A Nonfiction Work
All rights reserved. Copyright © 2012 Walter Lane
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A Note From The Author:
At about the time my novel The Girl Left Behind was published, I also published a paperback edition of this nonfiction short work, Tribulation Unveiled originally published here on my website. In fact, this was the inspiration for that novel, and it contains some material taken directly from this work. The purpose of the novel is to raise awareness of the soon return of Jesus to Rapture his Saints.
Tribulation Unveiled is the result of many years of study, reflection, and prayer. It presents my views on the Great Tribulation and the Rapture, which is so very soon to occur. I honestly believe the time of the Rapture and the following Tribulation is very near and that Christians must awake to the truth that time is running out and we need to alert the world to the harsh judgments that are coming. Those who are not yet born again, need to 'seek the Lord while he may be found' as scripture admonishes us, and escape the dreadful consequences the Tribulation will bring. Hopefully, this work will instill a sense of urgency and move believers and non-believers alike to action.
'Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.' Isaiah 13:9-11.
Before Jesus returns to Earth the world will suffer a horrendous epoch of divine retribution. A series of immense natural and supernatural disasters and plagues will devastate humanity and the planet during the Great Tribulation, the time of God's judgment upon the world. The Tribulation will be far worse than many perhaps thought possible as the world is brought to near annihilation and humanity to near extinction. So astounding are the events of the Great Tribulation they will appear unbelievable to many. As scripture says, 'Behold Ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days which ye will not believe, though it be told you.' Habakkuk 1:5. It can be viewed this way: the Tribulation will be cataclysmic as possible without outright extinction of the human race. Jesus said, 'And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.' Mat. 24:22. There will be no place to hide, no place to seek refuge. Some may think that they can escape to the mountains and hide but the mountains will crumble. Others may think to seek shelter on some desert island but the islands will sink. The only escape is accepting Jesus Christ and staying prepared for the Rapture.
This article is intended to serve as a kind of 'Tribulation Alert' and increase awareness of the imminent Rapture of the believers and the following judgments to come on Earth. This is done, hopefully, by taking the Tribulation plagues and judgments from their shroud of mystery and symbolism and translating them into real world events people, in general, will more readily comprehend. It is the purpose of this article to attempt to unveil just what those events are going to be. The book of Revelation takes us from the past as the Lord speaks to John and he receives his vision of Heaven, into the present as today's current events are revealed by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and into the future with the opening of the sixth seal and the rest of the plagues and judgments to come upon the Earth. However, not all events or elements of Revelation are covered. This article focuses mainly on those events that occur on Earth during the Tribulation.
Much effort has been given to list the events in chronological order; that chronology is often much disputed among prophecy students so this chronology may not match that presented by others. One of the fundamental points in interpreting the Book of Revelation is understanding that it is written in chronological order. Although some major figures of Revelation are introduced outside the chronology the events themselves are presented as they occur. The point of view that the events of Revelation take place other than in chronological order, that something mentioned in the middle takes place at the start or that something revealed at the beginning takes place at the end, would make the Book of Revelation a chaotic hodgepodge of randomly occurring images. This is not the case. The Book of Revelation is an orderly presentation of the things to come upon the earth in the last days. It should also be noted that the Tribulation is on a set timetable of a seven-year period. In fact, it is so orderly a schedule that some events have the very days numbered in Daniel and Revelation.
In studying the book of Revelation, take note how often one-third of something is killed or destroyed; it happens seven times: one-third of Earth’s trees and grasslands destroyed; one-third of the sea turns to blood; one-third of marine life dies; one-third of the ships at sea destroyed; Dragon casts down one-third of the stars (symbolizing Satan taking one-third of the angels with him when he fell); the sky and celestial bodies darkened by one-third (in this passage, Rev. 8:12, it is mentioned three times in reference to the sun, moon, and stars; but as it is the result of one cause it is counted here once); one-third of mankind dies in the war in the far-east.
'For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?' Luke 23:29-31.
BEFORE THE TRIBULATION:
THE FIRST FIVE SEALS
Prelude To The Tribulation: The first four seals reveal the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. This ties in with Matthew 24:6-8: 'And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.' The first four seals are the fulfillment of what Jesus predicted.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse do not represent any persons as has been taught; they represent events and conditions that precede the Tribulation. The events listed in Matthew 24:6-8 are happening in our world now. And the time of the first four seals is set before the actual start of the Tribulation. It is the position of this article that the first five seals, as well as the Rapture, are pre-trib. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are mounted up and riding. So much of the world's trouble is the result of the Four Horsemen at work. This view may differ vastly from that held by others, but it must be kept in mind that the Tribulation works on a definite, preset timetable and this timeline is set with the number of days for some key events numbered. It is important to get that timeline correct to better understand the course and chronology of the Tribulation. And since the Rapture is the starting point of the Tribulation, and the first four seals are already being fulfilled, then the Rapture must be very close indeed.
ONE-FOURTH OF PLANET
NOT ENTIRE PLANET
The Great Tribulation will be a continual global outpouring of God's wrath upon the entire earth and its people for mankind's sin and unbelief. In the book of Revelation 'earth' means planet and 'world' means people. The first four of the seven seals listed in chapter six of the book of Revelation only afflict one-fourth of the earth, keeping in mind that the forth seal is a culmination, a result of, the first three. 'And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.' Revelation 6:7,8.
With only one-fourth of the earth afflicted by these four seals, it can be concluded they are not part of the Tribulation itself but are a prelude to the greater wrath to come. Jesus said the Tribulation, the 'hour of temptation' will come upon all the world: 'Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.' Revelation 3:10. This scripture also lets us know that the church will be delivered from going through the Tribulation.
The prayer of the martyrs gives us further evidence that the Great Tribulation does not begin with the first four seals. Indeed, it is a prayer for the global Tribulation to begin, for judgment on 'them that dwell on the earth' and not just part of the earth as with the first four seals: Revelation 6:9,10 'And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were 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, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?'
THE BEGINNING OF SORROWS
First Seal: Conquest. All through history, there have always been those who wanted to take that which others possessed. These invasions of conquest have led to the displacement of indigenous peoples from their time-honored homelands, the occupation of peaceful nations by enemy forces and the carrying away of innocents into the bonds of slavery. The first seal, the rider on the white horse, demonstrates that even today the threat of conquest and invasion is such that nations must spend staggering sums of money on national defense. Threats of war, rumors of war, abound in the news and prophecy is fulfilled almost daily in front of our very eyes.
The circumstance in the Middle East is an excellent example of conquest at work in our world and in Bible prophecy. As the forces of history converge in fulfillment of prophecy, we can see on the TV news the spirit of conquest playing its role in the evolving circumstances that makes the completion of Bible prophecy an inescapable certainty. The ineptitude and failure of geopolitics to bring around any real solutions demonstrate how, no matter what leaders and governments plan, and no matter how well intended, they are futile to stem the rising tide of international hostilities and the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Word of God. These plans are doomed to failure. This is seen time and again in the peace talks with Israel's enemies, talks that are just talk and yield no real peace, success or lasting solutions. An uneasy peace may last for a brief interval but it is not long before battles erupt between Israel and its enemies. The death toll again rises as the spirit of conquest drives Israel's enemies to try to take what is not theirs.
Especially evident is the failure of the 'Arab Spring'. Things in the Middle East have not improved but have gotten worse since this series of revolutions began. No lasting solutions have been brought forth. The fanaticism of Islamic extremists fuels their constant effort to co-opt any kind of change at work in the Middle East and turn it into an opportunity to advance their own military goals. This is especially evident in the Syrian civil war—a war that has all but ruined Syria because of their interference.
Second Seal: War. On a horse red like the color of blood, war rides over the world in the constant search for power. Rev. 6:4 mentions power and the desire for power is what drives the world's war machines. This power hungry tendency of mankind is why the world is not at peace and killing is commonplace. The Antichrist will be power hungry to the exclusion of all other desires. World peace is so much discussed but all efforts to bring it about fail. World peace will never be achieved until Jesus returns and establishes His kingdom and rule over the Earth.
Third Seal: World Hunger. In so many third world countries and other nations of the planet, hunger persists to be a devastating problem. So much effort has been made to combat it with so much money raised and spent by charitable organizations and friendly nations. Yet world hunger still remains such a pressing problem for humanity despite the vast efforts of these governments and organizations.
Fourth Seal: Death and Hell. Revelation 6:8 'And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth...,' This fourth seal reveals human suffering over one-fourth of the planet; suffering brought on by the consequences of the first three seals. This one-fourth does not represent one-fourth of the world's population but rather one-fourth of the inhabited parts of the planet. In Revelation 'earth' means the planet, whereas 'world' means the population of the planet, the people. In various places around the globe, we can see the afflictions of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse being carried out, the suffering, and the death. We see it in the suffering of the Third World nations where hunger and pestilence rage, in the war-torn Middle East and other parts of the globe as the death toll rises at an alarming rate.
Conquest is the driving force behind war. Food shortages, pestilence, suffering, and death are the result. Conquest leads to war; war leads to food shortages, rationing, and famine; without proper nutrition, clean water, access to medical facilities and medicine, pestilence and death follow; often by hundreds or thousands of deaths at a time. In these afflicted regions of the planet, there is also death by natural disasters, animal attacks, as well as war, disease, and pestilence. These mounting troubles cause such apprehension as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse ride across our globe sowing death and havoc.
Hell follows death to those who do not know Jesus as Savior. This is a point of serious reflection because most people do not have the assurance of Salvation that comes through faith in Jesus Christ. These are not future events the first four seals are revealing to us; these things are happening now. We are in the prelude to the Tribulation. These are the latter days and the Rapture is soon.
Fifth Seal: The Prayer of the Martyrs. As already mentioned, this is a prayer for the Tribulation to begin. To repeat Revelation 6:10 'And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? We see by this scripture that the Tribulation has not yet started and does not begin at the opening of the first seal.
TRIBULATION START POINT
At an unspecified time before the event of the Sixth Seal, the Rapture will occur. In a moment, the dead in Christ will rise and with them, the living saints will meet Christ in the air to be taken to Heaven by Him. When the Rapture occurs, the timeline of the Tribulation begins. The days specified in Revelation and Daniel can then be counted, and the countdown to the Return of Christ can begin. The key to understanding the Book of Revelation is to understand the chronology of the Tribulation events. This is why it is so important to correctly establish the start point of the earthly judgments. These judgments in the Book of Revelation are presented in chronological order. They are neatly grouped together in three listings namely the seals (the first five pre-trib as is the Rapture), the trumps and the vials (or bowls). In this chronology, we are not told outright just where the Rapture occurs. Indeed, the Rapture is not even mentioned in the book of Revelation. Jesus said in Matt. 25:13, 'Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.' This is still true. But we are given some indications as to where to place it in the Revelation chronology. We know it happens before the Tribulation judgments begin, but a more exact point of view is that the Rapture is itself the start point of the seven-year Tribulation. When the Rapture takes place the Tribulation begins. The book of Revelation is in chronological order. This point is fundamental to understanding the book of Revelation and the timeline of the Tribulation events.
'And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth [north, south, east, west], holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.' Revelation 7:1. This represents the coming judgments upon the earth expressed later by the seven trumpets and the seven bowls. The trumpets and the bowls all have angelic participation; it is angel that blow the trumpets and pour out the bowls. Notice here the angelic participation that it is angels symbolically holding back the winds of judgment. This is not the case with the sixth seal. The scripture does not indicate any angelic participation in the Great Cataclysm of the sixth seal or the five preceding seals. The Lord himself does the opening of the seven seals. It is at the seventh seal that seven angels are brought in and given the seven trumpets and at this point, angels take over the execution of the Tribulation judgments. At the opening of the seventh seal, Heaven takes a pause and the work of introducing the coming judgments is handed over to them. That is how the cataclysm of the sixth seal is different from the other Tribulation judgments. This is especially true in relation to the 144,000 Sealed Ones and why, although the Great Cataclysm is the first of the Tribulation judgments, it is not included in those judgments held back by the angels waiting to be released after the sealing of the 144,000. The sixth seal will have already been opened and the Great Cataclysm will have already occurred by that time with no participation or control by the angels.
It is not just the Sealed Ones we see in chapter seven; there are two groups of saints represented here. The Sealed Ones are one and the other group is the Raptured and Resurrected saints. The Sealed Ones are on earth, the Raptured/Resurrected saints are in Heaven. The group on earth, the Sealed Ones, is small just 144,000 and they are still living—not dead yet, not raptured or resurrected as yet. These are the 'Sealed' of God out of Israel. The other group, those raptured or resurrected, is in Heaven and they are so many no one can count them. These raptured and resurrected saints came out of, escaped, the Great Tribulation at the very start point, the Rapture. And we must understand that this is not the same group of redeemed souls in Heaven presented in chapter fifteen. Those are the Tribulation saints who overcame the Beast and refused to take his mark and were killed for it. As of the time of chapter fifteen, they still await to be resurrected. (More on the Tribulation saints later.)
Since the Raptured saints are revealed in chapter seven, this tells us the Rapture will have already happened by this time. Another indication is the prayer of the martyrs when they say, '...How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?' Revelation 6:10. This tells us that the judgments on the whole Earth, meaning the Great Tribulation, have not yet begun. Since this prayer occurs at the fifth seal, this places the Rapture just before the time of the Sixth Seal.
A total of three events happen around the time of the sixth seal. In Revelation, they are presented in this order; the Great Cataclysm, the sealing of the 144,000 and the revealing of the raptured saints. However, a close study of chapters six and seven lets us know that these events occur in this order: the Rapture first, the Great Cataclysm, and then the sealing of the 144,000. In chapter seven, the Raptured/Resurrected saints are revealed in chapter seven in Heaven before God's throne. As stated, this lets us know that the Rapture takes place before chapter seven. This article holds that it happens just before the cataclysm of the sixth seal: the Rapture occurring just before and the sealing of the 144,000 just after. This article may seem to belabor this point but it is essential in understanding the chronology of the book of Revelation. And in chapter seven, while the Raptured/Resurrected saints are revealed post-rapture, it is not just the revealing of the 144,000 Sealed Ones that takes place but the actual sealing event itself. The angels are told, 'Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.' Revelation 7:3. This scripture places the sealing just after the Rapture and before the Tribulation judgments of the trumpets and bowls begin.
THE SIXTH SEAL:
WORLDWIDE JUDGMENT BEGINS
Asteroid Impact—The Sixth Seal: Soon after the Rapture, a large asteroid strikes Earth. The world will know the great day of God’s wrath is come and seek shelter in underground bunkers and caves. Revelation 6:15-17 'And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; [Underground shelters like Mt. Weather] And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?' And also Isaiah 2:19 'And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.' Immense earthquakes will rock the globe; every island and mountain will be moved—shaken: The meteor impact creates a mushroom cloud—the heavens departing as a scroll. The impact launches dust into the atmosphere and ejecta into space. The dust darkens the sky and blots out the sun; the moon appears blood red. The ejecta, rocks, and debris that will be thrown out by the blast, will be pulled back down by gravity and ignite in the atmosphere creating a fiery meteor storm—the stars falling from heaven. To ancient peoples all the objects in the sky, except the sun and the moon, were stars. This creates a global emergency giving the Antichrist opportunity to seize power over the world—the start of the one world government.
The Sealed Ones are 144,000 Jewish men who turn to Christ after the Rapture, very probably motivated by the cataclysm of the sixth seal. They become sealed by receiving the Heavenly Father’s name in their foreheads and become the first fruits, the first converts to Jesus, of the Tribulation, dedicated to God and to the Lamb, Christ. (Other people will convert later.) They are redeemed from among men and are probably very young men for they are virgins and not defiled with women the scriptures says. Note that in chapter 22:3,4 we are told that we, also, later on, shall be sealed with the father's name in our foreheads. These are not converts to Judaism. Converting to Judaism does not make someone a Hebrew. A true Hebrew is a biological descendant of Jacob. The 144,000 are listed by groups of 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel, as reckoned by Jacob's twelve sons, with Manasseh, Joseph's son, replacing Dan. They are called the ‘children’ of those tribes; again emphasizing that they are actual biological descendants of Jacob. The stinging locusts mentioned later in this article do not afflict the Sealed Ones. In the middle of the Tribulation, when the Antichrist and his forces invade Israel, the 144,000 Sealed Ones, as well as the Two Witnesses, are killed. In Revelation chapter fourteen the Sealed Ones are found standing on Heavenly Mount Zion in triumph with the Lamb of God, Jesus.
Daniel's seventy weeks, Daniel 9:24, or seventy sevens (as translated in the NIV) began at the end of the seventy years of Jewish captivity in Babylon after Cyrus the Great granted permission for the Hebrews to return to Jerusalem. Each 'week' or 'seven' stands for seven Jewish years. The word 'week' as in the KJV and the word 'sevens' as in the NIV are translated from the Hebrew word 'shabua' meaning a time period of seven days, weeks, months or years. The angel told Daniel that seventy weeks are determined upon his people. The first seven 'weeks' of that were to rebuild Jerusalem. It, in fact, took forty-nine years. Then it was sixty-two more weeks until Christ is cut off from his people. Add the first seven 'weeks' with the remainder of 'weeks' and it is four hundred and eighty-three years after the command to rebuild Jerusalem that Christ is crucified. Therefore in this context 'shabua' represents a time period of seven years because it took many years, not just seven weeks, to rebuild Jerusalem. The crucifixion took place hundreds of years after Daniel's time as the angel predicted. And if 'weeks' or 'sevens' means years for those periods of time it must mean seven years for the remaining last week of Daniel's Seventy Weeks—the seven years of the Tribulation. This is the method by which the seven-year Tribulation period is derived.
At the very start of the Tribulation, there will appear Two Witnesses in Jerusalem. The identity of the Two Witnesses is believed by many prophecy teachers to be Enoch and Elijah, two men of the Old Testament who were translated to Heaven and never died. And it is thought that since they never died they will have to come back to Earth and die like everyone else. Revelation teaches us these Two Witnesses will prophesy, clothed in sackcloth, during the first half of the Tribulation. If anyone tries to hurt them, a blast of fire will proceed out of their mouths and kill them. The scripture teaches that this is the manner in which their enemies must die. In the days of their prophecy, they will have the power to prevent rainfall and bring about drought. Also, they will have the power to turn the water supply into blood. They will also have the power to 'smite the earth' with plagues as often as they want. When the Two Witnesses have finished their testimony, the Beast will attack, overcome, and kill them. This occurs at the midpoint of the Tribulation during the invasion of Jerusalem by the Antichrist and his forces.
Revelation 17:8 tell us, '...The beast...shall ascend out of the bottomless pit and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.' He is the Son of Perdition. Just as God sent His Son from above, Satan will send his son, the Son of Perdition, from below. The challenging chapter eleven of the Book of Daniel, along with chapter eight, teaches us the person of the Antichrist will very likely arise out of Daniel's Kingdom of the North. This Kingdom of the North included modern day Syria, Iraq, Iran and other parts of the near and far east. Out of the bottomless pit, the Abyss, a demon called the Beast, awaiting the Tribulation, will be released and take control of the Antichrist. Despite all the attention focused on the Antichrist, he is not the one behind the dread events of the Great Tribulation. In some documentaries and in fictional portrayals, he is presented as the man who will devastate the world. That is not the case. The Great Tribulation is God's work; it is His judgment, His wrath poured out upon the world. The Antichrist plays his part. Because of him, the people of the world are forced to make an outright choice between Jesus or Satan in the guise of the Antichrist.
Due to the panic and chaos caused by the asteroid strike revealed in the sixth seal, world governments may be overwhelmed in maintaining order. The Antichrist might use this global emergency to establish himself as the one to handle this worldwide emergency. He could convince the governments of the world that they all must work together and declare a type of global Marshall Law under which normal legal rights will be suspended. This could lead to the immediate formation of a one world coalition—the first step to his one world government with the Antichrist himself as the supreme leader. With this power, he can then restore order—promising peace and safety. And power is the key word. The Antichrist is all about power. He is power obsessed. At some point this coalition formerly becomes a new world order; the leadership of the world appoints the Antichrist as the leader of this new one world government. This government comes about under the guise of peace and safety, the people of the world working together for mutual protection against further global threats and economic disaster. For a while, the world government prospers under the hand of the Antichrist. The False Prophet promotes his name and reputation throughout the world, prepares the world to accept him as God.
'Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.' 2 Thess. 2:3-10.
Some have suggested that Satan will literally possess the Antichrist, but this is not the case. The Dragon, Satan, will give the Antichrist great power to rule over all nations. All that dwell on the earth will be required to worship the Antichrist. Those whose names are not written in the book of life will comply. However, Satan is not himself the Beast. Revelation says that the Beast will ascend out of the bottomless pit also known as the Abyss, and Satan is not in the bottomless pit as yet. Therefore, another demon, kept in the bottomless pit until the Tribulation, must ascend from there and possess the person of the Antichrist and work in close harmony with Satan called the Dragon. Also, at the end of the Tribulation, Satan and the Beast receive different punishments. The Beast who is the Antichrist, along with the False Prophet, is cast alive into the lake of fire forever. However, Satan is put into the bottomless pit, the Abyss where the Beast had been, to be imprisoned for a thousand years. Exactly what is the Abyss remains unknown.
The False Prophet will initiate a requirement that everyone must receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: the Mark of the Beast. No one can buy or sell unless he has this mark. People will have to make an outright allegiance to the Beast and the purpose of this mark is to show those with the mark have accepted the Beast as their God and therefore openly reject Jesus Christ. This decision is final and irrevocable.
It has long been discussed among those who study Bible prophecy just what the Mark of the Beast is. It is the position of this article that the Mark of the Beast will indeed be a simple mark of the numerals 666 and not an electronic chip as so many today seem to think. Implanting a chip may leave a mark but it is not 'the' Mark of the Beast. The scripture says mark, name or number. These are all simple alpha-numerical characters. They are not chips. The mark could be made as easily as taking a pen of some sort and writing it on the hand or forehead or having it stamped there with a stamping device. It could be a simple tattoo or even a burn mark. Just something to show the number or name of the Beast and that public allegiance has been made to the Beast. It could be that terms mark, name, and number are three different ways to describe the same thing.
'And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture [no dilution, full strength] into the cup of his indignation; and he [that takes the mark of the beast] shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they [shall] have no rest day nor night, [those] who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.' Revelation. 14:9
In Matthew chapter 24, Jesus prophesied about the Abomination of Desolation standing in the Holy Place, the part of the temple just before the Holy of Holies. For this to happen then a new Temple will have to be built. Thus, Jesus prophesied of a new temple. Jesus had already prophesied that the temple of his day, Herod's Temple, would be completely destroyed. Therefore for his prophecy of the Abomination of Desolation to be fulfilled there will have to be another temple built and we should be on the watch for news of a coming New Temple.
In the near future, just before the Rapture or just after, the New Temple will be erected in Jerusalem. Soon after the Rapture as the Antichrist begins to reign, he will make an agreement with the Jews that will allow them to dedicate the New Temple and restore the rites of sacrifice and daily oblations that they observed in ancient times. In the middle of the Tribulation he will break this agreement and stop these acts of worship and an image of him will be placed in the temple. At this time it will be declared that he be worshiped as God. At the end of the Tribulation, the temple will be cleansed and rededicated. Daniel 8:13,14 'Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation [Abomination of Desolation], to give both the sanctuary and the host [the people of Israel] to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.' The time between the first dedication and the second dedication will be 2300 days.
Seventh Seal: The Seventh Seal is opened and introduces the Seven Trumpets. Heaven stands silent for half an hour as seven angels are given seven trumpets and prepare to sound.
Widespread Deforestation: The first trump reveals burning fragments that fall like hail and burns up a third of all trees and grass. Multiple volcanic eruptions around the globe are most likely what produces this 'hail', molten rocks and lava. Lava can be view as being the earth's 'blood'. These fragments, super heated and on fire, blasted into the air by volcanic eruptions, hit the ground over a large area and fall onto forests and grasslands causing them to catch fire. These brush fires burn up one-third of Earth’s trees and grasslands.
Around the Pacific Rim is an area called the Ring of Fire. From Wikipedia: 'The Ring of Fire is an area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur. In a 40,000 km (25,000 mi) horseshoe shape, it is associated with a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, and volcanic belts and/or plate movements. It has 452 volcanoes and is home to over 75% of the world's active and dormant volcanoes.The Ring of Fire is sometimes called the circum-Pacific belt. About 90% of the world's earthquakes and 81% of the world's largest earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire.'
Blood in this passage of scripture refers to lava, the red,viscous liquid coming from a breach in the planet's surface. As stated, lava can then be viewed as the earth's blood. Acts 2:19. 'And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:' The word 'blood' here is used with fire and smoke as a natural part of a combination of elements of volcanic activity. This, most probably, is indeed about volcanoes and indicates 'blood in the earth beneath' to mean the red flow of lava coming out of a fissure in the earth's surface as if the planet were bleeding. Magma is composed of molten rock and is stored in the Earth's crust. Lava is magma that reaches the surface of our planet through a volcano vent.
Meteor Strike At Sea: The second trump signals a meteor strike somewhere at sea. The impact destroys one-third of marine life. It is probably that which accounts for one-third of the sea turning to blood. One-third of the ships at sea will be destroyed. This is not to be confused with the plague of the second bowl discussed later when every living thing in the sea dies. This is a separate event.
Widespread Water Contamination: The Earth will experience severe water shortages. At the third trump, Wormwood strikes. This is another meteor that hits the planet causing one-third of Earth’s fresh water supply somehow to be severely polluted or downright poisoned. Many die because of the waters and drinkable water will become even more scarce.
Plague Level Air Pollution: With the sounding of the fourth trump it is revealed that air pollution will reach critical levels around the globe. It is dense to the point it darkens the sky by one-third; the sun, moon and stars become less visible by that amount. This is in keeping with the prophecy of Jesus when he said, 'But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,' Mark 13:24. This he said referring to world conditions at his return.
THE ANGELIC MESSENGER
Revelation 8:13 reads, 'And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven [mid-air, the sky], saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, [the coming three woes] to the inhabitants of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!' This is the first of four angels in Revelation flying and delivering a message to Earth. The other three are found in chapter 14 verses 6, 8 and 9. These are similar but different incidents with different messages each time.
First Woe—Stinging Locust Plague: 'And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key to the bottomless pit.' Revelation. 9:1. A meteor strikes and creates a shaft reaching down to the Earth's inner recesses, to the bottomless pit, the Abyss. The New International Version uses the term; 'the shaft of the Abyss'. This word 'shaft' is a good term to use because a bottomless pit can be viewed as simply a shaft, a downward tunnel with no bottom. It is important to note of the Abyss of Revelation that according to chapter 11, verse 7, the Beast will ascend from there; but that is long before this locust plague begins.
Smoke issues out of the bottomless pit. It is so thick it darkens the air and blots out sunlight. Out of the smoke, locusts come forth. However, they do not hurt plant life but attack people—those who have not the seal of God in their foreheads meaning the 144,000 Sealed Ones. This is a variety of locust with stingers like a scorpion; their stings are not deadly but the pain they inflict is tormenting like that of a scorpion sting. This plague torments humanity for five months. By this point life on Earth has become so unbearable many people will simply want to die. This plague is reminiscent of the Killer Bees, or rather Africanized Bees, that came to public attention years ago. Modern science now knows that deep below the Earth's surface there is insect life that has never seen the light of day. Also, attacks by giant killer hornets in China made the news in 2013. These attacks left some dead and many wounded. These giant hornets and killer bees are prophetic signs of the coming stinging locust plague. They are surprising examples of species that have come about to plague mankind in these last days and making the idea of a plague of stinging locusts a very conceivable threat.
The appearance of the locusts will be like horses prepared for battle. On their heads will be crowns like gold. Their faces will be like the faces of men. Their hair will be like that of women. Their teeth will be like the teeth of lions. They will have breastplates like iron. The sound of their wings will be like chariots of many horses running to battle. And they will have tails like scorpions. The king over them is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon; in Greek, it is Apollyon (the destroyer).
Second Woe—Trans-Asia War: At the sixth trump, four angels bound in the great river Euphrates are set loose to kill one-third of mankind. Next, there appears an army of 200 million troops that wages war and kills one-third of the world's population. It is obvious this army will be the means by which the four angels fulfill their mission. The only nation in the world capable of amassing so large an army is China. Next to China is India. India and China are the two most populous nations on earth comprising a huge percentage of the world's population now over seven billion. A devastating India-Chinese conflict that might spill over into the neighboring countries, creating a devastating war across the Asian continent, could account for a third of mankind dying.
The scripture here describes horses and riders that have breastplates of fire, and of jacinth and brimstone. These are perhaps battle colors or the colors of the army's flag. As stated in the NIV and other modern translations these colors are red, dark blue and yellow. It is interesting to note that the colors of the Chinese air force flag are red, blue (but not dark blue) and yellow. But this does not appear to be an air attack. It seems very clear that this is a ground battle, a war waged by boots on the ground or on horseback. The heads of the horses appear as the heads of lions, and out of their mouths comes fire and smoke and brimstone. Some believe this is a reference to tanks and other modern battle vehicles. It may well be. However, it could simply mean horses. An army on horseback is nothing new to warfare. The term 'heads like lions' may mean the appearance of the heads may be altered by some kind of protective gear such as gas masks if this turns out to be a chemical weapons attack. The scripture makes it clear that by these three things: fire, smoke, and brimstone (Sulfur) one-third of mankind will die. The weapons that will be used in this war will have to utilize these elements in some way. They could indeed mean tanks and other weapons of the type, or possibly chemical weapons. Such a large death toll will have to come from weapons of devastating potential. Chemical warfare could accomplish this and deliver death on a large scale quickly.
Third Woe—Satan And His Angels Banished To Earth: The seventh trumpet sounds and during an interval which includes Revelation chapters 11 and 12, Heaven claims victory and gives an ominous warning concerning the third woe: 'Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.' Revelation 12:12. Notice the use of the word 'woe.' This is the third time it is used in relation to a judgment against earth. This is how we know this is the Third Woe. Revelation places a great deal of emphasis on this. The great significance of this is it is the beginning of Satan's defeat. He was cast out of the Third Heaven, God's Heaven. Now, we see him cast of Earth's Heaven. He loses a great part of his kingdom, and some loss of some freedom—the loss of the rule and the freedom to move about in his former arena of the principalities and powers in heavenly places. This confinement to earth is, in type, a partial imprisonment for Satan.
As the scripture here relates, after another war in heaven, Satan and his angels will be cast down and made earthbound. Like other, earthbound spirits found in the book of Revelation, the four angels in the Euphrates, the Beast held in the Abyss, Satan, and his angels are made earthbound spirits. After his banishment to earth, an enraged Satan, with little time left, will attack Israel and, 'make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.' Rev.12:17.
Satan and his angels, the Satanic Kingdom, are explained in Ephesians 6:12. 'For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.' Note the use of the terms 'of this world' meaning Earth; and 'in high places' meaning off this Earth. This lets us know the Satanic Kingdom is at work in both spheres. This tells us these Satanic forces, at present, have liberty to moved about on a broad scale. In the time of the Third Woe, they will lose this liberty and become strictly earthbound. Micheal and his angels will cast down Satan and his angels to earth. This is not referring to the time Micheal and his angels cast Satan out of the Third Heaven. This is another war against Satan when he is cast down to earth. In studying the book of Revelation it is revealed he never leaves earth until he is cast into the Lake of Fire.
The Holy Bible teaches that there are three levels of heaven: The first heaven is our sky. The second heaven is the void of space. The third heaven is the Heavenly Kingdom where Christ and his saints dwell; the place named by Paul to which he was caught up: 'I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.' 2 Corinthians 12:2.
When the seventh trumpet has sounded, Satan is denied access to all these heavenly spheres and he becomes enraged. But Heaven resounds with sober words of justice: 'And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.' Revelation 12:9-10.
Satan on Earth full-time, full of Satanic fury. Think what it will be like. Even in this present time, we can feel, on a spiritual level, the presence of demonic forces working against us. Think how much worse it will be when Satan and his angels are bound here. As bad as the Great Tribulation will be, when Satan is bound here it will be worse. Don't be here; be ready for the Rapture—God's way of deliverance from the Great Tribulation.
THE THREE ANGELIC MESSENGERS
It was mentioned before in the section concerning the Three Woes there are three other angelic messengers bringing three proclamations. Here, scripture itself is very clear and serves best in presenting them. They are:
Revelation 14:6-7 'And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.'
Revelation 14:8 'And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.' Compare this with Isaiah 21:9. 'And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.' This could be a prophetic reference to the veiled neo-paganism of Catholicism, and of the destruction of the Vatican in chapter 17.
Revelation 14:9-11, 'And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture [no dilution, full strength] into the cup of his indignation; and he [that takes the mark of the beast] shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they [shall] have no rest day nor night, [those] who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.'
'When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.' Matthew. 24:15-21.
At the midpoint of the Tribulation, the Antichrist will break his covenant with the Israel who is represented by the Woman clothed in the sun. He will cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease. The Beast will lead an invasion of Jerusalem in which the following events occur:
Two Witnesses Killed: At this time the Beast will kill the Two Witnesses, The nations will see their dead bodies lie in the streets of Jerusalem three and a half days, the Beast not allowing them even the decency of a burial. This kind of degradation of dead enemies takes place in our world now most notably among Muslim Jehad terrorist in the Middle East. They sometimes kill people and mistreat their bodies in derision. This will happen to the Two Witnesses. People all over the world will rejoice and send gifts one to another because of the deaths of these two prophets that tormented them the people of the earth with the plagues they called into being. But after three days and a half, the spirit of life from God will enter into them and they will stand upon their feet. Great fear will fall upon all those who see them. The Two Witnesses will hear a great voice from heaven saying unto them, “Come up hither,” and they will ascend up to heaven in a cloud and their enemies will behold them. At the same hour, there will be a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city will fall. In the earthquake, there will be slain seven thousand people. And the rest will be frightened and give glory to God.
Image Of The Beast Erected: Also during this invasion, the Antichrist will seat himself in the temple and proclaim himself God, speaking blasphemies against God, his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. Satan, the Great Dragon, will give him power and he will continue another three and a half years. The False Prophet will exercise all the power of the Antichrist. He will use that power to deceive people into worshiping the Beast. He will do great wonders such as make fire come down out of heaven. He will deceive the world by means of the miracles he will be able to do in sight of the Antichrist. He will say to the world that they should make an image to the beast that had the wound by a sword and did live. He will set up the Image of the Beast in the New Temple and declare the Antichrist to be God. He will give life to the image of the beast that it should speak. By his order, all that dwell on Earth must worship the Beast and his image. He will order that all those who do not worship the Beast and his image to be killed. The Antichrist will oppose all religions and exalt himself above anything that is called God or that is worshiped.
Jews Flee Jerusalem: From the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away and the abomination that maketh desolate set up (the Image of the Beast in the temple), there will be 1290 days left in the Tribulation according to Daniel 12:11. Many Jews will die and the survivors will be evacuated and probably airlifted to a location described in Revelation only as "in the wilderness“ possibly Ethiopia. Zephaniah 3:10 'From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering.' In this refugee camp, the fugitive Jews will be taken care of 1,260 days according to Revelation 12:6. The refugee camp to which the Israelites will flee will be a place prepared by God where they will be sheltered and fed for the last half of the Tribulation.
Satan will flood the camp trying to kill the refugees, but the ground will open and drain away the floodwaters. Infuriated, Satan, through the Antichrist, will wage war with the remnant of the Jews who remain in Israel, those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ: The Sealed Ones, the 144,000. The Beast will make war with them and overcome and kill them. 'And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.' Rev. 14:1 Sion, no doubt, means Heaven in this context as in Hebrews 12:22: 'But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,...' This means the Sealed Ones are in heaven with the Lord.
Notice how many of the bowls are poured upon bodies of nature: Bowl 1 upon the land, Bowl 2 upon the sea, bowl 3 upon the rivers, bowl 4 upon the Sun, bowl 6 upon the Euphrates, bowl 7 into the air. Only bowl 5 is different being poured out upon the seat of authority of the Beast.
Grievous Sores From The Mark Of The Beast: The first bowl (vial in the KJV) is poured upon the land (earth KJV) and a plague of grievous sores comes on all with the mark of the Beast and who worship his image.
Sea Turns To Blood: The second bowl is poured upon the sea and it turns to blood like that of a dead man. Every living thing in the sea dies. This is not to be confused with the second trumpet when only one-third of marine life dies. This is a separate event not a mention of a former event. Here, all marine life dies.
Rivers Turn To Blood: With the third bowl poured upon the rivers and fountains of waters, they also turn into blood resulting in global water shortages. 'And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.' Revelation 16:5-7.
Global Heatwave: Bowl four is poured upon the sun and afflicts earth with scorching heat. The air will be so polluted that perhaps it will cause a greenhouse effect that traps the heat from the sun's rays causing the greenhouse effect to super heat the planet's atmosphere. Men blaspheme the name of God, the one who has power over these plagues, and they refuse to repent and give him glory as the scripture says.
Kingdom Of The Beast In Turmoil: Bowl five, poured out upon the seat of the Beast, reveals the kingdom of the Antichrist will be plunged into darkness and filled with agonizing pain. The scripture states, 'They will gnaw their tongues in pain and blaspheme the God of heaven because of their pain and their sores, and repent not of their deeds.' This fifth bowl ties in with the first bowl dealing with the sores that come from the Mark of the Beast. The new information here is that the kingdom of the Antichrist is plunged into darkness. It is possible to speculate that this means great political turmoil and unrest for the Antichrist and his government.
Preparations For Armageddon: The sixth bowl, poured upon the Euphrates river holds an especially dark revelation. Demonic spirits, working miracles, go to the kings of the whole world and gather them to the battle of Armageddon on the great day of God Almighty—the return of Jesus Christ. The waters of the Euphrates will dry up to provide a passageway for the kings of the east. This is in readiness for the time that Christ shall return. The Antichrist will gather the remaining forces from all over the world to fight against him. This will signal the beginning of the end; the end of the Antichrist kingdom and of the Tribulation itself.
The World Of The Tribulation: Imagine a global nightmare, the world devoid of God's presence and constantly pressing against your spirit night and day is the dark, evil presence of demonic spirits. The air you breath is dirty, dense and hazy; the water you drink is tainted with blood. You're cursed with a mark that shows your allegiance to the Beast and his government; it is infected and cancerous causing sores and agonizing pain. The sun beats down on you with intense burning heat and radiation; its rays are like fire against your infected skin. There is no peace; civil unrest is rampant; confidence in the government is gone; all hope is gone and the world languishes in spiritual darkness. Now a call to battle goes forth and the armies of the world again prepare for devastating war. This is the world of the Tribulation. All the promises made by the Beast for a better world were just lies and there is nothing you can do. Then things get worse …
The Great Global Catastrophe: After the contents of the seventh bowl are poured into the air, there comes a loud proclamation from Heaven's throne, "It is done." meaning this is the last global devastation of the Tribulation; the last and the most astounding of all the Tribulation judgments, what this article calls the Great Global Catastrophe. It begins with a global earthquake, such as the world has never seen before, that rocks the planet so intensely the great city, Jerusalem, divides into three parts and the cities of the nations will collapse. Every island will sink, and the mountains will crumble and fall. Great hailstones, each about 100 lbs, will crash to Earth and, instead of repenting, men will blaspheme God. This time, the islands and mountains are not just shaken as with the asteroid strike represented by the Sixth Seal, this time, they will be destroyed altogether. Even though the scriptures describe means of destruction as three, it is the position of this article that this is the result of one event with multiple consequences.
A possible explanation for these devastating global events could be an astounding phenomenon called Earth Crust Displacement. This theory was set forth in 1958 by history professor Charles H. Hapgood and supported by Albert Einstein. Earth Crust Displacement is a catastrophic event well capable of causing all of this incredible devastation. The Earth's crust, the planet’s rocky surface, sits atop the planet's mantle, a vast 1800-mile deep area of mostly soft, pliable rocky material. The hard, rocky surface, the crust, can, according to the theory, slide on the softer material of the mantle causing the crust to fall over to one side while the planet’s mantle and inner core stay in place. This would not only displace the location of the surface crust relative to its present position, it would cause the magnetic poles to shift their locations as well. In other words, the North Pole would not be at the North Pole any longer. It is the same with the South Pole. The new locations of the poles would depend on the degree of the shifting of the crust.
Such an event would traumatize the entire surface of the planet as nothing else could. The entire planet would suffer unimaginable upheaval that could very well sink islands and bring down mountains. The crust, the outer shell of the planet, would undergo seismic activity humanity has never before witnessed. The very foundations that support the islands and mountains could very well give way because of the shifting of the Earth’s surface. Tectonic plates, dramatically shifting position, could cause islands to sink and mountains to crumble and fall. Sudden and cataclysmic atmospheric changes could occur as well. As the frigid Arctic and Antarctic regions rapidly switch position with temperate or maybe even equatorial or tropical regions, these regions so rapidly propelled from their normal environs from hot to cold, cold to hot, could affect the atmosphere to the point of producing giant hailstones of immense weight. Also, as the North and South Polar Regions move from cold to warm climates, the ice fields could rapidly melt and raise ocean levels drastically contributing to the sinking of the islands.
For now, the idea of Earth Crust Displacement in the Tribulation scenario, causing what this article calls The Great Global Catastrophe, is just theory. However, it provides sobering food for thought. The bottom line is this: The Holy Bible predicts that these things, somehow, in some way, will come to pass. And they, will no matter what the cause.
Since the Antichrist will declare himself God and the worship of him the only religion, it stands to reason he would attack the place that symbolizes his greatest opposition. Ten kings ruling with the Antichrist will hate the Vatican, located in Rome, and give their power and assent to the Beast to destroy it. 'Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.' Revelation 18:8. It is the Beast that will launch a nuclear strike against Rome but this destruction comes from God; it is His judgment on a false, backslidden church. The Great Harlot is the apostate church, a corrupted vision, a prostitution of the idea of the Virgin Mary whom that Catholicism has all but deified. She is called the Mother of God and the Queen of Heaven; her statue is bowed and prayed to like an idol, as well as a whole pantheon of saints.
The harlot is dressed richly; the purple and scarlet are classically royal colors and are used in many classic portraits of Mary and also of Christ. Also, portraits and statues displaying Mary and Jesus together depict a big Mary and a small, baby Jesus subtlety suggesting the supremacy of Mary and infantilising Christ. She holds a golden cup from which she drinks the blood of Saints. Such a cup is used during mass. Catholics teach that the wine in the cup becomes the actual blood of Jesus; the doctrine of Transubstantiation central to Catholic dogma. The fornication mentioned is spiritual fornication, the worshiping of Mary, the veneration of saints like a pantheon, and the replacing of faith in Christ alone for salvation with rituals and confessionals. The scripture tells how the kings of the earth shall bewail the destruction of Rome, and the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over it" 'For in one hour so great riches is come to nothing.' A good deal of scripture is dedicated to this judgment on Rome emphasizing its great significance to the Lord. The astounding impact this nuclear strike against Rome will have upon the world will cause much grief: 'And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood [anchored] afar off, And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.' Revelation 18:17-19.
Prophecy teachers have long taught that at the ending of the Tribulation the armies of the world will gather at Har Megiddo, better known as Armageddon, to fight against the Lord at his return. Zechariah 14:1-7 can serve as kind of microcosm of the last half of the Tribulation. Jerusalem is conquered but at the Lord's return he defeats the armies of the world and Jerusalem is free for his entry: 'Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal [location uncertain]: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.' Neither day or night sound like twilight.
WHY IS GOD DOING THIS?
The question may be raised why God is taking such terrible vengeance on the world. All the horror, pain, suffering and death the world will suffer is because the world has offended God and his holiness. The very essence of God's nature is absolute holiness. God is holy and he cannot be otherwise. He cannot suspend his holiness or chose not to obey his holy nature. This is something that even God himself cannot do.
So much of mankind cannot seem to grasp this simple concept. It is as if there is some expectancy for God to just let unrighteousness go unpunished, to 'let things slide' to use popular vernacular. Because of his absolute holiness, his wrath against sin and sinners is awesome. Just as now, in the Grace Dispensation, his love is so wonderful and mighty, in the Great Tribulation his wrath will also be mighty. No half measures with God. 'And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.' Jude: 14,15. God cannot and will not be mocked. There will be retribution.
He has given so very much for the redemption of man. His precious Son was sacrificed on the cross to pay for the sins of all humanity. The world has received God's word, the Holy Bible, to light the way to repentance, salvation and holiness and the joy that comes with Salvation. God has sent the Holy Spirit who is now at work in the world dealing with the hearts of people to come to repentance and find salvation and holiness through Jesus Christ. All these great gifts are given and yet the world largely rejects them. And since the world rejects the salvation that pays for its sins then it must pay for its sins itself. It is clear that the world deserves the coming wrath of the Tribulation. God is holy and cannot be anything but holy. To be saved, ask the Lord to forgive your sins, repent of them and become a follower of Jesus.
Like going through a tunnel, so it is going through the Book of Revelation. You have good light entering, but as you go deeper into it things get darker and harder to see. Then as you approach the end of the tunnel, again it is easier to see the way. The Book of Revelation starts out not too difficult to understand. But as you continue in it the imagery and somewhat confusing chronology make it more challenging to comprehend. Then toward the end, it again becomes not so difficult to understand what the scriptures mean. Here at the conclusion, Scripture is very straightforward as to how the Tribulation ends. Verses here are from Revelation chapter 19:11 through chapter 20:4. They tell the ending very effectively:
'And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.'
'And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.'
'And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.'
Satan will be set loose after the Millennial Kingdom of Christ to gather the nations against him. The nations of the world here are referred to as 'Gog and Magog' and then the Lord ends the Earth's existence. Revelation 20:7,8: 'And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.'
We first see the Tribulation Saints in chapter fifteen, those who refuse the Mark of the Beast and die as a result. To fulfill the scriptures that teach us that all the redeemed will be raised from the dead and be with Christ in the Millennial Kingdom, the Tribulation Saints of chapter fifteen must also be resurrected. Revelation does not specify exactly when the Tribulation Saints are resurrected. This is similar to the Raptured and Resurrected saints; Revelation does not specify exactly when they are Raptured and Resurrected, we just see them as such in chapter seven. Concerning the Tribulation saints, the scripture just shows them as resurrected and with Christ at the start of the Millennial reign of chapter twenty. 'And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.' Revelation 20:4. Notice the wording used; the verse says they 'lived' demonstrating that they are alive, living forevermore with Christ in new eternal bodies. Chapter twenty goes on to say this is the first resurrection showing they were indeed resurrected and participants in the First Resurrection. The First Resurrection refers to the raising of the dead in Christ. This includes the Pre-Tribulation raising of the dead in Christ instantaneously followed by the Rapture of the living saints, and seven years later the raising of the remaining dead in Christ, the Tribulation Saints, at the end of the Tribulation. It includes all who are redeemed by Christ before his return to establish his kingdom on earth. This is the completion of the First Resurrection.
WITH CHRIST IN THE
Chapter twenty goes on to say in verse 6, 'Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.' All who are redeemed and made holy by the saving grace of Jesus Christ will live and reign with Christ in the Millennial Kingdom and after that the New Heaven and the New Earth forever. Accept the salvation Christ offers; salvation from sin, death, Hell and the grave; and by his salvation gain acceptance into his kingdom and eternal life.
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A Christian since 1967, I am a Pentecostal believing in the verbal inspiration of the Holy Bible, Trinity, salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, water baptism, sanctification, holiness and the baptism of the Holy Ghost with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues as the Spirit gives utterance as well as other points fundamental to classic Pentecostal doctrine. Walter Lane