"A New Approach to Revelation" by Tricia Tillin (Additional)
how the day of atonement temple service sheds light on the book of revelation: Trumpets and Bowls
This page contains a few further thoughts on the topic of the trumpets and bowls of Revelation. They are intended to be read alongside the other pages in this study, so if you have not read those, you should select the contents page and start from there.
There are enough revelation timelines floating round the Net to sink a battleship. Imagine my dismay when I realised I had to produce one of my own to add to the variety out there! I didn't want to do it at all. But one morning, after struggling with the reading of the trumpets and bowls (in particular) and knowing them to be the same, or similar, events although happening at different times, I suddenly had what amounted to an epiphany, for which I thank the Lord.
"The Revelation Timeline: Here Is The News"
Instead of seeing the book of Revelation in the modern fashion, like a kind of chronological shopping list, or as a novel - one chapter following another - we have to see it like the Torah, on a scroll. That is, we should see Revelation as a series of columns.
Just like the scroll that Jesus is opening, one column follows the next. One seal opens the first parchment, the second seal opens the second parchment, and so on. In the modern age, translators added chapter numbers to the book of Revelation so now we read it like a novel. Instead, we have to imagine several pieces of paper stitched side by side!
John's visions can be seen in columns, and when we lay them side by side, then we DO notice the similarities. Many of these events are taking place simultaneously over a 42-month period of time. That is the basis of my chart below.
Our Perception is not Prophetic Vision
The timescale of our own lives appears to run in a linear fashion, like one unbroken line dotted with the events of the day, year and so on. But in truth, life is not like this! Everything is happening at once, but we only focus on the events that we know, and see them coming one at a time, one after the other. To read Revelation in that way is a mistake.
A Progressive Event
You need to see the graphic below as a progressive outpouring of judgement. This is true also of the seals. What begins in perhaps a bearable way quickly progresses to utter torment. That is the way God works - his mercy is extended to mankind no matter what their condition, in the hope that some will repent. The earlier stages (just as with the seals) are designed as a wake-up call, a warning, a hint of things to come. The trumpets are alarm calls! They warn that what has begun will progress into complete chaos in time.
The events occur over a period of time that in the bible is called "a time, times and half a time" that is, three and a half years or 42 months. It is the period of time that we call "The Wrath of God". The trumpets refer only to one third of the earth, sea, sky and so on being affected, but the bowls extend that judgement to the entire earth.
We need to see events in Revelation unfolding across our screen, scrolling like a slideshow and not reading down the page like a chapter of a book. You will have seen the effect on news websites, with a row of videos and photos illustrating all the main items of news.
So bear with me as I illustrate this in a modern-day example.
You switch on the TV news broadcast. There are three important things happening that they will report on, and they are shown at the bottom of the screen as single images, which keep scrolling across. But tune in to the main news screen and listen to the Newsreader as he presents this news, and imagine this is the book of Revelation.
- He first calls upon Sally who is in South Africa for an important trial that has been dragging on for months and years. Let's go over to Sally now: here we see Sally outside the Courtroom. She tells us that the Judge has just been taken ill and so there is an enforced adjournment. We will return to Sally later…
- Now the second piece of important news. We go to Wales where there has been an explosion in a paint factory. Bill, are you there? We now see Bill and behind him the flames and emergency services. Tell us what is happening, Bill. What happened is that a workman was smoking a cigarette and threw it down beside an oil can. This exploded, causing successive vats of paint to explode. We hear that more fire engines are being called for… thanks Bill, we will get back to you…
- And now, we go to London for news of a Government vote on Pensions. Marion, what can you tell us?
And so on. You are watching these events as IF they happened sequentially, one at a time. Sally presents the first event, Bill presented the second , and now Marion is going to present the third… but obviously ALL these events are ongoing, happening at one and the same time, and only brought to notice when we go there to look and hear about them.
Now you decide to email a report to your friend, telling him what you saw this morning on the News. You might describe them as if they happened one after the other. First you saw Sally, then Bill, after that you saw Marion and so on. Text reading is like that. You would have no other way to convey what you saw!
John of Revelation does the same thing. He relates a series of events, then says "after these things..." to introduce another aspect of the same events or another vision that is a progression of them.
But in the Newsroom as in Revelation, this is the SAME timeline, and the same events. If the three news items above were called "The Trumpets" your friend might read them one after the other, and conclude Trumpet One happened when Sally spoke, Trumpet Two began with Bill, and then Trumpet Three with Marion. He would be wrong. But THAT is how we read Revelation!
An Escalation of Events
Now let's add the Bowl Judgements. As you can see from what I have shown earlier, and also the graphic above, the trumpets and bowls have an almost exact similarity. However, the trumpets speak of only one THIRD affected, while the bowls affect ALL. If we read them as a long string of events, happening one after the other, it's hard to explain how Bowl One expands on Trumpet One, and so forth. The Newsroom illustration explains that also.
Back to the Newsroom: we have heard from Sally, Bill and Marion, and other reporters doubtless followed them. All the events they described are happening in the world today, at the same time, and HAVE BEEN happening before and WILL continue to happen. We broke into each event to catch a glimpse of it in real time. Having looked at our seven news items, the Anchor says: "And now we go back to Sally in South Africa: Sally, do you have any more to tell us":
- Sally says, "Now there has been an unprecedented event. An entirely new witness has been announced and we may get to hear new evidence…" Thanks Sally, keep us informed, and we return to Bill:
- Bill says, "The fire is still burning strongly, and I have heard several more explosions. Three more fire engines have arrived and they are struggling to control the blaze. Now I see a helicopter above, also… " Thanks Bill
- Marion, what is happening in London? "As you can see behind me, there is now a huge demonstration of disgruntled workers calling for a review of the pensions scheme."
This is similar to the trumpet and bowl judgements. Each refers to an area in which God's wrath is being poured out, and its effects (like each news item). One affects the earth, another the sea, and so forth. These seven areas are affected almost simultaneously and increasingly. The event that caused the water to become bitter, for instance, may be relatively mild at first but it rapidly escalates until eventually the entire world is affected and all waters are like stagnant blood.
Where do the Seals fit in?
The only set of seven events that do NOT belong to this 42-month timeline are the seven seals on the scroll. The trumpets and bowls cannot begin until the scroll is opened.
As I show elsewhere, the seals cover what Jesus called "the beginning of sorrows" and builds up to an intensity that is only released at Seal Six, when believers are raised and snatched away "out of great tribulation". The Sixth Seal contains within itself all the ingredients of the next three and a half years, and is the first manifestation of them.
What's going on with the Sun?
My current mystery, which can only be solved I think by having a better grasp of the scientific facts, is the apparent disparity between the 4th Trumpet and the 4th Bowl. I say "apparent" because there is never any real disparity in prophecy, only things we do not yet know. Certainly I do not yet understand it fully.
In the 4th Trumpet judgement, a third of the sun, moon and stars are darkened and do not shine – following on from the Sixth Seal events. That could be explained by what is called an "impact winter" caused by any large mass slamming into the earth and throwing up debris, steam and vapour into the upper atmosphere.
If an asteroid were to strike land or a shallow body of water, it would eject an enormous amount of dust, ash, and other material into the atmosphere, blocking the radiation from the sun. This would cause the global temperature to decrease drastically http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impact_winter
This we know. But following the 4th trumpet, the 4th bowl event is the sun SCORCHING the people of earth. How can this be? How did we go from a winter to summer? From darkness to scorching sun? From blocked radiation to increased radiation?
Are there any scientists reading this who could explain these things? We see from Seal Six onwards that a major impact at first causes a darkening of the sky and blocks out the sun, moon and stars. Seal Six tells us that this "sackcloth" type of debris-loaded atmosphere makes the moon appear red and the sun dark. This continues into Trumpets One - Four (taken together as a set, as I showed earlier.)
But it leads to a diminishing of the protective atmosphere, which normally shields us from the sun's full solar energy. If we had no atmosphere we would be constantly bombarded by solar ejections and harmful radiation. This protection appears to be partly removed, and perhaps accounts for the sky turning black as it "rolls up like a scroll".
"Three atmospheric processes modify the solar radiation passing through our atmosphere destined to the Earth's surface. These processes act on the radiation when it interacts with gases and suspended particles found in the atmosphere. The process of scattering occurs when small particles and gas molecules diffuse part of the incoming solar radiation and this reduces the amount of incoming radiation reaching the Earth's surface. In the Earth's atmosphere, the presence of a large number of particles with a size of about 0.5 microns results in shorter wavelengths being preferentially scattered. This factor also causes our sky to look blue because this color corresponds to those wavelengths that are best diffused. If scattering did not occur in our atmosphere the daylight sky would be black." [Source]
So in Seal Six we read that "the sky rolled up like a scroll" and therefore it seems part of the upper atmosphere was affected by the incoming fallen stars and "great mountain" that followed. If the composition of the upper atmosphere changed, it would become black, and would allow solar radiation and solar flares to reach the earth and so cause the "scorching" of Bowl Four.
Earth's atmosphere does more than provide oxygen for living things and carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. It protects us from dangerous radiation from the sun. In addition to the light we see, the sun also gives off ultraviolet radiation. Much of it is filtered out by the atmosphere. Ultraviolet radiation can destroy living cells leading to skin cancer. Also the "greenhouse effect" regulates the earth's temperature and without it the daytime temperature would be extremely hot and the nighttime temperature extremely cold.
Following Seal Six, there might be human and super-human attempts to cleanse the atmosphere of dust and debris, resulting in the reverse effect as above.
The rolling up of the sky is a way of saying that the colour of the sky turned from blue to black, rolling inwards. At the same time, stars appear to "fall" when viewed from the earth. Either literal stars fall through space – but would take centuries or millennia to reach earth in that case – or they APPEAR to be falling when viewed from earth, because the earth itself is moving faster.
I believe Isaiah 24:20 describes that event:
"The earth is broken asunder, The earth is split through, The earth is shaken violently. The earth reels to and fro like a drunkard and it totters like a shack, for its transgression is heavy upon it, and it will fall, never to rise again. So it will happen in that day, that the LORD will punish the host of heaven on high, and the kings of the earth on earth."
IF the earth were to shudder, to spin faster at the moment of impact, even momentarily, it would make the stars (over one half of the earth at least) appear to be moving visibly toward the ground. Naturally that also would cause the other effects of Seal Six, the shaking of the earth, great earthquakes and so on.
If you are interested, intrigued, confused, or just want to give me some feedback, please e-mail me direct: Contact Page
© 2014 Tricia Tillin-Booth. All rights reserved. Birthpangs Website: http://www.birthpangs.org/ This document is the property of its author and is not to be displayed on other websites, redistributed, sold, reprinted, or reproduced in printed in any other format without permission. Websites may link to this article, if they provide proper title and author information. One copy may be downloaded, stored and/or printed for personal research. All spelling and phraseology is UK English.