A BRIEF LOOK AT THE 21 JUDGMENTS IN THE APOCALYPSE
What are the 21 judgments in the Book of Revelation? The 21 judgments are the seven seals (Revelation 6:1-17, 8:1-5 NKJV), the seven trumpets (Revelation 8:6-13; 11:15-19 NKJV), and the seven vials (Revelation 16:1-21NKJV) that originate from God. The judgments will occur within a seven year period, commonly referred to as the seven year tribulation period by eschatologists because they parallel the Seventieth Week found in Daniel’s writings (Daniel 9, 10, and 11 NKJV) and Matthew 24. God sends these judgments to planet Earth because humanity has rejected Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus) and accepted the anti-Messiah (anti-Christ), while seeking to divide the nation of Israel and attempting to destroy the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God sends these judgments because the world has become extremely violent like the days of Noah (Matthew 24:37). After God’s Church is taken to Heaven in the rapture event (1-Thessalonians 4:16; 1-Corinthians 15:50-55), God’s judgments begin when the anti-Messiah makes a covenant with Israel and they will get increasingly more destructive as the seven year tribulation period progress. The seven seals, the seven trumpets, and the seven vials judgments are prophetically linked together. The seventh seal introduces the seven trumpets (Revelation 8:1-5 NKJV), and the seventh trumpet introduces the seven vials (Revelation 11:15-19, 15:1-8 NKJV).
THE SEVEN SEALS
The first four of the seven seals are known as the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. The first seal introduces the anti-Messiah (Revelation 6:1-2 NKJV). In other worlds, the white horseman is Satan’s anti-Messiah. He is the “prince who is to come” of Daniel’s vision of the “Seventy Weeks,” and he will confirm the covenant for “one week (seven years),” which begins the “Seventieth Week,” with Jewish people (Daniel 9:27 NKJV). This covenant will be a peace treaty between the leaders of Israel and the Middle Eastern nations following the Mideast wars described in Psalm 83, Obadiah 1:15-21, and Ezekiel 38 and 39. The anti-Messiah will be the mastermind behind the development of this future peace treaty.
This white horseman (anti-Messiah) will be Satan’s superman released upon the world to deceive humanity. The Holy Scriptures teach that someday there will emerge a human being who will be the embodiment of Satan’s power. He will be known as the “Willful King” because he will do according to his own will. He will be the new Caesar of Caesars because he will be a brilliant military strategists and tactician. He will be Plato’s philosopher king because of his deep knowledge of the mysterious along with his ability to solve complex social problems. He will be a deeply religious personality because he will believe that he is God manifest in human flesh. However, while the anti-Messiah’s rule will first be comparatively peaceful, his Mideast peace treaty will be short-lived with the breaking of the “Second Seal.”
The second seal causes global great warfare (Revelation 6:3-4 NKJV). The red horseman means the anti-Messiah’s autocratic rule will lead to insubordination and worldwide civil wars among the nations under some great leader represented by the blood red horseman with a “Great Sword” symbolizing warfare and death caused by advanced weapon systems. This leader will probably originate either from China or India because Russia and America will no longer exist as superpower nations with the capability to challenge the Anti-Messiah’s Middle Eastern Army. These wars will continue until Messiah Yeshua defeats the Anti-Messiah during the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19 NKJV).
The third seal causes famine (Revelation 6:5-6 NKJV). This black horseman means that famine will cause the deaths of many millions worldwide. This rider represents death following warfare. John’s apocalyptic description of what follows reflects what we would expect to see following chemical, biological and nuclear warfare. Messiah Yeshua prophesied this event in Matthew 24:7, Luke 21, and Mark 13. Readers of these passages learn that billions of the Earth’s population will die in the near future. The initial death will be from war as described by the Red horse. This period also describes worldwide drought conditions because of the changes in the environment triggered by advanced weapon systems (nuclear, biological, and Chemical), earthquakes, flooding, and heat waves.
The fourth seal brings about plague, further famine, and further warfare (Revelation 6:7-8 NKJV). This rider represents sickness and diseases suffered by the survivors of this global conflict. When the “Pale Horse Rider appears in John’s vision, he is given a name. It is noteworthy that the first three horse riders are not named. The Fourth Horse Rider collected the results of the Red and Black horse Riders because wars bring death and destruction, which causes famine and diseases resulting in more death. Another awful result from warfare, disease, and famine, are wild animals usually hunt and consume human flesh, which common during the First and Second World War. During this period, the great predator beasts of the Earth will see human beings as simply another food source. The God of the universe will remove all animals’ inner fear of humankind.
The fifth seal describes worldwide martyrdom during the end times (Revelation 6:9-11NKJV). This seal represents the persecution and murder of Tribulation Saints worldwide. When the Fifth Seal was broken John saw souls of many martyred saints under the Holy Altar. These Martyrs, whose “souls” John saw are not the Martyrs of past generations; since they were taken up with the Christian Church Saints, but they are the Tribulation Martyrs who will be kill because they will not worship the Anti-Messiah or practice his pagan religious system (Rev. 12:11 NKJV). After the rapture and transfiguration of Christian believers and the establishment of false peace under the Anti-Messiah’s rule, worldwide persecution of newly converted Christians begins. During the first half of the Tribulation, the Anti-Messiah will usher in a unified ecumenical religious system combining deep philosophical elements of Christianity, Islam, eastern mysticism, and paganism. All who refuse this one world religion system will be put death by beheading. The Anti-Messiah will use this ecumenical religious system to declare himself as messiah and god of humanity and he will demand to be the center of worship. (Daniel 11:37; 2 Thessalonians 2:4; Matthew 24:9-10 NKJV).
When the Sixth Seal is broken great “physical changes” will occur on the Earth. Here is the first, of the Earthly catastrophes to strike the Earth. After the wars, famine, diseases of the early part of the Tribulation, a massive and earthquake violently shakes the planet Earth. The writings of Matthew 24, Jeremiah 23, and Isaiah 24 parallel this cataclysmic earthshaking event. The volcanic materials released during this earthquake will cause the sun to appear darken, followed by strange events in the sky making the moon appear blood red. Stars falling from heaven describe asteroids and meteorites falling upon the planet Earth. The Wrath of the lamb describes Messiah Yeshua’s judgment upon the nations. Those who survive are right to cry out, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” (Revelation 6:16-17).
Between the breaking of the “Sixth” and “Seventh” Seals there will be a pause before the next dramatic event, where 144, 000 deeply religious Jews, 12, 000 from each of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, will be sealed in their foreheads. The “Seal” may be an imprint of the “Father’s Sacred and Most Holy Name commonly referred to as Y-H-V-H or Yah-Weh (Rev. 14:1 ; 22:4 NKJV). Additionally, the Blood Washed Multitude describes the Gentiles who accept Messiah Yeshua as their Savior after the Church departed to Heaven. They are not part of the Church.
During the breaking of the Seventh Seal there will be silence in Heaven for about a half an hour. This silence gives people on Earth the opportunity to prepare themselves psychologically for the next seven judgments to follow. Following the Silence, Seven Angels in succession sound upon Seven Trumpets. This silence in heaven is consistent with the six plus one HEPTADIC pattern of biblical prophetic literature where the final event is completely different from the previous six events. Therefore, the silence in heaven significantly increases the intensity of the coming trumpet judgments.
THE SEVEN TRUMPETS
The seven trumpets are described in Revelation 8:6-13. The seven trumpets are the seventh seal’s contents (Revelation 8:1-5 NKJV). The first trumpet triggers hail and fire that annihilates most of the world’s plant life (Revelation 8:7 NKJV). The second trumpet brings about a meteor hitting the oceans and causing the death of much of the world’s sea life (Revelation 8:8-9). The third trumpet is similar to the second, except it affects the world’s lakes and rivers instead of the oceans (Revelation 8:10-11 NKJV).
The fourth of the seven trumpets causes the sun and moon to be darkened (Revelation 8:12 NKJV). The fifth trumpet results in a plague of “demonic locusts” that attack and torture humanity (Revelation 9:1-11 NKJV). The sixth trumpet releases a demonic army that kills a third of humanity (Revelation 9:12-21 NKJV). The seventh trumpet calls forth the seven angels with the seven bowls of God’s wrath (Revelation 11:15-19, 15:1-8 NKJV).
THE SEVEN VIALS
The seven vial judgments are described in Revelation 16:1-21. The seven bowl judgments are called forth by the seventh trumpet. The first bowl causes painful sores to break out on humanity (Revelation 16:2 NKJV). The second bowl results in the death of every living thing in the sea (Revelation 16:3 NKJV). The third bowl causes the rivers to turn into blood (Revelation 16:4-7 NKJV). The fourth of the seven bowls results in the sun’s heat being intensified and causing great pain (Revelation 16:8-9 NKJV). The fifth bowl causes great darkness and an intensification of the sores from the first bowl (Revelation 16:10-11 NKJV). The sixth bowl results in the Euphrates River being dried up and the armies of the Antichrist being gathered together to wage the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:12-14 NKJV). The seventh bowl results in a devastating earthquake followed by giant hailstones (Revelation 16:15-21 NKJV). Revelation 16:5-7 declares of God, “You are just in these judgments, you who are and who were, the Holy One, because you have so judged; for they have shed the blood of your saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve. Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments.”
SUMMARY OF GOD’S 21 JUDGMENTS
When we compare the Holy Bible with the Holy Bible we discover that Revelation’s general chronology is found elsewhere within God’s Holy Scriptures. The prophetic forecast Messiah Yeshua gave in Matthew 24 is similar to Revelation chapters 6-19. Matthew 24 is a Daniel 9:27 expansion, which describes Daniel’s “seventieth week.” Thus, what Daniel described in one verse, Messiah Yeshua expanded in His classic Olivet discourse in Matthew 24, which John the revelator enlarged to fourteen chapters in Revelation.
Revelation 6-19 is Matthew 24 which is an expansion of Daniel 9:27. This informs all readers that there is unity and divine providence working throughout all the Holy Bible. The Book of Revelation is the culmination of all biblical prophecies throughout the God’s Word. Revelation 6 to 19’s seven year tribulation period is Daniel’s “seventieth week” describing the final seven years. The Revelation’s second half of the three-and-one half years corresponds to Daniel 7:25’s three-and-one-half year period. This period is called in Jeremiah 30:7 as “the time of Jacob’s trouble.” This period is 42 months or 1260 days long. Many eschatologists recognize this explanation in prophecy.
When Matthew chapter 24 and Revelation chapters 6-19 are compared, we discover many prophetic similarities. There will be false messiahs and false religious teachers (Matt. 24:4-5; Rev. 6:1-2 NKJV), many wars (Matt. 24:6; Rev. 6:3-4 NKJV), large famines (Matt. 24:7a; Rev. 6:5-6), many deaths (Matt. 24:7b-8; Rev. 6:7-8 NKJV), many martyrs (Matt. 24:9; Rev. 6:9-11 NKJV), worldwide chaos (Matt. 24:10-13; Rev. 6:12-17 NKJV), and the Kingdom’s Gospel preaching preceded by the sealing of the 144,000 (Matt. 24:14; Rev. 7:1-8 NKJV).
Finally, there will be the Holy Temple desecration along with its worship (Matt. 24:15; Rev. 13:1-10 NKJV), while persecu
Dictionary of Bible by Ron Rhodes; The Last Days by Richard H. Perry; the Complete Guide to Bible Prophecy by Stephen Miller; Learn The Bible in 24 Hours by Dr. Chuck Missiler; and The Book of Revelations by Larry R. Helyer, PhD.; The Next World War by Dr. Grant Jeffrey; Isralestine by Bill Salus; Revelation Road by Bill Salus; Unleashing the Beast by Perry Stone.