Chapter 4 of the Scroll of Revelation gives us a description of God’s Throne Room in the Temple in Heaven. In chapter 5, our Lord Jesus the Christ, the Son Of God, who up to now from His ascension and session was seated at the right hand of the Father, sits up. The focus now is on the Large Scroll of the Book of Revelation. The Large Scroll has seven seals. The seals represent conditions to be met before the Large Scroll can be opened. Jesus The Christ is introduced as the Lion Of The Tribe of Judah, the only one who has prevailed to break the seals of the Large Scroll and to open the Scroll. The seals which are the exterior of the Scroll must be broken before the Scroll is opened. He is standing, because He is about to judge the world, in preparation to His reclaiming God’s rule over and physical possession of the Earth after evicting Satan and his fallen evil angels from the Earth’s premises. This perfectly fulfills Christ’s word: “For this purpose came I to this hour;…. Now judgment is upon this world; now is the ruler of this world judged”(Jon.5:27,31). The purpose which Jesus spoke about was His death on the execution stake at Calvary, without which He could not administer God’s rule over the Earth.
The seven seals represent the conditions to be met before the Large scroll can be opened. The opening of the Large scroll ushers in the Day Of The Lord’s judgement upon the living wicked earth-dwellers. Only the Lion of the tribe of Judah- Jesus as judge of the Earth- can open the scrolls: “for God has appointed a day in which He will judge the world by a man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead”(Acts 17:31).
Judgment must begin at the house of God. That is the essence of the great tribulation, to judge and purify the house of God. If it first begins with us, what shall the end be for those who obey not the gospel of God?(1 Pet.4:17). When the Great Tribulation at the hands of the antiChrist is cut short by the Cosmic disturbances, and the appearance of the Sign of the coming of the Son Of Man in the heavenlies, the living wicked earth-dwellers, those who do not obey the gospel, shall know automatically that God is about to punish them for their evils. “Behold, He cometh with the clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also who pierced Him: and all the kindred of the Earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen”(Rev.1:7). And again when He had broken the sixth seal: “… And the kings of the Earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the Great Day Of His Wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”(Rev.6:15-17).
The first four seals are not the wrath of God. They are the wrath of Satan. But ultimately God is in sovereign control, hence the supervision of the first four seals by the seraphim of God. They are for the purpose of purifying the Church and the natural line of Abraham through Jacob who have not yet come to the saving knowledge of the Christ. It is now harvest time, and the reapers are the angels. The wheat and the tares which up to this time are growing together, must be separated. The Saints must be tested, tried and purified. ” That the trial of your faith being more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ”(1 Pet.1:7).
The fifth seal is a heavenly scene, a reflection of the killings going on here on Earth during the 4th seal, the Great Tribulation. There is a certain number of saints to be killed here on Earth. Their souls arriving in heaven, are kept under the altar of incense, awaiting the vengeance of God during His Day Of The Lord Judgment of the living wicked earth-dwellers. We are not told the number of saints to be martyred. It is a divine secret. Neither are we told who would be martyred or who would not. “The secret things are for God, but the things which are revealed are for us and our children, in order that we may do the words of this law”( Deut.29:29). But one thing is certain, “if any one is to be killed with sword, with the sword, the one will be killed: and if any man is to go into captivity, into captivity the one goes. Here is the faith and patience of the saints”(Rev.13:10). We believers must understand that some of us are destined to go into captivity, and some to the sword. This understanding will help us to face death and captivity without flagging.
The condition for the sixth seal is the fifth, which is the completion of the number of the faithful martyrs to be killed for the name of Christ. The sixth seal initiates the Day Of The Lord judgment. In the interlude between the end of the sixth seal and the beginning of the seventh seal, is the multitude which no one could number arriving in heaven, out of the Great Tribulation, as the true church is rescued from the wrath of Satan(Rev. 12:12), and brought into the presence of God, and the 144,000 sealed for protection before the wrath of God is poured out on the remaining living wicked earth-dwellers. It is now time to break the 7th seal. When the 7th seal is broken, the large scroll can be opened. The events of the large scroll, the trumpet and the bowls constitute the Day Of The Lord, “for the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”(Rev.6:17). This is the eschatological End Of The Ages or simply The End. “For lo, I am with you unto the end of the ages.” ” But he that endureth unto the end shall be saved.”(Matt.10:22, 28:20). ” Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonitions, upon whom the ends of the world are come”(1Cor.10:11). The Greek word translated world here is better rendered ages.
The Definition Of The Day Of The Lord.
What exactly is the Day Of The Lord? What will this momentous day be like? Some of the vivid writing in all of the Scriptures are used to describe this awesome period. There is no event like the Day Of The Lord in all of the history of man upon the Earth, neither before nor after. The Day Of The Lord is that period, after the Rapture of the true Church, at the End Of The Ages, when God Almighty pours out His Wrath upon the living wicked earth-dwellers, adorers and worshippers of the Dragon-Beast. The Day Of The Lord is described in graphic details by eight prophets in the OT. It is mentioned explicitly by three NT writers, Luke, Peter and Paul, and alluded to by all the other NT authors. The importance of this period can not be overemphasized. It is so crucial that we have a thorough understanding of this period of judgment so that we may have a clear perspective of the end times. It is the focal point of the end times. The events associated with the second coming of Christ, the parousia and the Day Of The Lord are one and the same. For the unbelievers who are ignorant of God’s Word, it will come as a thief in the night. It will begin suddenly and unexpectedly when God intervenes in human affairs as in the days of Noah and Lot, to amputate the Great Tribulation by the antiMessiah. The deliverance of the righteous – the day of Christ – and the beginning of God’s judgment of the wicked – The Day Of The Lord- will occur simultaneously at Christ’s Second Advent as both Saviour of the saints and judge of the living wicked earth-dwellers. In other words, The Day Of The Lord will be initiated by the glorious deliverance of the saints at the appearance of the Son Of Man whom God has appointed as the Judge of the Earth. It is pertinent for us to understand what this would mean for the ungodly who remain on Earth after the Rapture of the true church.
All the passages in the Scriptures dealing with the Day Of The Lord focus on two separate parts of this great event, the Rapture Of The Church, God’s Elect, cutting short the Great Tribulation, the terrible persecution of the elect at the hands of Satan, when the object of the Wrath of Satan administered by the antiChist is removed. On the same day the Church is raptured, God will unleash His Wrath, the Day Of The Lord judgment against the wicked who remain, and against the antiMessiah and his 8th and final beast empire nations in particular. This is the very heart of the Day Of The Lord. It will be the fiery judgment of God upon the entire Earth and it’s inhabitants who remain after the rescue of the saints. It is an intervention by God in human affairs, comparable only to the first judgment of the world, the Great Flood in the days of Noah, and on a limited sense to the complete and total destruction of the cities of the plain, Sodom, Gomorrah, Zeboim and Adamah.
The specific term, The Day Of The Lord, is used by the OT prophets a total of nineteen times. The NT writers, Luke, Paul, and Peter, use them in four passages, all of which refer to the time of God’s wrath upon the wicked earth-dwellers. There are additional passages in the NT, primarily in Philippians which use the phrase ” Day Of Christ” or “Day Of Jesus Christ.” These two phrases, are generally understood as a reference to the event that initiates the Day Of The Lord, that is, the Rapture of the saints. Whilst the Day Of The Lord has the negative connotation of God’s wrath and punishment upon the wicked who remain after the Rapture of the true church, the Day Of Christ, or the Day Of Jesus Christ, has the positive connotation of God’s deliverance of the righteous saints, the elect of God, that great hope of every believer that initiates the Day Of The Lord upon the living wicked wicked earth-dwellers, adorers and worshippers of the beast-antiChrist.
Every reference to The Day Of The Lord is primarily a reference to this single end time event, initiated by the Rapture Of The True Church, followed by the wrath of God on the wicked who remain. In every instance in the scriptures where the Day Of The Lord is mentioned, referred or alluded to, the language of the text indicates that the context is worldwide and futuristic. Robert Van Kampen has written: ” In the few cases in which the phrase” Day Of The Lord “(or its equivalent) is not used explicitly of the end times, a near/far view application of these texts and their contexts do not exclude association with the end times, as these nonspecific references to the Day Of The Lord contribute directly or indirectly to a better understanding of God’s revelation regarding the last days.”
As we have already pointed out, the Day Of The Lord is spoken in several passages in the OT. One of the most powerful is Zephanaiah 1:14-18. ” The great day of the Lord is near, It is near, and hasteneth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Lord: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver no their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of His jealousy: for He shall make even a speedy riddance of them that dwell in the land.”
We can see here the reason why the Saints are exempt from the day of the Lord. It is a day of God’s wrath against the unrepentant sinners. It is a day of trouble and distress for the unbelievers as the Great Tribulation will be a day of trouble and distress for the believers. It is appropriate for God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble us(2 Thess.1:6). And this event shall occur when God shall give rest to us who are troubled, when He shall be revealed from Heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on that know not God, who do obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power; when He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in them that believe(2 Thess.2:7-10). It will be that climatic event in history when God will pour out His wrath upon the living wicked earth-dwellers. It is a day of trumpet, and alarm upon God’s Holy mountain. The day of the Lord occurs at the last trump: “for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed”- and then the wrath of God contained in the Seven trumpets of the Scroll of Revelation shall be poured out upon the living wicked earth-dwellers.
In response to the mockery of evolutionist uniformitarians, Apostle Peter wrote: ” Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers walking after their own lust, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God, the heavens were of old, and the Earth standing out of the water and in the water: whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: but the heavens and the Earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness; but is long-suffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the Earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all manner of conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of the Lord, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat”(2Pet.3:4-12).
We see here that the believers shall be here till the day of the Lord begins. It is on that day that the believers are rescued, that the Day Of The Lord judgment of the living wicked earth-dwellers shall commence, which shall result in the desolution of the present heavens and Earth and the works that are therein with fire. What manner of persons ought we to be indeed, seeing that the present Earth and all the works that are therein shall melt away with fervent heat.
For a number of reasons, we can see that the context of the Day Of The Lord spoken of in 2 Peter 3, occurs before the Millennium, rather than at the end of it as taught by some biblical scholars, especially of the Pretribulation persuasion. Firstly, the phrase ” the last days” in verse 3, is no where used in Scripture as a reference to the end of the Millennium, but rather frequently used in relation to the Rapture(Jon.6:39,40,54), to the resurrection of the dead(Jon.11:24), and to the end of this present age(Acts 2:17; 2 Tim.3:1). Secondly, were Peter to be speaking of the Day Of The Lord at the end of the Millennium, no one would be asking question about the whereabouts of the promise of His coming( v. 4), because He would presently be ruling over the Earth, just as He did for the previous one thousand years. Thirdly, were the dual Day Of The Lord view to be correct, the Day Of The Lord at the second Advent of Lord- the most traumatic event in history- would have occurred a thousand years previously. No one living during the Millennium, most of whom would live a long while(Is.65:20), would make the absurd comment that ” all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation”(v. 4). Fourthly, In verse 4, Peter refers to the Day Of The Lord coming like a thief in the night. This parallels Paul’s Day-Of-The-Lord passage in 1 Thess.5:2-4, where he explains that the times and the seasons of Christ’s coming to rapture the Church will be like a thief in the night. Fifthly, Peter illustrated his teaching on the end times with the deluge and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah(2Pet.2:4; 3:6), which are abbreviated versions of identical illustrations given by Christ in the Olivet Discourse, the subject matter of both of them being the wrath of God which will be poured out upon the living wicked earth-dwellers at Christ second advent. Finally, in conclusion, Peter made reference to Paul’s teaching: ” even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; as also in all his epistles speaking of these things”(2 Pet.3:15,16). The phrase ” these things”, obviously refers to the Day Of The Lord. Paul taught more about the Day Of The Lord that occurs before the Millennium, the one that will be initiated by the second coming of Christ, than any other NT writer, with the exception of John in the Book of Revelation, more so in his two letters to the church at Thessalonica. Evidently, Peter makes it clear, he and our brother Paul are teaching the same truth about the Day Of The Lord. There is no biblical evidence that the Day Of The Lord is spoken about in the plural in the NT.
In summary, the Day Of The Lord will be unlike any other day in history. The only comparison in terms of the totality of its devastation, will be the destruction of the antedeluvian world by a worldwide flood in Noah’s day, and the awesome destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone in the day of Lot(Luk.17:26-30). The deluge was the judgment of the world by water, after which God guaranteed never to destroy the world with water again(Gen.9:12-15). God has never promised not to destroy the world by fire, but rather foretold unequivocally and unconditionally that the present heavens and Earth are reserved unto fire, awaiting the judgment and destruction of the ungodly(2Pet.3:7).
A Fiery Supernatural Judgment
The Day Of The LORD will be a day of judgment by fire. Although fire is symbolic of God’s judgment, the fire associated with the final outpouring of God’s judgment is to be taken literally. The prophet Isaiah proclaimed, ” For behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with His chariots like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many” ( Is.66:15,16).
Joel made reference to fire in speaking of The Day Of The LORD: ” Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for The Day Of The LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them”(Joel 2:1-3).
The prophet Zephaniah served God’s notice to the living wicked earth-dwellers in the latter days, “Therefore wait ye upon Me, saith the LORD until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger; for the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy”( Zeph.3:8).
In the NT, John the Baptizer spoke about the harvest at The End Of The Ages, ” Whose winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will throughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will born off the chaff with unquenchable fire” ( Matt.3:12). In like manner also, Jesus speaking of the harvest at the end of the Ages said, ” So shall it be at The End Of The Ages: the angels shall come forth, and severe the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth”(Matt.13:49,50). According to Apostle Paul, the Lord Jesus shall be ” revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, In flaming fire fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not The Gospel Of Our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power; when He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe ( because our testimony among was believed) in That Day” ( 2Thess.1:8-10).
In the past God used natural disasters as His instruments in the execution of His wrath upon the wicked(Joel 1:4). He also used nations as instruments in the execution of His wrath. For example, God used Assyria(Is.10:5), and Babylon(Hab.1:6-10) to punish His people Israel for the sins. But His judgment of the living wicked earth-dwellers in The Day Of His Wrath shall be supernatural, administered by God through the agency of His avenging angels. It is shall not be one great power against a lesser power. It shall not be executed by humans or natural means, unlike the events associated with the first three seals of the 70th week. There will be no doubt in any ones mind as to the origin and source of these fiery calamities upon the living wicked. The entire inhabitants of the earth shall know that this is the judgment of God(Rev.6:15-17), not an offensive strike by hostile nations or so called acts of nature or natural disasters(Ezek.38:23; cp. Is.2:7).
The Breaking Of The Seventh Seal
With the breaking of the seventh seal, the large scroll of Rev.5 is opened, and the wrath of God is revealed. The breaking of the seventh seal marks the starting point- terminus-a-quo of The Day Of The LORD. The breaking of the seventh seal shall be awesome as heaven observers in silence( Rev.8:1 ). After the silent period of half an hour, there emerges from the temple of God in heaven, seven avenging angels bearing seven trumpets which are the wrath of God.
” 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 which stood before God; and unto 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 thundering, and lightnings, and an earthquake. And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound ” ( Rev.8:1-6).
The First Six Trumpet Judgments
We have given full treatment to the trumpet judgments in my commentary on the scroll of Revelation, and a less fuller and limited treatment in the chapter of this book on the Second Three And One-Half Years. Here we shall give a summary of the trumpet judgments.
The First Trumpet
When the first avenging angel bearing the first trumpet sounded, ” 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”( Rev.8:7).
The first trumpet targeted the green vegetation of the Earth, destroying a third part of the trees, and all green grass. This will worsen the food scarcity caused by the third seal- famine, pestilences and earthquakes. This will have a devastating effect on livestock that depend on green grass and hay for nutrition. It will also directly and indirectly affect human nutrition. Plants take in carbon dioxide for photosynthesis, and give out oxygen. The increased carbon emission will worsen climate change, leading to erratic weather patterns, increased temperatures, and swelling of the oceans.
The Second Trumpet
At the sounding of the second trumpet by the second avenging angel, ” 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”( Rev.8:8,9).
The second trumpet judgment targeted and destroyed a third part of the salt water sources of the earth. This burning mountain, perhaps fragments of a meteorite or disintegrated supernova turned a third of the salt water sources of the Earth into blood. Since the viscosity of blood is not the same as water, it cannot support biological life, and the floatation of ocean going vessels. Therefore a third of the biological life in the seas and oceans of the world will be destroyed. A third of ocean going vessels of the world with their crews and cargoes will be destroyed. This will include nuclear submarines. The implication is that a third of the seas and oceans of the world shall become toxic with dead and decaying organic matter and toxic biological, chemical and nuclear waste. A third part of the seas and oceans of the world shall be rendered unpliable. There will be scarcity of sea foods, further worsening the famine caused by war (second and thirds seal ), and the destruction of vegetation by the first trumpet.
The Third Trumpet
And the third avenging angel sounded the third trumpet,
” and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamb, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; 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”(Rev.8:10,11).
This is not a full star. The sun which is the star in our solar system, The Milky Way or simply The Galaxy, is one of the smallest stars. It is approximately 149 million km away from the earth. Were it to get closer, the Earth would melt away. Were it to get farther away, the Earth would be frozen. The prophet was using the vocabulary of his day to convey a thought. It is most probably a meteorite or fragment of a disintegrated supernova. Whatever it is anyway, targeted the fresh water sources of the Earth, and polluted them. They became wormwood. They were made bitter.
Wormwood is an ancient antihelmintheic. Bitter though, not toxic, except in cases of overdosage. The fresh water sources of the Earth were rendered bitter and toxic; those who made use of them died. The mortality from organic pollution would be very high. We are not told the exact number, but many men died from use of the polluted fresh water sources.
The Fourth Trumpet
The fourth avenging angel sounded the fourth trumpet,
” 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” ( Rev.8:12).
It is difficult to visualize what kind of celestial phenomenon that would produce this kind of effect on our solar system. Anyhow, the partial eclipse of the sun moon and stars would produce extreme low temperatures in the part of the Earth affected which may lead to frostbites and chilblains due to thrombotic vessels.
The Three Woes
” And I Beheld, and I 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 voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound” ( Rev.9:13).
The last three trumpets are the three woes or culminate in the three woes. The seventh trumpet has no judgement of its owns, but opens into the seven bowl judgments. Here we shall look at the fifth and the sixth trumpets.
The Fifth Trumpet: The First Woe
And the fifth avenging angel sounded,
” and I saw star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of my pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. There came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was power, as scorpions of the earth have power. 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 which 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 as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it: and desire to die, and death shall flee from them. And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horse prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates as the breastplates 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 scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon. One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter”(Rev.9:1-12).
The imagery of a star falling from heaven connotes a fallen angel, but one cannot be dogmatic about that. That the angel is given the key to the bottomless is indicative of the fact that he is a high ranking angel in the service of His Divine Majesty. He is probably the same angel that locked up Satan in the bottomless pit throughout the entire length of the Millennium(Rev.20:1,2).
When he opened the bottomless pit, there came out a thick cloud of smoke, out of which emerged demons clothed with the physiognomy of locusts. These demons are the fallen angels who did not keep their first estate, but left their own habitation to cohabit with human females, giving rise to hybrid humans called nephilim in the Hebrew tongue(Gen.6:1-4). These demons, in defiance to God, participated in the satanic hybridization programme for the human race. An attempt by Satan to prevent the birth of the Messiah by preventing the existence of a pure human lineage. God ordained a distinction between human and angelic species, Satan and these fallen angels attempted to obliterate the distinction. Just like in our day, some have attempted to obliterate the distinction between men and women. But God will not let man prevail(Ps.9:19), just as much as He did not permit Satan to prevail. God is supreme. Ultimately, His word will triumph over human will and the powers of darkness.
At the destruction of the hybridized human race during the deluge, the nephilim were reserved in chains under darkness waiting for the judgment of The Great Day(Jude 1:6). Noah and his family were exempted because they were not hybridized. The statement that Noah was just and perfect in his generation is better translated Noah was pure in his descendants. In other words, Noah and his progeny were pure humans.
The allusion to The Great Day here is undeniably The Great Day Of The LORD. These demons were incarcerated in the abyss because of their vile nature. However, their incarceration in the abyss for thousands of years has made them more vile. They were reserved to be employed by God in The Day Of His wrath judgment of the wicked living earth-dwellers. God has reserved the wicked for The Day Of Wrath(Prov.16:4). In other words, God will employ the wicked in the execution of His wrath. And again the wrath of man shall praise thee (Ps.76:10).
These demons have a king over them who is the angel of the bottomless pit whose name is Abaddon in the Hebrew tongue, or Appollyon in Greek. In both languages, the name means the same thing, destroyer or destruction. That they have a king implies order of sort. These horrible looking creatures were to torment men who have not the seal of God on their foreheads for five months. This is selective punishment. The sting of these demonic scorpions would not kill, but would lead to such excruciating pain that the victims would wish they were dead. This horrible episode will last as long as five months. ” The first woe is past; and, behold, and there come two woes more hereafter” ( Rev.9:12).
The Sixth Trumpet: The Second Woe
And the sixth avenging angel sounded the sixth trumpet,
” 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, 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. 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 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. By these three was 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 mouths, and in their tails: For their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt. And the rest of the dead which were not killed by these plagues 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: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceress, nor of their fornication, nor of their theft”(Rev.9:13-21).
The sounding of the sixth trumpet resulted in the liberation of four fallen angels incarcerated in the Euphrates River for an hour, a day, a month, and a year. The liberation of these demons resulted in the mobilization of mechanized divisions of human armies totaling 200 million soldiers . China can field this number of soldiers, so can India. Later on, at the outpouring of the sixth bowl judgment, the same river, the Euphrates River, where those four horrible demons were incarcerated shall be desiccated to make way for the kings of the east to gather their armies at Armageddon(Rev.16:12).
These millions of soldiers were mounted on the most sophisticated modern tanks equipped with laser technology and artificial intelligence(AI). They have the capacity to incinerate and pulverize their victims instantaneously. By these three- the fire, the smoke, and the brimstone-that issued of their mouths were a third of mankind annihilated. Did this horrible death and devastation yield penitence in the hearts of the survivors? No. ” 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 silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: neither repented they of their murders nor sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts”(Rev.9:21).
Although the sixth trumpet appears to end here, however, the second woe does not come up until after the death of the two witnesses on the last day of the 70th week of Daniel, and their resurrection, and ascension into heaven on the 4th day of the 30-day Reclamation Period, and the attendant earthquake that devastated a tenth part of the City of Jerusalem, the tactical headquarters of the antiMessiah, with a death toll of seven thousand. ” The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly”(Rev11:14).
Divine Purpose For The Day Of The LORD
God has revealed Himself generally in nature. He has also revealed Himself specifically in His word, the Bible. For men to deny the existence of God is to deny the self-evident facts of their own existence. Therefore humanistic evolution is an affront on God. Besides the atheists and evolutionists who deny the existence of God, there are those like the deist and theists who believe there is God, but deny that He has any interest in the affairs of men. Deism says God is dead. That is as bad as saying He does not exist; for God cannot die. He is an eternal being. There are also those who believe that there is God, that he has interest in the affairs of men, but make no effort whatsoever to live a righteous life. These are bloody hypocrites. There are also the phony religionists who tell us that God has mandated them to make everyone to live according to their own pony ideas about God. They are ready to kill those of us who do not agree or conform to their own pony ideas about God.
There are those who believe that God is so loving that He will not punish sin. God is love indeed. ” He that loveth knoweth God; for God is love”(1Jon.4:16). God so loved us that He gave His only begotten Son(Jon.3:16). God is so longsuffering that He is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance”(2Pet.3:9). This is one side of the coin, the obverse. The reverse side is also true; God is holy and righteous. He is of purer eyes than to behold evil(Hab.1:13). He is equally a God of justice. He has commanded all men everywhere to repent(Acts 17:30). Although He is longsuffering, His patience will one day run out. He has appointed a day in which He will judge the world by Jesus Christ whom He has chosen(Acts 17:31).
In That Day, the wrath of God will be “revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness”(Rom.1:18). The present Heaven and Earth are “reserved unto fire, kept for the day of judgement and destruction of ungodly men”(2Pet.3:7). The two fold purpose of The Day Of The LORD will be to judge the ungodly, and to cleanse, purge, and purify Israel.
To Judge The Ungodly
In That Day, God will pour out His wrath upon the ungodly. This is the righteous consequence of His attributes as God of love and holiness. The God of love and holiness will not infinitely continue to permit men to do as they please without calling them to account. All men will one day give account to God(Rom.14:12). All men will one stand before God. Before that day, God would have given all men opportunity to repent, and call upon Him for mercy. Men would waste these opportunities, reject God’s entreaties through His servants, and choose rather to worship the beast and his image of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood which they have made for themselves to worship(Is.2:20,21). God’s justice in punishing the wicked will be self-evident in that despite God’s wrath being poured out on them, they will not repent. “… and they did not repent of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their theft”(Rev.9:20,21). Therefore the wrath of God will be the necessary and just consequence of man’s intransigence towards God, his blantant sin, and rebellion against God, and the impenitence of his heart.
To Cleanse, Purge, And Purify Israel
The other purpose that the wrath will serve is to cleanse, purge, and purify Israel. Apart from the 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel who would be sealed with the seal of the living God before the wrath of God begins, the rest of the remnant of Israel will go through the wrath of God unprotected as it were, in order to cleanse, purge, and purify them.
That the rest of the remnant of Israel will go through The Day Of The LORD is proven by the fact that when the children of Israel who are under siege by the antiMessiah during the Great Tribulation see the sign given in the sun, moon, and stars, they will cry peace and safety(1Thess.5:3), thinking that God is about to deliver them, not knowing that His wrath is inclusive of them too. The destruction will be The Day Of The LORD which God shall unleash at the breaking of the seventh seal. They miscalculated. They did not heed the warning of their prophet:
” Woe unto them that desire the day of the LORD! To what end is it for you? The day of the LORD is darkness, and not light, as if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? Even very dark, and no brightness in it?”(Amos 5:18-20).
God will discard the dross, those who have bowed to the image of the beast, while at the same time refining the remnant of the woman that will soon come into a saving relationship with the true Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ. The prophet Isaiah proclaimed:
” Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me on mine enemies: and I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin: and I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterwards thou shall be called The city of righteousness, the faithful city. Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness. And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the LORD shall be consumed”(Is.1:24-28).
Jews who worship the antiMessiah shall escape the great tribulation only to witness the wrath of God. In That Day, ” They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels; because it is the stumbling block of their iniquity. As for the beauty of his ornament, he set in majesty: but they made the images of their abominations and of their detestable things therein: therefore have I set far from them”(Ezek.7:19,20).
God will make their idols an abhorrent and detestable thing to them. The prophet Malachi also spoke of the purification of the house of Israel in day of the Lord. ” Who may abide the day of His coming? And who shall stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner’s fire, and a fuller’s soap: And He shall sit like a refiner and a purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as silver and gold, that they offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness”(Mal.3:2,3).
The prophet Zechariah added his voice also, ” And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: and they shall call on my name, and I will answer them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God”(Zech.13:8,9).
We can see that the prophets are unequivocal in testifying of the purification of the house of Israel. Of all Jews who enter the 70th week of Daniel, two parts shall refuse the mark of the beast and be killed by the antiChrist. The remaining one-third shall pass through the fires of the wrath of God to be purified as silver is purified, and refined as gold is refined. The Day Of The LORD shall be as the refiner’s fire and as a fuller’s soap to purge, purify and refine the house of Israel, as He did the 144, 000 in the Edomite wilderness(Ezek.20:33-38).
Between the wrath of God and the wrath of Satan, only a third of unbelieving Jews who enter the 70th week of Daniel(Dan.9:24), will survive at the end of it, when the fullness of the Gentiles is come in(Rom.11:25). Only then shall ” all Israel be saved”(Rom.11:26); then and only then will they all as a nation, and as individuals acknowledge, ” The Lord is my God”(Zech.13:9). Thus will the mystery of God be finished, and the spiritual kingdom of God complete, bringing to a terminal end the rule of Satan over the earthly realm of God’s Universal Kingdom.
Precisely in the middle of the 70th week, Satan shall be cast down to the earth. He shall exercise “great wrath, knowing that he hath but a short time”(Rev.12:12). Satan’s divinely permitted but restricted presence and power on Earth will run throughout his allotted time of 42 months, from the midpoint to the end of the 70th week . Thereafter, he shall only be permitted to kill the two witnesses(Rev.11:7-14), and gather his forces for the final battle at Armageddon where he shall meet his Waterloo(Rev.19:20,21). At the breaking of the sixth, the cosmic disturbances associated with it shall bring about a significant reduction in the amount of freedom and power that Satan’s minion, the antiChrist exercised since the removal of the restrainer, archangel Michael. At the appearance of His coming, the perousia, which also marks the starting point of The Day Of The LORD, or The Day Of His Coming, the antiMessiah shall once again be under restraint. This time around, the restrainer shall be Christ Himself.
Right from the breaking of the sixth seal, and the cosmic disturbances associated with it, as the antiMessiah comes under Christ’s restraint, some of the Jews in the land of Israel who refused allegiance to the antiMessiah, who have been living in hiding up until this time, shall begin to fight back against the forces of the antiMessiah, in and around Israel, more so around the Holy City, Jerusalem. This will be like the Jews who fought in the Maccabean Revolt, in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes, who is the prefigure of the antiMessiah.
The decisive change in the limits of the power of the antiMessiah evident from the breaking of the sixth seal and attendant cosmic disturbances, and the perousia of Christ, prior to his final destruction at Armageddon can be seen in Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians.
” The mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that wicked one be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming: Even him whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders” ( 2Thess.2:7-9).
Obviously, Paul seems to be a bit redundant when he says The Messiah will both consume the wicked one and destroy him. Anyone who is consumed is destroyed. When viewed carefully, verse 8 describes a separate and distinct result of Christ’s Second Coming. At the final battle of Armageddon, Christ will ultimately destroy the antiChrist. Initially, by the brightness or appearance of His coming, Christ shall render the antiChrist useless. The Greek word rendered destroyed is katageo. A better translation of this word is given in Rotherham’s Bible, which renders it paralyzed.
The restrictions of the power of the antiMessiah shall occur at the parousia- the appearance of His Coming. It is at the parousia that every eye shall see Him ( Rev.1:7). The brightness or appearance of His Coming is the Shekinah in the heaven. This is the only sign Christ gave to His disciples in the Olivet Discourse, when they asked Him, ” Tell us when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the End Of The Ages(sunteleia)?” There is only one sign(semeion) of His Coming and of the End Of The Ages. He gave the answer to their question in verse 30.
” Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heaven shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son Of Men in the heaven: 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 the great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other”(Matt.24:29-31).
As we have pointed out, the restrictions will occur at the appearance of His coming. The appearance of His coming is the same as the sign of the Son Of Man in the heaven. It is then that “every eye shall see Him; and all the kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him”(Rev.1:7). “And then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn.” Then shall “the dead in Christ rise first, and then we who are alive and remain shall be gathered together 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”(1Thess.4:16-18).
At that time the antiMessiah shall be rendered useless, paralyzed. Only the LORD shall be exalted in That Day(Is.2:17), until the time of his final judgment, when he shall be cast alive into the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone(Rev.19:20) alongside his enforcer, the second beast, also called the false prophet(Rev.13:11-18).
This excellent exegesis by Robert Van Kampen and Marvin J. Rosenthal interprets Jesus’ statement that ” except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elects’ sake, those days shall be shortened”(Matt.24:22). Our brethren of the Pretribulation persuasion interpret those days to mean the entire length of the second half of the 70th week. This cannot be true; for if the 70th is cut short, it is no longer one week in duration. It will make the prophecy of Daniel 9 false altogether. What is cut short is the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist. The Greek word translated cut short or shortened is koloboo. It is better rendered amputated. It is a surgical term. The Great Tribulation is the diseased part of the second half of the 70th seven. It is amputated just as a diseased part of the limb is amputated.
The Great Tribulation by the antiMessiah is terminated when the object of his disaffection, the church is taken away from the Earth’s premises, and Christ renders him useless, idle, and paralyzed by the brightness of His Coming at His appearance in the heavens till his destruction at Armageddon.
This interpretation also fits perfectly into Isaiah’s Day-of-the-Lord prophecy model. ” For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low. And upon all the ceders of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, And upon every tower, and upon every fenced wall, And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures. And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day”(Is.2:12-17). During The Day Of The LORD, the ungodly will be abased. Their leader, the antiMessiah shall be rendered useless, paralyzed, prior to their final judgment and destruction at Armageddon. During The Day Of The LORD, only Christ shall be exalted. Though Satan shall have limited power through his proxy, the antiChrist; it shall be only within narrow limits defined by God until his final destruction at the Battle of Armageddon.
This excellent interpretation should also put to rest the notion and idea that the cruel and ungodly persecution of the saints at the hands of the antiMessiah could ever be considered part of God’s wrath, which as they teach begins at the commencement of the 70th week. It is inconceivable that the antiChrist could desecrate the temple, declare himself God, demand the worship of all mortals, persecute the saints and elect of God during a period of time when only the Lord will be exalted(Is.2:17).
Following the breaking of the sixth seal and the associated cosmic disturbances, the antiChrist shall be greatly restricted. Persecuted Jews shall be able to fight back since the antiMessiah took control of Jerusalem in the Jerusalem campaign at the midpoint of the 70th week when he relocated his headquarters to Jerusalem. They and the rest of the world shall have opportunity to carry out a resistance movement against the antiChrist. Those Jews who did not take his mark of allegiance, who have escaped his persecution, shall be able to launch guerrilla war against the antiChrist and the surrounding nations allied to him who have gathered against Israel in the valley of Jehoshaphat prior to the commencement of The Day Of The LORD(Joel 3:11-16).
This will be like the resistance movement in the Maccabean revolt against Antiochus Epiphanes who attempted to hellenize the Jews. Like them, these Jews will hide in the Judean Hills from where they will launch military incursions against the military installations of the antiMessiah. The prophet Zechariah described this guerilla style warfare embarked upon by the Jewish survivors.
” In That Day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a touch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, and on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem”(Zech.12:6).
Obviously, ‘That Day’ is a reference to The Day Of The LORD, during which the antiMessiah shall be paralyzed and rendered useless, by the appearance or brightness of His Coming(2 Thes.2:8). Then those Jews who did not capitulate to the authority of the antiChrist, who have been hiding in underground sewers, bunkers, and cellars in and around Jerusalem, shall begin to dwell in their own sites in Jerusalem. In other words, they shall be able to get a foothold in some part of the city. Then the clans of Judah who thus far have hid in the Judean wilderness shall be able to make incursions against the antiMessiah in and around Jerusalem. God will help the clans of Judah by supernaturally destroying the soldiers of the antiMessiah. The prophet Zechariah wrote:
” And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. And it shall come to pass in That Day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour. And Judah shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, silver, and apparel, in great abundance”(Zech.14:12-14).
The word of God calls it a plague, but what kind of plague will cause the flesh of men to rot away while they are yet standing? That will cause the eyes to rot away in their sockets, and the the tongues in their mouths? This will be a sudden catastrophic phenomenon. It seems to me there will be nuclear exchanges. It may be there are some chemical and biological weapons that men might develop prior to that time. Lassa fever, for instance, can kill its victim within 3-4 hours. But to cause the tongue to rotten in the mouth, and the eyes in their sockets while the victim is yet alive, would be extreme virulent organism that men might wake up some day from the Canadian permafrost. Right now scientists are busy in laboratories around the world trying to alter viral genomes through genetic engineering to produce extremely virulent viral biotypes. Whatever is the case, whether through human genius or entirely by supernatural means, God will intervene to help the sons of Israel, and the men of Judah who, shall be surrounded by extremely hostile and mortal enemies and allies of the antiChrist. Besides this strange phenomenon, the armies of the world shall become mad and destroy each his fellow soldier. Chemical weapon attack can produce this can of effect in humans.
The End Of The 70th Week: The Fulfillment Of Dan.9:24
The death of the two witnesses marks the end of the 70th week of Daniel; for their ministry lasts for three and one half years, which biblical scholars are agreed occurs within and is equivalent in length to the second half of the 70th seven. According to the archangel Gabriel’s word to the prophet Daniel,
” Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and the prophesy, and to anoint the most holy”(Dan.9:24).
As we have pointed out severally, six things are to be accomplished within this period of time relating to God’s plan and purposes concerning the children of Israel, and their Holy City, Jerusalem. In other words, within this interim of seventy weeks or 490 years according to the Jewish calendar, the following things shall be accomplished for Israel and her Holy City, Jerusalem: (1) to finish the transgression, (2) to make an end of sins, (3) to make reconciliation or atonement for iniquity, (4) to bring in everlasting righteousness, (5) to seal up the vision and the prophecy, and (6) to anoint The Most Holy.
At the end of the 70th week, we discover that only three of these six things, the ones related to sin have been accomplished. At the expiration of the 70th week, the transgression of the nation of Israel will be finished, and their sin against God ended, and atonement or reconciliation or satisfaction for wrong doing in the behalf of the nation of Israel and her Holy City, Jerusalem made. When their iniquity before God is satisfied, the jail sentence is over, the requisite right has been performed. Now Israel as a nation can be reconciled to God. This also corresponds with the expiration of the ministry of the two witnesses. It is exactly this same issue that Apostle Paul addressed in Romans:
” I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness? For I would not brethren that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob”(Rom.11:11-12;25-26).
The bad news was that Israel make an end of her sins, finish her transgression, and then make atonement for her iniquity. All these come to a climax, and completion at the end of the 70th week, before which God will not be satisfied with Israel. In other words, the spiritual blinders of Israel will not be removed until the completion and expiry of the 70th week. This is the reason why Israel returned to the land of covenant as dry bones(Ezek.37:7-14). Aside from been decimated by the Holocaust, they were spiritually impoverished. They were still spiritually blinded to the fact the Messiah has already come before the destruction of the temple in 70 AD(Dan.9:26). There spiritual blinders shall not be taken off until the surviving remnant of Israel, the natural line of Abrahm, have been purged, purified, and cleansed, and their iniquity atoned for. Then and only then will God bring in everlasting righteousness, seal up the vision and the prophecy, and anoint The Most Holy, which is the enthronement and coronation of Jesus The Messiah of Israel and all mankind as King of kings, and LORD of lords.
The Small Scroll
Rev.5:1-9:21 records the sequence of events of the 70th week in chronological order. The 70 week expires after the sixth trumpet judgment kills a third of mankind, after the first woe associated with the end of the fifth trumpet judgment, but before the second woe that occurs prior to the sounding of the seventh trumpet, after the resurrection of the two witnesses. The seals, trumpets and bowls of Revelation transpire sequentially. The Great Tribulation(the fourth seal), and martyred saints arriving in heaven(the fifth seal), are concurrent, and begin at the midpoint of the 70th week. They are followed by the cosmic disturbances(the sixth seal), and the sign of the coming of The Day Of The LORD, the brightness or appearance of His Coming which is the Shekinah in the heavens. This is followed by the seventh seal which is The Day Of The LORD.
The two witnesses live and minister during the second half of the 70th week. Their ministry which lasts three and one-half years expires at the end of the 70th week. In other words, the death of the two witnesses marks the end, the terminus-ad-quem of the 70th seven. They will be martyred at the end of the sixth trumpet that annihilates a third of mankind, but before the second woe, and the sounding of the seventh trumpet, at which point God Almighty reclaims His rule over the earth. Therefore the 70th week must end before the sounding of the seventh trumpet, followed immediately, on the same day by the martyrdom of the two witnesses , and four days later by their resurrection, after which the seventh trumpet will be sounded.
At the completion of the 70th week, Israel and her Holy City, Jerusalem, would have been trodden under foot for forty and two months or three and one-half years or 1,260 days by the Gentiles(Rev.11:2). The Times Of The Gentiles would have been fulfilled(Luk.21:24). The purging, purifying, refining, and cleansing of Israel would also have been completed. The fullness of the Gentiles would also have come in. Therefore all Israel is now poised to be saved. The time of their full redemption, to bring in everlasting righteousness(Dan.9:24), will begin with the opening of The Small Scroll(Rev.10:2).
The Little Scroll contains bittersweet truth. “And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little scroll. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be sweet in thy mouth as honey. And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon a s I had eaten it, my belly was made bitter. And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings”(Rev.10:8-11).
The sweetness represents God’s gracious redemption of Israel, which completes the spiritual kingdom of God, and occurs shortly before the sounding of the seventh trumpet, thusly bringing in the physical Kingdom of God over which Christ would rule. The bitterness thereof is the Final Wrath of God, the worst of its kind ever to be poured out on the living wicked earth-dwellers. It will be swift and devastating on the kingdom of darkness. So, these events, the martyrdom of the two witnesses, the sounding of the seventh trumpet, the subsequent seven bowl judgments, and the climactic Battle of Armageddon shall occur after the completion of the 70th week, during the 30-day Reclamation Period. Whereas The Large Scroll represents the events of the 70th week, The Small Scroll, with its bittersweet content, on the other hand, represents the events that transpire after the completion of the 70th week.
The 30-Day Reclamation Period
This period of 30-days that follows the end of the 70th week is aptly named the Reclamation Period by Robert Van Kampen. During this period, Christ reclaims the remnant of Israel that have survived the 70th week: God Almighty reclaims His rule over the Earth usurped by Satan at the fall of man; and our Lord Jesus The Christ reclaims physical possession of the Earth as God’s representative in the earthly domain of His Universal Kingdom.
Scriptural Basis For Additional 30-Days
The prophet Daniel tells us there is additional time after the end of the 70th week before the beginning of the Millennium.
” And from the time the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days”(Dan.12:11). Our Lord Jesus in His Olivet discourse also referred to the abomination of desolation, “When ye therefore see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the Holy Place, whosoever readeth, let him understand:”( Matt.24:15).
The Great Tribulation begins precisely in the middle of the 70th week. It will be sparked by the abomination of desolation or the abomination that maketh desolate. This shall occur when the antiChrist erects an image of himself in the Holy Of Holies of the rebuilt Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. The Temple shall be deserted by observant Jews when they see that the man they entered into covenant with for seven years has not only defiled the Holy Place by erecting an image of himself in the Holy Of Holies of the Temple but also reveals himself as a dead man come back to life, and demands worship of all mortals.” Let no man deceive you by any means: for That Day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth exalteth himself above all that is called God, or worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as God”( 2 Thess.2:3,4).
It is obvious the abomination that maketh desolate referred to by Daniel the prophet is the antiChrist who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God or worshipped, who takes his seat in the temple built for the worship of Jehovah, displaying himself as God(2Thess.2:4). It could appear as though 1, 290 days separates the abolition of the regular daily sacrifice from the abomination of desolation. But it is explicitly obvious from other scriptures that the two events are initiated the same day, same time, at the middle of the 70th week.
“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate”(Dan.9:27).
It is clear that the abolition of the regular daily sacrifice and the setting up of the abomination of desolation will be initiated the same day, same time at the midpoint of the 70th week. We can see that Daniel was referring to the duration of the abomination, and not the interval between the abolition of the regular daily sacrifice and the erection of the image of the beast-antiChrist which is the abomination that maketh desolate. The desecration of the Temple by the antiMessiah will start at the midpoint of the 70th week, from the time he puts a stop to the daily sacrifice and grain offering, and last for 1,290 days, until a complete destruction, that is decreed, is poured out upon the one who makes desolate, that is the antiChrist.
As we have pointed out, the Jewish calendar is lunar. Each month consists of 30 days. The Jewish year is therefore 360 days. The three and one half years of the second half of the 70th week will be 360 x 3.5 = 1,260 days. It therefore follows that there are additional 30 days beyond the end of the second half of the 70th week. C. F. Keil, the noted Hebrew and OT scholar shares the same view and position.
“Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days”(Dan.12:12).
All interpreters are agreed that the 1,290 and the 1,335 days have the same terminus-a-quo(starting point). Therefore the 1,290 days are comprehended in the 1,335 days, the latter extending beyond the former by 45 days. According to C. F. Keil, the oppression cannot properly last longer than 1,290 days, if he who reaches to the 1,335 days is to be regarded as blessed. The antiMessiah shall be destroyed by Christ at Armageddon, 1,290 after he desecrates the Temple, abolishes the daily sacrifice and grain offerings, and demands worship of all mortals at the midpoint of the 70th week. That is three and one-half years plus additional 30 days. This is in conformity with literal sequential view of the Scroll of Revelation. A literal hermeneutics of Revelation demands that The Day Of The LORD will continue beyond the end of the 70th week, culminating 30 days later at the Battle of Armageddon. It therefore follows that although the antiChrist is given authority to act for 42 months, he will not be evicted from the Earth’s premises until the end of the additional 30 days after the end of the 70th week. This hermeneutics harmonizes the prophecies of Daniel with the sequential movement of the seals, trumpets and bowls of the Scroll of Revelation.