REVELATION 6:1-2 A SUMMARY OF THE MAJOR EVENTS WHICH TAKE PLACE DURING THE FIRST SEAL JUDGMENT OR THE FIRST 3 1/2 YEARS OF THE TRIBULATION

 

January 2011

Dear Friends,

 "I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, "Come!" I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest." (Rev. 6:1-2)  Commentators distinguish between the tribulation and the "great tribulation" (Revelation 7:14; Matt. 24:21) with the latter beginning midway through the seven-year period when the Antichrist's breaks the peace treaty with Israel (Daniel 9:27), the 3 1/2 years of peace (a false peace) end, and war, death and destruction begin.  "He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.'  In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him." (Dan. 9:27) Many of my comments are based on a self-published book by Steve Griffith (a friend of Ken Boa) entitled, Revelation Alive – A Layman's Guide to End-Time Events. (See RevelationAlive.net) Griffith's book references many of the more well-known authors on end times and helps clarify the chronology of events in Revelation. His summary of the events in the first seal (6:1-2) which occur before the great tribulation are as follows: 

* The signing of the Middle East Peace Treaty and the rebuilding and completion of (a few months before the mid-point of the tribulation) the temple in Israel (Matt. 24:15; 2 Thess. 2:3-4) and a return to the Levitical system of worship. (Dan. 9:27)

* The "peaceful" (no resistance) expansion of the Antichrist's empire beyond its ten-nation core into all nations whose principle religion is Christianity (ultimately the entire western world and the largest empire in human history). He, not the UN, will call all the shots.   (Rev. 6:1-2).

* The murder of many post-rapture Christians by the post-Rapture apostate church (the "harlot" – Rev. 17:6).

* The decree by the false prophet that all persons on earth make an image of the Antichrist to be worshiped (Rev. 13:14). 

* The murder of those who refuse to worship the image of Antichrist (Rev. 13:15).    

* The breaking of the peace treaty by the Antichrist exactly 3 1/2 years after its signing and the declaration  of the Antichrist, upon desecrating the temple, that he is God (Dan. 9:27; Matt. 24:15-22; 2 Thess. 2:3-4).

Daniel 9:26 clearly states that the Antichrist will come from a people who destroyed Jerusalem (which happened in 70 A. D.) by Titus a Roman general and emperor. So the Antichrist will come from the line of Japhethites (Gentile Caucasian) not Shemites or Hamites. Also Daniel 7:1-8 and Revelation13:1-10 and 17:1-14 make it clear that the Antichrist's empire will begin as a ten-nation empire. But here is where Griffith and others (Ken Boa) disagree with many commentators who limit Antichrist's empire to ten European nations. Based on Jesus' Parable of the Mustard Seed, God's kingdom starts off as the smallest of religions but expands to be the largest both geographically and numerically. When John received these visions on Patmos (95 A.D.) the kingdom of God had already expanded throughout most of the Roman empire. Today, however, Christendom has now expanded to these nations and continents: USA, Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America, Great Britain, Scandinavia, Russia, Eastern Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Thus it is Biblically possible that the Antichrist's ten-nation core could come from any part of present-day Christendom. Three other clues may help us discern the make-up of the ten- nation core: 1) Revelation 18:3- "your (Antichrist's) merchants were the great men of the earth." More than 60% of the earth's annual goods and services come from seven nations: USA, Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. The majority of the world's wealthiest men still live in the USA, Europe or Japan. Although Arab nations control up to 40% of the earth's known oil reserves, the annual GNP of Arab nations is still just one-fifth of the leading economies in the West. 2) Revelation 13:4 "Men worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, "Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?" The apostle John tells us that the end-times empire of the Antichrist will include the military powerhouses of the world, so who can possibly defeat him? The seeming Achilles' heel of every end-times scenario which limits the Antichrist's empire solely to Western Europe is the fact that the USA and Russia currently possess the military strength of the world. The destruction seen in the seal judgments in Revelation 6:3-8 appears only possible if Western Europe is allied with the USA and possibly Russia. Add the other nations seen above and it would be so staggering (the only buffer being China) that the world would readily say, "Who can make war against him?" Also because of the significant number of born-again Christians in America, the USA would be the most crippled nation due to the Rapture and thus more willing to align with other nations. 3)  Revelation 18:3: "For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries." The Antichrist's end-times empire will have a lifestyle sought after and desired by the whole world – that of the West and particularly the USA.      

How will the Antichrist expand his empire so easily (peacefully)? 1) Through the economic power of the ten wealthy nations; 2) through the military power of  these ten nations; 3) his masterful use of the post-Rapture apostate church to further his agenda; 4) the deluding influence sent by God upon unbelievers: "The coming of the lawless one (the Antichrist) will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness." (2 Thess. 2:9-12)

He (the Antichrist) will negotiate a peace settlement in the Middle East and provide for an end to the Arab-Israeli controversy, guaranteeing Israel's security as a nation, and giving the Jews access to the temple site so that a temple can be rebuilt and their ancient worship can be reestablished.  (Since Orthodox rabbis teach that the temple cannot be rebuilt until Messiah comes, many Jews may be deceived into thinking that this prince is Messiah.) {The Temple Institute, an organization in Jerusalem trying to rebuild the Jewish temple, already has built 60 of the 92 articles and vessels the Bible says were used in the ancient temple.  (National & International Religion Report, 1/14/91; 5/11/06 update: http://www.templeinstitute.org/about.htm}

"Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door."(Matt. 24:32-33) ["Again our Lord draws a spiritual lesson from nature. When the branches of the fig tree become green and tender, you know that summer is near. We have seen that the fig tree pictures the nation of Israel (Matt. 21:18-22). For hundreds of years Israel has been dormant, with no government of its own, no land, no temple, no priesthood-no sign of national life. The people have been scattered throughout the world. Then, in 1948, Israel became a nation with its own land, government, currency, stamps, etc. Spiritually, the nation is still barren and cold; there is no fruit for God. But nationally, we might say that its branches are green and tender.  "So you also, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, at the door!" Israel's emergence as a nation means not only that the beginning of the Tribulation is near, but that the Lord Himself is near, at the very doors! If Christ's coming to reign (on earth) is so near, (i.e., His second coming) how much more imminent is the Rapture of the church?  (1 Thess. 4:13-18) MacDonald, William ; Farstad, Arthur: Believer's Bible Commentary : Old and New Testaments. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1997, c1995] "So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him." (Matthew 24:44)               

Until He comes,

Len and Kristen  

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