Friday, May 22, 2020

3 woes of revelation

Final Woes of Revelation the Timing of the Rapture

6th Trumpet

And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. (Revelation 9:13-15 AKJV)
The Euphrates river at one time extended from Armenia to the Persian Gulf; There will be something that comes from this area. For “an hour, a day, month, and a year” is one of each unit of time, this shows that a particular time was chosen for this calamity to come upon mankind.  

When angels are released, they affect humans. One-third of mankind will be killed as these spiritual beings influence mankind. We know that these spirits will be a driving force behind actions of man because of what is written next:
The number of their troops of cavalry was twice ten thousand times ten thousand (200,000,000); I heard what their number was. (Revelation 9:16 AKJV)

We have an actual number so this is most likely a real army coming from the area of Armenia. What else do we know about these troops?
And in [my] vision the horses and their riders appeared to me like this: the riders wore breastplates the color of fiery red and sapphire blue and sulphur (brimstone) yellow. The heads of the horses looked like lions’ heads, and from their mouths there poured fire and smoke and sulphur (brimstone). (Revelation 9:17 AMPC)

The “riders” are not referred to “as the” which means they are actual men. Armenia’s flag is red, blue and yellow, so they may be Armenian troops, another nation with a flag of this color, or a religious group with these colors. What the men are riding will release “fire, smoke, and sulphur.” When modern ammo is fired, it smells of sulphur and at night you can see the fire streaming from the barrel along with smoke as well as from the exhaust of rockets.  

By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like to serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt. (Revelation 9:18-19)

We are now reminded that one-third of the population will die from what is released with this trumpet. 
  • Their “tails” may refer to the fact that what is released has some chemical effect which will poison like a scorpion does. 
    • This may be nuclear or merely chemical warfare.
And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts. (Revelation 9:20-21 AKJV)

These trumpets are not God’s wrath, they are a warning. These verses clearly show the sin that God is trying to get mankind to turn from:
  • Works that are sinful
  • Worshipping other gods (devils)
  • Seeking riches (idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood) more than God
  • Killing one another, sorceries (pharmakeia or drugs), sex ouside marriage, and robbing others 
We should check our lives and ask the Holy Spirit if there are any of these sins in our life so that we can turn from them now. Immediately after the mention of this trumpet we see a great hope.

And I saw another mighty Angel come down from Heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was on His head, and His face was as it were the sun, and His feet as pillars of fire: And He had in His hand a little book open: and He set His right foot on the sea, and His left foot on the Earth, And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars: and when He had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from Heaven saying to me, “Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.” (Revelation 10:1-4 AKJV)

The word “angel” means messenger of God. The one with the rainbow, the promise of God around His head with His face shining like the sun is widely accepted to be Jesus. The voice as when a “lion roars” is another good indication that it is the Lion of Judah. What He does at this point in time is unknown, for John is not allowed to write it down. 

And the Angel which I saw stand on the sea and on the Earth lifted up His hand to Heaven, And swore by Him that lives for ever and ever, who created Heaven, and the things that therein are, and the Earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer, but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as He has declared to His servants the prophets. (Revelation 10:5-7 AKJV)

The only fact we are sure of at this point is that there is now an end to the waiting for God’s wrath.  By the time that the seventh trumpet sounds, the hidden things (mysteries) of God prophesied about will be complete. This indicates that the rapture has happened by the time this trumpet sounds, for that is certainly a “hidden mystery.”

And the voice which I heard from Heaven spoke to me again, and said, “Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the Angel which stands on the sea and on the Earth.” And I went to the Angel, and said to him, “Give me the little book.” And He said to me, “Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make your belly bitter, but it shall be in your mouth sweet as honey.” (Revelation 10:8-9 AKJV)

According to Ezekiel 3:3 Prophecies are sweet as honey when the prophet receives them. Afterwards, Ezekiel prophesied about God sending harsh judgment upon people who were hard-hearted and rebelling against God’s ways, which was bitter in the belly.

And I took the little book out of the Angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. And He said to me, You must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. (Revelation 10:10-11 AKJV)

It is interesting that right after we find out that people are not willing to turn from sin, despite God’s strong warnings (trumpets), that Jesus directs John to bring another prophecy. Could it be that what he is prophesying about is to help God’s people get ready? The fact that it comes from the book that John was not allowed to write about, tells us that it is what the book contained! 
The book’s message is explained in the next three chapters: they reveal what will happen in Daniel’s week, what many call the Tribulation. We have already explored this information, but we will now explore how the chapter on the two witnesses contains information which is critical in determining the placement of the trumpets. 

God’s Timing of the Trumpets

John eats the book and is told to prophesy. Then he describes the two witnesses. When we first discovered that the two anointed ones of God would call down plagues upon the Earth, it seemed pretty harsh. Now we see that the signs they give are acts of God’s mercy to help the world recognize that the time of the return of Jesus is at hand! These are the actions of the two:
  1. They prophesy for 3.5 years.
  2. They lay dead 3.5 days
  3. They are brought back to life and ascended to Heaven with a great earthquake. 
Then we see:

The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe comes quickly. (Revelation 11:14 AKJV)

The second woe is the sixth trumpet. This cannot be a mere three and a half days after their death because we have five trumpets that must sound which will take at least one year. Since it is not 3.5 days, it must be 3.5 years, the second half of Daniel’s week. We can firmly place the second woe and sixth trumpet at the end of the Tribulation. 

7th Trumpet

And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give you thanks, O LORD God Almighty, which are, and were, and are to come; because you have taken to you your great power, and have reigned. (Revelation 11:15-17 AKJV)

The phrase “become the kingdom of the Lord and of his Christ” may seem a bit confusing, since the Lord is Christ. It is a declaration that Jesus is taking His rightful place and full authority over the Earth. This is what allows the wrath to be poured out. We see this progression through the Book of Revelation:
  • Chapter 9: Trumpets
  • Chapter 10: New Prophecy
  • Chapter 11: The World via the Two Witnesses
The Book of Revelation then flows directly into the seventh trumpet. This makes it clear that after Daniel’s week is complete, then the seventh trumpet is blown. All of Heaven rejoices, for it is finally time for our Lord to take possession of the Earth! 

And the nations were angry, and Your wrath is come and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that You should give reward to Your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Your name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the Earth. (Revelation 11:18 AKJV)

This scripture is power packed with events that occur:
  1. God’s wrath
  2. The time of the Dead
  3. The reward for God’s prophets, saints and those that fear Him.
  4. The destruction of those who have destroyed the Earth
God’s wrath has come with a “time of the dead” where judgment and reward will be given. We will have to look specifically for the bride of Christ in later scriptures to see how that segment of God’s people are affected.

And the temple of God was opened in Heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament: and there were lightning, and voices, and thunder, and an earthquake, and great hail. (Revelation 11:19 AKJV)

Besides the thunder, lightning, and voices, we have an earthquake released along with great hail. Now God’s wrath will be poured out which we will discuss next!  We will look at the wrath of God, knowing that Jesus has provided a way for those who love Him to escape the wrath… there is no need to fear if we will prepare by learning more about Him!  We can firmly place the third woe and 7th trumpet after the end of the Tribulation. 

The Timing of the Rapture

Let’s confirm not only the rapture, but its timing. Paul began this discourse on the rapture with a key factor about when this will occur:

And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. (1 Thessalonians 1:10 AKJV)

This happens before God’s wrath. We will be rescued “out of” and “from” the judgment coming on the Earth.

...for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:52 AKJV)

For this we declare to you by the Lord’s [own] word, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord shall in no way precede [into His presence] or have any advantage at all over those who have previously fallen asleep [in Him in death]. For the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a loud cry of summons, with the shout of an archangel, and with the blast of the trumpet of God. And those who have departed this life in Christ will rise first. Then we, the living ones who remain [on the Earth], shall simultaneously be caught up along with [the resurrected dead] in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so always (through the eternity of the eternities) we shall be with the Lord! (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 AMPC)

This event doesn’t count as the second coming of Jesus because He sounds the trumpet in the “air” or the spirit realm surrounding the Earth. We see an order of events that was spoken of and in agreement with Revelation: the dead rise when judgment and reward are given. 
The phrase “simultaneously be caught up” is translated “rapture” in Latin which is where we get the term. Where will we go? The Greek word aēr (ah-ayr’ ) is a word the Jewish community associates with the spirit realm. There are some important questions we need to ask ourselves:
  • If this was happening when Jesus was taking His physical place as ruler over the Earth, why would we need to be transformed into spirit beings? 
  • Why wouldn’t we just rule with Him in our physical bodies? 
Paul completes this discussion with a second reminder about the wrath of God:

For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with Him. (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 ESV)

The second mention of wrath by Paul confirms it’s placement before the wrath of God. In other scriptures about the seals and trumpets we see it cannot come before certain events:

But relative to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and our gathering together to [meet] Him, we beg you, brethren, not to allow your minds to be quickly unsettled or disturbed or kept excited or alarmed, whether it be by some [pretended] revelation of [the] Spirit or by word or by letter [alleged to be] from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has [already] arrived and is here. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 AMPC)

This is Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians. The rapture, “our gathering together to meet Him” seems to be a hot topic even back then! It was always “big business” to get people stirred up with fear. The apostle who authored more than half the New Testament warns us not to worry that we have missed it. We need to look at what the scriptures say about the timing so we don’t let our minds get alarmed, unsettled, or disturbed by those stirring up fear.

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 AKJV)

According to Paul, there are two events that must happen before the return of the Lord:
  1. Christians falling away from the faith
  2. The AntiChrist declares himself to be god in the temple of God. 
According to Daniel’s Week and the timeline we have established, the AntiChrist will declare himself god in the middle of Daniel’s week. This means ALL Christians will be on Earth for the first three and a half years after the seven year peace agreement is signed. 
For more clues we can relate this to what Jesus said to His followers concerning the time when He would rule in power on the Earth:

When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoever reads, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains... (Matthew 24:15-16 AKJV)

The Lord begins a very long list of happenings with this statement. This confirms we will see the AntiChrist in the temple of God before we leave. If we were going to be raptured out of the earth as soon as the AntiChrist appeared in the temple, why would we need to understand what is happening and run for our lives? Then He lists another event to help us with our time-table:

Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not shed its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Matthew 24:29 AMPC)

This is exactly what happens with the fifth trumpet. Until that trumpet sounds, only one-third of the sky is darkened. Christians will still be on the Earth during the fifth trumpet. 

And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the Earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of Heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of Heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:30-31 AKJV)

Jesus confirms that it will be a single trumpet sound that calls the devoted home. The four winds happen on the Earth, the heavens are the entire universe. At this point, the Lord goes back to urge them to watch for signs and to be ready for when He returns.

And they did not know or understand until the flood came and swept them all away—so will be the coming of the Son of Man. At that time two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the hand mill; one will be taken and one will be left.

Watch therefore [give strict attention, be cautious and active], for you do not know in what kind of a day [whether a near or remote one] your Lord is coming. (Matthew 24:39-42 AMPC)

This is about workers, which may indicate it applies to those working for God. Life will go on as usual, then something will suddenly happen: one will be taken and one left behind. This is why many believe the rapture will come and remove some Christians from the Earth. The conversation continues in the next chapter, twenty-five, where the Lord speaks about the following;
  1. The Ten Virgins: His bride
  2. The Vineyard Workers: serving the Lord  
The order of the parables are important, when we consider everything we have learned while studying Revelation: 
  • The bride is discussed first and her fate is sealed before other Christians because she is taken in the rapture. 
    • Five out of ten virgins waiting on the groom are left where there is “weeping and gnashing of teeth;” a common term for a time of hardship and trials. 
    • It is clear that not all who are waiting for the Lord’s return will escape the time of wrath. 
  • Those who have not earned their wedding dress through righteous deeds (Revelation 19:8) will remain after the rapture and are the servants in the second parable.
Once the fate of Christians is fully explained, we see what happens next:

When the Son of Man comes in His glory (His majesty and splendor), and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them [the people] from one another as a shepherd separates His sheep from the goats. (Matthew 25:31-32 AMPC)

The order of these scriptures is a beautiful design only God could arrange. The Jewish disciples had no idea there would be a rapture; they only wanted to know about the second coming. However, God knows all things. When giving them what they wanted, Jesus described the order of events and even included the Rapture! 
We can confirm this by correlating what we found in Revelations and the New Testament. The churches in Revelation show that God expects certain behaviors of His church. For the assemblies of believers who hold to His Word with patient expectation, there is a reward of being kept from the “trial upon the whole earth.” If we connect this with the instruction from Paul, we see we will be rescued and delivered “out of and from” the wrath. God’s “wrath” poured out in the vials: these are the events that faithful Christians will get to miss. 
Add to these facts that the two witnesses are killed after 1,260 days, in the middle of the tribulation. These are Christians who have given their lives doing the job God created them for. They definitely qualify as the dead who will rise to meet the Lord in the air. That means that the rapture cannot happen until the two witnesses rise in view of the whole world. 
We know they rise after the sixth trumpet, which is the second woe, three and a half years after they die. This means Christians will be removed somewhere between the sixth trumpet and the wrath of God at the end of Daniel’s week. 

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the [sound of the] last trumpet call. For a trumpet will sound, and the dead [in Christ] will be raised imperishable (free and immune from decay), and we shall be changed (transformed). (1 Corinthians 15:52 AMPC)

The seventh trumpet is the “last” trumpet from Heaven. During that trumpet we see that Jesus was finally given full power upon the earth. This means that the final trumpet that we are looking for is the seventh trumpet after the seals are broken. 
We will place these items in the timeline before we begin to look at what God’s wrath is all about.

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