January 10, 2010
I greet you once again in the Name of Jesus!
Following the catching away of the Church a man will emerge on the world scene in which all political power over the nations of the world will rest. We will have more to say on this individual in an up-coming edition of THE WEEKLY WORD. This one will broker a successful Mid-East peace treaty giving the Jews the authority to re-build the Temple and to re-establish Temple sacrifices. We know from the scriptures that this treaty will be broken after three and a half years, and a time of great persecution against the Jews will begin.
Among other titles this period of earth’s future is known as, “the great day of His wrath.” [See Rev. 6:17] God’s wrath will be poured out in full measure during this time. These judgments will take the form of a series of natural and cosmic catastrophes. The Bible portrays a series of judgments, twenty-one in total, and coming in three sets of seven. In Bible numbers, seven is understood to be the number of perfection or completion. It represents spiritual perfection. It is interesting that there are seven judgments in three sets. Why? Because whereas seven is understood as spiritual perfection, the number three denotes divine perfection. Thus, these seven seal, seven trumpet, and seven bowl judgments are the complete outpouring of the wrath of God.
These seven judgments will encompass the entire seven-year Great Tribulation period. The seven seals will be opened during the first half of the Tribulation. The seven trumpets will be blown during the second half of the Tribulation. And the seven bowls will be poured out during a very brief period of time right near the end of the Tribulation, right before Christ returns. In scripture, these judgments are frequently compared to birth pangs. [See Jer. 30:4 – 7; Matthew 24:8; I Thess. 5:3] As the Tribulation progresses, as is the case with birth pangs, these judgments will irreversibly intensify in their severity and frequency. These three successive crashing waves of God’s judgment are described in detail in Revelation 6 – 19. I will list here each of the judgments and what they contain.
SEVEN SEAL JUDGMENTS:
First seal (6:1, 2) – White horse: Antichrist
Second seal (6:3, 4) – red horse: War
Third seal (6:5, 6) – black horse: famine
Fourth seal (6:7, 8) – pale horse: death and hell
Fifth seal (6:9 – 11) – martyrs in Heaven
Sixth seal (6:12 – 17) – universal upheaval and devastation
Seventh seal (8:1, 2) – the seven trumpets
SEVEN TRUMPET JUDGMENTS:
First trumpet (8:7) – bloody hail and fire: one-third of vegetation destroyed
Second trumpet (8:8, 9) – fireball from heaven: one-third of oceans polluted
Third trumpet (8:10, 11) – falling star: one-third of fresh water polluted
Fourth trumpet (8:12) – darkness: one third of the sun, moon, and stars darkened
Fifth trumpet (9:1 – 12) – demonic invasion: torment
Sixth trumpet (9:13 – 21) – demonic army: one-third of mankind killed
Seventh trumpet (11:15 – 19) – the kingdom: the announcement of Christ’s reign
SEVEN BOWL JUDGMENTS:
First bowl (16:2) – upon the earth: sores on the worshipers of the Antichrist
Second bowl (16:3) – upon the seas: turned to blood
Third bowl (16:4 – 7) – upon the fresh water: turned to blood
Fourth bowl (16:8, 9) – upon the sun: intense, scorching heat
Fifth bowl (16:10, 11) – upon the Antichrist’s kingdom: darkness and pain
Sixth bowl (16:12 – 16) – upon the Euphrates River: the way made for the kings of the east for Armageddon
Seventh bowl (16:17 – 21) upon the air: earthquakes and hail
It really boggles the mind just to read through a list like this. One-half of the earth’s population will perish in just two of the 21 judgments [See Revelation 6:8; 9:18]. The environment of the entire planet will be destroyed. Revelation 16:19 – 21 graphically pictures the world-wide devastation: 19 Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. 20 Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21 And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great. [Rev. 16:19 – 21 NKJV]
Just imagine for a moment living in a world and at a time like this! Yet this is earth’s future. At the end of the Tribulation period the Antichrist will marshal his forces and gather the nations of the world to the Valley of Jezreel, known in the Hebrew as Armageddon for one last epic battle. The target of their rage and their arch nemesis is none other than Messiah Himself. Armageddon will be the culmination of the colossal cosmic battle of the ages: Satan versus God!
The Weekly Word is found in Revelation 16:15 – 17. Here the Bible says,
15 “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”
16 And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon. 17 Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” [Rev. 16:15 – 17 NKJV]
Until next time, this is THE WEEKLY WORD.
Pastor Kevin E. Johnson