What is the Coming Tribulation All About, Part 18

November 17, 2014 at 9:20 AM 7 comments

In our last article in this series – What is the Coming Tribulation All About, Part 17 – we discussed several things, including the Seventh Trumpet and the first of the Bowl Judgments. We ended the last article with a brief discussion of the Third Bowl Judgment, which is where the fresh waters on the earth turn to blood (Revelation 16:4-7).

endofagesWe’re continuing in our discussion regarding the Bowl judgments and I would like to remind everyone that ALL the judgments – 7 Seals, 7 Trumpets, and 7 Bowls all stem from the throne room and the Lamb of God – Jesus Christ – controls the timing and release of each of these judgments. Together, all 21 judgments are from God. They are not created by man, nor are they from Satan. They are from God, period.

Before we get further into this, I would also like to recommend several books to the readers of this blog. I have written a book on Revelation that is available through Amazon. It is not as detailed as some, but makes a good primer on the subject at just over 400 pages.

garlandAnother book (or set of two volumes actually) is one I cannot recommend enough. It’s written by Dr. Tony Garland a man who spent most of his life as a Covenant/Reformed Theologian and says he woke to the error of that system to embrace a far more conservative and literal approach. Today, he is a PreTrib Rapture believer and his books are extremely detailed, going into the original languages. They are “A Testimony of Jesus Christ,” volumes one and two, however, if purchased via Kindle, it is one complete volume. Well worth having for the serious Bible student.

I will also note this. There are several ways to interpret Scripture, but only one of them is the correct way. There is the allegorical way of understanding the Word of God, but in that case, unless the particular text is allegorical (a figure of speech, a metaphor, etc.) it does serious damage to Scripture to take the Bible allegorically. Yet, many people automatically do this when it comes to the many prophetic passages in the Bible. They see the symbolism, etc., and automatically take it as allegorical. This is a carry over from Augustine and the theology of the Roman Catholic Church and their Amillennialism, etc.

SONY DSCAnother way of understanding Scripture is to interpret the Bible literally. Unfortunately though, many confuse literal with literalistic. As an example, look at the image of the sign. It says “Fine for Littering.” To understand the meaning of that sign literally, we know that it means “do not litter and if caught, a fee/tax will be meted out.”

However, for the person who is on the Autism Spectrum, the same sign might actually mean it’s okay to litter here.” In these examples, we see that one person understood the meaning literally, while the second person understood the meaning literalistically.

It’s the same with figures of speech that we use in normal conversation. Overhearing someone say “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse!” is not taken to mean that the person is actually going to or wants to eat a horse. We understand the meaning to simply be a figurative way of stating how hungry they are now.

This is why when we come to certain passages in Scripture that reference the “dragon” or “beast” as seen in Revelation 13, where there are actually two beasts indicated, we do not understand Scripture to be saying that what we will see in the future are actual beasts that rise from the sea or land as if a living sea monster. We understand the beasts to reference kingdoms and to interpret Scripture in such a way is actually taking it literally and of course this is because we allow Scripture to interpret Scripture. To believe that the Bible is referencing two real beasts – as living monsters – is to take the Bible literalistically. This is something we should avoid doing. Remember, the goal is to understand God’s Word literally or as God intended it when He wrote it through holy men of old. We know that the references to the beasts in Revelation goes all the way back to Daniel 2 and other portions of Daniel. In those cases, we know for a fact that the parts of the statue and the beasts connected to it refer to specific human empires and the characteristics of those empires.

The Seven Bowl Judgments

The Seven Bowl Judgments

This is why books like Revelation are confusing to people. Many do not see the connections from Revelation to Daniel, Ezekiel, or other books of the Bible. We fail to understand that God wrote the entire Bible using roughly 40 human authors over a period of roughly 1,600 to 2,000 years to do it. Yet, it was God who oversaw its writings. It is best to see God’s Word in those terms because it allows us to avoid a great many mistakes.

As we move through Revelation, we come to the Fourth and Fifth Bowl Judgment in fairly quick succession, Revelation 16:8-11.

8 The fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun, and it was given to it to scorch men with fire. 9 Men were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues, and they did not repent so as to give Him glory.

10 Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became darkened; and they gnawed their tongues because of pain, 11 and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they did not repent of their deeds.

For those who will doubt God’s integrity, veracity, or intent, He continues to pour out bowls of His wrath on the earth. In the Fourth Bowl Judgment, we see that somehow, the sun becomes hotter and scorches men with fire. While the Fourth Trumpet darkened the sun, it is interesting to note that the Fourth Bowl brightens the sun, or increases the sun’s intensity.

There is a definite article before “men” in the Greek text. The men in view are evidently the people who have the mark of the beast and who worship him (v. 2). The faithful will apparently escape this judgment. Similarly the Israelites escaped some of the plagues on Egypt. [1]

Note that even in the midst of these horrible situations, those who never received the mark of the beast – the faithful – will avoid this judgment by God’s grace and mercy. By the way, along those lines, I find it fascinating today that there are many Christians who bemoan the idea of the PreTrib Rapture. They sneer at those who believe it – something they consider apostate and I’ve even read recently one individual who believe this particular doctrine is part of the deception of the New World Order. Through their arrogance, they believe that the Church – Christ’s Bride – must go through a purification found within the Tribulation. Not only do I not see this in Scripture, but one might almost say that this belief is a type of works. It tends to negate the cross work of Jesus upon whom God the Father’s wrath was poured out so that His children – those who trust in Jesus as Savior/Lord – will never have to experience it in this life or the next. Avoid those people who, with sarcasm along with contempt is poured out on your because of your audacity in believing that the Bible teaches a PreTrib Rapture. These people puff themselves up believing that they are the better servant for wanting to go through persecution for our Lord. If they really want to put their money where their mouth is then might I suggest they go to a country today where they will be able to endure as much physical, verbal, and emotional persecution as they could desire and possibly even to the death? Why wait for the Tribulation?

Notice the reaction of those whose flesh is scorched due to the increased intensity of the sun? They blaspheme God. They don’t submit to Him. They don’t humble themselves. As Pharaoh of old did, they harden their hearts, dig in their heels, and continue to hate God. Repentance for them is not even in the picture. Hatred of God and His ways are all that matter to them.

The Fifth Bowl Judgment is poured out on the throne of the beast, which directly impacts his earthly kingdom. This again is God’s wrath. The lights will go out, just as they did during the days before the Exodus in Egypt when the Egyptians experienced utter darkness but the Israelites did not (cf. Exodus 10:21-22). Numerous individuals have chosen to take this section allegorically when there is absolutely no need to do so unless they also want to take the plague of Exodus 10:21-22 allegorically as well. When Jesus died on the cross, was that darkness literal or figurative? It can’t be one way in Scripture and then another way in a different part unless there is something specific that tells us it is to be taken literally.

We do not know why this darkness causes physical pain for those on earth. We can get a glimpse from the 9th plague visited upon Egyptians and the resulting confusion and fear, but Scripture is essentially silent. We know that in spite of their pain and sores (possibly from the Fourth Bowl Judgment), they continue to blaspheme God.

We will deal with the Sixth and Seventh Bowl Judgments in our next article.

[1] http://soniclight.com/constable/notes/pdf/revelation.pdf

Entry filed under: israel, Judaism, Pretribulational Rapture, rapture, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, second coming.

Israel to Re-Open Temple Mount Site What is the Coming Tribulation All About, Part 19


  • 1. The Great Tribulation | When is Jesus Coming Back?  |  November 30, 2014 at 6:16 AM

    […] Tribulation All AboutLion and Lamb Ministries Why I Believe In a Pre – Tribulation RaptureWhat is the Coming Tribulation All About, Part 18 .a3a5_box {font-size: 14px !important;font-style: normal !important;font-weight: normal […]

  • […] our last article in this series – What is the Coming Tribulation All About, Part 19 – we ended with a brief discussion of the 5th Bowl Judgment. Let’s continue from there, […]

  • […] we highlighted the Fourth and Fifth Bowl Judgments of Revelation 16 that lead up to the Battle of Armageddon. The Sixth Bowl Judgment is more of a political judgment […]

  • 4. Sherry  |  November 17, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    Its as if God is giving these blasphemers a taste of what they will endure for all eternity for having rejected Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

    I’m glad you spoke up concerning the arrogance of post-tribbers. I’m fine with reading or listening to their theology as an exercise in discernment but when they have that smugness they have lost me. One had the audacity to say that pre-tribbers will see the things of the Tribulation and be caught off-guard in wonder and be in discouragement for not having prepared for it! Huh? Even if post-Trib were true, pre-Tribbers would know that they were “wrong” but also know that God will carry them through no matter what is to come! I don’t believe they understand the dispensations…?

    Many say that the early church never spoke of any pre-Trib rapture (though Paul is plain spoken about it, imo) but the thing is, many believe the RCC burned all the books and writings they could find that disagreed with their theology.

    • 5. modres  |  November 17, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      I agree, Sherry.

      Aren’t you tired of the way they remonstrate us because they don’t agree that the PreTrib Rapture position is taught in Scripture? The smugness – as you say – is a complete put off because it’s nothing but a put down. They’re not interested in discussion. They’re interested in destroying and they do so because they firmly believe that the PreTrib Rapture position is a complete deception.

      It amazes me that they perceive God to be so small that He apparently cannot keep us PreTribbers from being discouraged due to “not having prepared” for the Trib. It’s laughable and I couldn’t agree more that if I am wrong about the PreTrib position, God will get me through it if I am alive when the Tribulation begins. I have NO doubt about that at all.

      Those who disagree with the PreTrib Rapture position are the ones who have caused the verbal war simply because, through their own reasoning, they have come to believe that the PreTrib Rapture position is the height of lunacy based on a deception, a deception that apparently stems from my unwillingness to want to suffer for Christ.

      It all boils down to arrogance and as you say, smugness on the part of those who disagree with the PreTrib Rapture. One of the biggest arguments they use is that Scofield, Darby and the rest wanted to sell books. One of the biggest attackers of the PreTrib Rapture position is Dave MacPherson and my understanding is that he’s sold quite a few books himself! That’s okay though, because he is apparently setting the record straight.

      He hasn’t even followed his own father’s advice about disagreeing respectfully. Instead, his books reek with sarcasm and error and it’s no wonder that his followers copy his level of mediocrity and denigration toward those of us with whom they disagree.

      It’s a real shame, but all it’s doing is causing serious division in the Body, as if my salvation rests on my eschatalogical beliefs.

      Thanks again, Sherry. Always enjoy your responses 🙂

      • 6. Sherry  |  November 18, 2014 at 11:34 AM

        YW, modres. I enjoy your teachings-you make your them so plain to understand.

        God bless you for your prayers and thoughts, also. May God bless you as you have blessed me! And then some more~

      • 7. modres  |  November 18, 2014 at 12:49 PM

        We’re in this together 🙂 Thanks for your comments, prayers, and encouragement.

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