PASTOR DON'S CHRISTIAN ED NOTES
The Unsealing of This World's Future
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Sunday, April 25, 2010 -

Psalm 119:11 - ďI have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.Ē

It's a verse of Scripture that almost everyone can quote - especially in the KJV. If David were alive with us today, and you and I had the choice opportunity to ask him how he became a "man after God's own heart," what do you think he would say? What was the secret of his spiritual greatness? Fortunately we doní t have to guess. He tells us one of the richest secrets anyone can know. In this one short verse David stands up and says, "Here's the approach I took to becoming a man after Godís own heart.Ē

I want to know this. I donít have time to waste on fads and trends and things that simply donít work. I want a Godly heart. A Godly life outwardly comes from a Godly heart inwardly - ďI have stored up your work in my heart.Ē Iím convinced this is exactly what Jesus had in mind when, though using different words, He drilled down into the same truth about the Word stored up in the heart - John 15:7-8 - ďIf you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. [8] By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.Ē

These are amazing words. They describe a spiritual root - Godís Word - abiding inside my body, rather than on the pages of my Bible. Both David and Jesus are talking about knowing the Word by heart. And both say there is no possibility of transformation without this process. I canít abide in Jesus just by trying to imitate Him. They arenít just describing a ďWhat Would Jesus Do?Ē approach. Thatís a spiritual cop-out. The life of our Lord canít be mimicked from the outside. Itís His words abiding in us that create His life, by the Holy Spirit, through us.

This is the approach David discovered. And David, while not perfect, is certainly the man to give me directions. The verse divides up very neatly. First, there is a description of David's practice - "I have stored up your word in my heart." Then we have a picture of David's aim or goal in this practice - "....that I might not sin against you"

Today weíre going to study Davidís practice. This divides into two areas: First, we have the action David took ("....your Word I have stored...."). Then, second, we see the place where David treasured, or hid the word ("....in my heart....").

1) First, look at the action David took - ďI have stored up (or hid) your word in my heart.Ē While Iím certain most of us learned the KVJ reading of this little verse, I want to take a minute to show why I think storing is really the idea David was trying to capture.

The idea of hiding Godís Word, or hiding anything, for that matter, can be a little confusing. Thatís because there can be two very different motives for hiding something. First, you can hide something to conceal it, to keep anyone else from ever seeing it or finding it - Psalm 40:10 - "I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation.Ē

This is the kind of hiding we are not to do. We donít hide Godís Word to keep it invisible and undiscovered. This is the opposite of what David means. We donít hide Godís Word like my wife hides my Christmas presents. This is not the intent of David at all in these famous words.

Second, you can hide something to protect it - to keep it from being snatched away or lost. This is the idea David is trying to capture. He hides Godís Word in the sense that he stores, or treasures Godís Word. He locks it up in his heart the way you lock up precious jewellery in a vault. He tends to Godís Word the way you tend to something so precious that you would rather lose anything else than lose it. So David hid Godís Word in his heart because he wanted it stored in a place where its impact on his life will not be diminished. He stored it up in the one place closest to his very existence.

Now, weíve already come across more truth than most Christians seriously consider. We must not rush over this powerful idea. Reading the Bible isnít enough, even reading it very regularly. When David talks about storing or hiding Godís Word in his heart heís talking about the steps he takes after heís read and studied the Word. Heís talking about how he labours to ponder over, memorize, and preserve the Word in his heart. Itís not the actual event of reading the Word that heís describing. Heís talking about how he locks it down, how he brings it to application, how he fastens it to his life.

Jesus cautioned all of us about this same truth. In two very powerful passages of Scripture He outlines the threats - the numerous and powerful threats - to the life of the Word in our hearts once weíve received it if we werenít careful about hiding it - treasuring it - in our hearts. Iím sure you all know these two warning passages. Weíve studied them together in this series:

Matthew 13:19 - ďWhen anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.Ē

So the entrance of the Word doesnít ensure benefit from the Word. Away forever with the notion that itís enough to be inspired or even blessed by the Word. Thatís good, but itís not enough. Sometimes there can bubble up a lot of emotion around a faulty understanding of the text. This feels like spiritual health, but it isnít. Jesus is the teacher here, and He says if I donít understand the Word, and understand it correctly, it will not have any lasting influence in my life. At least not a good influence.

Then Jesus described other threats to the Word loosely fastened in my heart, even after it has been read: Matthew 13:22 - ďAs for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.Ē

You canít store everything in your heart. Just like the earth orbits the sun, your life was so created by Father God that it can only orbit on one supreme treasure. And Jesus said we must constantly uproot (in the gardening metaphor) all competing objects of attention and affection.

Note how Jesus exposes the greatest myth about spiritual life and the things that destroy itís power. Itís not just bad things that can kill spiritual life. All secondary concerns and priorities aggressively choke out kingdom concerns. They are naturally cancerous to the rule of God in my heart.

Because of this ever present danger, unlike Davidís picture of storing treasure, Jesus uses gardening imagery. Itís a brilliant teaching move. Weeding is a wonderful picture of the activity of treasuring the Word in your heart because weeding, as any gardener knows, is never done. Itís never a completed work. What clearer picture could be given to show what David meant when he outlined the need to preserve the Word in your heart after youíre done reading it?

I said earlier that David described both a practice (storing the Word in the heart) and a place where he stored it (in the heart). Letís look for a minute at the place where David hides the Word:

2) The heart is the place where David stored away the Word - ďI have stored up your word in my heart....Ē We should probably point out the obvious. Reading something and getting it into your heart are not the same thing. Iíve read thousands - millions - of things that arenít in my life in any way, shape, or form. Iíve read instructions for assembling things, programming things, road signs, and a host of other collections of letters and numbers that I have no knowledge of, nor interest in, whatsoever. So, for sure, David isnít talking here about merely reading the Bible.

More than anything else, the Word stored in the heart implies being affected by its truth. The Word stored in the heart means purposely holding the Word dearly and carefully and consciously in such a place in your programming center that it regulates everything else in your life. Cherishing is a good term for it. Storing is the one David chose.

Storing God's Word in your heart goes beyond church attendance, promise boxes or mere Bible reading. This is the most important thing about your inner life. There is nothing else that will shape your walk with God and your eternal destiny more than this. So any thoughtful person will want to ask the question: ďHow can I know if I am storing God's word in my heart?Ē

a) You are beginning to store up Godís Word in your heart when you actually begin to love the entrance of God's wisdom into your life. The Word begins to consume your time and pursuits. You can't get enough of it into your system. You begin to cherish every opportunity to expose yourself to the entrance of God's Word.

Proverbs 2:6-7, 9-10 - " For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; [7] he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity....9-10....Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; [10] for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul....Ē

ďPleasant to your soul...Ē(10). Surely, this is a mark of a flourishing heart. God goes to all the trouble to ďstore up wisdom for the uprightĒ(2:7). So we can clearly see the value He places on His wisdom. Then, because we place the same value on Godís revelation He puts on it, the entrance of His truth becomes ďpleasant to our soul.Ē

This signals a huge change in our constitution. Psalm 1 declares that I used to delight in the ďcounsel of the ungodly.Ē I had no taste for the thoughts and ways of God. I would spend more time, with more excitement, in front of the television than in Godís house. Then the Spirit of God opened my heart to Godís Word. And, oh, what a sense of treasure began to develop in my soul - ďO how I love Thy law. It is my meditation day and night!"

Speaking of God's commands, David says, "They are more to be desired than gold - the purest gold!" Is that your evaluation? Remember, you measure any passion by what it takes to bump it out of the number one spot. Did you put as much energy into hiding Godís Word in your heart as you did in getting your gold last week?

b) You will know you are beginning to store up Godís Word in your heart when you begin to receive it with faith and submission. I say faith and submission because you canít really have one without the other. You have to believe that Godís Word is gold - that it really will increase the value of your life - or you will never submit your agenda and desires to its authority.

Practically, hereís where faith must be exercised. Many times the teaching of the Word doesnít appear instantly beneficial to our own eyes. It can seem hard and undoable. It almost always goes against our own fallen instincts. Only the heart of faith will yield its own judgment, postpone its own plans, die to its own goals, and submit to the Word.

And yet this is the only way the Word is stored or treasured properly in the heart. The Word becomes settled and engrafted (thatís the word James uses to describe the same process) in the heart when it is received with faith and submission.

c) You will know you are beginning to store up and treasure Godís Word in your heart when you begin to taste in your own soul an abiding affection for the ways of God over the long haul.

This doesnít happen all at once, and you donít have to pretend that it does. But over time, bit by bit, probably without even making it a conscious decision, you cease measuring your spiritual temperature by short term blazes and surges of emotion.

Matthew 13:20-21 - ďAs for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, [21] yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.Ē

Jesus labors to distinguish between short-term and long-term effects of the Word in my life. There is a kind of response to Godís Word that carries a certain immediate ďjoyĒ - thatís the very word Jesus uses - but which quickly loses impact.

As Iíve been thinking about this I believe the difference is something like this. One approach to the Word is to go to it when something in my life is either pain producing or guilt producing. I know my life needs fixing at some point and I go to the Word to get help. When things go wrong in our lives we try to stop what weíre doing. We change our behavior. Perhaps we change our environment, our friends.

And all of this is OK. It will be helpful to our souls, Iím sure. But they are the frantic, last minute scramblings of the spiritual amateur. I believe Jesus is calling us to recognize the crucial difference between altering our actions and transforming our thinking. Before my life has a solid chance at permanent transformation I will need a totally new world-view. The way I come to see and treasure and measure everything needs a radically new mind-set - a whole word-shaped perspective.

On another occasion Jesus re-stated the same principle by saying our lives canít be switched on and off and the last minute. We are formed by drawing out of the storage of our hearts - - Matthew 12:35 - ďThe good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.Ē So our decisions arenít driven merely by the need of the moment. Rather, our affections and plans and dreams are pumped up out of the storage of the Word of God - the treasure thatís been stored up in our hearts.

The person who learns to put his faith and trust in the truth of the Word canít help but discover, in increasing measure and fullness over time, just how right and joyful the ways of God are, even when they didnít appear to be so at first. This, in turn, brings greater ease in trusting God in quicker and more complete ways in the future. And the whole adventure snowballs in a beautiful fruitfulness as your soul expands and comes to life around the ways of God.

All of this brings a steadiness and consistency into your Christian walk: Psalm 1:2-3 - ď....but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. [3] He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.Ē

People who know me well know I canít stand tulips. They look great and look crumby in the same two week stretch. Iím glad David pictured life in the Word like a tree. There is something special about a huge tree - say an oak tree. True, it takes longer to grow (unlike dandelions, they never arrive over night), but it looks good for such a long, long time. Itís a steady beauty.

God doesnít want to make you beautiful like a tulip. But His Word talks a great deal about trees. God loves to plant trees - ďHe shall be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water....Ē

ďPastor Don, my life doesnít look anything like that. Iím all over the map spiritually. Iím up and Iím down. Iím happy, then Iím confused and discouraged. Iím hot and then Iím cold. Iíll never make it to the place youíre describing today.Ē

Dear one, yes you can. But you have to make the start. Donít let the adventure scare you from starting. When you begin forming the storehouse of your heart you have to begin with a lot of sheer will-power. Later on, the Spirit will increase the momentum by working with the Word youíve planted there.

The first important thing it to not procrastinate. And the second most important thing is to not quit. Spiritual weakness isnít primarily defined by failing too often. Itís defined by quitting too soon. And we begin to understand in a deeper way why Jesus said ďIf you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples....Ē(John 8:31). So remember, the very best time to plant a great oak tree is twenty-five years ago. But the second best time is right now! Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly! Revelation 6:1-17 - ďNow I watched when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, "Come!" [2] And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer. [3] When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, "Come!" [4] And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that men should slay one another, and he was given a great sword. [5] When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come!" And I looked, and behold, a black horse! And its rider had a pair of scales in his hand. [6] And I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and wine!" [7] When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, "Come!" [8] And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider's name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth. [9] When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. [10] They cried out with a loud voice, "O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" [11] Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been. [12] When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, [13] and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. [14] The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. [15] Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, [16] calling to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, [17] for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?"

The theme of chapter five was the worthiness of the Lamb - Jesus Christ, crucified, risen and exalted - to open the seals of the book of the will of Almighty God for this world - Revelation 5:7-9 - ďAnd he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. [8] And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. [9] And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation....Ē

When you study Revelation you have to remember you are studying a book about another book. This sealed book - the one the Lamb is worthy to open - is what the rest of the book of Revelation is about. John is going to talk about three very important Ďsevensí in the rest of the book of Revelation.

The first group of seven is the seven seals. These are dealt with in chapters 6 through 8. The second group of seven is the seven trumpets. These are dealt with in chapters 8 through 12. The third group of seven is the seven bowls. They are quickly described in chapter 16 (though their effect carries on through chapters 17 and following).

Now there is one point I want to underscore today. If there is one interpretive key to understanding the whole book of Revelation, I believe this is it. If you donít get this one point right you will have a very hard time understanding how the rest of the book fits together.

Here is the key point: These three sets of seven do not follow each other in sequence. They overlap each other and build in intensity. Many people have typically interpreted these three sevens as following on the heals of each other simply because thatís the way the visions of these sevens came to John.

In other words, first John saw the seven seals and described them. Then, after he saw the seven seals, John saw the seven trumpets and described them. Then, after John saw the seven trumpets, he saw the seven bowls and described them. So because Johnís visions came in this sequence, it seems simple to assume the events came in the same sequence.

But, as I think you will see, John only saw these revelations in this sequence because he could only see one vision at a time. Thatís why I said at the very beginning of this study it is very important to remember what we are studying in this book of Revelation. Weíre studying a series of visions. But the order of the visions isnít always intended to portray the order of the events they picture.

I think you will clearly see this as we work our way through these fascinating chapters. Some visions look ahead into the future. Then, after a futuristic vision, there will come a vision that actually looks far back into the distant past. Then there are also some events that are pictured three or four times - the same event from different perspectives. And all of these visions come one after another. If this isnít understood the whole book will be shrouded in mystery, or worse, people will force an interpretation on the book that isnít actually there, but fits in with their predetermined prophetic system. People are making big money on this type of practice right now in the Body of Christ.

The important point here is each of the three sevens brings us right up to the end - the Second Coming of Jesus and the end of this age. My drawing couldnít show it quite accurately. I think what you will find as you read the text of Revelation is the seventh seal contains the seven trumpets. And likewise, the seventh trumpet contains the seven bowls. Thatís why, if you study it closely, you will find that the seventh in each series (seventh seal, seventh trumpet and seventh bowl) contain basically the same events (8:5, 11:19, 16:17-18) - thunder, voices, lightening, earthquakes, and always divine wrath.

So what you have here is an intensifying of activity as the age winds down. Things build to a fast climax as the very end approaches. Both the persecution from the enemy and the judgment of God intensify on this earth until those days will be shortened (as Jesus says) for the sake of the elect - Matthew 24:22 - ďAnd if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.Ē

Hereís why all of this matters. All Christians believe the church will be protected from the outpouring of Godís wrath at the end of this age. Jesus promised this to His disciples very clearly:

Luke 21:25-36 - ďAnd there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, [26] people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. [27] And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. [28] Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.[29] And he told them a parable: "Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. [30] As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. [31] So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. [32] Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place. [33] Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. [34] "But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. [35] For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. [36] But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man."

We will not experience the wrath of God as it is poured out. We will ďescape all these thingsĒ (36). And many people interpret this to mean the church will be raptured at the beginning of the Tribulation (usually said to be seven years, from the book of Daniel). But they interpret it this way because they have decided that all of the seven seals and trumpets and bowls in the book of Revelation are the outpouring of the wrath of God.

But they arenít. Godís wrath is not poured out for the whole duration of the Tribulation. It will only cover a very brief, final portion of it. Many different things happen during the Tribulation. There will be human warfare. There will be persecution of the Church by Satan and the Antichrist. None of this is the wrath of God. But as the Tribulation proceeds and as time passes the time comes at the very close of the Tribulation for Godís wrath to be poured out. This is the part we are promised protection from. But this comes at the very close of the Tribulation - as the seven bowls of Godís wrath are poured out on the earth.

So (and this is a very important point) as the intensification of the Tribulation builds - at the very end - Godís wrath is poured out very suddenly and very quickly. This will not be a long, drawn out process. It will sweep over the earth in a flash. It will bring very sudden destruction. This is where the church will be protected and spared.

1) THE SEVEN SEALS ARE NOT THEMSELVES THE OPENING OF THE CONTENTS OF THE BOOK, BUT ARE THE PREPARATION FOR THE OPENING OF THE BOOK

Jesus is pictured as opening up the seals that hold the book shut - Revelation 5:9a - ďAnd they sang a new song, saying, ĎWorthy are you to take the
scroll and to open its seals....ĒThe seals should not be thought of as opening separate chapters of the book of the end. The actual contents of the book are revealed in the seven trumpets and seven bowls. The seals must be opened first, one at a time, before the book itself can be opened.

This too is a very important point. The seals represent what must happen before the actual unfolding of the Tribulation events themselves. In other words, the seals represent the course of this entire age leading right up to the events of the Tribulation and the end.

Jesus made this same distinction between the immediate events of the end and the gradual progression of the course of this whole final era:

Matthew 24:4-14 - ďAnd Jesus answered them, "See that no one leads you astray. [5] For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and they will lead many astray. [6] And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. [7] For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. [8] All these are but the beginning of the birth pains. [9] "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. [10] And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. [11] And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. [12] And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. [13] But the one who endures to the end will be saved. [14] And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.Ē

What I want you to see is the similarity between the kinds of events Jesus described as ďbirthpangsĒ (hatred, war, strife, persecution) and the content of the first five seals (death, war, strife, persecution and famine). Jesus said all of these things have been around for a long time. But, like birthpangs, they are not meaningless. They are leading to bigger events. And they grow in frequency and intensity right up to the very end itself.

This is especially true in the area of the persecution of believers (see the content of the fifth seal - Revelation 6:9-11). As time progresses - and this is a very important point for all of us in the church to meditate on - it will be harder and harder to remain neutral about our faith. As time progresses - right in this present age - God, in His love, is going to force allegiance one way or the other. He is going to use persecution to cause everyone to declare himself spiritually.

Right now you can come to church on Sunday and sing about how much you love Jesus. Then you can have a whole set of other friends and live like they live and love what they love. You can have a foot in both camps and nobody but you and the Holy Spirit will even know.

But all of that is about to change. You will see it in your lifetime. You will see this as we move further into the book of Revelation. You will read about people being ďmarked.Ē God will mark His people and the Antichrist will mark his. The consequences of this marking will spill over into all of life - economics, food, business, politics, etc. Nobody will be able to remain on the fence. You will either face persecution for your passionate commitment to Jesus Christ, or you will face the outpouring of Godís wrath for siding with the world. There will be absolutely no one on the fence anymore.

I think the Holy Spirit put all of that in the book of Revelation so we could prepare our hearts now for what is coming soon.

2) AS THE FINAL SEAL IS OPENED WE FIND OURSELVES AT THE TIME OF THE VERY END

Notice the content of the sixth seal as itís opened:

Revelation 6:12-17 - ďWhen he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, [13] and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. [14] The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. [15] Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, [16] calling to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, [17] for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?"

This is the sixth seal. Now it is describing something more intense than the wars and rumors of wars that Jesus said were mere ďbirthpangs.Ē This is not leading up to the end. This is the end itself. Notice how the content of this sixth seal is almost exactly like the events Jesus said would take place right at the time of His coming:

Matthew 24:29-31 - ďImmediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. [30] Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. [31] And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.Ē

So the six seals, taken together, bring us right up to the Second Coming and the end of the age. The sixth seal specifically deals with the outpouring of Godís sudden wrath and parallels Jesusí words about the end of the age in Matthew 24. You simply must interpret Scripture (even difficult, challenging passages) in keeping with other key prophetic Scriptures.

3) THE SEVENTH SEAL (OPENED IN REVELATION CHAPTER 8) CONTAINS NO SPECIFIC JUDGEMENT, BUT LEADS RIGHT INTO THE SEVEN TRUMPETS

Revelation 8:1-2 - ďWhen the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. [2] Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.Ē

In other words, the seven trumpets flesh out in more detail the events of the very end which were just briefly mentioned in the sixth seal. Or, another way of saying the same thing is the seventh seal actually opens up the book of the end - the book that was kept closed until the proper time of the removal of the seven seals of this present age. These seals of preparation for the end are removed and the book of the very end is opened.

The more detailed story of the Great Tribulation is upon us.