Debate abounds regarding the symbolism of the book of Revelation. A lot of people avoid reading this part of Scripture due to a lack of understanding the imagery such as horses with heads like lions whose riders are decked out in fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow. Even experts don’t always agree on what they mean.
The Savior who walked, talked, healed, and preached as the Son of Man then died and rose again as the Son of God to defeat the power of death. Yet, despite the magnificent form He portrayed to them in an immortal body, He didn’t appear to His followers as the warrior King that John saw on the isle of Patmos. This was the risen Christ in all His glory. A glory so magnificent John couldn’t stand up in His presence. The transfiguration gave the disciples a glimpse of this power, but no one had seen Jesus like this before the Patmos appearance to John.
Some refer to the book as the Revelation of John. The words were imparted to John, but the entire writing is considered the Revelation of Jesus Christ. His glory, the mercy extended to the world for centuries, and the judgment awaiting those who refuse His sacrifice is exposed through John’s vision.
John saw a scroll closed with seven seals. He lamented because no one was found worthy to open the scroll. But the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world was found worthy to break the seals that would begin earth’s calamities (Revelation 5:6-7). These are followed by seven trumpets from the angels and then seven plagues.
God is not unjust in inflicting these scourges. He is not willing that any should perish, but that all would come to Him (2 Peter 3:9).
He has extended grace toward the world with the invitation to accept His Son as the payment for sin. But just as His own people turned to idolatry in the Old Testament, men still harden their hearts against the goodness of God and want to go their own way.
The antichrist will blaspheme the King of kings and set himself up as the Messiah and millions in the world will be deceived by his power.
Sinners and saved will both be living in the world in the last days until the time they will be separated.
Let both grow together until the harvest. At that I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn. (Matthew 13:30 NIV)
Those who take the mark of the beast cannot blame the Lord for the wrath poured out upon the world. If they make themselves part of that world, they are judging themselves (John 3:18).
Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, “Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” (Revelation 14:15)
The bowl of wrath begins as judgment for the rejection of Christ.
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What Are the 7 Plagues of Revelation That Will Be Poured Out Upon the World?
1. Loathsome Sores – Those who have taken the mark of the beast because they believed his lies will be inflicted with painful and foul-smelling sores. They worshipped the image of the beast and by doing so turned themselves over to Satan. In the book of Daniel, three Hebrew young men refused to bow to an idol and were rewarded with salvation. The Son of God walked with them in the fire and rescued them (Daniel 3:25). Those in the antichrist’s fold will not be saved, rather they will suffer the penalty of serving Satan. This same judgment of boils was poured out upon the Egyptians because Pharoah hardened his heart and refused to let Israel go. In the case of the Hebrews, Nebuchadnezzar was smarter than Pharoah and acknowledged the one true God’s saving power.
2. The Sea Turns to Blood – Our planet consists of 70% water and contains great sources of food used to nourish the world’s population, as well as feeding the animal kingdom. The ocean also provides plant life that is used as food and other products that support humanity. When everything in the sea dies, famine will be widespread.
3. Fresh Water, Springs, and Rivers Turn to Blood – This plague will also bring devastation against living things in the water. Because false prophets will shed the blood of saints, the wrath of bitter water will be like blood given to them to drink. The same bitterness that afflicted Egypt when the Nile River turned to blood was because of persecuting God’s people.
4. Men are Scorched – Such heat as has never been known will emanate from the sun burning and scorching men as if they are on fire. Their pain will be so great, they will gnaw on their tongues, but there will be no relief.
5. Darkness and Pain – When darkness covered Egypt for three days, it was a darkness that could be felt (Exodus 10:21). When the Holy Spirit’s presence is absent, evil thrives. When Jesus hung on the cross, the earth was filled with darkness for three hours (Mark 15:33). Holy wrath was poured out against sin upon the body of the Son and heaven and earth mourned. In these last times, darkness coupled with pain will overwhelm sinners because they refused the payment Jesus made.
6. Euphrates River Dries Up – Three unclean spirits are seen coming out of the mouth of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. These evil spirits will go about the earth deceiving the kings of the world to fight against Christ at the Battle of Armageddon. One of the pestilences of Egypt was frogs that covered the land in every space. Because these people worshipped the river and the creatures that dwelt there, God used their false images as judgments against them. All the kings of the earth that follow the same demons to the battle will ultimately be going to their own demise.
7. Earth Shaken – An earthquake like none before on earth will be so great islands and mountains will disappear. Hail as large as 75-100 pounds will fall upon men. Hail fell in Egypt mixed with fire to judge them for refusing to acknowledge the Almighty.
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Why Will People Refuse Repentance during the Tribulation?
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. (1 Timothy 4:1-2)
Without allowing the Holy Spirit to illuminate hearts, men turn toward what feeds their flesh. The antichrist will be able to deceive people because he imitates the Lord. He will do miracles, but they are done through Satan. Those who have not acknowledged the Savior in their hearts will not be able to tell the difference.
Once a person’s conscience has been seared with a hot iron, there is no sensitivity toward the Holy One. Even in their pain and misery, men will blaspheme Him and not repent of their evil ways. Pharoah did the same thing in that he refused repeatedly to let the people go and hardened his heart against the Redeemer of Israel.
The last scourge in Egypt was the death of the firstborn. Those who believed the great I AM and honored His Word by applying the blood of the Lamb to their doorposts were protected from the plagues. Because the Father’s only begotten Son died as heaven’s Lamb, the way out of the plague of sin has been provided. As those who refuse salvation name their own death, those who take the mark of the beast will choose the punishment that goes with the worship of a false god.
The plagues are because mankind refuses the goodness of heaven and the only option left for them will be to join in the punishment that will fall upon the demon-filled antichrist.
Jesus will throw Satan and his cohorts into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10).
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Deliverance for Believers
John saw a new heaven and a new earth. The New Jerusalem descended from heaven (Revelation 21:2). Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life may enter.
Miriam and the women of Israel sang and rejoiced after the Red Sea crossing. The servants of the Lord will sing that song of Moses and proclaim the greatness of our Lord because of the deliverance of His saints (Revelation 15:3-4).
Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. (Revelation 22:12-14)
It’s not too late to receive the Savior. There is still time to ensure your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life before these events take place.
God has always given a warning to His people as to the consequences of sin. And He provides the way out (1 Corinthians 10:13).
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Barbara Latta is a true southerner and is transplanted from Arkansas to Georgia. She writes a monthly column in her local newspaper and contributes to devotional websites, online magazines, and has stories in several anthologies. She is the author of God’s Maps, Stories of Inspiration, and Direction for Motorcycle Riders. She enjoys traveling with her Harley-riding prince on his motorcycle taking in the creativity of nature. Drinking coffee on the patio while the sun comes up is her favorite time of day. Barbara shares about walking in grace and thriving in hope on her blog, Navigating Life’s Curves, at www.barbaralatta.blogspot.com. She cherishes her role in life as a wife, a mom to two grown sons, and Mimi to one granddaughter.
This article is part of our larger End Times Resource Library. Learn more about the rapture, the anti-christ, bible prophecy and the tribulation with articles that explain Biblical truths. You do not need to fear or worry about the future!