TRIAL, TROUBLE, DESTRUCTION, DARKNESS, DESOLATION, OVERTURNING, PUNISHMENT. No passage can be found to alleviate to any degree whatsoever the severity of this time that shall come upon the earth.

    THE SOURCE OF THE TRIBULATION

The tribulation period will witness the wrath of:

Satan in his animosity against the nation of ISRAEL (Rev. 12:12-17)
                                    and of
Satan’s puppet, the Beast, in his animosity against the
SAINTS (Rev. 13:7).

Yet even this manifestation of wrath does not begin to exhaust the outpouring of wrath of that day.

    THE PURPOSE OF THE TRIBULATION

1. The first great purpose of the tribulation is to prepare the nation ISRAEL FOR HER MESSIAH. The prophecy of Jeremiah (30:7) makes it clear that this time that is coming has particular reference to ISRAEL, for it is "THE TIME OF JACOB’S TROUBLE."

2. The second great purpose of the tribulation is to pour out judgment on unbelieving man and nations. It is stated in Revelation 3:10 "I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth."    (Jer. 25:32,33; 2 Thess. 2:12)

From these Scriptures it will be seen that God is judging the nations of the earth because of their godlessness. The nations of the earth have been deceived by the false teaching of the harlot system (Rev. 14:8) and have partaken of the "wine of the wrath of her fornication." They have followed the false prophet in the worship of the beast (Rev. 13:11-18). For this godlessness the nations must be judged. This judgment comes on "... the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondsman, and every freeman..." (Rev. 6:15), all of whom "blasphemed the name of God ... and they repented not to give him glory" (Rev. 16:9). This program of judgment on sinners constitutes the second great purpose of the tribulation period.

    THE JUDGMENTS OF THE TRIBULATION

It has been demonstrated previously that this entire tribulation period is a period characterized by judgments from the hand of the Lord. A number of distinct judgment programs are to be seen. These divine chastisements increase in severity as we pass from one series to another. The judgments are not contemporaneous but successive. The Trumpets succeed the Seals, and the Vials follow the Trumpets.

The Seals were opened in order that the successive parts of God’s revelation of the future might be disclosed, but to faith only-the mass would regard the judgments as merely providential. Such things had happened before.

THE SIX SEALS AND THE SEALING        REVELATION 6:1-7:8

6:1,2         1st seal     The false Christ going forth to make war on the saints.  See Mt. 24:4,5.

        6:3-8               2nd, 3rd, & 4th Seals Judgments on him and his followers.   See Mt. 24:6,7.

6:9-11     5th Seal     The effects of the war with the saints. Their martyrdom. See Mt. 24:8-28.

        6:12-17        6th Seal Judgments on him and his followers.  See Mt. 24:29,30.
                            Question, "Who shall be able to stand?"

7:1-8         Answer to question, by the sealing of 144,000, enabling them to stand in the judgment. 
                 See Mt. 24:31.

The picture of the opening of the sealed scroll by the Son of God is given in Revelation chapter 6. Here is the beginning of the unfolding of the judgment program of God. Angels are mentioned throughout the book in connection with the execution of the judgment program.

THE FIRST SEAL - ANTICHRIST
(Rev. 6:2)

This seal is generally agreed to represent the peace movements on the part of men as they seek to establish peace on the earth.

A. The FIRST SEAL was opened revealing a man on a white horse who had a bow, who went forth to conquer. The Lord Jesus shall come on a white horse (Rev. 19:11), but this is not He, but a false Christ, who establishes a temporary peace.

B. From among those ten kingdoms of Dan. 7:7-14 there will arise one individual (Dan. 7:8, 24; Rev. 13:1-10; 17:8-18). In gaining his authority over the empire is wielded by one who is marked by blasphemy (2 Thess. 2:1-12) hatred of God’s people, disregard for established law and order, who will continue for three and one-half years  (Dan. 7:26; Rev. 13:5). This final form of world power will have world wide influence (Dan. 7:23).

C. In Rev. 13:1-3. In this passage John continues the line of revelation concerning the final form of Gentile power. There are several observations to be made:

1. As has been revealed earlier, the final form of power is the successor to all preceding forms, for the beast that arises is a composite beast, partaking of the features of the leopard, the bear, and the lion (Rev. 13:2).

2. This form of world power is marked by ten horns (Rev. 13:1), which are explained as KINGS" over which the Beast rules". (Dan. 2:33, 41-45; 7:7; Rev. 17:12)

    THE PERSON AND MINISTRY OF THE BEAST, THE HEAD OF THE EMPIRE

Scripture has a great deal to say concerning the individual who will appear in the end time as the head of the Gentile powers in their ten kingdom federation. His person and work are presented in Ezekiel 28:1-10; Daniel 7:7-8, 20-26; 8:23-25; 9:26-27; 11:36-45; 2 THESSALONIANS 2:3-10; Revelation 13:1-10; 17:8-14.

A synthesis of the truths in these passages will reveal the following facts concerning his activities:

1. He will appear on the scene in the "latter times" of Israel’s history (Dan. 8:23).
2. He will not appear until the Day of the Lord has begun (2 Thess. 2:2).
3. His manifestation is being hindered by the Restrainer (2 Thess. 2:6-7).
4. This appearance will be preceded by a departure (2 Thess. 2:3), which may be interpreted either as a departure from  the faith or a departure of the saints to be with the Lord (2 Thess. 2:1).
5. He is a Gentile. Since he arises from the sea (Rev. 13:1) and since the sea depicts the Gentile nations (Rev. 17:15), he  must be of Gentile origin.
6. He rises from the Roman empire, since he is a ruler of the people who destroyed Jerusalem (Dan. 9:26). Note: Historically this was fulfilled by Titus of Rome in 70 AD.
7. He is the head of the last form of Gentile world dominion, for he is like a leopard, a bear, and a lion (Rev. 13:1). (Compare Dan. 7:7,8, 20,24; Rev. 17:9-11) As such he is a political leader. The seven heads and ten horns (Rev. 13:1; 17:12)   are federated under his authority.
8. His influence is world wide, for he rules over all nations (Rev. 13:8). This influence comes through the alliance which he makes with other nations   (Dan. 8:24; Rev. 17:12).
9. He has eliminated three rulers in his rise to power (Dan. 7:8,24). One of the kingdoms over which he has authority has been revived, for one of the heads representing a kingdom or king (Rev. 17:10), has been healed (Rev. 13:3).
10. His rise comes through his peace program (Dan. 8:25).
11. He personally is marked by his intelligence and persuasiveness (Dan. 7:8,20; 8:23). and also by his subtlety and craft (Ezk. 28:6), so that his position over the nations is by their own consent (Rev. 17:13).
12. He rules over the nations in his federation with absolute authority (Dan. 11:36), where he is depicted as doing his own will. This authority is manifested through the change in laws and customs (Dan. 7:25).
13. His chief interest is in might and power (Dan. 11:38).
14. As the head of the federated empire he makes a seven year covenant with Israel (Dan. 9:27), which is broken after three and one half years (Dan. 9:27).
15. He introduces an idolatrous worship (Dan. 9:27) in which he sets himself  up as god (Dan. 11:36-37; 2 Thess. 2:4; Rev. 13:5).
16. He bears the characterization of a blasphemer because of the assumption of deity (Ezek. 28:2; Dan. 7:25; Rev. 13:1,5-6).
17. This one is energized by Satan (Ezek. 28:9-12; Rev. 13:4), receives his authority from him, and is controlled by the pride of the devil (Ezek. 28:2; Dan. 8:25).
18. He is the head of Satanís lawless system (2 Thess. 2:3) and his claim to power and to deity is proved by signs wrought through satanic power (2 Thess. 2:9-19).
19. He is received as God and as ruler because of the blindness of the people  (2 Thess. 2:11).
20. This ruler becomes the great adversary of Israel (Dan. 7:21,25; 8:24; Rev. 13:7).
21. There will come an alliance against him (Ezek. 28:7; Dan. 11:40,42) which will contest his authority.
22. In the ensuing conflict he will gain control over Palestine and adjacent territory (Dan. 11:42) and will make his headquarters in Jerusalem  (Dan. 11:45).
23. This ruler, at the time of his rise to power, is elevated through the instrumentality of the harlot, the corrupt religious system, which consequently seeks to dominate him (Rev. 17:3).
24. This system is destroyed by the ruler so that he may rule unhindered   (Rev. 17:16-17).
25. He becomes the special adversary of the Prince of Princes (Dan. 8:25),  His program (2 Thess. 2:4; Rev. 17:14), and His people (Dan. 7:21, 25;   8:24; Rev. 13:7).

Coming to the throne as absolute master of the earth, Antichrist assumes the role of a benevolent despot, providing a Roman peace and a period of prosperity, making this earth a pleasant place to sin in. He will be hailed, as the Roman emperors of the first century were, the Saviour of the world.

THE SECOND SEAL - TIME OF WAR
(Rev. 6:3-4)

This seal represents the removal of peace from the earth and the wars that engulf the earth.

A. The SECOND SEAL was opened revealing a man on a red horse, who should  take peace from the earth. The second prediction of Matthew in chapter twenty-four is found in verse six and seven.

The rider on the red horse is Antichrist about to wage war. The Greek reads, "It was given to him to take the peace from the earth." The definite article appears in the Greek text, and is all-important. It points out a particular peace, a Roman peace which follows Antichrist’s conquest of the earth. Paul speaks of this peace in I THESSALONIANS 5:1-3. Writing to Christians he says, "But of the times and seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you; for yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night, for when they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them."

B. Question: How does Antichrist take the peace from the earth?
Answer:
1. Ezekiel’s prophecy of Gog and Magog (Ezek. 38,39) refers to the attack made by Antichrist on Israel BEFORE the millennium. The "Gog and Magog" of Rev. 20:8 are MYSTICAL NAMES representing the final adversaries led by Satan. Ezekiel’s Gog and Magog come from THE NORTH, but those in Rev. 20 come from "the four corners of the earth."
2. In studying the alignments of Gentile Nations at the time of the tribulation period we find that there will be:
(a) A ten kingdom federation of nations [Roman empire] (Rev. 13:1-10)
(b) A northern confederacy, Russia and her allies. (Ezek. 38:1-8)
(c) An eastern or Asiatic confederacy (Rev. 16:12)
(d) A north African power (Dan. 11:40) King of South = Egypt
3. THE END TIME WARS

ARMAGEDDON

BATTLE OF GOG

The power arrayed against the Beast and his armies God fights as in the days of old
The Northern Confederacy
The King of the South
The Kings of the East
All Nations Engaged
Joel 3:2; Zeph. 3:8; Zech. 12:3, 14:4
Are Definite Allies  Ezek. 38:1-6 He is Alone  Isa. 63:5
Protest  Ezek 38:13 No Protest
Civil War  Ezek. 38:21 No Civil War - only Divine destruction  Rev. 20:9

THE GREAT TRIBULATION
Luke 21; Matthew 24; Mark 13 and Revelation 12,13

The great prophecy recorded in Luke 21 is different both in time, place, and subject from that recorded in Matthew 24 and Mark 13. Luke was spoken in the Temple and Matthew and Mark was spoken later upon the Mount of Olives.

Luke 21:8,9 Matthew 24:4-6 Mark 13:5-7
"..but the end is not by and by." "..but the end is not yet." "..but the end shall not be yet."
Luke 21:10,11 Matthew 24:7,8 Mark 13:8
* "All these are the beginning of sorrows." "These are the beginning of sorrows."

*now, it will be observed in the Lord’s discourse as recorded in Luke, that, instead of saying "these are the beginning of sorrows", and going on with the account of them, He stops short; He goes back and introduces the events that would take place "BEFORE ALL THESE" beginnings of sorrows. He describes in verse 12.

THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM

"But before all these", that is to say "BEFORE" the great Tribulation, all that is recorded concerning Jerusalem in verses 12-24 would take place. These are the closing words: Luke 21:24

"Verily I say unto you. This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." Mt. 24:34

Question: "Tell us, when shall these things be?" Mt. 24:3

Answer

The FIRST sign = FALSE CHRIST’S.

(a) Acts 21:38
(b) Acts 8:9,10
(c) Dositheus, the Samaritan, who pretended that he was the Christ.
(d) Under the reign of Nero, impostors were killed almost every day.     ref. Josephus Antiquities b. 20. c. 4&7

The SECOND sign = WARS and COMMOTION’S

(a) When Caligula ordered his statue to be set up in the temple of God, which the Jews having refused, had every reason to expect a war with the Romans.
ref. Josephus Antiquities b. 18; c. 9; War. b. 2. c. 10
(b) At Scythopolis the Syrians murdered upwards of 13,000 Jews. At Ascalon so they killed 2,500 etc, etc, NATION AGAINST NATION.
(c) The Jews and Galileans against the Samaritans, etc, KINGDOM AGAINST KINGDOM

The THIRD sign = PESTILENCE and FAMINE.

Duting the reign of Claudius Caesar Acts 11:28

The FOURTH sign = EARTHQUAKES

The one at Crete in the reign of Claudius, one at Smyrna, Miletus, Chios, Samos etc, etc.

The FIFTH sign = SUPERNATURAL HAPPENINGS

(a) A star hung over the city (Jerusalem) like a sword; and a comet continued a whole year.
(b) The people being assembled at the feast of unleavened bread, at the ninth hour of the night, a great light shone about the altar and the temple, and this continued for half an hour.
(c) At the same feast, a cow led to sacrifice brought forth a lamb in the midst of the temple.
(d) The eastern gate of the temple, which was of solid brass, and very heavy, and could hardly be shut by twenty men, and was fastened by strong bars and bolts, was seen at the sixth hour of the night to open of its own accord.
(e) Before sun-setting there were seen, over all the country, chariots and armies fighting in the clouds, and besieging cities.
(f) At the feast of Pentecost, when the priests were going into the inner temple by night, to attend their service, they heard first a motion and noise, and then a voice, as of a multitude, saying:   LET US DEPART HENCE. ref. Josephus chapters 21,11.

IF YOU LIVED IN THOSE DAYS, COULD YOU NOT HAVE BELIEVED IN CHRIST’S SOON RETURN?

Could it be possible that God has indeed fulfilled many of the prophecies in the past, but that He can still fulfill these same prophecies in the future as well? Can prophecy, as well as history, be repeated?

I would like to state that Prophecy is indeed not for private interpretation and what I state in this study is only a possibility and not set in stone. This study is to provoke your thinking about the Scriptures and to realize that we do indeed see in part and know in part and that one of these days we will know even as we are known. And on that day it will be interesting to see just what is truth and what was error.

THE THIRD SEAL - FAMINE
(Rev. 6:5-6)

This represents famine that results from the desolation of the wars spoken of in the second Seal. Ezekiel 14:13

THE FOURTH SEAL - DEATH
(Rev. 6:7-8)

This prefigures the death that follows in the wake of the failure of men to establish peace. Ezekiel 14:19.

Note: "... over the fourth part of the earth..." Rev. 6:8

THE TRIBULATION IS NOT WORLD WIDE

1. The first 4 seals apply only to a 4th part of the earth.
2. The martyrdom of the saints in Rev. 6:9-11 is primarily inside the Roman Empire Territory where the great whore of Rev. 17 dominates the 10 kings.
3. The 144,000 Jews of Revelation 7:1-8 are sealed from the nation of Israel in Palestine.
4. The great tribulation saints of Revelation 7:9-17 are martyred (See Mt. 10:39 the clause that Jesus gave for getting saved the hard way) only in that part of the earth where the tribulation will be, the Old Roman Empire Territory, as proved in Revelation 13 dealing with the extent of Antichristís reign.
5. The 6th trumpet causes only a third part of men to be killed (Rev. 9:18).

THE FIFTH SEAL - PERSECUTIONS
(Rev. 6:9-11)

This seal reveals the fact of death among the SAINTS of God because of their faith and their impassioned plea for vengeance.

Question - Who are these SAINTS?

Answer - In this Seal, it is referring to ISRAEL,  NOT THE CHURCH

Many times believers mistakenly interpret all references concerning "saints" to mean the New Testament Church. However, it is clear that depending on the context, sometimes Israel is referred to as Saints, or the Elect, and at other times these same terms are referring to the Church:

ISRAEL = Saints & Elect CHURCH = Saints & Elect
Saints: Ps. 50:5; 79:2; Dan. 7:21,22; Zech. 14:4,5; Mt. 27:52 Saints: Acts 9:32; 26:10; Rom. 1:7; 12:13; 15:25; 25:27; I Cor. 1:2
Elect:  Isa. 45:4; 65:9,22 Elect:  Rom. 8:33; Col. 3:12

 Are they the ELECT of Matthew 24:22,24,31; Mark 13:20,22, 27?

THE SIXTH SEAL - WRATH OF GOD BEGINS
Rev. 6:12-17

In this sixth seal the wrath of God begins. It continues in the trumpets and vials (8:1-9:21; 11:15,18; 15:1,7; 16:1-21; 18:1-24). It ends with Armageddon (19:11-20:3 See also Zech. 14; Ezekiel 38,39; Joel 3; Isaiah 63:1-6; Jude 14).

THE SEVENTH SEAL - SILENCE IN HEAVEN
Rev. 8:1

Silence in heaven for half an hour before the trumpet judgments begin in Rev. 8:7. See also Ezekiel 9:4, 6; Revelation 7:2-8; Revelation 9:4.

THE TRUMPETS          REVELATION 8:2-11:15

It will be observed that the first four trumpet judgments are separated from the last three judgments, in that these last three are specifically called "woe" judgments.

The trumpet was used in arousing to war the hosts of Jehovah against their enemies (Numbers 10:9). Compare Numbers 10:1-6; 10:10. In Ezekiel 33:1-7 it states that the watchman’s trumpet blown faithfully could deliver all who would "take warning."

1. Rev. 8:7- The first trumpet.
Rev. 8:-7- The earth smitten (hail and fire, )
Rev. 8:-7 The third part of trees.
2. Rev. 8:8-9 The second trumpet.
Rev. 8:-8- The sea smitten (burning mountain)
Rev. 8:-8 Third part of sea blood.
Rev. 8:9 Death of living creatures in sea.
.
3. Rev. 8:10- The third trumpet.
Rev. 8:-10,11- The waters smitten (star falling).
Rev. 8:-11- Third part of waters wormwood.
Rev. 8:-11 Death of men.
4. Rev. 8:12- The fourth trumpet.
Rev. 8:-12- The heaven smitten (sun, moon, and stars).
Rev. 8:-12 Third part darkened.
(Rev. 8:13 THREE WOES YET TO COME)
5. Rev. 9:1-11 The fifth trumpet.    (The first woe)
Rev. 9:12 The termination of first woe ("The first woe is past").
6 Rev. 9:13-11:13 The sixth trumpet    (The second woe)
Rev. 11:14-

The termination of second woe ("The second past").

                   (Rev. 11:-14    "The third woe cometh quickly.")

The purpose of these judgments is to bring the earth dwellers to repent of their sins of idolatry, demon worship, murders, sorceries, fornication’s, and thefts (Rev. 9:20). Even in the midst of God’s judgments there is mercy.

In the midst of the world-wide prosperity of Antichrist’s kingdom:

Hail and fire mingled with blood destroys one third of Europe’s forests and all standing food crops.
A meteor falls into the Mediterranean Sea, and one third of the sea becomes blood, one third of its marine life dies, and one third of Antichrist’s commercial and naval vessels are sunk.
Following close on the heels of that judgment, a meteor poisons one third of the fresh water supply of Europe, and many die from drinking the poisoned water (8:7-11).
Note, if you will, the mercy of God in the midst of these judgments. There is not a complete destruction, but only one third.

What next?

Then the Bottomless Pit is opened, and the imprisoned demons are let loose upon the inhabitants of the earth:

They are forbidden to touch those who have the seal of God in their foreheads, and ordered to torment those who do not.
The demons are forbidden to kill them, but commanded to torment them.
The torment inflicted will be so severe that those who are subject to it will seek to escape its pain by suicide.
But try as they will, they will not be able to die (9:1-12)

Then what?

Following this, a super-human army of horsemen 200,000,000 (two hundred million) strong, will kill one third of the earth’s population (9:13-21):

Then those who received the mark of the Wild Beast are afflicted with a "noisome and grievous sore" (16:2). The sore (helkos) is a suppurated wound, an ulcer. The verb form of this word means "to be ulcerated." See Job 2:7,8. "Noisome" is the Greek word kakos, here, "troublesome" or  "distressing." The word means "wicked" in the moral sense.
One could use it here in the sense of "that is a wicked sore." "Grievous" is the Greek word poneros, in a moral sense, "evil in active opposition to the good," thus, "pernicious." We speak of pernicious anemia. This will be a pernicious sore which will afflict the worshippers of the Wild Beast.

Then...............

The next judgment directed against the world empire of Antichrist will be the turning of the Mediterranean Sea to blood. ("The sea" in Bible phraseology refers to the Mediterranean Sea.) The heat of the sun is soon to be intensified. Imagine the stench that will result in the countries bordering the Mediterranean.

Next.............

The next judgment will be the turning of all the fresh water in Europe into blood. Following that, the sun’s heat will be intensified to the degree that men will be scorched. Finally, a plague of darkness will cause such pain that men will gnaw their tongues as a counter-irritation in an attempt to alleviate the pain caused by the darkness.

 

Forward to the Next Section:  Who is Who

Bibliography

 


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