I cannot stress enough, the importance and the significance of the chapter that is before us tonight, in better aiding our understanding of the nature, role, and function of the antichrist in his hour of power during the Great Tribulation. It is important to point out, that John does not stand in isolation in the things he sees. The prophet Daniel, some 600 years before, foresaw similar events. He too saw beasts rising out of the sea, the fourth being diverse from the others that came before it, having ten horns. Both the book of Daniel and the book of Revelation, due to their nature and the similarities of the material found within them, have been labelled as apocalyptic. God in his wisdom has given us two such books so that by reading both in tandem, we would arrive at a fuller understanding of eschatology. By understanding the one, it better aids our understanding of the other; and it is for this reason that we are going to be spending quite a bit of time this evening studying the book of Daniel, in particular, chapter 7. If we can understand the prophetic imagery of Daniel chapter 7 and its fulfillment in light of history, then by applying the same principles of interpretation, we can open up with accuracy, the imagery of Revelation 13, as it pertains to events that are yet future.
There are some that maintain, that the book of Revelation is so full of imagery that no sense can be made of any of it. I admit, that the book is full of imagery, but I add that that imagery is not random but specific and deliberate for those with eyes to see! Who is this woman, clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet and upon her head twelve stars? Who is this red dragon, who makes war with the remnant of her seed? What is this war in heaven and why does the dragon persecute the woman, who brought forth the man child?
In this teaching, we answer these questions and endeavour to unpack this difficult chapter and to understand it in light of end times events. May the Lord shine light upon His word?
We are met in this chapter for the first time, explicit mention made of the beast. Until now, not a single mention of this character has been made by name; everything that we have said about him, we have done so by inference. Before Revelation 11, the word “beast” in reference to the Antichrist is nowhere to be found; yet after Revelation 11; the word “beast” in reference to the Antichrist occurs no less than 36 times.
In this teaching, we begin to look at little closer at the beast along with the two witnesses. Who are these two witnesses and what is their purpose? We shall answer these questions along with others as we explore this eleventh chapter of Revelation.
Six angels have given sound to their trumpets; two great woes have been brought upon humanity by the hand of God with the most devastating effects. One trumpet has yet to sound, the seventh and the last; the third and final woe. Just as there was an interlude between the sixth and seventh seals, so we have here, another interlude between the sixth and seventh trumpets.
John beholds in a vision a mighty angel, coming down from heaven with a little book open book in his hand. We explore the events of this interesting chapter and as we do, we look a little closer at the topic of angels.
Four blasts of the trumpet have gone before us; four pronouncements of God’s judgment aimed at the earth in which men are indirectly affected by the catastrophic impact each judgment brings with it. Three great woes now await the inhabitants of the earth. In a manner reminiscent of the days of Moses in which the kingdom of Egypt was judged by ten plagues which befell it; so, in a similar fashion, God begins at the end to do that which He began to do at the start of the Exodus.
In this seventeenth teaching part, we look into the terrifying trumpet judgments of trumpets five and six.
Following the brief interlude of chapter 7, we rejoin again the events of the seven seals, which has been the central theme of Revelation, since chapter 5. Six seals have thus far been opened, revealing dark and terrible days ahead, which shall take place upon the earth on a global scale.
Seven angels assigned with a staggering mission. To each is given a trumpet which when blown brings forth the next wave of God’s wrath!! We examine in this teaching the first four of these seven trumpet judgments.
We come again in this teaching to another interlude (the second of a number that is found scattered throughout the Book of Revelation). Chapters 4 and 5 both served as an interlude to bridge the gap between the events following the letters to the Seven Churches, in order to prepare the reader for the opening of the Seven Seals in chapter 6. Six seals have thus far been opened, with the seventh seal yet still to be opened. Seals 1-5 had as their focus, Antichrist and his wrath upon the earth. Seals 6 & 7 by way of contrast, have as their focus, God and His wrath upon the earth which is poured out upon rebellious man and the 666 Antichrist system. This seventh chapter that is before us this evening (the gap-stop) serves then as an interlude which will allow for commentary on two events before rejoining the seal events of chapter 8 which record the opening of the seventh and final seal, and the terrifying trumpet judgments that issue forth out of it.
What then are these two events contained within this interlude? Firstly, a group of a special class of people, numbering 144,000 who shall be on the earth during this time of Great Tribulation. Secondly, a great multitude of Saints in heaven which no man can number who have come out of Great Tribulation. In this teaching, we look at both and try to understand what is taking place.
At the opening of the fifth seal, the wrath of Antichrist is poured out upon believers in Jesus Christ. John beholds under the altar, the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held. This is a time of tremendous persecution upon the righteous, who are willing to give their lives to the very end. A cry is heard ascending from under that heavenly altar, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” The answer to their petition is soon to be realised at the opening sixth seal as the Day of the LORD approached upon the ungodly. Satan has had his time to exercise his wrath and not it is God’s turn to execute His wrath.
Before turning to examine the first four seals, the ground must be prepared in order to give one a framework in which to make sense of these tremendous events. That which shall take place at the opening of these seals all pertain to a future period of time yet to come, known as Daniel’s seventieth week. At that time, according to the prophet Daniel, a peace treaty will be signed between the Jewish people and their enemies, marking the start of the Tribulation period. Mid-way into these seven years, the man of Sin will break the terms of the covenant and set up the abomination of desolations in the holy place. The following 3½ years will be characterised by a great tribulation, such as the world has never seen and will come to its close at the Second Coming of the Lord.
In this teaching, we explore the first four seals.
Two whole chapters are given us by the Apostle John in order to prepare the reader for the awesome events that are to follow, when in chapter 6 a scroll is opened which sets in motion a series of cataclysmic events known as the Tribulation period which culminate in the closing out of this present age and the bringing in of the Messianic Age. Chapter 4 prepared us for what we have now come to in chapter 5, and chapter 5 will prepare us for the opening of the seals in chapter 6. Chapter 4 was a chapter of magnificent worship around the throne of God and in the chapter before us, this scene of heavenly worship is set to intensify as One is found worthy to open the book and to loose the seals.