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15 - The Chronology of The Judgments

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The Chronology of The Judgments

Intro: Some time ago, a few ladies met in a certain city to read the scriptures and make them the subject of conversation. While reading the third chapter of Malachi, they came upon a remarkable expression in the third verse.

"And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."

One lady's opinion was that this was intended to convey a view of the sanctifying influence of the grace of Christ. Then she proposed to visit a silversmith and report to them what he said on the subject. She went accordingly, and without telling the object of her errand, begged to know the process of refining silver, which he fully described to her.

"But Sir," she said, "do you sit while the work of refining is going on?" "Oh, yes Madam," replied the silversmith; "I must sit with my eye steadily fixed on the furnace, for if the time necessary for refining be exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver will be injured."

The lady at once saw the beauty and comfort, too, of the expression: "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."

Christ sees it needful to put His children into a furnace; His eye is steadily intent on the work of purifying, and His wisdom and love are both engaged in the best manner for them. Their trials do not come at random; "the very hairs of your head are all numbered."

As the lady was leaving the shop, the silversmith called her back, and said he had still further to mention, that he only knows when the process of purifying was complete by seeing his own image reflected in the silver.

Beautiful example! When Christ shall see His own image in His people, His work of purifying will be accomplished. This is what our Lord does until He sees His reflection in our lives

Rom 8:28-29  -  Conforming us to  his image.

Malachi 3:1-3 (KJV) 1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. 2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: 3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. [1]

The interpretation of this verse occurs from Revelation 6-19. God will purify the sons of Levi.  In our study we will now begin the study of the Tribulation Period.

We have seen the Prologue in Chapter 4 & 5. The Creator sits on the throne and the Redeemer takes the scroll and opens it.

1.       Three Chronological Problems

a.       When does Chapter 6 – 19 occur? Past or Future? From John’s point of view they were future – Revelation 1:19  cf. Rev 4:1 . From our perspective we can say these chapters are future.

                                                                 i.      Revelation is parallel to Daniel

1.       45 quotations taken from Daniel referred to in Revelation.

2.      Chap 7 of Daniel is referred to 25 times alone.

3.       Daniel sees four beast. These beast represent the events that will occur immediately before the establishment of our Lord’s kingdom.

4.      We infer then that Revelation also gives detail of a series of events that will also occur immediately before the establishment of our Lord’s kingdom.

5.       As Daniel 7 contains a sequence of events we believe that Rev 9-19 also contains the same.

6.      We believe that these verses are not historical but prophetic.

                                                               ii.      We believe that these verses are future because Daniel chapter 7 is still future.

1.       Daniel 7:25 – Tribulation divided into two halves. Three and a half years.

a.       Daniel 12:7 – Time, Times and half a time

b.      Revelation 11:2-3 – 42 months

c.       Revelation 11:3 – 1260 days

d.      Revelation 12:6 – 1260 days

e.       Revelation 13:5 – 42 months

2.      What has been prophesied in Daniel is still future. So we deduce that Revelation 6-19 is also future.

                                                             iii.      It is impossible to relate historical events with the events of Chapter 6 – 19. There is speculation but no harmony.

b.      The Chronology of the Judgements

                                                                 i.      The Judgments – Three series of judgments

1.       The seals - 7

2.      The trumpets

3.       The bowls

                                                               ii.      Are these Judgments successive or parallel?

1.       Today we will attempt to answer this question.

2.      There are two points of view

a.       One is that they are successive

b.      The other is that they are parallel.

3.       What are the problems with the successive position?

a.       Rev 6:12-17  – Sixth seal presents the end of the tribulation

                                                                                                                                          i.      If this is so that when are the trumpets and bowls performed?

b.      Rev 10:7 – Seventh Trumpet- presents the end of the tribulation

                                                                                                                                          i.      If this is so there is no succession.

4.      What are the problems with the parallel position?

a.       The sixth seal brings us to the end of the tribulation period.

b.      Rev 8:1 – No record of any content in the seventh seal.

c.       Out of the seventh seal come seven angels with seven trumpets.

d.      Rev 10:7 – No content in the seventh trumpet.

e.       It seems then that we can not look at these judgments as occurring parallel.

5.       The alternative leaves us with a compromise of successive and parallelism.

a.       Six seals then the seventh seal

b.      The seventh seal is the trumpets.

c.       Because the sixth seal brings us to the end of the tribulation than the seventh seal brings us the details of the parallel trumpets. Precise details, significant details.

d.      Because the seventh trumpet contains no details I am suggesting that the bowl judgments are contained as the seventh trumpet sounds.

e.       All the judgments are contained in the seven sealed scroll.

f.        The three series of judgments are all contained in the seven seals.

g.      The seals are successive. The trumpets and bowls are parallel.

                                                               iii.      When will these judgments begin?  - Mat 24 cf Rev 6

1.       Matthew 24:5- False Christ, the anti-christ. The first Seal

2.      Wars  - The second seal of Revelation 6

3.       Famines – The third seal

4.      Pestilence – The fourth seal - pes•ti•lence \ˈpes-tə-lən(t)s\ n a contagious or infectious epidemic disease that is virulent and devastating esp bubonic plague  something that is destructive or pernicious - pes•ti•lent \-lənt\ adj [ME, fr. L pestilent-, pestilens pestilential, fr. pestis] 14c

a.       destructive of life deadly

b.      injuring or endangering society pernicious

c.       causing displeasure or annoyance


5.       These four seals are the beginning of sorrows. – The first half of the tribulation

6.      Persecution – The fifth seal

7.       Great earthquake – The sixth seal

8.      These last two seals occur during the last half of the tribulation.

                                                              iv.      Parenthesis????

1.       Chapter 6 – the six seals followed by detailed background.

2.      Chapter 8-9 the trumpets followed by additional detail.

3.       Chapter 15-16 the bowls followed by additional detail.

4.      The parentheses are not chronological.


[1]  The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.). Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.


\ə\ abut \ə\ kitten, F table \ər\ further \a\ ash \ā\ ace \ä\ mop, mar

\au̇\ out \ch\ chin \e\ bet \ē\ easy \g\ go \i\ hit \ī\ ice \j\ job

\ŋ\ sing \ō\ go \ȯ\ law \ȯi\ boy \th\ thin \ṯẖ\ the \ü\ loot \u̇\ foot

\y\ yet \zh\ vision, beige \ḵ, n, œ, ue, y\ see Guide to Pronunciation

n northern, noun

adj adjective

ME Middle English

fr from

L Latin

[2]Merriam-Webster, I. (2003). Merriam-Webster's collegiate dictionary. Includes index. (Eleventh ed.). Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, Inc.

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