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The Seven Seals – Seal Six – Part 5*

 

This post is the last in the series on Seal Six.  Remember, all the events of the Sixth Seal overlap or occur very close to each other.  Review the chart below to see how a study in parallel is used in the Sixth Seal.

Seal Six
Event Sequence # 13-21
Event Scriptures:
Revelation 6:12-7:17         Story 2
Revelation 13:1-18            Story 3
Revelation 14:1-16            Story 4
Revelation 18:1-19:10       Story 5

 

The process linking the stories together is done using the first verse of the first story to mention the event that has a related event in another story.  You can read how this is done by clicking on the book tab above, under “Reference Material,” click on the link “Revelation Cross Reference Chart” and read the second page “<strong “mso-bidi-font-weight:=”” normal”=””>How to read the chart.”  When reading verses related to a link always combine those into one event.

Please remember we are combining this one event from three stories (Story 2, 4, and 5 – see above) and merging these scriptures together to get a full picture of what is happening at and around this event.  The 5th story is going to be split out into two studies, while this is all part of the Rapture event, it is a declaration that includes information that will be more easily understood when we study The Mystery Babylon.


Church Raptured

Revelation 7:9-17
9After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. 11And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, 12Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

13And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. 16They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 17For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

Revelation 14:12-16
12Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. 13And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. 14And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. 15And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. 16And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

Revelation 18:4-19:10
4And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.  5For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

… (We will study verses 18:5-24 in “The Mystery Babylon”)…

Revelation 19

1And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: 2For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. 3And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. 4And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.

5And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. 6And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. 7Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. 9And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. 10And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

The time for the Rapture of the Church has come.  While the word “Rapture” is not in the English Bible, it does find its origins in the Latin Bible and means, “to snatch out from” and is now used more as a theological term recognized for what it represents.

These are those taken (7:9) out of every nation and languages clearly indicating that these are not the 144,000 Jews.  Christ is coming in the clouds (14:14) to harvest the earth.  The word salvation (7:10) means deliverance and safety and these are the Christians who are delivered out of the great tribulation (7:14).  They escape from the judgment and wrath of God on the earth.  However, they do have to endure the attacks of the enemy leading up to the tribulation.

Be aware of this, just because someone calls themselves a Christian does not qualify them to escape in the Rapture.  In Matt 25:1-13 all ten are saved Christians because they are virgins.  However, five of them are foolish and do not build a personal relationship with God through having enough oil or the Holy Spirit.  When the call goes out all 10 virgins are woken, but only five are ready.  The others five must run off to get more oil.  While they are gone the Jesus comes and takes those who are ready into the wedding feast.  When the other five come knocking, wanting to be let in also, they are told, He doesn’t “KNOW” them.  Being qualified for the Rapture is not a salvation question, it is a relationship question.  Someone may be saved, but if they don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus, they won’t qualify.  For those who are found sleeping when Jesus returns they are given a second chance if they have the patience of the saints (14:12, 13) being left behind after the Rapture.  If they are faithful in keeping the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus Christ during the following three and one-half years, it would be better for them to die at the hands of the enemy than to give in and take the mark of the beast.  Because those who are willing to proclaim the truth to the point of giving up their lives, then they will find rest and their works and faithfulness will follow them.  The blessing of this mystery here is not easily seen.  After the Rapture of the Church, those who were left behind will still have an opportunity to receive the same glorified body like those caught up in the Rapture.  If they are willing to give up their lives and die for the Lord, then at the end of the Tribulation when Jesus returns they will be resurrected with a glorified body (See: Luke 9:24).

The encouragement here is not to run to the wilderness to hide during the Tribulation, as is commonly taught, but to stand up against the Antichrist even to the point of preferring death, rather than keeping their lives.  Those who run off to the wilderness to protect their lives may survive and will even be allowed to enter the Millennial Kingdom, but that is all they will get.  They will spend the Millennial Reign in the same body they had before the Rapture.  They will never be part of the glorified body of Christ.  But those who have the patience to live their lives out in the open in public display of their faith in Christ even to the point of death will be blessed with a glorified body at the return of Jesus.  By losing their lives, they will save it.  There will be tremendous pressure to give in to the will of the crowd.  Nevertheless, the Christian must stand strong, endure and resist the temptation to compromise with the beast.

In Revelation 18:4 the church is told to come out of her (Babylon) and not partake of her sins or the plagues that are going to come against her.  This calling out continues through to verse 18:24, which is one continuous declaration.  Since most of this declaration relates to the Fall of Babylon, we discuss it in “The Mystery Babylon” chapter.  One interesting thing to note here is that from the Traditionalist teaching point of view, this is the Post-Tribulation scenario, in which the Seven-Year Tribulation has already ended with the last Bowl of Wrath, Jesus’ return and then the Rapture occurs.  If this is so, then why is it now talking about the judgments being poured out after everything is over?  It is only when we learn to study the book of Revelation in parallel as seven stories that this story even begins to make sense.

After talking about Babylon, the scriptures continue with the events of the Rapture (19:1).  There is great celebration and praising God (19:2-7) because the time of the Marriage supper of the Lamb has come.  Note that the Church is no longer called the bride of Christ she is now His wife.  She is fully mature, ready and able to stand beside Christ as his wife.  She is no longer a bride waiting for marriage she is now married.  (Compare Isaiah 54:1-8; Ezekiel 16:7-14; Hosea 2:19; Matthew 9:15; John 3:29; Ephesians 5:25)

The saints find their power and strength in their righteousness in Christ (19:8).  The Church is now wholly united with Christ and has the right to wear that righteousness in all its glory.

One more item to note here is in Daniel 12:11, where we are told that from the time that the daily sacrifices are taken away and the Abomination of Desolation is set up there will be 1290 days, while the Tribulation in Revelation says it will be 1260 days until the end.  Both of these are in agreement with each other as to the duration of the Tribulation.  Daniel begins its timing from the establishment of the Abomination of Desolation, while Revelation begins its timing from the sounding of the First Trumpet.  This leaves us with a 30-day window between these two events.  It is during that 30-day period that the Rapture of the church will most likely take place.  We can see from the Sixth Seal chart above that Image is setup, which is the Abomination of Desolation, then the Rapture happening after that.

I am not trying to set dates here; I am attempting to show the close relationship and agreement between Daniel and Revelation.  It says in Matthew 24:36 that no man knows the day or hour.  It does not say we will not know the month or the season coming up to that event.  It is during this time that of the Sixth Seal that many will be asking: “Where is the sign of His coming” (2 Peter 3:3-9).  They have believed in these traditional teachings and nothing has worked out that way, so now they are listening to a great savior in the Antichrist and are not prepared for what has come upon the earth.  We are warned to be aware of the times and the seasons and be watchful or he will come when we least expect him.  We have an event and a timeframe.  We need to be awake and ready.  God is not willing that any should perish.  He is going to wait until the last possible moment before He will Rapture the Church and allow the Tribulation to begin.

Some may be wondering: doesn’t Second Thessalonians 2:7 say that the Antichrist cannot be revealed until the Church is taken out in the Rapture?  To answer that we need to take a closer look at those scriptures to see what it reveals.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-8

1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 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.
3 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;
4 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, showing himself that he is God.
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8 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:

It is true that this scripture is referring to the Rapture of the Church with verse one saying; “…our gathering together unto him.”  However, do not jump to conclusions before we take a closer look at sequence of events here.

To begin 2:3 warns us not to be deceived, because the Rapture cannot happen until two events take place first.  The first event is a falling away.  This has already happened as many of the Christian faiths have fallen away from believing that the Bible is the inerrant word of God.  But for those who are not prepared there is coming a falling away that will be released in the last days, which is an even greater deception for those who are not aware of the true word of God.  It goes on to say; that day will not come until “that man of sin be revealed” first.  Therefore, we Christians will still be here to see the Antichrist.  To say the Church will be Raptured before the Antichrist is revealed is in itself a deception and we are told not to be deceived regarding this issue.  How teachers can ignore that point in this scripture is amazing.

Now take a closer look at verses 6-8 where our mystery lies.  The traditional interpretation of these scriptures relies too heavily upon how it was translated which can be misleading.  A better rendering might read:

“…For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, only he who restrains will do so until the restraint is taken out of the way, and then the lawless one will be revealed…”

Simply stated the verse says the “man of sin” or Antichrist is restrained and will not be revealed until after that “restraint” is removed.  A lot of teachers like to say that the Church is that restraining force.  But that is not what this scripture is saying and it is taking scripture out of context and adding something that is not there.  It does not say that the Church is this “restraint,” nor does it say that the Rapture of the Church removes the “restraint” which reveals the Antichrist.  The Holy Spirit is indeed doing the restraining, but it is not the Holy Spirit that is going to be taken out of the way, it is the “restraint” that is going to be taken out of the way.

Let me try to illustrate what this is saying.  If you take a balloon and fill it with air then hold it closed, what are you doing to the air in that balloon?  You are restraining the air so that it cannot escape, right.  However, when you loosen your grip, you remove the restraint and the air comes out.  You have not left.  You still have hold of the balloon you just removed the restraint.  This is what this verse is saying.  The only thing removed is the “restraint” which is holding back the Antichrist.  To attempt to teach that this means anything else is misleading.  Whether intentional or not it is deceptive and gives people false understanding and hope, which will eventually end in their hurt.

It certainly does not say that the restraining force is the Church or that the Rapture of the Church must happen to remove this restraint.  Nowhere in the New Testament is the Church called a “restraining” force.  It is called “salt,” which is a preservative and flavoring, but it is not a restraint.  This is one of those “Traditions of Men” teachings that have become so deeply ingrained in our beliefs that we cannot see beyond it.  We have inserted our own tradition that says that the Church is that “restraining force.”  Trying to say that that the Church is that force actually contradicts the verses before it that say we cannot leave until after the appearance of this “man of sin.”  If the Church is “the restraining force” then the Church must be removed before the “man of sin” is revealed.  This is what has been taught, but it is not what this scripture says.  He will be restrained until that restraint is removed, then he will be revealed and after that the church will be raptured out of the earth.

Additionally, there is nothing here that tells us how soon after the Antichrist is revealed when the Rapture will occur.  However, we can get clues from the book of Revelation, which does tell us that we will do battle with him.  And when we look at the book of Revelation from the perspective of the seven stories, using these scriptures to link the stories together we get a picture of where the Rapture will occur and this pattern is in total agreement with 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8. Given the pattern of events for the Sixth Seal, the Church should plan and expect to be here when the Image or Abomination of Desolation is set up and that the Rapture will happen sometime within the following 30 days.

We do not know the timing of the events of the sixth seal.  It could be just a few months or a few years.  Going back to the first seal, the origins of terrorism go back several hundred years.  And I will say it again, while a seven year period is determined for the Jews in Daniel 9:27, neither the book of Revelation, nor the book of Daniel teaches a seven year tribulation.  The Tribulation will begin after those seven years has already started, but the entire seven years will not be the Tribulation.  In both Daniel and Revelation, the only time counted for judgment is three and a half years.


So, when is the Rapture going to happen?

Most scholars, teachers and Christians want to believe that the Rapture can happen any time now, but when we bring our understanding into alignment with the Seven Stories of the book of Revelation, it gives us a slightly different perspective on the topic, which is much more specific and detailed than what is taught by our traditional teachings.  These blog posts do not give a complete picture of events that must occur before the Rapture as the book is written so that each new revelation and insight builds upon previous chapters and even more is going to be added in upcoming chapters, so I wanted to share with you more detail of what has been revealed from the Lord, both from this book, which goes into detail on all these subjects, from the rest of the Bible and from insights and revelations from the Lord.

As we have learned from above the Rapture cannot happen until the Antichrist is revealed and he battles the saints, but before that can happen, the 10 nation confederacy must be established.  This is not the European Union, nor is it the so called “Revived Roman Empire,” which is covered in-depth in the book; just know that the Bible says NOTHING about a “Revived Roman Empire.”  The entire belief structure for this one teaching is built upon making THREE MAJOR ASSUMPTIONS on ONE MINOR scripture in the Bible.  Without which the idea of a “Revived Roman Empire” would have never existed.  I teach this in-depth in the chapter: “Dilemma with Daniel.”  This 10 nation confederacy must be the Islamic Caliphate and is already in the early stages of formation, but until the Antichrist arrives this confederacy is going to very unstable with lots of infighting between those nations.  Once the Antichrist is revealed and takes control the Caliphate will appear more stable, but there will still be a lot of war and problems.  He will appear to have all the answers, but his nature will be more for war, than peace.  Three of the ten nations will be destroyed.  At some point, either before or after the rise of the Antichrist, an agreement must be reached, which allows the Jews to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, but only the temple is build, not the outer courts, which will make the sacrificial areas open to the public viewing.

Keep in mind that all these things must happen before the Rapture can occur.  Our traditional views create confusion over this matter, but when we bring the book of Revelation into a proper context and study it as seven-stories, it brings the entire Bible into alignment and there is no confusion or conflict over the sequence of events leading up to the Rapture.  This is a work of the Lord and it is marvelous in our eyes.  It is the fulfillment of Acts 3:21.

During this time of the Sixth Seal there will be a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit all over the world and a great revival, but at the same time there will be a great up swell in persecution against Christians and Jews.  Jesus is calling all Christians to stand strong in their faith to the point of death and there are specific judgments for those who think they can run and hide, as some of the teachings that exist now promote.  Always remember there is greater blessing to die in your faith, than to run in fear.

It is only after the temple is completed, that the Jews will begin sacrifices but the outcry against doing this will cause the Antichrist to be given authority to divert his forces and surround Jerusalem (Luke 21:20-23) to stop the sacrifices and take over the Temple.  Once this is done the Antichrist will begin declaring himself as god and the False Prophet will setup the Abomination of Desolation.

Note very carefully here, the scriptures are very exact in this matter and you can get the book to study this out.  Once the Abomination of Desolation has been setup there will be a period of 30 days during which time those who have prepared themselves for Christ will the taken in the Rapture.  After that there will be a period of silence, which we will study in the Seventh Seal, and then the Tribulation will begin and last for three and one-half years.

Don’t be deceived.  If you think you are going to follow these old “Traditions of Men” of a “Revived Roman Empire” and a “Seven-Year Tribulation” along with the other bits and pieces of teachings that go with these traditions, then you are setting yourself up for a lot of hurt when it doesn’t work out that way.  There is a great deception that is coming during these last days and it rests strongly on the Church believing those old traditions.  Satan and the Antichrist are going to use them to cause many to fall away and follow after the Antichrist.  He will be such a powerful orator that even the angels in heaven will be tempted to believe him and I point this out in the book.  The power of his deception will be so great it will almost be impossible to resist.  He will make it so simple and easy to believe that anyone who is not firmly grounded in the truth of the word of God will be swayed to worship him.  I challenge you to study, ask questions and prove out the things I am teaching you.  Then you will be prepared and ready when these things do occur.

My friends listen to me.  This is my life.  This is my calling.  To prepare the Church for the Rapture; since the age of seven, God has been focused on this one thing preparing me, revealing these things to me, building a complete picture of the last days.  Over more than 30 years I have seen it all in revelations, dreams, visitations, insight and debates and struggles with God.  I know the events in and around the Rapture, probably better than any man and even much more than what is written in this book.

According to Acts 3:21 there must be a final restoration of all things and if our understanding of Bible Prophecy is not in alignment with the truth in the word of God, then that understanding must be restored before Jesus can return.  That is why He has taught me these things and sent me, and I am not alone.   I know what I am talking about and others are beginning to realize this same truth.  We must be prepared.  The Church in general is not yet prepared for what is coming and those who shrug it off, laugh at it or ignore it with the excuse that it is all going to work out in the end are ignoring Christ’s call for us to be alert and aware of what is happening around us and it is going to hurt not only them, but those around them who are seeking truth and understanding.  They are the ones who are asleep, believing in myths and fairytales that were created by taking scriptures out of context.  It is time to wake up and see the truth that is found in the word of God for what it is truly saying to us.  Then we must prepare ourselves and those around us for the truth of what is going to happen, standing strong in faith, not being deceived by what we see, as the rest of the world will be.

Two-Thirds of the Bible is prophecy, if God intended these prophecies to be a mystery to those of us who are filled with the Holy Spirit, then why does the Bible keep repeating itself that we are to understand these mysteries?  It’s not God’s fault, it is our own fault believing in teachings that take scriptures out of context and create “Traditions of Men” causing confusion over something that is extremely simple.  I have spent hours in the throne room in heaven being taught by God about these things.  I know how He thinks and have laid out what God has taught me and if taken serious, the entire context of Bible Prophecy lines up in a simple and easy to understand teaching.  We have rested in the confusion of our traditions for so long we have become comfortable with that confusion.  But God has sent me now to break the power those traditions and it is the time to wake up, shake off the cobwebs of our sleepy minds and look in the light of the word of God for true understanding.

Live in God’s Peace!

Richard Billingsley

Next Time – Seal Seven

* This is an excerpt from the book: Tell Them to Prepare – A New Look at the book of Revelation.
Note: Reading these excerpts from the book will not provide full understanding of what is revealed in the book.  Reading the book will give deeper understanding and answer more questions than these blog posts ever will.

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