Tuesday, March 18, 2008

reading Rev.

I’m not an expert on Bible prophesy, but I recently decided to take a hard look at Revelation. A lot of it matches up with Daniel, and is old hat to most SDA’s. However, the seven churches, seals, trumpets, and bowls are not as clear. Here are a few of my initial conclusions. I may end up changing my mind on some of the following, but here is some food for thought.

The seven churches, seals, trumpets, and bowls all end at about the same time. Like Daniel’s dreams, they each tell the story with increasing focus on the events just prior to the second coming. Here is the proof: compare Rev. 4:5, 8:5, 11:19, and 16:18. These passages each come after one of the seven’s and all appear to be describing the same thing. Taken together, it is pretty clear that they are describing what happens in heaven and on earth right before Christ comes back.

The trumpets don’t happen until the sealing of the 144K. This should be pretty obvious, but somehow I hadn’t heard it before. Rev. 7:3-4 says the earth, sea, and trees won’t be hurt until the 144K are sealed. Rev. 8: 7-8 describes the first two trumpets as destroying 1/3 of the earth, sea, and trees, so they must be after the sealing of the 144K.

The people who have had a chance to learn about God will either be sealed or get the mark of the beast before the most of calamities depicted in Revelation take place. See 1 Peter 4:17, “judgment starts with the house of God.” These are the 144K who have not been defiled with women (Babylon), are first fruits, and seem to have Christ like perfected characters—Rev. 14:4.

After the 144K are sealed, the trumpets start happening, the angel’s messages in Rev. 14:8-9 and 18:4 are proclaimed, and the group described in Rev. 7:9 comes out and are sealed. These can’t be part of the 144K because they were defiled with Babylon. After they join the 144K, the seven bowls are poured out and the second coming happens. I have heard that the 144K are those who will be living at the second coming, but this can’t be right as the 144K are first fruits and we know that the dead, not the living, will rise first.

This is relevant to those who are part of God’s house, because they won’t get any warning before the sealing—hence the frequent thief in the night metaphor. God’s house doesn’t get a second bite at the apple after the trumpet’s start happening.

I may be wrong about much of the above, but I think these issues deserve our thought and prayer. After all, the hereafter may depend on it.