2011 Free Christian MinistryThe 'Great Tribulations' of the Seals and Trumpets and then the Biblical Wrath, the pouring of the bowls or vials of wrath, as revealed in Revelationis are times of great terror. From the later tyranny of the Beast and the Prophet of the Beast, to early massive destructions of the population of even 25 percent at a time, its not a period of obvious joy. The seals of the Scrolls are broken releasing tribulations, and after that the so-called Bowl Judgments are simply horrific.
This later part is also called The Day of the Lord, since at the end of it Jesus reigns as King.
Today when we think of a “mystery,” we think of something secret, something hidden. How often have we heard, “I do not know, it is a mystery to me?”
But the Bible was not written in English. In fact, the oldest complete text was written in Greek. Many of the New Testament's books written by Paul were written to Greeks, or to those who would have been able to read Greek as the lingua franca of its day and age.
The Greek word from which we translate “mystery” in the Bible (and from which we also get the English word “mystery”) is the word “mysterion.”
'Mysterion' emphasizes the doctrine revealed to the disciples rather than the secret hidden from unbelievers. It really doesn't mean a 'secred secret,' but rather, 'a core inner doctrine,' 'truth revealed to the initiates.'
In Greek culture, the “mysteries,” the “mysterion,” were the knowledge and wisdom that would be revealed to those initiated into the religions. Those accepted as brethren would be given the basic common knowledge and wisdom, the common mysteries of that faith. It was what was revealed to them.
The “mysteries” were the very most important tenets of faith, the meat and potatoes of the religion.
The higher up the hierarchy, the deeper these mysteries one would have revealed to them would be.
The inner circle would have all the mysteries, all the inner knowledge and wisdom, shared with them.
“And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.
“And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:” Mark 4:10-11
There were a few people with Jesus who asked about the things said in parables. Jesus said that they were told parables because they were not to receive the straight facts. The mystery of the Kingdom, however, was given to these few people, the twelve and those with them, was given to know.
“Mystery,” according to Jesus, was that which was given the chosen to know.
To these few was revealed the mystery of the Kingdom.
Paul writes of another mystery:
“For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.” Rom. 11:24-25
Paul is telling these Romans that God is grafting them into the same olive tree He is grafting those of Israel who believe.
It is now a mystery: knowledge and wisdom revealed to those in the fold. Paul ends Romans with this prayer:
“Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
“But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
“To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.” Rom. 16:25-27
You see, this knowledge and wisdom revealed in this mystery was kept secret, but now it is revealed to the chosen, now it is a mystery of the elect, a revelation.
Is it revealed to the elect to be kept close, to be kept secret?
No, it is a mystery to be made known to those among all nations who will believe, so all have the option of obedience to the faith.
It is God's will that all are saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.
Won't happen, but that will be their choice. God wants all saved, all Jews and Gentiles grafted to this olive tree.
“Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
“Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” 1 Cor. 2:6-8
Here again, this wisdom had been hidden, lest the princes of this world, the spiritual wickedness, had known how much they would lose by crucifying Jesus. Had they known the details that would be revealed with this mystery, they would have refrained themselves from slaying Jesus Christ!
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
“For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
“So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
“The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor. 15:51-57
Does this say “I show you the mystery?
No, this is “a” mystery.
We shall be changed if we live, raised if we die, the living immortal and the dead incorruptible.
This shall take place when? At the sound of the last trump.
Who shall it effect?
Paul says “we”: he and those he is writing to.
Who is he writing to? “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth…with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s:” 1 Cor. 1:2a&c
He is writing, not just to the Church at Corinth, but to the Church everywhere, to all who call upon the name of the Lord, who are saved according to Romans 10:9:
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
“For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
“For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Rom. 10:9-13
See? These two sections tell us what it means to “call upon the Lord,” and when we shall be raised from the dead or changed: at the last trump.
“Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
“That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him” Eph. 1:9-10
“The” mystery of God’s will mentioned here is that those in heaven and earth are gathered together. We know Jesus, the head of the Church, is in heaven. The rest of us are either walking on the earth or are buried in it.
“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,
“If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
“How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
“Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
“Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
“That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
“Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
“Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
“And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:” Eph. 3:1-9
We see some things in this section in Ephesians which deals with what it refers here to as “the mystery written before in few words” and “the mystery…hid in God…” It is the mystery that is fulfilled at the last trump, when we shall be risen or changed.
This mystery that was His but is now manifest, is now revealed and evident, is that Jews and Gentiles are joint heirs, one body, grafted in.
Are we not of this Body of Christ, he the Head, wherein spiritually is neither Jew nor Gentile, male nor female, bond nor free?
Are we not in one spirit, under one Lord?
We are to see the fellowship of this mystery, are we not? Up until the last trump, when we are gathered in one.
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
“And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
“For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” Eph. 6:18-20
Paul was an ambassador of the gospel, and the mystery, the innermost revelation of this gospel, was foremost on his heart: One body, neither Jew nor Gentile, with Christ as the Head.
“For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;
“That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
“In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Col. 2:1-3
The treasures inherit in wisdom and knowledge indeed are hid in God and Christ, but the revelation of mysteries, that given to us, brings comfort as we are knit in love. We don't have indecision and doubt. We have assurance, the full assurance, of understanding as we walk in the fellowship of this mystery.
Look at comfort in any Tribulation we may find ourselves in: “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
“For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
“Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
“Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thes. 4:13ff
You see here, just as in 1 Corinthians fifteen, that at the trump (the last trump of 1 Corinthians) the dead are raised, and those alive and remaining changed.
Here we see that both are caught up to meet the Lord in the air.
For at this trump, at the last trump, the Lord himself shall descend and we shall be gathered together, rising into the air itself to ever be with our Lord.
Man, talk about a reason to hope!
All this is in the revelation of the mystery within this grace and the fellowship of this one Body of Christ.
It started when the first who were called out to confess the risen Jesus as Lord rejoiced in his name on that day of Pentecost, and shall be finished at the last trump, when Jesus himself shall gather all living and dead unto him in the air.
You see how all these verses pertaining to the Church fit perfectly and wonderfully together?
Do we know when the end shall be?
No man, Jesus said, knows he hour of what the Father has put in his own power. We see this prior to Pentecost, prior to the first days of this Church of the Body we are part of.
“When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
“And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
“And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.” Acts 1:6-9
Before Jesus ascended, his disciples, specifically his apostles, asked if he would now restore the Kingdom of Israel. He was asked if the end, if the fullness of time, had come.
He said, “It is not for you to know the times of the seasons which the Father hath put in His own power.” It was not for them to know when the dispensation of the fullness of time, or as we also know them the end times, was upon Mankind.
Instead, they would receive power after Pentecost, and they would be witnesses, as we have seen, to the whole world.
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
“And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
“And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance…
…Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” Acts 2:1-4, 41
The people in the fellowship of the mystery would take the gospel of the mystery, and the knowledge of Christ and of God revealed, to all nations. This day recorded in Acts 2 was the beginning of the fellowship of the mystery.
Did they think of it this way, as a fellowship of the Mystery?
Of course not. As we have seen, the knowledge of the mystery which up to this point had been hid in God was first made known to Paul years later. But this day of Pentecost recorded in Acts was the first day of this new Church, the gift of sonship known as “ the gift of pneuma hagion.”
Do we know the date when the sequence of events leading to the last trump will end?
But when the sequences of events begin, I guarantee they shall be so unique, that there will be no mistaking them when they arrive. Let's look:
Jesus left in a cloud and a few days later the Comforter, the gift pnuema hagion, holy spirit, came to the first believes of the Church of the Body.
The first thing that happens as he descends again, as we have read, when he is descending with the voice of the archangel, as the last trump sounds, is that we meet him while he is still in the air.
We just read that we must meet the Lord in the air at our gathering unto him.
“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
“That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
“Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
“Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
“And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.” 2 Thes. 2:1-6
Here we see another mystery: the mystery, not of God, but of inequity, where a man of sin is revealed, who shows himself as God.
And we see that NOW we know, it is revealed, what keeps the son of perdition from being revealed, from taking power: Us.
Between the end of Revelation chapter eleven and the beginning of chapter fourteen, when you see Jesus on Zion with his legion, you find the rise of the beast, and the dragon which loses war in heaven.
The beast, and the beast which follows him, are worshipped by the entire world, by all not found in the book of life.
But the “falling away” must first take place.
You see, Satan, the Devil, the great dragon, still has audience in Heaven.
He can still stand before God as accuser to the brethren. Praise God we have an advocate, Jesus Christ the righteous!
But before Revelation fourteen, when Christ has returned and masses his forces on Zion, something happens, a “falling away.”
This “falling away” is an “apostia,” a renunciation. It is not a time where “the whole church will be deceived.” It is a time when all man literally renounces Jesus and God. The Church does not worship falsely. The very concept of the Christian church is blatantly rejected en masse.
Why is this?
“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
“And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:” 2 Thes. 2:7-8
“Let” and “letteth” in verse 7 are the word “ketecho” and means “hold down” or “with hold.”
In Christ’s place, we “hold down” the revelation of the son of perdition. We keep the Wicked from fully manifesting himself.
This “mystery of inequity,” man trying to be God, is already at work but cannot fully manifest.
But after we are gathered, and no longer going about infiltrating this fallen world in the fellowship of our own mystery, this false mystery will gain precedence in the world.
“But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
“For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
“For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
“But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief…
“…For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
“Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.” 1 Thes. 5:1-4,9-10
Jesus said at that time no man knew the time or the season. But we of the fellowship of the mystery in this dispensation of grace are not in darkness. To us have been revealed the mysteries of the grace of God.
You see, we are not in darkness, God hath not appointed us to wrath.
There will be a day of wrath, where the “vials of the wrath of God” are spilled upon the earth.
“And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.” Rev. 16:1
These seven vials of wrath will bring great sorrow and destruction upon the earth, but the inhabitants who remain, rather than repent and pray for deliverance, will harden against the Lord who could save them.
But we of the Body, we of the fellowship of the mystery of God, are not appointed to this wrath.
But before this wrath, a clear and unmistakable sequence of events will transpire.
Reading Revelation, you will find that the first thing mentioned is the standard by which the “Seven Churches” will be judged. Since John wrote that this first part applied to his 'now,' we know these are conditions Christians will find themselves in and on what our works will be judged.
After all, our salvation is in calling upon the Lord as written in Romans 10:9. But he who hath an ear to hear, let him hear. We are saved. But we still have to answer, our works still tried as by fire.
After the standards of judgment are set, prior to the vials of wrath, seven seals will be broken. These first six seals release, in order, a conqueror, total warfare, famine, destruction of a fourth of mankind, persecution of the Church, and a unique and all-inclusive earthquake.
Now, one might miss the conqueror, and the wars of the first two seals. While these events will be unique in scope, they are not in precedence.
Then a great famine will follow. We might mistake that as well.
When a great persecution hits the Church, well, this too is not unprecedented, even when followed by an unprecedented famine.
When over a billion and a half people are annihilated, however, and then an earthquake flattens the entire earth, only a moron with his spiritual head in the sand will be able to deny the book is coming to pass.
Even the “kings,” the politicians of the earth will realize the great wrath is coming upon them.
And twelve thousand from each of the tribes of Israel, brothers from Israel itself, are sealed with the seal of God.
So then we have the last seal, and we have the seven trumpets.
The first six trumpets in order herald these things: hail of fire burning a third of the trees of earth, a great mountain cast into the sea turning a third of it to blood, a great star from heaven falling into the rivers with great devastation, the blackening out of the third part of the light of day and night, a plague of man-biting locust, the death of another third of Mankind, seven thunders which are little surprises not revealed in the Book.
Uh, we might not know when this sequence of events will start, but by the time we’re at this point, it should be obvious we’re there.
And the angel that sounds the sixth trump has this to say: “And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:” Rev. 10:6
To put it another way, we've run out of time.
What did the Scriptures tell us?
That at the dispensation of the fullness of time, we shall be gathered in Christ. Remember?
“That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him” Eph. 1:10
It said this about the mystery, right?
Finally, we have the seventh trump.
Look at this: “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.” Rev. 10:7
When this seventh trumpet, when this last trumpet, begins to sound, then the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
We've read the records: when the dead are raised, the living changed, the dispensation of the fullness of time arrives, and we meet the Lord in the air.
At the beginning of the sounding of the last trump, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters in Christ, the mystery is finished and we shall be with the Lord, at his coming! You see our example in two dead witnesses rising from the dead, then ascending in Rapture! That's our Rapture! We'll be with them! Raptured, shortly before the outpouring of the Wrath we are saved from.
After this, you have the unveiling of the son of perdition, you see the beast unveiled, you see war in Heaven wherein the dragon is permanently cast down, you see the number of the Beast, you see Jesus arraying his forces on the Hill.
You see the pouring out of the vials of the wrath of God, the wrath we are saved from.
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
"Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him." Rom. 5:8-9
At the conclusion of the mystery of God, the days that involve the vials of wrath, the "Bowl Judgments," come upon Man. See how simply and perfectly that fits together?
Some will want to argue against what is so clear from every pertinent Scripture verse.
It's not my job to argue.
I simply find Scripture is so much easier to understand when I have a proper view of things, don't you?
I am certainly glad we are saved from the outpouring of the vials of wrath. Will we have to go through some terrible times? If we remain unto the opening of the seals, certainly.
But our job is to stand regardless of what we face. Today, there are many facing horrors every bit as evil as those that will be faced by the Church during the opening of the first six seals.
Regardless of what we face, we are to hold fast unto the day Jesus comes back for us.