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Kinsman Redeemer (Opening of the Scroll Judgments)

Opening the Scroll of Revelation Chapter Five
(Redemption of the World by Kinsman Redeemer)

When Adam sinned, he was placed in bondage and Satan gained control of the earth. On the cross at Calvary Jesus paid the price for redeeming the earth and all the people; however, many years have passed since the price was paid. There was a Levitical law that said if land was claimed in payment of a debt that a kinsman could pay the price and redeem the land at a later time (Leviticus 25:8-28, Jeremiah 32:1-25). At the time the land was given to the creditor, a scroll with seven seals specifying the conditions for redeeming the land was placed in the temple under the care of the temple priest. When the land was brought back by a kinsman redeemer, he would go to the temple, the seals would be broken and if everything was in order the redeemer would receive ownership of the land.

In Revelation chapter five, we have the type of kinsman redeemer being fulfilled as Jesus takes the scroll to redeem the earth. “And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it. So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it. But one of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals'” (Rev. 5:3-5). The scroll contains the judgments, which will be applied on Satan and his kingdom, and these judgments will free the earth and the people from the iron yoke of Satan. Only Jesus has paid the price and is worthy to open the seals. He is the Kinsman Redeemer and holds the title deed in his hand.

The scroll contains seven seals with a judgment with each seal. The seventh seal contains seven trumpets with a judgment with each trumpet and the seventh trumpet contain seven bowls of wrath.

Seven Seal Judgments

• First Seal – A white horse (symbolizes the Antichrist) – (Rev. 6:2).

• Second Seal – A fiery red horse (symbolizes war) – (Rev. 6:3-4).

• Third Seal – A black horse (symbolizes worldwide famine) – ( Rev. 6:5-6).

• Fourth Seal – A pale horse (symbolizes death) – (Rev. 6:7-8).

• Fifth Seal – Souls of those who had been slain were under the altar (symbolizes tribulation saints) – (Rev. 6:9-11).

Note: the first five seal judgments are activities resulting in the acts of the Antichrist. Beginning with the sixth seal God is pouring out his wrath on the earth. This has lead many prophecy students to believe that the end of the fifth seal is the mid-point in the tribulation period and thus begins the last three and one half years often called the “Great Tribulation.” If this is true, then the trumpet judgments seem to be out of sequence as most mid-point activities began in chapter eleven.

• Sixth Seal – A great worldwide earthquake, sun will turn black, the moon will turn to blood red and the stars (or meteors) in the sky will fall to the earth. The sky will be rolled up and every mountain and island will be removed (could be nuclear explosions) – (Rev. 6:12-17).

• Seventh Seal – The opening of seven trumpet judgments – (Rev. 8:2, 6)

Seven Trumpet Judgments

• First Trumpet – Hail and fire mixed with blood will be hurled down upon the earth. A third of the earth, a third of the trees and all the green grass will be burned up. (A very furious storm) – (Rev. 8:7).

• Second Trumpet – A burning object like a mountain (could be nuclear missile or meteor) will be thrown into the sea. A third of the sea will be turned to blood, a third of the living creatures of the sea will died and a third of the ships will be destroyed. A great tidal wave will follow – (Rev. 8:8-9).

• Third Trumpet – A great star (could be nuclear missile or meteor), blazing like a torch will fall on a third of the rivers and the springs of water and many people will died from the poisoned waters – (Rev. 8:10-11).

• Fourth Trumpet – A third of the sun, the moon and stars will turn dark. A third of the day and a third of the night will be dark. All of the heavenly bodies are affected – (Rev. 8:12).

• Fifth Trumpet (Woes are about to begin) – A star has fallen and he is Satan. He will be given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. Locusts will come out of the Abyss and will be given power like that of scorpions. They will harm all the people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads (tribulation saints). They will not be able to kill the people but will torture them for five months. The agony will be like that of the sting of a scorpion. Men will seek death but not find it – (Rev. 9:1-11).

• Sixth Trumpet (Second woe) – Four angels of death (demons) were released and they were to kill a third of mankind. Two hundred million mounted troops will kill the people. Some believe these are real troops of world armies and other believe that they are symbolic of demonic creatures. Verse nineteen implies that death will come from the horses mouths and tails – (Rev. 9:13-21).

• Seventh Trumpet – Contains the seven bowl judgments – (Rev. 10:7, Rev 11:18).

Seven Bowl Judgments

• First Bowl – The bowl was poured out upon the earth and ugly and painful sores broke out on all the people who had the mark of the beast – (Rev. 16:2).

• Second Bowl – The second bowl was poured on the sea and it turned into blood like that of a dead man, and every living thing in the sea will died – ( Rev. 16:3).

• Third Bowl – The third bowl was poured on the rivers and springs of water, and the waters will become blood – ( Rev. 16:4-7).

• Fourth Bowl – The fourth bowl was poured on the sun and the sun was given power to scorch people with fire. They will not have anything to drink except blood – (Rev. 16:8-9).

• Fifth Bowl – The fifth bowl was poured out on the throne of the beast (Antichrist) and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. Men will gnaw their tongues in agony – (Rev. 16:10-11).

• Sixth Bowl – The sixth bowl was poured out on the river Euphrates and its water was dried up to prepare for the kings of the East. The battle of Armageddon is about to begin and the end is in sight – (Rev. 16:12-16).

• Seventh Bowl – The last bowl was poured out in the air and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying “It is done”. The city of Babylon was split in three parts by an earthquake and the cities of the nation collapse. God gave “Babylon the Great” her cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath. The surface of the whole earth will be changed. Huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds each will fall upon men and they will curse God – ( Rev. 16:17-20).

Satan is defeated and Christ will put him in the bottomless pit (Rev 20:1). Christ, the Kinsman Redeemer, has redeemed and reclaimed the kingdom of the earth from Satan.

Footnote: Considering that there is a conflict of opinions about the mid-point of the tribulation, I offer these additional comments. The total length of the tribulation period is seven years based upon the “seventy weeks of Daniel 9:27. The seven years are divided into two halves of three and one half years each. The second half is the most severe and is a time when the Jews are severely persecuted, the people are required to take the mark of the beast, and God pours out his wrath upon the earth. The question that is difficult to answer is does God pour out His wrath anytime during the first half of the seven year period? In Matthew chapter 24 Jesus spoke about the “end of the age”. He divided the discussion into two time periods: “A time of sorrows” (Matt. 24:4-13) and “The great tribulation” (Matt. 24:15-27). Most modern day prophecy scholars identify “A time of sorrows” with the first five seal judgments and “The great tribulation” with the beginning of the sixth seal judgment. Therefore they conclude that the first half of the seven year period ends after the fifth seal judgment.

The following is a quote from the web site of Dr. John F. Walvoord, an early prophecy scholar.

Expositors of the book of Revelation usually agree that there is some relation between the events at the end of the age and Daniel’s seventieth week, to be understood as the last seven years of Israel’s program prophesied in Daniel 9:27. Many have assumed that the events of earth in chapters 6 through 19 coincide with the seven years of Israel’s program culminating in the second coming of Christ. Expositors of this point of view have usually taken for granted that the book gives a panoramic view of the entire seven years even though there is no explicit proof of this in the book itself. There is some evidence, however, that the events pictured in the seals, trumpets, and vials are instead a concentrated prophecy of the latter half of this week, i.e., a period of three and one-half years, designated as a time of wrath and the great tribulation, and constituting the introduction to the second coming of Christ. Evidence for this is presented as the exposition unfolds.”

“There is a remarkable similarity between the progress of chapter 6 as a whole and the description given by our Lord of the end of the age in Matthew 24:4-31. In both passages the order is (1) war (Matt. 24:6-7; Rev. 6:3-4), (2) famine (Matt. 24:7; Rev. 6:5-6), (3) death (Matt. 24:7-9; Rev. 6:7-8), (4) martyrdom (Matt. 24:9-10, 16-22; Rev. 6:9-11), (5) the sun darkened, the moon darkened, and the stars falling (Matt. 24:29; Rev. 6:12-14), (6) a time of divine judgment (Matt. 24:32-25:26; Rev. 6:15-17). The general features of Matthew 24 are obviously quite parallel to the events of the book of Revelation beginning in chapter 6.”

When read in the greater context of Dr. Walvoord’s dissertation, it would appear that Dr. Walvoord believes the second half of the tribulation begins either with the first seal judgment or after the fifth seal judgment.

Dr. H. R. Ironsides who was one of the founders of Dallas Theological Seminary and probably a professor of Dr. Walvoord’s makes the following statement in his book, Revelation, pp 110-111.

“A careful comparison of our Lord’s great prophecy with the portion of Revelation which we have before us, will, I believe, make it plain that the first six seals answer to the first half of the week – “the beginning of sorrows”; while from the opening of the seventh seal we are introduced to the great tribulation itself with all its attendant horrors. His warning as to false Christs, implying false hopes of a lasting peace, corresponds to the first seal. His declaration that wars and rumors of wars will follow fits perfectly with the second seal. In like manner His solemn warnings of famine and pestilence find their counterparts in the third and fourth seals.”

“The Lord then goes on to foretell a time when His followers shall be ruthlessly slain, and when it will be all one’s life is worth to confess His name. This brings us to the breaking of the fifth seal, when John saw under the altar the souls of those who had been beheaded for the word of the God and the testimony of the Lord.”

It is interesting to observe that Dr. Ironsides places the mid-point after the sixth seal. This would have God pouring out his wrath during the first half of the tribulation. It should be noted that most modern day prophecy scholars such as Dr. J. Vernon McGee, Dr. Tim LaHaye, and Dr. David Jeremiah were either students of or were influenced by Drs. Ironside and Walvoord.

It is also interesting to observe that charts attached to Dr. Ironside’s and Dr. LaHaye’s books show that the trumpet judgments are within the first half of the tribulation. It should also be pointed out that the chronological sequence of Revelations places the trumpet judgments before the major activities beginning with chapter eleven which are considered mid-tribulation events.