Very soon now, the Church Age will end—we don't know when—Scripture does not tell us, but it does say to watch the signs, and the signs indicate that we are VERY close to the end of the Church Age. Watch Israel!!! The Church Age began in Acts, about halfway through, as Paul began preaching the Gospel of Grace and calling out the Body of Christ. Once you've entered the Body of Christ and the Holy Spirit has placed you in the Body of Christ, you have eternal life, salvation and the hope of glory. The Body of Christ is not under the Law, NOR associated with the Nation of Israel, Judaism, or the Temple. It is a totally separate operation, the Grace of God, and is based on the finished work of the Cross, His death, His burial, and His resurrection.
During the Tribulation, the Law will again emerge because Israel will have her temple worship again. YOU CANNOT MIX LAW AND GRACE! Not in the Church Age and not in the Tribulation. They cannot be mixed. The Church is completely separate from any dealings God has with Israel. So when the Church Age is finished, it will be taken out of the way, and God will then finish what He started with the Israel.
Israel has always been the world's greatest concern for peace—not other countries, which also have need, but Israel only. It has been a "stone of stumbling" to every president, at least since Kennedy to bring peace to Israel. But no one will be able to do that until the Antichrist comes in. He will bring a seven-year peace treaty (which he breaks halfway through), and his signing of it will begin, again, God's work with Israel.
Out of the "two witness" will come the 144,000 who will be sealed and commissioned by God. The Russian invasion of Israel, will begin the various judgments of God. At the mid-point, the Antichrist defiles the temple and halts the temple worship. In fact, he will demand that he be worshipped as God, and then the final 3 ½ years. And that's where we begin this study.
We are at the mid-point now, and this is what follows:
Re 8:1 "And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven (absolute silence because of the awful things about to take place on earth) about the space of half an hour."
All heavenly creatures are totally aware of the horrors about to begin.
Re 8:2 "And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets."
The trumpets will announce the coming event:
Re 8:3, 4 "And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer itr with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand."
The purpose of incense was to give a sweet aroma, a holiness of worship and righteousness. However, God's sweetest aroma is the prayer's of the saints. Prayer is exceedingly important to Him. He wants our prayers, we are commanded to pray. And so now, we have the beginnings of the trumpet judgments.
Re 8:5 "And 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."
When you read of thunderings and lightnings and voices, remember that back in Exodus, God came down on Mount Sinai. Thunderings and lightnings indicated the voice of God. Only now, of course, it is on a much grander scale.
Re 8:6,7 "And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up."
If you were to go back to Exodus right now, you'd find that they had the very same plagues then: fire running along the ground and hail. Although the events will bring much death and destruction, there will also be a lot of psychological warfare. All these will happen one right after another, and many people will be hopelessly devastated.
Re 8:8 "And the second angel sounded (this will probably be a matter of days and weeks rather than hours) and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;"
Prophecy tells us that there will be great disturbances in the cosmos, probably, for one, meteors hitting the earth, and this particular one could be landing in the ocean, "and the third part of the sea became blood."
Re 8:9 "And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed."
It will probably be where there are shipping lanes, and lots of ships will be destroyed.
Re 8:10 "And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;"
This is talking about attacking the fresh water. Remember in Egypt when Moses caused the river Nile to turn to blood? It was their main source of drinking water. So they (the Egyptians) hurriedly dug new wells, but God then even affected the well water. God will always remain one step ahead.
Re 8:11 "And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter,"
This is just speculation and may not have any bearing on the verse, but what does Chernobyl (the nuclear disaster in Russia) mean? Wormwood! So it could possibly be an indication of things that may be used by God, to bring these things to pass.
Re 8:12,13 "And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise. And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, 'Woe, Woe, Woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!'"
Many, many men and creatures have already been destroyed, all under the wrath of God. The angel still says, It's nothing compared to what is still in the future for the inhabitants of the earth.
Re 9:1 "And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth (Now, notice in the next statement that this "star" is given a pronoun—"him". It doesn't say which angel it is, but it's a persnality of some sort—not just a body falling from outer space.) "and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit," ("bottomless pit is not the same as Hell or the lake of fire. It's a unique place that God has reserved).
Re 9:2,3 "And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power."
The sting of a scorpion lasts for some time. They will have a psychological effect on humanity by their appearance and their ability to sting.
Re 9:4 "And it was commanded them (God has complete control of them. This is His wrath being poured out on all those who rejected Him. Although this may seem unfair, soon I'll show you where everything He does is fair and just) "that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads." Who are they? The 144,000.
Re 7:3 "Saying, hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of God in their foreheads."
Re 9:5 "And to them (the locusts) it was given that they should not kill them, but that they (mankind) should be tormented five months;"
Now you ask, "How can a God of love do this to his creation, man? Okay, for thousands of years, God has been Gracious, Loving, Kind, and Patient. In Ps 2, He comes to that period where He finally runs out of patience, and we will see his wrath and vexation. Look around you. Evil has risen sharply. Abortions, persecutions of Christians, crime, etc. etc. The whole fabric of our society, and governments, has become rotten. God's wrath WILL be fair and just.
Re 9:5 – 7 "…and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days (here we're in the last half of the Tribulation now, remember) shall seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them." (Suicide will be impossible) "And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle;"
To get an idea of what they looked like, if you've ever looked closely at a grasshopper, you'll see that their head resembles a horses head. In Germany they have a species of grasshopper that is called the Horseheaded Locust. Something for thought. Without a doubt, they will be psychologically frightening, thereby attacking man mentally, also.
Re 9:3, 9 "And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle."
America has never been attacked by locusts, but in the Middle East, they can come up all of a sudden, with a great roaring sound, and literally cloud the sun. Here, they will be so numerous and huge that the sound of their wings will sound like many chariots.
Re 9:10 "And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails, and their power was to hurt men five months."
Re 9:11 "And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon."
These names mean the "Destroyer." It is unsure whether this angel is Satan, but probably is not. More likely, it is one of Satan's lieutenants.
Re 9:12 "One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter."
There are still two-thirds left.
Re 9:13,14 "And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God. Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, 'Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.'"
Back in Genesis, Chap 11, the Tower of Babel, is where all pagan religions were instituted. The Tower of Babel is located on the Euphrates River. Apparently, God scattered the human race, maybe even later after Babylon fell to the Medes and Persians; and some of the high priests of these pagan religions fled. It is believed that somewhere back there, God confined four of these powerful demonic beings who had been under Satan's rule, and they were bound in the area of the Euphrates River. Another thing about the Euphrates is that it is the boundary between East and West. East of the Euphrates has always been the predominantly pagan, idolatrous religion. West of the Euphrates you have religions like Judaism, Mohammedism, and Christianity. So the Euphrates River is sort of a dividing line, and the four angels are confined in that boundary area.
Re 9:15 "And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men."
What this is saying is that God has kept them waiting for a particular hour, of a particular day, of a particular month.
Regarding God's meticulousness in his timing about how the temple, which was built by Solomon, and was destroyed on the same day and month (naturally, a different year, though) by the Babylonians.
So, now the four angels are released. Their role was to slay the third part of men. That will be just a drop in the bucket compared to all the millions and millions of military and civilians who were killed in WWII. Today we have 5 ½ billion PLUS on the earth. And people today just go on about their daily lives, not giving any heed whatsoever to the coming of these events.
It's coming, people, it IS coming!
Re 9:16 "And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them."
That amounts to 200,000,000. There is only one power on earth that brags about being able to put 200 million men on the field of battle, and that is China. It is quite possible that this is who is referred to here. That this 200 million man army will be the Chinese, along with other Orientals. And they will make their way westward toward the Middle East. Also, we will be in a period of time when God is again doing the supernatural, and He will be causing this 200 million man army to move westward. It will probably be like Sherman's march to the sea in the Civil War: He destroyed everything in their path. The (the Chinese) will murder, mutilate and ravage everything in their way as they move toward the Middle East. There is still the one natural barrier—the Euphrates River. So God will dry up the Euphrates River (the various bridges couldn't move that many men across), so they can simply walk across it.
Re 9: 17 "And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone."
Likely, this is ancient language for tanks, and all of their fire power—today's modern warfare. Many will be killed.
Re 9:18 "By these three (fire, smoke and brimstone) was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths."
Remember, some things are taken scripturally, while other times it's spirititual, or even logical. China alone has a population which is ¼ of the population of the world. India has masses and millions; Japan, also, has millions. So if this great army is killing as they go, you can easily see where a third of mankind can be killed.
Re 9: 19 "for their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt."
Again, this language refers to modern warfare.
Re 9:20 "And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plahues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:"
Here again, this is unique to the Orient. You have more idol worshippers in the Orient today than any other place on earth. All the eastern areas are still under idolatry.
Re 9: 21 "Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts."
Catch the word sorceries, from the Greek word Pharmakeia—Pharmacy. The main role of the pharmacy is Drugs. Re-read the verse in that light.
So you have 'the drug culture' in that verse, and wherever you have drugs, you also have murder and theft, because they have to rob and steal in order to support their habit. Morality means nothing to anyone involved in that type of wicked culture—a good example: our last president. Often the drug culture and demons go hand in hand. They both muddle the mind, and its into our society today. It will be even worse at that time.
Now to Chapter 11 for the seventh trumpet.
Re 11:15 "And the seventh angel sounded: and there were great voices in heaven, saying, 'The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.'"
Christ is going to reign over the kingdoms of this world.
As you come out of the Tribulation it is the paying off the curse; it's going to deliver the world from the curse. The earth is going to revert back as it was in the Garden of Eden.
In comes the Kingdom.
Ma 4:8 "Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them."—The Temptation.
We know that Satan is powerful and cunning, but what's hard to understand is, how can he be so ignorant as to think he can overcome Christ Jesus??? He'll continue to try, though, until he is cast into the lake of fire. Doesn't he know that Christ is going to have all those kingdoms??? When Christ sets up His Kingdom, His power is going to be absolute and total and it will be glorious.
Re 11:15 "…The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever."
I think, after the thousand years millennial reign is over, it too may be destroyed by fire. And then, according to Re 20 and 21, we'll have a New Heaven and a New Earth. The New Earth being the abode of those who have believed unto eternal life. Perhaps just an extension of the Kingdom economy; an earth of tremendous production and activity. When His Kingdom comes and He rules and reigns, it will be limited to the thousand years, but it will be interrupted for a little while when the great White Throne Judgment for the lost is conducted. And then we will go into the eternal, probably based on the same pattern.
Re 11:16, 17 "And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, 'We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and aart to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.'"
Re 11:18 "And the nations were angry (in their rebellion), and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead (spiritually dead), that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them, which destroy the earth."
In other words, God is going to deal with a rebellious humanity.
Re 11:19 "And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament (or covenant): and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail."
Now the elders are saying that God is over all, and He will destroy those who have rebelled against Him. We're nearing the close of the seven-year Tribulation period.
Back in Exodus 25, Moses has just brought the children of Israel out of Egypt and they're gathered around Mount Sinai. They will be getting instructions from Him to build their little place of worship—the tabernacle:
Ex 25:8,9 "And let them (the children of Israel) make me a sancturary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I shew thee, after (or, according to) the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it."
Knowing then, that a pattern is always from an original, the original must be in heaven.
Hebrews 9:11 "But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building (or creation);",
This tabernacle not built with human hands, is in heaven.
Re 11:19 "And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament (or covenant): and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail."
As God continues His wrath on mankind, that's the end of the seven trumpets. All seven have been unfolded, now, since the mid-point of the Tribulation. We have, maybe, a year left til the very end of the Tribulation.
Now to Revelation 15, and the Bowl Judgments.
The Judgments will be even more severe during this period.
Re 15:1 "And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues (it's winding down now); for in them is filled up (consummated, or finished) the wrath of God."
"The wrath of God" is constantly emphasized. This is total WRATH—NO LOVE here. It is so comforting to know that believers, the Church, won't be here. We will be taken somewhere around the beginning, when the Antichrist comes to power. God tells us that we are saved FROMHis wrath—not to it, as the unbelievers are. But these should encourage believers to ever more urgently, take the message of the Gospel to the lost, that they will come to know our Christ Jesus and be saved from these horrible, Judgments and the Lake of Fire. There will be no end for those in the Lake of Fire. God's offer of Salvation is still good, BUT NOT FOR MUCH LONGER…and it's up to us to let people know.
Re 15:2 "And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast (these are the martyred, Tribulation saints who are already with the Lord), and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God."
Well, when we get there, we may do a little strumming, but that'll only be a very small part of what we will all have to do.
Re 15:3 "And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and th song of the Lamb,"
Two separate songs. Turn back to Ex 15, remembering that Israel has just come through the Red Sea. Looking back, they saw the residue of all the floating Egyptian horsemen, chariots and everything else. Not a very pretty picture, but Israel could look back over the years of their slavery and mistreatment and suffering, and then see what happened to their enemies—they could surely sing about it.
This is such a repeat of the Exodus experience—dealing with Pharaoh and the plagues, only this is on a much grander and greater scale. So here is another parallel: the Tribulation saints, removed from their suffering and in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ. They, too, will sing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb.
Ex 15:1 "Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, 'I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.'"
Ex 15:2-4 "The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation: my father's God, and I will exalt him. The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name. Pharaoh's chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red Sea."
This is only a part of the song of Moses.
Ex 15:11-13 "Who is like unto thee, O LORD, aomong the gods? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? Thou stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them. Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation."
They are singing that song of deliverance of redemption—the song of Moses.
Now the song of David, the chapter of the Crucifixion and Resurrection:
Ps 22:22,23 "I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him: and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel."
Ps 86:8 "Among the gods (of this world) there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works."
Ps 86:9 "All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee…"
This song is so appropriate for those in the very throne room of heaven, coming out of the horrible and terrifying Tribulation experience.
This song is sung in Revelation just before the Lord returns and sets up His Kingdom.
Ps 86:9-13 "…O Lord: and shall glorify thy name. For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone. Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell,"
Notice the praise and exaltation of that song.
Re 15:3 "And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, 'Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways (God is not being unfair—remember?), thou King of saints.'"
Re 15:4 "Who shall fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? For thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee (it hasn't happened yet, but it will!): for thy judgments are made manifest."
Re 15:5 "And after that I (John) looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:"
This happened back in Chapter 11.
Re 15:6 "And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues (now here come the final bowl judgments), clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts gorded with golden girdles."
Re 15:7 "And one of the four beasts (or creatures—they are angelic beings) gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials (bowls) full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever."
This is a symbolic picture of how this wrath is poured out.
Re 15:8 "And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled."
They are coming one after another now, each being more severe than the previous one, leading up to the very battle of Armageddon, and the bring of the nations to the Middle East.
Re 16:1,2 "And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go you ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. And the first (angel) went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore (boils—remember Egypt?) upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image."
Remember the Mark of the Beast—people cannot buy or sell or do any kind of business unless they have the mark in their right hand or forehead. So almost the whole world will come under this plague of miserable boils.
Re 16:3 "And the second angel poured out his vial (bowl) upon the sea (possibly the oceans, as we know them); and it became as (likened unto) the blood of a dead man; and every living soul (creatures and fish) died in the sea."
Imagine what the shores and the ocean will be like. Imagine the pollution it will cause. We've never seen the likes of what this will be.
Re 16:5,6 "And I heard the angel of the waters say, 'Thou art righteous, O Lord (even the angels agree that God is righteous and that people are getting what they deserve), which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.'" (Now, here the reason) "For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy."
During the 1,000 years of the Dark Ages, that period before the reformation, it is estimated that about 50 million Christians were put to death. Many were horrible deaths, yet they gladly died for their faith. Now, during the 70+ years that communism has reigned and ruled Russia, another 50 million or so people were put to death. BY THEIR OWN GOVERNMENT! Yes, indeed, they have shed the blood of the saints. And there will be many, many more.
Re 16:7 "And I heard another out of the altar say, 'Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments."
The first thing one may think is, God isn't being fair. Why do we have to come up under all these terible cataclysmic events? Well, it's this generation that is just simply bringing to a head EVERYTHING that the previous generations have been sowing the seed of. Remember in the Ten Commandments where God says, "And I will visit down to the third and fourth generation." That's the way He's always done things. It fits with all the rest of the OT.
Is 13:9 "Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, (this is about 700 years before Christ), to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it."
Is 13:10, 11 "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 cuase the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible."
And in another place, the earth is moved in and out of it's orbit. (I recently read an email where scientist were talking about moving the earth out of it's orbit). Earlier statements by some scientists said that if the earth were tilted just two degrees off of what is normal, it would either burn up with heat, or freeze up with cold. Notice all the bazarre weather we are having (HAARP and BLUE BEAM).
Re 16:10 "And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast (the Antichrist who is in the city of Jerusalem); and his kingdom (world-wide) was full of darkness (and this also happened in Ecypt); and they gnawed their tongues for pain,"
Re 16:11,12 "And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds. And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up (why?), that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared."
The Euphrates will be as dry as a bone and the last obstacle will be removed so that the 200 million-man army will be able to cross it to get to Jerusalem.
Now after God dries up the Euphrates so that the army can cross it to get to the Middle East from the Far East, John says, in vs 13
Re 16:13 "And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth (communications) of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet."
Satan, the indweller of the Antichrist, will make contact with all the national leaders still in place. He will ask for their armies to come to the Middle East to get rid of the real problem of mankind, the Jew. This final gathering of nations is Armageddon, as Satan attempts once and for all to annihilate the Jewish people. BUT here's where Christ Jesus steps in.
Re 16:14 "For they are the spirits of devils, workign miracles, which go forht unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty."
When President Bush, Sr put together the nations in Desert Storm, he'd just pick up the phone and call the leaders of the various nations. Using phone calls only, he was literally convincing the leaders that they should unify against Iraq. That was just a small preview of what we see here.
Re 16:15, 16 "Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame."
The Lord is reminding us that it is time for His appearance, the Second Coming, but first…
"And he gathered them together (our Sovereign God working through the mindset of the Antichrist, who calls all the nations to come to Jerusalem) in a place called in a place called in the Hebrew tongue, Armageddon." (from which comes the word Megiddo, and another word is Esdraelon.)
If you were to go to Israel, you would see that as one of the tourist attractions. You'd see the archaeological digs of the ancient city of Megiddo. Standing on the hills of Megiddo, among all the ruins, you can look off to the northeast, and there is that lovely flat valley. Israel has many, many mountains with these valley areas between the mountain ranges. Now picture this: when God brings the armies of the world to Israel, they will naturally camp on the valley floors—this area is between Sharon and Esdraelon. Many battles have already been fought here, so he will bring the nations of the world to the Middle East. He will cause the generals to pack their troops into these valleys, beyond description. They will be like sardines in a can because the Sovereign God is forcing the issue. Here's a symbolic picture of all of this:
Re 14:14-16 "And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle."
(I feel this is an allusion to Christ. He is the One who is about to reap this harvest.)
"And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, 'Thrust in thy sickle (they used to use the sicle to harvest grain), and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.'"
(Remember the communication is between he angel and Christ Jesus)
"And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped."
(Chapter 16 shows the call going to all nations to come to the Middle East. That's the reaping our Sovereign God is bringing about.)
Re 14:18 "And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the cluster of the vine of the earth: for her grapes are fully ripe."
(Greek, "fully" means 'over-ripe'. It's past harvest time. More symbolism: The grapes were gathered and put into a wine vat, where thy could be crushed; the juice taken out of them and made into wine. The juice was squeezed out of the grapes by walking on them in the wine vat. They would put two or three people in a vat and they would walk until all the juice would run out. That's the allusion here: this is exactly what God is doing with the peoples of the world.
Here's another beautiful analogy from Isaiah:
Isaiah 63:1,2 "Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? This that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save."
(He's referring to Christ Jesus. This is a picture of His returning and bringing forth judgment upon these gathering armies.
"Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat."
Don't lose that analogy. The grape harvest was put in the wine vat, and it was trampled by individuals. Naturally, the grape juice would spurt and juice would get all over them. The prophet sees Christ Jesus also covered with this red apparel. He says, "Why are you this way?" Christ answers,
"I have trodden the winepress alone…"
(in Re 5, God the Father had a scroll which no one was worthy to open except the Son of God, so He takes it. Here, it comes to fruition. I alone was worthy, and no one else was worthy of bringing on this particular judgment)
"…and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood (not Jesus' blood) shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment."
..as He more or less tramples the people in the wine vat.
Vs 4 "For the day of vengeance is in mine heart (This is the God of WRATH now, not the God of Grace.) and the year of my redeemed is come."
Now hold it all together…
Re 19:11 "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True (this is JESUS CHRIST), and in righteousness he doth judge and make war."
It is Military people that Christ has in the wine vat—the armies of the world that have gathered together against Israel.
Re 19:12-14 "His eyes were as (not flames, but AS a flame) a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written that no man knew, but he himself." Now, here it is, and it is in complete accord with the Book of Isaiah"
"And the armies which were in heaven (this is the saints, which have been with their Christ all during these 7 years, and who return with Him at the Second Coming—which this is) followd him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean."
(See also vs 8, this chap)
Re 19:15 "And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword (the sword is the Word of God, which is how He will destroy them—the spoken word) "and he shall rule them (nations/beleivers only) with a rod of iron (benevolence—absolute rule) "and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God." (The winepress being the valleys of Israel where all the millions of troops will be packed, and He will destroy them with one fell swoop).
Re 19:16 "And He hath on His vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."
Now back to the last bowl judgment…
Re 16: 17, 18 "And the seventh angel ( now we're right up to the end of the Tribulation) poured out his vial (bowl) into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, 'IT IS DONE'.' And there were voices, and thunders and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty and earthquake, and so great."
I believe this one will be felt over the whole planet, however, the epitome of it all will be in Jerusalem, in the area of Israel.
Re 16: 19 "And the great city (Jerusalem) was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath."
The Babylon in Revelation is NOT the ancient city, because the OT says it will never be rebuilt. The Babylon of Revelation is the WHOLE WORLD-WIDE SYSTEM, as we see it coming together today, so all the cities of the world will fall into nothingness in ONE HOUR by the SPOKEN WORD OF GOD.
Re 16:20, 21 "And every island fled away and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent (100 pounds): and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great."
Let's finish with the analogy of the "winepress" in Revelation 14:
Re 14:20 "And the winepress was trodden, without the city (the valleys are all to the north of Jerusalem), and blood came out of the winepress (the valleys), even unto the horse bridles (river of water, and blood three to four feet deep), by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs (about 180 miles)."
As the hail, that crushed these millions of troops, begins to melt in that Middle Eastern heat, you're going to have a literal river of blood flowing as deep as a horse's bridle.
Do you have family and friends who don't know Jesus? Do you see the lost people all around you? You MUST tell them about Jesus and how they can avoid having to face all of these terrible judgments, followed by the Lake of Fire.
How will you stand before Jesus Christ, our King, and explain that you could have, but you didn't…..?