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Featured Rev. 16:15 (part 1)

Discussion in 'Eschatology & Prophecy Forum' started by Trekson, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. Trekson

    Trekson Well-Known Member

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    This verse hasn’t made sense to me for a long time. It just seemed out of place. It’s placement in the book of Rev. seemed illogical because I always assumed it was speaking of the rapture. I was discussing this with a post-tribber but it really doesn’t fit in with the post-trib scenario either. So, I’ve been pondering and praying for understanding for quite a while and here is what I’ve learned. I think the problem lies in the verses we normally associate with it.

    I have a KJV study bible with many editorial comments. I keep forgetting that these comments are based upon the presumptions of their (the editors) beliefs. The editors are pre-trib and their comments reflect that belief and thus their relating scriptures may not always be the best, but are assumed because of their pre-disposition to pre-trib theology. I’ve seen this in other translations as well on other topics. The identity of the church as the bride is one that comes to mind.

    With all that said, let’s take a closer look at the verse in question: Rev. 16:15 - “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.”

    The “relating” verses in my study bible are Matt. 24:43 and 2 Co. 5:3.

    Matt.24:43 & Luke 12:39 - “But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.”

    2 Cor. 5:1-4 - “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life."

    I added vss. 1,2,4 for the sake of context. The word “naked” (according to the editors) in this verse implies, “without a body”. That didn’t make a lot of sense to me either?!

    I put in bold (back to Rev. 16:15) and underlined the important parts of our study. If we were to look at this verse literally and as it seems upon reading it, woe to the person who is showering or in a state of undress at the rapture. They would become the “laughingstock” of heaven. I’m sure in decades past many a sermon was preached on the dangers of sleeping in the nude based on this verse. However, a deeper look into this verse shows that a very different concept is in mind. Here are some other verses commonly associated with this theme.

    1 Thess. 5:2-6 - “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.”

    2 Pet. 3:10 - “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”

    Rev. 3:3 - “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.”

    The first two say that “the day of the Lord” will come as a thief in the night. Now we know that the day of the Lord is a multi-themed event spanning over a millennia, so these three verses as well as Matt. 24:43 seem to be speaking of the sudden, unannounced arrival of these events. I don’t believe any of these tie into Rev. 16:15. If you remember, prior to this verse the two witnesses were making God’s forthcoming judgments known to the world (Rev. 11:3-12) and we had the three angels announcing to the world the same, (Rev. 14:6-9). With these facts in mind, His “coming as a thief” as normally understood, seems unlikely. While the world may not believe or heed the warnings they won’t be able to claim unawareness or ignorance.

    We also need to decide who is Christ speaking to. There are three possibilities:
    1. The church
    2. Believing Israel in hiding, or
    3. The unbelieving world.

    I readily admit that I’m studying this with my own pre-disposition towards a pre-wrath rapture and will use scriptures that seem to support my understanding, however, I hope that this study will at least have most of you re-examining how you have previously interpreted the scripture.

    Within the context of Rev. 16:15, just prior to this verse we have the three frogs going out to the three kings (kings of the east, north and south: the a/c is already there.) to call them to the “great battle”. The very next verse affirms that they are gathered to Armageddon.
     
  2. Jay Ross

    Jay Ross Well-Known Member

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    Understanding when this passage, Rev 16:12-16, is to occur is important for our understanding. The bowl judgements in Rev 16 are given in the reverse order of when they are to occur, i.e. the 7th bowl judgement occurred around 100 years ago, the 6th bowl judgement is presently unfolding now and has around another 25 or so years to run yet.

    Knowing what other events are associated with the 6th bowl judgement is also important. This bowl judgement will be fulfilled at the end of this present age and herald the beginning of the 7th age for mankind. The end of the gentiles trampling the sanctuary of God will also end after which all of Israel will be saved. Both the wicked fallen heavenly hosts, i.e. the beasts of Daniel 7:2-12 and the Kings of the earth will be judged at this time and it will be as if a thief has come suddenly upon our respective households.

    Shalom
     
  3. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    You're right. It does seem out of place.

    1. Revelation 16 is an account of the 7th trumpet judgments (the seven vials or bowls of wrath) -- the most severe expressions of God's wrath. So this is a description of the Great Tribulation

    2. It includes the 6th seal judgments which come AFTER the Great Tribulation (according to the Olivet Discourse) -- And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found, which corresponds to Revelation 6:14 -- And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

    3. The immediate context of verse 15 is the impending battle of Armageddon, which occurs AFTER the Great Tribulation and its aftermath, and at the Second Coming of Christ.

    4. So this is addressed to people who would be facing the judgments and destruction which will accompany the Second Coming of Christ. And the Second Coming will be visible to all the inhabitants of the earth (Rev 1:7).

    5. "Behold, I come as a thief" does not fit into this context, since it is applicable to the Rapture (which had already occurred long before). It is also addressed to the church at Sardis Rev 3:3. That phrase indicates an unexpected coming, just like no one expects a thief to come in the night and break and enter.

    6. "Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame." This too fits into the anticipation of the Rapture, since Christ tells the saints to constantly watch and be ready for His coming to gather them. The garments are a metaphor for the garments of salvation (the imputed righteousness of the saints), and the wedding garment at the Marriage of the Lamb. But this simply does not fit the context. It would almost appear that this verse has been transposed from somewhere else, possibly Matthew 24.
     
  4. Naomi25

    Naomi25 Well-Known Member

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    I know you and I don't see eye to eye on many doctrinal issues, and that's okay! But, from my point of view...seeing Revelation not as chronological, but as a series of visions recapitulated...this verse is not at all 'out of place' or nonsensical. I could go into greater depths of how I view it, but as we differ so vastly, I'll only do so if you wish it.
     
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  5. Dave Watchman

    Dave Watchman New Member

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    I think it is too. I think it's talking about right just after the rapture happens, right as the vials are being poured out fast.

    That's what i think it's going to be. One minute we're here, and then at the blink of an eye we're in the air with billions of holy angels and resurrected saints. I think it's going to happen fast, like lightning from the east and to the west.

    Don't forget, Jesus also said that the thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. He came, (past tense), in the first century that we may have life, but this second visitation is different. Next time He comes like a thief, to tread the fury of the great winepress.

    I pick "1. The church" to be the best choice. It really is ALL of God's people AND the holy angels that He's talking to.

    I don't know if i agree with a "pre-wrath rapture", however that is described, but i don't think any of God's people are going to be here during the vials. That sounds to me like pre wrath.

    When the vials are poured, the people remaining on earth will gnaw their tongues in pain. They will CURSE the God of Heaven for their pain and sores. And they will NOT repent of their deeds. These will be the most defiant human beings alive since the flood. God's people are gone at this point.

    These people will have seen the sign of the Son of Man. They will have been the ones to mourn as they see us light up the stratosphere. Some will shine like the stars of heaven forever. We won't mourn because we ARE the sign of the Son of Man. In three days He will raise us up. He was talking about His Body, the Body of Christ.

    The answer to the mystery is that we are in the air with Jesus for however long the vials take, it might be seven hours, it might be seven days, i don't know. But the time will have come for the Lord to destroy the destroyers of the earth. We need to be removed from the surface of the planet for this, and meet the Lord in the air. At that time will He turn to us, and all the holy angels, and say:

    (“Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!”)​

    We are the blessed.
    We stayed awake.
    We kept our garments on.
    Worthy is the Lamb.
     
  6. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    Revelation is PRIMARILY chronological. Every number is used in its correct sequence (from 1 to 7) and the whole tenor of Revelation is chronological -- from the first coming of Christ to His second coming, and beyond. It is only Amillennialists and Preterists who put a different spin on these prophecies.
     
  7. Jay Ross

    Jay Ross Well-Known Member

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    Yes this is true, but the order is from which point in time. The first bowl judgement speaks of the worshipping of the beast: -

    Rev 16:2: - So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.

    The question that needs to be answered is when did this bowl judgement occur in time? Does it occur just before the beast is captured and thrown into the lake of fire, or is it occurring now?

    When you can provide an answer to this question, then you can determine how best to argue your case.
     
  8. Trekson

    Trekson Well-Known Member

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    For a chronologist, that's an easy one. It hasn't happened yet and won't happen until after the signs of the 6th seal and then after you see the results of the trumpet judgments, so logic dictates that they (bowls) will be towards the end of Daniel's 70th week, which hasn't begun yet.
     
  9. Trekson

    Trekson Well-Known Member

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    FYI, the timing of the pre-wrath rapture is between the 6th and 7th seal and we believe that Rev. 7:14 shows the raptured/resurrected church's arrival in heaven.
     
  10. Jay Ross

    Jay Ross Well-Known Member

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    Really, you have not answered the question I asked in a way that makes sense. Your answer has too much mumbo jumbo and a magical element about it with a rapture mixed in to boot.

    To keep it simple, does not the first bowl judgement happen after Rev 13?
     
  11. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    1. Since the bowl/vial judgments belong to the Great Tribulation (which is a totally unique event reserved for the future) then that is when the bowl judgments will begin.

    2. Following that will be the shaking of the heavens and the earth.

    3. Following that will be the second coming of Christ.

    4. Following that will be the battle of Armageddon.

    5. Following that will be the destruction of the Beast and the False Prophet, and their being cast into the Lake of Fire.

    This is all spelled out in the book of Revelation. And prior to all of this, the Church will already be in Heaven long before the Great Tribulation.
     
  12. Jay Ross

    Jay Ross Well-Known Member

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    Really, that is your learned opinion then? But when does the first bowl judgement actually occur. I only asked you to tell me when the first bowl judgement will occur, not any of the others. Now I did provide the answer to this question above for @Trekson Was my answer correct?

    Shalom
     
  13. Naomi25

    Naomi25 Well-Known Member

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    Well, I obviously disagree, and for biblical reasons, which I have provided in the past. It's interesting, to me, that people can ignore, apparently, how the bible quite clearly uses numbers symbolically. In point of fact, even Dispensationalists acknowledge this fact throughout scripture...it's only when it comes to prophecy that they suddenly insist that numbers must be strictly literal...which to me doesn't make sense. It's also of interest to me that people would ignore the clear structure of a book. Again, Dispensationalists recognize the Psalms as not being history. They recogize the Pentateuch as history not prophecy, and so on. And yet, when they get to 'prophetic' books, they cannot see some clearly deliniated differences between prophetic and apocalytic, which are different styles and call for different interpretative grids. Does apocalytic still deal with future issues? Sure. But it does so using images and visions. If you go back to the other prophectic books (other than Daniel, which also uses apocalyptic) you can see that they mainly just use words.
    So, the idea that Revelation uses symbolic numbers and images and symbols to get across very real ideas and important truths is not just an aberrent Amillennial idea, it's one based on careful study of other biblical literature and style and carrying that consistency through.

    As for Revelation being chronological or not...well my view sits very nicely and is not at all confusing for me. You guys are the ones who can't make it make sense, chronologically. Just sayin'.
     
  14. Trekson

    Trekson Well-Known Member

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    No! There are pauses in the chronology that goes back and gives us more details about the events or characters participating. Rev. 12:1-8 does and the rest of the chapter will finish shortly before the 3 1/2 yr. point of the 70th week. and Rev. 13 does as well. They're not just arriving at the scene at this point. They will have been on the earth and known since the first seal. For ex. I believe Rev. 13:1 occurs at the timing of Rev. 6:2 and Rev. 13:11 is happening at the same times as vs. 1, John just describes each one at a time. I would guesstimate that the time between the 6th trumpet and the first bowl could be as much as three years, give or take. So assuming the seals are within the context of the 70th week (although there are no scrips that verifies that) the time between Rev. 13:1/Rev. 6:2 could be about six years.
     
  15. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    Very, very seldom. Numbers are to be taken literally, from the 12 tribes of Israel to the 144,000 redeemed Jews out of Israel. And one (a) thousand years is repeated six times in seven verses so that it will make sense to the most obtuse reader. When we read of 7 seals, 7 trumpets, and 7 vials, we do not have the right to think that seven means 70 or 700 or 70,000.
     
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  16. Naomi25

    Naomi25 Well-Known Member

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    You keep saying this, but it show a remarkable lack of understanding...(sorry) about the subject. Even most Dispensational teachers recognize the symbolic use of numbers throughout scripture. They baulk when it comes to Revelation, which is an error, I believe, as they don't seem to be able to give any sort of hermeneutical reasons for this about face. But seriously...go check out numerous Dispensational teachers...Jack Kelley, Jack Hibbs, Don Stewart, Thom Hughes...I've heard all of them talk about numbers used symbolically.
     
  17. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    VERY VERY RARELY. Do you want me to prove it or are you prepared to concede that you have no basis for this?

    For example "the day of the LORD" is not a 24 hour day but a period of time, and the context makes it clear.
    For example "the last day" is not a 24 hour day but a period of time, and the context makes it clear.
    For example, "the hour of temptation" is not of 60-minutes duration, but is a period of time, and the context makes it clear.

    But when you go to Genesis 1, each day is a 24 hour day bounded by "evening and morning". And when God says He created the universe in six days, those are six literal days corresponding to man's work week and that is embedded in the Ten Commandments.

    I COULD GO THROUGH EVERY CHAPTER IN THE BIBLE WITH NUMBERS AND PROVE THAT YOU ARE SIMPLY FANTASIZING.

    Because Amillennialism is essentially fantasy, and you should give it up. Furthermore it is DELUSIONAL FANTASY.
     
  18. Davy

    Davy Well-Known Member

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    I have to disagree with what you've come up with.

    You almost seal the meaning of Rev.16:15 with some of its relative Scripture perfectly, but then in final do a major drop of that and scoot back to men's doctrines.

    Our Lord Jesus was speaking to His Church in that verse, because it is the same type of warning He gave in the very Scriptures in the Gospel to His Church that you quoted (i.e., Matthew 24). And it's the same subject that Apostles Paul and Peter were warning the Church about in 1 Thessalonians 5 and 2 Peter 3.

    And where do you get such an idea that our Lord Jesus meant that 'naked' idea to be a literal nude in Heaven? It's a metaphor for being in shame when He comes, tied with not having remained 'a chaste virgin' like Paul explained. It means having become apostate by worshiping the coming pseudo-Christ instead.


    Pre-trib Problems They Themselves Create:
    1. Since they wrongly believe the Church is raptured prior to the tribulation, they create "tribulation saints" to be the ones Jesus was speaking Revelation 16:15 to.
    2. Again because of their pre-trib rapture theory, they try and move the "day of the Lord" events to the start of the tribulation, when the "day of the Lord" will come on the last day of this world with Jesus' coming.
    3. They follow the Revelation events in the order they are written trying to make them fit, when not all the Revelation events occur in the order John wrote them down. Thus they cannot see that the 6th Seal, 6th Trumpet, and 6th Vial is when Satan and his angels appear on earth to cause the great tribulation. Thus the Church is still on earth on the 6th Vial when Jesus was still giving the warning to watch, because He comes "as a thief".











     
  19. Trekson

    Trekson Well-Known Member

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    This is where we disagree the most as I believe Rev. is mostly in chronological order with pauses to offer more detail to events or characters off and on. The events don't have to be "made to fit", they blend and flow quite smoothly.
     
  20. Naomi25

    Naomi25 Well-Known Member

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    Please do prove it. Why would I 'concede' something when I have, what I feel sure to be, biblical proof...the backing of many sound biblical scholars....as opposed to only your say so? Because...that's all you've 'provided' thus far. Your say so. So, I repeat...please do 'prove' it.

    Ah...this again! This is your 'proof'? Let's refresh, shall we? First, as someone who holds to a 'literal' hermeneutic, you should, in point of fact, be arguing that a "day" is, 24 hours. But, for some reason, you are not. Which is sort of funny, as, in making it symbolically say "a period of time", you've just proved my point that numbers can be used symbolically in scripture. Thanks.

    You do yourself little favour by switching between symbolic and literal. However, as much as you criticize Amillennialism, our hermeneutic allows for such perspectives. We don't deny that God created the Universe in 6 literal days, and rested on the 7th. The question you must ask yourself is; why 7? He could have done it in one, had he chosen to, or 15, or 20. Why, when we look through scripture, do we see certain numbers coming up again and again? Coincidence? That's not likely when we attribute a divine author to all things. Perhaps God has a lucky number he likes to use, like people use their birthday's on lotto numbers? That too is extremely dubious and unlike anything we know about our God. Then why? If God can achieve anything in any time frame because he is infinitely powerful, why does he choose certain numbers to repeat? Either he is saying something to his people through them, as well as the physical reality actuating at the same time (we do not deny that very real, physical events also happen), or we must seriously consider it but chance.
    And it is not a strange notion in scripture, that God uses numbers to symbolise things. Consider: why 12 Disciples? Most recognize clearly that it was to echo the 12 tribes of Israel.
    There is clearly precedence for numbers being used symbolically. Therefore, it's up to the literalist to prove their hermeneutic is not inconsistant and unjustified. That, I suspect, will be difficult to do. Especially, as I pointed out previously, many Dispensationalists openly admit to numbers being used in such manner.


    Well...you can yell it all you like. But, it doesn't really change the facts.
    Fact: you yourself have swapped between literal and symbolic, which makes no sense.
    Fact: Dispensationalists themselves admit to numbers being used symbolically
    Fact: there are many clear cases in scripture that set a precedent for numbers being used symbolically (12 tribes/12 disciples, Mat 18:22 - forgiving others 70x7, Deut 7:9 - God being faithful to a 1000 generations...he clearly means he will be forever faithful, 2 Pet 3:8 - 1000 years as a day)...to name a few.
    Fact: where a precedence has been set, it becomes difficult to argue sensibly against the idea as a whole.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
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