christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

design of the book of revelation

The events predicted in Revelation take place in a series: a series of sevens repeats three times. First the Lamb opens seven seals, and the seventh seal reveals a new series of judgments: trumpets. Then the angels blow seven trumpets, and the seventh trumpet reveals a new series of judgments: bowls of wrath. Then seven bowls of wrath are poured out. When the seventh bowl of wrath is poured out, it does not reveal a new series of judgments, but rather a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, It is done!

This ingenious design communicates a clear message: as each new series cannot begin until the previous series is completed, for each new series is contained within the final event of the previous series, we have a unmistakable guide, that the events we are about to read take place sequentially.

And after there is an explanation of Babylon, who is being judged by the bowls of wrath (chapter 17), and the lamenting of the world over her fall (chapter 18), and the rejoicing of the saints and the worship of God over her judgment (chapter 19), then the next event is the thousand-year reign and the marriage supper of the Lamb (chapter 20). So when the events of history surpass the seventh bowl of wrath, we will be at the end of this age:

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The One sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems, and He has a name written that no one knows but Himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which He is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. Rev 20:11-16

In each series of seven, there is an interval, or interlude, between the sixth and seventh judgment. These intervals are described. Now we can begin talking about the unfolding of the events that the seals, trumpets, and bowls of wrath describe, understanding their underlying structure.


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