As discussed at length heretofore, it is impossible to grasp the message of futurity provided in Revelation 7-22 without closure to the past and a revelation of the present. Revelation 6-7 is a thematic transition point of the Book of Revelation, a pivot from the past to the future that is an essential for understanding all that is being revealed. Therefore, aspiring learners shouldn’t begin anywhere or everywhere curiously perusing the holy text in carnal enthusiasm. No! There are rules of interpretation that must be followed if we are going to acquire spiritual knowledge. Did not Jesus say, speaking of conversion, “He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber” (John 10:1)? Even so, and for the acquiring of all the knowledge of God, men must ascend thereto on the right path. Pertaining to the study of the Book of Revelation, this means: men should begin their study at the beginning of the prophecy as divine inspiration authored it! Moreover, seeing that this is the last Book of the Bible, one should endeavor to understand this Book last of all! Steep climbs aren’t for the feeble-knees of doubtful minds! So, to the aspiring learners of the Book of Revelation who are just beginning at Revelation 7, I must say, Go back. If mere curiosity has brought you here, Go back! I am certain that if watchfulness and godly fear has motivated you to learn the meaning of the Book of Revelation, then you will not mind hiking the mountain hereunto: the Introduction, Revelation 1-3, & Revelation 4-6.
“For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” – Matt. 13:15
The Book of Revelation is unrevealed to unruly eyes. The Book of Revelation is unintelligible to lawless learners. Therefore, to those who consider Bible Study a wearisome exercise for its complexity, I commend the following simple warning. To the unthoughtful readers of prophecy, I plead for the reading of just one prophecy. To the curious status-quo Covenant-Breakers of today’s Christianity, I plead, hear Christ!
“And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that Day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” – Luke 21:34-36
The Book, which is a revelation, is meant to be read in order for a proper revealing of things. Anything other than this will ensnare the reader to believe wrongly concerning the coming of this most dreadful Day! To clarify, I mean: the Book must be read and understood in the order of things being revealed! For, while being ignorant of the 7 Seals, how can one understand the 7 Trumpets? While being ignorant of the 7 Trumpets, how can one understand the 7 Thunders? While being ignorant of the 7 Thunders, how can one understand the 7 Vials? While being ignorant of the Former Days, how can one understand the Last Days? While being ignorant of the Doctrine of the Last Days as it has progressed through many cycles over many centuries, how will one understand the latter of the Last Days? While being ignorant of the former Tribulation Periods, how will one understand the last and final Tribulation Period? While being ignorant of the book in Christ’s hand, how will one understand the little book in the Angel’s hand? While being ignorant of God’s work among the Jews, how can one understand God’s work among the Gentiles as it relates to the Jews? My reader, the questions could go on.
Upon comprehending the significance of the Seals and the opening of the book, one can rightly interpret the 7 Trumpets as an alarm of impending doom upon earth’s inhabitants for the salvaging of an elect generation at the End of the World. However, while this may be overarchingly apparent as you read Revelation 7-9, the specifics are important. They certainly aren’t idle details of no significant impact upon the interpretation! So, my reader, what do you think about when you read of the Angels at the Four Winds, the potential hurting of the earth, the sea, and the grass, and the sealing / marking of an elect generation of 144,000 Israelites (Rev. 7:1-8)? What do you think about when you read of the innumerable multitude of Gentiles in Heaven who came out of Great Tribulation (Rev. 7:9-17), and how does this relate to the sealing / marking of the Israelites? What do you think about when you read of the Casting of Hot Coals from Heaven to Earth as this relates to the opening of the book and the sounding of the 7 Trumpets? Then, of course, we read of the trees and the grass, the sea, the rivers and fountains, the sky, and how the Locust Plague from the Bottomless Pit is forbidden from hurting the grass and the trees of sealed / marked men! My reader, do you know how all of this relates to a third of mankind dying according to the 6th Trumpet?
Before resorting to the Holy Scripture for the glorious unveiling of this otherwise confounding revelation, let me state the obvious. These certainly aren’t the idle details of fanatical Greek Poets! Nor are the metaphors an incoherent babbling of childish fantasy! Much more, the contrary, the seemingly incoherent use of metaphorical terminology is cohesive with how divine inspiration has used prophetic metaphors in the Old Testament. One by one, this is proven to be the case. Line upon line, the meaning becomes clear. My reader, are you willing to search out the matter?
“It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.” – Prov. 25:2
“Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:” – Isa. 28:9-10
Conclusively, the framework and terminology of the Revelation 7-9 is foretelling the rise of Spiritual Babylon through war and conquest worldwide. Except the Lord tarries, this war will be known as World War III. With the respect to Modern Day Eschatology int Christianity today, the people are looking for the Antichrist …and that’s about it. In expecting this, there are many theories which welcome the imminent revelation of the Antichrist within the confines of the present circumstances as of May 2018. However, the question is: What saith the Scripture? Many expect the Antichrist to be revealed by a Peace Treaty being made between Israel and the Palestinians. Therefore, many believe that Trump could indeed be the Antichrist if he is able to successfully strike a deal between Israel and the Palestinians. The question is, however: Is this Biblical?
My reader, this is a shallow and superficial approach to the Last Days scenario. I say this, because SOMETHING is glaringly absent from the World Stage making the aforementioned belief grossly unbiblical as of May 2018. What? BABYLON.
The 7 Headed & 10 Horned Beast that Daniel and John spoke of is absent from the equation (Daniel 7:7-8, 19-28, Revelation 12:3, 13:1-2, 17:3, 8-18)! The Antichrist could hardly do a fraction of what he is prophesied to accomplish without the Celestial & Terrestrial Government of Babylon, otherwise known as the Beast. Remember? No small portion of the Book of Revelation is occupied by this subject (Spiritual Babylon: Rev. 14:8, 16:19, 17:5, 18:2, 10, 21; the Beast: Rev. 9:1-2, 11, 11:7, 13:1-10, 15-18, 14:9, 16:2, 10, 17:3-5, 8). Right now, things are far from a One World Government! Period. Moreover, the infrastructure of the Antichrist’s One World Government is prophesied to have 10 Kings who have joined in submission to the Antichrist (Rev. 17:3, 8-18) and, evidently, the nations of the earth are far from this scenario.
The most prominent intergovernmental body that presides arbitrarily over the nations of the world is, of course, The United Nations, and there are 193 sovereign states that are members of the International Governmental System. I repeat, the number is 193 and that’s not all the nations of the world! Those are the members states of the UN and even they aren’t united among themselves! The world is being torn apart in division and is on the brink of regional and world wars in several controversies and the UN is essentially powerless to prevent the ongoing division among the nations of the earth. This, my reader, is a far cry from the Governmental System that is foretold in the constructs of Biblical Prophecy. Even so, there would have to be an enormous shift in governmental powers, politics, and national independence amounting to a total reconstruction of the world if things were to come in line Biblical Prophecy, and this is a feat only possible by another World War. In other words, the United Nations was a failed attempted of Satan to establish a One World Government in the wake of World War II; however, in the wake of World War III (prophecy taking its course) the desired government will be achievable.
My reader, the Antichrist is thought to rise in prominence by coming peaceably, but one thing is certain: Babylon is not coming peaceably! The combined witness of John and Daniel does prophesy of a 7 Headed & 10 Horned Beast, saying, “it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it” (Dan. 7:7), and, “the fourth kingdom…shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces” (Dan. 7:23; Rev. 17). My reader, how else do you think a third of mankind will die in the 6th Trumpet (Rev. 9:13-21)? The world will react to Babylon’s rise to worldwide power and prominence through conquest and war, saying, “Who is like unto the Beast? Who is able to make war with him?” (Rev. 13:4)! Settle it in your heart, my reader: Daniel didn’t misspeak! Babylon will not come peaceably even if the Antichrist does! Therefore, the present circumstances as of 2018 are strikingly unfit for the imminent revelation of the Antichrist – whose person will be signaled by him confirming a “Covenant” of Peace with many for 7 years (Dan. 9:27).
The popular yet grossly unbiblical belief concerning the Antichrist’s imminent revelation as of 2018 by a Peace Treaty between Israel and the Palestinians negates the loud announcement of the first 6 Trumpets sounded by angels in Heaven! You would think that earth’s inhabitants and bible interpreters would be listening so as not to sleep-through something so loud and important as this, the Trumpets! A message from Heaven-to-Earth of such importance that it would be announced by Heavenly Trumpets blasted by holy angels and yet, it’s largely unheard! The trumpeted alarm to earth’s inhabitants is, very simply: BABYLON (see the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, & 6th Trumpets).
“My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the Sound of the Trumpet, the Alarm of War. Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled: suddenly are my tents spoiled, and my curtains in a moment. How long shall I see the Standard, and hear the Sound of the Trumpet? For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.” – Jer. 4:19-22
“Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the Sound of the Trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.” – Jer. 6:17
Fearfully, the popular preachers of eschatology have refused to hearken to the Sound of the Trumpet! Approximately a third of the Bible is dedicated to expounding the Doctrine of Babylon (namely, what God will do through Babylon) while the theologians of today are silent on the matter (“they are sottish children, and they have none understanding” – Jer. 4:22)! The studious eyes of these men are spiritually blind insomuch that they have misread whatever they have read. Likewise, they haven’t hearkened to whatever they have heard! It is as if they have in fact neither read nor heard. How hardly has this burden been heard in past generations, and so it shall be in the Last Generation! Even so, the prophet Amos asked: “Shall a Trumpet be blown in the City, and the people not be afraid?” (Amos 3:16)! Yet, how much more fearful and alarming are the 7 Trumpets of Heaven! “Have ye not read…?” (Matt. 12:3, 5, 19:4, 22:31, Mk. 12:10, 12:26, Lk. 6:3).
Strikingly, what God will do through Babylon prior to and after the Antichrist comes to power are two distinct stages of Babylon’s diabolical maturation, and both events are calendared in the Prophetic Timeline of the Last Days. From a broader approach, looking further into the future, the Book of Revelation can be divided into two great themes: (1st) the Day of the LORD through Babylon & (2nd) the Day of the LORD upon Babylon. My reader, have you observed the Doctrine of the Day of the LORD in the Bible? Have you identified the contextual meaning of its use according to the prophets both historically, progressively, and futuristically? These two themes are two different phases of divine judgment, the Judgment of God through Babylon & the Judgment of God upon Babylon. Essentially, these two phases of judgment are foretold by the 7 Trumpets and the 7 Vials; the former employs prophetic metaphors to the glory of God’s Majesty over the natural while the second is completely literal and non-metaphorical. I repeat, one must understand the Day of the LORD through Babylon (see the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, & 6th Trumpets) and the Day of the LORD upon Babylon (see the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, & 7th Vials) as categorically different acts of divine judgment.
Before I multiply terms and overcomplicate the introduction, let’s read the Book of Revelation and consider the aforementioned as we move forward line upon line in Revelation 7-22. The plain truth of the following parallels go unseen because most interpreters have no concept of the Doctrine of Babylon that has been forged in pastime Tribulation Periods. Further complicating things, the Reformers of the 16th & 17th centuries and the Puritans after them believed the Beast, or Mystery Babylon, was the Roman Empire; and, likewise, they believed the Whore of Revelation 17 was the City of Rome. My reader, this is impossible! For, this interpretation circumvents scores of OT prophecies that coincide with and culminate in the prophecies of Jesus which foretold the exaltation of the Abomination of Desolation in the Jewish Temple located in Jerusalem. Hence, for this to happen, as discussed at length heretofore, the Jews would need to be regathered, the Jewish State of Israel restored, the City of Jerusalem rebuilt, and the Temple reconstructed. However, it is convenient for the Reformers & Puritans to believe that the Beast is Rome because of how brutally it massacred the Protestants through the ages. Nevertheless, while this proposition is logical, it is thoroughly unbiblical and inconsistent with the testimony of Scripture. [For more information, see: Revelation 17.]