Studying end time prophecy can be a daunting task!
The book of Revelation can be particularly challenging with the time range starting with the birth of Messiah and finishing 1,000 years after His return. The inset chapters interrupt the flow of the narrative and the symbolism of the vision leave many people confused.
However, there is one absolutely invaluable piece of information when studying the end time countdown. This is the relationship between the 7 seals, the 7 trumpets and the 7 bowls of wrath.The 7 trumpets are the result of opening the 7th seal and the 7 bowls of wrath are poured out after the 7th trumpet announces the wrath of God on the world.
Putting these statements together we see a linear timeline – 7 seals are opened, then 7 trumpets are sounded then 7 bowls of wrath are poured out. Each series of 7 events are recorded as being completed in order. So now we have a linear sequence we can use to form the backbone of our prophetic explorations.
Matthew 24 is effectively the executive summary of the end times. Our Messiah breaks this narrative down into three main time periods – the beginning of sorrows, the tribulation and the coming of the Son of man.
These three periods overlay the backbone of Revelation as follows:
- The beginning of sorrows is from the 1st Century to the 4th seal
- The tribulation is from the 5th seal to the 7th trumpet
- The coming of the Son of man is from the 7th trumpet to the 7th bowl of wrath
Now we have a basis for starting our analysis.
This week our focus will be on the period “The beginning of sorrows”.
Our aim is to identify the key events which occur at each point along the prophetic backbone, to try fit together the other prophecies relating to these events and work out and to put together the chronology of these events so that we can have discernment about when we should expect to see the signs.
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