I believe that the Book of Revelation provides a picture of judgments in the last days just before the return of Yeshua. Yes, the book gives aid and comfort to believers who are under persecution and assures them of God’s righteous judgments—in every age; also the seals can be applied to many periods of history. However, as we move into the Trumpets and the Bowls of God’s wrath, levels of judgment are portrayed that go beyond anything yet seen in history.
The most important Biblical pattern for these judgments is found in the deliverance of Israel in Passover and Exodus. The plagues are parallel: water turning to blood, darkness, insects (supernatural level locusts), boils, painful sores, and death (Rev. 8, 9, 16). The judgments of the seven trumpets are parallel to some of the judgements of the bowls of wrath, but the bowls of wrath have greater intensity and devastation. (Rev. 16)
Salvation in the Midst of Judgment
In Revelation 7, we read of a 144,000 member, Jewish male remnant that is saved and marked for God’s protection. This implies that there are more that are saved. Then we read of those from every tribe and nation that are saved and before the throne. During this period the everlasting gospel is proclaimed to all who live on the earth (14:6). This is announced before the final bowls of wrath judgement. Indeed, before the seventh trumpet and after the death of the prophets–whose ministry parallels Moses and Aaron since they call down the plagues–Jerusalem turns to God (and by implication to Yeshua). Note the powerful verse,
“At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.” (Rev 11:13)
This city is identified as Jerusalem, but a city that had become like Sodom (a term for Jerusalem also used by Ezekiel (ch. 16). Yet, she now turns to God, and this suggests the last judgments, the bowls of wrath, and the deliverance of Israel and God’s people worldwide.
Great and Awesome Days Ahead
The progression is very much like the book of Exodus. The end of it all is that God’s people enter into the Promised Land.
We have not seen such levels of judgment in the world before, yet things are so tenuous that such plagues are indeed possible. Islamic terrorists develop biological war weapons and plans for nuclear war. (And they even are working to shut down the electric grids of the west.) It seems like the whole world’s safety hangs by a thread. But until just before the Lord returns after the seventh trumpet, we will be seeing the greatest harvest, the greatest miracles and the salvation of Israel. So indeed, the glory of God will be revealed in his salvation through judgment. Israel is in the eye of the storm.