FoundationsForGrowing

The End Times: Part III

by Joanna Pierce on May 19, 2016

Last week, our study of the Book of Revelation and the End Times continued with examining the overarching themes, and introducing the breaking of the 7 seals. This week, we will reveal seals 2–7, trumpets, and vials.

Seven Seals

Second Seal: Red Horse

The second seal will be a rider on a red horse who will steal the illusion of peace from the earth. He will have a great sword and will simulate war (Revelation 6:3–4). The overarching reference to “earth” in this passage of Scripture denotes more of a global rather than national event.

Third Seal: Black Horse

The third seal will be a rider on a black horse with a balance in his hand. There will be famine in the land with his arrival (Revelation 6:5–6). There is speculation as to what will cause the famine and when it will begin (possibly with the arrival of the red horse). Poverty will result from this widespread famine.

Fourth Seal: Pale Horse

The fourth seal will be a pale horse called “death,” and hell will follow with him. (Revelation 6:7–8). The earth will see a fourth of the population killed at this time. However, even with widespread death and destruction, there will still be people who believe all has been caused by natural disasters (strong delusion) rather than by the hand of God.

Fifth Seal: Martyrs

There are many questions if there will be people saved after the rapture of the church. In this seal, souls will be revealed that have been slain for the Word of God (Revelation 6:9–11). We can assume there will be a type of salvation after the rapture, but the church should not plan on securing their salvation at this time—our goal should be to escape from tribulation and make the rapture.

There are two types of “tribulation saints” that we see in Scripture. There are those who are protected (Revelation 7:1–8), the 144,000 sealed saints, which possibly points to a remnant church of the Jewish nation. There are also persecuted saints (Revelation 7:9–14) who will be martyred for their beliefs.

Sixth Seal: Upheaval of the Heavens and the Earth

Much will occur during the unveiling of this seal—earthquakes, blackened sun, blood moon, and falling stars. The earth will be wrought with trembling and destruction, which again will be widespread instead of confined to a few areas of the globe (Revelation 6:12–17). Some people who are surviving during this time will be aware it is God’s wrath coming down upon the earth (Revelation 6:16).

Seventh Seal: Angels with Trumpets

John sees seven angels standing before God with seven trumpets in their hands. They prepared themselves to sound for what is yet to fall upon the earth (Revelation 8:1–6).

Seven Trumpets

First Trumpet: Plant Life

One third of the earth’s vegetation will be burned by fire which falls from heaven. We can foresee this destruction will cause an ecological disaster as trees are a vital source for producing oxygen. All of the green grass will be burned during this time as well (Revelation 8:7).

Second Trumpet: Seas

One third of the sea will become blood which will cause the death of a third of the sea creatures. The end result will be a third of all the seas destroyed upon the earth (Revelation 8:8–9). This will greatly affect the economy as various trade waterways will be eliminated.

Third Trumpet: Fresh Waters

After one third of the seas are destroyed, and their inhabitants, we will see one third of the fresh water sources destroyed. Additional people will die because of the bitter waters (Revelation 8:10–11).

Fourth Trumpet: Heavens Struck

One third of the sun, moon, and stars will be destroyed—there will be more darkness than ever before (Revelation 8:12–13).

Fifth Trumpet: Locusts

There will be a release of a terrible locust that will not attack the earth, but only mankind (excluding the protected saints). The locusts will be so terrible and torment humans for a span of 5 months; men will seek death and not be able to die (Revelation 9:1–12).

Sixth Trumpet: 4 Angels

Four angels will be loosed from the river Euphrates and they will bring with them armies to attack those who remain on the earth. From this slaughter, another third of mankind will be destroyed. After their work is complete, approximately half of the world’s population will have been destroyed at this point by the previous seals and trumpets. Even after all of this, mankind will still seek to serve devils and idols and not reverence God (Revelation 9:13–10:6).

Vials

The seven angels were also instructed to pour out their vials upon the earth. Some theologians have determined these to be additional woes upon the earth, and some have described the vials as more detailed descriptions as to what has happened on the earth during the opening of the deals and sounding of the trumpets.

First Vial: Sores

Those who have taken the mark of the best will receive a grievous sore (Revelation 16:2).

Second Vial: Seas

The rest of the seas will become as blood and everything (the remaining two-thirds) in the seas will die (Revelation 16:3).

Third Vial: Fresh Waters

An angel will pour out his vial and the rest of the fresh waters will become blood as well (Revelation 16:4–7).

Fourth Vial: Fire & Heat

The remaining portion of the sun (two-thirds) will be able to scorch men with fire and a great heat (Revelation 16:8–9).

Fifth Vial: Darkness

After blazing heat and a terrible sun, the world will be in darkness. Mankind will sit alone and writhe in their pain, but will still not repent for their actions (Revelation 16:10–11).

Sixth Vial: War Preparations

The river Euphrates will be dried up and events will start to begin to reign in the battle of Armageddon. Nations and people will be stirred up ready for war (Revelation 16:12–16).

Seventh Vial: Earthquake & Hail

There will be a great earthquake upon the earth, nations/cities will be divided. A great hail will fall out of heaven and men will continue to curse God (Revelation 16:17–21).

Seven Thunders

With the many woes that are poured out on the earth with the opening of the seals, the blowing of trumpets, and the pouring out of vials, there are still seven thunders to be witnessed. John the Revelator began to write what he had seen, but the Lord told Him not to record his vision (Revelation 10:4).

We will never know what is to come in the thunders, but the Lord has given His people more than enough insight as to the terrible things that are to befall mankind during the tribulation. The church needs to be ready for the rapture!

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on May 18, 2016