"As long as they [Americans] can have these things [personal peace and affluence], they will give up anything!" Francis Schaeffer  (1912-1984)

Before we begin our study of the tribulation (God's wrath and judgment) let's review what we have studied in Revelation 1-5 to contextualize the most severe judgment that has ever come upon mankind: First of all God's wrath is only for those who reject His grace through His Son's substitutionary death. The age of grace is ending and judgment day has come. As horrible as the tribulation is, eternal damnation is far worse and many come to salvation in the tribulation. (Rev. 7:9) John has seen the glorified Christ and taken His Word of correction and commendation to the seven churches in Asia Minor which may also represent all churches in the church age up until today. Judgment begins with the people of God (1 Peter 4:17); not punitive judgment but correcting judgment for our eternal good. Then John's vision took us to heaven (4&5) and we saw the awesome glory of God (4) and His Son (5). The thunder and lightning around the throne represent the judgment about to take place. Jesus takes the scroll (the title deed of the earth taken from mankind by Satan the usurper) and now begins to break open the seven seals- one by one. Each opened seal releases God's judgment on the earth although He uses the evil of man and Satan as His instruments of judgment. The seventh seal contains the seven trumpet judgments (8:1-6) and the seventh trumpet contain the seven bowl judgments (16:1). Jesus lays out the same sequence of judgments seen here in his Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24.  Though commentators disagree on the timing of the rapture (1 Thess. 4:17) of God's church, my conviction is that we are raptured before the tribulation. The Greek word for church (ekklesia) is not mentioned after chapter 3 until 22:16 and then we're in heaven. Also God's Word says we are not appointed unto wrath. (1 Thess. 5:9) Ultimately the book of Revelation is good news for all who are saved as God puts a permanent end to all evil and restores His kingdom, first on a renewed earth (the 1000 year reign of Christ on earth- Rev. 20) and then creates a new heaven and a new earth (Rev 21-22). {In a very real sense, Revelation, chapters 21-22 are the new Genesis, but this time there will be no fall. In broadest terms, the Bible gives the story of God's work in creation, redemption, and re-creation, and it centers on the incarnation of the God-man: Wilkinson, Bruce; Boa, Kenneth: Talk Thru the Bible. Nashville : T. Nelson.}

Genesis 1-3 Revelation 20-22
" In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (1:1) "I saw a new heaven and a new earth" (21:1)
"The darkness He called night" (1:5) "There shall be no night there" (21:25)
"God made two great lights" (sun and moon; 1:16) "The city had no need of the sun or of the moon" (21:23)
"In the day that you eat of it you shall surely die" (2:17) "There shall be no more death" (21:4)
Satan appears as deceiver of mankind (3:1) Satan disappears forever (20:10)
Shown a garden into which defilement entered (3:6-7) Shown a city into which defilement will never enter (21:27)
Walk of God with man interrupted (3:8-10) Walk of God with man resumed (21:3)
Initial triumph of the serpent (3:13) Ultimate triumph of the Lamb (20:10; 22:3)
"I will greatly multiply your sorrow" (3:16) "There shall be no more death or sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain" (21:4)
"Cursed is the ground for your sake" (3:17) "There shall be no more curse" (22:3)
Man's dominion broken in the fall of the first man, Adam (3:19) Man's dominion restored in the rule of the new man, Christ (22:5)
First paradise closed (3:23) New paradise opened (21:25)
Access to the tree of life disinherited in Adam (3:24) Access to the tree of life reinstated in Christ (22:14)
"They were driven from God's presence." (3:24) "They shall see His face" (22:4)


 "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) Some commentators say this is Christ. But that does not fit. Why?  Because Christ is opening the seal.  Also it can't be Christ, because this rider has a crown (stephanos) that's a crown that you win as a prize. Christ wears a diadem for a crown, that's a kingly crown in chapter 19 when we see Him.  Also it can't be Christ because Christ doesn't come at the beginning, He comes at the end.  It can't be Christ, He doesn't carry a bow, He carries a sword.  Some say it's the Antichrist and this fits with what follows.  


"Antichrist" is not used in the book of Revelation for this satanically inspired man. (See 1 John 2:18) He is called the beast (13:1) and other names. "Anti" not only means "against" but also means "instead of." As Jesus comes on a white horse (Rev. 19) to bring true peace, the beast comes on a white horse to bring a false peace. Note that he holds a bow but has no arrows. This symbolizes how he will take control of all the world with no force but through the promise of unity and peace. He will successfully sign a peace treaty with Israel which he will break after 31/2 years (Dan. 9:27). Some commentators believe this is when the Great Tribulation begins or the last 31/2 years of the tribulation with the intensity of God's judgment increasing.

The current events we are now seeing and hearing in the news are precursors for a world ruler. Add to this the chaos that will occur when hundreds of thousands of Christians will be raptured all over the world. Even now people are selling their souls and freedoms for personal peace and "provision" from "the government" and the greater the chaos the easier the sell. Also the apostate church ("falling away" 2 Thess 2:3; another sign of the end times) is leading to a one world religion as nominal Christians compromise the essentials doctrines of the faith for the sake of unity and peace with other religions (i.e., there are many ways to God versus John 14:6.) This one-world false religion is seen as the whore or great harlot in Revelation 17 and other places and serves the purpose of the beast to turn people to worship and submit to him. Here are some comments on The New World Order by Dr. David Reagan referring to author Michael O'Brien with a link to O'Brien's web-site: "O'Brien warns that the globalization we are currently experiencing has the unprecedented potential for bringing about a one-world government, with the subsequent dangers to individual and national freedoms. O'Brien cites the devastating effect of the E.U. and the U.N. on the "moral and psychological geography of man," notably through their anti-family and anti-population policies. Quote: "Those who undertake the building of an ideal planetary society will find that it is a great deal less easy to accomplish than they anticipated. That will be their moment of testing. In the best-case scenario, they might come to admit that genuine diversity and a broad spectrum of independent sovereignties is, after all, a healthier system of governing the people of the world-imperfect as always, but the best means of maintaining freedom. Or, driven by a pride that approaches the level of satanic, they may push onward, imposing the new order regardless of the opposition, dismissing whatever valid arguments the resistance may put forward. And if the resistance is strong, a very big stick will be needed. There will be imprisonment for those who resist (or even dissent from) the perceived 'common good.' The new rulers will justify the loss of freedoms by promoting everywhere the illusion that the successful realization of the dream is the highest good, worth any sacrifice. ('It is better that one man should die than the entire nation be destroyed,' said Caiaphas). Translated into modern terms: 'It is better that nations should die, and some of their peoples die, than our window of opportunity for global control be lost.' Formed by and living by the deformed ethic of 'the end justifies the means', they will consider themselves to be the true visionaries, the saviours of the world. In a phrase, this is secular messianism.  Quote: "It is in the nature of secular messianists to believe that if mankind will not cooperate, then mankind must be forced to cooperate- for its own good, of course. They recognize that the leap from an era of nation-states to an era of one world government will not be achieved without conscious effort and a good deal of chance. They would be blind not to see the grave problems in the present world as opportunities, as necessary creative disintegration, as the catalyst in the transforming experiment. In such a situation, management by crisis overrides authentic exercise of human freedom and responsibility. But this alone will not achieve their goals. They must also capture the popular imagination with a new global ethic, one that sweeps aside the protests of those who adhere to traditional morality, consigning us to 'the garbage heap of history,' and establishing a dangerously self-righteous moralism in its place (for example, environmentalism as eco-spirituality, or the negation of gender as 'liberation')." Quote: "The history of oppressive governments is the history of politicians attempting to save the world on their  own terms, cut off from the guiding principles of moral absolutes. If we seek to understand our times with any proximate coherence, we should understand this: Every system of totalitarian rule, including and between the poles of brutal tyranny and soft-spoken control, have this in common: 1) the rejection of binding moral absolutes established by a transcendent Being; and thus: 2) the minimizing of the absolute value of human life, and 3) the elevation of the State (malignant and seemingly benign alike) as the final arbiter of good and evil."

But note the brevity of the promised peace: "When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, "Come!" Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power(from God) to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword." (Rev. 6:3) We will study this and the other judgments seen in chapter 6 in more depth later.
     "There is no peace," says the LORD, "for the wicked." (Isa. 48:22) But God has provided a true and lasting peace through the Prince of Peace, the Lord Jesus Christ:  "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand." (Rom. 5:1-2) There can never be peace on earth and good will toward man until mankind has peace with the One and only true God. Do you have that peace?                            



What did God's Word and this teaching say to you? Why is it wise to study the book of Revelation that reveals God's wrath?

The false prophets in Jeremiah's day were promising peace to Israel when God's impending judgment was right at the door.  "They (false prophets) dress the wound of my people (sin) as though it were not serious. 'Peace, peace,' they say, when there is no peace." (Jer.6:14) Do you want personal (temporal) peace in this "present evil age" (with no correcting discipline from God through trials, etc.) more than God's truth about life (in a fallen world) and about yourself (while living in self-deception and sin with no repentance)?

Are you a peace lover or a peacemaker (Matt. 5:9)? Do you want a false peace (no conflicts, etc.) with your friends, family and those all around you and thus avoid sharing or receiving God's truth about them or yourself? Living and speaking the truth will bring persecution. (See 2 Tim. 3:12)

Scripture memory verse:  "For he himself (Jesus) is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit." (Eph. 2:14-18)

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