Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Chapter 6

The Great Day of His Wrath is Come

The Day of the Lord has begun! Christians, having been rescued from the wrath to come via the rapture, are with God in heaven. The peoples of the world, after realizing their error in following the antichrist, will be in a fear stricken panic. They have seen Christ in the clouds, and they have had an epiphany and are scared to death. The big question is what will happen next?

After the rapture occurs, many other catastrophic events—all part of the Day of the Lord—will occur during this time. These events are succinctly listed in Revelation and will encompass the seventh seal and the trumpet and vial (or bowl) judgments. We will examine these events individually, so we can get a feel for what this time will be like.

The Seventh Seal

The first judgment of the Day of the Lord is the seventh seal:

And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. (Rev. 8:1-6)

When the seventh seal is opened, the first thing that we notice is that there is a time of silence in heaven. This silence indicates to me that something very important and sobering is about to occur. It is plausible to theorize that there may also be a great silence in the hearts and minds of the people left on earth after the rapture, after having just seen Christ in the clouds and witnessing the disappearance of millions of people. I am sure that they will be pondering the events that just took place and the events that are about to unfold. The next thing we see is that fire is cast to the earth. This may indicate a meteor shower or horrific lightning storms. There is another earthquake and the seven trumpet judgments are permitted to begin.

Scripture tells us that this pouring out of wrath is the result of the prayers of the saints in connection with the persecution they have suffered at the hands of the antichrist and his followers (Rev. 6:10-11). God’s vengeance is a just recompense for the wickedness that the world has committed. So the seventh seal consists of “fire” cast to the earth, a great earthquake, and seven more judgments known as the trumpet judgments.

The First Trumpet
The first trumpet judgment is found in Rev. 8:7:

The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

Several interpretations have been offered as to what this judgment entails, including a meteor shower, fire and brimstone literally falling from heaven, and severe thunderstorms with huge hail and catastrophic lightning. Although we cannot be sure, I feel that the language of the text lends itself to the latter interpretation. That is, the judgment consists of horrific thunderstorms with devastating hail and fire. One of the main reasons leading me to this conclusion is that the language in the passage is very similar to the language in Ex 9:22–23:

And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt. And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt.

We see here a local judgment on the land of Egypt consisting of horrific thunderstorms with devastating hail and fire. It is interesting to note that the hail caused fire to run upon the ground. This may be what is known as ball lightning, which has been observed frequently in modern times. This phenomena is caused by the air being super-charged with static electricity. I remember as a boy at scout camp a thunderstorm came across the bay toward where we were standing. As it approached, ball lightning eerily sizzled as it moved erratically about fifteen feet above our heads. It could have just as easily occurred on the ground. Another possible cause is electrically charged hail lying on the ground. While I feel the most likely scenario is horrific thunderstorms with hail, whatever this judgment is, it will result in one-third of all the trees on the earth being burnt up and all the grass being burnt up.

The Second Trumpet...


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