TODAY’S READING: REVELATION 6-11
The first account of the Tribulation and Second Coming through the opening of the seven seals (6:1-8:1); the second account of the Tribulation and Second Coming through the sounding of the seven trumpets (8:2-11:19).
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
Yesterday’s reading concluded with John revealing to us the SCENE IN HEAVEN immediately following the Rapture of the redeemed Church of Jesus Christ (chapters 4 and 5). When we pick up in chapter 6 in today’s reading, John is revealing to us the SCENE ON THE EARTH immediately following the Rapture.
This chapter begins the revelation of the Tribulation Period, which of course, culminates with the Second Coming of Christ. In fact, what we will see in chapters 6-19, are actually four accounts of those events. This is a point that you need to nail down in your mind if you are going to keep between the white lines of how God has “divided” the Book of Revelation! It is at this point that most commentators, theologians, and Bible “experts” lose their way in this Book. They try to approach these chapters from a western mindset (linear, or sequential thinking — i.e. this happens, and then this happens, and then that, etc.), forgetting that the Bible (as we’ve talked about before) is an Asian Book, and is written circularly as opposed to linearly. There is perhaps no place in the Word of God where that is more clearly seen than in Revelation 6-19. Rather than one continuous, sequential time-line in these chapters, what God does is takes you through the same ground (the Sec!
ond Coming of Christ) four different times, from four different perspectives. Sure, commentators, theologians, and Bible “experts” balk at such a preposterous idea, trying to appeal to our sense of reason, purporting, “Why in the world would God do something as unthinkable as take you through the same ground four different times from four different perspectives?”, forgetting, of course, that that’s exactly what He did in the Gospels! The Gospels give us four accounts of the First Coming of Christ, and because God is so unbelievably consistent, before He concludes His revelation to man, in the Book of Revelation, He gives us four accounts of the Second Coming of Christ!
If you miss what God is actually doing in these chapters, the Book of Revelation becomes a chaotic nightmare requiring a lot of doctrinal gymnastics to keep it making any kind of logical sense. Seeing that one simple factor (four accounts of the same events), however, keeps this seemingly complex Book unbelievably simple and easy to understand.
God brings us through the first account of the Tribulation and Second Coming through THE OPENING OF THE SEVEN SEALS in Revelation 6:1-8:1. (In fact, make a note in your mind as you read chapter 6 today, that this chapter alone provides the first complete account of the Tribulation and Second Coming. The opening of the first five seals (6:1-11) covers the entire seven years of the Tribulation Period, and the opening of the sixth seal (6:12-17) is the first account of the Second Coming of Christ.
In chapters 8:2-11:19, God brings us through the Tribulation and Second Coming for the second complete time, this time through THE SOUNDING OF SEVEN TRUMPETS. The third account is found in chapters 12-14, as this time God brings us through this same ground through THE REVEALING OF SEVEN PERSONAGES (or SEVEN PERSONALITIES).
Then, the fourth and final time through the Tribulation and Second Coming is found in chapters 15-19, through THE POURING OF THE SEVEN VIALS.
There is waaaaaaay too much to comment on in today’s reading, just remember that one of the keys to understanding this incredible Book is recognizing that this is not symbolism that John is revealing that needs to be interpreted or figured out. Just believe what you’re reading, understanding that John is a man living in the first century using first century terminology, trying to describe events happening in the world in the 21st century!
If you find yourself either confused or intrigued by the things you’re reading in the Book of Revelation, may I suggest our verse by verse study of this Book. Because it was an 167 part series, I would suggest listening via our lending library. Contact New Philadelphian Resource Center (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.