There are some biblical scholars even prewrathers that teach that the Scroll Of Revelation is not chronological. Therefore they proceed to chop it up into various parts and try to refit them up to conform to their preconceived notions of eschatological timeline. But a closer examination of the Scroll Of Revelation reveals a highly organized and sequential chronology that is in conformity to the chronology of eschatological timeline. The chronology of the Scroll of Revelation is in consonance with the sequential chronology of eschatological timeline derivable from the Olivet Discourse. The Olivet prophecy and the Scroll Of Revelation give us full treatment of the chronology of eschatological timeline alongside the OT book of Daniel. However, the Scroll Of Revelation gives us fuller and more detailed information than the Olivet Discourse and the book of Daniel since it reveals not only earthly events but also heavenly events at the same time. Just like any good literary piece, it contains flashbacks, parentheses, and periscopes that give fuller and more detailed treatment of previously described events.
Neither the Olivet Discourse nor the OT book of Daniel nor the Scroll Of Revelation itself gives us a full chronology of eschatological timeline without complementary input from the others. The OT book of Daniel is basic in that it introduces us to the 70 sevens prophecy of 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 prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 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.9:24-27 KJV, emphases added).
The 70 sevens(70 x 7 = 490) of Daniel are divided into 7 sevens(7 x 7 = 49) which is 49 years, sixty and two sevens(62 x 7 = 434) which is 434 years and one seven(1 x 7 = 7) which is 7 years. The first 7 sevens and the second sixty-two sevens which are continuous equal 69 sevens(69 x 7 = 483) which are 483 years. The terminus-a-quo(starting point) of the 70 sevens(70 x 7 = 490) is the going forth of the commandment to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem given by the Persian king Artaxerxes Longimanus(Neh.2:5). This commandment was given in 445 BC as conclusively proven by Sir Robert Anderson. The first 7 sevens and the second sixty and two sevens are history. After the second sixty-two sevens or weeks, that is, after 483 years from the commencement of the 70 weeks, the Messiah Jesus was crucified on the Roman execution stake(Cross of Calvary), outside the wall of the Old City of Jerusalem in 32 AD. After that the Second Temple built by the returning exiles from Babylonian and Assyrian captivity, finished about 515 BC, and extensively and lavishly refurbished by Herod the Great, a puppet of Rome, was destroyed in 70 AD by the Roman General Titus following the rebellion of Jews under Roman domination(66-74 AD). From this prophecy by Daniel, we understand that the Messiah was to come before the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD. Therefore any Messiah that appears for the first time after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD is a pseudoMessiah. This prophecy conclusively proves that Jesus is the only true Messiah.
There is no gap between the first 7 sevens and the second sixty and two sevens. In other words, the first 7 sevens and the second sixty and two sevens are continuous. But there is a gap of time, an intermediate period of unknown duration between the second sixty-two sevens and the last(third) one seven or the 70th seven. This gap occurs at the end of the 69th week. This gap of time is variously named by biblical scholars as the Timeless Period, the Church Age, the Gentile Interlude, the Mysterion, the intermediate period, the indeterminate period or simply the Gap, each of which reflects and is descriptive of some of its aspects. A whole lot of events have transpired in this gap of time. As we have mentioned, the Second Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah was destroyed in 70 AD, and the Jews scattered all over the world, the so called Diaspora. Within this period the New Covenant was established on the day of Passover, the Last Super, in the upper Room on Mount Zion, and the Church was instituted on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem. Between AD 132-135, The Bar Kochba rebellion occurred. It was sparked by the renaming of Jerusalem Aelia Capitolina by Roman Emperor Hadrian. It was led by Ben Kosiva whom the famed Rabbi Akiva renamed Bar Kochba, son of the star, a veiled reference to his acknowledgment of him as the Messiah. He was a descendant Of David. After the Roman defeat of the Bar Kochba Revolt, Jerusalem was ploughed with yokes of oxen, rebuilt, and Jews were barred from it under the pain of death. Within this period also, the First World War occurred(1914-1918). Within this period also, Adolf Hitler of cursed memory arose and established the Third Reich. This kingdom is the 7th Beast Empire of Satan that persecuted Israel in exile. It lasted for a short time, a mere twelve years(1933-1945), according to the prophecy of John the revelator.
“And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.”(Rev.17:9-10).
Adolf Hitler led the whole world into the Second World War(1938-45) in which an estimated 45-60 million people perished. During the Second World War, Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler exterminated 6 million Jews in gas chambers and crematoria he built all over Eastern and parts of Western Europe, 2 millions of whom were Jewish children whose lives were snuffed out in the embryo. Within this gap also Israel arose from the ashes of the Holocaust like the proverbial Phoenix and reconstituted itself as an independent nation on 14th May, 1948, following the end of the British Mandate over Palestine. We are now in this gap of time which shall be abruptly brought to an end by the covenant of peace between the antiMessiah and the many from within Israel.
“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).
The prophet Isaiah calls it the “covenant with death,” “agreement with Sheol(Hell),” “refuge in lies,” and “hiding under falsehood.”
“Wherefore hear the word of the Lord, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:”(Is.28:14-15).
Daniel goes on to inform us that the antiChrist, the Prince that shall come(The Coming Prince) shall break this peace agreement with the many from within Israel at the midpoint of the 70th week of Daniel.
“And in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.”
This division of the 70th week into two equal halves is affirmed by John the revelator in the Scroll Of Revelation.
“And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.”(Rev.11:1-3).
The treading of the outer court under foot for forty and two months is concurrent with the ministry of the two witnesses, and the allotted time of the antiChrist to reign over the Holy City and the people of God. During this period, the woman hides in the wilderness.
“And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.”(Rev.12:13-14).
Since the Scriptures have given us these two divisions of the 70 week of Daniel, it will be inappropriate, and indeed biblically and exegetically indefensible for us to create a third division or fourth division in order to accommodate our own preconceived notions of the sequence, time, and timing of End Time events. Without these two divisions of the 70th week of Daniel, it would be difficult to understand the sequential chronology of events in the Olivet Discourse. The second half of the 70th week is further divided into two parts of unknown durations: the Great Tribulation, and the Day Of The Lord.
The extra 75 days in two interims of 30 days and 45 days are found in Daniel 12.
“And from the time that 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. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.”(Dan.12:11-12).
The 1,260 days, the 1,290 days, and the 1,335 days have the same terminus-a-quo(starting point) from the setting up of the abomination that makes desolate at the midpoint of the 70th week of Daniel. In other words, the 1, 260 days and the 1, 290 days are all comprehended in the 1,335 days. It will be difficult to understand the sequential chronology of the Scroll Of Revelation without these two extra periods of time. Certain events occur within these two extra periods of time without which the Scroll Of Revelation may appear fuzzy.
The other period is the Millennium which is the 1,000-year reign of Christ.
“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”(Rev.20:4).
The Millennium is synonymous with the New Heaven And The New Earth(Isa.65:17-25; Rev.21:1ff). There are some biblical scholars of prophecy that separate the two. This need not be so because what the prophet Isaiah described as the New Heaven And The New Earth is life in the Millennium. After the Millennium will be Eternity future, or what is referred to by some biblical scholars as the Eternal State.
Having outlined the sequential chronology of events in the 70th week of Daniel and beyond, we shall now examine the Scroll Of Revelation to see how it fits perfectly into this sequential chronology. At the end we shall leave the reader to be the judge and to draw his or her own conclusions.
The Revelation Of Jesus The Christ
Rev.1 is introductory to the whole Scroll of Revelation. It is the unveiling of the risen Christ, Jesus our Saviour in His glory.
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to shew unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto his servant John:”(Rev.1:1).
God the Father gave it to Him to show unto His servants things that must shortly come to pass. It was revealed to Apostle John, the apocalyptist(revelator) through the mediation of an angel. We are not told who this angel is nor his regalia and status. It may well be archangel Gabriel, the bringer of good news. It may well be that this angel is Jesus Himself. It was not unusual in the OT to refer to the second person of the Godhead, pre-incarnate Jesus as the angel of the Lord. The Scroll Of Revelation is different from all other epistles because it is a direct communication from Christ to John. Jesus is the author; Apostle John the revelator was His amanuensis. It is the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. John was in the spirit and recorded what he saw and heard. The means of communication to John were vision and audition. There are some biblical scholars like Dr. Eli Lizorkin Eyzenberg that teach that the Lord’s day in Rev.1:10, – “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,”- is not Sunday, the first day of the week, but the Day Of The Lord. This interpretation is allegorical. This is both biblically and historically indefensible. It turns the chronology of the Scroll Of Revelation on its head. In the Day Of The Lord, believers like our brother Apostle John the revelator shall be in the spirit having being raptured already. But this is not what is meant by our brother Apostle John the revelator by “I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day.” The Lord’s day is Sunday, the day our Lord Jesus the Messiah rose from the dead, not the Day Of The Lord. The disciples of the Lord chose this day, the first day of the Jewish week to meet to celebrate and commemorate His triumph over death, the resurrection of the Lord from the dead. Jesus is the first to rise from the dead, and live for ever in a glorified eternal immortal resurrection body. He is the firstfruits of them that slept. “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.”(1 Cor.15:20).
The Seven Churches
In the Revelation are letters addressed to seven churches in Asia Minor. These were actual local assemblies of believers in Jesus Christ that existed at that time. Asia Minor is in present day Turkey. They were not the only ones in Asia Minor at that time. Christ chose them as representatives of all local assemblies of believers at that time, at all times during the Church Age, and more importantly as prototypes(specimens, samples) of the local assemblies of believers in the 70th week of Daniel, the last seven years of this Age as we know it. Any local assembly of believers will fit into one of these prototypes at all times, and more so in the 70th week of Daniel. Some of these cities have survived, but the local assemblies have not, which goes to show that the messages have relevance beyond the immediate period and the local assemblies of believers Jesus referred, and are applicable to the body of Christ in the End Times at all locations. The other reason also being that in each epistle, Jesus made reference to His second Coming and reward to overcomers(2:7,11,17, 26-28; 3:5,11-12,21). These churches must enter into the 70th week of Daniel, encounter the eschatological antagonist, the antiChrist(antiMessiah), overcome his reign of terror, before being raptured and rewarded.
In verse 11, Jesus introduces Himself as the Alpha and Omega. In verse 8, He is quoted as describing Himself as Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the beginning and the ending. In the OT, the Alpha and Omega(the First and the Last), the first and last letters of the Greek Alphabets are used to describe the Yahweh of Israel(Isa.44:6). If Jesus were not God, it will be blasphemous for Him to make this claim. The rest of the chapter is the vision of the risen Christ in His glory with seven stars in His right hand, walking in the midst of the seven candlesticks. The seven stars are the angel of the seven churches, and the seven candlesticks are the seven churches or local assemblies themselves. Representative angels of the churches stand before God in His Throne Room in the Temple of God in Heaven. There are also angels that guard these churches here on Earth too.
They are also human representatives, the messengers of God, who stand before God as representatives of the churches, and also before men as representatives of God. This dual role puts them in a unique position before God and Man. The symbols and images in this chapter are interpreted to us within the chapter. So, we do not need to look elsewhere for elucidation. His snowy white hair signal righteousness and justice. He is the judge of the whole Earth. God the Father has committed all judgment to Him. His fiery eyes signal His indignation toward sin, evil, wickedness, and all unrighteousness. His golden girdle is indicative of his kingship and royalty. He is the son of David. He is the son of man. He is the son of God. He has the Title Deed of the Earth. His legs of brass signal judgment. These appellatives signal His kingship and role as judge of the whole Earth.
Letters To The Seven Churches
Chapters 2 & 3 are descriptions of the condition and state in each of the seven local churches. In each letter, Christ is introduced and certain aspects of His person germane to the local assembly is revealed. The condition of the local assembly is stated. The church is commended or condemned. A recommendation is made and an invitation is extended to the local assembly to overcome with respect to the soon coming of the Lord.
“He that has ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.”
In relation to the coming of the Lord, any local assembly will fall into one of these seven categories. It also refers to individual Christians. Local assemblies as well as individual Christians could fall into one of these seven categories. The seven churches could be further broken down into three categories: faithful and uncompromising as exemplified by the church of Philadelphia and perhaps the church of Smyrna, the dead church or Christian as exemplified by the church of Sardis. These are the two extremes. In between are the unfaithful and compromising churches or Christians exemplified by the church of Thyatira. These churches or Christians constitute the majority.
Five of the churches are unfaithful and compromising. The majority of believers are unfaithful and compromising. Few are spiritually dead though they exhibit all the paraphernalia of religion. They have not the life of the Son Of God. They call Jesus Lord, Lord, but do not seek nor obey His will. They know nothing about God’s will for their lives and are not careful to walk in the light of His word. Majority of them will take the Mark Of Beast without bathing an eye. They are so much into the world and the world into them. However, there is a segment of them that will repent and accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour and die for their faith in Him. This will be an uphill task. We must began now to examine ourselves, and make the necessary adjustments in order that we may not be caught off guard. Few are faithful and uncompromising. The Church of Philadelphia and perhaps the Church of Smyrna depending on one’s view, are the only one or two local assemblies which received unqualified commendations. Such will be the conditions in the churches and the state of individual Christians prior to and into the 70th week of Daniel. In the light of these, it behoves us to examine ourselves whether we are in the faith, and to upgrade accordingly.
Revelation is a book of sevens. There are seven churches, seven benedictions, seven heads, seven mountains, seven horns and seven eyes, seven thunders, seven seals, seven trumpets, seven bowls, seven kings, etc. Seven is the number of perfection and completeness. God is about to bring history to a consummate end. There are some that interpret the seven churches to represent seven church ages. This cannot be biblically substantiated. Who determines when one age ends and the other begins? What are the criteria? There are others that teach that each of the seven churches corresponds to the seven years of the 70th week. This view too, like the first cannot be biblically substantiated. It will turn the chronology of the End Times on its head, as it would mean that the last church, the church of Laodecia shall be here till the last year of the 70th week which perhaps would be the sixth trumpet judgment. Why the lukewarm Church instead of the dead Church, the Church of Sardis. This kind of interpretation does violence to the Scriptures. It is biblically unjustified.
The Throne Room In Heaven
Chapters 4 & 5 are a heavenly scene. There should be no chapter break here. They should be viewed as a whole and studied together. They are one. The revelator, Apostle John is invited into the Throne Room of God in the heavenly Temple. In chapter 4, the Throne Room is described. God the Father is seated on the Throne enveloped in glory like the rainbow. Roundabout His Throne are twenty and four other thrones on which are seated twenty and four elders. Roundabout and in the midst of the Throne are four living creatures with the appearance of lion, calf, the face of man and the fourth like a flying eagle which are representative of all creatures: domestic animals, wild animals, man, and the fowls of the heavens. These are actually angels which continually worship the thrice holy God, saying, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. There are some pretribs that teach that the Rapture occurs when Apostle John, the revelator, was invited into the Throne Room in Heaven in 4:1. This also is a strained interpretation which cannot be biblically substantiated.
In chapter 5, God the Father is seated on the Throne with the seven sealed Scroll in His hand. A search was conducted in Heaven and on Earth, no man was found worthy to break the seven seals of the Scroll and to open the Scroll. Apostle John, the revelator wept sore. One of the elders consoled him, saying,
“weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, hath prevailed to open the Scroll, and to break the seven seals thereof”(5).
Christ was seen standing in the midst of the Throne, the four living creatures, and of the twenty and four elders, like a lamb slain, having seven horns and seven eyes which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the Earth. Jesus is our kinsman redeemer, the “goel.” He came, he conquered. He has prevailed. He is God the Father’s Son and representative in the earthly realm of His universal kingdom. He is the last Adam, and the second man, the Lord from the Heaven(1 Cor.15:47). He has the right of primogeniture. He has right to the title deed of the Earth, as the Son of God, the Son Of Man, and the heir to the throne of David. He is the perfect God-Man. He is the heavenly archetypal man. Seven is the number of divine perfection. Eyes signal intelligence and horns power and authority. Seven eyes and seven horns signal perfect intelligence, understanding, knowledge, wisdom, and authority and power. The seven spirits of God signal divine intrinsic eternal perfections. Jesus is in perfect harmony with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
The seven-sealed Scroll is the Title Deed of the Earth. Some scholars like J. Webb Mealy and Alan E. Kurschner regard it as certificate of debenture. And this may well be true. The Earth was leased to Adam not sold for six days each of which corresponds to a millennium.
“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.”(2 Peter 3:8).
The Title Deed of the Earth is in Heaven. God is the possessor of the heavens and the Earth.
“And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:”(Genesis 14:18-19).
The Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.
“The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.”(Psalms 24:1-2).
No one else could take that seven-sealed Scroll and break the seals. The seals are on the exterior of the Scroll. They have to be broken before the contents of the Scroll can be accessed. The seals are conditions to be met before the Scroll can be opened. He has vacated His seat on the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens. He is about to return to the Earth to reclaim God’s rule over the Earth usurped by Satan. The lease to Adam usurped by Satan will soon expire at the end of the sixth millennium. The seventh millennium will be the Shabbat of the Lord. When He took the Scroll, there was jubilation in Heaven. The four living creatures and the four and twenty elders began to harp praises to Him. Vials of odors containing sweet incense of prayers of the saints were offered to Him. They were joined by innumerable company of angels and indeed all creation in a universal orchestra singing a doxology to God the Son. The redeemed saints are conspicuously absent which argues against the notion that the Rapture occurred in Rev.4:1. After the raptured occurred in Rev.7:9-17, the redeemed saints are conspicuously present in the subsequent heavenly scenes in Rev.14, 15, & 19, etc.
We can see that the first five chapters of the Scroll Of Revelation form an introduction and a background to the whole Scroll. The subject matter of the seven-sealed Scroll is the 70th week of Daniel. There are Scholars like Dr. Allan E. Kurschner who see the subject of the Scroll of Revelation as the wrath of God which begins in Rev.8:1 at the breaking of the seventh seal. Consequently, they extend the backdrop to the Scroll of Revelation to chapter 7. And this view may well be true.
The 70th Week Of Daniel: The Seven Seals
Chapter 6 introduces us to the 70th week of Daniel, the beginning of the chronology of the Scroll Of Reveation. The 70th week of Daniel is divided into two equal halves of three and one-half years each, 42 months or 1,260 days. The Jewish calendar which is lunar began from day one of the creation of man. Each month is 30 days, and each year is 360 days. So, three and one-half years will be 42 months or 1,260 days.
Revelation 6 is dualistic in nature in that it reveals both heavenly and earthly scenes. Christ is standing in the midst of the Throne Room in the Temple in heaven. He has taken the seven-sealed Scroll from the Father. He breaks a seal, and certain events unfold here on Earth. The first four seals are supervised by the four living creatures in the Throne Room of the Temple of God in Heaven. These are the activities of wicked men. God is in sovereign control, but He is not responsible for the evils that are accomplished by the first four seals. God does permit evil in His Universe, but He does not approve of neither does He perpetrate evil. These are human activities orchestrated by Satan and his human and angelic minions that eventuate in man’s inhumanity to man. These are not the wrath of God at all(Rev.6:17). God does not intervene until the breaking of sixth seal though in sovereign control. The wrath of God does not begin until the breaking of the seventh seal(Rev.8:1 & ff). The first five seals are the wrath of Satan administered by evil men(Rev.12:12). The seals are consecutive and progressive.
The First Half Of The 70th Week: The First Three Seals
Revelation 6 parallels the Olivet Discourse or prophecy in Matt.24. The first seal is the emergence of false christs and the ultimate false christ, the antiChrist, the rider upon a white horse(1,2; Matt.24:4,5). He has a bow but there are no arrows in it. This is subtle peace diplomacy by the antiChrist to gain control of world domination. He shall go forth conquering and to conquer through false peace alliances. He signs a seven-year peace treaty with the many from within Israel, and stations a protection force in Israel to protect the Jewish state pending the time when he will attack Israel himself(Dan.9:27a). This is the terminus-a-quo(starting point) of The 70th week of Daniel. He tries to gain world domination through political intrigue, subtle peace diplomacy and false peace alliances. It fails because not all nations will be deceived and worn over by false peace alliances.
The next movement, the second seal is a rider upon a red horse which signals wars, commotions, rumours and threats of wars(3,4; Matt.24:6,7a). He tries to conquer weaker nations which rebuff his peace overtures by war. The third seal which brings the first three and one half years to a close is the natural consequence of wars, which are famines, pestilence or plagues, and earthquakes(5,6, Matt.24:7b). The first three and one half years is termed the beginning of sorrows or the beginning of birth pangs in the Olivet prophecy(Matt.24:8). These three seals are like the early stages of labor pains in a woman about to give birth. The last stages of labor are the real travail as the woman travails in pain to give birth.
The Second Half Of The 70th Week: The Last Four Seals
The fourth seal begins at the midpoint of the 70th week of Daniel. The fourth seal is Death and Hell(7,8; Matt.24:9-26). This is the Great Tribulation. The fifth seal is a bit unique in that it is entirely a heavenly scene, a reflection of the killings going on here on Earth under the fourth seal.
“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they upheld: 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, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”(9,10,11).
It is concurrent, coincident, and simultaneous with the fourth. It does not advance the chronology of the narrative. The souls of those who were killed for the word of God and the testimony which they upheld are arriving in Heaven and are quartered under The Golden Altar of Incense in the heavenly temple from where they make their plea of vengeance to God. God answered in the affirmative. But they have to wait until their number is complete. There is a complement of believers to be martyred. When that number is complete, God interrupts the Great Tribulation, the killing of the saints going on here on Earth, perpetrated by the antiChrist and his cronies, with cosmo-celestial disturbances in order to save some saints alive for Rapture(Matt.24:22). The fifth seal has no parallel in the Olivet Discourse in that the Olivet Discourse reveals only earthly events. It does not reveal what is going on in the Throne Room in the Temple of God in Heaven. At the time they make their plea in Heaven, the killings under the fourth seal was still going on Earth. So, the fifth seal is coincident and simultaneous with the fourth.
There is a complement of believers to be martyred. When that number is complete, God amputates the Great Tribulation with cosmo-celestial disturbances which is the sixth seal(12,13,14; Matt.24:29). Therefore the fifth seal promises the wrath of God. On the other hand, the sixth seal portends the wrath of God. The sixth seal is preceded by a series of massive universal and worldwide earthquakes and volcanic eruptions spewing hot lava and ash that darkens and blackens the heavens. The sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light. The sun will most probably become sunspot. Meteorites, comets and asteroids will fall from the heavens. This will throw the Earth into utter darkness and confusion. Communications will be disrupted by the CMEs(corona mass ejections), EMPs(electromagnetic pulse waves) from the sunspot which will throw asteroids, comets, and meteorites to the Earth, causing wild fires and devastations. Temperatures will drop very rapidly, and the Earth will be frozen. How long this phenomenon will last, we are not told. However, it will be a temporary phenomenon; no human life will be spared if it were to go on for a long time. It will be one long night as time will fail.
When the Shekinah appears and dispels the darkness and defrosts the Earth, the New Moon may be revealed. It will be Yom Teruah, the blowing of the trumpet at the sighting of the New Moon. The sixth seal signals that the wrath of God is about to begin. Men will throw away their idols, images of the Beast they have made in gold, silver, precious metals and stones, iron, and wood, for themselves to worship, to the moles and to the bats, to seek non-existent refuge in the rocks and the mountains. The humanists, evolutionists, and atheists will know instinctively that God is about to punish them for their evils. They are not able to stand the wrath of the Lamb(15,16,17; Isa.2:18-22).
There is an interlude between the sixth and the seventh seals. This interlude protects from the wrath of God. During this interlude, the Shekinah appears in the heavens. God dispatches His angels with the great sound of a trumpet to gather together His elect from the four winds of the Earth(Matt.24:31). But before the dead believers resurrect and the surviving ones are raptured, the 144,000, 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes of Israel are brought into saving relationship with the God of Israel and sealed with the seal of the Almighty God(Rev.7:1-8; 14:1). The essence of this seal is to protect them from the impending wrath of God. How can they be sealed with the seal of God if they are not brought into a saving relationship with the God of Israel? How can they be sealed if they do not belong to God? Seals are for authenticity, protection, preservation, genuineness, the real McCoy. God will not leave Himself without a witness on Earth. The church is taken away, the 144,000 become God’s witnesses on Earth. It is like the handing over of a baton in a relay race. This will logically, sequentially, and chronologically lead us to Rev.7. However, we must remind ourselves that the 144,000 are not born again Christians else they would be raptured with the Church. They believe in the Messiah of Israel, but they do not believe He is Jesus of Nazareth. They do not believe that Jesus is the King Of The Jews else they would be raptured with the rest of the surviving saints.
The pretribs err in starting the wrath of God from the commencement of the 70th week of Daniel. In doing so they failed to distinguish the wrath of Satan(Rev.12:12,13,17) from the wrath of God(Rev.6:15-17). The wrath of Satan is against the believers in Christ and others who reject the mark of the Beast, whilst the wrath of God is against the unbelievers who accept the mark of the Beast. Which one comes first? The wrath of Satan. God will recompense Tribulation(the Wrath of God) to those who trouble(the Great Tribulation) us believers during the Great Tribulation. Therefore the wrath of God must be preceded by the Great Tribulation.
“Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, In flaming 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 you was believed) in that day.”(2 Thessalonians 1:6-10).
If the Church is raptured before the commencement of the 70th week of Daniel, then the 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel must also be sealed before the beginning of the 70th week because they have to take over from the Church as God’s representatives on the earthly domain of His universal kingdom: a very tall order. God will not leave Himself without a witness on Earth. The 144,000 must take over from the Church. Israel handed over the baton to the Church in 32 AD before going into exile in 70 AD. The Church must also hand over the baton to Israel before being raptured into Heaven. These two events that occur in the interlude between the sixth and the seventh seals are preceded by a third event, the appearance of the The Shekinah in the Heavens which is the visible presence of God. Every eye shall see Him(Rev.1:7; Matt.24:30). Pretribs do not make the argument that the 144,000 must be sealed before the commencement of the 70th week of Daniel for the simple reason that the central pillar of Pretribulationism is imminence. Imminence means that no prophesied event must occur before the rapture can take place; in other words, the rapture can occur at any moment. If the 144,000 are sealed before the Rapture occurs, then the doctrine of imminence is invalidated because the Rapture will no longer be signless. The truth is that neither of these two events occur until shortly before the breaking of the seventh seal in Rev.8:1.
Revelation 7: The Interlude Between The Sixth And The Seventh Seals
In Rev.7, the 144,000 are sealed for protection(1-8) and the church is raptured(9-17), an innumerable multitude which no man could number from all tribes, tongues, and nations, who came out of the Great Tribulation. This innumerable multitude could not all have been martyred in the short period of the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist, neither does the Scripture say they were all martyrs. If the Church has been raptured pretribulationally how can we account for this innumerable company of men and women from all tribes and tongues, nations, coming to the faith in Christ in a short period of less than seven years? How can we account for the fifth seal martyrs who are quartered under The Golden Altar Of Incense in Heaven from where they make a plea of vengeance to God? If the Church has been raptured, when will the so called “Tribulation Saints” rise from the dead? The very same day the Church is raptured, the seventh seal will be broken, and the wrath of God begins. God cannot recompense Tribulation(the wrath of God in the Day Of The Lord) to them until they have troubled us during the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist. As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the day when the Son Of Man is revealed. The same day Noah entered the Ark, rain deluged the heavens and the Earth.
“But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”(Matt.24:37-39).
The Breaking Of The Seventh Seal: The First Six Trumpet Judgments
After the interlude between sixth and seventh seals is the beginning of the wrath of God in the Day Of The Lord or the Day Of His Wrath in Rev.8:1. Rev.8 & 9 consist of the first six trumpet judgments. In Rev.8, the seventh seal is broken, and there emerges seven avenging angels bearing the seven trumpets. The wrath of God consists of the seven trumpets and seven bowls. The seven bowls are contained in the seventh trumpet. Both the trumpets and the bowls are sequential, consecutive and progressive. The nature and mode of administration permit no overlap. The first four trumpets are more or less general. The last three trumpets target those with the mark of the Beast. The fifth trumpet consists of demonic locusts from the bottomless pit that afflicts those with the mark of the Beast without killing them outright. It is the only trumpet and the only event in the whole series of seals and trumpets and bowls with known duration. It lasts five months. The head of these demonic locusts is the king and the angel of the abyss called Abaddon in Hebrew or Apollyon in Greek. Both names mean the same thing; destruction or destroyer. These locusts are fallen evil angelic beings which did not keep their first estate, but left their habitation, and cohabited with human females, giving rise to a new species of hybrid humans(humanoids or transhumans) called the nephilim(Gen.6:1-8; Jude 6).
“For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should otherwise live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:”(2 Peter 2:4-7).
They are humanoids or transhumans. After the destruction of the antediluvian world, they and their humanoid offspring were incarcerated in chains under darkness awaiting the judgment of the Great Day Of The Lord(Jude 6). Human spirits are not sent to the abyss at the severance of the body from the spirit and soul. They either go to Paradise or Hell. In the OT dispensation, Paradise was part of the underworld of the dead. After Jesus rose from the dead, the OT saints were taken to Heaven(Matt.27:42). Paradise is now synonymous with Heaven. Today, the departed saints go straight to Heaven. The OT Paradise is now either empty or nonexistent.
The End Of The fifth trumpet is the first woe. The last three trumpets, fifth, sixth, and seventh are called the three woes. They are more severe. The sounding of the sixth trumpet results in the release of the four fallen evil angels imprisoned in the Euphrates River for an hour, a day, a month, and a year by the sixth avenging angel which resulted in the raising of innumerable number of armored and mechanized divisions of soldiers. These demonic killing machines spewing fire from before and behind(the rear end) wiped out a third of the human population. These are probably demonized amoured robotic vehicles. This should not surprise us because man-machine meld through AI(artificial intelligence) is anti-God. This punishment, however, did not bring repentance to the surviving wicked earth-dwellers and worshippers and adorers of the antiMessiah. The sixth trumpet brings the 70th week to a close.
Like there is an interlude of an unknown duration between the sixth and the seventh seals, there is also an interlude of about seven days between the sixth trumpet and the sounding of the seventh. How do we know that it is about seven days? We shall see from the Scriptures.
The 70th week has come to a close. Three of the six things to be accomplished within the 70 weeks of Daniel dealing with sin are now over. Three of these things are: to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity(Dan.9:24). The other three involving the institution of the righteous reign of Christ, to bring in everlasting righteousness, seal up the vision and the prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy, shall be accomplished in the Millennium. The remnants of Israel who did not take the mark of the Beast were not exempt from the wrath of God in the trumpet judgments. The reason is that the Great Tribulation was not sufficient to clease them from the defilement of sin. It was enough to purify the Church which has been washed by the blood of the Lamb. Therefore the remnants of Israel had to go through the first six trumpet judgments to purge, purify, and cleanse them from sin, to bring them to their knees by breaking their power to trust in themselves to accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour, the much awaited Messiah of Israel.
It is after this horrible experience that they shall be broken, accept Jesus as their Messiah, look upon Him whom they have pierced and be washed with His blood. No man can enter Heaven who has not been washed with the blood of the Lamb. And no man can be washed with the blood of the Lamb without acknowledging the Lordship of Jesus. Prior confession of the Lordship of Jesus and purification with the blood of the Lamb by the Holy Spirit are preludial to acceptance and entrance into Heaven.
“But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.”(Rom.10:6-11).
But they are exempt from the bowl judgments. Therefore they have to be reconciled to God before the blowing of the seventh trumpet which contains the last seven bowl judgments. Christ has to rescue them personally. He is the mighty or strong angel of Rev.10 who came down from Heaven with the Small Scroll. He is the breaker who shall remove every obstacle.
“The breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the Lord on the head of them.”(Micah 2:13, emphases added).
Summary Of Parentheses(Rev.10-14)
Rev.10-14 are parenthetical in that the narrative does not necessarily immediately advance to the end of the sixth trumpet and the blowing of the seventh. These chapters DO NOT advance the chronology of the Scroll of Revelation. As a result, some bible teachers and commentators say that the Scroll of Revelation is not chronological and proceed to chop it up and to refit it into their own preconceived notions. This is a wrong approach to the study of the Scroll of Revelation.
The 70th week is now over. John the revelator pauses the narrative to provide periscopes on the major dramatic personae. In Rev.10, Christ, the chief dramatic persona, the protagonist is depicted as a strong angel with the Small Scroll from the heavenly Mount Zion en-route to the earthly Mount Zion for the spiritual salvation of the remnants of Israel(Rom.11:26; Isa.59:20). In Rev.11, His two special servants, the two witnesses are introduced, and their ministry is narrated. In Rev.12, the Chief eschatological antagonist, the old serpent, also called the Dragon is embroiled in an internecine cosmic conflict with archangel Michael. In Rev. 13, his two special minions, the two Beasts, the first and the second Beasts, the antiChrist and the False prophet are presented with a brief summary of their careers. In Rev.14, Christ appears on the earthly Mount Zion with the 144,000 and other Jews who survived the first six trumpet judgments whom He rescued from the Edomite wilderness, the Judaean wilderness, the remnants from Assyria and Egypt, and the survivors from Jerusalem and its environs. Here on Mount Zion, the remnants of Israel are reconciled to God on the third day of the 30-day Reclamation Period which is the period of national mourning and cleansing. The nation Israel mourned for both Aaron and Moses 30 days each(Num.20:29; Deut.34:8). In Rev.14 Christ to whom God has committed all judgments is depicted as an angel sitting on the cloud of glory with a sickle which signal judgment of God on the wicked earth-dwellers which has already begun in the trumpet judgments. Therefore Rev.14 is a recapitulation and preview of the final judgments. In Rev.14:14-16 the Church is harvested or raptured. The final phase of the wrath of God ends in bloodbath at Armageddon. Rev.15 is a prelude to the seven bowl judgments which begin in Rev.16, and end in Rev.20 with the incarceration of Satan, the old serpent, the supreme personality of evil in the bottomless pit for a thousand years.
The Small Scroll of Rev.10 is the Seven-Sealed Scroll of Rev.5 with the exterior seven seals broken in Rev.6-8:1-5, and part of the internal contents dispensed with in the outpouring of the wrath of God in the first six trumpet judgments in Rev.8:6-9:21. There are lots of arguments as to the identity of this mighty or strong angel. He has been variously identified by biblical scholars of prophecy. This needs not be so. If Jesus is the only one qualified to break the seven seals of the Seven-Sealed Scroll and to open it, He is also the only one qualified to handle the Small Scroll. Angels and men are not permitted to swear, only God, and that by Himself(Matt.5:33-37; Heb.6:13-20). When the seventh trumpet is about to be blown, the mystery of God shall be finished as He spoke to His servants the prophets when God shall complete the spiritual kingdom of God by the salvation of the remnants of Israel. Here in Rev.10 Jesus is seen, coming down from the Heavenly Mount Zion from where He broke the seven seals to the earthly Mount Zion for the spiritual salvation of the remnants of Israel.
“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.11:26).
“And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord.”(Isa.59:20).
“So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”(Heb.9:28).
This verse speaks of the spiritual salvation of the remnant of Israel that have survived the 70th week of Daniel having passed through the Great Tribulation and are purged, cleansed, and purified by the first six trumpets of the wrath of God. They will see Him physically here on Earth when He comes to rescue them before the outpouring of the final seven bowl judgments.
He does not come directly to the earthly Mount Zion from the heavenly Mount Zion. He comes to the 144,000 who are sealed with the seal of God prior to the Rapture of the Church and the breaking of the seventh seal and the accompanying outpouring of the wrath of God in the six trumpet judgments who are hiding in the red rose city of Petra in the Edomite wilderness. He leads them on foot up north along the banks of the Dead Sea across the river Jordan, through the Judaean wildernesses. They are joined by the remnants of Israel who have been given opportunity to fight back against the antiChrist after he has been incapacitated and masterly inactivated by the Christ at His appearing in the heavens after the breaking of the sixth seal.
“And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:”(2 Thessalonians 2:8).
After the appearance of the Shekinah in the heavens, the antiChrist shall be paralyzed, masterly inactivated and incapacitated. And the Jewish resistance that have been waging guerrilla war against him in the Judaean wilderness and in and around Jerusalem shall be empowered and emboldened by the news of the arrival of the Messiah of Israel.
“In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them.”(Zech.12:8).
Together with the remnants of Israel from the vicinity of Jerusalem, and those from Assyria and Egypt, who have heard that the Messiah has come, they journey on foot to Mount Zion. On the third day which is Day 3 of the 30-Day Reclamation Period of the kingdom, the mystery of God is finished as the remnants of Israel are brought to a saving knowledge of the Messiah of Israel, thus completing the spiritual kingdom of God. They shall see that their long awaited Messiah has nail-pierced hands. They shall be feeled with remorse of conscience, and become mournful and penitent.
“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddo. And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.”(Zech.12:10-14).
For the first two days, Israel is in mourning and weeping, on the third day they are reconciled to the Messiah.
“Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.”(Hos.6:1-3).
Thusly, the mystery of God is finished as the spiritual kingdom of God is complete.
As we have pointed out previously, a very good piece of literature has flashbacks, parentheses, and periscopes. A very important event occurs on the fourth day of the 30-Day Reclamation Period. It is the resurrection and the ascension of the two witnesses into Heaven. Apostle John the apocalyptist has not introduced us to their ministry that began at the midpoint of the 70th week of Daniel. So, the revelator takes us back to the commencement of their ministry at the midpoint of the 70th week when the antiMessiah makes his debut at the rebuilt Third Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, desecrates the Temple by the importation of his image into the Holy Of Holies, deifies himself and demands worship of all mortals. This is the abomination that makes desolate and is concurrent and coincident with the surrounding of Jerusalem with the armies of the antiChrist in what is called the Jerusalem Campaign.
“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)”(Matt.24:15).
“But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:”(Mark 13:14 KJV).
“And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.”(Luk.21:20).
The revelator is given a reed to measure the Rebuilt Third Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem and the worshippers therein. This event occurs at the Gentile takeover of the rebuilt Third Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem at the midpoint of the 70th Seven of Daniel. He is instructed to leave out the outer court which is given to the Gentiles to thread underfoot forty and two months. This is the length of the second half of the 70th week which is the length of time allotted to the antiMessiah to reign. The Gentiles take over the Temple at the midpoint of the 70th week. The two witnesses are anointed of God to minister for the same length of time, given in days which is 1,260 days. Their ministry is a divine counter measure to that of the antiChrist and the false prophet.
There is some argument as to the time and location of the ministry of the two witnesses. Some biblical scholars locate it in the first half of the 70th week which is biblically indefensible, but the majority put it in the second half which is biblically defensible. If their ministry occurs in the first half of the 70th week, then they will be killed precisely at the midpoint of the 70th week when the antiChrist makes his debut at the rebuilt Third Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. Sounds reasonable, but there are lots of problem with that view. Who will they be antagonizing in the first half of the 70th week of Daniel? Israel enjoys relative peace in the first half of the 70th week under the protection of the antiMessiah on the basis of the 7-year peace agreement which he upholds for the first three and one-half years. They shall then rise from the dead and ascend into Heaven on the 4th day of the Second Half of the 70th week which is the commencement of the Great Tribulation. This is utter nonsense. The essence of the ministry of the two witnesses is to provide encouragement to the saints during the horrors of the Great Tribulation. This aim will be defeated if they are killed on the first day of the Great Tribulation and raised from the dead three and one half days later on the 4th day of the second half of the 70th week of Daniel which is also the 4th day of the Great Tribulation, and ascend into Heaven the same day.
Of late, some biblical scholars have straddled the ministry of the two witnesses between the first and second halves of the 70th week, thusly, creating a third division of the 70th week of Daniel. This is biblically indefensible. There is no such division of the 70th week into three parts. The reason they adduce for this placement is that the two witnesses are Christians and cannot be left behind after the Rapture. So, they locate their ministry in such a way as to make their resurrection and ascension into Heaven correspond with the Prewrath Rapture of the saints. They are prewrathers that hold such view. This view is borne more out of sentiments than any solid biblical evidence. There is no evidence that the two witnesses are born again Christians as we are today. Obviously they are Jewish. Their ministry is restricted more or less to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem right under the noses of the antiChrist and his enforcer, the false prophet who is also called the second beast. They mirror OT figures, Moses and Elijah, or some others with their spirits and anointing. They belong to the OT dispensation. This is borne out by the fact that they are permitted to pulverize and annihilate their detractors and antagonists(Rev.11:5). Believers are not suffered to do so; for Christ came not to destroy men’s life but to save them(Luk.9:56). No doubt they believe in the Messiah. But they do not believe He is Jesus, else they would be Christians and would be evacuated at the Rapture. Apart from spewing fire on their detractors and antagonists, the content of their message are the three angelic announcements. Christians are not permitted to physically incinerate their enemies. “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.” The son of man came not to destroy men’s lives but to save them(Luk.9:55,56).
“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”(Rev.14:6-12).
Their message is one of Judgment. The living wicked earth-dwellers see them as God’s ambassadors and messengers of terror, hence they rejoice at their demise. Those who straddle the ministry of the two witnesses between the two halves of the 70th seven forget that timing the ministry of the two witnesses in such a way as to make their resurrection and ascension into heaven correspond with the Rapture will lead to date setting for the Rapture, a date which the Son of God does not know nor the angels in heaven but the Father only. From the starting point of their ministry, the day and the hour of the Rapture can be calculated; it will be 1,260 + 4 = 1,264 days. This is rediculous.
“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”(Matt.24:36).
Once they are killed by the antiChrist, they will rise from the dead three and one half days after.
The other reason adduced is that they do not believe that the antiChrist can kill the two witnesses once the Day Of The Lord has begun. Therefore, they must be killed by the antiChrist before the Day Of The Lord begins. This view is also myopic and parochial; for the antiChrist can still gather his forces for the battle of Armageddon several years after the Rapture has taken place and the Day Of The Lord has begun. They also argue that the gathering of the armies of the kings of the nations at Armageddon is done by the three spirits like frogs from the mouths of the Satanic trinity, Satan, antiChrist, and the false prophet. They forget that demons do not have physical bodies, and therefore cannot directly relate to the external physical environments without the possession of intermediate physical objects. They rule by proxy. The antiChrist himself is possessed of Satan, the supreme personality of evil. These armies have officers, captains, generals, and commanders from whom they receive orders. Those are the ones these demons will possess to effect the gathering of the armies of the nations at Armageddon. Every army matches at the behest of its commander not some invisible evil spirits. A king who can gather his armies to fight is not altogether powerless. The antiChrist does not lose total control of Jerusalem until Armageddon. So, he can still kill the two witnesses whose ministry is in the land of Israel, in the vicinity of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the headquarters of the antiChrist at the expiry of their ministry, when divine protection is withdrawn.
The other reason this view is unbiblical is that the death of the two witnesses marks the end of he 70th week of Daniel, and their resurrection and ascension into Heaven on the fourth day of the 30-Day Reclamation Period marks the end of the sixth trumpet which is the second woe.
“And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.”(Rev.11:7-14).
How can anyone separate the resurrection of the two witnesses from the second woe? Does the second woe occur at the Rapture of the Church? Impossible! The ministry of the two witnesses expires on the last day of the 70th week. They are killed on that day or early on the first day of the 30-Day Reclamation Period of the kingdom. Their resurrection and ascension into heaven occur three and one half days later which is late afternoon or early evening of the fourth day of the 30-Day Reclamation Period of the kingdom. This event is accompanied by a horrific earthquake in Jerusalem which destroys a tenth of the city with seven thousand fatalities. By this means God signals to the antiMessiah and his cronies that because you have murdered my servants, there is Hell to pay. This event marks the second woe.
Rev.12 is also a flash back, a parenthesis of sort. The flashback here is outside the Scroll Of Revelation to the first advent of Christ, His incarnation. The pregnant woman with gravid uterus is Israel as a nation. She is clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet. In her hand are twelve stars. In Mideast mythology, the sun is male, the moon, female, and the stars are their male offspring. The sun is Jacob, the father of the twelve patriarchs of Israel, the moon is their mother, the wives of Jacob, Leah, Rachel, Bilhah and Zilpah, all two wives and two concubines subsumed in one figure, and the twelve stars are the twelve patriarchs of Israel(Gen.29-31, 35, 37). The male child is Infant Jesus. That the Dragon drew one third of the stars with his tail refers to the satanic rebellion in eternity past when Satan rebelled against God and convinced a third of the angels in Heaven to join in his revolt against God(Isa.14:12). Stars also refer to the angels of God as also seen in Rev.9:1. Therefore the context determines the meaning. The dragon ready to devour Him is Satan in the person of Herod the Great(Matt.2:1-23). Satan has no physical body with which to relate to the external physical environment. He operates by proxy. He possessed Herod the Great in order to devour the Man Child, Jesus(Matt.2). That the woman pained to be delivered is the travail of the nation of Israel under Roman domination. That the male child was caught up into heaven signals the flight into Egypt and His subsequent and ultimate resurrection and ascension into Heaven(Matt.2:13-15, 28:6; Act.1:9).
“And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.” Rev.(11:13-14).
In verse 7, there is also a another flashback to the midpoint of the 70th week. This is to show us that before the antiChrist metamorphoses into deity, he must be indewlt by Satan who is cast down to the Earth in the cosmic war by Michael the archangel of God in charge of war, and the angels of God under his command. Michael is the angel that fights for the people of God, the children of Israel and the Christians, the followers of Christ who also are spiritually children of Israel. After this heavenly battle in which archangel Michael defeats Satan and his fallen evil angels, and casts them down to the Earth, he will “amad,” that is stand aside or stand still or desist or cease from restraining the Dragon. Until the restrainer is removed, there can be no Great Tribulation(Dan.12:1).
“And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”(2 Thess.2:6-10).
When Satan is cast down to the Earth, he becomes very angry knowing that he has but a short time before he is cast into the bottomless pit where he will be incarcerated for a thousand years(Rev.20:1-3).
“Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.”(Rev.12:12-13).
Until Satan is cast down to the Earth, he indwells the antiChrist, and the archangel Michael “amads,” there can be no Great Tribulation.
“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 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.”(Daniel 12:1-3).
This confluence of events is the catalyst that sparks the Great Tribulation. This event begins precisely at the midpoint of the 70th week of Daniel. Remember that the Great Tribulation is described as the persecution of the woman, Israel, who has two offspring, those who keep the commandments of God, the observant Jews, and the others, the Christians, those who have the testimony of Jesus. This proves conclusively that the Gentile believers in Jesus the Christ are spiritual offspring of the woman, Israel, and will partake of the time of her persecution, the Great Tribulation, the time of Jacob’s trouble. In this way also, God’s promise to Abraham that his children will be as the stars of heaven in multitude, and the sand which is by the seashore innumerable is fulfilled(Gen.13:16; 15:5,6; Heb.11:11,12). The sons of faith in Christ Jesus are the sons of Abraham irrespective of their ethnicity and color. Ismael and his descendants, both physical and spiritual are not the children of promise.
The Dragon is angry with the woman who is given two wings of a great eagle to fly into the wilderness. This indicates the swiftness with which the woman, the remnants of Israel, the 144,000 as well as other observant Jews and some believers in the land of Israel who understand the times and epochs will flee into the wilderness at the start of the Great Tribulation at the midpoint of the 70th week of Daniel.
“But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains: And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house: And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment.”(Mark 13:14-16).
There will be no time to waste. It will be dangerous to delay and dilly-dally or to equivocate and vacillate: remember Lot’s wife(Gen.19:26). During the Jewish Revolt against Roman domination(66-74 AD), some Christians in the land of Israel who had knowledge of the times and epochs, who took seriously the prediction of Jesus in the Olivet Discourse concerning the destruction of the Second Temple fled to Pella which is modern day red rose city of Petra in present day Jordan to escape Roman persecution and slavery. In like manner also, believers in the land of Israel who understood the times and the seasons shall also flee to Petra to avoid the sword and captivity when the antiChrist invades Jerusalem at the midpoint of the 70th week of Daniel.
He poured out water from his mouth to drown the woman. This is an attempt to destroy the Jews and Christians who flee to the Edomite wilderness and Judaean wilderness. This attempt will be foiled by God by some supernatural means. The soldiers of the antiChrist sent after them to destroy them shall be swallowed up by earthquakes. If waters actually signal a literal flood, then they flood waters will be swallowed up by sinkholes miraculously opened up by God. When he failed to lay hands on the woman, he goes to wage war with the remnant of her seed who keep the commandments of God(observant Jews who reject the mark of the Beast), and have the testimony of Jesus Christ[believers (Jews and Gentiles) who reject the mark of the Beast], who did not escape into the Judaean wilderness or the Edomite wilderness.
Rev.13 is also a flashback and a periscope on the career of the antiChrist and his enforcer, the second beast, the false prophet. The Beast that rose up out of the sea of humanity and the underworld of the dead with seven heads and ten horns is the antiChrist. There is a resemblance between the Dragon, Satan, and the First Beast, the antiChrist, in that both have seven heads and ten horns with ten crowns. Satan is a spirit and is physically invisible. The antiMessiah is humanoid and visible. Satan has no physical body with which to relate to the external physical environment. He rules the Earth by proxy. The Beast is his direct representative on Earth. The seven heads, ten horns, and ten crowns of the Dragon and the Beast are synonymous. Hence the semblance. In the middle of the week when Satan is cast down to the Earth, he will possess the antiChrist. The two will become one(2).
The antiChrist is a composite personality, a prodigious figure with the characteristics of the heads of the previous seven Beast Empires of Satan that persecuted Israel. The seven heads are the seven previous Beast Empires. Kings and their kingdoms are synonymous, and there is also the phenomenon of double reference. They are Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medopersia, Greece, Rome, and Nazi Germany(The Third Reich of Adolf Hitler). In that sense, the antiChrist can be called an Egyptian, an Assyrian, a Babylonian, a Medopersian, a Greek, a Roman, and a Nazi German. The antiMessiah will exhibit the characteristics of any of the worst rulers of these Beast Empires that persecuted Israel in the past. He is also referred to as the Assyrian(Isa.10:5, 24, 14:25; 30:31; 31:8). The Assyrians were notorious for their military brutality and cruel, barbaric, and merciless treatment of war captives, especially the Israelites of the Northern kingdom. In like manner, the antiChrist will acquire notoriety for his persecution of the children of Israel.
Five of these Beasts are clearly depicted in Dan.2 & 7. When the antiChrist and his Eighth Beast Empire are destroyed by the Stone cut out without hand, which will grow into a mountain that shall fill the whole Earth, Christ’s Millennial Kingdom, the whole image of the Beast Empires of Satan come crashing down(Dan.2:34,35, 44,45). This indicates that the life or better still, the spirit of the seven previous Beast Empires is in the Eighth Beast Empire. They will not be totally destroyed until the Eighth Beast Empire is totally destroyed by Christ at Armageddon. Egypt and Assyria were omitted because they were already history at the time of Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel and the seventh Beast Empire, Third Reich is revealed in Rev.17:9,10. These Empires persecuted the Jewish people in exile or took them into exile. Nazi Germany was also probably omitted because it persecuted Israel in exile, without access to the Holy Land, and Israel had the option of accepting Jesus as the Messiah, and the Roman Empire would have metamorphosed into the Eighth And Final Beast Empire. The book of Acts of the Apostles is God’s reoffer of the kingdom to Israel after her rejection of the Messiah, which they also soundly rejected again.
The ten horns are the ten kings of the Eight and Final Beast Empire, the Fourth Reich. The ten kings are contemporaneous with the Beast. They receive power as kings one hour with the Beast. In verse 3, three of the seven previous Beast Empires are named: leopard(Greece), bear(Medopersia), lion(Babylon). This agrees with Dan.7. They are also three of the ten horns. The rest of the ten horns are named in Ezek.38:1-6. They are Magog, Meshech, and Tuval[Rome], Cush(Sudan), Put(Libya, Tunisia and parts of Algeria), Persia(Tiras), Gomer, and Togarmah[Turkey, Azerbaijan ]. Media, the Kurdish people of today are omitted because they will not be part of the ten nation confederation of the Eight And Final Beast Empire though they were the architects of the Medopersian Empire. They are found in Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Turkey, with small pockets in Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia. They are a persecuted people. They will be the first to attack Babylon in revenge. They will not regard silver nor delight in gold. Babylon has never been destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrah as predicted by the prophet Isaiah. It was abandoned, and simply faded away in the desert sand after Seleucus Nicator founded Seleucia, some 35 miles north of Babylon on the Euphrates River in 305 BC.
“Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it. Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children. And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldeans’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there. But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there. And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged.”(Isaiah 13:17-22).
There is no record in history when Babylon was destroyed with fire and brimstone like Sodom and Gomorrah. Therefore the fulfillment of this prophecy awaits future development. Indeed, the destruction of Babylon is part of the Final Seventh Bowl Judgment(Rev.17,18). Babylon shall be rebuilt, come into commercial and religious prominence and be subsequently destroyed with fire and sulphur like Sodom and Gomorrah during the seventh bowl judgment. The Babylonian Empire itself shall never be rebuilt; it is the empire that was as conclusively proven by Dan Hayden.
Verse 3 tells us the Dragon, Satan shall empower the antiChrist after he(Satan) is cast down from his abode in the Dark Void at the midpoint of the 70th week by archangel Michael(Rev.12:7-9). Then the antiMessiah will institute his reign of terror. He will be a dead man come back to life(Rev.17:8,11). His deadly wound was healed(v.3). He will demand worship of all mortals when he makes his debut at the rebuilt Third Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem at the midpoint of the 70th week of Daniel. He will not regard the God of Heaven, and will blaspheme His name. He shall set himself up against all that is called God or worshipped(2 Thess.2:4). His self-apotheosis in the Holy Of Holies Of The Rebuilt Third Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem meant for the worship of the Yahweh of Israel is the abomination that maketh desolate spoken of by Daniel the prophet. It is the zenith of sacrilege.
“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.”(Matthew 24:15-22).
The living wicked earth-dwellers will worship him and the Dragon that indwells and empowers him. He will make war with the saints and overcome them; and power was given him over all kindred, tongues, and nations(v.7). His allotted time of reign of terror is three and one-half years. Those that shall worship him are those whose names are not written in the Lamb’s Scroll Of Life from the foundation of the world.
There is a teaching afloat of late that the antiChrist shall be a Muslim. They call him the Mideast Beast or the Muslim antiChrist. They say he will come from Turkey. They call him the Assyrian. That he is the king of the North. These interpretations are based either on obscure verses of Scripture or on some others which are stretched beyond their elastic credulity. How can the antiChrist be the king of the North when at the time of the end, the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he(antiChrist) shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. He is unstoppable by man. Dan. 11:36-39 speaks of the career of the infamous antiChrist. In verse 40, he is attacked by the king of the South and the king of the North. But he cannot be hindered because he is so very powerful. He has the most powerful armies at his beck and call, the armies of Magog, Meshech, and Tubal. These are the most sophisticated armies in the world, up-to-date and equipped with the latest in military technology. He is Gog of the land of Magog, the head of Meshech and Tubal(Ezek.38:1,2). The antiChrist is a magogite.
He shall enter into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hands, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. These are ancient kingdoms from the vicinity of modern day Jordan. They shall escape because they are allied to the antiChrist. But Egypt shall not escape. He will plunder the archeological treasures of Egypt and the wealth of that nation. He shall be helped by the Libyans and the Cushites(Sudanese) who are part of his Eight and Final Beast Empire as listed above. But tidings out of the East and out of the North shall trouble him(antiChrist): therefore he(antiChrist) shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many(verse 44). He shall transfer his headquarters to Jerusalem at the midpoint of the 70th week.
“And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.”(verse 45).
Yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. Who is the prophet Daniel speaking about here? Is he the king of the North? We have seen the kings of the North, East, and South. But who is the king of the West? Is he not the antiChrist of whom Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the Greek Syrian king was the prefigure? It is time we stop twisting Scriptures to conform to our preconceived notions.
The other flashback in Rev.13 relates to the second beast or the false prophet. His career is concurrent, coincident, and simultaneous with that of the antiChrist to whom he is subordinate; both of them suffer the same fate at Armageddon(Rev.19:20). They will be seized alive and cast into the lake of fire and sulphur. He is the enforcer of the antiChrist. He receives his power and authority from the antiChrist. He came out of the Earth. He is the Earth-Beast. Some believe that this may mean that he is of Jewish stock(Marvin J. Rosenthal); very doubtful I suppose. He has two horns like a lamb and speaks like a dragon. He is the mouthpiece of the antiMessiah in religious affairs. He exercises all the power and authority of the first Beast, the antiChrist. His commission is to hypnotize and mesmerize men to worship the Beast whose deadly wound was healed. He is the head of the one world religion that worship the Dragon and the Beast. Since his power and authority derive from the first Beast, the antiChrist, his sole aim is to persuade men to worship the Beast and his image. He does a lot of wonders. He has power to give life to the image of the Beast and to cause it to speak. He has power to make fire fall from heaven in the sight of men. By these miracles, signs, and wonders he would persuade men to worship the Dragon and the Beast and His image. He will persuade adherents of his humanistic religion of the antiChrist, to make images of the Beast in gold, silver, precious metals, iron, and wood, every man according to what he can afford to worship in their homes, cars and offices, and to receive the mark of the Beast in the right or left hand or forehead without which no one would be able to buy or sell.
The number 666 is an eighteen digit computer barcode, a social security number of sorts that will be harmonized worldwide, with other biometric data specific to the individual and implanted in the forehead or right or left arm as a mark of allegiance to the antiMessiah which permits the bearers to buy and sell and to engage in other transactions. Our dear brother, Dr Jaiyesimi Gbenga has written a concise article on the harmonization of bank account number, bank verification number(BVN), international passport number, driving license number, cell phones numbers into an international hybrid number which shall be implanted hypodermically(under the skin) in the right or left hand or foreheads, a radio frequency identity(RFID) of sorts that shall serve as the Mark Of The Beast. For the purpose of clarity, please consult the the article, “Satan’s Number Is Up.” Link: Satan’s Number Is Up – Mt Zion Heritage Ministries.
Anyone who wears The Mark Of The Beast is hybridized, and has become a cyborg. The wrath of God will abide on him for ever.
“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”(Rev.14:9-12).
This is the third angelic announcement, one of the three warnings made by three angels at the midpoint of the 70th week.
The financial system of the antiChrist will be cashless. Purchases will be made online using this social security number linked to one’s account, and delivery shall be made at one’s door by robots and drones. There will be internet of things(IoT). For a season life will be more wonderful for those who have the Mark Of The Beast. But sooner than later, they will face the Wrath Of God. God shall turn the table on Satan and his minions the antiChrist and the False Prophet. The captivity shall taken captive, and those that killed with the sword shall themselves be killed with the sword. This is the perseverance and faith of the saints.
In Rev.14, Christ is standing on the earthly Mount Zion with the 144,000 He rescued from the Edomite wilderness. They were sealed with the seal of the Almighty prior to the Rapture of the Church in the interlude between the end of the sixth seal and the breaking of the seventh seal. There are some that teach that it is at this time they are reconciled to God. Nothing could be farther from the truth. If they did not belong to God, they could not have been sealed with the seal of the Almighty in the interlude between the sixth and the seventh seals(Rev.7:1-8). Seals are for protection, ownership, authenticity, and preservation. They were sealed because they belong to God. They belong to God because they are reconciled to Him. This seal is the Father’s name written on their foreheads. They are the firsfruits from the household of Israel unto God. They are members of Christ’s retinue in all of His earthly journeys during His Parousia. Christ is a king; every king moves with an entourage. The 144,000 are His human entourage. If they were not sealed, God would have been without witnesses on Earth in the interim period between the breaking of the 7th seal and the end of the 70th week of Daniel, and the 30-day Restoration Period of the kingdom, within which the Church is absent from the Earth having been raptured prior to the breaking of the seventh seal.
They have matched with Christ on foot from the Edomite wilderness to Jerusalem for the first two days of the 30-day reclamation period. On the third day they stand with Christ on the summit of Mount Zion. On that day, Israel is reconciled to God, thusly completing the spiritual kingdom of God.
“Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the Lord: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God.”(Isaiah 66:8-9).
On that day, the mystery of God is finished as He has spoken to His servants the prophets. This is followed by a recapitulation of the three angelic announcements made at the midpoint of the 70th week which constitute the core of the message of the ministry of the two witnesses. The remainder of the chapter is a summary of the Final Harvest which has already begun at the Rapture of the Church and the breaking of the seventh seal. There is also no consensus as to the identity of the angel with the sharp sickle simply because he is referred to as an angel. In the OT the angel of the Lord is often pre-incarnate Jesus. The fact that he is described as the Son Of Man identifies him as Jesus. The Son Of Man is Christ’s favorite appellative to Himself(Matt.12:8, 18:11, 24:37; Mk.2:28, 13:26, 14:21,62; Luk.6:5, 12:40,17:26,30,19:10, 21:27, 22:48; Jon.3:14,5:27,6:6, 12232; Acts 7:56), and relates to His representative and regius role in the earthly domain of God’s universal kingdom.
In the parable of the wheat and the tares, Jesus identifies the reapers as the angels. In Isaiah Jesus describes Himself as having threaded the wine press alone, and therefore His white garment was stained with the lifeblood of His enemies.
“Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.”(Isaiah 63:1-6).
The prophet Habakkuk saw the Lord in vision coming from Mount Paran with an entourage of angels:
“God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. And his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his power. Before him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at his feet. He stood, and measured the earth: he beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: his ways are everlasting. I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction: and the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble. Before Him the rivers and seas were dried up and the mountains disappeared and the rocks melted away. Was the Lord displeased against the rivers? was thine anger against the rivers? was thy wrath against the sea, that thou didst ride upon thine horses and thy chariots of salvation? Thy bow was made quite naked, according to the oaths of the tribes, even thy word. Selah. Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers. The mountains saw thee, and they trembled: the overflowing of the water passed by: the deep uttered his voice, and lifted up his hands on high.”(Habakkuk 3:3-10).
This event will be preceded by cosmic and celestial disturbances.
“The sun and moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of thine arrows they went, and at the shining of thy glittering spear.”(Habakkuk 3:11).
It will occur during the manifestation of divine anger on the heathen and the salvation of the remnants of Israel. At that time, God shall wound the head of the house of the wicked, the antiChrist, to lay him bare from the neck to the thigh.
“Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, even for salvation with thine anointed; thou woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked, by discovering the foundation unto the neck. Selah. Thou didst strike through with his staves the head of his villages: they came out as a whirlwind to scatter me: their rejoicing was as to devour the poor secretly. Thou didst walk through the sea with thine horses, through the heap of great waters.”(Habakkuk 3:13-15).
During the period of the wrath of God, over two years or thereabouts, there shall be no farming in the land of Israel, nevertheless, God shall sustain His people, the sons of Jacob.
“Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.”(Habakkuk 3:17-19).
So, Christ is the angel with the sharp sickle seated upon the cloud which signal glory. Harvest here has to do with judgment, and God the Father has committed all judgment to the Son(Jon.5:22). That this process was repeated may mean one or two things, inevitability, and or the two components of the wrath of God, the trumpets and the bowls. And even more appropriately, the Rapture of the saints(14-16) before the outpouring of the wrath of God(17-20). The graphic description of the sea of blood at the winepress rising to the level of the horse’s bridle, about 1.5m and up to a distance of 320 km is a epreview of the carnage at Armageddon where the final threading of the winepress by Christ occurs.
The Final Wrath Of God: The Bowl Judgments
Now the time has come for the final wrath of God to be poured out on the living wicked. On the fifth day of the 30-Day Reclamation Period, the seventh trumpet shall sound, and God Almighty shall reclaim his rule over the Earth preludial to His reclaiming physical possession of the Earth at Armageddon. God’s lease of the Earth to Adam for six days is over. The sixth day is ended. The seventh day, the Shabbat of the Lord is about to begin.
“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.”(Rev.11:15-19 KJV, emphases added).
The nations shall react angrily to God’s reclamation of His rule over the Earth. God shall pour out His Final wrath, the last seven bowls, the worst of its kind upon them. It is time also for God to reward His servants, the saints and the prophets. Before God pours out His Final wrath on the living wicked Earth-dwellers, the 144,000, and the newly saved remnants of Israel are taken into protective custody in Azel after splitting the Mount Of Olives into two parts from East to West.
“And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.”(Zechariah 14:4).
One part shall move up north, and the other part shall move down south, creating a roadway, the valley of the mountains that leads to Azel.
“Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.”(Isaiah 26:20-21).
There He hides the 144,000, and the saved remnants of Israel, reconciled to Him three days previously, to protect them from the final wrath of God which is about to be poured out on the living wicked Earth-dwellers. They cannot follow Him to heaven because they are still in their natural mortal bodies, besides, God will be without witnesses on Earth in the interval between the 1st day and 3rd day of the 30-day Reclamation Period; a situation that is unacceptable. And flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, neither doth corruption inherit incorruption(1 Cor.15:50). This event occurs on the 6th or 7th day of the 30-day Reclamation Period.
“Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.”(Zechariah 14:1-5, emphasis added).
No one knows the location of Azel; for it does not appear anywhere in the geography of the Holy Land. So the antiMessiah cannot reach them. It is from the Mount of Olives that Christ shall return to Heaven to hold court at the Bema Seat Judgment of the saints. It is from this same mountain that Christ ascended into Heaven at the end of His first advent. He shall return to this Mount.
“And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”(Acts 1:9-11)
While the wrath of God in the bowls is meted out on Earth on the living wicked earth-dwellers, Jesus returns to Heaven and holds court at the Bema Seat judgment of the saints. This is necessarily so because the bride of the Lamb must be decorated with awards of golden crowns at the Marriage Of The Lamb which subsequently follows the Bema Seat Judgment of the saints of the Most High in Heaven. The Marriage supper of the Lamb shall be held on Earth early in the Millennium. These two events, the Bema Seat Judgment and the Marriage Of The Lamb must transpire within the remaining 24 days of the 30-day Reclamation Period of the kingdom because Christ must appear in person at Armageddon 24 days later at the tail end of the Reclamation Period of the kingdom. Jesus will return to the Earth with His lovely wedded wife and an entourage of heavenly hosts at Armageddon in order to reclaim physical possession of the Earth. According to Zech.14:5 referred to above, it is after protection is given to the surviving remnants of Israel in Azel that “the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.” It is now clear how we come about the 7-Day interlude between the end of the sixth trumpet(more appropriately the end of the 70th week), and the sounding of the 7th trumpet.
The seventh trumpet does not have any Judgment of its own, just like the seventh seal, but rather opens into the seven bowls, just as the seventh seal opens into the seven trumpets. Rev.15 is prelude to and preparation for the outpouring of the seven bowl judgments. The seven last avenging angels having the seven last plagues emerged from the Temple Of God in Heaven. What follows is a scene in the Throne Room Of the Temple Of God in Heaven. Unlike the previous scenes in the same Temple in Rev.4 & 5, the resurrected saints who were conspicuously absent are now seen singing praises to God. If the Rapture occurred in Rev.4:1 as pretribs teach, why were the resurrected saints absent in the Throne Room of the Temple of God in Heaven in the heavenly scenes in Rev.4 & 5? To claim that the sea of glass in Rev.4 signal the raptured saints in the Throne Room Of God in Heaven is theological legerdemain. In Rev.14, the raptured saints are performing in an orchestra on the sea of glass before the Throne of God. So, how can the sea of glass be the resurrected saints?
One of the four living creatures gave the last seven avenging angels seven bowls full of the wrath of God. This act was followed by the eruption of smoke which signals the glory of God. It was like the rearing up of the tabernacle by Moses in the wilderness(Exod.40:33-38) and the dedication of the First Temple by Solomon in Jerusalem (2 Chron.5:13,14). It was a preview of the celebration of the victory of God over Satan and his minions. No man was able to enter into the Temple till the seven plagues of the seven avenging angels were fulfilled. It was awesome.
In Rev.16, the seven avenging angels were commissioned to empty their bowls on the Earth.
“And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.”(Rev.16:1).
The 144,000 and the surviving Jewish remnants are exempt from the last seven bowl judgments. They are taken into protective custody in Azal. The unbranded unbelieving Gentiles are not specifically targeted neither are they offered any special protection like their Jewish counterparts. Therefore they may suffer some collateral damages. As we have stated earlier, like the seven seals and seven trumpets, the seven bowls are consecutive and progressive. Their nature and manner of administration permit no overlap. However, they are emptied out rapidly in quick succession within a short period of twenty-four days. The bowls are shallow saucers the content of which can be easily emptied. The imagery is one of rapid outpouring of dirty water used to do ablution with a quick swish. The prophet used this imagery to describe the rapid outpouring of the final wrath of God in quick succession in the final seven bowl judgments.
The first four bowls generally target those with the mark of the Beast whilst the last three target the seat of government(Jerusalem) of the Beast and religious and commercial institutions(Babylon). The first bowl results in emerods or suppurative cutaneously eruptions in medical parlance on those with the mark of the Beast, and those who worshipped his image. The second bowl turns the salt water sources: the oceans, the seas, and the salt water lakes into the blood of a dead man resulting in loss of marine lives and anyone found in these bodies of waters. The third bowl targets the fresh water sources: rivers, fountains of waters, and fresh water lakes turning them into blood, and resulting in destruction of marine lives and death to anyone present in these bodies of waters.
The completion of these three bowls was followed by a doxology to God by the angel of the waters for His righteous judgments of the murderers who have shed the blood of the saints and the prophets of God. It was right to give them blood to drink; for they are worthy. The fourth avenging angel poured out his vial on the sun. It was like adding fuel to fire. The sun became hotter, and men were scotched with great heat. The resulting hyperthermia may lead to heat exhaustion, fainting, loss of consciousness(heat stroke), and perhaps death for some of the Beast marked earth-dwellers. They did not repent of their sins but rather blasphemed the name of God. And refused to offer glory to Him. They have sinned beyond repentance; they were impenitent.
The last three bowls will target the seat of government of the Beast and his religious and commercial institutions. The fifth bowl targets the seat of government of the Beast enveloping it in thick darkness and cold. This is the exact opposite of the fourth bowl judgment. This rapid alternation of extreme low and high temperatures results in tawing, damaging living cells and tissues. Extreme cold temperatures will result in chilblains, thrombotic veins and venous ulcers in the extremities and auto-amputation of the digits. They gnawed their tongues because of their pains. They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores. They remained unrepentant of their evil deeds.
The sixth bowl targets the River Euphrates. It is desiccated to prepare the way for the kings of East and the gathering of their armies at Armageddon. The desiccation of the Euphrates is accomplished supernaturally by the outpouring of the sixth bowl judgment. The gathering of the armies of the nations is accomplished by three unclean spirits like frogs from the mouths of the satanic trinity, the Dragon, the Beast, and the the false prophet. In the Armageddon Campaign, there is the antiChrist who as we have proven from Daniel 11:36-45 is the king of the West, the king of the North, the king of the South, and the kings of the East. The kings of the East have ideological differences and divergent religious views. They have also ethnic and cultural differences. They are China, India, Pakistan, and perhaps Japan, etc. The Chinese are Hamitic in origin whilst the Pakistanis and Indians are Japhethic.
Armageddon is a Greek transliteration of the Hebrew phrase “Har Megiddo” which means Mount Megiddo. Mount Megiddo is one of the mountains in the Carmel mountain range that juts out 15-25 miles into the Mediterraneany Sea. Standing on Mount Megiddo one would see the neighboring Mount Gilboah to the East on which Saul and Jonathan fell(1 Sam.31:1,8; 2 Sam.1:6). Below is the plain of Jazreel or the valley of Esdraelon which Napoleon referred to as a natural battlefield. Indeed, countless wars have been fought there. No wonder therefore it shall be the scene of the final and consummate battle of the ages. Bowl six is preparatory to the final battle of Armageddon but not the battle itself. When the seventh bowl was poured into the air, a voice came from the Throne Room of the Temple in Heaven saying, It is done. This lone and great voice was accompanied by other voices, thunders, lightnings, and a massive earthquake beyond what had been witnessed before on Earth. This massive earthquake resulted into the division of the Great City Jerusalem, the Seat of the government of the antiMessiah into three parts, the collapse of the cities of the nations, and Great Babylon, the religious and commercial capital of the kingdom of the antiMessiah came into remembrance to give unto her the cup of the wine of fireceness of the wrath of God. The islands of the seas were moved out of their places, and the mountains were leveled. Worst still were great hailstones 33.33 kg(100 lb) in weight skyrocketing from the heavens and crushing anything that has life underneath that they hit. Despite these severe punishments, the Beast marked earth-dwellers blasphemed God.
The seventh bowl judgment is the worst of the bowls. This bowl destroys the religious headquarters of the antiChrist spearheaded by the false prophet(Rev.17), and the associated commercialism(Rev.18), and the kings of the nations and their armies at Armageddon, and the apprehension of the antiChrist and the false prophet, and their incarceration in the Lake of Fire for eternities future(Rev.19), and the apprehension of Satan and his incarceration at the end of Armageddon in the shaft of the abyss for a thousand years(Rev.20).
The mystical Great whore in Rev.17 that sits upon many waters is false humanistic religion headquartered in Babylon. The many waters signal the mass of humanity. The kings of the Earth have ingratiated themselves to this woman in order to gain political power. The inhabitants of the Earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. The inhabitants of the Earth have been hypnotized and mesmerized by this woman. She has so much powerful influence over the living wicked earth-dwellers, worshippers and adorers of the antiMessiah. It is through her diabolical power over the inhabitants of the Earth that she ingratiated herself to the antiMessiah. She sits upon a scarlet colored Beast, full of names of blasphemy, and has seven heads and ten horns. The scarlet colored Beast is politics epitomized in the person of the antiChrist, the ultimate representation of satanic rule over humanity(satanocracy).
The seven heads are the seven previous Beast Empires of Satan which have persecuted Israel in exile or took her into exile. These are Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medopersia, Greece, Rome, and the Third Reich of Adolf Hitler. The ten horns of the scarlet colored Beast are the ten kings of the ten nation confederation, the Eighth And Final Beast Empire of Satan, the Fourth Reich. These kings are contemporaneous with the antiChrist. Kings are synonymous with their kingdoms. They are the kings of Magog, Meshech, and Tuval[Rome], Arphaxad(Babylon), Tiras(Iran or Persia), Javan(Greece or Greek Syria), Cush(Sudan), Put(Phut or Libya), Gomer and Togarmah(Turkey, Azerbaijan)[Rev.13:2; Ezek.38:1-6]. The seven secondary nations are Islamic and form a circle roundabout Israel. At the battle of Armageddon, God shall make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with her shall be broken to pieces(Zech.12:3).
The woman is arrayed in purple and scarlet colors which signal wealth and nobility. Through her association with the Beast, she has enriched herself. She uses her wealth and position to garner much more wealth and to commit more hideous, heinous and immoral acts. She is Mystery Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the Earth. This false humanistic religion of mother-child worship was founded by Nimrod after the flood. Nimrod was a might hunter before the Lord(Gen.10:9). He was a hunter of the souls of men. Nimrod founded the city of Babel. Nimrod was a great grandson of Noah through Ham and Cush. Nimrod was a black man. This false humanistic religion of mother-child worship is found among all peoples of the Earth who migrated from Babylon following the confusion of languages at Babel. Upon this woman is the blood of the saints and martyrs of Jesus.
The woman is a mystery and so also the Beast. Biblical mystery is not something that is mysterious, but that which can be known only by divine revelation. The Beast was and is not, and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition(8). The Beast is one of the seven heads and the little horn, the eleventh horn(Dan.7:8,11,20,21,24,25). The Beast had lived before and ruled over one of the seven Beast Empires. It was killed with a military weapon in battle. It descended into the abyss from where it shall ascend to rule the Eighth And Final Beast Empire. It is therefore not a human spirit having been incarcerated in the bottomless pit. Human spirits are not sent to the abyss at death. The spirits imprisoned in the abyss are fallen evil angels who kept not their first estate(their own habitations) but cohabited with human females and gave rise to humanoids(2 Pet.2:4). In Hebrew they are called “nephilim” which means fallen ones, and is derived from “naphal” which means to fall. Because he is a dead man come back to life, those whose names are not in the Scroll Of Life shall fear him, and would not be able to resist him. The other kings of the Earth cannot face him either let alone kill him. Christ is the only One who can kill him.
The woman who sits on the scarlet colored Beast also sits on seven mountains. The seven mountains are synonymous with seven heads of the scarlet colored Beast. These are the seven previous Beast Empires which we have enumerated. There are some biblical scholars that think that the seven mountains signify seven hills on which the city of Rome was founded. This cannot be true because the Scripture makes it clear here that the seven heads are seven mountains, and there are seven kings. In Ancient Near East, mountains signify kingdoms. This is borne out by the fact that there are seven kings also. And kings are synonymous with their kingdoms. The city of Rome was founded on seven hills on the Tiber River. These are Aventine, Caelian, Capitoline, Equiline, Quirimal, Palatine, and Viminal. It later expanded to include two others, Janiculum and Pincian making it a total of nine. None of these hills constituted a kingdom, neither was anyone of them ruled by a king; nor was world class Empires that negatively impacted Israel.
At the time of writing of the Scroll Of Revelation by the Apostle John the apocalyptist about 96 AD, five of those kingdoms were history. These were Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medopersia, and Greece(10). One was then in existence which was Rome(Magog, Meshech, And Tuval). The other one yet to come at that time that would last for short period of time is Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany, The Third Reich(1933-45). The Eighth kingdom, The Fourth Reich, which is not yet in existence even now is the Eighth And Final Beast Empire of Satan. The Eighth will be ruled over by one of the seven previous heads who is also the little horn(11). He will be a dead man come back to life. He shall go into perdition. He is the antiChrist. He shall come to his end and none shall help him(Dan.11:45).
At the time of writing of the Scroll Of Revelation, the ten kings had not received their kingdoms. In other words they did not exist. They are Magog, Meshech, Tuval, Babylon(Iraq), Persia(Iran), Greece or Greek Syria(Javan), Libya(Put), Cush(Sudan), Gomer, and Togamar(Turkey). But they will reign at the same time with the Eighth head who is also the little or the eleventh horn. They shall be contemporaneous with the Beast, the antiChrist. They shall receive power one hour with the Beast, that is, they shall reign at the same time. They have one mind and shall give their power and strength unto the Beast. They shall be subordinate to the Beast. They shall willingly submit and subject themselves to the Beast.
They shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them because He is King of kings and Lord of lords, and they that are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful(14). The whore sits on many waters, the mass of humanity(15). The judgment of the whore shall be effected by the ten kings. They shall hate the whore, make her desolate and naked. They shall eat her flesh and born her with fire. They shall violate her(16). Though they think they are serving themselves, but they are unwittingly fulfilling God’s will and purpose. God has put it in their hearts to fulfill His will, and to agree, and to give allegiance unto the Beast, until the word of God is fulfilled. As we have stated, kings and their kingdoms are synonymous. When a king gives allegiance to another, he has also given his kingdom over to the other king. So, when the kings give allegiance to the Beast, the little and eleventh horn, they also give their kingdoms to the Beast(17). They give their armies to the Beast also. And the Great whore is that false humanistic religion of mother-child worship instituted by Nimrod that reigns over the kings of the Earth(18).
There are some biblical scholars that identify Babylon as Jerusalem. That cannot be true because it would mean that the ten horns shall destroy the headquarters of the antiChrist. That would also mean that the Medes who are the Kurdish people of today will attack Jerusalem, the capital city of the Final Beast Empire of Satan. The Kurds have no grudges against Jerusalem but Babylon which is modern day Iraq. Saddam Hussein murdered their women and children with poison gas in the 1980s. ISIS have targeted the Kurds, especially the Yazidis for forced conversion to Islam, enslavement and sexual abuse, exploitation and extermination. The Medes will be the first to attack Babylon before it will be finally destroyed by the ten kings of the Eight And Final Beast Empire, The Forth Reich. They shall not regard silver and gold.
“Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it. Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children.”(Isaiah 13:17-18).
They shall be motivated by vengeance rather than envy and greed unlike the ten kings of the Eighth And Final Beast Empire who shall eat her flesh. They shall be allied to the antiChrist. They shall not attack Babylon until permitted to do so by the antiMessiah. After Armageddon, Jerusalem shall be rebuilt, but Babylon shall never be rebuilt. It shall become the habitation of doleful creatures. It shall be uninhabited, desolate; the Arabian shall not pitch his tent there(Isa.13:20).
Joel Richardson teaches that mystery Babylon is Mecca. Will the Medes attack and destroy Mecca? For what reasons? The majority of Kurds are Muslims too. The majority of pretrib teachers like Jimmy De Young hold the opposite view that Mystery Babylon is Rome. My question is why would the Kurds destroy Rome? How will they get there to attack her in the first place? An airborne division? The truth is that Mystery Babylon the Great, the Mother Of Harlots And abominations Of The Earth, the summation of all false religions of mother-child worship which originated in Babylon, founded by Nimrod, shall return to her roots in the latter days in the land of Shinar(Zech.5:5-11). This false religion of mother-child worship symbolized by a woman in an ephah, a holy measure which is an abomination has been roaming the Earth, migrating from one place to the other, masquerading as different religions, but with the same root of mother-child worship. It is found amongst all peoples groups all over the world. She once settled in Pergamos, then Rome and Mecca. She shall finally be brought back to her base in Babylon, the land of Shinar, the place of her origin. There, she will meet her Waterloo.
Joel Richardson wonders how the Muslims who constitute 7 out of the 10-nation confederation of the Eight And Final Beast Empire shall obey the antiChrist if he were not a Muslim. I wonder too how the Muslim armies of the 7 nations out of the 10-nation Coalition Of The Eighth Beast Empire shall destroy Mecca if it were Mystery Babylon the Great, the mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth. Rome and Mecca have a common origin; in fact, Rome is the Mother of Mecca, as Pergamos is the mother of Rome. Babylon was never destroyed. When Seleucia was founded up north on the Tigris River in 305 BC, Babylon was abandoned. It simply faded into the desert sand, and the center of mother-child worship shifted to Pergamos in Asia Minor, from where it migrated to and settled in Rome. The Romish Church And The New Age Movement have a programme of babylonization whereby they intend to relocate their headquarters to Babylon in the land of Shinar.
Rev.18 focuses on the judgment of the commerce of the harlot city. The judgment of the Great harlot was announced by another angel. The rank of this angel was revealed by the fact that the Earth was lightened with his glory. We are not told his name or regalia, but that his appearance was glorious. With a great voice he announced the fall of Babylon saying: Babylon the Great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of demons, and the hold of every foul spirit, and the cage of every unclean and hateful bird. Unclean and hateful bird is a metaphoric description of the evil angels cast down to the Earth at the midpoint of the 70th seven of Daniel during the war between Satan and his fallen evil angels on the one hand and archangel Michael and the angels of God under his command on the other hand(Rev.12:7-9). The repetition of the fall of Babylon is a Hebraism indicating the inevitability of God’s judgment of Babylon. Verse 3 gives us the reason for her judgment. The heathen have been drunk with the wrath of the wine of her fornication. The kings of the Earth have have entered into immoral sexual union with her which is idolatry, and the merchants of the Earth have enriched themselves by trading in her wares. Verse 4 calls the people of God to come out of her lest they partake of her sins and plagues. There is speculation as to when this call was made, and who the people of God referred to here are, considering that it is but a few days to Armageddon. This call was probably made at the midpoint of the 70th week. It is also likely that it refers to some inhabitants of this city who do not have the mark of the Beast. They have been living incommunicado so to say. It is now time for them to sneak out of the city before its destruction. Some of these survivors will appear at the Sheep and Goat Judgment during the 40-day Restoration Period of the kingdom and be justified to enter the Millennium and repopulate the Earth with the saved remnants of Israel.
Verse 5-8 talks about the gravity of her offenses and the judgment thereof. Her sins have reached up to the heavens and her iniquities have come into remembrance before God. Therefore God shall reward her even as she has rewarded God; double unto her double according to her works and double according to her cup of iniquity. According to how she has glorified herself and lived deliciously so God shall give to her torment and sorrow. She was not ashamed of her immoralities. She was arrogant and bragged about her sexual escapades with the kings of the nations, and their subjects. She said, “I sit a queen, I am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.” Predicated upon her arrogance and shamelessness, her plagues shall come in one day to the fullest perfection: death, mourning, famine, and she shall be utterly burned with fire; for strong is the Lord that judges her. He is the God of faithfulness, without injustice, and true and upright is He(Deut.32:4). By Him actions are weighed. He trieth the hearts and the reins. He will show no partiality. He cannot be bought over. He is not man; He has no need. He is the possessor of the heavens and the Earth(Gen.14:19), and the sovereign Lord of the universe. All these qualities were depicted in the imagery and glory of the risen Christ in Revelation 1.
Two sets of people will mourn for her. Firstly, the kings of the Earth(8,9) who have entered into immoral sexual and idolatrous union with her. They derived so much wealth from her and lived delicately and deliciously as though they will never face judgment one day nor die. They shall bewail her and lament for her when they shall see the smoke of her burning. God in His infinite wisdom will permit these kings to see the destruction of Babylon by fire, a few days prior to their own demise at Armageddon. They will stand aside from the city, afar off for fear of her torment saying, Alas, alas, that Great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgement come. Secondly, the merchants of the Earth shall weep and mourn for Babylon(11). They enriched themselves by trading in her wares. No one will buy their merchandise anymore. Verses 12,13 provide us with exhaustive lists of her wares which apart from gold, silver and precious stones and pearls include slaves and souls of men. The reference to the souls of men indicates that she practices witchcraft. All these shall depart from her, and she shall not be able to find them anymore(14). Like the kings of the Earth, the merchants of her wares shall stand afar off to view her destruction because of fear of her torment. They shall weep and wail for her(15). They would not be able to run very far for Armageddon is a couple of days away. Standing afar off, they shall say, “Alas, alas, that Great City, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come to nought(17). The sailors, and all those that trade by sea shall weep for her when they see the smoke of her torment saying, “What city is like unto this great city!”(18). That they shall cast dust on their heads while thy weep and mourn for her depicts extreme grief and sorrow of heart. She shall be made desolate in one hour which speaks of rapid and sudden destruction(19). On the other hand, the saints in heaven, the holy apostles and prophets of the Lamb, and the fifth seal martyrs are called upon to rejoice for God has avenged them on Babylon(20).
Lastly, there is a final prophetic act by an unidentified angel depicting the consummative and eschatological destruction of Babylon by taking up a great millstone and casting it into the sea, and saying, “Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.” The destruction of Babylon shall be summarily final. Even in the Millennium, Babylon shall never be rebuilt nor inhabited. It shall be the roosting place of wild birds. This singular fact makes it clear that Babylon cannot be Jerusalem; for Jerusalem shall be rebuilt and be inhabited in the Millennium. It shall be the seat of the government of the Messiah. All nations shall come yearly to Jerusalem to worship God(22,23) and to celebrate the feast of Tabernacles(Zech.14:16). The reason adduced for this summary judgment is because in her was found the blood of the prophets, and of the saints, and of all that were slain upon the Earth(24). This cannot be Jerusalem. Was Jerusalem the point of entry of idolatry into the world? Babylon, apart from being a city, is also a global ideal of false humanistic religion, government, commerce and education epitomized in the antiChrist and his philosophy of secular humanism. It is the summation of all false religions: the Romish Church, Islam, Hinduism, Bhudhaism, African Traditional Religion and Ancestral Worship etc.
Revelation 19 is a continuation of the truncated seventh bowl judgment and the final phase of it which is the Armageddon Campaign. It begins with a heavenly scene of singing a doxology to God by the multitude of heavenly hosts praising Him for the salvation of mankind, and His judgment of the Great whore and vengeance for the blood of the saints, more so the fifth seal martyrs. The four living creatures and the four and twenty elders, the permanent members of the Throne Room of God from eternity past who constitute the core of this universal orchestra that swells to include the redeemed of the Lord and the angels of God. The lone voice from the Throne Room in Heaven that called for the praise of God may be that of a high ranking angel. However, we are not told his persona or regalia or status. The reason adduced for the call to praise God is because the marriage of the Lamb is come and His wife, the redeemed and resurrected Church in Heaven have made herself ready. Apparently she was made ready in the intervening period between the Rapture and the outpouring of the final seventh bowl judgment which is already in progress. To be made ready, she has to appear at the Bema Seat judgment where the saints are rewarded for their works and bejeweled for the marriage of the Lamb. The marriage supper of the Lamb which is the wedding reception will take place here on Earth in the early days of the Millennium.
“Blessed are those who are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.”(verse 9).
Apostle John the apocalyptist was overwhelmed by the appearance of the angel that made this announcement in Heaven that he fell at his feet to worship him, but was restrained by the angel himself who happened to be one of the brethren and a servant of the risen Lord. This may signal that departed saints play angelic roles in Heaven because they are like angels(Matt.22:30; Mk.12:25; Luk.20:36). He was admonished to worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
Rev.19:11-16 is a description of the risen Christ at Armageddon. He is seated upon a white horse. He is called Faithful and True. In righteousness He judges and wars. His eyes are like flame of fire which signal judgment. On His head are many crowns, royal diadems which signal kingship and His exploits. He has a name written which no one knows but Himself. Though He is knowable, He is incomprehensible like the other members of the Godhead, the Father and the Holy Spirit. He is clothed in a vesture dipped in blood which goes to support the fact that He is the angel with sickle in Rev.14. Sickle signals harvest which is the judgment of the wicked. He is called the Word Of God( cp.Jon.1:2,14). He is accompanied by the armies or hosts of Heaven which may include the saints and the angels in Heaven. These armies are mounted on white horses and clothed in fine linen both of which signal righteousness. Out of His mouth protrudes a sharp sword with which He shall smite the nations in judgment. When we see Jesus, do we presume a sharp sword shall protrude out of His mouth? He is the word of God, and the word of God is the sword of the Spirit. He will rule with a rod of iron which signal strict and righteous judgment. He will not be partial though merciful. He treads the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of God Almighty which buttresses the fact that He is the angel with the sharp sickle in Rev.14. God the Father has committed all judgment to the Son. On His vestment is written, King Of Kings And Lord Of Lords.
Rev.19:17-21 is a description of the carnage at Armageddon previewed in Rev.14:17-20. It begins with a call by an angel standing in the sun to the carrions of heaven to the Supper Of The Great God. God shall stage a feast for the scavengers. They shall eat the flesh of men, kings and nobles, captains and mighty men, free men and slaves, peasants and elites, and their horses. The Beast and his armies, and all the other kings of the Earth and their armies shall be gathered together against the Lord and His heavenly hosts. They shall be no match for the Lord and His armies. The Beast and the false prophet shall be taken captive and cast into the Lake of fire and brimstone. The armies of the nations shall be slain with the sword that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord, and the carrions shall be filled with their flesh. The lives of the kings of the ten nation confederation of the antiChrist’s Eighth Beast Empire shall be prolonged for a season before being finally cast into the Lake of Fire and Sulphur.
Rev.20 is also a continuation of the seventh bowl judgment. Armageddon is over. The Earth will soon be renovated during the 45-day Restoration Period of the kingdom and thereafter the Millennium will begin. So, Satan must be incarcerated to keep away his negative and rebellious influences from the subjects of the New Millennial Kingdom majority of whom are still in their natural and fallen state. During this period, Satan the archenemy of God, the supreme personality of evil, the ultimate persecutor of the saints of the Most High is bound for a thousand years whilst Christ and the saints reign as kings and priests of the Most High God for the same length of time.
“And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.”(Rev.20:1-3).
Following his incarceration in the bottomless pit, the saints who were beheaded for their witness of Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshipped the Beast neither his image, who did not receive his mark of allegiance in their foreheads or in their hands shall be raised from the dead to reign with Christ a thousand years. Greek scholar Robert H. Gundry tells us that the tense of the verbs for raising, sitting, and reigning are such that they occur at the same time. Besides, the fact that they are referred to as souls indicates that they have not risen from the dead prior to this time. But Dr. Alan E. Kurschner has shown that this does not mean they will rise from the dead on the first day of the Millennium. They will rise from the dead with the others saints at the Rapture.
The rest of the dead were not raised from the dead till the expiry of the Millennium. Those who took part in the first resurrection are blessed and holy. They are different from others. The second death which is eternal separation from God and incarceration for eternity in the Lake of fire and sulphur has no power over them. They shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Christ a thousand years. These are the OT saints that rose from the dead with Christ, the departed NT saints who are raised from the dead and the living NT saints who are translated at the Rapture, and those beheaded for the witness of Christ and the testimony which they held, and for the word of God.
At the expiration of the thousand years, Satan shall be paroled by God for a season. But he shall behave true to type, and lead a rebellion of those who are in the outer fringes of the Earth. These kook-fringe malcontents are Magogites who because of their volatile and rebellious nature were dispersed by Christ to the outer fringes of the Earth at the beginning of the Millennium. Their leader is Gog, of the land of Magog. Gog is a title, not a personal name. The antiChrist is also referred to as Gog in Ezek.38:2. This is a different person altogether but of the same Magogite and Japhethic extraction. Because of good condition in the Millennium, and increased longevity, their population may have swelled into hundreds of millions perhaps into billions(8). The Heavenly Jerusalem, the camp of the resurrected saints they shall surround, intent on destroying it and its inhabitants. This verse also indicates that the Millennium is synonymous with the New Heaven And The New Earth, And The New And Heavenly Jerusalem is contiguous with the Fourth Temple during the Millennium. God has had enough. Fire shall descend from Heaven and they shall be consumed in the heavenly conflagration. Satan, the invisible architect of their rebellion shall be arrested and finally incarcerated for eternity with his co-triumvirates in the Lake of fire and brimstone(9,10). At the end of the Millennium will be the White Throne Judgment(11-15).
The prophet Isaiah refers to the Millennium as the New Heaven And The New Earth.
“For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.”(Is.65:17).
How do we know that this period is the same as the Millennium? Because according to prophet Isaiah, people will still die during this period, and there will still be sinners on Earth.
“But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord.”( Is.65:18-25).
Here is a description of longevity in the Millennium. Anyone who dies at one hundred years of age or under will be regarded as a baby and a sinner. People will live long during those days. Longevity of man will be as those of the tree like the oaks of Bashan and the cedars of Lebanon covering hundreds of years. The wolf and the lamb shall play together. The lion shall eat straw like the ox. Every animal shall be herbivorous. Snakes will feed on the dust of the Earth, geophagia. If the New Heaven And The New Earth were different from the Millennium, no one would express surprise over these transformations in the New Heaven And The New Earth inasmuch as they have already occurred in the Millennium. And after the Millennium is the White Throne Judgment and the Final Resurrection. After the Millennium, no one will be in this natural mortal body of ours. Physical death will be a thing of the past; for no one will be in this mortal body of ours. Everyone will be in the eternal immortal resurrection body. All those who are justified shall be in their glorified eternal immortal resurrection bodies. It is self-evident therefore that the Millennium of the Scroll Of Revelation is the same as the New Heaven And New Earth of the prophet Isaiah. While the prophet Isaiah was concerned with the quality of life in the Millennium, the Scroll Of Revelation showed the length of time as well as the quality of life in the Millennium. And after the Millennium will be the Eternal State.
In Rev.21:1, Apostle John the apocalyptist saw a New Heaven and a New Earth: for the First Heaven and First Earth are past away; and there was no more sea. During the Day Of The Lord, the present heavens and Earth, and its inhabitants shall be salted with fire to cleanse them from the defilement of sin. During this period the present heavens and Earth suffered limited destruction not total annihilation. After the war of Armageddon, the present heavens and Earth shall be rebuilt(renewed, renovated) by Christ during the 45-Day Restoration Period of the Kingdom. The resultant New Heaven And New Earth are where Christ shall reign with the resurrected saints in their glorified eternal immortal resurrection bodies for a thousand years. The Greek word translated New is “kainos” (which is best rendered renewed, or restored), not “naos” which refers to something new both in time and substance.
As we have shown from the Scroll of the prophet Isaiah, the New Heaven and the New Earth of Isaiah is synonymous and concurrent with the Millennium of Revelation. So, the Millennium of Rev.20 is the same as the New Heaven and the New Earth of Rev.21. Rev.21, 22 is an expansion of Rev.20:1-7. In others words, the New Heaven And The New Earth will last a thousand years. Whereas Rev.20 was concerned with the length of time of the The New Heaven And The New Earth which is one thousand years, Rev.21 was dealing with the condition of life in the New And Heavenly Jerusalem in the Millennium. Equating the Millennium with the New Heaven And The New Earth resolves the enigma of locating the New And Heavenly Jerusalem in The New Heaven And The New Earth at the end of the Millennium. The New And Heavenly Jerusalem is the abode of the resurrected saints in the Millennium(Rev.21:24). The New And Heavenly Jerusalem has no Temple of its own(21:22). This city which is cubical in shape, is hollow at its base and is contiguous with the spire of the Fourth And Millennial Temple on the renovated Mount Zion built by Christ Himself during the 45-Day Restoration Period after the Armageddon Campaign(Ezek.40-44; cp. 38,39). We must distinguish the Earthly And Millennial New Jerusalem from the New And Heavenly Jerusalem that descends from Heaven decorated as a bride adorned for her husband which is now in construction(21:2). In the Throne Room of the Fourth And Millennial Temple on the earthly and renovated Mount Zion is the Spring of the water of life that flows downwards to heal the Earth and upwards to the New And Heavenly Jerusalem which is the abode of the resurrected saints in their glorified eternal and immortal resurrection bodies(Ezek.47:1-12; Rev.22:1,2).
There is no day nor night in this city(21:23). The city does not need natural light. Christ is the light of it. Quite frankly the inhabitants are each a light unto himself due to the life and nature of God in them that is unobscured by the sinful natural body which has been done away with at death and the Rapture. Sinners cannot enter into this city(21:27). To be candid, no one in this natural body of ours can approach this city. The one would literally melt away. The natural body cannot tolerate the glories of this heavenly city. Anyone who has ministered under the anointing which is the glory of God knows that it wears out the physical body. No man in his natural body can approach this eternal glory. If the New Heaven And The New Earth were different from the Millennium and occurs after it, and the New And Heavenly Jerusalem exits in it, no one would be speaking about sinners not being able to enter into it. For after the Millennium is the White Throne Judgment after which all sinners in their unglorified eternal immortal resurrection bodies shall be banished to the Lake Of Fire And Brimstone(Rev.20:11-15). There will be no more sinners. So, why talk about a condition that does not exist? It is from this city that the resurrected saints shall go and rule the nations in the Millennium. This should not surprise us because there is no distance in the realm of the spirit. One could wish to be in London from anywhere in the Universe, and immediately the one is there. It is these resurrected saints, kings and priests, reigning and ministering with and under Christ that shall bring the wealth and offerings of the nations into the New And Heavenly Jerusalem(21:24). For fuller treatment of The New And Heavenly Jerusalem, see my comments on Rev.21 & 22 posted on this website.
Chronologically, the Scroll of Revelation should end with the description of the White Throne Judgment not the description of life in the New And Heavenly Jerusalem. But as a good literary piece, this style of writing is not unexpected. We have shown that the Scroll of Revelation is highly chronological. It is therefore unnecessary for us to chop it up and reassemble it to fit our preconceived notions.
Author’s Note: I welcome and cherish comments and constructive criticisms. I urge you to study this article critically with an open mind, alongside the Scroll Of Revelation together with other relevant passages of the Scriptures, and decide for yourself whether the Scroll Of Revelation is chronological or not.