December 29

Today’s Reading: Revelation 8:7 – Chapter 13.

Highlights: Today we read about more tribulations with the sounding of the first 6 trumpets. The trumpets are similar to the seals but more the tribulations are more intense and more urgent. A third of the natural world is destroyed and then a third of all mankind are killed by locusts and armies on horses.  There were also 7 thunders but John was not allowed to share what he saw.

More fascinating accounts follow. In chapter 11  two witnesses who are killed then raised causing many to believe. Later in chapter 12 we read about a woman giving birth to a male child and a war between the dragon and Michael the archangel. The dragon is defeated and cast down to earth.   In chapter 13 we read about the allies of the dragon: the beast from the sea and beast from the earth,

Try to make application of the different characters in Chapter 12. Is this not talking about the first coming of Jesus?  Having failed to defeat Jesus what is the dragon (Satan) determined to do? (Revelation 12:17).

Given that context consider the possibility that the book could talking about the persecution that the early Christians faced  from the Romans following the death and resurrection of Jesus.   This would also make sense considering it was written to 7 first century churches about “things which must shortly take place” (1:1).


Filed under New Testament

3 Responses to December 29

  1. I think Revelation is full of prophecy, and that will always be fulfilled . The persecution of the Jews culminating in the destruction of the temple of Jerusalem in 70AD and the scattering of the Jews is to me a mere shadowing of the end times and not fulfillment of ‘these last things.’ I believe this this passage does indeed refer to those Biblical times and to our future times as well.
    All things prophecied in the OT and by Jesus that must come to pass before the end times to me is not fulfilled in persecutions or 70AD destruction. This is a mere taste of what’s to come.
    I think the Apostles were looking for the Second Coming to be at anytime, not realizing it was going forward more than 2,000 years. They expected their Messiah and King at any time. The letters are warnings with some commendation, examples. The letters were addressed to the audience then and for us. All these behaviors are typical of our problems even today. One day is like a thousand years.
    For prophecy to be fulfilled, as it always is and will be, I read this all as a build up continuing to the still future end times.
    Satan is indeed doing his best to thwart God’s reign and rule and started way back with Adam and Eve. Bruised heel and crushed head. Christ overcame Satan at the Cross and brought salvation to all who will believe and accept it.
    Just some of my thoughts. Hope I made sense!

  2. Andrew

    Revelation is such an interesting but confusing book. I understand and don’t deny that the prophecies could be talking about the Christians being persecuted by Rome. Yet the bible is full of prophecies or letters to certain audiences that still apply to us today or have double meanings. I don’t believe I can say the end of the world won’t look anything like what I read here. I am confident the end of the world will not be a peaceful event. I believe it will be something terrifying to witness.

    I think some of the language used may be figurative. If it isn’t and there is an actual multi-headed beast roaming around then so be it. I think the most important part of this revelation is that time will eventually run out. The details of how and when may be uncertain, but the end is clearly going to happen. Only God knows when. People should not get caught up in trying to decipher when this end will come. They should prepare for it by living a life devoted to Christ. If we are living the way we should, have devoted ourselves to Him, are part of His kingdom, than when and how the end comes is not that important. We will all face judgement some day. Let’s make sure we are prepared and do what we can to help others prepare. Satan is certainly doing his part to take as many people with him as he can.

  3. Mary K

    In the introduction Smith compares the woes in Revelation to the plagues in Egypt, his point being that God is very capable of fighting evil…in Egypt to free the Israelites from slavery and in Revelation to free us from sin. In both instances, it is a war God will win for us and it’s a battle intended to lead to repentance. It can speak to those suffering at the hands of Rome to give them hope to persevere, but this summary of God’s working in our behalf throughout the history of the world can also encourage everyone suffering through any evil generation that in the end, regardless of the malice we may face, God is fighting for us, a war He will win.

    Revelation is very difficult for me. I appreciate Susan’s and Andrew’s thoughts. Does anyone have other thoughts?

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