I am studying Revelation with a desire to discover and learn the text… not what others say about The Revelation (yet). I will consider others and their thoughts on the Apocalypse eventually, but first I want to study the text for myself.
The most recent discovery I’ve made that I have somehow overlooked in the past is in relation to the exclusion by God of a series of judgments on the inhabitants of earth. Most readers are aware of the Seal, Vial, and Bowl judgments. But in my reading I noticed that there was a set of judgments God set aside!
The Seal Judgments are found from 6:1 to 8:5. These seem to be more of a warning or heralding of the judgment of God to come. In one of the Seals 1/4 of the inhabitants of the earth are affected.
The Trumpet Judgments are found from 8:6 to 11:15. In these 1/3 of the inhabitants of the earth are affected.
The Bowl Judgments are found in chapter 16 where all mankind is affected.
It is after the Sixth Trumpet Judgment something interesting is found. Consider Revelation 10:1-5…
Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire. 2 He had a little scroll open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the land, 3 and called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring. When he called out, the seven thunders sounded. 4 And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.”
This is interesting. It seems that the judgments intensify as you progress through the book. The Seal judgments affect 1/4 of earth’s inhabitants… the Trumpets bring judgment upon 1/3 of earth’s inhabitants. So the next judgment (The Thunder Judgments) would logically affect 1/2 of the earth’s inhabitants. But the Thunder Judgments are set aside for a reason unknown to us. Then when the Bowl Judgments take place, they affect all of mankind (Chapter 16).
What does this mean? It may be that God’s patience with mankind is over. The day of grace has ended. And so God sets aside a series of judgments to conclude the matter once and for all. To completely destroy those who have waged war against Him. But that day has not yet come…
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but (He) is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
2 Corinthians 6:2 Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
Romans 2:3 (Do you think) you who judge those who do such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.