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Thread: The seventh seal, and following

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    tWebber Obsidian's Avatar
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    The seventh seal, and following

    I don't really pretend to understand all this stuff. I don't have a firmly established view on Revelation. However, it really seems to me that preterists wrongly interpret all of Revelation as referring to the destruction of Jerusalem, when in reality the destruction of Jerusalem seems to be completed by the end of chapter 6 (i.e., the sixth seal).

    Matthew 24:29-30
    Immediately after the tribulation of those days [i.e., the Roman siege?] 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: 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.


    Revelation 6:12-17
    And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake [political upheaval?]; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood [a lunar eclipse, i.e., darkened]; 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. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?


    Right after the sixth seal, the angels go out to gather the elect. I assume that this is referring to the explosive spreading of the gospel in the early Roman Empire, or something like that.

    Matthew 24:31
    And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.


    Revelation 7:1-4
    And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.


    Hence, according to the chronology of Matthew 24, the events of Revelation 7 take place after the "tribulation," which everyone seems to interpret as the Roman-Jewish War (and/or the persecution of Christians by Jews, leading up to the war). All the events of Revelation 8-11, namely the seventh seal and then all the trumpets, clearly take place after Revelation 7. If Jerusalem already got destroyed in Revelation 6, I postulate that Revelation 8-11 cannot also be talking about the destruction of Jerusalem. The remainder of the book must be talking about something else.

    Specifically, the latter parts of the book are probably referring exclusively, or primarily, to judgments upon the unbelieving gentiles (the ones who don't take the seal of the living God).
    Last edited by Obsidian; 02-09-2016 at 09:51 PM.

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  3. #2
    tWebber Rushing Jaws's Avatar
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    ISTM that the body of the book is a "Book of Judgements":

    • Rev 2-3 - preliminary judgement on the churches
    • Rev 6-7 - the opening of the Seven Seals; the sealing of the 144,000
    • 8-10 - the blowing of the Seven Trumpets
    • 15-16 - the pouring out of the Seven Bowls
    • 17-18 - judgement on Babylon the Great
    • 20 - Judgement by God & the Messiah

    - and that everything else is built up on that.

    The description of the "burning mountain" in chapter 8 echoes Jeremiah's description of Babylon as a "burnt mountain": "Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain, Who destroys the whole earth," declares the LORD, "And I will stretch out My hand against you, And roll you down from the crags, And I will make you a burnt-out mountain. (Jer.51.25).

    Though this does not identify which city is Babylon in Rev.

    One of the reasons to see Jerusalem as the target of the book is that the Seals, Trumpets and Bowls all have strong & clear associations with God's People in the OT; and all of them are associated with judgement upon Jerusalem. (So is the Sodom-imagery used in the destruction of Babylon the Great.)

    Rev is very perplexing - for every piece of evidence that suggests one interpretation, there is a piece of evidence that suggests a different interpretation.

    St John seems to have used the Song of Songs: his description of the Glorified Christ in Rev 1.12-20 specifies ten details of the Risen One's appearance - in Songs 5, the same number of details of the appearance of the Bridegroom is listed. This is all the more interesting, given that the Wedding-Feast of the Lamb acts as a "book-end" to the vision in 1.12-20.

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    tWebber Obsidian's Avatar
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    I think the burning mountain (2nd Seal) refers to Judaism.

    Hebrews 12:18-21
    For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (for they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: and so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:) but ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels


    So the fall of the burning mountain could refer to the final Jewish revolt in 135 A.D., or perhaps to some other curse that befell the Jews, or simply the decline of that religion over time.

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