My Experience: At the Ball Game
Judges 9:48 – “Then he said to those with him, ‘Quick! Do just what you saw me do’!”
I once watched a baseball game. I saw the ball head from the pitcher to the batter. It went straight towards the batter and the catcher, with the umpire looking over the catcher’s shoulder. The players on the field adjusted their positions, and the runners on the bases took steps toward the next base – lots of action. The fans sat at the edge of their seats, barely breathing. It was really quiet. Then I saw the ball curve down just before getting to the batter. There was silence for a few seconds and then I saw the ball heading straight towards the batter, and curving right –again, quiet in the stadium. But then, after a few seconds, the stadium got really noisy and then I heard the fans shouting with joy at the strikeout.
John’s Experience: In Heaven
I saw the Lamb break the first of the seven seals, the second, the third, the fourth, the fifth, and the sixth. Horses were let loose, earthquakes struck, and the mountains and islands all moved away from their normal places. When the Lamb broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for what seemed like half an hour. Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and they were given seven shofars. Hail, fire, polluted waters, darkness, stars falling, pits opening, smoke everywhere, people everywhere being killed – lots of action. Then I saw another sign in heaven, a great and wonderful one — seven angels with the seven bowls full of the plagues that are the final ones. More devastation, more blood, more burnt dead bodies, more lightning, thunder, and earthquakes. Then I heard the roar of a huge crowd in heaven, shouting, “Halleluyah, Halleluyah, Halleluyah, Halleluyah!
The Common Factor
No doubt to you, the reader, the (tall) tale sure sounded like an experience of consecutive pitches or events, didn’t it! My experience at the ball game was a description of only ONE pitch but from three different cameras. Today we have the wondrous technology of replay from every imaginable angle, so what appeared at first to be a tale of three pitches turns out to be only a single pitch.
No doubt, you, the reader have been told more than once that the seal, shofar, and bowl judgments are separate, consecutive events. It seems like they should be, as John says, “and then I saw . . . . .” However, I am becoming more and more convinced that what John saw was not a series of consecutive events, but many of the same events from different angles. Talk about being ahead of your time, eh?
Creation (Genesis) vs. Destruction (Revelation)
Revelation shows distinct connections between creation and judgment, seen especially in the Shofar judgments. The first, second, third, fourth, and fifth Shofars judge creation. The first Shofar judges the land, plants and trees (Day Three). The second and third Shofars judge the water and its inhabitants (Day Two and Day Five). The fourth Shofar judges the Sun and Moon (Day Four). The fifth Shofar judges the creation of light (Day One).
- The third Shofar and third Bowl would bring about the deaths seen in Seals three and four — no water — death quickly follows.
- Seal six and the seventh Bowl both address the mountains and islands flying away like fools, as Gandalf would say. Surely this only happens once!
- Seal six and seventh Shofar both address the veil being ripped open, and heaven being seen into. Again, probably a one time event.
- Seal seven and Shofar seven sound incredibly alike. Okay, Yahweh loves to put on a show – thunder, lightning, earthquakes, but it still sounds like the same event to me.
Genesis 1:1-5 – Day One
Light is created. Darkness is overcome.
Revelation 9:1-2 – The Fifth Shofar; Sun and Air Darkened Worldwide
The bottomless pit is opened and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit.
Revelation 16:10-11 – The Fifth Bowl; Darkness in the Beast’s Kingdom
The throne of the beast and his kingdom is darkened.
Genesis 1:6-8 – Day Two
The waters are divided. There do not appear to be any direct judgments against this divine action.
Genesis 1:9-13 – Day Three
Dry land appears. Yahweh calls the dry land Earth, and the waters he calls Seas. Grass, plants and trees, each yielding its own kind of seed, are produced.
Revelation 8:7 – The First Shofar; A Third of the Lands Burned Up
A third of the earth is burned up, a third of the trees is burned up, and all the green grass is burned up.
Revelation 16:17-21 – The Seventh Bowl; Total Devastation of the Lands
Thunder and lightning, and a great earthquake. So great, that every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. The land is totally devastated.
Genesis 1:14-19 – Day Four
The stars in the heavens are created. The two great lights are also are created. Yahweh calls them the sun and moon.
Revelation 8:12 – The Fourth Shofar; Sun and Moon Darkened
A third of the sun, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars is struck. Both day and night have a third less light.
Revelation 16:8-9 – The Fourth Bowl; Sun Overheats
The sun heats up and burns people with fire The kingdom of the beast becomes dark.
Genesis 1:20-23 – Day Five
The seas, or waters, teem with swarms of living creatures. The air teems with birds. The fish are to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the water of the seas, and the birds are also to multiply on the earth.
Revelation 8:8-9 – The Second Shofar; A Third of the Sea Turned to Blood
A third of the sea is turned to blood and a third of the living creatures in the sea died.
Revelation 8:10-11 – The Third Shofar; A Third of the Rivers Turned to Blood
A third of the rivers and the springs of water become bitter, undrinkable.
Revelation 16:3 – The Second Bowl; Total Blood Seas
The seas turn to blood and every living thing in the seas dies.
Revelation 16:4-7 – The Third Bowl; Total Blood Rivers
Likewise, the rivers all turn to blood as well.
Genesis 1:9-10 – Day Six
The land brings forth every kind of livestock, crawling animal, and wild beast. Yahweh makes mankind in his own image and likeness. Yahweh gives every kind of seed-bearing plant and every tree with seed-bearing fruit to man and beast as food to eat.
Revelation 9:1-12 – The Fifth Shofar; Locusts and Calvary
Locusts appear that are allowed to harm the people so fully that the people will seek death but will be unable to find it. The four bound angels are released, along with 200 million cavalry soldiers, who kill a third of mankind with fire, smoke, and sulfur that issues from the horses’ mouths.
Revelation 16:2 – The First Bowl; Sores on People
Loathsome and malignant sores come upon the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image.
While the Seal judgments are primarily against mankind and their kings, priests, and subjects, the Shofar and Bowl judgments are primarily against the creation itself, and secondly against mankind and kingdoms. The entire creation is judged, sometimes in the same order as they were created. Yahweh is thorough in his judgment of the planet, the heavens, the animal kingdoms, and mankind.
The great day of Yahweh is getting really near, even at the door. It hastens forth and will not delay. We do NOT set dates, but clearly Yahweh is getting ready to change the course of human history once again. The signs are clear for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.