I’m still here. For those of you who are wondering, I’ll get to the rest of Matthew’s gospel (LORD willing) and how Matthew quotes each prophet. I’ve been a little bit busy with work, and with starting a kid’s club at my church. Also, there have been some interesting conversations on the web that I’ve been having. A post-millennialist had some questions and we dialogued right here on my blog. Feel free to check out two of the conversations here and here.
I also get questions from folks who want to know my views. So sometimes I am having private conversations through e-mail about various issues. I nice fellow asked me a question about the mountains not being found at the seventh bowl in Revelation 16:20. The question affected the timeline that we as PreWrathers set forth as far as when different earthquakes occur. So I typed up a little something that perhaps some of you may find interesting. Here it is:
I think one thing we need to remember is that Revelation is a transition from this age into the age to come. These things unfold over a period of time with the great tribulation followed by the Day of the LORD. It seems like the passages which you have mentioned and which I perused just before typing this e-mail which deal with the issue of an earthquake all occur during the Day of the LORD, which makes sense. Haggai 2:6-7, 21-22 both contain references to shaking the earth and the heavens (which the language seems to be literal) along with an overthrow of the kingdoms of this world.
Hebrews 12:26-28 gives us the explanation that these things are removed when they are shaken, but focuses on the removing of the kingdoms of this world with the kingdom that we have received (the kingdom of God) cannot be shaken.
So throughout the Day of the LORD, I believe we will see a literal shaking of heaven and earth. And we will see a literal removal of the kingdoms (governmental structures) of the world as we transition into the age to come with the kingdom of heaven being established here on earth. But does this mean that there will be no more mountains in the age to come here on earth? If we believe that Isaiah 2:2-4 occurs in the age to come, then there will be mountains. I believe Mount Zion will be one of those mountains, see Psalm 125 and 2:6. If Amos 9:13, Joel 3:18, Ezekiel 40:2, 43:12 are talking about the millennium then there will be mountains.
So when we look at our Revelation timeline, what do we see? At the sixth seal, there is a great earthquake which shakes every single island and mountain to the point where they can be considered “removed” out from the place that they were. In short, they are still there, but jarred so severely that they won’t go back the way they were. The topography of the earth will be altered. This is a harbinger to the Day of the LORD which we know will begin shortly after this particular earthquake since the rapture will occur then the opening of the seventh seal then the Day of the LORD.
When we come to Revelation 16:20 which occurs at the seventh bowl which closes the event known as the Day of the LORD, I confess I am at somewhat of a loss to explain what at first glance seems to be literal language. Upon examination though, it makes no sense that the islands are fleeing away and the mountains are simply not found. If we go back to Haggai 2 and realize that the heavens and the earth have been shaken throughout this whole Day of the LORD time period and that this also includes a removal of the kingdoms of this world so that the kingdom of God may remain, then this makes more sense. When the seventh bowl was initially poured out, John saw a great earthquake and proceeds to tell us that it was more severe than any other. Then the cities of the nations fall. Then Babylon comes up before the LORD so that she may experience the wrath of God. This is the removal of the kingdoms of this world so that the kingdom of God may remain. So it seems that this language is here to show that we are transitioning into the age to come. It could be a figurative statement that parallels passages like Psalm 97:5, Amos 9:5, Micah 1:4 and Nahum 1:5, which talk about the mountains or the land melting at the presence of the LORD. Or it could be that the topography will be altered in some way so that the islands really do seem to run away and the mountains (as we currently know them) simply will not be found. But we know that in the age to come there will be mountains and coastlands. So it seems to me that the seventh bowl is the transition point whereby the shaking of Haggai 2 occurs removing once and for all any traces of the kingdoms of this world, transitioning us into the age to come.
I confess, this is new territory for me. I hadn’t pondered all of the ramifications of the seventh bowl until I was asked the question. Any other thoughts out there? In the meantime, here is a song that I just love. Listen to it at this link here.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman