Chronology of Revelation (Seals, trumpets, bowls)

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Chronology of Revelation (Seals, trumpets, bowls)

Postby oldbeans316 on Thu Nov 06, 2008 5:06 pm

There are seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven bowls. The numbered groups are sequential within each group. In other words, the seals follow one another consecutively, and the trumpets follow one another consecutively, and likewise the bowls. That is why they are numbered one through seven. But this does not necessarily mean that the groups follows another in succession.

Pre-tribbers (and from what I understand, pre-wrathers) believe each of these groups follow the previous group. However, I do not think this is correct. I think that each of the three series of seven judgments give a recapping and magnification of a portion of the tribulation which was covered in the previous group.

This type of recapping and magnification is eminent in the book of Daniel. For in Daniel, the general outline of future events is given first (in the dream of the statue with the head of gold, chest of silver, belly of bronze, legs of iron, and toes of iron and clay). Then later in Daniel, it elaborates on portions of that prophecy with a more detailed account (when Daniel has the vision of the leopard with wings and the bear). And then later on in Daniel, in chapter 11, Daniel gets into real specifics of what happens in the very last kingdom (when he describes what the King of Fierce Countenance does in minute detail).

I believe that the seven seals give an overview of the entire 7-year tribulation period, with Jesus' coming at the 6th seal (and a glimpse of the beginning of the Millennium in chapter 7). Then the seven trumpets recap probably the latter half of the tribulation. Then the seven bowls give a magnification of the very last days of the tribulation and the second coming.

The Seven Seals

The seven seals parallel the Jesus' endtime discourse in Matt 24. Many pre-wrathers have seen this parallel, but unfortunately, few have seen its significance in determining the chronology of Revelation. The sixth seal is the most important, describing the darkening of the sun and moon. This event steadfastly connects the sixth seals to two other definite events, the end of the tribulation (Matt 24:29), and the beginning of the "Day of the Lord" (Joel 2:31).

First Seal

Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, "Come and see." And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. (Rev 6:1-2)

And Jesus answered and said to them: Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. (Matt 24:4-5)

Second Seal

When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come and see." Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. (Rev 6:3-4)

And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (Matt 24:6-7)

Third Seal

When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come and see." So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine." (Rev 6:4-5)

And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matt 24:7)

Fourth Seal

When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come and see." So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth. (Rev 6:6-7)

For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matt 24:7-8)

Fifth Seal

When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed. (Rev 6:9-11)

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.... And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened. (Matt24:9-10,22)

Sixth Seal

I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?" (Rev 6:12-17)

Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matt 24:29-31)

Seventh Seal

When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. (Rev 8:1)

The silence in heaven is because the Kingdom has come to earth. In other words, Jesus, the angels, and the saints have left heaven because the Second Coming has occured at the sixth seal and so they are on earth.


The Seven Trumpets

I think that the sixth seal, and the seventh trumpet are both descriptions of the second coming of Christ. It is difficult to determine exactly when the trumpets begin, but they probably cover the last half of Daniel's seventieth week which Jesus called "great tribulation."

I think that the two witnesses are an explanation of the 3.5 years during which the trumpets occur. They might be the ones who call down the plagues on the antichrist and his kingdom. For instance, we are told that they can turn water into blood, something that will occur at the second and third trumpets.

The seventh trumpet finishes the "mystery of God." This is a likely reference to the Day of the Lord, which is the theme of most of the prophets.


The Seven Bowls

The seven bowls of the wrath of God are selectively poured out on the Antichrist and the followers of his kingdom. Those who have God's seal upon them are exempt from these plagues.

Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, "Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth." 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. (Rev 16:1-2)

If Christians were not present, the statement that the plagues fell upon those with the mark of the beast would be redundant.
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Re: Chronology of Revelation (Seals, trumpets, bowls)

Postby Seeker on Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:13 pm

Hi oldbeans316,

Interesting...nice work. I can definitely see the 7th of each occuring near the same time as I have long believed. It is foggy though as to the relationship of the others. They are similar yet distinct making a connection hard to find. You may be on to something with your zoom-in view. That certainly is the case with the book of Daniel and other places in the bible. I'll have to think about that for awhile but it appears feasible at first glance.

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Re: Chronology of Revelation (Seals, trumpets, bowls)

Postby MChat on Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:48 am

I think you are right on track with this. Here is something I wrote on another "forum" awhile back:

I think there is a common thread in Revelation, a common thread which is overlooked by Pre and Mid-Trib believers because it doesn’t fit their view. I believe the common thread to help understand the timeline of events is the rapture:

In Revelation 6:12, the 6th seal is opened. After the 6th seal is opened and before the 7th seal is opened we see a great multitude (Rev 7:9), in verse 13 we see that this great multitude just arrived (which is why the elder asks “What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence they came?” So it appears that the rapture is immediately before the 7th seal.

In Revelation 11:11 the two witnesses are resurrected, and then a “great voice” from heaven saying “Come up hither” and in Revelation 11:15, the 7th Trumpet is sounded, immediately afterward “there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord” and the elders say in verse 18 “thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants”. I think these may be parallel passages, i.e. the two witnesses rise as do all of the “dead in Christ” (1 Thessalonians 4:16) So it also seems like the rapture at the 7th trumpet (the Last Trump?) as well.

In Revelation 16:15 between the 6th and 7th vials (or bowls) Jesus says “Behold, I come as a thief” – very clearly a reference to Matthew 24:43-44, 1 Thessalonians 5:2 and 2nd Peter 3:10. Some of the favorite scriptures of “secret rapture” believers use to “prove” a secret rapture. I guess they miss 1 Thessalonians 5:4-6. So it also appears that the Rapture happens at the 7th vial.

Notice also what the results of the 7th vial: great hail, thunder, lightning, great earthquake, every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
And notice what were the results of the 6th seal: great earthquake, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
And the results of the 7th Trumpet: voices, thunder, lightning, earthquake, great hail.

And the last seal. Why is there silence for “a short time” in heaven? I think it might be because for the first time heaven is empty, as God and all of His angels and all of His people come to earth.

I think the timeline just might be:

Seal 1
Seal 2
Seal 3
Seal 4
Seal 5
Seal 6
Trumpet 1
Trumpet 2
Trumpet 3
Trumpet 4
Trumpet 5
Trumpet 6
Bowl 1
Bowl 2
Bowl 3
Bowl 4
Bowl 5
Bowl 6
Bowl 7, Trumpet 7, Rapture (2 witnesses)
Seal 7, God’s Kingdom on earth.

One thing to note on the 2 witnesses… I’ve often thought that the two witnesses would be Enoch and Elijah, as these two were taken by God before their deaths. And Hebrews 9:27 indicates that “it is appointed unto men once to die.” But it could be that the traditional view of this is wrong: that being there are only two actual witnesses (i.e. Moses and Elijah, or Enoch and Elijah). Notice this:

Revelation 11:3-4: And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

Revelation 1:20: The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

To me it sounds like 2 “churches” (perhaps Gentile Believers and Jewish Believers?) will be led by “the two olive trees” or God’s anointed ones (see Zechariah 4) perhaps the Gentile and Jewish believers will be led by Enoch and Elijah?


And later I wrote this:

As you are, I’m sure, aware, I have a problem with the “pre-wrath” point of view. The problem is the same problem I have with pre-trib. Both require Two 2nd comings and Two 1st Resurrections. If you’re creating a list, how many can be #2, how many can be #1. They both split Jesus’s 2nd Coming into 2 events; I do not believe this is Biblical.

The word for “meet” used in the verse “meet Him in the air” has a very specific meaning in the Greek. It was only used in 2 other places, IIRC, in both cases it was used where people would come out of the city, to meet someone and escort them back into the city. A clear indication that we will meet Jesus in the air and then “escort” Him back to earth.

If you study the feasts, you’ll find that the spring feasts were all fulfilled, on right after the other, in a single year. I believe that the fall feasts will likewise be fulfilled in a single year, one right after the other. If you study this, I think you’ll find that the Feast of Trumpets is the rapture (know man knows the day or hour is a direct reference to this feast). Trumpets happens on the 1st of Tishri; the Day of Atonement happened on the 10th of Tishri. On the day of atonement, the chief priest would enter the Holy of Holies; who is our “chief priest?” ;)

In Revelation chapter 19 we see the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ (starting in verse 11). In verse 17, the angel calls the birds to the “supper of the great God” and in verse 18 the Anti-Christ and his armies gather against Jesus. Note that this is in opposition to almost all scenarios in novels and movies; in which the nations gather at Armageddon and then Jesus comes. As anyone who has ever been in the military knows, it takes time to “assemble” an army for battle. Look how long it took us to get troops into position before Desert Storm, Afghanistan and Iraq. I think the time between the feast of trumpets and the day of atonement is this time which the A/C will use to get his armies in position around Jesus and the saints.

Additionally pre-wrath holds that the “vials” of God’s wrath happen after the Church is raptured. The only verse used to support this is the one that states we are not destined for God’s Wrath. First let me point out the Israelites living in Egypt during the 10 plagues. If you notice, the Israelites were not affected by the plagues, only the Egyptians were. God is perfectly capable of keeping His saints safe here on earth while the rest of the world is tormented. Second if you look at Revelation 16 (the vials), in verse 15 Jesus says “Behold, I come as a thief” a clear reference to what He said in reference to the “gathering” (rapture) of the saints in the gospels. In verse 16 it says “And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.” Who is the “he” in verse 16? Classic interpretation by the books and movies is the Anti-Christ gathering his armies to Armageddon. However, we know from chapter 19, that first Christ comes (saints with Him), then the A/C gathers his army to Armageddon. Could it be that verse 16 is really depicting the rapture? Read it this way: “And Jesus gathered the saints together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.” I think verse 15 and 16 go together, Jesus saying “behold I come” and gathering His saints (the rapture). Leaving only the 7th vial to fall on the world after the rapture (likely during the 10 days between Trumpets and Atonement).

Once the A/C has all his armies gathered against Jesus at Armageddon, Jesus says the word and the A/C and his armies are defeated. Then Jesus (our Chief Priest) enters the Holy of Holies on the day of atonement. And the Millennium begins with the Feast of Tabernacles.
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Re: Chronology of Revelation (Seals, trumpets, bowls)

Postby cgreene on Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:59 pm

oldbeans316 wrote:The Seven Bowls

The seven bowls of the wrath of God are selectively poured out on the Antichrist and the followers of his kingdom. Those who have God's seal upon them are exempt from these plagues.

Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, "Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth." 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. (Rev 16:1-2)

If Christians were not present, the statement that the plagues fell upon those with the mark of the beast would be redundant.


You may be right, but there may be people on earth that may not have taken the mark but also have not accepted Christ. I guess you would say that I am a combination of post-trib and pre-wrath, believing that the church is taken at the 7th trumpet which would be the end of the tribulation and then the 7 bowls are poured out. It will be interesting to see what happens.
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Re: Chronology of Revelation (Seals, trumpets, bowls)

Postby Bob the Quiet on Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:07 pm

Huh, I actually posted a chronology very much like this (if not exactly like this) a couple years ago...lemme see if I can dig it up real quick...

Haven't found the thread I was talking about just yet...but in searching for it I found a nifty diagram I made showing my basic thoughts on the chronology of Revelation:

Image

hmm..after much searching I can't find that thread...haven't done as thorough of a search as I like but its getting late lol
In summation, the view I presented in that particular (and apparently very old thread) was that some of the Trumpets and Bowls may be the same event, and that the 6th Seal/7th Trumpet/7th Bowl all very definitely describe the same event. I'll try again to find that thread sometime, interested to see where my thinking was at back then.
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Re: Chronology of Revelation (Seals, trumpets, bowls)

Postby jgilberAZ on Wed Nov 26, 2008 6:56 am

Bob the Quiet wrote:hmm..after much searching I can't find that thread...

[snip]

I'll try again to find that thread sometime, interested to see where my thinking was at back then.


I believe that when the cutover was made to the new FP servers, searching of/for old threads became impossible.


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The meaning is, that the servant of Christ should be a man of peace. He should not indulge in the feelings which commonly give rise to contention, and which commonly characterize it. He should not struggle for mere victory, even when endeavoring to maintain truth; but should do this, in all cases, with a kind spirit, and a mild temper; with entire candor; with nothing designed to provoke and irritate an adversary; and so that, whatever may be the result of the discussion, "the bond of peace" may, if possible, be preserved.
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Re: Chronology of Revelation (Seals, trumpets, bowls)

Postby Bob the Quiet on Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:31 am

Hmm...unless FP has switched servers a second time, the thread I was looking was posted after the switch. I couldn't find it through the search feature, so I decided to wade through ALL of my posts...all 59 pages, got to page 40 something when I started getting too tired.
All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
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Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.
-Thomas Jefferson

Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.
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Re: Chronology of Revelation (Seals, trumpets, bowls)

Postby Spreading Salt on Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:20 pm

I also believe they run parallel and not A, B, C. I think the trumpets deal with physical historical events; seals are spiritual events; and the bowls land on the AC and followers.
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Re: Chronology of Revelation (Seals, trumpets, bowls)

Postby bob97 on Sat Nov 29, 2008 9:35 pm

I want to believe the seals and trumpets overlap but in reading Rev 8 just now I notice the following...

Revelation 8:1 - 6 (KJV) 1And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. 2And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. 3And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand. 5And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. 6And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.

How do we explain that just after the seventh seal opening do we have the preparing of the seven trumpets?

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Re: Chronology of Revelation (Seals, trumpets, bowls)

Postby Bob the Quiet on Sat Nov 29, 2008 11:18 pm

Because the events are explained one after the other, this does not mean that they occur in that fashion. For example, in a movie or play you have two or more "acts". These acts are depicted one after the other, but in some stories may actually cover different elements of the same time frame.

So then, John tells us about the Seals then the Trumpets and then the Bowls. However, each set is an explanation of differing elements of the same period of time. I encourage you to look very closely at the events described in the 6th Seal, 7th Trumpet, and the 7th Bowl/Vial as you will find that they sound extremely similar to the point of near exactness. It would not make sense for the same judgment to occur three different times, however it would make more sense for the same event to be described three different times.

A sequential interpretation simply makes a big mess of Revelation, and really makes very little sense when you look at it closely.
All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
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Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.
-Thomas Jefferson

Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.
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Re: Chronology of Revelation (Seals, trumpets, bowls)

Postby bob97 on Sun Nov 30, 2008 7:00 pm

But in this case Bob it say they occur one after the other...one ends and the other starts...that's my problem and I'm trying to find a way around this problem that is understandable.

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Re: Chronology of Revelation (Seals, trumpets, bowls)

Postby Bob the Quiet on Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:59 pm

bob97 wrote:But in this case Bob it say they occur one after the other...one ends and the other starts...that's my problem and I'm trying to find a way around this problem that is understandable.

Bob


Actually, it does NOT say that they occur one after the other.

Revelation 8
1When the Lamb opened(A) the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2Then I saw the seven angels(B) who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.

John is describing the judgments as they are shown to him. Just because he is shown Seals-Trumpets-Bowls in that order, does not mean that they occur as all seven seals and then all seven trumpets and then all seven bowls. The Lord only comes one, yet a sequential interpretation has Him returning three times in the space of a few years - which makes zero sense.

Now, I encourage you again to compare the 6 Seal, the 7th Trumpet, and the 7th Bowl - only this time also compare all three to Matthew 24:29-31.
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Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.
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Re: Chronology of Revelation (Seals, trumpets, bowls)

Postby bob97 on Mon Dec 01, 2008 11:06 pm

Thanks Bob...I'll have to ponder on this for awhile. I understand what you are saying now I just have to fit it togeather in my head.

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Re: Chronology of Revelation (Seals, trumpets, bowls)

Postby Bob the Quiet on Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:05 am

bob97 wrote:Thanks Bob...I'll have to ponder on this for awhile. I understand what you are saying now I just have to fit it togeather in my head.

Bob


Cool, man. Arriving at a proper post-Trib understanding can be a tricky thing to do, simply because we are taught a different understanding most of our lives, seeing what the Scriptures actually say can be difficult. Seems like it took me several months to wrap my head around the thing, and I still can't claim to have a "complete" understanding (and I doubt that I ever will be able to make such a claim). :mrgreen:

If you have any further questions, feel free to ask.

Also, here's a good post-Trib information site: Answers in Revelation
All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
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Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.
-Thomas Jefferson

Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.
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