In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He [Jesus Christ -Yeshua] was in the beginning with God.

The Book of Revelation Reveals the Real Doomsday Prophecy

Many false prophecies of the end of the world have passed. The latest well publicized apocalypse of the Mayan Calendar was to occur on December 21, 2012. Amazingly, the world has turned a blind eye to the only true prophecy of the end-time. God reveals through Bible prophecy what will come to pass. Escape is available to those who do not ignore the Biblical warnings of the horrific events to come.

Before describing the end-time events that will soon occur, it is important to set the world stage with the main participants who will play out some of these events while God supernaturally plays out the most horrific but justified events. These events are described by the prophets of the Old Testament and by the Revelation of Christ to the Apostle John who writes his visions in the Book of Revelation in the New Testament. The major nation participants are described as four kings comprising Europe, Russia, Egypt and China. Each will form alliances with other nations. These kings are rising today in power and influence as the status and influence of America declines. The economic problems of the European Union will move Europe toward a tighter unity of a federation. This federation is described as the seventh kingdom by the Apostle John and as the fourth beast by the prophet Daniel. It represents the king of the west, which will be led by the Antichrist. The rise of post-Soviet Union Russia represents the growing influence of the king of the north. The Arab Spring movement is changing the geopolitical map of Northern Africa and the Middle East as nations there transition to Islamic regimes governed by Sharia law. Egypt, the king of the south, will form alliances with its neighbors while other nations will form alliances with the king of the north as described by the prophet Ezekiel. China, the king of the east, has quickly risen to an economic world power and is strengthening its military. Christ clearly describes the role of the king of the east to the Apostle John.

The end-time events will occur during the seven-year tribulation period. It will begin when the Antichrist establishes a [false] peace treaty with Israel and end at the final battle of Armageddon. It will be a calamitous time for those who have rejected God’s word through His Son, Jesus Christ, the Messiah. The good news for those who are faithful to Christ is that they will be raptured and avoid the end-time events. It must be understood that God is going to literally destroy the foundations of this present world in order to set up His kingdom on earth at the second coming of Christ. The end-time events do not bring an end to the world. These events will bring Israel to repentance and end Gentile rule and domination over Israel. God will bring in a ‘new order’ that the current world is not expecting. The end of the tribulation period will usher in the Millennium Age ruled by Christ Himself from His throne in Jerusalem. There will be 1,000 years of righteousness, which will bring forth peace and prosperity that the world has never experienced before. It is not too late for anyone to make the right choice now. Choose Jesus Christ and be saved, or reject Him and risk entering the tribulation. At the end of the Millennium Age, God will destroy the current heavens and earth. He will resurrect those who have rejected Him and judge them at the Great White Throne. He will create a new heaven and earth and a new city of Jerusalem that will be eternal. Those who are saved will live with God and His Son without end.

We will journey through the events of the end-time seven-year tribulation period by reviewing the revelation Christ gave to Apostle John as written in the Book of Revelation. John wrote these events in the order he saw them. The events are outlined below. You can progress through each event beginning with the introduction or click on a specific event to go directly to its discussion.


1. The Seven Churches (Chapters 1-3)

2. The Lamb of God (Chapters 4-5)

3. Christ opens the seven seals of the scroll (Chapters 6-7)

4. Seven angels blow the seven trumpets (Chapters 8-11)

5. Satanic trinity of Satan, the Antichrist, the False Prophet (Chapters 12-13)

6. Proclamation of the Gospel and pronouncements of final judgment (Chapter 14)

7. Seven angels pour out the seven bowls (Chapters 15-16)

8. Judgment of the harlot church and the world system [Babylon] (Chapters 17-18)

9. The return of Jesus Christ, the Messiah (Chapters 19-22)



Daniel described a timeline known as the seventy weeks of Daniel. It relates to the future of Israel in which God will, at the end of this timeline, bring Israel’s rebellion [against Him] to an end, put a stop to sin, wipe away iniquity, bring in everlasting righteousness, seal up vision and prophecy, and anoint the most holy place.

Each week represents 7 years for a total of 490 years. The first 7 weeks (49 years) prophesy the period of time the Jews return from seventy years of Babylonian captivity to rebuild Jerusalem. The next 62 weeks (434 years) represent prophecies regarding Israel and the Gentile nations to the time of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. The final week of 7 years (70th week) represents the tribulation period, which ends at the final battle of Armageddon and the second advent of Christ. In the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John writes down the visions he received from Christ regarding the events that will take place during this period. The church age is the gap of time between the 69th and 70th week. We are currently living in this period of time, which will soon end. We know it will end soon because of the condition of the world and the church today. Apostasy is on the rise and the church is transforming into the harlot described in the Book of Revelation. This is evident as the infallible word of God is either being rejected or being replaced in some church denominations by secular humanism. Today’s millennial generation is turning away from the truth and, consequently, has no moral compass to guide it. This falling away is described by the Apostle Paul in the Book of Second Thessalonians. It will open the door for the Antichrist to rise to power and for the tribulation period to begin.

The apostle John wrote Revelation as a letter to the seven churches of Asia Minor (present day Turkey) while he was on the island of Patmos in approximately AD 95. This letter is the revelation given to John by Jesus Christ, the Messiah. It reveals the ultimate triumph of Christ over evil as God vindicates His name and completes His plan of redemption. John describes the events using the visions and symbols he received while in the presence of the Holy Spirit and the throne of God.

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The seven churches (Revelation chapters 1-3)

Revelation begins with John seeing the Son of Man, Christ, among seven lampstands, which represents the seven churches. Christ’s right hand held seven stars representing the angels of the seven churches to whom Christ has a message. Each represented a spiritual condition that Christ addressed. Christ rebuked five and commended two. He called to repentance the five he rebuked and gave encouragement to the two he commended. It is important to understand that Christ was speaking to the church, both present and future. The seven churches, which were located in Asia Minor during the early period of the first millennium AD, no longer exist. However, the churches exist today in the body of believers and reflect the same seven spiritual conditions. The church is the body of believers in Christ rather than buildings with physical locations. Christ rebukes, commends and encourages his followers today as He did to the churches during the time of the Apostle John. He finishes each message by saying “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." Believers are to hear and obey His word and be prepared for His return.

Today’s true body of believers is represented by the Philadelphian church. It has little strength in the world because of the increasing apostasy. These believers are being persecuted and challenged by the rise of the Laodicean church. These self-proclaimed believers are not true believers because they have prostituted themselves with apostasy in today’s growing monolith of polytheism. The true believers of the Philadelphian church will be raptured to meet Christ in the air while the Laodicean church, the harlot church, will enter into the tribulation period and be destroyed by the Antichrist.

Beginning in chapter four and through the rest of the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John never mentions the church again. This is because the church has been raptured. The harlot church is referred to by John only as the harlot without reference to the word church. This reflects the indignation God has toward the church that has rejected His word.

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The Lamb of God (Revelation chapters 4-5)

John sees a door opening into heaven from which a voice calls John to come up before the throne of God. John is taken up by the Holy Spirit and shown the events that are to take place at the end of the church age, which is the present age of grace. These events will occur during the seven-year tribulation as God pours out His righteous wrath as described by the seven seals, the seven trumpets and the seven bowls. Christ will return to earth for the final battle of Armageddon where He defeats the Antichrist, judges the nations, and redeems Israel.

The vision by John begins as he sees someone sitting on the throne dressed in jasper and carnelian with the throne encircled by a rainbow resembling emerald. Surrounding the throne are twenty-four thrones upon which sat twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold. Seven lamps blazed in front of the throne representing the seven spirits of God. Also before the throne appeared a sea of glass, clear as crystal. In the center, around the thrown, were four living creatures covered with eyes, in front and back. The first creature was like a lion, the second like an ox, the third had a face of a man, and the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each creature had six wings.

Day and night, the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures worshiped the one on the throne. The twenty-four elders represent the church from the time of Pentecost to the rapture. The four creatures represent the ministry of Jesus as given in the context of the four Gospels of the New Testament: the lion as the king [Gospel of Matthew]; the ox as a servant [Gospel of Mark]; the face of a man as the Son of Man [Gospel of Luke]; the flying eagle as the deity of Jesus Christ, the Messiah [Gospel of John]. The six wings on each represent a seraphim.

As John was observing the worship, he saw in the right hand of the one who sat on the thrown a scroll with writings on both sides and sealed with seven seals. A mighty angel proclaimed with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” But John saw no one in heaven or on earth able to open the scroll. As he wept, one of the elders said to him, “Do not weep. See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” Then John saw a Lamb, appearing as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God [the Holy Spirit] sent out into all the earth. He took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. What John witnessed was Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Lamb of God, receiving the scroll from God the Father. When this happened, the twenty-four elders, the four creatures, tens upon thousands of angels, and every creature in heaven and earth sang and praised the worthy Lamb of God.

The judgments to be unleashed upon the earth during the tribulation period begin when Christ, the slain Lamb of God, opens the first of seven seals of the scroll. There will be three sets of judgments described in sevens for a total of twenty-one judgments: the seven seals; the seven trumpets; and the seven bowls. Their intensity will crescendo as the tribulation period progresses. It is important at this stage of the discussion to state that the increase in natural disasters and starvation we are witnessing today is not the beginning of the tribulation. They are, however, a warning that we are living in the end-times; we are close to the beginning of the tribulation period. Jesus stated that there will be wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes and famines in various places, and that these will the beginning of sorrows as the tribulation period begins. The tribulation period will begin with the breaking of the first seal.

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Christ opens the seven seals of the scroll (Revelation chapters 6-7)

The first four seals reveal the four horsemen. They describe the calamities that will be unleashed upon the earth throughout the tribulation period. Some will be the result of man while others will be by the supernatural act of God. Regardless of their origin, these calamities will be more intense than the world has ever before experienced. The fifth seal reveals those who had been martyred over the ages for their testimony of the word of God. The sixth seal ushers in natural disasters that will be of supernatural intensity. This will begin midway through the seven-year tribulation period, which coincides with the time that Satan gives supernatural powers to the Antichrist. The seventh seal brings forth the angels with the seven trumpets of judgments. These judgments will bring supernatural disasters never experienced before from the beginning of the world until today, and never again will they be repeated. They will be followed by even greater supernatural judgments of the seven bowls.

Revelation 6:1-2 (HCSB) – The First Seal:

Then I saw the Lamb open one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked, and there was a white horse. The horseman on it had a bow; a crown was given to him, and he went out as a victor to conquer.

This is not Christ to returning to earth on a white horse to bring peace. This will happen at the end of the tribulation period. This horseman is the Antichrist. He is on a white horse because he will arrive on the world stage as a demonic angel of light, a man bringing a false peace in his own name. The crown represents the leadership the world will give him. He will be attractive and charming; as one offering world unity and peace, and offering solutions to the world’s problems. Initially, he will rise to world power through his cunningness of negotiations rather than by force as indicated by the bow with no arrows. However, his true character is pure evil and he will eventually make war to conquer nations in his pursuit of world domination. He will be revealed as the Antichrist midway through the tribulation. He will ultimately lead the world on the path to destruction including his own. In a June 2012 Gallup Poll conducted in America, a majority 54% of those questioned stated that they would vote for a well-qualified atheist for president if nominated by their party. This is a 200 percent increase from the same poll taken in 1958. More disturbing is that most western nations are more secular today than America. There is no doubt that the world will elect an atheistic leader because the Antichrist will not regard any god as foretold by the prophet Daniel.

Revelation 6:3-4 (HCSB) – The Second Seal:

When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” Then another horse went out, a fiery red one, and its horseman was empowered to take peace from the earth, so that people would slaughter one another. And a large sword was given to him.

The initial peace brought by the first horseman on a white horse will be shattered by the second horseman riding on a red horse. The second horseman will break out wars, and the large sword indicates that these wars will be widespread and very destructive as indicated by the red color of the horse. World War III will break out during the tribulation period and will include the use of nuclear weapons. The prophet Zechariah proclaimed that the Lord will strike all who fight against Jerusalem: “Their flesh will dissolve while they stand on their feet; their eyes will dissolve in their sockets, and their tongues will dissolve in their mouths”. Zechariah 14:12.

Revelation 6:5-6 (HCSB) – The Third Seal:

When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and there was a black horse. The horseman on it had a set of scales in his hand. Then I heard something like a voice among the four living creatures say, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius—but do not harm the olive oil and the wine.”

The third horseman is riding a black horse, which represents famine, poverty, and mourning that will result from the actions of the second horseman riding the red horse. He will bring mass hunger and grieving throughout the world. During the Roman Empire, a denarius represented a day’s wage for an unskilled worker and a common soldier. During the tribulation, one day of wages probably will be just enough to feed one person but not an entire family. The olive oil and wine will be spared. During the great wars of the past, not all people suffered, especially among the wealthy. The same will be true during the tribulation wars as shown by the olive oil and wine. By the end of the tribulation, however, no one will escape the judgments except for the elect who are preserved though the tribulation period.

Revelation 6:7-8 (HCSB) – The Fourth Seal:

When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and there was a pale green horse. The horseman on it was named Death, and Hades was following after him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill by the sword, by famine, by plague, and by the wild animals of the earth.

The fourth horseman is riding a pale green horse and his name is Death, and Hades follows after him. This horseman is the most terrifying because he will be given authority to kill a fourth of the inhabitants on earth. Based on the world population today, this means almost two billion people will die. The misery of war and famine brought about by the previous three horsemen will intensify, and plagues will overwhelm the world. Even wild animals will be unleashed upon mankind. This will likely result from hunger as their habitats are diminished and their fear of humans is removed. The word animal is associated with the Greek word for beast in scripture. Since the word beast represents the Antichrist and the false prophet, it is possible that this word will also be associated with the increased depravity of mankind that will unleash death on a greater scale than ever before. Regardless of the interpretation, death and hades will follow. The pale green color of death will destroy the body and hades [hell] will swallow the soul.

Revelation 6:9-11 (HCSB) – The Fifth Seal:

When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the people slaughtered because of God’s word and the testimony they had. They cried out with a loud voice: “Lord, the One who is holy and true, how long until You judge and avenge our blood from those who live on the earth?” So a white robe was given to each of them, and they were told to rest a little while longer until [the number] would be completed [of] their fellow slaves and their brothers, who were going to be killed just as they had been.

The altar in heaven is the place where Christ offered His blood for the sins of the world. Those remaining to be killed will be tribulation believers who make a stand for God and refuse to worship the Antichrist. The spirit of the Antichrist is already at work in the world today and rising into prominence. Christians are being killed around the world for their faith. Even in the western cultures that were founded on Judeo-Christian principles, Christians are being challenged and threatened for their stand on Godly values. In July 2012, the CEO of Chick-fil-A restaurants in America was denounced and his business threatened by mayors of some major American cities for his stand with God on the moral principle that marriage is to be only between a man and a woman. The mayor of Chicago stated that Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago’s values. The mayor of Chicago doesn’t know how prophetic his statement is regarding the apostasy that is overtaking the world. Persecution of true Christian believers will only get worse as we approach the rapture of the church. The church, represented by believers who are prepared and watching for the Savior’s return, will not remain on earth to experience the dreadful judgments to come. During the tribulation, the Antichrist will seek to kill those who come to the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 6:12-17 (HCSB) – The Sixth Seal:

Then I saw Him open the sixth seal. A violent earthquake occurred; the sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair; the entire moon became like blood; the stars of heaven fell to the earth as a fig tree drops its unripe figs when shaken by a high wind; the sky separated like a scroll being rolled up; and every mountain and island was moved from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the nobles, the military commanders, the rich, the powerful, and every slave and free person hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. And they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the One seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, because the great day of Their wrath has come! And who is able to stand?”

It’s difficult to comprehend how powerful and destructive earthquakes and cosmic impacts will be during the tribulation. The power of this earthquake will be greater than ever measured before on the Richter magnitude scale. It will blow past the greatest magnitude ever measured in history, which was the 9.5 magnitude earthquake in Chile in 1960. John saw multitudes of people of all social-economic classes fleeing to hide in caves and mountains. He heard people cry out for the mountains to fall on them and hide them from the One who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. They knew that the great day of wrath had come. Members of survivalist groups today had better prepare themselves by accepting Christ as their Savior. Their survivalist training offers them a false sense of security. No one will be able to withstand the wrath of God during the tribulation period.

It is at this point in John’s visions that he begins to see events occurring concurrent to the judgments being unleashed upon the earth. While they are occurring during the outpouring of God’s wrath upon the world, John writes about these visions between his writings of his visions of judgments. These events are identified as ‘Interludes’.

Revelation 7:1-8 (HCSB) – The Sealed of Israel [Interlude]:

After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, restraining the four winds of the earth so that no wind could blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree. Then I saw another angel, who had the seal of the living God rise up from the east. He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels who were empowered to harm the earth and the sea: “Don’t harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we seal the slaves [servants] of our God on their foreheads.” And I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 sealed from every tribe of the Israelites: 12,000 sealed from the tribe of Judah, 12,000 from the tribe of Reuben, 12,000 from the tribe of Gad, 12,000 from the tribe of Asher, 12,000 from the tribe of Naphtali, 12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh, 7 12,000 from the tribe of Simeon, 12,000 from the tribe of Levi, 12,000 from the tribe of Issachar, 12,000 from the tribe of Zebulun, 12,000 from the tribe of Joseph, 12,000 sealed from the tribe of Benjamin.

John heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel comprising 12,000 from each tribe. This Jewish elect will serve God on earth as the priesthood during the tribulation. They will preach the gospel throughout the world, and then the end will come as was spoken by Jesus when He ministered on earth at His first coming.

Revelation 7:9-17 (HCSB) – A Multitude from the Great Tribulation [Interlude]:

After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were robed in white with palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: Salvation belongs to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb! All the angels stood around the throne, the elders, and the four living creatures, and they fell facedown before the throne and worshiped God, saying: Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength be to our God forever and ever. Amen. Then one of the elders asked me, “Who are these people robed in white, and where did they come from?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” Then he told me: These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason they are before the throne of God, and they serve Him day and night in His sanctuary. The One seated on the throne will shelter them: They will no longer hunger; they will no longer thirst; the sun will no longer strike them, nor will any heat. For the Lamb who is at the center of the throne will shepherd them; He will guide them to springs of living waters, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

This great multitude represents those who will be killed during the tribulation as a result of their commitment to Christ. They will join those souls seen by John under the altar after the fifth seal was opened. These will be the last saints resurrected to heaven before God unleashes the worst of the tribulation judgments. The greatest supernatural judgments are now about to be unleashed upon the earth as the seventh seal is opened to pronounce the coming judgments.

Revelation 8:1-6 (HCSB) – The Seventh Seal:

When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Then I saw the seven angels who stand in the presence of God; seven trumpets were given to them. Another angel, with a gold incense burner, came and stood at the altar. He was given a large amount of incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the gold altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up in the presence of God from the angel’s hand. The angel took the incense burner, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it to the earth; there were rumblings of thunder, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake. And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.

The prayers of the saints in the fifth seal will now be answered after the solemn silence of one-half hour in heaven. Christ is ready to avenge their blood by bringing on the earth the worst judgments beginning with the sounding of the seven trumpets.

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Seven angels blow the seven trumpets (Revelation chapters 8-11)

The seven trumpets that are introduced during the opening of the seventh seal bring about supernatural calamities similar to the ten plagues brought against Egypt during the Exodus. The first four trumpets will affect the natural world while the last three trumpets will affect all peoples of the earth except for the 144,000 elect that were sealed at the opening of the sixth seal. The seventh trumpet proclaims the majesty of Christ and introduces the seven bowl judgments.

Revelation 8:7 (HCSB) – The First Trumpet:

The first angel blew his trumpet, and hail and fire, mixed with blood, were hurled to the earth. So a third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.

The first trumpet will cause one-third of the earth’s vegetation to be destroyed. The events are similar to the plague God brought against Egypt during the Exodus in which hail struck down man and beast, beat down every plant and shattered every tree. The only place where hail did not strike was the land of Goshen where the Israelites were. During the tribulation, hail will strike one-third of the earth rather than just one nation. However, the elect of Israel will be spared.

Revelation 8:8-9 (HCSB) – The Second Trumpet:

The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain ablaze with fire was hurled into the sea. So a third of the sea became blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

The second trumpet will cause one-third of the earth’s ocean sea life to be destroyed along with one-third of the ships. One can only imagine what this great force is that is hurled into sea. It’s very likely a tremendous volcanic eruption that literally hurls a mountain into the sea. The 1980 Mount St. Helens volcanic eruption in America literally blew the north face away and spread debris over eleven states. Whatever the source is at the sound of this trumpet, the results will be literal. One-third of the sea will become blood in which one-third of all sea creatures die, and one-third of the ships are destroyed.

Revelation 8:10-11 (HCSB) – The Third Trumpet:

The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from heaven. It fell on a third of the rivers and springs of water. The name of the star is Wormwood, and a third of the waters became wormwood. So, many of the people died from the waters, because they had been made bitter.

The third trumpet will cause one-third of the earth’s fresh waters to become polluted. Wormwood is a very bitter herb. The literal translation shows that a great cosmic impact will occur on earth. It will poison a third of the waters including rivers, springs and lakes. Many will die as a result of the poisoned water.

Revelation 8:12-13 (HCSB) – The Fourth Trumpet:

The fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day was without light, and the night as well. I looked again and heard an eagle flying high overhead, crying out in a loud voice, “Woe! Woe! Woe to those who live on the earth, because of the remaining trumpet blasts that the three angels are about to sound”

There are two events that will take place. The first event will darken our skies by one-third: that is one-third of the daylight sun and one-third of the moonlight and starlight night. It should be noted that John specifically states that the sun, moon and stars will be struck. This means that a great cosmic event will directly affect the heavens while the earth will be affected indirectly from this event. The second event is the announcement by an eagle of the horrible afflictions that the remaining three angels will bring at the sounding of their trumpets. Whereas the first four trumpets affect nature, the last three will affect all people of the world except for those sealed at the opening of the sixth seal.

Revelation 9:1-12 (HCSB) – The Fifth Trumpet:

The fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from heaven to earth. The key to the shaft of the abyss was given to him. He opened the shaft of the abyss, and smoke came up out of the shaft like smoke from a great furnace so that the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke from the shaft. Then locusts came out of the smoke on to the earth, and power was given to them like the power that scorpions have on the earth. They were told not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green plant, or any tree, but only people who do not have God’s seal on their foreheads. They were not permitted to kill them but were to torment ⌊them⌋ for five months; their torment is like the torment caused by a scorpion when it strikes a man. In those days people will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, but death will flee from them. The appearance of the locusts was like horses equipped for battle. Something like gold crowns was on their heads; their faces were like men’s faces; they had hair like women’s hair; their teeth were like lions’ teeth; they had chests like iron breastplates; the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses rushing into battle; and they had tails with stingers like scorpions, so that with their tails they had the power to harm people for five months. They had as their king the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he has the name Apollyon. The first woe has passed. There are still two more woes to come after this.

The interpretation of the sounding of this trumpet cannot be overstated. In scripture, both Jesus (Luke 10:18) and the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 14:12) refer to Satan as a light fallen from heaven. Later in Revelation 12:7-9, John states that Satan is cast out of heaven and released to earth. God, by His permissive will, gives Satan the keys to the abyss. Great power and authority are given to Satan to torment people except those sealed as Israel’s elect. He will do so by unleashing a very large cloud of locusts upon the entire earth. This plague of locust is similar to the plague against Egypt during the time of Exodus. However, this plague will cover the earth. It will be like smoke rising from a great erupting volcano. So large is this cloud of locust, the sun and the sky will be darkened. These locusts will be like no species of locust that has ever inhabited the earth. Similar to the description given by the prophet Joel (Joel chapter 1), the tribulation locusts will have teeth like a lion. They will have the most unusual features, some of which can be found in certain species today. John described them as best as he could. Most importantly, however, these locusts will have tails that sting. Unlike natural locusts, the tribulation locusts will be led (Proverbs 30:27). They are given instructions not to eat the vegetation. The locusts will be permitted to torment but not kill people with their painful stings for five months. During this terrible time, people will seek to commit suicide but they will be unsuccessful. The fifth trumpet is the first of three woes. Following the sounding of this trumpet will be two more trumpets of woe for mankind on earth.

Revelation 9:13-21 (HCSB) – The Sixth Trumpet:

The sixth angel blew his trumpet. From the four horns of the gold altar that is before God, I heard a voice say to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels bound at the great river Euphrates.” So the four angels who were prepared for the hour, day, month, and year were released to kill a third of the human race. The number of mounted troops was 200 million; I heard their number. This is how I saw the horses in my vision: The horsemen had breastplates that were fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow. The heads of the horses were like lions’ heads, and from their mouths came fire, smoke, and sulfur. A third of the human race was killed by these three plagues—by the fire, the smoke, and the sulfur that came from their mouths. For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails, for their tails, which resemble snakes, have heads, and they inflict injury with them. The rest of the people, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands to stop worshiping demons and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood, which are not able to see, hear, or walk. And they did not repent of their murders, their sorceries, their sexual immorality, or their thefts.

When the sixth trumpet was sounded, John heard Christ command the sixth angel to release the four angels bound at the Euphrates River. At a specific hour of time, these four hellish angels will unleash the greatest destruction of World War III, and it will include nuclear weapons Zechariah 14:12. China with her allies of 200 million troops will go to war. The colors mentioned by John are included in the colors of the Chinese flag and military. John described the weaponry the only way he knew how. One-third of the human race will be destroyed. Including the one-fourth of earth’s population that perishes from the fourth seal, a total of almost 60% percent of the world’s population will be killed during the seven-year tribulation period. Even as destructive as this period is, many of those who survive will not repent. They will continue in their idolatrous and immoral ways. Christ, however, will deliver final judgment on the remaining inhabitants of the world with His word. Those who survive will enter into the Millennium age along with the elect of Israel described in the opening of the sixth seal. It is important to understand that God will not allow unrighteousness to enter into the new Millennium age. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for their unrestrained immorality. Likewise, this world with its increasing sinfulness including elective abortion and same-sex marriage will meet the same end.

Revelation 10:1-11 (HCSB) – The Strong Angel with a Small Scroll [Interlude]:

Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, surrounded by a cloud, with a rainbow over his head. His face was like the sun, his legs were like fiery pillars, and he had a little scroll opened in his hand. He put his right foot on the sea, his left on the land, and he cried out with a loud voice like a roaring lion. When he cried out, the seven thunders spoke with their voices. And when the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write. Then I heard a voice from heaven, saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders said, and do not write it down!” Then the angel that I had seen standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven. He swore an oath by the One who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it: “There will no longer be an interval of time, but in the days of the sound of the seventh angel, when he will blow his trumpet, then God’s hidden plan will be completed, as He announced to His servants the prophets.” Now the voice that I heard from heaven spoke to me again and said, “Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, “Take and eat it; it will be bitter in your stomach, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth.” Then I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It was as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I ate it, my stomach became bitter. And I was told, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages, and kings.”

This strong angel is one of high standing. The rainbow is a reminder of God’s covenant with man not to again destroy the earth with water. The angel had been in the presence of Christ as reflected by his face, and he has come to make an announcement. With his fiery pillars, he puts his feet on the sea and land after opening the scroll. From the judgments introduced by the sealed scroll, the earth will now be reclaimed by God for Christ, the redeemer. As the angel cries out in a loud voice, sevens thunders spoke with their voices. However, as John began to write what he heard, a voice from heaven commanded him not to write anything down. This is a mystery that might be revealed sometime during the tribulation period. Then the angel raises his right hand and declares that there will no longer be an interval of time; God’s plan will be completed at the sound of the seventh trumpet. This brings the tribulation period to a conclusion when God restores the order of things as He had always intended from the beginning. When John took the scroll and ate it, it was sweet to his mouth but bitter in his stomach. It was sweet to his mouth because of the soon fulfillment of God’s word regarding the coming kingdom of God on earth by the return of Christ. It was also bitter to his stomach because of the horrible judgments that would precede Christ’s return to set up His kingdom. John was then instructed that he must warn the peoples on earth of the coming judgments.

Revelation 11:1-2 (HCSB) – Gentiles Trample on the Holy City [Interlude]:

Then I was given a measuring reed like a rod, with these words: “Go and measure God’s sanctuary and the altar, and [count] those who worship there. But exclude the courtyard outside the sanctuary. Don’t measure it, because it is given to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for 42 months.

This passage is significant. The domination of Israel by the Gentiles will soon end after forty-two months, the last three and one-half years of the seven-year tribulation period. During this time, the Antichrist will have authority. God knows who are holding firm in the faith of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, and worshipping Him, not the Antichrist. The inner sanctuary and alter represent God’s preservation of the true believers who will endure in their faith to the end. The outer courtyard, however, represents the part given to the nations that will trample the holy city. It will be defiled by the unbelievers who have been deceived by the Antichrist.

Revelation 11:3-6 (HCSB) – The Two Witnesses Appear [Interlude]:

I will empower my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, dressed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. If anyone wants to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and consumes their enemies; if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way. These men have the power to close up the sky so that it does not rain during the days of their prophecy. They also have power over the waters to turn them into blood and to strike the earth with every plague whenever they want.

Scripture has always required two witnesses to bear testimony to any event. The two lampstands and two olive trees represent these two witnesses who will become the light and power of the Lord. They will bring reassurance to the faithful and judgments to the world for the first three and one-half years of the tribulation. No one will be able to stop them until they have finished their testimony.

Bible scholars have identified three godly men in the Bible who are the most likely candidates for becoming the two witnesses God will raise up: Enoch, Elijah and Moses. Scholars point to the following characteristics to qualify these three men:

Enoch did not die. The Bible states that each person is destined to die once and then face judgment. He will need to return and die to fulfill the requirement. The only exception will be those who are raptured when Christ returns to take his church before the tribulation begins. Enoch was a prophet of judgment before Noah’s Flood who announced the coming of the Lord (Jude 1:14-15).

Elijah also did not die and will need to fulfill the same requirement as Enoch. The Bible prophesies that Elijah will come before the great and dreadful day of the Lord (Malachi 4:5). Elijah was a prophet who stopped the rain from falling for three and one-half years just as the two witnesses will do.

Moses is coupled with Elijah by some scholars because both were present with Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration. The two witnesses will bring upon the earth similar plagues that Moses had brought upon Egypt just before the great Exodus of the Hebrews. Although Moses has already died once, dying twice is not unprecedented in the Bible as demonstrated by Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Lazarus eventually died a second time.

Revelation 11:7-10 (HCSB) – The Two Witnesses Martyred [Interlude]:

When they finish their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, conquer them, and kill them. Their dead bodies will lie in the public square of the great city, which prophetically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. And representatives from the peoples, tribes, languages, and nations will view their bodies for three and a half days and not permit their bodies to be put into a tomb. Those who live on the earth will gloat over them and celebrate and send gifts to one another because these two prophets brought judgment to those who live on the earth.

Midway through the tribulation, the beast [the Antichrist] will rise up out of the abyss [hell]. He will have full Satanic authority in the world by this time, and he will use his authority to kill the two witnesses for their testimony against the world. They are so hated that the no one will be allowed to bury them for three and a half days. Their bodies will lie in view in the streets of Jerusalem, the place where Jesus Christ was crucified. Jerusalem is described as Sodom and Egypt: Sodom because of her rebellion against God and Egypt because of her adulteration from worldliness. The whole world will celebrate their deaths because of the testimony and judgments.

Revelation 11:11-14 (HCSB) - The Two Witnesses Resurrected [Interlude]:

But after three and a half days, the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet. So great fear fell on those who saw them. Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” They went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies watched them. At that moment a violent earthquake took place, a tenth of the city fell, and 7,000 people were killed in the earthquake. The survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe has passed. Take note: The third woe is coming quickly!

This literal supernatural event of God will frighten those who see it. The second woe comes when a great violent earthquake is unleashed upon Jerusalem destroying a part of the city and killing thousands. The Third woe comes quickly after the second woe. It will happen when Satan is cast down to earth.

Revelation 11:15-19 (HCSB) – The Seventh Trumpet:

The seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven saying: The kingdom of the world has become the [kingdom] of our Lord and of His Messiah, and He will reign forever and ever! The 24 elders, who were seated before God on their thrones, fell facedown and worshiped God, saying: We thank You, Lord God, the Almighty, who is and who was, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign. The nations were angry, but Your wrath has come. The time has come for the dead to be judged and to give the reward to Your servants the prophets, to the saints, and to those who fear Your name, both small and great, and the time has come to destroy those who destroy the earth. God’s sanctuary in heaven was opened, and the ark of His covenant appeared in His sanctuary. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings of thunder, an earthquake, and severe hail.

The seventh trumpet ushers in the final judgments of the seven bowls that will conclude God’s wrath. These judgments will be the greatest in intensity and will occur in succession without interruption. The voices of heaven is a declaration that the world, having been a kingdom of Satan since the fall of mankind, is now about to enter into eternity as the kingdom of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. The twenty-four elders who represent the church are praising God for taking reign. God’s sanctuary in heaven opens to reveal the ark of His covenant, which is a promise He has kept with Israel since the time of Moses. More judgments are to come as the world rebels against God right to the end of the tribulation. The dead, those who have rejected God, will be judged at the Great White Throne. The Old Testament and tribulation saints will receive their reward, and they will reign with Christ on earth during the Millennium age. There are seven personages introduced by the seventh trumpet. They are Israel, Satan, Christ, Michael, Gods’ elect of Israel, the Antichrist, and the False Prophet. They will converge during the last half of the seven-year tribulation as God brings closure to His judgments and ushers in the Millennium age when Christ will rule for a thousand years on earth with righteousness.

The saints of the church age are already in heaven and they have received their rewards. The resurrection of all saints comprise the first resurrection but at different times beginning with the rapture. The resurrection of the dead, those who have rejected God, is the second resurrection. They will be judged by God at the Great White Throne for their evil and receive their degree of punishment in hell.

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Satanic trinity of Satan, the Antichrist, the false prophet (Revelation chapters 12-13)

Revelation 12:1-6 (HCSB) – The Woman, Child and Dragon [Interlude]:

A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of 12 stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in labor and agony as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: There was a great fiery red dragon having seven heads and 10 horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. His tail swept away a third of the stars in heaven and hurled them to the earth. And the dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she did give birth he might devour her child. But she gave birth to a Son—a male who is going to shepherd all nations with an iron scepter—and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. The woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God, to be fed there for 1,260 days.

This symbolic passage has a literal meaning associated with it. Jacob was the son of Isaac, who was the son of Abraham. God changed Jacob’s name to Israel. Prior to this, Jacob and his wife, Rachael, had twelve sons. Their names came to represent the twelve tribes of Israel. The sun, moon and twelve stars represent Jacob, Rachael and their twelve sons as seen in a dream by the son, Joseph. The nation of Israel had suffered during its history, both spiritually and physically. The woman is Israel who, in suffering, is about to give birth to Christ. Satan was cast down to earth taking one-third of the angels with him as his demons. He is the fiery red dragon with seven heads and ten horns. He attempted to destroy Christ the first time but failed. After His crucifixion, Christ was resurrected to heaven to sit at the right hand of God. But He will return to earth and rule the nations with an iron scepter. Just prior to His return, the dragon will attempt to destroy all of Israel. However, God will protect His 144,000 elect during the last half of the seven-year tribulation period – 1,260 days.

Revelation 12:7-12 (HCSB) – The Dragon [Interlude]:

Then war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels also fought, but he could not prevail, and there was no place for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was thrown out—the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the one who deceives the whole world. He was thrown to earth, and his angels with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: The salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Messiah have now come, because the accuser of our brothers has been thrown out: the one who accuses them before our God day and night. They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they did not love their lives in the face of death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the earth and the sea, for the Devil has come down to you with great fury, because he knows he has a short time.

Satan still has access to God in the third heaven. He is able to stand before God and accuse the saints. This will change midway through the tribulation when war breaks out in heaven. Satan and his angels will be cast down to the second heaven (cosmos) and earth never again to be granted access to the third heaven. Satan will know that his time is short and he will show great fury. The third woe begins at this point with the pouring out of the seven bowls of wrath.

Revelation 12:13-18 (HCSB) – The Woman Persecuted [Interlude]:

When the dragon saw that he had been thrown to earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. The woman was given two wings of a great eagle, so that she could fly from the serpent’s presence to her place in the wilderness, where she was fed for a time, times, and half a time. From his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river flowing after the woman, to sweep her away in a torrent. But the earth helped the woman. The earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the river that the dragon had spewed from his mouth. So the dragon was furious with the woman and left to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and have the testimony about Jesus. He stood on the sand of the sea.

The midway point of the seven-year tribulation period marks the beginning of Jacob’s Trouble as foretold by the prophet Jeremiah. This will be the second war of Satan on earth after the first war expels him from the third haven. Anti-Semitism will be devastating like no other period in history as Satan attempts to destroy Israel. But God will protect His 144,000 elect of Israel from the rampage of Satan’s servants, the Antichrist and his armies.

Revelation 13:1-4 (HCSB) – The Beast from the Sea [Interlude]:

And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea. He had 10 horns and seven heads. On his horns were 10 diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. The beast I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like a bear’s, and his mouth was like a lion’s mouth. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. One of his heads appeared to be fatally wounded, but his fatal wound was healed. The whole earth was amazed and followed the beast. They worshiped the dragon because he gave authority to the beast. And they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to wage war against him?” A mouth was given to him to speak boasts and blasphemies. He was also given authority to act for 42 months. He began to speak blasphemies against God: to blaspheme His name and His dwelling—those who dwell in heaven. And he was permitted to wage war against the saints and to conquer them. He was also given authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation. All those who live on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name was not written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slaughtered. If anyone has an ear, he should listen: If anyone is destined for captivity, into captivity he goes. If anyone is to be killed with a sword, with a sword he will be killed. This demands the perseverance and faith of the saints.

John was witnessing was the rise of the Antichrist to his fullest authority and power. He will first rise to power in a ‘revised’ Roman Empire [the seventy kingdom], and then be given authority over the entire world. The world today comprises political and cultural systems adopted from the four great ancient empires foretold by the prophet Daniel in his description of the four beasts: the lion, the bear, the leopard, and the ‘fourth’ beast without an animal associated metaphor. The Antichrist is the ‘fourth beast’ who will have full dominion over the world and its systems. He will appear to have unlimited power and deliver miracles. There will be no one like him. The world will worship the entity that gives power to the Antichrist. He will blaspheme the one true God and wage war against those who reject him and hold their trust and faith in God through Christ. The message is very clear that resisting the Antichrist will be futile. Those who do will be taken captive or killed. These saints are instructed to hold onto their faith.

Revelation 13:11-18 (HCSB) – The Beast from the Earth [Interlude]:

Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; he had two horns like a lamb, but he sounded like a dragon. He exercises all the authority of the first beast on his behalf and compels the earth and those who live on it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. He also performs great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in front of people. He deceives those who live on the earth because of the signs that he is permitted to perform on behalf of the beast, telling those who live on the earth to make an image of the beast who had the sword wound and yet lived. He was permitted to give a spirit to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast could both speak and cause whoever would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. And he requires everyone – small and great, rich and poor, free and slave – to be given a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark: the beast’s name or the number of his name. Here is wisdom: The one who has understanding must calculate the number of the beast, because it is the number of a man. His number is 666.

John saw another beast come out of the land. This beast is the false prophet. He will appear as an angel of light but reflect evil. The two horns may represent his attempt to rebuttal to the two witnesses sent by God. The false prophet will be totally subservient to the Antichrist. He will be given great authority to deceive those on earth. He will cause to be made an image of the Antichrist. The false prophet will attempt to immortalize the Antichrist with an image that reflects his healed fatal head wound. The image of the beast will be given supernatural power. Those who do not worship the beast will be subject to death, but God will protect the 144,000 elect of Israel. The false prophet will force everyone to receive a mark on his hand or forehead in order to conduct business. Those with understanding during the tribulation must be aware that the number of the Antichrist’s name is 666. The Antichrist and his image is the ‘desolation of abomination’. Jesus warned that “when you see the desolation that causes abomination, spoken by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place [the temple], let the reader beware” (Matthew 24:15). The greatest destruction Israel and the entire world will ever experience will take place.

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Proclamation of the Gospel and pronouncements of final judgment (Revelation chapter 14)

Revelation 14:1-5 (HCSB) – The Lamb with the 144,000 [Interlude]:

Then I looked, and there on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with Him were 144,000 who had His name and His Father’s name written on their foreheads. I heard a sound from heaven like the sound of cascading waters and like the rumbling of loud thunder. The sound I heard was also like harpists playing on their harps. They sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders, but no one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. These are the ones not defiled with women, for they have kept their virginity. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. They were redeemed from the human race as the firstfruits for God and the Lamb. No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.

This is the scene of the beginning of the Millennium age in which Christ will reign in Jerusalem, which is described as Mont Zion. Christ has preserved the 144,000 elect of Israel throughout the tribulation. They were especially set aside and a song is created for them only. They held firm to Christ and did not allow themselves to be defiled by the lies of the Antichrist and the immorality prevalent during the tribulation. They are the firstfruits of Christ’s kingdom on earth.

Revelation 14:6-13 (HCSB) – Proclamation of the Three Angels [Interlude]:

Then I saw another angel flying high overhead, having the eternal gospel to announce to the inhabitants of the earth—to every nation, tribe, language, and people. He spoke with a loud voice: “Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come. Worship the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.” A second angel followed, saying: “It has fallen, Babylon the Great has fallen, who made all nations drink the wine of her sexual immorality, which brings wrath.” And a third angel followed them and spoke with a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he will also drink the wine of God’s wrath, which is mixed full strength in the cup of His anger. He will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the sight of the holy angels and in the sight of the Lamb, and the smoke of their torment will go up forever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or anyone who receives the mark of his name. This demands the perseverance of the saints, who keep God’s commands and their faith in Jesus.” Then I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write: The dead who die in the Lord from now on are blessed.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “let them rest from their labors, for their works follow them.”

The first angel brings the last call to salvation. Afterwards, there will be no more call to those who reject Christ. The second angel announces that the world systems described as Babylon has fallen. The third angel warns that anyone who takes the mark of the beast and worships him and his image will be eternally damned and tormented in the fires of hell. This awful proclamation demands perseverance of the saints on earth who keep God’s commands and their faith in Jesus Christ. Those saints who die from that point on are blessed and will be rewarded.

Revelation 14:14-20 (HCSB) – Harvesting of the Earth [Interlude]:

Then I looked, and there was a white cloud, and one like the Son of Man was seated on the cloud, with a gold crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand. Another angel came out of the sanctuary, crying out in a loud voice to the One who was seated on the cloud, “Use your sickle and reap, for the time to reap has come, since the harvest of the earth is ripe.” So the one seated on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested. Then another angel who also had a sharp sickle came out of the sanctuary in heaven. Yet another angel, who had authority over fire, came from the altar, and he called with a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, “Use your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from earth’s vineyard, because its grapes have ripened.” So the angel swung his sickle toward earth and gathered the grapes from earth’s vineyard, and he threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath. Then the press was trampled outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press up to the horses’ bridles for about 180 miles.

This passage represents the finality of God’s judgment at the battle of Armageddon just prior to Christ’s return. Christ will deliver final judgment upon this sinful world. At His first coming, Christ was the Lamb led to slaughter to ransom those who would accept Him. Now He is the warrior on a white horse who comes to destroy the first rider on a white horse, which is the Antichrist, and all who follow him. The battles will be so cataclysmic that the blood spilled will cover a distance of 180 miles up to the horses’ bridles. This will encompass all of Palestine with the exception of Jerusalem.

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Seven angels pour out the seven bowls (Revelation chapters 15-16)

Revelation 15:1-8 (HCSB) – Preparation of the Bowl Judgments [Interlude]:

Then I saw another great and awe-inspiring sign in heaven: seven angels with the seven last plagues, for with them, God’s wrath will be completed. I also saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had won the victory over the beast, his image, and the number of his name, were standing on the sea of glass with harps from God. They sang the song of God’s servant Moses and the song of the Lamb: Great and awe-inspiring are Your works, Lord God, the Almighty; righteous and true are Your ways, King of the Nations. Lord, who will not fear and glorify Your name? Because You alone are holy, for all the nations will come and worship before You because Your righteous acts have been revealed. After this I looked, and the heavenly sanctuary—the tabernacle of testimony—was opened. Out of the sanctuary came the seven angels with the seven plagues, dressed in clean, bright linen, with gold sashes wrapped around their chests. One of the four living creatures gave the seven angels seven gold bowls filled with the wrath of God who lives forever and ever. Then the sanctuary was filled with smoke from God’s glory and from His power, and no one could enter the sanctuary until the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.

John now sees the last seven angels who will bring the worst of God’s judgments upon the sinful world. This will complete Gods’ wrath. John also sees the multitude of people who had resisted the Antichrist and died as a result. They are now in heaven rejoicing as they sing the Song of Moses (Exodus 15:1-21 and Deuteronomy 32:1-43). They sing about their salvation and the time when all nations will come and worship God. Afterwards, the seven angels come out of heaven’s sanctuary dressed ready to deliver the judgments. They are given sevens bowls of wrath to deliver to the earth. The sanctuary fills with the smoke of Gods’ glory and no one could enter in until the seven plagues were completed.

Revelation 16:1 (HCSB) – God’s Command [Interlude]:

Then I heard a loud voice from the sanctuary saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath on the earth.

Revelation 16:2 (HCSB) – The First Bowl:

The first [angel] went and poured out his bowl on the earth, and severely painful sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image.

This plague is similar to the sixth plague brought against Egypt during the Exodus (Exodus 9:8-12). Later Moses warned that God would bring these afflictions upon Israel for disobedience (Deuteronomy 28:15). This angel will bring the same afflictions on those who take the mark of the beast: tumors, festering rash and scabies from head to toe (Deuteronomy 28).

Revelation 16:3 (HCSB) – The Second Bowl:

The second [angel] poured out his bowl into the sea. It turned to blood like a dead man’s, and all life in the sea died.

Whereas the second trumpet destroyed one-third of sea life, this plague destroys all sea life. This plague is similar to the first plague brought against Egypt during the Exodus when the waters of the Nile were turned into blood (Exodus 7:20-25).

Revelation 16:4-7 (HCSB) – The Third Bowl:

The third [angel] poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of water, and they became blood. I heard the angel of the waters say: You are righteous, who is and who was, the Holy One, for You have decided these things. Because they poured out the blood of the saints and the prophets, You also gave them blood to drink; they deserve it! Then I heard someone from the altar say: Yes, Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.

Whereas the third trumpet polluted one-third of fresh water, this plague will pollute all of earth’s fresh water sources. Death in the world during the tribulation will be unprecedented. The saints under the altar as described by the opening of the fifth seal witness the justice against those who slayed the righteous of God.

Revelation 16:8-9 (HCSB) – The Fourth Bowl:

The fourth [angel] poured out his bowl on the sun. He was given the power to burn people with fire, and people were burned by the intense heat. So they blasphemed the name of God, who had the power over these plagues, and they did not repent and give Him glory.

The prophets Isaiah (Isaiah 24:6) and Malachi (Malachi 4:1) foretold that this day would come. Only a few will survive this plague. Today the world is debating global warming. Global warming during the tribulation will be from the hands of God and it will make today’s purported global warming seem like a cooling period in retrospect. It will not take much shifting of cosmic forces by the angel to bring about this plague. Even so, many will curse God and not repent as foretold by Isaiah (Isaiah 42:25).

Revelation 16:10-11 (HCSB) – The Fifth Bowl:

The fifth [angel] poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues because of their pain and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, yet they did not repent of their actions.

This plague is similar to the ninth plague brought against Egypt during the Exodus (Exodus 10:21-22), and the darkness was felt. During the tribulation, people will be in much pain as a result of the bowl judgments. The prophets Joel (Joel 2:1-2, 31) and Isaiah (Isaiah 60:2) foretold this dreadful day. Jesus confirms this in Mark 13:24).

Revelation 16:12 (HCSB) – The Sixth Bowl:

The sixth [angel] poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the east.

The Euphrates River separates the European and Asian continents. China and its Asiatic allies will cross the dry Euphrates River for the final battle of Armageddon as the armies of the world converge on the plains of Megiddo. This is when the blood will flow over a distance of 180 miles up to the horses’ bridles. This will encompass all of Palestine with the exception of Jerusalem.

Revelation 16:13-16 (HCSB) – Preparation for Armageddon [Interlude]:

Then I saw three unclean spirits like frogs ⌊coming⌋ from the dragon’s mouth, from the beast’s mouth, and from the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons performing signs, who travel to the kings of the whole world to assemble them for the battle of the great day of God, the Almighty. “Look, I am coming like a thief. The one who is alert and remains clothed so that he may not go around naked and people see his shame is blessed.” So they assembled them at the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.

John now sees demonic spirits who appear as frogs coming from Satan, the Antichrist, and the False Prophet. They produce miraculous signs as they assemble the leaders of the world for battle. Christ gives warning that He is about to come like thief. He encourages those who are faithful to Him to be ready, for they will be blessed if they endure. The battle of Armageddon is about to ensue.

Revelation 16:17-21 (HCSB) – The Seventh Bowl:

Then the seventh [angel] poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the sanctuary from the throne, saying, “It is done!” There were flashes of lightning and rumblings of thunder. And a severe earthquake occurred like no other since man has been on the earth—so great was the quake. The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the Great was remembered in God’s presence; He gave her the cup filled with the wine of His fierce anger. Every island fled, and the mountains disappeared. Enormous hailstones, each weighing about 100 pounds, fell from the sky on people, and they blasphemed God for the plague of hail because that plague was extremely severe.

The most powerful earthquake to ever occur on earth will be unleashed. It will be so powerful that islands will be moved and mountains will be literally brought down. Jerusalem will be split into three parts, and cities around the world will fall. This is when civilization, which is Babylon, built by the Gentiles over the millennia periods, will end in destruction. Hailstones as heavy as one-hundred pounds will fall on people. Even then, people will still curse God because of the severity of the hail. This completes the three sets of seven judgments brought upon the world.

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Judgment of the harlot church and the world system [Babylon] (Revelation chapters 17-18)

Revelation 17:1-6 (HCSB) – The Great Harlot [Interlude]:

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me: “Come, I will show you the judgment of the notorious prostitute who sits on many waters. The kings of the earth committed sexual immorality with her, and those who live on the earth became drunk on the wine of her sexual immorality.” So he carried me away in the Spirit to a desert. I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and 10 horns. The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, adorned with gold, precious stones, and pearls. She had a gold cup in her hand filled with everything vile and with the impurities of her prostitution. On her forehead a cryptic name was written:




Then I saw that the woman was drunk on the blood of the saints and on the blood of the witnesses to Jesus. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished.

The prostitute is the worldwide apostate church. She is a prostitute because she defiles herself with spiritual fornication by rejecting the true gospel and selling herself to the world. The church of Thyatira in verses 18-29 in the second chapter of Revelation is a reflection of this prostitute. The angel describes her as one who sits on many waters with kings committing immorality with her. She will have enormous influence in the world. The name Babylon fits this woman because the ancient city of Babylon worshipped false gods. The apostate church along with all the other false religions in the world babbles in false doctrines. Those who follow them will go through the tribulation.

In this vision, John sees a woman dressed in purple and scarlet sitting on top of a scarlet beast. This is the apostate church that will dominate the Antichrist and his sinful empire during the first half of the tribulation. Her jewelry and wardrobe of purple and scarlet indicates that she has wealth and distinction. She has outward beauty but inwardly the prostitute is as vile as the drink she consumes. She is also drunk with the blood of the saints and witnesses to Jesus Christ because she will persecute true believers even to the point of death.

Revelation 17:7-18 (HCSB) – Meaning of the Woman and the Beast [Interlude]:

Then the angel said to me, “Why are you astonished? I will tell you the secret meaning of the woman and of the beast, with the seven heads and the 10 horns, that carries her. The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up from the abyss and go to destruction. Those who live on the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast that was, and is not, and will be present ⌊again⌋. “Here is the mind with wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated. They are also seven kings: Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come, and when he comes, he must remain for a little while. The beast that was and is not, is himself an eighth ⌊king⌋, yet he belongs to the seven and is going to destruction. The 10 horns you saw are 10 kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they will receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour. These have one purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast. These will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will conquer them because He is Lord of lords and King of kings. Those with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.” He also said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute was seated, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages. The 10 horns you saw, and the beast, will hate the prostitute. They will make her desolate and naked, devour her flesh, and burn her up with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to carry out His plan by having one purpose and to give their kingdom to the beast until God’s words are accomplished. And the woman you saw is the great city that has an empire over the kings of the earth.”

As describe by the angel, the beast is the Antichrist. His empire is described as seven heads and ten horns. This will be a ‘revised’ Roman Empire [the seventh kingdom] in the form of a unified or federated Europe. During John’s time, Domitian ruled the Roman Empire. He is the ‘one who is’. The ‘five who have fallen’ were previous rulers who, like Domitian, were either assassinated or committed suicide. The Antichrist is the ‘one who is yet to come’. He will be the seventh king [leader] who will lead his empire to destruction when Christ returns to earth. The Antichrist will rule over ten leaders (horns) of the unified Europe. He will subdue three of them (see Daniel 7:8-9) leaving seven of them with autonomy. The seven will be given authority with the Antichrist making him an eighth king [leader] along with the other seven. However, all ten will be given some degree of authority during the reign of the Antichrist. The beast ‘who was, and is not, and is about to come’ applies to both the Antichrist and his empire. The Antichrist will suffer an apparent fatal head wound. Those who take the mark of the beast will be astonished when they see him recover from his wound. This will be the epitome of his reign midway through the seven-year tribulation. His supernatural evil power will literally come from the abyss. The Roman Empire was the most powerful kingdom on earth during the time of John. It was in power then it lost its power. Its fragmented parts have been dormant for almost two-thousand years. It will rise again in a revised form under a united or federated Europe.

As described by the angel, the woman is the prostitute, which is the apostate church. The angel describes the seven heads also as seven mountains. Horace wrote that Rome was the city set on seven hills upon which the [pagan] gods look with favor. This woman is the religious Babylon possibly to be represented by Rome. She sits on the waters, which represent many peoples, nations and languages. She will have great influence on the leaders of the world, and she will have control over the Antichrist and his empire. The Antichrist and the ten leaders of his empire will destroy her because of the hatred for her. He does not want to share power with her. God will then put in the hearts of the ten leaders to give the Antichrist full power until God’s words are accomplished.

Revelation 18:1-8 (HCSB) – Babylon is Destroyed [Interlude]:

After this I saw another angel with great authority coming down from heaven, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. He cried in a mighty voice: It has fallen, Babylon the Great has fallen! She has become a dwelling for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, and a haunt for every unclean and despicable beast. For all the nations have drunk the wine of her sexual immorality, which brings wrath. The kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown wealthy from her excessive luxury. Then I heard another voice from heaven: Come out of her, My people, so that you will not share in her sins or receive any of her plagues. For her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes. Pay her back the way she also paid, and double it according to her works. In the cup in which she mixed, mix a double portion for her. As much as she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, give her that much torment and grief, for she says in her heart, “I sit as a queen; I am not a widow, and I will never see grief.” For this reason her plagues will come in one day— death and grief and famine. She will be burned up with fire, because the Lord God who judges her is mighty.

Revelation 18:9-20 (HCSB) – The World Mourns the Fall of Babylon [Interlude]:

The kings of the earth who have committed sexual immorality and lived luxuriously with her will weep and mourn over her when they see the smoke of her burning. They will stand far off in fear of her torment, saying: Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the mighty city! For in a single hour your judgment has come. The merchants of the earth will also weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their merchandise any longer— merchandise of gold, silver, precious stones, and pearls; fine fabrics of linen, purple, silk, and scarlet; all kinds of fragrant wood products; objects of ivory; objects of expensive wood, brass, iron, and marble; cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, and frankincense; wine, olive oil, fine wheat flour, and grain; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and slaves and human lives. The fruit you craved has left you. All your splendid and glamorous things are gone; they will never find them again. The merchants of these things, who became rich from her, will stand far off in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning, saying: Woe, woe, the great city, dressed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, adorned with gold, precious stones, and pearls, for in a single hour such fabulous wealth was destroyed! And every shipmaster, seafarer, the sailors, and all who do business by sea, stood far off as they watched the smoke from her burning and kept crying out: “Who is like the great city?” They threw dust on their heads and kept crying out, weeping, and mourning: Woe, woe, the great city, where all those who have ships on the sea became rich from her wealth, for in a single hour she was destroyed. Rejoice over her, heaven, and you saints, apostles, and prophets, because God has executed your judgment on her.

Revelation 18:21-24 (HCSB) – The Finality of Babylon’s Fall [Interlude]:

Then a mighty angel picked up a stone like a large millstone and threw it into the sea, saying: In this way, Babylon the great city will be thrown down violently and never be found again. The sound of harpists, musicians, flutists, and trumpeters will never be heard in you again; no craftsman of any trade will ever be found in you again; the sound of a mill will never be heard in you again; the light of a lamp will never shine in you again; and the voice of a groom and bride will never be heard in you again. ⌊All this will happen⌋ because your merchants were the nobility of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery, and the blood of prophets and saints, and of all those slaughtered on earth, was found in you.

God’s wrath is now completed. That great city of Babylon is destroyed. We don’t know today which city will represent Babylon. This mystery will be revealed at God’s timing. We do know that it will be the center of the world’s religious and secular systems. It will represent the soul of an evil world that God had never intended from the beginning. The Antichrist will destroy the religious system [the harlot] while God Himself destroys the secular [commercial] system of Babylon. This will result in the final and ultimate destruction of the Gentile world structure that began its rise during the Babylonian Empire and progressed through the Persian, Grecian and Roman Empires. Our world system today is a product of these four empires [kingdoms].

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The return of Jesus Christ, the Messiah (Revelation chapters 19-22)

The best of times will follow the tribulation period. At the end of the seven-year tribulation period, Jesus Christ, the Messiah, will return to earth and set up His kingdom. He will defeat the Antichrist and cast him alive into the eternal lake of fire. Christ's kingdom will be the fifth and final kingdom of this world. It is the Millennium kingdom that will last for 1,000 years. Christ will rule the world from Jerusalem with righteousness that will bring forth peace and prosperity the world has never experienced before. The Book of Revelation ends with chapters 19 through 22 describing the blessed new order that will follow the tribulation. It’s important to understand that this world is evil, and man will never be able to bring about righteousness that brings forth peace and prosperity. God will literally shake the foundations of this earth and destroy all evil. Satan will be bound for 1,000 years in the abyss and do no harm. After the Millennium period, Satan will be released for a final battle with God. God will cast him into the lake of fire for eternity and destroy this earth and create a new heaven and earth. The new earth will be eternal with God and the Lamb (Christ) as the light of the world.

Revelation 21:1-4 (HCSB) – The New Creation:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea no longer existed. I also saw the Holy City, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband. Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look! God’s dwelling is with humanity, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will no longer exist; grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer, because the previous things have passed away.

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Titus 2:11-14 (HCSB) – The Grace of God:

For the grace of God has appeared with salvation for all people, instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age, while we wait for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people for His own possession, eager to do good works.

No one knows the hour of Christ’s return. When the disciples approached Jesus and asked, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what is the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Then Jesus told them, “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: As soon as its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things, recognize that He [Christ] is near – at the door! [Matthew 24:32-33 (HCSB)]

If you have not received Christ in your heart and life, then salvation is as close as your confession of faith. God is giving you the opportunity to be a part of His eternal kingdom by asking Christ for forgiveness of your sins and accepting Him as your personal savior. You will not have to fear the coming judgment upon the world if you are in Christ because those who belong to Christ will be raptured to meet Him in the air prior to the tribulation period.

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