Certain critical events shall transpire during the second half of the 70th seven of Daniel. The first half of relative peace for Israel is over. Israel, her capital city Jerusalem and the rebuilt third temple shall be the epicentre of these critical events. The antiMessiah has relocated his headquarters to Jerusalem. His seat of government is the Temple Mount and the rebuilt third temple itself, which he has insolently desecrated. Israel is now, not only the geographical centre of the world but its political centre also. These events shall occur worldwide but the land of Israel shall bear the brunt of the assault of the Dragon-Beast on earth.
(1) The Great Tribulation: The Fourth Seal.
The great tribulation shall begin precisely in the middle of the 70th seven, when the Antichrist relocates his headquarters to Jerusalem, makes his debut, and desecrates the rebuilt Jewish temple, on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, unveils himself as a dead man come back to life at the same venue, deifies himself and demands worship of all mortals. Like his prefigure, the Greek king of Syria, Antiochus theos Epiphanes, he shall desire to assimilate all peoples. Every citizen of his kingdom must abandon his own God or gods, culture and custom, worship him as God and accept his own prescribed way of life. To comply every citizen shall be required to accept the mark of the beast, a social security number of 18 digits computer bar code, with other biometric data specific to the individual, implanted in ones forehead or right or left arm. Those who are branded or chipped can buy and sell, and move around very freely. Those who fail to capitulate will incur the wrath of Satan. They shall not be able to buy and sell, nor engage in other transactions.
It is not far fetched to imagine a scenario where a group of believers are passing three a checkpoint manned by armed autonomous machines and killer robots, they get scanned (like items on the checkout table at the mall or supermarket) and it is discovered they do not have the requisite chip or identifier that marks them out as worshippers of the Beast; such people could be killed on the spot. This is one of the reasons why Scriptures alludes to people hiding in strange and diverse places.
Our brother Kola Arimoro has written: “If you look at the wording of Rev 13 it does imply an element of coercion or force; the ultimate aim being to worship the Beast. There is the building of the image – almost like an AI-powered-robot type of thing; he wants people to worship it – those that refuse to do so will be killed. He then takes it a step further and insists that everyone get a mark in their right hand or forehead (maybe some form of tattoo or implantable chip like RFID etc) as a precondition to being able to buy anything or sell anything. That mark is an obvious sign of obeisance to the Beast – and as we know from the Bible, anyone who toes that line is forever doomed.
This ‘charismatic’ individual will not only perform lying wonders but he will have an element of loquaciousness and will compel people to take the mark if they want to buy or sell. It’s almost like an iron hand in a velvet glove sort of scenario.
The closest one can see in today’s world would be the sort of system the Chinese have in place. They demand absolute loyalty to the Party and its leadership – and the various methods of compulsion to achieve this aim.
That is definitely not to say though that there are elements of technology (e.g., Artificial Intelligence, robotics, cashless payments, facial recognition etc) in use today that could be turned to this nefarious purpose so one must always watch and pray that one does not end up being one of those people who plays around on the slippery edges of the bank and then falls in.
For instance – with the so called health protocols in place today particularly with regards to social and physical distancing and contact tracking; one can easily imagine a quick jump to spying and snitching on one’s own neighbours and family. First you introduce that element of distrust, then separation – then the next logical step is spying on others and reporting them to the authorities. It’s easy to turn on people when you have created a ‘barrier’ between you and them etc. This kind of mindset will no doubt prevail when that man of sin is revealed.”
The antiChrist has stockpiled food, medicines and other supplies. There are wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in diverse places. It will be therefore very difficult to procure food. There is an army of enforcer of the decree of the antiMessiah. There are prying eyes of robotic images everywhere equipped with AI to identify nonconformists, and to cause them to be killed. The fabrics of the family have been destroyed, and societal norms rubbished. The state is now all in all. There is loss of parental authority, and youth rebellion. The father is against the son, and the son against the father. The mother is against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother. The mother-in-law is against the daughter-in-law, and vice versa. Members of the same family are informants for the government against one another. A man’s foes are members of his households. There are secrets agents of the government, some of them posing as believers in Christ. There are false prophets, false teachers, and false messiahs, all vying for ones attention. The earth shall be in utter chaotic confusion.
There is Internet of everything. There is electronic monitoring of everything. Every movement, every transaction, is monitored. There will be no where to hide. Google has mapped out the whole world including ocean floors. Those who have not prepared adequately ahead of time could die of starvation or in the process of trying to procure food for themselves and their loved ones. If those days were not cut short, the antiMessiah and his army of enforcers shall ferret out and liquidate all those who fail to capitulate to his authority. These shall be mainly Jews and christians, and a few nonconformist nuts.
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 him over the forth part of the Earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth(Rev.6:7,8).
This is the fourth seal which when broken results in the unleashing of Death and Hell over the earth. The means by which they kill are sword, starvation and the beast of the Earth. Sword and starvation are very clear. Starvation is death by hunger which may be very agonizing. Anyone who have been starved for significant length of time, knows that death by starvation is very agonizing. Sword is any instrument used in war. The beast of the earth are the enlivened robotic images of the Beast-antiChrist equipped with Artificial Intelligence(AI), to identify and liquidate those who are not beast-marked. They are the robocops of the antiMessiah. Anyone who does not have the mark of the beast, when found out shall be coerced into compliance or be killed on refusal to comply. But before all these(great earthquakes in diverse places and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heavens), they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake. And it shall turn to you for a testimony. Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what you shall answer: “for I(Jesus) will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. And you shall be betrayed by both parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks and friends, and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And you shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But there shall not an hair of head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls”(Luk. 21:12-19). It shall be like in the communist countries at the height of the Cold War. False brethren betraying other brethren. Family members shall be in enmity with one another. A man’s goes shall be those of his own household. C’est bien triste.
Some religionists shall compromise. Even some synagogues shall enforce the will of the antiMessiah. Believers in Jesus the Christ shall be hated of all nations for “My name’s sake.” The great tribulation shall begin when Jerusalem is sorrounded by armies. And when he shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is near(Luk.21:20). Then it shall no longer be wise for those in the countryside to enter Jerusalem. Those who are in the midst of it should depart out, and those in Judaea should flee to the mountains. These are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people(Luk.21:21-23).
As we pointed out earlier, the great tribulation shall be worst in the land of Israel and its capital city Jerusalem: for that shall be the headquarters of the antiMessiah, the epicentre of the great tribulation. The word translated distress here is the same Greek word translated tribulation or persecution elsewhere. It is thlipsis. It means trouble, distress, persecution, and tribulation. There shall be great distress in the land of Israel, and all over the Earth wherever the antiMessiah has control, and in nations allied to him and his beast empire confederation. “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled”(Luk.21:24). The times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled at Armageddon when the armies of the Gentiles who gathered against Jerusalem are annihilated by Christ and His heavenly hosts. The fullness of the Gentiles occurs at the rapture, and then all Israel shall be saved(Rom.11:25,26).
The dead christian shall comply. The compromising christian shall go through this horrible persecution unprepared, but shall not comply. Most of the christians that shall be killed shall be compromising ones who have not adequately prepared for the great tribulation ahead of time. The faithful and uncompromising Christian shall be protected from within the sphere of this persecution because he has heeded God’s instructions concerning perseverance(Rev.3:10). Amongst the faithful and uncompromising Christians, are those who not only will not take the mark of the Beast, but shall go about persuading others, at great risks to themselves, both believers and unbelievers not to take the mark of the beast and not to worship the Dragon-Beast. The announcement made by the horizontal flying angel in the heavens, do not worship the beast, and do not take his mark, shall be chorused by these faithful and uncompromising believers on Earth, despite the persecution going on Earth, and at the expense of their lives. This is what it means to “overcome him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death”(Rev.12:11). In other words, they were willing to die for what they believe, that is, their faith in Christ.The antiMessiah shall react with indignation at their behavior. He shall execute them by beheading them. These martyrs shall be resurrected specially on the first of the millennium, to reign with Christ a thousand years(Rev.20:4).
( 2) Martyrs Under The Altar: The Fifth Seal.
The killings going on here on Earth is reflected in heaven by the arrival of the souls of the martyred saints. They are disembodied souls; they have no physical bodies. The rapture has not yet taken place yet. So, they have not yet received their eternal immortal resurrection bodies. They are kept under the altar of incense in the temple in heaven. Their souls cry out to God for vengeance. God affirmed, but they have to wait until the full complement of believers to be martyred is reached. There is a quota of believers to be martyred. It is a secret number known only to God: it is not revealed to us. The secret things are for God, but the things which are revealed are for us and our children; to the intent that we keep the words of this instruction(Deut.29:29). The joy of the saints here on Earth where the killings are going on is that, “if anyone is destined to be killed with the sword, with the sword, the one shall be killed; if anyone is destined to go into captivity, into captivity, the one shall go”(Rev.13:10). When that quota is complete, God will put a stop to the killings by the antiMessiah and his ilk, cronies and acolytes with celestial disturbances. “And when He 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? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, unto their fellowservants also and their brethren, should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled”(Rev.6:9-11). They were given white robes. White robes signal the righteousness of the saints. They have been washed with the blood of the Lamb. Their souls are kept under the altar of incense in heaven, awaiting the resurrection of the saints, when they shall receive their eternal immortal resurrection bodies as the rapture of the saints.
Christ and the Old Testament saints have received their eternal immortal resurrection bodies at the resurrection of Christ(Matt.27:52 ). When Christ rose from the dead, He took with Him the OT saints who were kept in OT paradise which was part of the underworld of the dead. It was called Abraham’s bosom(Luk.16:22). Jesus speaking about the resurrection of the OT saints, said, Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad(Jon.8:56). The NT paradise is in heaven. When NT saints depart this world, they go straight to the NT paradise in heaven. The OT paradise is now empty or nonexistent.
The Jehoshaphat Campaign.
Just before the Day of the Lord begins, the Antimessiah and the nations surrounding Israel which are allied to him shall carry out another military campaign to destroy all in the land of Israel who do not have the mark of the beast. So the great tribulation which began with the Jerusalem campaign in which Jerusalem was surrounded by the armies of the Beast, shall end with another campaign carried out in the vicinity of Jerusalem also to ferret out and destroyed the remnants of Israel who had repudiated the authority of the antiMessiah by refusal to be chipped or branded with his mark. These men, women and children are hiding in cellars, basement, underground bunkers and in sewers. This campaign is called the Jehoshaphat Campaign. It is the gathering of the gentile nations that surround Israel which are part of the ten nation confederation of the antiMessiah or which are not part of it but allied to the antiMessiah in preparation for a second military assault on Jerusalem.
The Lord Himself will draw these nations into the valley of Jehoshaphat prior to the beginning of the Day of the Lord. For behold in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and of Jerusalem, I will gather all nations, and I will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and I will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land(Joel 3:1,2). The intention of these nations would be to destroy the nation of Israel totally, but God would gather them there to judge them instead. “For 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”(Zechariah.14:1,2). This will be very horrible. One half of the Jewish residents of Jerusalem shall be taken captive. The houses will be destroyed and the women raped. The residue of the Jewish residents who will not be cut off are those who are beast-marked. They are branded with the mark of the beast. Therefore they are free to reside in the city, and by and sell without any molestations by the agents of the antiMessiah. However, they shall face the wrath of God in the Day of the Lord. “Proclaim ye amongst the Gentiles; prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spares: let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves, and come all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O Lord. Let the heathen be awakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there I will sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near on the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heaven and earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more”(Joel 3:9-17). It is obvious here that this campaign shall begin before the Day of the Lord, when the sun, moon and stars shall be darkened. But God shall interrupt this destruction by the antiChrist and the nations surrounding Israel with cosmic and celestial disturbances. A substantial number of these armies shall be immediately destroyed by the cosmic and celestial disturbances. However, some remnants of them shall survive the initial onslaught of the wrath of God, but shall finally be annihilated at Armageddon.
There are some biblical scholars that teach that this is the battle of Armageddon. The reference to the sickle and the harvest in verse 13, indicate that it is part of the wrath of God. But is also obvious that the gathering of the Gentiles for this battles occurs under the fourth seal of Rev.6. Remember that the fifth seal is a heavenly scene, reflecting the killings here on Earth during the fourth seal, the great tribulation. This second invasion of Jerusalem by the armies of the Dragon-Beast and the surrounding allied nations shall be the final satanic act during the great tribulation before God amputates it with cosmic disturbances. With the cosmic and celestial disturbances, these armies are incapacitated, and shall will finally be totally annihilated at Armageddon a few months later. The fact that this battle occurs just before the Day of the Lord, distinguishes it from the Jerusalem campaign which occurs at the beginning of the great tribulation in the middle of the 70th seven of Daniel, and the battle of Armageddon that occurs 30 days after the end of the 70th seven of Daniel. The Jehoshaphat campaign is a precursor to the Day of the Lord and the return of Christ. The campaign, as we have seen will involve the Gentiles nations that surround Israel(Joel 3:11,12; Zech.12:6).
It is likely that these surrounding nations are the seven secondary nations of the ten nation confederation formed by the antiChrist. But they will also include other nations which are not part of the ten nation confederation which are allied to the antiMessiah. The three nation power base coalition would have been already in Jerusalem by virtue of the Jerusalem campaign which occurred at the midpoint of the 70th seven, at the beginning of the great tribulation. The seven secondary nations of the ten nation confederation form a complete circle around Israel. Whoever these nations would be, Joel prophesied that God would gather these nations together in the valley of Jehoshaphat just before the Day of the Lord. Therefore this campaign will occur sometime during the second half of the 70th seven of Daniel, just before God cuts short the great tribulation by the antiChrist by the Day of the Lord’s wrath. Although the Scriptures did not name them, but gave us a description of them. They are the nations that surround Israel geographically.
Most biblical scholars believe the valley of Jehoshaphat is the Kidron valley which is in the east of Jerusalem. Jehoshaphat means Jehovah(Yahweh) judges which is an apt description. There is no valley in the OT called the Valley of Jehoshaphat. It may be that Jehoshaphat was referring to the valley of Beracah located about six miles(approximately 10 km) southwest of Bethlehem where King Jehoshaphat defeated the coalition forces of Moab, Ammon, and Edom(2 Chron.20:20-26). Whatever the exact location of this campaign, the Almighty God of Israel will defeat the arrogant, ungodly and insolent nations. The prophet Zechariah graphically portrayed the same end time scenario. “In that day, saith the Lord, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open my eyes upon the house of Judah, and I will smite every horse of the people with blindness. And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the Lord of hosts their God. In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in sheaf; and they shall devour the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again on her own place, even in Jerusalem”(Zech.12:4-6).
The defeat of these armies by God in the valley of Jehoshaphat shall enable the clans of Judah to mount a counter offensive against the antiChrist and his allies. It is important to remember that the Jehoshaphat campaign by the antiChrist will begin shortly before the Day of the Lord is unleashed upon the Earth. The back to back sign of the end of the age, and the sign of Christ’s coming, cannot occur until the Jehoshaphat campaign has been initiated against Israel and her holy city Jerusalem. It is only after these crucial events that the return of the Lord Jesus the Christ shall be imminent. Our Lord addressing His disciples on the end time scenario, said, “the days will come(during the great tribulation) when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son Of Man, and ye shall not see it. And they shall say to you, see here; or, see there: go not after them nor follow them. For as the lightening, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall the Son Of Man be in His day”(Luk.17:22-24). Christ continued to admonish His disciples to pray and have faith in God, and not to faint, telling them the parable of the unjust judge. If the unjust judge grants the importunate widow legal redress against her oppressors so as not to be wearied by her continual coming, shall not God, the righteous judge of the universe grant justice to His elect, who cry to Him, day and night? I tell you, He will grant them justice speedily. However, when the Son Of Man cometh, will He find faith on Earth?(Luk.18:1-8). Therefore we conclude, that the return of the Lord, initiated by the sign of the end of the age, cannot be imminent until the persecution of the elect begins during the great tribulation by the antiMessiah, after the beginning of the Jehoshaphat campaign. It is only after then shall we look for the sign of the coming of the Son Of Man, which is the Shekinah in the heaven.
(3) The Cosmic Disturbances: The Sixth Seal.
On completion of the full quota of the saints to be martyred, God Almighty cuts short the persecution of the saints with cosmic disturbances. And “I beheld when He had broken the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell unto the Earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when it is shaken of mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places”(Rev.6:12-14).
There will be total eclipse of the sun and the moon. The sun shall be darkened, and the moon will not give its light. Therefore the Earth shall be very dark and cold; in fact frozen. There will be thunderstorms and hailstorms. Roads will be blocked, communications disrupted. Emergency services zeroed. There will be total power failure. Folks will be trapped in their houses, unable to get out. Delivery services will fail. The monitoring systems of the Beast Empire, and those of other nations will fail. People will be concerned with personal safety, rather than ferreting out and killing those who do not have the mark of the beast. The saints who are alive and remain, shall know they are about to be delivered. The Day of Christ has the positive connotations of deliverance to the righteous, whilst the Day of the Lord, or the Day Of God, or simply that Day, has the negative connotations of punishment to the living wicked earth-dwellers and worshipers and adorers of the antiMessiah.
Stars will disintegrate in the heavens, and their fragments shall impinge on the Earth causing wild fires. Every man on Earth will acknowledge that there is God. Even the atheist shall acknowledge the existence of God. This sort of acknowledgement of the existence of God will not bring salvation; it is too little too late. With the celestial disturbances, God serves notice to the living wicked earth-dwellers, worshipper, and adorers of the Dragon-Beast He is about to punish them for their evils. Humanistic evolutionists will know instantly that evolution is a scientific farce, a sham: that God indeed created man, the heavens and the Earth, and all that therein are; that He is the governor amongst the nations.
And the kings of the Earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondsman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, fall on us, and hide from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? These living wicked earth-dwellers now know that there is God, that He sitteth on the throne of the universe, and that the wrath of the Lamb is come. They ask themselves who shall be able to stand? The answer is no one. Is it today the 70th seven of Daniel, the so called seven year tribulation period began? No. Why is it now that these atheist and idolaters now recognize that the wrath of the Lamb is come? Because what has been going before is not God’s wrath. They know they have been responsible for the wars and commotions, the martyrdom of the saints. But now, the table had turned, and God is about to punish them for their evils. He is about to pour out His wrath on the nations that know not God. He is about to destroy those who destroyed the earth.
(4) The Shekinah In The Heavens.
The Shekinah in Hebrew means dwelling. It is the visible presence of the God of Israel amongst His people. During the wilderness wandering, God’s presence amongst His people was revealed by the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire and smoke by night. So shall it be in the last day. God’s presence shall be revealed in the heavens. It is the sign of His coming. It follows the cosmic disturbances. It together with cosmic disturbances is the back-to-back sign given in the sun, moon, and stars. When the disciples asked Jesus our Lord, what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the ages? The Greek word translated sign is semeion. It is singular. There is only one sign of His coming, and the end of the ages. Our Lord Jesus answered that question by enumerating the sequence of events that shall occur before the appearance of the Son of man in the heavens. We have followed the sequence of these events. “There shall arise false christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; so much so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, behold, He is in the desert; go not forth: behold, He is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the Lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son Of Man be”(Matt.24:24-27). There is not secret coming of the Lord. There is no secret Rapture. His coming shall be self-evident to all under the heavens. The sign of His coming is in the heavens. Like lightening, it shall shine from one end of the heaven to the other. It is not a secret sign at all as some would have us believe. Both at the Rapture which occurs after the cosmic disturbances, before the opening of the seventh seal at the beginning of the end of the ages, and at His coming to take physical possession of the Earth at Armageddon, it shall be no secret. “Behold, He cometh with the clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also who pierced Him, and all the kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen”(Rev.1:7). He is coming in glory, the clouds of heaven. White clouds signal glory, righteousness and power. He is coming in glory and in righteousness to judge the wicked earth-dwellers. His glory, the Shekinah shall appear in the heaven, in the midst of the darkness and cold caused by the cosmic disturbances. It is His Shekinah in the heavens which shall dispel the darkness and defrost the earth. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon will not give her light, and the stars shall fall from the heavens, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: and then shall appear the sign of the Son Of Man in the heavens: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son Of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other”(Mart.24:29-31). This is unmistakable. His coming and the Rapture occur after the cosmic disturbances, after the sign of His coming, given in the sun, moon and stars, when the living wicked earth-dwellers, worshipper and adorers of the antiMessiah shall wail, and mourn, and call upon the rocks, and mountains to fall upon them(Rev.6:15-17).
(5) The Harvest (Matt.13:36-43).
Jesus interpreting the parable of the wheat and the tares said: He that soweth the good seed is the Son Of Man. The title, the Son Of Man is Christ’s favorite appellative to himself. It has to do with his rulership of the Earth as God’s representative in the earthly realm of His universal kingdom. He was not conceived of man. Joseph was His foster father. He was conceived of God. He was born of the Holy Spirit. He is the caretaker of the Earth in the behalf of the Father. He sowed the seed. The good seed are the children of the kingdom. The plant translated tares or weeds is “darnel.” It means wild wheat in Hebrew. It looks much like the real wheat in the early stages of growth, and therefore indistinguishable from the real wheat. If one attempts to weed them out in the early stages, one would weed out the good wheat also. In ancient Israel, the farmer allows them to grow together until the harvest when they are ripe and clearly distinguishable from the real wheat. Usually the farmer harvest them first and bundles them into heaps at the edge of the farm to be burned later before he harvests the real wheat into the barn. Jesus made an allusion to this agricultural practice. The interpretation was clearly understandable to His disciples, His Jewish audience who were aquaintated with this practice. Continuing with the interpretation of the parable, the enemy that sowed the wild wheat is the Devil, the usurper of the earthly throne of God’s universal kingdom. The wild wheat are the children of the wicked one. Jesus made it clear to His disciples that the harvest is the End Of The Ages, and the reapers are the angels of God. The good seed and the evil seed shall grow together until the end of the ages. The good seed, the real wheat, the children of the kingdom are not gathered till the end of the ages. Jesus promised His disciples that He shall be with them till the end of the ages. And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the ages( Matt.28:20). To teach and preach rapture before the sixth seal of Rev.6, the celestial disturbances, is to court disaster. Christ’s teaching is very clear here, His disciples who represent the church, and by way of extrapolation, the believers in Jesus, shall not be taken away until the harvest. And the harvest occurs at the end of the ages, after the sign of His coming is given in the sun, moon, and stars. The reapers are the angels. Each of the three major events that will occur at the harvest, the sealing of the 144, 000, the rapture of the church, the gathering of the multitude which no man could number, and the outpouring of the wrath of God upon the living wicked earth-dwellers, worshipers and adorers of the Dragon-Beast, are associated with angelic activities.
(a) The Sealing Of The 144,000.
“And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads”(Rev.6:2,3). As we have pointed out several times, seals are for protection, and indicate ownership and authenticity. In the ancient world, letters, documents, contracts, covenants, treaties between nations were sealed. Documents may be unsealed or sealed. If unsealed, anyone lettered can read them. If sealed, they can only be opened by the rightful owner. The 144,000 were sealed with the seal of God to indicate they belong to God and to protect them from harm and injury during the day of His wrath which is about to begin.
God will not pour out His wrath on the living wicked earth-dwellers and worshipers and adorers of the Dragon-Beast without removing the church physically from the Earth. If the church is removed physically from the Earth or raptured, God will have no representatives on Earth apart from the two witnesses whose ministry run throughout the three and one-half years of the second half of the 70th seven of Daniel, after which they shall be removed physically from the Earth(Rev.11:11,12). Therefore the 144,000, 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes of Israel shall be sealed as God’s representatives on Earth, and to protect them from harm throughout the period of God’s wrath. “And I heard the number of which were sealed: and there were sealed a hundred and forty and four thousand of the tribes of the children of Israel”( Rev.7:4). There are some that teach that these men shall be evangelists. Nothing could be farther from the truth. These men are sealed way into the second half of the 70th seven. The wrath of God is about to poured out on the Earth. It will be difficult for anyone to go about preaching at this time. Even the ministry of the two witnesses is limited more or less to the vicinity of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. They are sealed for protection. They must needs be protected, shall they protect others? As matter of fact, they are hiding in the rose red city of Petra, across the Jordan River in modern day Jordan.
(b) The Rapture Of The Church.
God is about to punish the world for their evils. The church is exempt from the wrath of God. For God hath not appointed us to wrath but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thess.5:9). Therefore, it must be whisked away from the Earth before God pours out His wrath on the nations that know not God. “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him”(2 Thess.2:1). The Lord shall appear in the heaven, and then we shall be gathered together unto Him, after the blowing of the trumpet with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God. “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them that are asleep, for the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, and with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we who are alive remain, shall be caught together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words”(1 Thess.4:15-18). The phrase, we who are alive and remain indicate that a good proportion of the church has been decimated by the antiMessiah. The Greek word translated remain is perileipomenoi. It is used twice in the NT(1 Thess.4:15,17). It means to remain, to leave all around, to survive. At the rapture, the dead in Christ shall be given pride of place; they shall rise first. Then the living, the remaining(the survivors), shall be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. The point is what are we remnants and survivors of? We are the remnants who have survived the great tribulation.
The rapture of the church is associated with the blowing of the last trump. The blowing of trumpets in ancient Israel is for the following purposes. To call a solemn assembly, at the new moon and to prepare for war(Num.10:9). The last trump is the breaking of the 7th seal, before which the saints are called to a solemn assembly in heaven, and God and His angels, the hosts of heaven go to war against the nation that know not God. The 7th seal contains no judgement of its own, but opens into the sevens trumpets. The 7th trumpet opens into the seven bowls. The seventh seal contains both the seven trumpets and the seven bowls. The 7th seal therefore is the last trump.
“Now this I say unto brethren, that flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit in corruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this cortiptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”(1 Cor.15:50-53).
But make no mistake about; for that day shall not come except there be a falling away first(apostasy), and the Man Of Sin is revealed(antiChrist makes his debut in the rebuilt Jewish temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, desecrates the Holy Of Holies of the temple, and unveils himself as a dead man come back to life). “Let no one deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of since revealed, the Son Of Perdition.”(2 Thess.2:3). The rapture will not occur until the antiMessiah unveils himself, until the apostasy associated with his unveiling of himself in the temple, until he deified himself, and demands that all men worship him. The rapture occurs at the harvest, and all three events associated with the harvest, the sealing of the 144,000, the rapture of the church, the outpouring of the wrath of God are associated with angelic activities.
(c) The Breaking Of The Seventh Seal: The Day Of The Lord, The Wrath Of God Begins.
The cosmic disturbances have interrupted the great tribulation; the Shekinah, the sign of the coming of the Son Of Man has appeared in the heavens: the 144,000, 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes of Israel have been sealed for protection, and the church, the innumerable multitude which no one could number have been caught up to meet the Lord in the air. The same day the church is raptured, the seventh seal is broken and the wrath of God begins. “And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall be also in the days of the Son Of Man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builder; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the Day when the Son Of Man is revealed.”(Luk.17:25-30). The Scriptures are clear here that the same day Noe entered the ark, the rains descended on the Earth. And again the same day that Lot left Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah, Zeboim and Adama, the cities of the plain. In like manner, the same day the church is raptured, the wrath of God begins.
Now is the time to break the seventh seal to reveal the wrath of God contained in the seven trumpets and seven bowls. The living wicked earth-dwellers, and worshipers and adorers of the antiMessiah are hiding in the rocks and mountains, calling on the mountains and rocks to fall upon them, and hide them 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(Rev.6:16,17)? The sixth seal cannot be made retroactive to include the previous four seals which originate in the acts of wicked men. Until the sixth seal is broken, the wrath of God is not imminent. The wrath of the Lamb, or the day of the Lord, or that Day, or the day of God begins with the breaking of the seventh seal. “And when He had broken the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. 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 it with the prayers of the 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, 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 earthquakes. And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.”(Rev.8:1-6). As usual, a seal is broken in heaven, and certain events unfold here on Earth. As we can see here, this is a very solemn moment; the sovereign Lord of the universe is about to punish the inhabitants of the Earth for their evils. When the seventh seal is broken, there was silence in heaven for the space of half an hour. Silence. Then the seven avenging angels bearing seven trumpets appeared in heaven. But before they begin to blow the trumpets, another angel appeared standing on the golden altar before the throne, bearing a golden censer. To him was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of the saints. He mingled the incense with the prayers of the saints, and cast it into the Earth, and there were voices, thunderings, lightnings, and earthquakes. The wrath of the Lamb is God’s answer to the prayers of the fifth seal martyrs under the altar in heaven calling on God to avenge them of their killers on Earth(Rev.6:9-11). Now is the time for the seven avenging angels, bearing seven trumpets to prepare themselves to sound the seven trumpets. We can see here that the seventh seal had not judgment of its own but opens in the seven trumpets. In like manner also, the seventh trumpet had no judgement of its own but opens into the seven bowls.
The First trumpet (Rev.8:7).
“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 the trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.”
The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the Earth. Hail and fire? Yeah! But blood? Where did it come from? Is it the blood of the Lamb or the martyred saints? We are not told. The effect was very damaging and devastating on green vegetation. The third part of the trees were burnt up, and every green grass was burnt up. This would lead to the death of animals that are supported by green vegetation which have survived the fires. There would be worsening of erosion, deforestation and desertification. Livestock farmers would be severely affected. This would worsen the famine already caused by the first four seals. Those who do not have the mark of the beast, who were not raptured, are in hiding. Their food supply must come from whatever they stored away previously. For the beast-marked adorers and worshipers who depend on daily supplies, starvation would set in. Vegetations provide protection for human and animal life. The loss of vegetation would lead to epidemics of communicable diseases.
The Second Trumpet (Rev.8:8,9).
“The second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; 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.”
The second trumpet resulted in a great mountain burning with fire being cast into the sea. Because of the use of the definite article the, it would mean all seas were affected. It affected a third part of the seas. A third party of the seas became blood. The third part of the seas would become toxic, killing all forms of life in the seas. The viscosity of blood would not permit sea-going vessels. This would mean the loss of a third of all the vessels in the salt water sources, the seas and the oceans and the salt water lakes, with both the crews and the passengers. A huge proportion of the world’s food supply come from the seas and the oceans. A third of this supply would be lost. There would be shortages of seafood.
The Third Trumpet (Rev.8:10,11).
“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; and the name of the star is called Wormwood: and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.”
When the third angel blew his trumpet, a great star fell from the heavens. Could this be really a star? The sun is one of the smallest stars. It is 93 million miles (approximately 150 million kilometers) away from the Earth. If it would get closer, our planet would melt away. If it would get farther, we would be frozen to death. John was using the vocabulary of his day to communicate divine truth. It is most probably a meteorite or part of a disintegrated supernova. It was burning like a lamp. It fell upon the third part of the rivers and upon the fountains of waters. The plague targeted a third part of the fresh water sources: rivers, fountains and fresh water lakes. This star or meteorite or whatever it might be has a name. The name is wormwood. Wormwood is an ancient anthelminthic. It is very bitter. It is not known to be toxic except in cases of overdosage. Its bitterness helps to dispel worm from the intestines. However, this wormwood would lead to the pollution of a third of the fresh sources. The waters themselves become wormwood as a result of the pollution. The water from these sources would become very bitter. And many men died from the waters because they were made bitter. Bitterness here means poisonous. It reminds us of the bitter waters of Mara which the children of Israel could not drink because it was bitter or poisonous. This star falling into the fresh water sources would kill all forms of life in those waters, both plants and animals due to the toxic nature of this wormwood. The waters would be polluted from decaying organic mater, and therefore become very toxic. Besides, vessels, crew and passengers and cargoes in the affected fresh water sources would be lost. Any chemical, biological or nuclear materials amongst the cargoes would lead to severe pollution of the fresh water sources. Perhaps this is what is meant by John the revelator, in a layman’s language, by the waters were made bitter.
The Fourth Trumpet(Rev.8:12).
“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.”
The fourth trumpet resulted in the darkening of a third part of the sun, moon and stars. It is difficult to understand what kind of changes in the starry heavens that would produce this kind of effect in the sun, moon and stars. It would probably last for a day, about 24 hours or thereabouts; for the day will not shine for a third part of it and the night likewise. We are not told the effect on the planet Earth and its dwellers. It would be very severe.
The Angelic Announcement(Rev.8:13).
“And I beheld and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, woe, woe, woe, to the inhabitants of the Earth by reason of the other voice of the trumpet of the three angels which are yet to sound!”
The revelator heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, woe, woe, woe, to the inhabitants of the Earth by reason of the trumpets of the three angels who are yet to blow their trumpets. Some translations read an eagle flying in mid heaven. This would make a case for the identity of the angel as one of the four beasts or living creatures with the face of an eagle. We are not told who this horizontal flying angel is, nor his station or regalia. He is probably a high ranking angel to be committed with such a responsibility. The revelator did not say that he saw the angel. It is possible to hear a voice and not see the speaker. In this context, it is most probable that he saw the angel; for he was in the spirit, and nothing was obstructing his view. The angel makes it clear that the living wicked earth-dwellers and worshipers and adorers of the Dragon-Beast are the intended victims of the last three trumpet judgments. They are concentrated on the antiMessiah, his subjects and his seat of government, though the consequences may be worldwide. They are consistently portrayed in the scroll of Revelation as the enemies of God, and the object of His wrath. The last three trumpet judgments are going to be more severe and devastating. Therefore they called the three woes or culminate in the three woes. Their severity is clearly emphasized.
The Fifth Trumpet(Rev.9:1-12).
“And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the Earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.”
When the fifth angel sounded, a star fell from heaven unto the Earth. This is metaphorical. It is not a literal star. Stars are used to describe angels of God as well as saints of God (Job 38:7; Gen.22:17). And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever(Dan.12:3). The star is a supernatural being. The statement that a star fell from heaven is referent to an angel descending from heaven. That this star is an angel is borne out by the fact a key was given to him. To him indicates personhood. A key cannot be given to a literal star. So, we conclude that this star is an angelic being. The rank of this angel we are not told, neither his regalia. The tense of the verbal indicates that the revelator John did not see the angel falling, but saw him after he had already fallen. Jesus our Lord saw Satan like lightening fall from heaven(Luk.10:18). Theologically, fallen angels represent evil spirits. Is this a fallen angel or an angel of God? Surely this angel is on a divine mission. The key of the bottomless pit was given to him. It is also probable that the angel is a high ranking angel in the service of God Almighty. He is a heavenly policeman, a security agent of sort. It is unlikely that this key could have been given to a fallen angelic being.
The Bottomless Pit(Rev.9:2).
“And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the put, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.”
What is the bottomless pit? The bottomless pit is below, for the star fell from heaven unto the Earth. It is part of the underworld of the dead. It separated Hell from Paradise in the OT dispensation(Luk.16:26). It is between Hell and the defunct paradise. Paradise under the OT dispensation was where the OT saints were kept prior to their being taken to heaven when Our Lord Jesus The Christ rose from the dead(Matt.27:52). Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it and was glad(Jon.8:56). That part of the underworld of the dead is now empty. Paradise in the NT is synonymous with heaven. The term bottomless pit is a transliteration of abussos(abyss). It occurs nine times in the NT, seven of them in Revelation. It refers to a place of confinement of supernatural beings. It is the confinement chamber for supernatural powers. The demons in the Gadarine demoniac requested that Jesus not command them to depart into the abyss(Luk.8:33). In Matt.8:29, the demon asked Jesus, have you come to torment us before the time? Clearly, the abyss and the place of torment are connected. That the demons were aware of a future time when they shall be assigned to to abyss is clear. Equally the abyss will be a place of torment for demons. Rev.20:3 locates the time of confinement of demons to the abyss, and their period of torment in the same to coincide with the millennial reign of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus The Christ. Satan shall also be incarcerated in the abyss for 1,000 years.
This period of confinement will not be a simple restriction of movement. Rev.11:7 and 17:8 indicate that the beast that killed the two witnesses and persecuted the people of God during the end times ascended from the bottomless pit. The bottomless pit which is also described as gulf(Luk.16:26) is where the fallen angels who kept not their first estate, but left their habitations and cohabited with human females and produced humanoids or transhumans are kept awaiting the judgment of the great day of the Lord. These hybrid humans called nephilim in Hebrew were annihilated in the deluge, and their demonic fathers incarcerated in the bottomless pit(Gen.6:1-8; Jude 1:6). This segment of angels not only sided with Satan in the great rebellion in eternity past, before the creation of Adam, and were therefore locked in unrighteousness, after their expulsion from heaven, but also went further to mingle the human and angelic species which God Almighty in His infinite wisdom decreed to be separated. God Almighty, the creator of all things, made a distinction between human and angelic beings, but these angels assayed to obliterate that distinction. It was a satanic counterstrategy to thwart the redemption of mankind. These demons were so vile that they were not suffered to roam the dark void and the starry heavens like Satan and other fallen angels, but were rather imprisoned in the abyss, awaiting the judgment of the great day of the Lord(Jud.1:6). Pit translates the Greek word phrear. This word is used three times outside Revelation, in the gospels. It refers to a well from which water is drawn(Luk.14:5; Jon.4:11,12). A key to the shaft of abyss is a literal translation.
“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.”
And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. The thick smoke emanating from the abyss was not ordinary smoke, but multitudes of demonic hordes. They were so many, and black as Erebus that they darkened the sun and blackened the air. These hordes of demons were so dark and thick they prevented the penetration of the rays of the sun unto the Earth, thereby producing a total eclipse of the sun. Out of the thick darkness emerged locusts upon the Earth. These are not ordinary biological insects called locusts. They are demons clothed with the physiognomy of locusts. They were given power to hurt as the scorpions of the Earth have power.
The Duty Of The Locusts(Rev.9:4-6).
“And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the Earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men who have not the seal of God in their foreheads. And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion, when it strikes a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, but death shall flee from them.”
And unto them were given power as the scorpions of the Earth have power. Locusts generally feed on vegetations. These locusts were forbidden by God to do harm to the vegetations of the Earth, but rather commanded by God to hurt those men who have not the seal of God on their foreheads. Theologians call this the passive of divine activity. They were forbidden by God to kill those who were not God-marked, but rather to torment them for five months. They killed others but were forbidden to die even when they longed for it. The righteous did not want to die, but were killed. The wicked wants to die but was forbidden death. And their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man. The venom of a scorpion is poisonous, and could kill. But mortality from scorpion sting is very rare. There is a species of scorpion in Southern USA whose venom could kill their victims. Therefore mortality from scorpion sting has been recorded in medical history in that part of the world. But generally scorpion stings are not fatal. Scorpion sting is a bit common in Nigeria, but it generally does not lead to death. They could be very painful, but usually do not lead to mortality.
The writer treated a few in his days of practice of medicine in Nigeria. They usually do well with local anesthetics and analgesics. The writer has been stung by a scorpion and survived without medical treatment, but by no means advocating that. Every man had his proper gift of God. The pain is horrible especially in the early stages after the sting, but wears off after a day or two. But it would be very horrible experience to be stung by scorpions repeatedly without dying. In the immediate period one can faint from the severe pain and be in shock from scorpion sting. Am sure the Beast and his minions would put screens on their houses and vehicles, but these demons would not be deterred or restrained. They have been prepared for thousands of years by incarceration in the bottomless pit for the judgment of the great day of the Lord(Jud.1:6). Being chained under darkness for thousands of years has made them more vile and wicked than ever. Being loosed, they cannot be restrained by man through the instrumentality of physical barriers insofar as they are not physical beings, and cannot be restrained physically. If anyone is stung by scorpion repeatedly, am sure the one would prefer death to life. No wonder these living wicked beast-marked adorers and worshipers of the Dragon-Beast would seek death and desire to die. But death will flee from them.
The Appearance Of The Locusts(Rev.9:7-10).
“And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle, and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. And had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as it were 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. And they had tails like unto scorpion, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hit men five months.”
The shapes of the locusts were like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were golden crowns, and their faces were like the faces of men. What horrible creatures? Their hairs were like those of women, and their teeth like those of lions. What a terrible combination! They had breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of many horses running to battle. Their tails were like those of scorpions. They could sting with their tails like scorpions. And they had power to hurt the beast-marked adorers and worshipers of the Dragon-Beast for five months.
The King Of The Locusts(Rev.9:11).
“And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue us Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.”
Their King is the angel of the bottomless pit. That they have a king suggests order, preference and purpose. The appellative king is interesting because the Scriptures accord no such title to Satan though he be superior to this angel. These creatures have a unique purpose which requires a strict discipline, hence their need of a king. Naturally locusts have no king(Prov.30:27). There is no contradiction here insofar as these horrific locust-like creatures appear only as locusts. The angel of the abyss is king over these horrible locust-like creatures. The grammatical construction here, genitive subjunctive indicates that the angel is over the bottomless pit. It does not indicate he is from the abyss. The name in Hebrew is Abaddon. The phrase in Hebrew is unique to Johannine expression(Jon.5:2; 19:13,17,20; 20:6; Rev.16:16). Some of his audience are Jewish. In the OT, Abaddon is the name of the place of the dead(Prov.15:11; Job 26:6; Ps 88:11). It is used as a poetic parallel to Sheol in Job 14:11, and Prov.15:11; to death in Job 28:22; and to the grave in Ps 88:11.
The Septuagint(LXX) translated the Hebrew term Abaddon as apoleia which means destruction. The Apostle Paul labelled the Man Of Lawlessness(the Man Of Sin, Antichrist), the Son Of Destruction(Abaddon, 2 Thess.2:3). The Lord Jesus Christ called Judas Iscariot, the son of Perdition(Abaddon). This is the only particular place in the scriptures where a particular angel is explicitly identified with the name Destruction or Destroyer. In the wilderness, those who tempted Christ and murmured were destroyed of the serpent and the destroyer(1 Cor.10:8-10). The death of the ten amongst the twelve spies in Numbers 14 were credited to the destroyer(Heb.11:28). In Egypt, prior to the Exodus, the death of the firstborn was credited to the destroyer(Exod.12:23). God’s punishment of the wicked is always accomplished by the destroyer. In Greek, he is called Apollyon. John intends also a Greek audience amongst his readers. Apollyon is a derivative of the Greek verb apollunai which means to destroy. Therefore the angel of the abyss is the destroyer. It is not Satan, but a subordinate angelic being committed to the task of destroying the enemies of God. He is one of Satan’s high ranking demons. He is probably a principality or power of sort(Eph.3:10). The names in both Greek and Hebrew mean the same thing, destroyer or destruction. He commands these locusts. He tells them what to do. From whence did he get his power and authority? From God?
The First Woe(Rev.9:12).
“One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.”
The fifth trumpet judgment culminates in the first woe. As we pointed out earlier, the last three trumpets are the most severe and are called or culminate in the three woes.
The Sixth a Trumpet Judgment(Rev.9:13-21).
Whilst the fifth trumpet judgment tormented its victims without killing them, the sixth trumpet judgment killed a third of the living wicked earth-dwellers who worship and adore the Dragon-Beast.
A Voice From The Golden Altar( Rev.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.”
At the sounding of the sixth trumpet, John the revelator heard a voice from the horns of the golden altar of incense which is before God. Frequently the revelator hears a voice. We assume also that he saw since he was in the spirit, and his view unobstructed. The voice must be the voice of the angel of the golden altar of incense where the fifth seal martyrs were kept prior to their glorification. He appears to administer the wrath of God inasmuch as they are divine response in answer to the prayers of the saints calling out for vengeance for their lives which were terminated violently by the beast-marked adorers and worshipers of the Dragon-Beast. The horns of the altar signal a place of power and authority. So the voice emanating from the horns of the golden altar of incense must be that of a very powerful angel. He is probably higher in rank than the seven avenging angels administering the seven trumpets, insofar as he gives orders to one of the seven avenging angels administering the seven trumpets. This angel was before God. In other words, he was acting under the orders of the Almighty. He spoke to the angel who had the sixth trumpet, saying, loose the four angels which are bound in the great River Euphrates. Obviously the four angels beheld are bound in the great River Euphrates are fallen angelic beings called demons. So they are evil spirits. Unlike the angels which did not keep their first estate, we do not know what other evil acts that these four evil angel committed that led to their being bound in the Euphrates River other than joining in the great satanic revolt in eternity past. Whatever it was, it was of recent, considering the period of their imprisonment in the great River Euphrates.
The four Angels Bound In The Great River Euphrates(Rev.9:15).
“And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, a day, a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.”
The voice of the angel emanating from the horns of the golden altar of incense which was before God instructed the angel with the sixth trumpet to loose the four evil spirits incarcerated in the great River Euphrates. These evil angels were prepared for an hour, a day, a month, and a year, in order for them to slay the third part of the living wicked earth-dwellers and worshipers and adorers of the Dragon-Beast. What is the meaning and significance of an hour, a day, a month, and a year? Is it literal, or is it some kind of a formula? That is difficult to say. In the absence of interpretation somewhere else in the Scriptures, we presume it is literal. One of the principles of biblical hermeneutics is that scripture must interpret scripture.
The Demonic Killing Machines(Rev.9:16-19).
“And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat upon them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issue fire, and smoke and brimstone. By these three were the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth, and on their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents and had heads, and with them they do hurt.”
The moment these horrible creatures were released from their incarceration in the great River Euphrates, the result was immediate; the raising of armoured divisions amounting to two hundred million soldiers. The revelator described them as cavalvries mounted on horsebacks. This is understandable since that was what was known in his day. However these are modern armoured divisions, with the most sophisticated and latest of modern tanks, equipped with the latest in military laser technology. And I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat upon them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. These sophisticated killing machines equipped with the latest in modern military technology, have the capacity to set ablaze and incinerate their victims. By these three were the third part of men killed, by the fire, smoke and brimstone that issued out of their mouths. Their power was in their mouths and in their tails: for their tails were like serpents, and have heads, and with them they do hurt. These killing machines have the capacity to fire in both directions. This is no Hollywood fiction. Though films have been produced in Hollywood portraying these machines and their operators, they are available in one form or the other as robots equipped with artificial intelligence(AI). In the event of World War, the U.S. Military can field robotic soldiers and tanks capable of accomplishing the kind of devastation graphically portrayed in this vision. These monumental killing machines have the capacity to pulverize and annihilate their victims in a matter of seconds.
The Reaction Of The Survivors(Rev.9:20,21).
“And the rest of the men who were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, and of silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, walk: neither repented they or their murders, not of their sorceries , nor of their fornications, nor of their thefts.”
Inspite of the havoc just wreaked by these killing machines, wiping out a third of all living earth-dwellers, the survivors repented not of the works of their hands that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see , nor hear, nor walk. As we have pointed out earlier, apart from the enlivened robotic images of the Beast-antiChrist located at strategic places to identify and cause to be killed those who do not have the mark the beast, the beast-marked adorers were also instructed by the second beast, the false prophet or the enforcer to make images of the beast to keep and worship in their homes in order to ingratiate themselves to the antiMessiah as faithful citizens of his satanic kingdom. These images though lifeless in and of themselves, are enlivened by demonization. So, as they bow to these images, they bow to demons who inhabit these images. Apart from blatant idolatry, these living wicked earth-dwellers practiced sorceries, murdered the saints of God and those others who did not take the mark of the beast, committed sexual immoralities, and purloined. As we have pointed out earlier, sin is a cicatrizant; it Sears the soul and hardens the heart. So, no matter the severity of the punishment, the beast-marked worshipers and adorers of the antiMessiah will Never Repent.
The Death Of The Two Witnesses(Rev.11:7,8).
“And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascended out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their bodies shall lie in the streets of the great city, which spirituality is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.”
The glorious ministry of the two witnesses which began at the middle of the 70th seven, will end on the last day of the 70th seven. Their ministry shall cover the entire three and one-half years, 42 months or 1,260 days of the second half of the 70th seven. And I will give unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand and three score days clothed in sackcloth(Rev.11:3). Before the expiry of the allotted time of the two witnesses, no one shall be able to hurt them or kill them. If any man will hurt them, fire issued out of their mouths and devoured their enemies. If any man would hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. This clearly shows that everything concerning the servant of God is in His hands. Everything works according to His pre-ordained and predetermined plans and purposes. When their ministry is over, they are fair game for the antiChrist, the Beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit, who makes war against them, overcomes them, and kills them on the last day of the 70th seven or the first day of the 30-day Reclamation Period; the extra 30 days that lead to the 1,290 days spoken of by Daniel the prophet(Dan.12:11). We are not told the way and manner in which they shall be killed. They probably will not be beheaded. Even if they will, what difference does it make?
For a show of power, the antiChrist shall display their corpses publically in Jerusalem to the full view of all via satellite. Although the 70th seven ends with the death of the two witnesses, the sixth trumpet judgment continues till the 4th day of the 30-day Reclamation Period when the two witnesses are raised from the dead and ascend into heaven in the full face view of all and to utter consternation of their enemies. In the same hour they ascended into heaven, there will be a great earthquake that will devastate the tenth part of the city of Jerusalem, the antiMessiah’s headquarters, killing seven thousand. The remnant shall be frightened, and give glory to the God of heaven. Their glorifying God at this time shall not produce repentance in their hearts; for they are already locked in unrighteousness having given themselves over to the worship of the Dragon-Beast. The sixth trumpet ends in the second woe. “The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.”(Rev.11:14).