YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHING YET
Now, gore galore: Most people want to get into the gory details of Revelation, so let us jump right in. As the previous lesson points out, the book of Revelation in not just a bunch of symbols, but history revealed before it actually transpires. And, Revelation tells us how this present evil age will end. The first three and one-half years will be the mild portion of the total Tribulation Period.
The details are sealed in a little scroll until the Lamb of God proves to be the only Person worthy and qualified to open that scroll, in order to reveal, first the rise of the Antichrist, and then God’s judgment-response to all the rebellion the Antichrist incites around the planet, beginning in the Middle East. In Revelation 6:2, the one riding a white horse is often mistaken for Christ; but that is not the case. It is the Antichrist. The white horse is the fooler. But notice that the rider has a bow as a weapon. Jesus Christ has a two-edged sword coming out of His mouth. Moreover, Antichrist goes out to conquer, whereas Jesus Christ has already conquered by means of the cross. In Revelation, the victorious Christ metes out judgment. Ezekiel 39:3 prophesied about the demise of the Antichrist, saying God will knock the bow out of his left hand, and the arrows out of his right hand. See Revelation 6:2 in that light. That series of seals reveals that under Antichrist’s reign people will kill one another as they did in Noah’s day. On top of that, there will be widespread famine. In Matthew 24:7, Jesus prophesied those very things: Nation rising against nation; pestilences and famines and earthquakes occurring all around the globe. So rather than the Antichrist reign improving people’s lives (which pitch he will obviously make to them to persuade them to follow him), starvation, sickness, wild animal attacks and death by war will be the norm during that first three and one half years of the Tribulation. Then, the harsh judgements from on high will begin after that half-way point. But first, the Gospel will be preached in all the world. And many will accept the Gospel and be saved. Matthew 24:14 tells us that the same Gospel Jesus Christ preached when He was on earth will be preached all around the world during those days. But a common fate of Christians during that time will be a swift beheading (Revelation 6:9-11, 20:4). The judgment-icing-on-the-cake of that first Tribulation half will be an earthquake felt around the world—nothing like that in all of history. The sun and moon will fail to give the light they have been accustomed to give. Meteor showers as never before, and a major readjustment of earth’s landscape. Many people will perceive by that time that such happenings must be the beginning of the end. People of all ranks will find hiding places in caves and mountainous terrain; actually begging the rocks to fall on them, to hide them from the wrath of the Lamb (Revelation 6:16-17). In a previous lesson, I commented about all the hubbub going on now about climate change: “You ain’t seen nothing yet!” Well, throughout history since the fall, there have been wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, meteor showers, changes in the weather patterns, cruel dictators oppressing the population, etc., etc. About all of those things, I will again say, “You ain’t seen nothing yet!” We just barely covered all the heartaches resulting from the opening of the seven seals. That seventh seal was the prelude to the next round of judgments—the seven trumpets. And finally, there are the seven vials of the full wrath of God. But we are still in the first half. More future history to come.
(Ron Craig is pastor, teacher and author of Christian books; and these articles. You may view all the books by logging onto www.livingwayfellowshiponline.org. While logged on the website you can even listen to audio Bible-lesson podcasts. You may also send your questions or comments to email@example.com)