Being called to study and teach prophecy and getting as much of it as I do, I often forget how most people don’t even get the basics of end times prophecy. I often feel like I’m a hundred miles ahead of others, telling them to hurry and catch up. Anyone that has been called to this area KNOWS what a difficult and challenging calling it is. We, more than not, get rebuttal from naysayers – mostly those believing the teachings of false teachers or those that believe in the Pre-Tribulation rapture – which can really alter your view of end times prophecy to complete misunderstanding. The things that are revealed to us are sometimes frightening. And then add in the amount of books in scripture that you have to work through just on one prophecy. Revelation is a particularly hard book to study because John makes a lot comparisons and descriptions to things he sees in our time, thousands of years before.
I wanted to point out some key basic misunderstandings most have about the prophecies of the last days.
The first seals in Revelation are NOT part of the Tribulation period.
As I’ve pointed out in other blogs, the word “tribulation” originally translates from the Greek word thlipsis which means
a pressing, pressing together, pressure
metaph. oppression, affliction, tribulation, distress, straits
In other words: PERSECUTION OF BELIEVERS in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – both Jew and Gentile.
Jesus alludes to many parts of Revelation in Matthew 24. He also declares some of these things as “the beginning of sorrows” – which translated means “birth pains“.
**When a woman goes into labor, it typically starts by her water breaking, and then cramping in the abdominal area begins. Mild and tolerable at first but progressing to a much more intense pain and suffering until the birth of the child. There’s a reason why part of last days prophecy is deemed beginning of sorrows….the last days are going to be a gradual build up of suffering, injustice, hatred, and everything evil we can imagine. But first will be mild and tolerable….as I believe we are seeing today – though getting more intense.
Let me show you a few comparisons of how Jesus’ words in Mat. 24 compare to the seals in Rev 6:
Matthew 24: 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
Revelation 6:3 When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” 4 Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.
Matthew 24: 7 (continuing) And there will be famines,
Revelation 6: 5 When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” (If you’d like to read more about this seal – read my blog “Third Seal of Revelation Happening Now” )
Matthew 24: 7 (continuing) pestilences (which translated from the Greek word loimos means pestilence, a pestilent fellow, pest, and/or plague)
side note: this makes me think of Isis, Hamas, Hezbollah, etc AND plagues like Ebola, Influenza, etc.
Revelation 6:7 When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.” 8 So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth (this doesn’t mean 1/4 of mankind, only over 1/4 of the earth’s planetary regions – like the Middle East and Africa), to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth. (My blog on the 4th Seal )
Then Jesus finishes this statement off with ( in Matthew 24): and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Is it ironic that when asked about the last days, that Jesus mentioned while with His disciples – in order – the first 4 seals of Revelation – however briefly – and then repeated them to John much later to write down from a heavenly point of view? Jesus made it all sound much easier than Revelation does, but the basic content is the same, and in the same order.
I would like to add – many people will say “oh these things have been going on since Jesus’ day.” Yes, this is true. But can we all agree that all these things have progressed, intensified, and worsened, especially as of late?
Someone recently accused me of stating we were in the tribulation period. I have not said that. I know what TRIBULATION means and since there is not a worldwide persecution of believers on a massive scale – ie; an attempted genocide of all Christians and Jews worldwide, I would not have said we are in the Tribulation period…..YET.
One last point I would like to make – the Tribulation period is not all of God’s wrath on the earth. CHRISTIANS SERIOUSLY NEED TO GRASP THIS WHEN STUDYING. Part of it is Satan’s wrath on God’s children, the last part is God’s wrath on Satan’s followers – which we believers are not meant for. If Tribulation means persecution of believers, would God kill His own, or would Satan kill God’s chosen? God’s wrath comes AFTER Satan – please understand this when studying the last days prophecies.
My hope is that this blog gives a bit more basic understanding against all the false teaching going on out there. I don’t ever hear teachers discussing these basic things within prophecy….yet feel it is so necessary. Please start getting into scripture yourselves, seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance on this, and stop listening to false teachers, lest you be one who is deceived in the last days. Test ALL that you are hearing against scripture with careful prayer for knowledge and understanding.
Peace to you all, today and every day.