Summary: Today we are going to take a step back in our study of Revelation. We have seen the judgments revealed in the seven seals of the book that only Jesus was able and worthy to open. In the pause that we see in today’s text, God is declaring His ultimate and
Purpose: To show that the messages of mercy and judgment are often mixed together.
Aim: I want the listener to hold on to hope in the midst of any trial.
INTRODUCTION: Today we are going to take a step back in our study of Revelation. We have seen the judgments revealed in the seven seals of the book that only Jesus was able and worthy to open.
Earlier we saw a pause in God’s judgments between the sixth and seventh seal. In chapters 10 and 11 (through verse 13) we see a pause between the sixth and seventh trumpets. These pauses in God’s judgments prove that God’s judgments have been carefully planned which reassures believers that the Judge is in complete control. It also shows God’s care and concern for His followers even while God is pouring out His wrath on the unsaved.
This second pause in God’s judgments, which comes somewhere in the middle of the seven years of tribulation, includes:
Chapters 10-11a The Jewish nation is judged
Chapter 17 The one-world religion is judged
Chapter18 The one-world economy is judged
Let’s review some of the events that happened up to this point. At the beginning of the Tribulation Period Israel makes a treaty with the Antichrist to insure their safety. Daniel records it this way: Daniel 9:27 "And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate."(NAU)
The Antichrist allows the Temple to be rebuilt (if it isn’t already) and gives religious freedom to the Jews. The two witnesses preach freely and there are 144,000 other Jewish preachers who have the same freedom. But then, suddenly, the Antichrist breaks the treaty, he kills the two witnesses, and takes over the Temple worship.
Paul describes that for us in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. (NAU)
In the pause that we see in today’s text, God is declaring His ultimate and complete victory even before it happens.
1:1-20 I. John’s Vision of the Past "the things which you have seen"
2:1-5:14 II. Christ’s Vision of the Present "the things which are"
Ch.6-22 III. John’s Vision of the Future "things which will take places"
6-7; 12-14 A. Satan’s war against God’s creation: the first six seals
8-11; 13:11-18; 15-18 B. The wrath of God: the seventh seal