Summary: A lull before the BIG storm - What the church has failed to do for 2,000 years will be accomplished quickly during the tribulation. Link inc. to formatted text, audio & video, and PowerPoint Presentation.
Our text tells of the gospel reaching all the earth in a short period of time. What the church has failed to do for 2,000 years will be accomplished quickly during the tribulation.
Signs of the times are everywhere. Don’t allow your mind to become dull to that fact, just because you’ve heard preaching like that for years. The rapture could occur at any moment, ushering out all who’ve been born again, and ushering in the Great Tribulation.
Wed. nite we began dealing with this question: “Will anyone be saved during the tribulation?” The clear answer: Yes! But not you!!
The first half of the tribulation will be bad enough once all the Christians are removed from the earth along w/ the Holy Spirit in their hearts. Add to that they hysteria over millions missing, the war, famine, disease, and natural disasters we spoke of last week, and the chaos, looting, lawlessness, etc.
But there will then be a lull before the big storm, which is the 2nd half of this 7 year period. The antichrist will seemingly succeed at bringing peace to the world...even to the Middle East. But it won’t last long. The perfect storm of the ages is already brewing on the horizon.
Revelation 7 can help us fill in some of the blanks about what Mt. 24:14 is saying.
1. The Symbolism of Revelation 7.
v. 1 four corners / four winds = symbolism
Corner = wings. This is a reference to the compass, the 4 quadrants of the earth; the angel here is keeping the wind from blowing in any direction.
But, is this a literal wind, or a symbolic wind?
Do I interpret prophecy symbolically or literally? Yes! Both.
Symbolism: find out what the symbol means, then believe it literally!
I believe this wind is a symbolic wind.
The Learning Channel, recently did a full documentary on wind…did you see that? They showed the importance of wind to our eco-system…and revealed the fact that life on this planet is dependant upon the wind, and that we could not survive w/out it…in a matter of days, those of us on land would die.
Many times throughout the old and new testaments, wind is used symbolically for judgment.
27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
7 For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind:
15 Though he be fruitful among his brethren, an east wind shall come, the wind of the LORD shall come up from the wilderness, and his spring shall become dry, and his fountain shall be dried up: he shall spoil the treasure of all …
In Rev. 7:1, these 4 angels are holding back the winds of judgment…momentarily, because God wants to do something very important. We are in the tribulation, but the trials of the tribulation stop, if only for a moment.
Let’s move from the Symbolism of ch. 7 to...
2. The Sealed of Revelation 7.
Then vv. 5-8 names all those witnesses sealed. A 5th angel! More powerful than the first 4…he’s giving them orders. To seal in the foreheads 144k witnesses, 12,000 from each tribe:
[By the way, the tribe of Dan is missing…Jacob’s blessing upon Dan was negative…the tribe of Levi was plugged into his place…perhaps the False Prophet will come from the tribe of Dan?]
Anyway, God has never been w/out witnesses, in any age. There has always been a faithful remnant.
Even in Elijah’s day, when the prophet thought he was the only one left, God reminded him that he had 7,000 others that had not bowed the knee to Ba’al.
This will be true in the tribulation: God will have His spokesmen here on earth. It won’t be me, or you, if you’ve been saved. For at the rapture, a great spiritual vacuum will be created, and that spiritual vacuum is quickly filled by 144,000 Jewish evangelists / soul winners…12k from each of the 12 tribes.
Of course, there have been and are fanatical groups today that claim to be the 144,000…an absurd thought, quite ridiculous! JW’s revised their theology when their number finally exceeded 144k! And, they’re not Jewish.
Many Bible scholars speculate about how these people get saved after the rapture, during the tribulation. I have an answer for you…are you ready?…I don’t know! Nobody knows! We cannot have an answer for everything.
(another example, at Armageddon the blood will flow 200 miles like a river as deep as horse bridles, I don’t understand how a war could be so horrendous, but I believe!
J. Vernon McGee: “some think they know what blood type it will be!”)
Some think it will be thru gospel literature left behind (Left Behind, the series…produced for the purpose of Christians leaving it to their loved ones)