Today, I struggle with my lack of knowledge or understanding. I find myself wanting to know more – performing searches late into the night reading opinions of those on either side of the discussion. This chapter seems to be one of the most perplexing for me from a timeline perspective. I tried to step completely out of the controversy, but I’m left with nothing else of interest.
What am I talking about? Well, look at the first bowl poured out:
2 So the first angel left the Temple and poured out his bowl over the earth, and horrible, malignant sores broke out on everyone who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his statue.
Has this already happened? Could this be referring to the supporters of the worldly power and spiritual claims of Rome?
Look further: the fifth bowl is poured “upon the throne of the beast,” and his kingdom is darkened. After the sixth bowl, evil spirits come out of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. After the seventh, the great city, Babylon, falls. These bowls indicate a series of judgments on anti-Christian powers, indicated by the dragon, the beast, the image of the beast, the false prophet, and Babylon. Some claim that these symbolize the world-power which found its embodiment in ancient Rome.
With the seven seals we saw how Old Pagan Rome was judged and brought to an end. With the seven trumpets, the new Roman Empire was judged and its destruction symbolized. With the seven bowls, we see symbols of judgments which weaken and destroy Papal Rome. With the seventh bowl, the Great City, the type of the Apostate Church, falls.
What about the battle at Armageddon? Most scholars will tell you that the word Armageddon is a Greek corruption of the Hebrew Har-Megiddo, “the hill of Megiddo.” The battle in which King Josiah was slain took place upon the hill of Megiddo (see 2 Chronicles 35:20-27).
Hang with me here, everyone! I’m in the middle of a significant paradigm shift in my understanding of the book of Revelation. Or, I’m simply confused. It’s not the end of the world (so to speak!). Either way, I’m having a blast and I’m glad to have you along with me to hold the reigns! I’m compelled to understand better and that’s a good thing.
As it says in James 1: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”
Lord, I’m asking!