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  • chronological disorder?

    Over and over we get this common assumption that the order of events mentioned in the book of Revelation indicate an historical sequence in history. But let's just look at it:

    So when the vision called John up to heaven, how much time does that represent in history? And when he took the scroll in hand and met the Lamb, how much time in history does that represent? So when John watched each seal opened, how much time did that represent?

    It should be apparent to all by now that various symbols and signs in the book of Revelation do not necessarily translate into historical events. As such, we do not have a sequence of events, but rather, symbols of events. And they don't even have to take place in any particular sequence.

    Any latter day issue may be addressed in any of the various visions. And certainly, there is more than a single vision. One revelation and a number of different visions, all ordered by narrative sequence, but not necessarily historical sequence.

    Did the White horse represent so much time in history, and the Red horse do the same, and the Black horse do the same, and the Pale horse do the same? Did each one represent successive periods in history? If so, then the martyrs calling out for vengeance must represent a succeeding period in history. And the Great Day of the Lamb's Wrath must represent yet another time in history, not yet the end of the age. Then the sealing of 144,000 must follow the Great Day of Wrath, and the appearing of a Great Multitude from all nations would follow, in succession, the sealing of 144,000 Israelites.

    Now think about this. We come to the 6th Seal and the Great Day of the Lamb's Wrath, and yet the book of Revelation is less than half way through! Does this mean that the Day of Christ's Wrath is to be followed by all remaining events mentioned in the book of Revelation? Certainly not!

    No, many of these visions are insertions in the narrative, indicating sometimes a prolepsis--an event indicating a future outcome. Stories often fluctuate back and forth in time, to provide interest and to provide markers as to the direction the story is going. The story may even look back into the past, to provide a fuller, deeper backdrop to explain events that are happening.

    Then an earthquake follows the Day of Christ's Wrath, while an angel with a censer must represent yet another period in history. That is, unless the angel with a censer does not represent a period in history at all! Symbols do not necessarily represent periods in history!

    Finally, each of 7 trumpets must represent successive periods in history, all following the Great Day of the Lamb's Wrath, the sealing of the 144,000 Israelites, and the appearance of the Great Multitude.

    Then the 3 woes must appear after all this in succession, the locust plague, a destruction of a third of mankind connected with the Euphrates River, and finally the Kingdom of God.

    And then the coming of the Kingdom of Christ must be followed by a woman appearing in heaven, who gives birth to a son. The birth of Christ, by this logic, must follow the coming of Christ's Kingdom!

    Please understand--it is overly simplistic to catalog each event listed in the book of Revelation as being in chronological order, as if a single story. It is a single narrative, and the narrative itself has its own chronology. John goes here, John goes there, John sees this, John sees that. But this has nothing at all to do with a single historical sequence. These are a number of visions with no real effort to synchronize them into a single story and succession.

  • #2
    Very true. The example that I like to use is the multiple mention of 3.5 year periods. There is obviously some concurrence of this 3.5 year period during the Great Tribulation. Thus the book of Revelation contains some visions about the events leading up to the GT, many visions concerning the GT, and even some visions relate to the period after the GT.

    Some of Revelation is sequential, but mainly it is concurrent or overlapping.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by DurbanDude View Post
      Very true. The example that I like to use is the multiple mention of 3.5 year periods. There is obviously some concurrence of this 3.5 year period during the Great Tribulation. Thus the book of Revelation contains some visions about the events leading up to the GT, many visions concerning the GT, and even some visions relate to the period after the GT.

      Some of Revelation is sequential, but mainly it is concurrent or overlapping.
      Absolutely, thanks for that! And it's true for a number of events. The 2nd Coming of Christ itself is mentioned several times in different ways. This does not indicate there will be *many* 2nd Comings! And the Battle of Armageddon at the Euphrates River is mentioned on a couple of occasions, not meaning there is more than just one Armageddon! Antichrist is mentioned several times, as is his 3.5 years rule, as you mentioned. And yet, this may refer back to only one period of 3.5 years, as indicated in Dan 7.

      Why on earth should we think this single narrative cannot describe more than a single vision? Clearly, the 1st vision--the vision of the 7 Scrolls, contains within itself many distinct visions! And none of it seems to indicate a single chronological sequence.

      For example, the Day of the Wrath of the Lamb takes place in the 6th seal, and not in the 7th seal, at the 7th trumpet. In my view, the book of Revelation is chalk full of prolepses, which are visions looking forward into the future, indicating the goal of all these things. And sometimes the Revelation even looks back, such as in Rev 12, where the Woman gives birth to the male child, who I believe to be Christ.

      Regardless of how we interpret individual visions, I believe it helps us to step back and look at the general meaning of these things, which is not to set forth a set of predictions, to satisfy human curiosity. It is not a crystal ball, allowing us to anticipate each event at a particular time. They are not designed to satisfy the pride of human prescience, rather than inspire obedience.

      Rather, they are giving the Church her hope, by showing the destruction of the world's system, and by presenting the inevitable realization of Christ's Kingdom, rewarding the saints for their endurance. It is as simple as that. But it does require discernment and spiritual understanding. And it does require our willingness to hear God's word.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by randyk View Post

        Absolutely, thanks for that! And it's true for a number of events. The 2nd Coming of Christ itself is mentioned several times in different ways. This does not indicate there will be *many* 2nd Comings! And the Battle of Armageddon at the Euphrates River is mentioned on a couple of occasions, not meaning there is more than just one Armageddon! Antichrist is mentioned several times, as is his 3.5 years rule, as you mentioned. And yet, this may refer back to only one period of 3.5 years, as indicated in Dan 7.

        Why on earth should we think this single narrative cannot describe more than a single vision? Clearly, the 1st vision--the vision of the 7 Scrolls, contains within itself many distinct visions! And none of it seems to indicate a single chronological sequence.

        For example, the Day of the Wrath of the Lamb takes place in the 6th seal, and not in the 7th seal, at the 7th trumpet. In my view, the book of Revelation is chalk full of prolepses, which are visions looking forward into the future, indicating the goal of all these things. And sometimes the Revelation even looks back, such as in Rev 12, where the Woman gives birth to the male child, who I believe to be Christ.

        Regardless of how we interpret individual visions, I believe it helps us to step back and look at the general meaning of these things, which is not to set forth a set of predictions, to satisfy human curiosity. It is not a crystal ball, allowing us to anticipate each event at a particular time. They are not designed to satisfy the pride of human prescience, rather than inspire obedience.

        Rather, they are giving the Church her hope, by showing the destruction of the world's system, and by presenting the inevitable realization of Christ's Kingdom, rewarding the saints for their endurance. It is as simple as that. But it does require discernment and spiritual understanding. And it does require our willingness to hear God's word.
        Although Revelation contains multiple visions, I'm pretty sure that the events within each sequence of 7 are sequential. I don't find the seals to have a confusing sequence at all. Instead of finishing precisely at the 2nd coming, the 7th seal describes a half hour of silence after the second coming.

        Comment


        • #5
          Revelation is the only Bible book that does give us a sequence of events.
          I don't see it as mixed up at all; there are parenethical verses and some flashbacks, but all of these can be related to the general sequence of the 7 Seals, of which the first five are open now, then the 7 Trumpets and 7 Bowls, that will occur during the final 3 1/2 years before Jesus Returns.

          You are right, Randyk; the Day of the Lord's wrath will take place at the Sixth Seal, the next prophesied event we can expect.
          Many people try to place it at the Return, which constitutes a shuffling or adding to of Revelation. Not advisable! Rev 22:18-19
          They see where His wrath is stated in Rev 19:15b, but fail to see where Revelation 15:1 says; God's wrath is completed before the Return.

          People have some weird and wonderful ideas about the Seventh Seal. It is purely and simply a time gap between the Sixth Seal and its aftermath and before the commencement of the Great Tribulation of the 7 Trumpets and 7 Bowls.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Keraz View Post
            Revelation is the only Bible book that does give us a sequence of events.
            I don't see it as mixed up at all; there are parenethical verses and some flashbacks, but all of these can be related to the general sequence of the 7 Seals, of which the first five are open now, then the 7 Trumpets and 7 Bowls, that will occur during the final 3 1/2 years before Jesus Returns.

            You are right, Randyk; the Day of the Lord's wrath will take place at the Sixth Seal, the next prophesied event we can expect.
            Many people try to place it at the Return, which constitutes a shuffling or adding to of Revelation. Not advisable! Rev 22:18-19
            They see where His wrath is stated in Rev 19:15b, but fail to see where Revelation 15:1 says; God's wrath is completed before the Return.

            People have some weird and wonderful ideas about the Seventh Seal. It is purely and simply a time gap between the Sixth Seal and its aftermath and before the commencement of the Great Tribulation of the 7 Trumpets and 7 Bowls.
            I still fail to see how people deny the second coming wording in the 6th seal of Rev 6:

            12 I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, 13 and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. 14 The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us[f] from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”

            The events of the second coming are listed there, the great earthquake, a day of wrath. Jesus appears. The leaders of the world hide from Jesus. The stars fall, the heavens recede like a scroll.

            We are seeing the second coming in that wording, there is no reason to place the 7 trumpets and bowls after the 6th seal.

            Comment


            • #7
              I would align the 7 seal, 7 trumpet, 7 vial all to occur at the same time.

              Most say the trumpets occur after the 7th seal but Matt 24 clearly states before the sun darkened ect… the tribulation never seen before nor after is completed at we see at the end of the 6th seal the sun darkened ect…. placing the trumpets and vials before the 7th seal being opened.


              21
              For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

              The GT above must include the trumpets and vials. For one if they did not then when they came about they would be insignicant as the tribulation which was great already occurred. But moreover this.....not only imdeately the sun darkened ect but come the second coming.

              29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
              30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.



              So lets align the sun being darkened with Revelation.

              12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
              13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
              14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

              So per Matt 24 the GT is over at this point and the coming of the son of man to occur. That also means no trumpets and no vials to occur thereafter.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by DurbanDude View Post
                .

                We are seeing the second coming in that wording, there is no reason to place the 7 trumpets and bowls after the 6th seal.
                AMEN!!!!! major key in understanding the chronology 7th seal, 7 trumpet, 7 vial all occur together.. You ever wonder why triple sevens in gambling were made so important? Seem to think somebody knew this before us...but the scary thing is that person would not be a believer but perhaps from the dark side..

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ross3421 View Post

                  AMEN!!!!! major key in understanding the chronology 7th seal, 7 trumpet, 7 vial all occur together.. You ever wonder why triple sevens in gambling were made so important? Seem to think somebody knew this before us...but the scary thing is that person would not be a believer but perhaps from the dark side..
                  Yes they all overlap a bit, and all ends at the second coming. Though I believe they have different starting points.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DurbanDude View Post

                    I still fail to see how people deny the second coming wording in the 6th seal of Rev 6:

                    12 I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, 13 and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. 14 The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us[f] from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”

                    The events of the second coming are listed there, the great earthquake, a day of wrath. Jesus appears. The leaders of the world hide from Jesus. The stars fall, the heavens recede like a scroll.

                    We are seeing the second coming in that wording, there is no reason to place the 7 trumpets and bowls after the 6th seal.
                    The wording of the Sixth Seal and of the Return in Matthew 24:29, are NOT the same at all. The people do not hide, all will see Him appear and the sun and moon darkened, etc. At the SS, everyone is terrified, avoiding the terrible effects, so comprehensively prophesied in over 100 scriptures about that sudden and unexpected Day.

                    Jesus Returns in His Glory, not in His wrath. The 3 prophesies that describe the Return; Zechariah 14:3, Matthew 24:30 and Revelation 19:11, do not say He will destroy anything other than the armies attacking Jerusalem.
                    The Sixth Seal is the great and terrible Day of the Lord's fiery wrath, when He will not be seen. Psalms 1:4-6, Psalms 18:11, Habakkuk 3:6, +

                    The Return comes AFTER the wrath of the Lord is over. Revelation 15:1

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DurbanDude View Post

                      Although Revelation contains multiple visions, I'm pretty sure that the events within each sequence of 7 are sequential. I don't find the seals to have a confusing sequence at all. Instead of finishing precisely at the 2nd coming, the 7th seal describes a half hour of silence after the second coming.
                      Since the 7th trump ends with the second coming then I would say the seals do also. The seals are just not opened in chronological order. The 6th seal opened was actual seal number 7. If you look closely, Christ began by opening "one of the seals" and on the edge of a book/scroll you can open any of seven existing seals. You don't have to go in order from left to right etc. The first seal opened speaks of the AC and that also isn't the first chronological event. I believe that would be seal number 6 matching what happens in the 6th trump. So he starts with the number 6 seal and precedes through various seals and the second to the last one was number 7, his second coming. I think it's the only way to harmonize the AC in the first seal opened and second coming not in the last one. The half an hour silence would be something before the second coming not something that happens after.


                      Attached Files
                      James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DurbanDude View Post



                        We are seeing the second coming in that wording, there is no reason to place the 7 trumpets and bowls after the 6th seal.
                        The 6th seal speaks of the 7th trump events which is the second coming but all the trumpets eventually sound after the seals were opened and the vials are poured after the 7th trump sounds.

                        James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ross3421 View Post
                          I would align the 7 seal, 7 trumpet, 7 vial all to occur at the same time.

                          Most say the trumpets occur after the 7th seal but Matt 24 clearly states before the sun darkened ect… the tribulation never seen before nor after is completed at we see at the end of the 6th seal the sun darkened ect…. placing the trumpets and vials before the 7th seal being opened.
                          No angel has a trumpet until after the 7th seal is opened. It's impossible that any trumps sound before the 7th seal.

                          Rev 8:1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
                          Rev 8:2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.

                          Do you really expect anyone to believe that verse 2 happened before verse 1?

                          James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Keraz View Post

                            The wording of the Sixth Seal and of the Return in Matthew 24:29, are NOT the same at all. The people do not hide, all will see Him appear and the sun and moon darkened, etc. At the SS, everyone is terrified, avoiding the terrible effects, so comprehensively prophesied in over 100 scriptures about that sudden and unexpected Day.

                            Jesus Returns in His Glory, not in His wrath. The 3 prophesies that describe the Return; Zechariah 14:3, Matthew 24:30 and Revelation 19:11, do not say He will destroy anything other than the armies attacking Jerusalem.
                            The Sixth Seal is the great and terrible Day of the Lord's fiery wrath, when He will not be seen. Psalms 1:4-6, Psalms 18:11, Habakkuk 3:6, +

                            The Return comes AFTER the wrath of the Lord is over. Revelation 15:1
                            The return IS the day of wrath.

                            For example in 2 Peter 3:4 the context is the "coming". Yet this coming is associated with the day of the Lord, and much wrath :
                            V10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear

                            V11-12 You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.



                            The coming of the Lord (1 Thess 4v15) is associated with the rapture on the day of the Lord, and the day of wrath:
                            we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words. Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly

                            In Rev 19, the second coming is associated with the wrath of God on the armies below. This moment is specifically known as the "winepress of wrath", that winepress mentioned in Rev 19, Rev 14, and Joel 3.

                            If you try and separate the wrath earlier you will get into a doctrinal mess, because the visible second coming is clearly associated with wrath:

                            2 Thess 1: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might


                            If one is honest with the face value of the text even in Rev 6, you would see that it points more towards the final end of this age and the visible coming of Christ:

                            Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”

                            I've heard lots of clever little arguments that Jesus remains unseen during the 6th seal. The wording says otherwise. I prefer the face value reading of the text.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DurbanDude View Post

                              The return IS the day of wrath.
                              Yep.

                              Rev 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
                              Rev 11:16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,
                              Rev 11:17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.
                              Rev 11:18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
                              James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

                              Comment

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