Revelation 11-15; I am deviating from the normal five chapters from our weekly reading because the content and context of these chapters are different from chapters 16 and 17. The thought of Seals and Trumpets from last weeks blog revealed that much of the events or judgments released via the seals and trumpets reflect an ongoing tribulation which if it dare be said are “normal” for life on earth. The hope of God for the seals and trumpets is that mankind will repent of their evil and rebellion and turn back to Him as Yahweh! In the chapters I identified for this blog we find a sort of sitcom episode occurring. What I mean by this is the events and description of the characters in these chapters are ongoing the same time as the seals and trumpets are being released. I know that this will not bode well with many who read this blog; that is because we have been overwhelmed with bible prophecy and “scholars” understand that has been tainted by the compulsion of the pre-trib rapture and dispensation. I find that it is interesting that only is American Christianity do you find this overwhelming desire to project future cataclysmic events from the perspective of “escapism” of the tribulation. I would think anyone who has been living on planet earth for the last few years has discovered we are now living in a “tribulation period.” However, this is normal when forces of evil and the Holy Spirit are resident on earth. The martyrs for the faith are often overlooked by western Christians. Part of the problem with understanding the end times events is where one places the snatching out or 1st resurrection. Most dispensationalist try to put the “rapture” event early on, even after the discourse of the Seven Churches. However, if we realize the significance of the seven seals and trumpets as God’s way of “inviting” repentant souls to embrace Jesus as Savior, then the Rapture cannot occur until after the last Trumpet – which makes sense for Paul says this as does Jesus. [Rev 11:15-19; 1 Cor 15:52; Matthew 24:31] In Rev 16 we read of the Wrath of God being poured out on all ungodliness. The Wrath and Judgment are two different things. Wrath of the Bowls is poured out, but not with a purpose of getting mankind to repent, for they refuse to do so [ 16:9, 11]
With Parallelism in a book we find that many events are going on at the same time; yet we also find that there are varied perspectives of the same thing. The struggle with modern-day “Prophets” is that they try to make every scene fit into a chronological sequence. Much of the modern prophecy is given from the vantage point of the news as heard on CNN or Fox News. Very interesting since the media serves itself, not God.
In chapters 12-14 we have a continuing picture of what is going on in the world during the seals and trumpets. The battle between the forces of evil and the saints. If we could fold these chapters into the seals and trumpets dialogue we could see that the scenes are synonymous with each other. God and the angels at war with Satan who has been cast down to earth. In chapter 12, we have to see that this is a reflecting backwards at what has happened in times past – Satan being cast down to earth has made war with mankind. The main objective of these episodes is to reveal the war of Satan and the messengers of God to men. I see the 144,000 as an innumerable host of mankind who are martyrs for the Gospel.
When we capture the event described with the reapers in chapter 14; we discover the “harvest reaped” the saints of God. Jesus spoke of how the wheat and tares would remain until the harvest – this harvest [14-16; a different harvest is seen in 17-20; the first is the saints, the second is the lost. When we get to the scene in chapter 15; we find a great rejoicing; after the rapture event in chapter 14; there is great celebration; again God’s deliverance of His people from WRATH – this hold true to Old and New Testaments of God releasing His wrath; but only after His saints are delivered. [1 Thess 5:9]
The major problem that most interpretation of end times is that too often the tribulation times are not identified with the saints – this is a false theology, for we find that many preachers say the same from the pulpits – the Christian life is one of suffering and tribulation, to try to deny that such is the life of a believer, is heresy. If the believer is intimately identified with his Savior, then that which the Savior endured will be the life of the Follower.