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I usually read John Gill's commentaries when trying to get insight on certain passages. But I read the below and I can't say I agree with this. I know Jesus spoke in parables and that many things in Revelations can be symbolic but when it says hail and fire, blood, 1/3rd of trees burnt, etc., I'm not seeing this as in anyway being symbolic of these past events and of trees referring to righteousness, etc. I take the Bible for what it says. And these were end times prophecies. But it's apparent it's not referring to events that take place well before the end times and that are in the past.

So I went back to 6:15-16 to see how he refers to those hiding in caves and wanting the rocks to fall on them and again he refers to past events that have already happened. I've heard some believe Revelations already happened, and it seems he's saying that here. But I can't see how anyone could get this from Scripture. Wouldn't it mean that everything in Scripture is done and the rest of the human race afterwards is doomed without hope? If that were true, wouldn't we be without conscience and not drawn to repentance since it's all over with?

I read commentaries then by others: Matthew Henry, John Darby, etc. Of those, all of them have various differences. Darby references the earthquake as a violent convulsive of the whole governing structure and not as an actual earthquake, even though earthquakes do occur and seem to be spreading to locations where they've not occurred before.

Does anyone else read these as symbolic like this or as past events? If so, could you tell me what you base it on? Or does anyone know what arguments people use who do believe these things? I'm not seeing how they draw such conclusions.

Revelation 8:7 The first angel sounded Or blew his trumpet:

and there followed hail and fire, mingled with blood;
somewhat like one of the plagues of Egypt, ( Exodus 9:23-25 ) ; in which was hail mingled with fire, only no blood, but what was caused by its fall on man and beast. Some have thought the Arian heresy is here intended, which may well enough agree with the time; and which may be compared to "hail", for the mischief it did to the vines, the churches; and because of the violence with which it came, and the chillness of affection to Christ and his people, which it brought on professors of religion; and the barrenness which followed upon it, it making men barren and unfruitful in the knowledge of Christ Jesus; and to "fire", because of the wrath, contentions, animosities, and divisions it occasioned among those who were called Christians: and "blood" may be brought into the account, since the like persecutions under Constantius and Valens were raised against the orthodox on account of it as were against the Christians under the Heathen emperors: and this storm fell upon "the earth"; the whole Roman empire; for even all the world was once said to be Arian, except one Athanasius; and particularly upon the carnal and earthly part of the church, who were seeking places and preferments under the Arian emperors: "and burnt up the third part of trees"; the trees of righteousness, the saints, particularly the doctors of the church, the tall cedars in Lebanon; who either seemed to be such, and were infected with this heresy, and destroyed by it, as many were; or were truly such, and were greatly oppressed, afflicted, and persecuted for not embracing it: and also "all green grass"; the common people, private Christians, weak believers, who had the truth of grace in them, and suffered much for not giving into this heresy; or who seemed to have it, but had it not, but withered away, being scorched up and destroyed with this pernicious notion: but rather this trumpet regards not the church, but the empire; and this storm of hail, fire, and blood, designs the irruption of the Goths into it, from the year 395, in which Theodosius died, to the year 408, under Radagaisus their general; with two hundred thousand of them, some say four hundred thousand, be entered and overrun all Italy, but was stopped and defeated by Stilicho; also Alaricus, king of the Goths, penetrated into Italy, came to Ravenna, and pitched his camp not far from Polentia, to whom the Emperor Honorius gave up France and Spain to make him easy, and that he might cease from his ravages and depredations F8; and these irruptions and devastations may be fitly expressed by hail, fire, and blood, just as the coming of the Assyrian monarch into the land of Israel is signified by a tempest of hail, and a destroying storm, ( Isaiah 28:2 ) ; and it is remarkable, as Mr. Daubuz observes, that Claudian the poet F9, who lived at the time of Alarick's war, compares it to hail:

and they were cast upon the earth;
the Roman empire, the continent more especially, as Germany, France, Spain, and Italy, which were particularly affected and distressed with these barbarous people:

and the third part of trees were burnt up;
by which seem to be meant people of the higher rank, the richer sort of people, who suffered much in these calamities; see ( Isaiah 2:13 ) ( Zechariah 11:2 ) ; yea, princes, nobles, and rulers, both civil and ecclesiastical, who suffered much at this time, as Jerom F11, who was then living, testifies; and so "trees" are interpreted of kings, rulers, and governors, by the Targum on ( Isaiah 2:13 ) ( Zechariah 11:1 Zechariah 11:2 ) ; "the trees of the field", in ( Isaiah 55:12 ) ; are interpreted of kingdoms F12: the Alexandrian copy, the Complutensian edition, the Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions, read before this clause, "and the third part of the earth was burnt"; that is, of the Roman empire:

and all green grass was burnt up;
the common people, who may be compared to spires of "grass" for their multitude, being as it were innumerable; and to "green" grass, for their delightful, comfortable, and flourishing condition before these calamities came upon them; and for their weakness and impotency to withstand such powerful enemies; see ( Job 5:25 ) ( Psalms 72:16 ) ( Isaiah 40:6 Isaiah 40:7 ) ( 37:27 ) ( Numbers 22:4 ) ; and these commonly suffer most when a country is overrun and plundered by an enemy.

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In relation to this, I also saw something the other day. I believe it was on Facebook but I can't locate it. It was a video: http://americasupdate.com.

I listened. I listened to the end. The sales pitch on purchasing their survival guide and kit with prepackaged meals, etc. I remembered the same video a few years back. Same prediction. But for that coming year and not 2017 as in this one. They recycle this same video each year. And does anyone stop to consider...WHY are they selling these for money since money will be useless?

I thought...do not be deceived. God is not mocked. This from Galatians 6 regarding sowing to the flesh. And how many actually fall for this? They're using Revelations to strike fear, where we're told not to fear, to line their pockets so that come 2018, when their "prediction" falls short, those who threw their money into this are going to be saddled with dust collecting, space taking, useless merchandise.
Did everyone go on vacation? LOL

The rapture happened...  I'm messaging you from heaven.  ;-P

lol

Uh oh. I guess that means me and Tammy didn't make the cut. :-o

I knew there was something up with us 2 but I truly believed I had it.

Well since Carla has already passed over, maybe she can give some insight in this. I'm reading Revelation as literal...IE: Earthquakes are earthquakes and not government upheaval. So when the waters turn to blood, stars fall from the sky, plagues, etc. are what they are and not symbolic. But since Christ used symbols...IE: the Shepherd, wolves, wine into new wine skins, wheat and tares, seed, etc., maybe it is symbolic and not literal? Especially since Gill translates trees as people, since Jesus used that same comparison. And if symbolic, does it mean that the description of the rapture would also be symbolic or literally that we'll suddenly be taken right next to those who are left, as I saw depicted in a movie once.

As for those who think Revelation and the rapture already happened though, they are obviously reading a different Bible than I am.

By the way, the movie was cool. An airplane crashes in a residential neighborhood and when the two main characters run outside, people are looking around trying to find their friends who were right there a moment ago. Then they all see something falling from the sky. As it flutters down, it's clothing and jewelry, etc. Guess it got left behind too. LOL its a 2011 film called Jerusalem Countdown. It focused on the events leading up to it with nuclear weapons being smuggled into America, and the FBI agent and his Israelite ally (the two left behind) trying to stop the detonation. It had Lee Majors and Randy Travis so it has to be good, right?

I've also read the entire Left Behind series and saw the movies. Same literal rapture with people suddenly disappearing.

I read it as you do - literal. 

Yeah but after I reread Gills synopsis <i>"and burnt up the third part of trees"; the trees of righteousness, the saints, particularly the doctors of the church, the tall cedars in Lebanon; who either seemed to be such, and were infected with this heresy, and destroyed by it</i>...

With all the references to trees planted by the water, cutting away branches, the tree that bears fruit and more fruit, etc., it has me wondering.

Seriously though..  yeah, I'm still here.  My husband said that since I'm with him it (rapture) definitely didn't happen, because he's certain he's not in heaven.  It's good to have a sense of humor. :-) 

I've done a bible study on this a few years ago.  I'll check my notes and get refreshed on the topic and get back to you.

Blessings, Carla

Well Carla, if he's concerned about when you're gone and he does get left, I'm sure he knows there's a way to remedy that. :-O

I've heard that those who heard the gospel before the rapture will not get the opportunity to accept it afterwards. Not sure where the Scripture is that they quote that from. I'll have to look into that.

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