The following is the second part of a series of lessons looking at the Revelation form a totally new perspective. To read the entire subject please click HERE.
Interspersed with the seven parallel events of the previous lesson, are the things the Apostle John saw and recorded. Some are obviously prophetic, but are probably not chronological. John recorded the events as he was shown them, but they are not, I believe, in chronological order within the scenario of The Time of Jacob’s Trouble. Several visions described by John are clearly historic. Most of the remaining visions, I believe, occur before the final three and one-half years of what we call the Great Tribulation.
The first chapter of the Revelation introduces John the Apostle and the Person who reveals the prophecy, the Lord Jesus. Chapters two and three are seven letters dictated to John by Jesus to seven churches. It is the view of many Bible scholars that these seven churches represent periods in the history of the Church Age; the time from the beginning of the Church until the time the Lord Jesus calls His Church home. For more detail, please click HERE.
As stated above, I believe the Seven Seals, Trumpets and Golden Bowls form the structure of the Wrath of God and occur as simultaneous parallel events. I also strongly suspect that the interspersed visions seen by the Apostle John mostly occur before the justifiable Wrath of God.
The Prophet Jeremiah describes a time like no other. He uses the metaphor of a woman in labor, just as the Lord Jesus and the Prophet Isaiah did when they were speaking of End Time events. Jeremiah calls this The Time of Jacob’s Trouble.
I will not take part in the discussion of whether the “Tribulation” is three and one-half, or seven years long. I will, however, note that there are no seven-year periods found in the Revelation, but there are several periods of time that equal three and one-half years; 1,260 days, 42 months, or 3½ times.
Chapter four of the Revelation begins with John being called to Heaven “immediately” by a voice “like a trumpet.” What a picture of the catching away, or the Rapture! This chapter describes a Heavenly scene. Chapter five describes the search for someone worthy to open the sealed scroll, which is the title deed of earth, given up by man when he sinned. The one worthy is Jesus, the Lamb of God, the Redeemer, who begins the process by opening each seal.
Some of the visions of John are clearly historic. The woman, who I call “Mother Israel,” delivers a child, the Lord Jesus, who is “caught up” (Greek harpazo – the same word used to describe the Rapture) to Heaven. Meanwhile, the dragon, or Satan, sweeps one-third of the stars from Heaven, a possible (and only) indication of how many spiritual beings chose to follow Satan and rebel against the Lord. These visions appear to describe events that have all occurred in the past.
The Greek word thlipsis (Strong’s G2347) is used throughout the New Testament and is translated as tribulation, affliction or persecution. The Apostle Paul uses this word several times to describe the tribulations of his life. In chapter 1:9 John says he is our companion in the tribulation of this life. The Lord Jesus tells the Church in Smyrna (the persecuted Church) that He knows of their tribulation in this life.
Chapter 7:9-17 shows a great multitude of people from all nations. They are described as having washed their robes in the Blood of the Lamb. They are Christians. Regarding this multitude, because I believe this passage occurs before the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, and because it appears that this tribulation is the tribulation of this life, I believe the great multitude of Christians in chapter seven are the Church called home to Heaven, who have endured the tribulation of this life.
There are more examples occurring before The Time of Jacob’s Trouble. We will investigate them in the next lesson. Until then, let us all praise the Lord.