[ 133 ] Les Feldick [ Book 12 - Lesson 1 - Part 1 ] Anti-Christ - "False Prophet"
[ 134 ] Les Feldick [ Book 12 - Lesson 1 - Part 2 ] Anti-Christ - "False Prophet"
[ 135 ] Les Feldick [ Book 12 - Lesson 1 - Part 3 ] Anti-Christ - "False Prophet"
[ 136 ] Les Feldick [ Book 12 - Lesson 1 - Part 4 ] Anti-Christ - "False Prophet"
[ 137 ] Les Feldick [ Book 12 - Lesson 2 - Part 1 ] Review - Gen to Rev - Satan Cast from Heaven
[ 138 ] Les Feldick [ Book 12 - Lesson 2 - Part 2 ] Review - Gen to Rev - Satan Cast from Heaven
[ 139 ] Les Feldick [ Book 12 - Lesson 2 - Part 3 ] Review - Gen to Rev - Satan Cast from Heaven
[ 140 ] Les Feldick [ Book 12 - Lesson 2 - Part 4 ] Review - Gen to Rev - Satan Cast from Heaven
[ 141 ] Les Feldick [ Book 12 - Lesson 3 - Part 1 ] Trumpet, Bowl Judgments - Armageddon: Rev 9 & 16
[ 142 ] Les Feldick [ Book 12 - Lesson 3 - Part 2 ] Trumpet, Bowl Judgments - Armageddon: Rev 9 & 16
[ 143 ] Les Feldick [ Book 12 - Lesson 3 - Part 3 ] Trumpet, Bowl Judgments - Armageddon: Rev 9 & 16
[ 144 ] Les Feldick [ Book 12 - Lesson 3 - Part 4 ] Trumpet, Bowl Judgments - Armageddon: Rev 9 & 16
Satan Cast from Heaven
Revelation 9 & 16
ANTI-CHRIST – “FALSE PROPHET”
Turn to Revelation 7. The Book of Revelation primarily deals with those final seven years before the return of Christ at His Second Coming; then the setting up of His Kingdom upon the earth. This seven years is primarily God dealing with the Nation of Israel; however, all the world will become involved. Remember Jeremiah 30:7?
“Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.”
We’ll look at this verse more in detail later. It’s God dealing with His Covenant people and for this reason they are still coming back to their homeland, getting ready for these final seven years.
The best way to study Revelation is not to try to take it chronologically, but find the events at the beginning, at the middle, and at the end of the Tribulation, and then fill in the gaps. Chronologically it won’t make all that much sense to you. The past several lessons we have been looking at things at the beginning. 1. The appearance of the Anti-christ when he will sign that seven-year peace treaty with the Nation of Israel, which will again kick God’s time clock back in gear, as it has been stopped now all during the Church Age. 2. The appearance of those two witnesses. They will come to the Nation of Israel in Jerusalem. And they will begin proclaiming God’s Word to the Nation of Israel, and out of the ministry of these two… 3. God is going to seal and commission the 144,000 young Jewish men whom God will use to circumvent the globe. They won’t be preaching the Gospel of Grace as we know it, but, rather, they will be reverting back again to the Gospel of the Kingdom as it was being proclaimed at the time of Christ and Peter and the eleven.
There is a vast difference between the Gospel of Grace and the Gospel of the Kingdom. When you understand that, the Bible is much less confusing. At that time, the Age of Grace has ended and the Church is gone. A person will no longer have the opportunity to join a local congregation. But rather these 144,000 will be telling the world that the King is coming. After all, that was the message in Christ’s earthly ministry. He Himself referred to it more than once as the Gospel of the Kingdom. The King and His Kingdom were about to come on the scene. Of course Israel rejected that, and the King was crucified. God raised Him from the dead, called Him back to heaven to sit at the Father’s right hand until His enemies should be made His footstool. That `until’ signifies the time when He will once again deal with His Covenant people of Israel.
We closed our last lesson with God sealing the 144,000 Jews (there were 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes). Remember, the reason that God set aside the Nation of Israel was to fulfill the promises of Genesis 3:15, that the Seed of the woman would come to be the Redeemer of mankind. In order to bring that to a fulfillment, He set aside the Nation of Israel, and promised Abraham that through that Nation of people would come the Messiah. So God begins to prepare the Nation of Israel for the roll of being the missionary to the nations. Exodus 19:6 says, “And ye shall be unto me a Kingdom of Priests and an holy nation.” He put them under Law, I maintain, to prepare them for that tremendous role that would be theirs to carry out. But when the opportunity came and they could have had the King and the Kingdom, and they could have brought all the nations of the world to a knowledge of their God, they dropped the ball. In their unbelief they rejected the King and the Kingdom. They, in turn, were dispersed out into the world, lost their temple and worship, and God turned to the Gentiles through the Apostle Paul without using the Nation of Israel. Using that same analogy in order to get a sweet taste of some sort of a redeeming of themselves, God will let these 144,000 Jews at least get a taste of what the Nation of Israel missed. This 144,000 will see a multitude come to a knowledge of salvation through their ministry. Now verse 9:
“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, `Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb,'” In other words they had been martyred almost as fast as they had been converted throughout the Tribulation. Now verses 13 and 14. And after John sees this multitude of converted people.
“And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, `What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?’ And I said unto him, `Sir, thou knowest.’ And he said to me, `These are they which came out of (the) great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.'”
Go back to II Thessalonians, because I think the following thought should immediately come to any student of Scripture: If people have missed being saved during this Age of Grace or Church Age, are they going to get a second chance? No. Here we see Paul (inspired by the Holy Spirit in II Thessalonians Chapter 2) identify those who cannot be saved with the message of the 144,00 during the Tribulation. Paul is not associated with prophecy per se. He’s associated with the doctrines of Grace and with mysteries. Nevertheless he connects the end of the Church Age with the Tribulation by a description of what will take place as the Anti-christ comes on the scene here in II Thessalonians Chapter 2:
II Thessalonians 2:3
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first (the Church being raptured), and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; ”
II Thessalonians 2:7,8
“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work (that goes back to the tower of Babel): only he who now letteth (hindereth) will let, (continue to hinder) until he be taken out of the way.” I always teach it’s the Holy Spirit who is the hindering force in the person of the believer, until he’s taken out of the way, which would be in the departure when the Church is removed in verse 3:
“And then (when the Church is gone, and the Holy Spirit in His role as indwelling the believer has ended. Of course the Holy Spirit will be back on the earth as the Omnipresence of God) shall that Wicked (one) be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth (at the end of the seven years), and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming;”
II Thessalonians 2:9,10
“Even him (Anti-christ), 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 (unbelievers); because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”
Now get the picture. Those who will be ready to accept the coming of the Anti-christ will be those who had the opportunity to hear the Gospel, the truth of the Word of God, but they loved their unrighteousness and they spurned God’s offer of salvation. Now verse 11:
II Thessalonians 2:11a
“And for this cause…”
As we are entering into the Tribulation in this verse, we are entering in with God dealing in the supernatural. Today, we are fairly unaccustomed to that. God still works in miraculous ways, but we’re not living where the supernatural takes place commonly.
II Thessalonians 2:11
“And for this cause (because this group of people have heard the Gospel and rejected it and so it is for that cause) God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a (and again I like to use the article `the’) lie:”
There has been one lie all through Scripture. And I call it `the’ lie. That is when Satan tells a person, “You can be God.” They are going to believe it. God is going to send these people “strong delusion” who have heard the Gospel and rejected it. And these will be the very first people who will proclaim the Anti-christ as the god of this world, the one they have been looking for. But the ones who have never heard the True Gospel will have a chance in the Tribulation by the preaching of the 144,000. And now verse 12:
II Thessalonians 2:12
“That they all might be damned (or condemned) who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
Go back to the Book of Ephesians Chapter 1, because we have almost the same kind of language (so that you will know what the Apostle Paul is talking about). As we come down to the appearance of the Anti-christ and the Church has been removed, what should they, the unrighteous that were left behind, believe?
“In whom ye also trusted (Paul writes to believers only), after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.”
Let’s take time to look at the Gospel again in I Corinthians Chapter 15, especially as we look at the awful things that are about to come upon the earth. I think there is nothing wrong with the whole concept of literally being scared out of our boots. And maybe fear will prompt someone to seek God’s saving Grace in order to escape some of these things. I think that is one of the reasons it is put in here. Now I don’t subscribe to the fear concept, but on the other hand, when the Scripture makes it so plain that these terrible days are coming on the earth, and we can escape it by simply partaking of God’s salvation, then why not. Why be foolish and spurn so great a salvation only to end up in the horrors that are coming upon the earth. Now I Corinthians 15:1-4, and here is the most explicit definition of the Gospel that you can find.
I Corinthians 15:1-4
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand (positionally); By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.” You must know what you believed. Here it is in verses 3 and 4. This is our Gospel:
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received (from our ascended Lord), how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” That’s what the Book of Ephesians calls the truth of the Gospel. This is what Paul is referring to in II Thessalonians Chapter 2:10:
II Thessalonians 2:10
“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth….”
What is the love of the truth? The Gospel. And what’s the Gospel? That Christ died for my sins, was buried, and that He arose from the dead. Those of you who have been in my classes over the years know that I do not ascribe to just an easy believeism. In other words, just saying that, yes, I believed that Christ lived, and that He died, and I believe that He rose from the dead; that’s not what the Bible is talking about. The Bible is talking about a concerted faith and trust in that very act of God. That God Himself paid the penalty for all our sins. I have told my classes many times (and I like to put it this way): if you or I had been the only person living, Christ would have still gone to the Cross to purchase our redemption. When you have that kind of faith, that you can say that I believe that with all my heart, and can say that you know He is alive, I know that His Word is true; then God sees that faith as salvation. Romans 4 makes it so clear. It wasn’t by works that Abraham was saved, but by faith. What was Abraham’s faith? He believed God! And God counted it unto him as righteousness. He was a believer.
Folks who have heard this Gospel, and have been convicted by the Holy Spirit that they need this Gospel and reject it. They are the ones that will have no further chance at salvation and will be blinded from the truth. But there are literally billions of people upon the face of the earth tonight who have never heard the Gospel. I always maintain in every city that I teach, that there are multitudes who have never heard the Gospel. Now I know that is hard for us to believe. But listen, there are people who may walk into a place of business and there may be a preacher on the radio or television preaching the Gospel in all of it’s truth and sincerity. But they don’t hear it. They don’t pay any attention to it. So I maintain they are going to still be candidates for the preaching of the 144,000.
I feel that the only ones who will be completely condemned are the ones we have talked about, who have completely heard, understood, were convicted by it and said, “No thank you” or, “I’ll do it later,” or whatever. We even have church people who have been in my classes, who have come and said, “Les, we have never heard the Gospel before.” And they had been in church all their life. That is a sad commentary I know, but it’s still the truth. So as these 144,000 Jews go out around the world, there’s no one being saved as a second chance. But only those who have never heard the True Gospel. The ones who have rejected and are doomed will also be the first to take the mark of the beast, the 666. For us believers tonight we don’t have that to fear as we will be gone when that comes on the scene for the Tribulation people. But they will accept that mark of the beast at the drop of a hat for they have already been completely deluded by a Sovereign act of God, that the Anti-christ is the man the world is looking for.
But for the rest, these 144,000 as John saw back there in Revelation 7, will see a multitude believe and be converted, but the majority of them will be martyred. Now some people think that the 144,000 will see more conversions in those 6 years or so than the Church Age has in 2000 years. I disagree with them. I think the Church Age is God’s main harvest as it is depicted in Israel’s history, whereas the Tribulation saints are the gleaning and harvesting of the corners you remember. But we believe that these 144,000 young Jewish men are going to supernaturally sort of redeem Israel from what they missed 2000 years ago when the Nation was to be a Kingdom of Priests and bring the Gentiles to a knowledge of their King. And they are going to see a great harvest of souls under those horrible Tribulation circumstances. Coming up we will have a lesson on who goes into the Millennium reign of Christ. It will be the few who survive who have heard and believed the Gospel of the Kingdom as it was preached by the 144,000.
LESSON ONE * PART II
ANTI-CHRIST – “FALSE PROPHET”
We try to get folks to understand what the Bible really says. A lot of the time we have an idea that it says something that it doesn’t say. Which is just as important as missing what it does say. In our last lesson we were talking about the 144,000 that will be administering the Gospel of the Kingdom during the Tribulation. Let’s back up to the opening of the Tribulation in Revelation 13. Here is yet another introduction of the man Anti-christ. We talk a lot about the Anti-christ as he is the central figure in these seven years. He is the very emissary of Satan, and will try at the end of the seven years to make war against the coming Christ. So we should have a complete understanding of who and what He is, and what we are seeing tonight that indicates that the time is not too far off for his appearance. So now let’s read what John sees here:
“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.”
Be careful. I’m sure you’ve all seen posters and books with all of these different looking animals that people have portrayed as the Anti-christ. But we are not talking about a beast per se; we are talking about a government. Remember, Daniel, Ezekiel, and John here in Revelation write in symbolic language. You have to search the Scriptures to reduce these symbolisms to a literal thing. It’s going to be a government headed up by the one man, Anti-christ.
The beast here in Chapter 13 is first and foremost the revival of the old ancient Roman Empire. And the reason it is referred to as a beast here, as well as in Daniel, is that the government will be so bestial in its operation, there will be no concerns about individual or human rights. And then the seven heads and ten horns and ten crowns – this again is a twofold picture I think, as Satan is often referred to as the seven heads and so forth, referring I think to his power and his authority. But usually we think of the seven heads and ten horns as the revived Roman Empire. It will be a consortium of ten nations coming out of the Old Roman Empire territory. And I think we are seeing it coming on the scene even tonight as the Common Market, or European Community. At the present time, I think there are twelve nations that make up the EC (it may go a little higher), but when the peace treaty is signed between the Anti-christ and the Nation of Israel there will be only 10. And we will be showing that as we come through our study of Revelation.
Back in verse 1 of Chapter 13, John “stood upon the sand of the sea.” And remember that the sea here is the sea of humanity, the masses of people around the globe. The world is getting “global.” That’s the word you hear and see lately. So out of this mass of humanity will come this empire that has been dead since about 300 AD and will be headed up by this man of sin, the Anti-christ. Now verse 2:
“And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon (Satan) gave him his power, and his seat (throne), and great authority.”
Go back again to Daniel 7. When we studied Daniel several lessons ago I stressed then that when we studied Daniel we would have to study Revelation and Matthew 24 and 25. They just all fit together so nicely. You can’t study one without the other two. Now that mandates a lot of repetition. But as I have learned over the years, repetition is one of the best tools of learning. Here, Daniel is describing a vision that he has had. Which, of course, is looking forward down through history, and he uses practically the same language.
“Daniel spake and said, `I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.” There’s that symbolism again with the mass of humanity. And out of that sea of humanity the following happened:
“And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.” These were governments, not animals.
“The first was like a lion (that was Babylon)… And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear (that was the Medes and Persians empire)… After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard (that was the Greek empire under Alexander the Great)… After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast (or empire), dreadful and terrible (this was the Roman empire)…”
The Roman empire was noble in some aspects, but it was bestial in many others. It had no concern for the lower classes of people. They threw people to the lions and thought nothing of it. They also became grossly immoral, wicked and evil. And, consequently, the empire finally fell in on itself. If you compare this passage with Revelation 13, you will see that John doesn’t list the Roman empire. He begins with the Greek, the leopard, because he is speaking at a time when the Roman empire is still on the scene. So he doesn’t have to list that one. But out of this Roman Empire you are going to see the residue of the previous three great world empires. But here John lists the empires in reverse order. These four empires are the ones the Bible concerns itself with as the times of the Gentiles. We read about the Roman empire that faded off the scene, but now is coming back on the scene in verse 7:
“After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it;and it had (what?) ten horns.”
Now back to Revelation 13:3. Let’s take this slowly so that we don’t lose the overall picture. We have ancient Babylon, the ancient Medes and Persians, Greek, and Roman empires. Daniel sees all the residue of those empires coming back together in the revival of that fourth (Roman) empire that was dreadful and terrible:
“And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast (this empire).
Let’s bring it right up to the present time. Western Europe is coming together more and more as the United States of Europe. Tonight, I think they are at the number twelve, and like I said, they may go to thirteen or more. But whatever transpires, we know they will drop back to ten. This is a revival of that empire that existed what – almost 2000 years ago? It was dead, and yet here it is coming back full force. And the world is amazed. How can this be. Just fifty years ago most of the great cities of Europe were in heaps of rubble, ravished by war. Their industries had been destroyed. Yet where are they tonight. They are almost looking down on us.
I’ve said for years, that it almost seems that there was a conspiracy to destroy our United States of America. I still think there is. Right after World War II, when we had utterly demolished our enemies, the Marshall Plan came on the scene and we just literally rebuilt Europe with American dollars. Since then we have seen our industries leaving. We have all the oil resources we will ever need, but where do we get our oil? Foreign suppliers. Our industries are farmed out to Japan, Europe, Mexico, and Third World countries. Our steel business is almost gone. So you can see it seems there is a conspiracy to just bleed our beloved America dry. And all of it to enhance this revival of the ancient Roman Empire, or what we call the 10 nations of the European Community. But nevertheless, this is all in the end-time picture, and in this EC there will come this leader, this man, this human, who is the other aspect of the beast. So you almost use the term synonymously. Now verses 4 and 5:
“And they (the whole world) worshipped the dragon (or Satan) which gave power into the beast (the man Anti-christ: as well as that empire that he is ruling): and they worshipped the beast (the Anti-christ), saying, “Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?'” Because he will have all the economic and military clout at his disposal.
“And there was given unto him (by a sovereign God of course) a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies (remember, Daniel said that he would blaspheme God. Now here we have it in Revelation); and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.”
So what we find in this verse is that this man and empire makes its appearance at the signing of that seven-year treaty that we saw back in Daniel Chapter 9. In fact, we should look at that right now, so that we don’t take anything for granted, on face value, but what the Book says. So now Daniel Chapter 9:
“And he (the Anti-christ or this prince that shall come up in verse 26) shall confirm the covenant, with many (Israel) for one week (seven years in Bible language): and in the midst of the week (three and one half years) he shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it (the temple) desolate, even until the consummation (the end of the seven years), and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Or desolator, this man Anti-christ.
In other words, everything that prophecy declares will happen, will happen. It’s going to come. The scoffers can say what they want, but The Book has declared it, so it will happen. This is the seven-year period that all of Revelation is dealing with. Remember, events at the Beginning, Middle, and End of the Tribulation are so important. Now come back to Revelation Chapter 13, verse 5 again. The Anti-christ makes his appearance at the beginning of the seven years, and then in this verse 5 it says:
“…and power was given unto him to continue (which means to carry on. How long?) forty and two months (or 3 1/2 years).”
So how far does this verse bring us? To the mid-point of the Tribulation. I’m going to stop there in this portion concerning the Anti-christ. Now let’s drop down to verse 11. A couple of lessons ago I mentioned the fact that during the Tribulation there would be an unholy trinity. A counterfeit trinity, with Satan as the counterfeit of God the Father, with the Anti-christ as the counterfeit God the Son, and with the False Prophet, the religious leader as we will see here in verse 11, the counterfeit of the Holy Spirit. Not so much in his make-up, but in his operations.
“And I beheld another beast (this also is a man, but it is also a system. Not a government but a religious system) coming up out of the earth; …”
Stop a minute. The Anti-christ is described as coming up out of the sea, and since the Book of Revelation is dealing almost exclusively, or primarily with the Nation of Israel, it’s God dealing with His Covenant people once again, in preparation for His return. Naturally all the Gentile nations are going to be effected by it, but it’s Israel’s seven-year treaty that concerns itself with the time factor and everything that is taking place here. Israel will be so quick to accept the Anti-christ and his treaty, his offers of protection, and the Temple worship. I don’t say it to look down on the Jew in the least bit, but I feel that this man, Anti-christ, will be a Jew. An Apostate Jew to be sure. Otherwise I can’t see Israel so readily accepting his offers that he will make to them.
There is only one part of the land and earth that God concerns Himself with and that is the Land of Israel. So I would like to think that even this false prophet would be an Apostate Jew also. You might say, “Les, there is no way, you’re out in left field.” How many times have we seen Jews come right up to the throne rooms of Gentile empires. There was Moses, and Joseph in Egypt, and don’t forget Daniel. All of these Jewish men were second in command. What was Karl Marx? A Jew. What were some of the top leaders of communism? Jews. And even some of the top men in Hitler’s Reich were apostate Jews. Bring it right down to our own government. What have many of our top political leaders been? Jews. They have that ability and talent, and we are not demeaning the race one bit. But we can understand that this false prophet, this great religious leader of the Tribulation, will quite possibly be an Apostate Jew.
“And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him (here I must come back to Moses and Daniel. How far up the ladder did they go? Right next to the seat of power. And this man will do the same thing. He is going to exercise almost as much power as the political leader, the one who came up in verse l of this Chapter. But this fellow is not a political leader, but a religious leader. He will head up a global religion. Reading on, this is where he plays the role of the Holy Spirit. As the Holy Spirit today points mankind to God the Son, this false prophet will point mankind to the Anti-christ), and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast….”
Get the picture? He will have a great religious organization at his disposal, with enough power to convince those people under his religious umbrella to worship the counterfeit, the Anti-christ.
“And he (this false prophet) doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,” So he will use signs and miracles to convince the human race of who he is. He’s a counterfeit of course, but he will convince them that he is the truth. Now verse 14:
“And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles (now don’t ever forget that Satan has power to perform miracles. Pharaoh’s magicians in Egypt did it. Others throughout the Old Testament economy were able to do it. And they will do it again in the Tribulation) which he had power to do in the sight of the beast (the Anti-christ); saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast,…”
I think it will be an image or idol (whether one or several), but the whole world will worship that image of the Anti-christ. We will talk more of this in our next lesson.
LESSON ONE * PART III
ANTI-CHRIST – “FALSE PROPHET”
We have been talking about the false prophet and you may wonder where we get these words. Let’s turn to Revelation Chapter 19 verse 20 and look at it. Here they are defined very clearly. This is after the Tribulation has run its course, and Christ has returned.
“And the beast (the Anti-christ) was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both (men born of women, raised up like any other child, but they become, you might say, tools of Satan. One, the political leader and the other a religious leader) were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.”
For another reference go to Revelation 20:10. This will be after the 1000 years reign of Christ has run it’s course and we are ready to go into eternity. Here we’re about to be introduced to the Great White Throne Judgment. This is for the lost of all humanity in verse 11:
“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are (see they are still there after a 1000 years), and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”
So these three personalities who made up the unholy trinity of the Tribulation go straight to that eternal doom, the lake of fire that burneth forever and ever. And they go immediately without benefit of the Great White Throne Judgment. They will be joined by all the lost of the ages who will at least have their moment of time before the Lord at the Great White Throne Judgment. Let’s get back to Chapter 13 and pick up with the verse we left off in our last lesson.
“And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast (the Anti-christ. Remember, he begins his power base in this revived Roman Empire, in the Mediterranean and Western Europe. By the time of the Tribulation, the Anti-christ’s power will be world-wide. So this false prophet had power); saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast.”
“And he (this false prophet) had power to give life to the image of the beast,…”
I previously have said that the Japanese have a technology to build a biological computer. In other words, it won’t be just electronic, but will have living biological cells. Now what they are driving at, I don’t know. But it will be a computer that will put the present day computers to shame. And I think that is just an indication of what we have here. That this image is going to be the brain of our technology so that it will actually be able to speak and think and give orders. One of our national news magazines a few weeks ago had a lead article on the electronic explosion that is about to come upon us. Where television will not only be the incoming of information, but also the outflow. The old TV set will just be the center of everything. This is being set up for just exactly this situation, where one world government will have their thumb on every home around the planet. Nobody will be left out. So this image was able to speak.
“…that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”
Again, I think it will come through the information of television. The powers that be will know all activity of every home. There will be no escaping it. I’ve told my classes that `they’ know all about you. And more than once someone will say, “And who are `they?'” I don’t know precisely, but I know it and you know it. We’ve all read articles about how they know where we spend our money and where we have it invested. They know our health. They know everything. And so who are they? The powers that be. Insurance companies, financial institutions, magazines. In farm magazines I can get a free subscription by completing a survey which asks how many cows I have, how many acres I have, etc. I quit filling them out. I’d rather pay for my subscription because they don’t have to know. It is the same in every other occupation. They want to know everything about your business. It seems so innocent, but it isn’t. It will come back to haunt people that someone out there knows everything about them. Once you are in someone’s computer this information is kept and added to every time there is a transaction. They, who are they? Anyway, verse 16. So this great religious leader:
“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man (also women) might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
“Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast (the power, the political system, the religious system, etc.): for it is the number of a man (and that is always ‘six’ in Scripture); and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.”
That’s where we get the 666. Now let’s clarify. You and I don’t have to worry tonight about receiving the mark of the beast. This is a Tribulation event, and believers will not be here. Anyway, everybody isn’t immediately going to accept this demand to have this mark placed on them. Just like Social Security would like everyone have direct deposit. But how slow are most people to accept it. They want to see that check in their hands and deposit it themselves. So there is foot-dragging, even though it’s probably safer and faster. I use it. I’m not afraid of direct deposit. But it will be the same way with this mark of the beast. Multitudes of people will drag their feet. They won’t take it right away, human nature being what it is. So it won’t instantly take over. That will be a blessing in disguise, because anyone who has not taken that mark of the beast will have an opportunity of salvation as those 144,000 Jews will be proclaiming it. But if they have taken the mark, then they can preach their hearts out and that individual will have no chance for salvation. He’s doomed the minute he takes the mark.
Now what is the mark of the beast? I said long before most of the big wheels began to realize it, that I was convinced that this mark of the beast is nothing more than an eighteen digit computer number. In other words, three sets of six numbers or digits. Most of you are acquainted with the little bars and lines on every product that you buy, especially in our supermarkets. What’s it called? The universal product code. And the outside bars, and the very middle bar has a value of six. Now it’s not on your boxes of cereals and so forth. Some of the other numbers are. You might see a 2 or 3 or 4, but remember, the outside and middle bars are valued at 6. Now all they have to do is expand this universal product code a little more and you will have eighteen digits. And that is sufficient to give everyone on the face of the earth a separate number. If they can keep track of products in a supermarket down to the last nitty gritty, simply by running it over a scanner, then they won’t have any problem keeping track of every human being. In fact the largest computer on earth is reported to be in Brussels, Belgium. And that thing is huge (I think I read it takes a city block just to house it). It is very capable of keeping track of every human being on earth. So just simply bring this whole mark of the beast down to something that is so common already. An eighteen digit number of 666, and you have the mark of the beast.
We also know that there have been places that have tried a cashless society. Can a community actually go for 30 or 60 days without ever using a checkbook or billfold? The only problems that they have is the check-out lines start backing up, because the people in this test area can never find their card in their purse. This secular article suggests that if there were some way of putting a mark on the flesh so that it can be scanned, it would speed up the check-out lines. It is all there, the technology is simply waiting to be implemented.
Believers don’t have a fear of the 666. We have all the evidence of the world that the precursors of it are with us. You and I use it everyday. You can’t go and get a drivers license without it, or file your taxes without it and what is it? Your social security number. It is not the mark of the beast, but it is the forerunner of it. And remember America is not the only nation with a social security system. I was surprised when I read a few months ago that even the small nations in what we call the third world have social security systems and all of their citizens have a number. Germany, years ago, began tattooing a number on the heels of newborn infants before they left the hospital. So we can see the world is getting ready for the fact that they can’t do anything without a number. If it gets to the place where it is a completely cashless society, and if you haven’t got that number, it will be impossible to do anything. So people without it will die for the lack of the necessities of life. This is why in Matthew 25 Jesus separates the sheep from the goats. But it probably wasn’t in the right area, because this is simply the survivors of the Tribulation. And some of them are sheep – they are believers in that Chapter, because they responded to the message of the 144,000 and survived. Not very many will, but a few will, Isaiah says. You will have a few who are still lost, who rejected the message. And they have also survived. So Jesus brings them all before His throne room in Jerusalem. Matthew 25 says:
“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, `Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.'”
What are these verses? They are believers who, much like the Christians in Nazi Germany who hid the Jews for only one reason, had the love of Christ in their heart. Because of it they put their own neck on the block, you might say. And so during the closing days of the Tribulation, believers who have believed the Gospel of the Kingdom from these 144,000 Jews, because of their new relationship and because they have survived, they will minister to their needs. And that is what Jesus meant when he said in verse 40:
“…Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren (remember no one is a brethren of Jesus except the Jew. So He’s referring to the 144,000), ye have done it unto me.”
And the goats, the unbelievers who made it through the Tribulation say:
“… Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? ” And so the Lord answers them the same way.
“Then shall he answer them, saying, `Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these (the 144,000), ye did it not to me.'”
The mark of the beast is for those who have given in to the rule of the Anti-christ, and the demands of the religious system. If they take it, they may get along with the powers that be, but they seal their eternal doom with no more opportunity for salvation. Now skip over to Chapter 17:
“And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, `Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters.'”
Now the language kind of shocks us I know, but we want to remember we are not talking about physical immorality here, but spiritual. And spiritual adultery is when religious organizations take that from the pagan world and mix it with New Testament Christianity. That is spiritual adultery. So this “whore,” as the word is used, is not a woman of the street, but is a system that adulterates the things of God. And God is going to judge it. Now verse 2:
“With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman…”
It’s unfortunate the Scripture often uses a woman in a bad light, but it does. And it is not a put-down, but some of these things are just simply unavoidable. Let’s look at Chapter 2 of Revelation for example. Here, Jesus is speaking to the Church in Thyatira:
“Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.”
Would you like to be that woman? Why, no! because it’s in a bad light. Now let’s look at another example in Matthew Chapter 13:
“Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven (in Scripture leaven is always referred to as sin, or evil), which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.”
And again, the woman here is used in a bad light. It was a woman who was guilty of inserting evil into a situation, and consequently, God was displeased with it. Now back to Revelation 17. This system, then, is referred to in the female gender:
“So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.”
Here we have a religious system referred to in the female gender. And how many times in our everyday speech, do we refer to a religious system as she or her.
LESSON ONE * PART IV
ANTI-CHRIST – “FALSE PROPHET”
Now let’s come back to where we left off in Revelation 17. In verse 3 remember we are talking about this great religious system that is going to come on the world. We are already seeing all the seeds of it. Which particular religious system ends up heading it up I don’t know. There is a lot of speculation. There are a lot of world-wide huge religious organizations on the scene tonight who have tremendous wealth, and political power. They have for the most part been persecutors of true believers. It has always been that way, even back in the Old Testament the pagan idolatrous world was always making life miserable for the true people of God. Even on this side of the Cross, I have always said that most, if not all, of the world’s conflicts (and you look around the planet tonight and it stills bears it out), most of the conflicts have been precipitated by religionists trying to force somebody either out of their area or under their thumb. You just think about that. For example, that whole situation in Yugoslavia is exactly that.
So as this great religious system comes on the scene, it will of course be satanic. Just because it’s a religion doesn’t mean it’s Godly. It will be a satanically inspired organization under the guise of religion, which will be headed up by this one-world religious leader, the false prophet, who could very easily be an apostate Jew. I was reading a few weeks ago about this famous Jew who was a Moslem. So it’s not unusual for Jews to embrace something other than Judaism. But we do know that it’s going to have tremendous power over the everyday individual. We will also see in a moment that it is supported by the government of the Anti-christ. Now that isn’t new. Even today, you go into certain nations in Europe and the government actually subsidizes and supports some of the large denominations. One of the reasons our forefathers left Europe was the separation of church and state. That was going on over there in their generation. That didn’t mean that they didn’t want God in government. That is where it has been twisted all around. They didn’t want God out of government, but they didn’t want government to run their church. And that is as it should be. But in verse 4 let’s look at the language:
“And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand (that speaks of wealth. And again look at some of the large religions of the world. Their subjects are as poor as church mice, but the wealth is in the hands of the hierarchy. And this will be the same thing. Remember all the religions of the world will come under this one. It will be satanic, demonic because you see in her hand is this golden cup) full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:” Not so much the physical immorality, but the spiritual. Verse 5. We will come to the point where she is carried by the government in verse 7.
“And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY (from which we get the word `secret’), BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”
When we were studying back in Genesis, where several years after the flood, the Tower of Babel was built which started all pagan idolatrous religions. Any cult today, if they are a true cult, even though they may use a certain amount of scriptures, takes parts of their doctrine that will put their roots right back in the Tower of Babel. And so all the religions of the world have their roots at Babel. That’s where it all began. And that is what the Apostle Paul meant when he wrote in II Thessalonians.
II Thessalonians 1:7
“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work:…”
It’s been working since God scattered them from the Tower of Babel. And it has been a constant adversary of the true worship of Jehovah God. What was Israel’s problem all through their early history? Going into idolatry. And on this side of the Cross you have the Apostle Paul going out into the Gentile world. What was he confronted with? Turn to the Book of Acts, and this is just one example. As Paul is now taking the Gospel of the Grace of God to the Gentile world, and as he and Barnabas have come into Ephesus, multitudes of those pagans are being converted. As they were being converted to Paul’s Gospel, what were they doing with their idols? They were throwing them away. Now that in turn caused the ire of the men who made the idols, the silversmiths. Look what happens when Christianity begins to make inroads into idolatrous worship of these pagan religions. It’s no different today.
“And the same time there arose no small stir about that way.” What way? Paul’s way. The Gospel of Grace.
“For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana (a female goddess), brought no small gain unto the craftsmen (the silversmiths); Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, `Sirs, ye know that by this craft (making silver shrines of Diana) we have our wealth.'”
And after all, what is the engine of economy? Greed. It’s that constantly wanting more and more. And that’s what fuels it. I’m certainly not in favor of sitting back and saying, “I’m not going to do anything.” But on the other hand there has to be a tempering. So greed is what prompted the silversmiths to rise up against Paul’s ministry and against Christianity.
“Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus , but almost throughout all Asia (that is Asia Minor, that would be Turkey), this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands; So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.”
Now that is what idolatry does. Idolatry just feeds on the baser instincts of humanity. Come back to Revelation Chapter 17. Here we have this great religious system. Verse 5 again takes us all the way back to ancient Babylon, the Tower of Babel. And it’s been the adversary of the truth of God ever since. But it’s going to crescendo during this last seven years. It will suddenly come to a peak.
Even though idolatry is basically dealing in the realm of the dark side of the spiritual, yet idolatry is dealing with man’s desire to worship something. But when you get into a study of pagan worship, especially at the time of the Apostle Paul, remember that part and parcel of their worship was gross immorality. Because most of their places of worship, like the one mentioned in Acts 19, where nothing more than glorified houses of prostitution. All in the name of their religion. And those pagan priests would conscript young ladies from across the countryside and force them into prostitution. This is what God is finally referring to. Now verse 6.
“And I saw the woman (the religious system) drunken with the blood of the saints (who has been the persecutor of true believers? Religion of one sort are another), and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.” I suppose that John marveled at wealth, and pomp and circumstance and power.
“And the angel said unto me, `Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.'” The Anti-christ.
What does that tell you? If you’ve got a beast of burden carrying something, then it’s supporting it. What you really have here is this revived Roman Empire; this great political world-wide system headed up by the man Anti-christ is going to subsidize, and support this world church. Do you see that? And the church is riding upon it.
“The beast that thou sawest was (and again I’m holding to the fact that this is the Roman Empire. It was, then it faded off the scene), and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world (so we have the unbelieving element of the world who are going to be part and parcel of this great religious system), when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.” In other words, when the ancient Roman political, economical system as well as the pagan religious system are all going to culminate.
“And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains (Kingdoms or nations), on which the woman sitteth.” In other words she has rule. Now verse 10. Again I’ll come back to the Nations of Western Europe who will be the core of all of this.
“And there are seven kings (remember we started with ten): five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come (in other words there is one to come on the scene); and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.” Not for a very long period of time. Now in verse 11 we come to the rise of the Anti-christ.
“And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.”
In other words, the Lord is going to destroy it at His coming. Here you start out with ten nations. Three of them will lose their identity rather shortly. But each of their kings or prime ministers will stay in the picture. But the sovereignty of their nation will be lost. So the ten will be down to seven. Out of the seven will come the Anti-christ who will take over complete control and the others will fade off the scene. And he then is the eighth. Verse 12:
“And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings (do you see how plain that is? There’s no gimmick here), which have received no kingdom as yet (they don’t have the power and political clout that the Anti-christ will have); but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.” Or Anti-christ and his empire. Here is what they will do:
“These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.”
The Anti-christ. Now that is what he has been working for. He came in with peace and prosperity and flatteries, not with civil war. He’s going to manipulate. He’s going to be very smooth. And all of a sudden he’s going to have the pre-eminence. Now leaping to the end of the seven years in verse 14:
“These (all these nations under the headship of the Anti-christ and the false prophet) shall make war with the Lamb (Christ), and the Lamb shall overcome them (at Christ’s Second Coming): for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” You and I are the ones that will be coming with him.
“And he saith unto me, `The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth (in other words, where this great religious system is operating), are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues,…'” It’s a world wide religious system. Verse 16:
“And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these (now all of a sudden you have a change in language so watch it. Remember in verse 7 this religious system is riding on the back of the beast but now) shall hate the whore (or religious system), and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.”
That again is symbolic language. What is the Anti-christ going to do with the religious system? He’s going to destroy it. Why? We must come back to II Thessalonians as we must compare Scripture with Scripture. We can also go all the way back to the Book of Daniel.
II Thessalonians 2:4
“Who (the Anti-christ) opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”
He’s going to set himself up as God and won’t let the world religion have anything to do with him anymore. He’s going to take absolute control himself. And since he is going to sit in the temple of God, we know that Israel will rebuild her temple and it will be in Jerusalem. In Daniel Chapter 9 we find out what this fellow will do at the mid-point of the Tribulation. We find he’s going to move into the temple in Jerusalem. He then will defile it. Verse 27, where the prince that shall come in verse 26 shall:
“And he shall confirm the covenant with many (the Jews) for one week; (seven years) and in the midst of the week (at the end of 3 1/2 years) he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,…”
In order for temple worship to cease, it has to be going. So it stands to reason that if the Anti-christ is going to go into the temple in the middle of the Tribulation, then the temple must be operating. So that tells us the Nation of Israel will get her temple rebuilt, and we know she is ready for it, even as I speak. So at the mid-point of the Tribulation the Anti-christ will go into the temple and suddenly turn on the Jew. And he will set himself up as God and force the Jew to worship him rather than the God of the Old Testament which they think that they worship. Just because Israel gets her temple back at the beginning of the Tribulation doesn’t mean that God will be working in their lives. It will be much the same kind of religion as Judaism was during Christ’s earthly ministry. They had the temple, the priest, the sacrifices. Was God in it? No. They were still practicing a religion. And so it will be again in those 3 1/2 years. Because they are still denying the Christ that died for them. Now back to Revelation Chapter 17:
“For God hath put in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast (the Anti-christ), until the words of God shall be fulfilled.” In other words, when the seven years will have finally come to its end. Then verse 18:
“And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.” Now there is a lot of speculation as to what city that is. Personally, I think by this time it will be Jerusalem.
LESSON TWO * PART I
REVIEW – GENESIS TO REVELATION:
ESCAPING REMNANTS: SATAN CAST FROM HEAVEN
I love to hear from people who tell us that for the first time in their life that they are studying their Bible. That just makes it all worth while. That is the only reason we teach – just to get people into the Book. The Book is not closed as most people think it is.
I have decided before we get back to Revelation, to give a brief review of what we have covered all the way from Genesis up to this period of the Tribulation. Then in our next lesson we will try to show from Scripture why the Nation of Israel has gone through such turmoil and suffering, and why they must go through that terrible seven years of Tribulation that is still facing them. Remember, the Book of Revelation and the Tribulation is primarily God dealing with His Covenant people Israel.
And we are not hung up on these dates that I’ll be using as being absolutely correct, but they are close. At least we can get a layman’s view of the overall picture, and see how in round figures that everything has been unfolding up through human history.
At about 4004 B. C. Adam comes on the scene. From Adam and Eve the population exploded, because the longevity was 900 + years. And they had sons and daughters – the Bible doesn’t tell us how many. By the time we get to 2400 B. C. or about 1600 years after Adam, the human race has gone down so far morally and have come into such a period of violence, that God said, “I’m going to have to destroy them.” So we come to Noah’s flood. We come out of the flood with Noah and his three sons and their wives, and once again the whole thing starts all over. But this time under a whole different set of circumstances. Everything is different after the flood than before it. One of the main changes is in Genesis Chapter 9. We have to realize that in the pre-flood era, man as well as animals were not meat eaters. They all had a diet of things that grew naturally, like nuts and fruits and grass, and the herbs and so forth. But after the flood you see in Chapter 9 that it’s completely different. Let’s read verse 1:
“And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, `Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.'” In other words, “Fill it up again.” Now watch the difference in verse 2. This wasn’t the case before the flood.
“And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.” And here is the reason in verse 3:
“Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat (or food) for you;…” This wasn’t the case before. They did not kill anything for food. Even the wild animals didn’t kill to satisfy their hunger. Everything ate of that which grew naturally.
Secondly, after the flood, God says in verse 5 that He will give man responsibility to keep the human race from killing each other, as they had been doing before the flood. Violence had filled the earth, remember. And it was simply because there was no deterrent. There was no capital punishment; there was no law against these things. But now you see God institutes man’s responsibility to maintain law and order by instituting human government or capital punishment.
“And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man’s blood (kills another person), by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” So you see it’s completely different than before.
Now about half way between Noah’s flood and the call of Abraham, we have the Tower of Babel. And again it was a total rejection of God’s instruction to repopulate and scatter around the world. Instead, that group of people coming out of the sons of Noah rebelled against God, and rather than scattering and repopulating the earth, they stayed in the area of the Euphrates River. Then under Nimrod, they gathered at the Tower of Babel. Here is where we have the beginning of all pagan religions. Everything that is contrary to the One God concept as we find it in Scripture, has its roots and beginnings here at the Tower of Babel. All your eastern religions, all idolatry, all mythology and cults have their beginning here. Then God scattered them from the Tower of Babel and idolatry had by then taken over the human race. Then God calls out one man out of that idolatry and that man was Abraham. And we can show that from Scripture. So turn to the last chapter of the Book of Joshua.
“And Joshua said unto all the people, `Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.'”
So they were all idolaters and out of that civilization, that race of humanity, God is going to take one man, Abram, as he is first called. That is the beginning of the Nation of Israel, or as we commonly now call them, the Jew. Now I need to answer a question that was asked. What’s the difference between the Jewish religion and the Jew as a race? Or what makes a Jew a Jew? The religion or his blood? How would you answer it? Both! They are first and foremost a Jew because they are out of the promised Covenant line of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. That makes him a Jew by blood if he has come out of the twelve tribes.
When we get to Moses, who comes on the scene about 500 years later (or about 1500 BC), and God gives to the Nation of Israel, the Law. So now then we have the institution of the racial people of Israel and God gives them their religion, if we may use that word. The Mosaic system. And from that point on the Jew and his religion are almost a pair that’s inseparable, but yet they are. Because a Jew can embrace another religion or he can turn his back totally on Judaism. But does that end his being a Jew? No, he is still a Jew. You can also have Gentiles embrace Judaism, now that may make them a Jew religiously, but it will never make them a Jew racially. Always remember, and it is one of the keys to understanding the Scriptures, that the Bible divides the whole human race into two categories. Jews and Gentiles. Even the Arabs who are next of kin to the Jew by virtue of Abraham and Ishmael and Esau, are still considered Gentiles in Scripture. Only a Jew is considered a Jew in Scripture. Now those are some basic things that a lot of people don’t understand. And the Jew and the Nation of Israel began when God called Abram out of Ur, out of idolatry and gave him those Covenant promises. And then Moses comes on the scene and leads the children of Israel out of Egypt, and that’s about 1500 years B. C. He gives them the Law and history begins to unfold, Biblically, as it pertains to the Nation of Israel.
Then the Babylonians came on the scene and took the Jews captive to Babylon. And while in Babylon, Daniel writes his tremendous book of prophecy. Let’s turn to Daniel Chapter 9, which is one of the basic Scripture references to our approach to eschatology. That is the big word for what we lay-people call “End-Times.” The study of end-time events. Here in Daniel we have the prophecy concerning God’s timetable with the Nation of Israel. And there will be 490 years. This will cover the time that Nehemiah would be given instructions to go from Babylon, back to Jerusalem and rebuild the city wall. From the day of that decree by King Cyrus that Israel can not only have the temple, but they can also have the city wall rebuilt; the time-span from that day would be 490 years until Christ would finally end His dealings with the Nation of Israel as His Covenant people. And we know from history and Scripture that 483 of those years were consummated at the Cross. And so this is where we get the whole idea of a final seven years yet in the future, that have never been completed.
Israel, after the Crucifixion, and after Pentecost, continued to reject the offers of the Old Testament promises of the King and the Kingdom and her role as, literally, being the evangelist to that pagan world around her. From there we notice that Israel begins to fade and go down spiritually. And finally in 70 A. D., which is 40 years after Pentecost, God permitted the Roman Army, under Titus, to come in and destroy the temple and the city of Jerusalem. The Jew was uprooted out of the promised land into the dispersion that carries on to our very day. And it was all because of their rejecting the promises. They rejected their Messiah and their King, so God dispersed them and took away their temple and religion.
Then God turned to the Gentiles through the Apostle Paul with what we call the Age of Grace. As we have been teaching “Through the Bible,” we have stopped short of going into the New Testament and studying Matthew, mark, Luke and John, the Book of Acts and Paul because we had such a demand to go ahead and study Revelation. So what we will do when we finally finish the Book of Revelation (if the Lord tarries that long), is come back and pick up at the beginning of the New Testament.
Now you must remember, as I have said in the past months, that God deals in specific time frames. Just like here when He said:
“Seventy weeks (490 years) are determined upon thy people…”
So let’s look at it in verse 27. And all of a sudden we find that final seven years that wasn’t completed. Remember 483 were completed from the day of the decree that King Cyrus gave Nehemiah, until the Messiah died on the Cross.
“And he (the Anti-christ, the prince in verse 26) shall confirm the covenant (or treaty) with many (Israel) for one week (seven years): and in the midst of the week…”
And this is where we base everything on our teaching concerning the Tribulation. Way back here Daniel has already, by inspiration, laid out the format. That this seven-year period of time is going to be divided in half. There will be the first 3 1/2 years and then the last 3 1/2 years. So this seven-year period of time has been shoved out into the future, and in-between we have the calling out of the Body of Christ, the Church Age, the Age of Grace. Now we feel like we are getting close to that period of time of the Church. When this Church Age is complete the Lord will take it out, because God did not deal with the Church back here when He was dealing with Israel. It was Jew only. Here in the Church Age, God is dealing primarily with the Gentile, and the Jew is out in dispersion. So before He can come back and deal with Israel again in this final seven years, this Gentile Body of Christ has to be removed from the scene. Because God doesn’t deal on both sides of the fence at the same time. And as the Church Age winds down, and the final Gentile is brought in, then we find the Church taken out in the Rapture, and Israel back in the land and ready to be dealt with as we have been seeing in the Tribulation.
Now our study has already come this far to the beginning of the Tribulation. And as I have stressed in my teaching, the best way to study Revelation is to get straight in your mind the things that happened at the very opening of the Tribulation. Then disseminate the things that take place at the middle of the Tribulation. And then we can pick out (and we will in the future) the things that take place at the end of the Tribulation. And then we fill in the details. In Daniel 9:27, the signing of this peace treaty is the triggering mechanism to start that final seven years. In other words, during the Church Age, God’s time clock has stopped. No one knows for how long. It’s a hidden time that only God knows. But that final seven years will kick in gear the moment that the peace treaty is signed. It’s going to be according to God’s time clock even as the period of time in the Old Testament. So reading verse 27 again:
“And he (the Anti-christ) shall confirm the covenant with many (Israel) for one week (seven years); and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease (what does that tell us? That tells us that the temple is operating again under the supposed protection of that seven-year treaty and the Anti-christ. This goes on for 3 1/2 years, then the Anti-christ moves in), and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it (the temple and temple worship) desolate,…”
This will last until everything is fulfilled. We find from this, that for the initial days of the opening of the Tribulation, Israel is going to think that this man Anti-christ is indeed the Messiah. At the same opening of the Tribulation we found that God sends the two witnesses to the Nation of Israel in the area of Jerusalem. As I have taught before, we don’t put a name of them. Since the Scripture doesn’t name them, I won’t try to either. Then out of the preaching of those two witnesses comes the 144,000 young Jewish men, sealed and commissioned by God to go out and take the Gospel of the Kingdom around the world. And remember, the Gospel of the Kingdom is the good news that the King is coming. Of course those who are saved will be saved on the merit of the Cross, but the message will be the King is coming.
Then we found in Revelation 6 the appearance of the white horse and the Anti-christ. Then we had the appearance of the red horse, that I like to think is going to be the great Russian invasion of Israel from the north. That precipitates the war and the famine, pestilences and the diseases that the other horsemen of the Apocalypse depict. Then, all of a sudden, Israel is going to realize that they are not in the utopia they thought they were, but will still be permitted to have their temple worship.
Then after the war, famine and pestilences, we come to the very mid-point of the Tribulation. Now we know the mid-point is when another series of things take place. And we will be looking at that probably within the next two lessons. But one of the things we have already covered is that these two witnesses who come on the scene, are put to death at the mid-point of the Tribulation. And the world is going to be thrilled at the very thought that those two men, who caused so much turmoil by their preaching, are now dead. But they will be resurrected, brought back to life and they ascend back into heaven. The Scripture says the whole world will see it. And we pointed out that is what satellite television can do.
Then as we come into other events of the mid-point (after the two witnesses have ascended), the Anti-christ is going to come to the temple, as we saw in Daniel 9:27. He will defile the temple and force the Jews to stop their temple worship and the worship of Jehovah. He will then make them worship him as their god. And this will trigger the awful persecution of the Jew in that final 3 1/2 years. Then we will also find in one of our coming lessons that one of the other big events at the very mid-point of the Tribulation is a tremendous earthquake. That is in Chapter 6 and 11 of Revelation. And this great earthquake will set in motion the final 3 events of that last 3 1/2 years. Then after that has run its course, Christ returns to the Mount of Olives and will set up His Kingdom. The curse will have been lifted, and Israel will be the top nation of the nations. And all the rest of the world will come under the blessing of the people of the Covenant that was given to Abraham. All of Israel is looking for that glorious day. And we will be looking at all of this in the future lessons.
LESSON TWO * PART II
REVIEW – GENESIS TO REVELATION:
ESCAPING REMNANTS: SATAN CAST FROM HEAVEN
It’s good to start another lesson, and we always like to emphasize that this is an informal Bible study; we don’t claim to have all the answers. We don’t claim to be right and everybody else is wrong. All we like to do is get people involved in studying the Word. We try to make it as simple as we possibly can. In our last lesson we said that we would look at why Israel has suffered so much over the years, and why she still must go through the Tribulation.
Jesus said in Matthew 24 that those days would be worse than the world has ever known. There has never been anything like it before nor ever will be again. And Israel is in the vortex of all of that. Let’s turn to Jeremiah Chapter 30 to begin with. We will be looking at a few Scripture verses throughout the Old Testament. Hopefully, we will also have time to get into the New Testament and see that God has His own reasons and purposes. So the prophet Jeremiah writes:
“Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?” In other words, because of fear and turmoil. Now verse:
“Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble (now Jacob is always a reference to the Nation of Israel and not to the man); but he shall be saved out of it.”
In other words, saved out of this terrible time of Tribulation. Let’s turn to the Book of Zechariah. I know that there are those who maintain that as a result of the coming of Christ and the work of the Tribulation, that every Jew is going to be saved. And I’ll show you the Scripture they use for that kind of teaching. You find it in Romans Chapter 11, where the Apostle Paul writes that all Israel will be saved. But I’m going to qualify that, because in Zechariah Chapter 13, that’s not the language. Let’s look at verse 8:
“And it shall come to pass, that in all the land (that is the land of Israel), saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die (that’s 2/3 of them); but the third shall be left therein.” So one third will survive. Now drop down to verse 9. Where God says:
“And I will bring the third part through the fire (now in Scripture fire usually in a text like this means a testing. If you really want to purify gold, how do you do it? You put it through the heat of the fire. You melt it and the hotter that gold gets the more impurities will come to the top. So fire is a depiction of a testing. God will bring this third part of Israel through the testing of the Tribulation), and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people (remember in the Book of Daniel, God called the Israelites thy people to Daniel. But here in verse 9 this is all future): and they shall say, The LORD is my God.”
Go back to the Book of Deuteronomy, and we will try to establish from Scripture why they have suffered. And we do it with all of the love and tenderness to the Jewish people. I always have to remind myself of an article reported in the Jerusalem Post about a Rabbi who was on one of the most popular talk shows in Israel. This elderly Rabbi has a lot of respect among the Jews. In the process of that program he made the statement that the reason Israel had suffered so much in the Holocaust, and various other situations, was because of their sin. Now what do you suppose happened? The telephone lines were jammed, because the Jewish people were so put out at the Rabbi, that he would have the audacity to even think that it was sin that caused their problems. People don’t want to recognize sin anymore. But let’s turn to Deuteronomy Chapter 28. We have to understand that the Jewish people have the same Old Testament that we have. They could read this. Look what it says:
“And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good (here, the children of Israel still have not entered into the Promised Land), and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it.”
“And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people… And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind: And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life:
Why? Because it says in verse 15 of this Chapter the reasons for these things we just read about:
“But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee.”
So it was in disobedience, then, of God’s commandments and of God’s Word that brought them all these problems. Now at the heart of all disobedience (even for you and I in the Age of Grace), is one word. So turn with me now to Psalms Chapter 95. Who knows what that one word is? What one word covers all sin? UNBELIEF! And unbelief is the opposite of FAITH. Now as long as Israel had faith in God’s Word what were they? Obedient. But as soon as they didn’t believe what God said, what happened? Their sins just came in over them. I don’t care what manner of sin it was, it was unbelief that gave them the permissiveness to perform them. So now let’s look at Psalms 95, verse 7:
“For he is our God; and we are the people of this pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To-day if ye will hear his voice,” What does that indicate? Obedience.
“Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:” That is speaking of the 40 years they had to spend in the wilderness because of unbelief at Kadesh-Barnea.
“When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work. Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, `It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not know my ways: Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.'”
Now let’s go to the New Testament where the writer of the Book of Hebrews clarifies this writing in Psalms. And he emphasizes their unbelief. We find that in Hebrews Chapter 3. And let’s begin at verse 7. And here is a quote from Psalms 95:
“Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, `To-day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)'”
Now Paul departs from the actual text and is commenting on it in verse 12.
“Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of (immorality? An evil heart of any other sin you can name? No, but an evil heart of) unbelief, in departing from the living God.”
Now verse 17. He is referring here to the children of Israel, where Joshua and Caleb were so heartbroken. They said, “We can take the land. God has done everything so far and He will drive the enemies out.” And what had the majority said? “We can’t do it.” And always remember when it comes to the things of the Spirit, the majority is rarely right. Never forget that. And so it was here. Now let’s read on:
“But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcasses fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that (what?) believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of (one word) unbelief.”
Again, unbelief is the opposite of faith. Paul tells us in Hebrews:
“But without faith it is impossible to please him (God);…”
Because when we believe what He says, we act on it. When we don’t believe what He says we act on that. Only you have two opposite results. Now continuing on. Why is God dealing with the Nation of Israel so harshly? Let’s go to Acts Chapter 2. This is Peter preaching to a tremendous Jewish crowd on the day of Pentecost. They are there from every nation under heaven. This is only 50 days after the Crucifixion and it is still fresh on everyone’s mind. Let’s drop down to verse 36. Someday we will be studying the Book of Acts, but until then we will just have to jump in and out:
“Therefore let all the house of Israel (does that include Gentiles? No! Only Jews) know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified (so what is Peter saying? You killed your Messiah. Of course that shook them up) both Lord and Christ.” And what was their response?
“…Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
In Chapter 3, I want you to see the same kind of language. It is so important in Bible study to ask the question, “To whom is this being addressed?” Sure, it’s for our learning, but it’s not speaking to us. I trust that there is not one of you here whose pastor gets up on Sunday morning and points the finger at you, and says, “You killed the Christ.” Does he? No! But Peter does!
“…Ye men of Israel,…” The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate,… But ye denied the Holy One and the Just,… And (you) killed the Prince of life….”
Now as you come down to verse 19, what is the first word? Repent. Repent of what? They have just rejected and killed and murdered their Messiah. Do you see that? This is still on God’s mind. The Nation of Israel still has not been forgiven of the fact that they rejected and killed their Messiah. Please note, I’m always very careful as I teach this in my classes, that this does not come across as an excuse for Anti-Semitism. We know a lot of the religions of the world for the past 1900 + years have accused the Jew of being the God killer. Of being the ones who killed the Christ. But in reality, you see, as Christ hung on the Cross, no Jew or Roman took His life. Then Who did? He gave it up of His own will. But with God dealing with the Covenant people Israel, and why He deals with them the way He does, Peter by inspiration is accusing the Jews of killing their Messiah.
Now let’s go over to the Book of Romans and see what Paul says about the whole thing. Because Israel rejected their Messiah, and lost their temple and land, they were and are still in a dispersion. They have had so many bad things happen to them, and all because they rejected all the promises. But God also promised from day one that He would not give up on them. That one day He would yet bring them back, He would bring them to the land and He will yet fulfill all the promises that He made to their forefathers. Now we pick this up in Romans Chapter 11. And remember, Paul has a heart for the Nation of Israel but he is, as we will see in verse 13, not the Apostle of Israel, as Peter certainly was, but rather the Apostle to the Gentiles.
“For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, (see?) I magnify my office:” He will never shrink from that responsibility. Now let’s back up to verse 11, where Paul is defending the Nation of Israel. That they are not going to be completely annihilated. God is still going to finish His program with them.
“I say then, Have they (Israel) stumbled that they should fall? (that God should destroy them) God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto (whom?) the Gentiles,…” Do you see that?
“Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world…” (of the Gentile world. And the Gospel coming out to us Gentiles), …how much more their (Israel’s) fullness?”
Israel’s great future is still ahead of them. But God is still dealing with them on the basis of what they had done in their unbelief. Go to verse 25. After establishing the fact that God will yet come back and restore the Nation of Israel to its original promises and to its Covenant position, he gives us a time frame:
“For I would not, brethren that ye should be ignorant of this mystery (or this secret which was never revealed before), lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness (a spiritual blindness) in part (not forever) is happened to Israel, until (and remember that is a `time’ word. Israel is only in the position that she is in until God is finished with His work with the Gentiles. He takes us out of the way and then the blindness will be lifted) the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.”
Now come down to verse 26, and here is the verse that so many people have taken out of context, or they don’t understand what it says.
“And so all Israel shall be saved:…” How much? All!
But what did we see back in the Book of Zechariah? Only a third would be saved. And we know that all through Israel’s history, did God ever get 100%? Only a remnant. The remnant of Israel. But why does Paul say that all of Israel shall be saved? Well, there is a Biblical explanation like there always is. Come back with me to Isaiah Chapter 9.
“The Lord sent a word into Jacob (the nation), and it (the word) hath lighted upon Israel.”
He sent the word to Jacob, but only Israel heard. You might say I thought they were one and the same. Now we need to go to Genesis Chapter 32 and explain. And here we have Jacob with that all-night wrestling match with the Lord. After this went on all the night the Lord in verse 27 says to Jacob:
“And he said unto him, `What is thy name?’ And he said, `Jacob.'”
“And he said, `Thy name shall be called no more Jacob (now what did Jacob mean? The deceiver, the supplanter), but Israel (and Israel means a prince with God): for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.'”
So what do you have? A whole new man. Israel was the believing Jacob. Jacob referred to his unbelieving state. So now he is to be called Israel. And if you take this into the verse in Isaiah 9:8 that the word came to Jacob, but only Israel heard it, what does that tell you? Only the believer heard. And in the same way now as God deals with the end-times, 2/3 of Israel are not going to believe. A third will. And that third, as Paul says, will be called Israel. So, how much of Israel will be saved? All of Israel. If you will just begin to define some of these terms, then everything will begin to fall in place. Not all of the Jews will be saved, but the believing remnant will be saved.
LESSON TWO * PART III
REVIEW – GENESIS TO REVELATION:
ESCAPING REMNANTS: SATAN CAST FROM HEAVEN
Now let’s turn to Matthew Chapter 24, beginning with verse 15. We are going to pick up this remnant that we talked about in the last lesson, that I feel will be the 1/3 that will survive the horrors of the Tribulation. Jesus speaks of it, and if Jesus speaks of it then we can rest on it, because after all, He is the Author of all history. He is the Author of our salvation, and eternity. And certainly He is the Author of this Book. So He says:
“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet,…”
Now we just looked at that a lesson or two ago. But it says in Daniel 9:27, that in the middle of the week (seven years) that he, the Anti-christ will go into temple and defile it. That will be at the middle of the Tribulation. So Jesus is clearly defining that this event is what Daniel was talking about. Now when the word suddenly goes out that the Anti-christ has come into the temple and defiled it (and I wouldn’t doubt that since they will be back into animal sacrifices and the altar will be operating), that he will probably just out of spite and rebellion, offer a hog. A Jew couldn’t stand for a hog’s blood being spilled on their altar. After Anti-christ does this, he will immediately turn on the Jew. Jesus then says:
“Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:”
We talked about this several months ago, but again, since it is in line with our study of the Book of Revelation, we will repeat it. I want you to watch as we come down through these verses, that this is not a group of just one age, or one sex, but this is a cross-section of Jews.
“Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house.” These are probably Jewish people who are retired, and are pretty well to do. So they had better not stop in the house for extra items of clothing.
“Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.” This would include the younger people who are still working and producing. So they would just need to take off for the mountains as Jesus said.
“And woe unto them that are with child (here you have your young pregnant women), and to them that give suck in those days!” So we also have nursing mothers.
Looking back at that cross-section, we have the older retired people, the working class people. We have the young expectant mothers, and the mothers with little ones. It will be hard for the young women who are about ready to deliver to make this long journey to the mountains. I believe it will be down to the southeast of Jerusalem, probably to the area of Petra, is a good possibility. Verse 20, is an indication that the Jew will be back under the Law:
“But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter (so they wouldn’t have to suffer cold, and snow, rain and ice, and that can happen in Israel), neither on the sabbath day:”
According to the Law they were very limited to how far they could travel. And Jesus is saying you had better pray that this doesn’t happen on the Sabbath day, because the Law would prohibit them from escaping. Now as we look at this whole situation, I always like to remind the folks that I teach, to flash back to the exodus out of Egypt. So much of this is almost identical. Whether it will be in numbers or not, I’m not sure. But nevertheless, the scenario is so much the same. They will have this great number of Jews suddenly moving out to a distance place. Now verse 21. Here Jesus makes it so plain that this is the middle of the Tribulation:
“For then (in other words from this point on. This last 3 1/2 years) shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” Now think what that covers. That covers all of the horrible experiences that Israel had in the Old Testament days. Also the horrors of the holocaust. This covers the famines and wars that the world has experienced in the last generations. And none of that can compare with what is ahead in these last 3 1/2 years.
“And except those days should be shortened,…”
Now from what I can get out of the Greek word, “shorten” it, doesn’t mean all of a sudden instead of 3 1/2 years it’s only going to be 3 years. But the word means, “unless it would end right on schedule.” If this 3 1/2 years would go an extra month for example, not a soul would survive, it’s going to be so awful. But there will be survivors and we will be seeing that in lessons to come. That even under the terrible cataclysmic events of the final 3 1/2 years, yet there will be survivors all around the world. So reading verse 22 in its entirety:
“And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.”
In other words, for the believers going into the Kingdom. And never lose sight of the fact that we must have flesh and blood believers to go into the Kingdom. So the Lord will have to stop this before all of them are killed, or there would be no one left for the regeneration of the human race in the Kingdom economy. Let’s leave Matthew and go to the Book of Revelation Chapter 6 again. In an earlier lesson in Chapter 6, we were looking at the seals. Those seals that were on the outside of this scroll of Revelation 5, which was indicative of a mortgage. And we have seen this mortgage being opened up now by taking off the seals.
I pointed out in the past several lessons, these seals are nothing more than a triggering mechanism for events in time. First the white horse, the symbolism of the coming of the Anti-christ. The red horse, I think is the symbolism of the Russian invasion of Israel. The pale horse, the symbolism for famine and diseases of this time. And the black horse, the symbolism the great death and destruction that will come as the result. And then you come down to verse 12, and He opens the 6th seal. Remember there are seven seals in all. But the 7th we will cover a little later, because it will introduce the trumpet judgments that will follow after the mid-point. I want you to see now that this 6th seal is at the mid-point of the Tribulation.
“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;”
What I think you have pictured here, is that as a result of the cataclysmic events of earthquakes and volcanoes, you will see the moon turn red as blood, because of all the pollution in the air. The sun will actually be blackened out because of it. We will pick up the intervening verses at a later time, but now come all the way down to verse 17. Remember, there will be this great earthquake here at the mid-point. It will be a specific earthquake.
“For the great day of his wrath is come:…”
In other words, the last 3 1/2 years. The time Matthew 24 said was worse than any other period in all of human history. The first 3 1/2 years are not going to be a Sunday School picnic. They won’t be a utopia. Maybe for a short while the Anti-christ is going to seem to have everything under control. But the remainder of that 3 1/2 years is going to become progressively worse. The war in Israel, the attending famine and pestilence, and so forth, is already beginning to crescendo by the mid-point. But when you come to the mid-point of the seven years, here comes this great earthquake that will trigger the start of what the Bible calls “wrath.” We have seen the two wittiness resurrected and ascended. Now come over to Chapter 11 in Revelation. And in order to pick up the timing again, I have to take this slowly or people will say “Well where do you get that this is the mid-point? How do you know it isn’t at some other time?” Refer to our study of the two witnesses a few lessons ago, in this Chapter and in verse 3?
“And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days,…” How long is that? 3 1/2 years. Then as they finish their testimony they are put to death. They are resurrected in verse 11:
“And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet;… “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.” Now that is the mid-point that’s the end of the first 3 1/2 years. Now you go right into the next verse and what does it say?
“And the same hour was there a great earthquake (see how that fits with Chapter 6?), and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men (I think it will be predominantly men in the area of Jerusalem) seven thousand: and the (what’s that next word?) remnant were affrighted (God’s got their attention now), and gave glory to the God of heaven.”
I always tell my classes, be careful because a religious Jew today doesn’t have any trouble giving glory to God. They are always elevating the God of Abraham. But what is the problem of the Jew today that God has the controversy over? They will not recognize the Christ. That is where they are blinded and still in their unbelief. They cannot recognize that Jesus was their Messiah, the Christ. Now, according to this verse, even though they give glory to God (and remember they are religious, they’ve been practicing temple worship now for 3 1/2 years), have they recognized The Christ? No!
So I maintain that this remnant under the thumb and protection of their almighty God, will flee to the mountain, but as yet in unbelief. They will go out not knowing why or where they go. And it will be providential. Now we are ready for Chapter 12. And again, this is a whole chapter full of symbolism.
“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: Now all through the Old Testament, and including the twelve stars of Joseph’s dream, the symbolism is Israel. Now verse 2:
“And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.” What does Isaiah say? “Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given.” Who’s the woman? Israel! What’s the delivery? When the Christ child was born in Bethlehem.
“And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon (and a dragon in Scripture is always a symbolic picture of Satan), having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns (a depiction of his power) upon his heads.”
“And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven (now who do you suppose the stars of heaven were that Satan influenced? The angels at the time of his rebellion, even before Genesis 1:2, when Satan rebelled at the authority of God, and evidently took a third of the angelic host with him in his rebellion. The Scripture references for that are Ezekiel 28:13-15 and Isaiah 14:12-14), and did cast them to the earth; and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.” What did Satan try to do to the Christ child when He was born in Bethlehem. Kill Him! That’s why the decree went out to kill all the boy babies under the age of two.
“And she brought forth a man child, (Christ. Israel was the vehicle from which the Messiah came. Now the Scriptures leap time after the comma), who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron (that has been depicted ever since the onset of human history, that He one day would rule the world as His Kingdom, as King of Kings and Lord of Lords): and her child was caught up to God, and to his throne.” And that is a reference to His ascension, back in Acts Chapter 1, when He left from the Mount of Olives. He went back to God the Father, and sat down at His right hand. Now here in verse 6 we leap time again to the mid-point of the Tribulation.
“And the woman fled into the wilderness (probably the Mountains of Moab, Southeast of Jerusalem), where she hath a place prepared of God, that they (the Godhead) should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days (3 1/2 years).”
Now think of the exodus from Egypt, when God brought Israel out of Egypt and brought Israel to Himself, what did He do for them for forty years? He fed them. Their clothes didn’t wear out. They had need of nothing, because He provided everything for them. And He will do the same thing again for this remnant of Jews in this situation. And even though all the events of the Tribulation will be raging around them, they are going to be safe and secure in this place that God is going to prepare for them. Now to verse 13. This is all at the mid-point of the Tribulation:
“And when the dragon (or Satan) saw that he was cast unto the earth (which took place in the previous verses) he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.” So he is going to turn on the Jew.
“And to the woman (this escaping remnant of Jews) 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 (one year), and times (two years), and half a time (total of 3 1/2 years), from the face of the serpent.”
Now we must go back to the Book of Exodus Chapter 19 for a moment. I want you see the analogy of Israel coming out of Egypt and the fleeing remnant coming out of Jerusalem to this place prepared of God for that final 3 1/2 years.
“And Moses went up unto God (in Mount Sinai), and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, `Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.'”
What did God use? Eagles’ wings. What does Revelation say? They were given two wings of a great eagle. Let me remind you… did the Jews sprout wings and fly out of Egypt. No. How did they go? They walked. But it was a supernatural walk. I have to think that God did supernaturally somehow or other, move those 3 to 5 million Israelites out of Egypt. Come back to Revelation and you have the same setting. Supernaturally, Sovereign God is going to bring this remnant of Jews that are going to be saved. They are not believers yet, but are going out in unbelief, but under the thumb of their Sovereign God. And He will take them into the wilderness for those 3 1/2 years. Here’s another analogy of Egypt. Verses 15 & 16:
“And the serpent (working out of the man Anti-christ, who is now in the temple) cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.”
Now have you got the picture? Just as sure as Israel was fleeing out of Egypt down to the Red Sea, what did Pharaoh do? He sent his army after them. And the Anti-christ will do the same thing. When he hears there is a great group of Jews fleeing Jerusalem, he will immediately put out the order for the armed forces to pursue after them and destroy them. After all, this is his hatred. But God is going to intervene and as He opened the Red Sea for the Israelites, God is basically going to do the same thing with this armed force of the Anti-christ. And as Israel is making her way into the mountains, just before that armed force makes contact with the escaping Jews, the earth is going to open up and swallow them. And the armed force will be completely destroyed. Has that happened before in Scripture? Sure it did. I’ve reminded you before as you study Revelation, that so many of these events are on a grander and greater scale of course, but they have happened before. Now verse 17. When that happens, word gets back to the Anti-christ in Jerusalem, that his armed force was totally destroyed and the Jews went on into a place of safety.
“And the dragon (Anti-christ and Satan are synonymous now) was wroth (angry) with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed (now watch what remnant this is), which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
What remnant has already been out there for 3 1/2 years preaching the King is coming? The 144,000. Regarding this remnant of Jews who are proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom to the whole world (when the Anti-christ realizes that he can’t touch those who are safe, these who will be saved in a day, when they see Christ coming at His Second Coming), he will then turn all of His wrath on these 144,000. And then when you get to Matthew Chapter 25, what do you find out? They have been thrown in prison, naked, hungry, and thirsty. This will be as a result of the Anti-christ turning all of his wrath on these 144,000 Jews.
LESSON TWO * PART IV
REVIEW – GENESIS TO REVELATION:
ESCAPING REMNANTS: SATAN CAST FROM HEAVEN
Now we need to turn again to Revelation Chapter 12, where we just left off, and we will pick up those verses that I skipped in the last lesson. I did that for a reason, so that it wouldn’t break the continuity of these events. I think you realize that we are looking at the things that are taking place at the mid-point of the Tribulation. Jerusalem becomes the very capstone of everything in these final events. And never lose sight of the fact that we are dealing with a God that is dealing with His Covenant people Israel. But all the world is going to fall under these events. It isn’t just a Middle East thing, this is going to be world wide, but predominately as he deals with the Nation of Israel. So now let’s pick up those verses we skipped. This, too, is at the mid-point.
“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon(or Satan); and the dragon fought and his angels,”
Now this is hard for us to comprehend, isn’t it? That Satan and his angels are having access to heaven. And I know there is a lot of doubt about whether that is really so. But it will be clarified a little bit more if we go on, along with Satan and his angels.
“And prevailed not (after all he, is now coming to the end of his rule and reign); neither was their place found any more in heaven.
“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth (his domain), and his angels were cast out with him.”
Back to the Book of Job for a moment. We use as much Scripture as we can to clarify these things. Most of you are acquainted with Job. He is one of the few righteous, believing men of his day. Amazingly, God has never had many. He’s always had the few – the remnant. Here in the Book of Job, come to verse 6 of Chapter 1:
“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.” Satan comes right into the portals of heaven.
“And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou (or where did you come from?)? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, `From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.'”
In other words, Satan said he had come from his domain. And of course it’s the earth. Now let’s come back to Revelation again. He has now had his final access into the Throne room, or heaven as we understand it since Genesis. Now in Revelation 12, as a result of the war between Satan and his angels and Michael and the Holy angels, Satan and his angels are defeated and they are cast out of heaven. Now let’s look at verse 10:
“And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, `Now is come salvation, and strength, and the (what?) kingdom of our God (oh, that has been in view ever since the human experience. This glorious Kingdom that God is going to rule and reign over upon the earth. And here it’s beginning to get close. So the angelic host is proclaiming it), and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.'”
Who is he accusing? You and I. Every time we sin, and we all do, who is first to run and tell God about it? Satan. Had you ever realized that? He is constantly letting the Lord know where we have failed. And this is a sobering thought. Not only is the world watching our every move, but Satan is also watching. Now let’s look at First John for a moment. We have this comforting fact, even though Satan is constantly accusing us before the Lord day and night. Every time he sees one of us fail he reports in and says, “Did you see what that person just did? I thought he was one of yours.”
I John 2:1
“My little children,…”
I have always told my classes that I love that address. Don’t you? Do you know what that makes me feel like? Just like that kid again, whose mom can’t watch close enough. About a two or three-year-old. And yet that mother if she is a mother, has such a love for that little child that she won’t let anything happen to it. And when John addresses me with that beginning, it’s just exactly how I feel with regard to God. He is watching us so closely and He knows that without His watchful eye we are going to stumble.
I John 2:1
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not (God first choice is that we don’t sin. But what does God know? That we will). And if any man sin, we have an advocate (do you know what that word really means? An Attorney. That’s your mouthpiece, the world today would say. And as soon as Satan comes into the Throne room, and accuses you and I of whatever sin we have committed, immediately the Lord comes to our defense. And in so many words, how does He reply? “He’s under the blood, he’s forgiven. He’s mine and you can’t touch him.”) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:”
Now let’s go to the Book of Hebrews, Chapter 1 for a moment. These are basic doctrines that a lot of believers are not being taught. There is so little teaching that people can actually sink their teeth into. But we have to know what God’s Word says and believe it and trust in it.
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;” He’s the Creator.
“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power (do you know what that means? This whole universe is held together by His word. Everything in our life, and the fabric of our existence is held together by His word), when he had by himself purged (or cleansed) our sins (what did He do?), sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” As our Advocate. And even though we have had the old accuser constantly accusing us, yet the Lord Jesus constantly comes to our defense. Now let’s go back to Revelation 12:
“And they (those who have been accused) overcame him by the blood of the Lamb (nowhere in Scripture is the blood overlooked. We have a lot preaching and teaching that leaves the blood out. But if you are going to be Scriptural you can’t. Because it is intrinsic to our faith, that we believe in the shed blood of the Cross of Calvary), and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” I think that refers to the martyrs of all ages, not just the Tribulation.
“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.”
Now think about that. At the mid-point, after Satan has been cast down from heaven, he will indwell the man Anti-christ, even as he did Judas. And as we saw in our last lesson, he’s going to turn his wrath particularly upon the 144,000 Jews, but all the people of the world are suddenly going to feel the wrath of Satan. But not only of Satan, we are also going to have the wrath of God. Now what does that tell you. No wonder Jesus said that it was going to be worse than anytime in human history. People will say, “Now wait a minute, God is a God of love.” Oh, He still is today. But once this day comes, His Grace ends, and He becomes a God of judgment, and a God of wrath. Let’s go back to the Book of Psalms, Chapter 2 for a moment. We must overcome this theology that God is just a God of love. You see, that’s another reason that people think that He couldn’t possible dream up something like an eternal Hell, or the lake of fire. Here, we have to qualify. He was a God of love when He sent Christ to the Cross, that’s for sure. And He has loved the human race ever since. He has poured out His Grace upon humanity. But what has humanity done with it? They have walked it under foot. And so now He finally gets to the place where His love and Grace is withdrawn and it’s His wrath that has come in. Psalms Chapter 2 verse 5. This is taking us into the Tribulation:
“Then shall he speak unto them (the people of the world) in his wrath (not His Love), and vex them in his sore displeasure.”
Now you know what vex means. He is literally going to torment them. And He is going to do it righteously with all fairness and justice because you see, He has so patiently poured out His love to toward the human race and they continue to react in unbelief. And that is the worse sin possible. Unbelief is the sin that sends all mankind to doom. It’s just the opposite of faith. And when you have faith, then you are pleasing unto God. That is, faith in His Word. And when you have faith in His Word you are obedient to it. And when we are obedient to the Word, then we become exactly what God want us to be. Now come back to the last part of Revelation 12:12 again. The Devil is literally kicked out of heaven. He comes down to his domain on the earth. He comes to Jerusalem to join the Anti-christ:
“…having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”
And how long does he have? 3 1/2 years. And he will pull out all the stops. He will use things he has never used before. I know the average person will say, “Now why would Satan do that? They are in his pocket.” I’ve given the illustration before, but it’s worth repeating. If some underworld organization can’t get a business man to knuckle under their demands because he’s too strong in himself, who will they threaten? His family. His wife and children, because he knows that if that father sees them suffer, then he will react. Now Satan does the same thing to God. Satan feels that when he torments and brings all of these things upon the human race, who does he really get at? The heart of God. Now God’s wrath is going to be coupled with it, and that will make that final 3 1/2 years what it is. If you don’t think that last 3 1/2 years is going to be awesome come back with me to Revelation Chapter 8.
We have come through six seals during our study. The sixth seal was the great earthquake which triggers the mid-point of the Tribulation. Now when you come to Chapter 8 we come to the seventh seal. The seventh seal will open up the scroll and the paying off of that mortgage that’s within. The seventh seal in itself is not an event, but it triggers the seven trumpets. So out of the seventh seal comes the first of the trumpet judgments, and there will be seven of those. When we first started our study in Revelation, I put it on the board that the events of the Tribulation are like a mother approaching her day of delivery. First comes a light birth pang. Just enough to know that your time is at hand. And maybe an hour or two later comes a little harsher one. And it just keeps increasing in intensity as well as in closeness. And so it will be that way in the Tribulation. It will start out rather mild, but as it moves to the end it’s going to crescendo. Until finally the last day comes and Christ returns. As we start to read, remember we are still at the mid-point, and this is what follows.
“And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was (what?) silence in heaven (there is not an angelic voice, an instrument, a note of music, a shout, or trumpet, but absolute silence in heaven. Now that is sobering! Why? Because of the awful things that are about to happen on the earth) about the space of half an hour.” I don’t think we can get the drama of it. Everyone in heaven is so aware of the awful things that are about to happen. Now verse 2:
“And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.” These trumpets will simply announce the next event:
“And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.”
Now what was the purpose of the incense in the tabernacle? What’s the purpose of incense anytime? To give a sweet aroma. That holiness of worship and righteousness. Now for God, the sweetest incense that could ever come up to His nostrils is the prayers of the saints. That’s how much emphasis God puts on prayer. He wants us to pray. We are commanded to pray. So now we have the beginnings of the trumpet judgments.
“And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.”
When you read of thunderings, and lightnings, and voices again, flash all the way back to Exodus. When God came down on Mount Sinai, what did you have? Thunderings, and lightnings, the voice of God; so it’s just a constant replay, except on a totally grander scale.
“And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth (and as a result): and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.”
We won’t take time now to go back to Exodus, but if we did, what was one of the plagues? This very same thing. Fire running along the ground, and hail. I imagine it was a very traumatic thing. I always think of it this way. Even though the events in themselves will probably bring a lot of death and destruction, there will also be a lot of psychological warfare, if you want to call it that. These things are just going to lambaste the very mental part of people. It’s going to be beyond our comprehension to see these things happening one right after the other. Now to the next one. Verse 8:
“And the second angel sounded (this won’t be a matter of hours, but it probably will be a matter of days and weeks), and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;”
Here again, if we had time we could go back into the Old Testament, and prophecy tells us there will be great disturbance in the cosmos. In other words, I think there is going to be great meteorites coming down and hitting the earth. A good example are the ones that hit the planet Jupiter not long ago. Our scientists are trying to dream up a nuclear device to explode on any meteorite that might be heading for the earth and try to deflect it. So we know that this particular one will land in the ocean, and the third part of the sea became blood.
“And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.” It will be in an area where there are shipping lanes and lots of ships will be destroyed in this one event.
“And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;”
In other words, it’s going to attack the fresh water. Again go back to Egypt, and remember when Moses caused the river Nile to turn to blood? And it was normally their source of drinking water. So what did the Egyptians quickly do? They dug wells for fresh water. And then God affected even the well water. So God will constantly be one step ahead of them. Now verse 11 is very interesting:
“And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter,”
Now this is just an interesting thought, and I don’t know if it has any impact on this verse at all. But what does the word Chernobyl (where they had the nuclear disaster in Russia) mean? Wormwood! So that might be just a little indication of things that may be used of God, to brings these things to pass. Well it looks like we have time for one more trumpet in this lesson. And that will be the fourth one in verse 12:
“And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise. And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, `Woe, Woe, Woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!'”
There has already been a tremendous loss of life, both man and creatures, and it’s all coming under the wrath of God. And yet the angel says, “It’s nothing compared to what is still future for the inhabitants of the earth.”
LESSON THREE * PART I
TRUMPET & BOWL JUDGMENTS: BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON
The best way to understand the Book of Revelation is to determine all the things that take place at the beginning of the Tribulation, the things at the mid-point, and the whole host of events at the end, which of course, will be at the time of Christ’s Second Coming. And then He will set up the Kingdom. I know there are folks and groups who just cringe at my teachings that the Kingdom will be here on the earth at the end of the Tribulation. And I make no apologies for teaching that. Because this Book is full of it. That’s what it talks about from cover to cover – the coming of this Kingdom on earth. Which in reality is where heaven will be also. And that is another concept that a lot of people can’t understand, that heaven will be on the earth. When this earth is destroyed at the end of that initial 1000 years, of course, and you get into the last two chapters of Revelation, what do you have? A new heaven and a new earth. Even the eternal abode is going to be on an earth-type situation, and not up in the regions beyond in a heaven of an ethereal, and all the foggy notions that people have about heaven. But nevertheless, it’s going to be a viable, social existence on planet earth.
Another thing I would like to share is that the Church Age we are in at the present time, will someday end, and I’ve always emphasized that the Church Age is indeterminate in time, for we don’t know when it will end. It began back here in the Book of Acts, especially as Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles, began preaching the Gospel of the Grace of God, and calling out what he refers to as the Body of Christ. I’ve always told folks in my classes that it’s not so important what congregation you are a member of. But are you a member of the Body of Christ? You can be any denomination you want to, but unless you are a member of the Body of Christ, you are eternally lost. The Scripture is so plain. But once we have entered into God’s salvation and the Holy Spirit’s work of placing you into the Body of Christ, then we have what the Bible refers to as eternal life, eternal salvation, the hope of glory.
I got a letter from a gentlemen from Indiana, who said, “Les, I just thrill at all you are teaching, but I’ve still got some questions about the Rapture of the Church.” I’m sure he was wondering if the Church going to go into the Tribulation. I’ve made the statement more than once, that I could stand here for an hour or two and give you references that prove beyond a shadow of doubt that the Church will not go into the Tribulation. And mostly because this whole concept of the Body of Christ is a revelation only given to the Apostle Paul, you will never find it mentioned in the Old Testament or the four Gospels. It is strictly a Pauline revelation. Paul maintains that this Body of Christ, which is all wrapped up in another word that is predominately Pauline, is “the mystery.” Now the mystery is the revelation that God is now doing something different in these last 1900 + years of time, after the revelation of these mysteries. He is calling out the Body of Christ, not under Law, not associated with the Nation of Israel, not associated with Judaism, or the Temple. It is totally the operation of the Grace of God, based upon the finished work of the Cross, His death, burial and Resurrection.
And this is so totally removed from Law, which will again come in during the Tribulation, because Israel will again have her temple worship. And you can not mix Law and Grace. We couldn’t mix it during the Church Age and it won’t mix in the Tribulation. The Church would be as out of place as a fish out of water in the Tribulation. It just wouldn’t fit. It is not part of the Jewish program. It is completely insulated from all of God’s dealing with Israel. Whereas in the Tribulation, God is primarily dealing with Israel. So as the Church Age is completed then, it must be taken out of the way so God can once again pick up where He left off with Israel.
Why is it that the world is always so concerned about peace in the Middle East? Every United States President, at least since President Kennedy, has almost made it their prerogative to somehow or other be the one that could bring peace to the Middle East. Yet, look at all the other areas of the world that need peace. They are not that concerned about those. But they are hung up on the Middle East and peace for them. Well again, it comes back to the Scriptures. What do the Scriptures say about Jerusalem? It will be a stone of stumbling. And isn’t that exactly what it is. Every President has stubbed their toe on Jerusalem. They are so intent on bringing peace to the Middle East. And that’s why the Anti-christ will finally be the one to do it. He will bring a seven-year treaty of peace to Israel and the Middle East. Seemingly the world is going to think that he is the mastermind and so forth. So the very fact he signs that treaty will begin God’s clock ticking again, and the seven years of Tribulation will begin.
Then as we noticed in previous lessons, we have the introduction of the two witnesses who will proclaim the Word of God again to the Nation of Israel. Out of them will come the 144,000 young Jews who will be sealed and commissioned of God. We have also discussed the Great Russian invasion of Israel sometime after the Tribulation has begun. And then we have the various judgments of God begin to fall. When we get to the mid-point of the Tribulation, the Anti-christ at that time will go in and defile the temple, and immediately stop temple worship. He will demand that He himself be worshiped as God. That will trigger this final 3 1/2 years.
This is where we are now in this study. We have seen the sixth seal removed and the trumpet judgments begin. And again, I like to make the analogy that Jesus made in Matthew 24. These Tribulation judgments are a perfect parallel of a young lady approaching delivery of her little one. And when the birth pangs begin they are rather mild and far apart. But as she gets closer and closer to the delivery hour, everything will crescendo. So, as we have come past the mid-point and the trumpet judgments are taking place, they also will keep getting a little closer together. They keep getting worse and worse until finally we get to the last seven judgments and they are called the Bowl judgments. In the King James they are called `vials.’ I prefer to use the word `bowl’ and I’ll tell you why in a little bit.
In our last lesson we finished Revelation Chapter 8 with the end of the fourth trumpet judgment. Now let’s go into Chapter 9, where we come to the 5th trumpet judgment. These trumpets are merely God’s way of indicating that it is now time for the next judgment to fall. This won’t be isolated to the Middle East, but will be world-wide. Many of the plagues that will take place in the Tribulation are a repetition of what took place in Egypt under Moses.
Another thing to remember, all the way up through the Old Testament the supernatural was rather commonplace. All you have to do is reflect back and all of them had to do with the Nation of Israel, and we don’t have a problem with that. But as soon as you get into the Book of Revelation and start talking about these supernatural things that take place, a lot of people think you’ve got to be a weird person to believe them. They say, “This isn’t really going to happen.” But yes it is, because most of them have happened before and the Book says it will. I’m not a prophet of doom, neither am I one to sensationalize. Those of you who have heard me teach over the years know that. We just simply teach it because the Book says it.
“And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth (now here is how you learn to study your Bible. You will notice in the next statement that this star is given a pronoun. What’s the pronoun? Him. We don’t know what angel it is, but it’s a personality. It’s a person of some sort. I think it’s an angel and I don’t know which one it is. But nevertheless it’s not just a body from outer space falling): and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit,” Now the bottomless pit is not Hell, or the lake of fire. It is a unique place that God has reserved.
“And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.”
If you have ever been stung by a scorpion, you know it has a unique sting to it. Their sting burns and lasts for quite a while. Now these locusts are going to have a psychological effect on humanity as much as anything, by their appearance and their ability to sting.
“And it was commanded them (notice God has complete control of them. This is God’s wrath being poured out on God rejecting mankind. We will see shortly that everything He does is fair and just) that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.” Who are those? The 144,000. Remember back in Chapter 7, verse 3, where the angel is instructed:
“Saying, hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” Then are listed the twelve tribes from which come the 144,000 young Jews. These are referred to in Chapter 9, verse 4. These locust will not be able to touch the 144,000. Now verse 5 of Revelation 9:
“And to them (the locusts) it was given that they should not kill them, but that they (that is mankind) should be tormented five months;”
I know the first thing that comes to mind is, “How can a God of love do something like this to His created beings.” Well, you must remember the big picture. For thousands of years God has been nothing but gracious, kind, loving, and patient. But back to Psalms Chapter 2, all of a sudden we break into a period of time that is going to be the wrath and vexation of God. When He has finally run out of His patience and said, “I’ve had enough.” In the day that you and I are living and have seen the fabric of the world society just rot at the seam (even in these last 15 to 20 years), don’t you often ask yourself, “How long will God put up with it?” You look at what men and women are doing today and you just have to ask yourself that question. Well it won’t be much longer! And when He does stop being gracious, His wrath is going to be beyond our comprehension. And as the Scripture tells us, it is fair and just. He will torment the human race with the stings of these locust, and instead of hurting for an hour or two it’s going to sting for 5 months. The 5 months refer to the length of the result of that sting.
“…and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days (remember, here we are in the last half of the Tribulation) shall men seek death, and shall not find it ; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.” In other words, people won’t even be able to commit suicide. Because a Sovereign God is going to take even that from them. Then verse 7:
“And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle;…”
I know for years I looked at that and couldn’t figure anything out. Then one day I was catching grasshoppers for my wife to fish with, and it had never struck me before. Have you ever looked real close at the head of a big grasshopper? What does it look like? A horse’s head. And then I read soon after, that in Germany there is a species of grasshopper that they call the Horseheaded Locust. And so there is something for thought. It’s not way out in left field. These locusts will also be psychologically frightening. It will also attack the human race mentally.
“And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.”
We here in America have never had to come under the attack of swarms and clouds of locust. But in the Middle East, when locust can all of a sudden come up and literally cloud out the sun, it is indeed a roar that can be heard in their coming. These things are going to be so numerous and huge, that the sound of their wings will sound like many chariots.
“And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails, and their power was to hurt men five months.” It’s beyond our comprehension isn’t it?
“And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.” Which really means the “Destroyer.” Beyond that, we don’t know who this angel is. It’s not Satan I’m quite sure. But it could be one of his lieutenants. Now verse 12 says:
“One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.” If this isn’t bad enough, there are still 2/3 of it left.
“And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God. Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, `Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.'”
Why the Euphrates? If you remember back in Genesis Chapter 11, what took place on the Euphrates River? The Tower of Babel. And as I have stressed over the years, all pagan religions were instituted there. Every pagan, mystical religion that you read about or research has its roots at the Tower of Babel on the Euphrates River. Now evidently at the time that God scattered the human race or even later after Babylon fell to the Medes and Persians, and some of the high priests of these pagan religions fled – I think somewhere back there God confined four of these powerful demonic beings who had been under Satan’s rule, and they were bound in the area of the Euphrates River. Another thing I like to point out about the Euphrates is that the Euphrates River is the boundary between East and West. Have you ever thought of it that way? Religiously and you know I don’t like that word, but religiously it’s the same way. East of the Euphrates has always been predominantly your pagan, idolatrous religion. West of the Euphrates you have some of the other religions – like Judaism, even Mohammedism, and of course Christianity. So the Euphrates River is like the dividing line. These four angels now have been confined in that boundary area. And now verse 15, then we will have to continue in our next lesson.
“And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.”
In other words, God has kept them waiting for a particular hour of a particular day, of a particular month.
Now I read something the other day (and I’m always stressing how God is meticulous in His timing), about how the temple that was built by Solomon, was destroyed on the same day and month (naturally in a different year) by the Babylonians.
LESSON THREE * PART II
TRUMPET & BOWL JUDGMENTS: BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON
In the last lesson, we were on verse 15 of Revelation Chapter 9. These are events that are going to happen. The Book of Revelation is totally different than any other portion of Scripture. When we taught the Book of Genesis, we just went verse by verse and chapter by chapter. You can do the same thing in the New Testament, but when you get to the Book of Revelation you can’t do that. It would make absolutely no sense to just simply take the Book of Revelation and go verse by verse and chapter by chapter. But you must isolate the events into the beginning, middle, and end of the Tribulation. And why the Lord has seen fit to do this, I don’t know. Except maybe to make us study. I can’t see any other reason for it. He just wants to make sure that it’s so simple that we don’t have to study it. We have been jumping around a lot purposely so we can keep the continuity of the events rather than the chapter and verse. So in Chapter 9 verse 15, we have been following the trumpet judgment, I don’t know how far apart the events are at this point in time, maybe within 6 months, but they will keep getting closer together.
When we get to final seven bowl judgments, there will be, I dare say, every month a new one striking the human race. Now in verse 15 where we left off, these angelic beings that God has confined in the area of the Euphrates River are now released. They were prepared for a specific role. Their role is to slay the third part of men. I was thinking the other day, how many million people lost their lives as a result of World War II. 50 million. That is civilian, and military combined. But that’s just a drop in the bucket compared to what’s going to happen here. Today, we have between 5 and 5 1/2 billion on the earth. Do you remember back in the sealed judgments when we first opened the Tribulation, by the end of the disease and pestilence, 1/4 of the population will be gone. That’s over a billion people in a matter of two or three years. Within a matter of months the human race will lose 1/3 of the worlds population. And people can just go on their way and think nothing of being caught in these events. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. Anyway, it’s coming. I think the way these people are put to death is in the next verse.
“And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.”
Those of you who know your math, how many is that? Well, that’s 200,000,000. Remember there is only one power on earth that brags about being able to put 200 million men on the field of battle, and that is China. They have over a billion people. I have to feel that this is what is referred to. I feel that this 200 million men army will be the Chinese along with probably a few of the other Orientals. And they are going to be making their way westward toward the Middle East. Also remember we will be in a period of time when God is again doing the supernatural. And we will see God’s Sovereignty causing the Chinese authorities to send that army westward. As they do, I feel they will be like Sherman’s march to the sea in the Civil War. What did he do? He destroyed everything in their path. I think this Chinese horde is just going to literally murder and mutilate and ravage the countryside as they move to the Middle East. And at this time there is still one great natural barrier. And that is the Euphrates River. The various bridges across that river today couldn’t move that many men across it. So we will see in a future chapter that God will dry up the Euphrates River so that they won’t need bridges, but simply walk across. Now verse 17:
“And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.”
This is probably ancient language for tanks and all of their fire power. So this is probably the modern warfare of today. Then these 200 million men and the weapons of war will kill many:
“By these three (fire, smoke and brimstone) was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.”
Also remember, take things scripturally, and many times it’s spiritual. But on the other hand, many times it’s logical. What percent of the population of this planet lives in the Orient? A good part of it. I’ve already mentioned that China alone has 1/4 of the population of the world. And India with it’s masses and millions. Japan also has millions. So if this great army is indeed just killing as they go, you can see easily see where a third part of mankind will be killed.
“For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.” And again, take this language as modern warfare.
“And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:” And here again, this is unique to the Orient. You have more idol worshippers in the Orient today than any other place on earth. All the areas of the east are still under idolatry.
“Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.”
There is an interesting little word buried in this verse that very few people catch. And it’s unfortunate that the King James translator haven’t caught it. And that word is `sorceries.’ And it is from the Greek word Pharmakeia. Now think for a minute. What is the English word that comes from Pharmakeia? Pharmacy. And the main role of a pharmacy? Drugs. Now read it in that light:
“Neither repented they of their murders, their drugs, their immorality, or thefts.”
What do you have in that verse? The drug culture. You have the typical drug culture. Because wherever you have drugs, as we are seeing in our inner cities, what do you have? Murder. Along with murder comes theft, because they have to rob and steal in order to support their habit. And as soon as people become involved in that kind of a wicked culture then morality means nothing. So their immorality gets more gross by the day. I’m in favor of the so called “War on Drugs,” but it is a losing battle. The world is headed more and more toward that end. The drug culture and demon worship many times go hand in hand. You can hardly separate them. Drugs muddle the mind. Demon worship muddles the mind. So it is an interesting verse and you can see how readily it fits into our society already, but it will be even worse during this time. The world will be completely saturated with drugs and all the evils that go with it.
Now that is the sixth trumpet, and we need to skip over to Chapter 11 and verse 15 to pick up the seventh. Do you see why you can’t take it verse by verse. We have to follow the events and then come back to pick up what we had to skip:
“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.'”
Now put that all together in one thought. What is Christ going to reign over? The Kingdoms of this world are going to become the Kingdom of Christ. And again, it comes right back to what we showed in our last lesson. As you come out of the Tribulation it is the paying off of the curse; it’s going to deliver the world from the curse. The earth is going to revert back as it was in the Garden of Eden. And in comes the Kingdom. The thing that is amazing is the reference in Matthew Chapter 4. We know Satan is powerful and cunning, but on the other hand you wonder how he can be so ignorant as to think he can still overcome The Christ. But he will never give up until his doom is sealed. Let’s look at it in Matthew. This is the temptation of Jesus, after 40 days of fasting. You all know the account:
“Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the (what?) kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them:”
We are not talking about something out there that is ethereal or invisible. We are talking about the Kingdoms of this world. Now from this point in history, when Satan is dealing here with Jesus during the time of His earthly ministry, what great kingdoms have already come and gone? Some of the great Pharaohs of Egypt. And then the Babylonian Empire. And then the great Medes’ and Persians’ Empire. The great and glorious Empire of Greece. And now we are at the very epitome of Rome. And all of these great empires flourished. And Satan says, “Look back at the centuries of time and look ahead. All these Kingdoms are mine. I’ll give them to you on one condition.” And what was that condition? If Jesus would fall down and worship him. Now isn’t that something? Evidently, Satan at that point in time did not understand or comprehend that Christ was going to have those Kingdoms. They are going to be His, and He is going to one day just obliterate them from view, and they will blow away like the dust of the summer threshing floor as Daniel says. And He will set up His own Kingdom. A glorious Kingdom. Can you imagine what this world would be like if it was totally ruled and reigned over by Satan, as it will one day be ruled by Christ! Satan is still held in check by God’s checks and balances. Satan can only do so much. But never lose sight that he is the god of this world. He is in control, but is still under the Sovereign God. But when Christ sets up His Kingdom, His power is going to be absolute and total and it will be glorious. Back to Revelation Chapter 11. Since we are fast approaching the return of Christ to set up His Kingdom, here is the language again.
“…The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”
I feel that this thousand years of Christ, which is delineated in Revelation as a thousand years, will just simply be the introduction to the eternal. In other words, when the thousand years of Kingdom rule has run it’s course on the planet as we now know it back in the Garden of Eden situation, it too will be destroyed. It will be burned up by fire at the end of the millennium reign.
And then as I have mentioned before in Chapter 21 and 22 we have a new heaven and a new earth. But that new earth will again be the abode of those who have believed unto eternal life. I think it will be just an extension of the Kingdom economy. It will be an earth of tremendous production and activity. We won’t be just sitting around getting bored or strumming on a harp. To me that wouldn’t be heaven. Or just sitting around shouting `Alleluia,’ although that will be part and parcel. I feel we will be intensely busy. Remember, God didn’t create us to be idle. Did He? Why no! So when His Kingdom comes and He rules and reigns, yes it will be limited to the thousand years. But like I said, it will be interrupted for a little while, when the Great White Throne Judgment for the lost is conducted and then we will go into the eternal, I think based on that same pattern. Now verse 16:
“And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,” We have made reference to these 24 elders before in earlier lessons.
“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 here it comes again.
“And the nations were angry (in their rebellion), and thy wrath is come (it’s no longer love, mercy, and Grace), and the time of the dead (I think that’s the spiritual dead), that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.” In other words, God is going to deal with rebellious mankind. Now verse 19. These 24 elders are declaring that God is over all and will destroy those who have rebelled against Him. And it’s coming close to the end of this seven-year period.
“And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament (or the ark of His Covenant): and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.”
Come back with me to the Book of Exodus Chapter 25. Remember here, Moses has just brought the Children of Israel out of Egypt and they are gathered around Mount Sinai. And now God is going to give them instructions for building their little place of worship, the tabernacle. Here the Lord is speaking to Moses.
“And let them (the Children of Israel) make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I shew thee, after (or according to) the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.”
A pattern is always from an original. So where is the original? It has to be in heaven. Now come back to the Book of Hebrews Chapter 9. The blueprint that God gave to Moses and Aaron was simply a pattern or a blue print patterned after the original which is in heaven. And it’s the one in heaven we are going to see opened up in these closing days of the Tribulation in Revelation Chapter 11:19. But for now, Hebrews Chapter 9:
“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building (or creation); This tabernacle not built with human hands is in heaven. So now back to Revelation 11:19 and this is what we see. Reading the verse again.
“And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament (or Covenant): and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.”
As God continues His wrath upon mankind, that’s the end of the seven trumpets. We have had all seven of them unfold after the mid-point of the Tribulation. Now we are probably within a year of the very end of the Tribulation. We need to come all the way over to Chapter 15 where we are introduced to the final seven judgments, called the vials in the King James Version, or the bowl judgments. Now the reason they are referred to as bowl judgments is this. Picture a soup bowl rather shallow, as compared to a Coke bottle. Now if you were going to pour out the contents of that soup bowl, what would be the time element compared to pouring out the contents of a narrow-necked Coke bottle? It’s instantaneous! So these bowl judgments are not going to be dribbled out. But literally, the whole planet will receive this whole bowl judgment as one quick strike.
LESSON THREE * PART III
TRUMPET & BOWL JUDGMENTS: BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON
Now let’s again turn to Revelation Chapter 15, where we pick up the bowl judgments. And remember as we are nearing that last year of the Tribulation, these judgments will become more severe, and closer and closer together.
“And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues (this is the wind down); for in them is filled up (or is consummated, or finished) the wrath of God.”
This is constantly emphasized. This is truly the wrath of God. There is no love here. And it is so refreshing to know that, as believers of the Gospel of Grace, we won’t be here. We will be taken out before these things begin. We can read these things and not have to worry about having to endure them. He tells us that we have not been saved to His wrath! We have been saved from it.
And for any of you who know not the Lord, who have never experienced salvation, this is written for you as an instigation to get right with the Lord, because this is going to be a terrible time. We know that eternal Hell will be worse than this, because it will be without end, but nevertheless, these folks will have to go through all of this with the physical and emotional pain and suffering and no hope of escaping it. So it is written as a warning for the unbeliever to yet consider God’s offer of salvation while the time is still available. Now in verse 2 we have a vision in heaven:
“And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast (here we see the martyred Tribulation saints already present with the Lord in glory), and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.”
It’s a verse like this where people get the idea that all we will do when we get to heaven is strum a harp. That may be part of it. But it will be far more than that! Now an interesting verse:
“And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb,…”
Now those are two separate songs. Let’s go back to the song of Moses. Turn to the Book of Exodus Chapter 15. Remember that Israel has just come through the Red Sea. They’ve looked back and seen the residue of all the floating Egyptian horsemen, chariots and everything else. From all practical aspects it wasn’t a very pretty picture. But when Israel could look back on their years of slavery and mistreatment and sufferings, and then be able to see what had happened to their enemies, no wonder they could sing. So this is the song of Moses. And again this is (as I have made the analogy over and over as we have studied Revelation) such a repeat of that Exodus experience and dealing with the Pharaoh and the plagues, only on a far grander and greater scale. And here is another parallel. These Tribulation saints, who are now removed from their suffering and are in the presence of the Lord, they too will sing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb. We won’t read it all because it’s too long, but here is the gist of it. Verse 1:
“Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, `I will sing unto the LORD (I remember when I was teaching up in Iowa, I had a class of young people on Saturday night, and the kids would bring their guitars and we would always sing songs before I would teach. And one of their favorite songs was based on the song of Moses), for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.'” And they continue on in their singing:
“The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation: my father’s God, and I will exalt him. The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name. Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red Sea.” Now that is only a part of the song of Moses. Now come on down to verse 11, continuing the song:
“Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? Thou stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them. Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation.”
Do you get the picture? They are singing that song of deliverance of redemption. That is the song of Moses. Now I would like for you to stop at Psalms Chapter 22. Here is a song of David, and David could also put his thoughts into songs. Which were always to God’s glory. Words of praise and worship. This chapter is the chapter of the Crucifixion and Resurrection. Come on down to verse 22:
“I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him: and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.”
Now turn on over to Psalms 86 and you will see more or less that same theme of worship and praise. This, of course, will be so appropriate for those in the very throne room of heaven, having come out of that horrible Tribulation experience.
“Among the gods (that is the gods of this world) there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.”
“All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee,…”
This song is being sung in Revelation just before the Lord returns to set up His Kingdom. Do you see how appropriate all of this is? We will study about that when we get a little further into the Second Coming of Christ and the setting up of His Kingdom.
“…O Lord: and shall glorify thy name. For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone. Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell,”
Do you see the praise and exalting of that song? Now back to Revelation and this is exactly what they are going to be singing and proclaiming here in the very presence of God. Now verse 3:
“And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, `Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways (remember I’ve told you that God isn’t being unfair), thou King of saints.'”
“Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee (it has never happened yet, but it will!): for thy judgments are made manifest.”
“And after that I (John) looked, and , behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:” We saw that happen before back in Chapter 11.
“And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues (now here is your final bowl judgments), clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.”
“And one of the four beasts (or creatures. We referred to them early in the Book of Revelation. They are angelic beings) gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials (or bowls) full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.” This is a symbolic picture again of how this wrath will be poured out.
“And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.”
Now here they come, one right after the other. Each one will be more severe then the previous one, leading up to the very battle of Armageddon. And the bringing of the nations to the Middle East. But first, Chapter 16, verse l:
“And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials (or bowls) of the wrath of God upon the earth. And the first (angel) went, and poured out his vial (bowl) upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore (or boil, remember Egypt) upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.”
Now remember the mark of the beast (and we talked about in an earlier lesson), this is where people cannot buy or sell or do any kind of business unless they have the mark in their right hand or forehead. So just about the whole world will come under this plague of miserable boils. Now verse 3:
“And the second angel poured out his vial (bowl) upon the sea (I think this is possibly the oceans as we know them); and it became as (liken unto) the blood of a dead man; and every living soul (creatures and fish) died in the sea.” Can you imagine what that does to the shores and ocean? We talk about pollution. We know nothing of pollution as it’s going to be here.
“And the third angel poured out his vial (bowl) upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.”
This is literal blood. Remember again, the Egyptians had to dig fresh water wells and tried to get fresh water that way. Here, God is going to turn all drinkable water into blood. Why blood? Again look at the human race tonight. They are blood-thirsty. I’ve always put it this way: God created Adam a human being, but as soon as Adam became a sin creature, he became inhuman. And all you have to do is look at your newspaper tonight, and what has mankind become? He has, I think, become an inhuman being. There is not another species on earth that misuses their own species as man does. You don’t see anything in the wild kingdom that torments its own. Only man. I suppose according to the Jerusalem Post that the Syrian are the masterminds on torture. They can dream up things that no one else can dream up. We use to think that Iraq was the best at this, but the Syrian puts them in the shade in torturing people. Man has intrinsic ability to somehow be blood thirsty. So God is saying here, “Alright, you’ve been blood thirsty now for 6000 years, now drink it.” And it becomes a plague.
“And I heard the angel of the waters say, `Thou art righteous (Even the angels will never come back and say, “God, why are you doing this.” Instead they say, “You are righteous God. They are getting exactly what they deserve.”), O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.'” Now here is what we are talking about:
“For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.”
History tells us that during the dark ages (that period of time between about 500 to 1500 AD – that period before the reformation), in that thousand years of human history, it is estimated that at least 50 million Christians were put to death. Many of them horrible deaths. We can’t even imagine, and yet they did it gladly for their faith. Bring it up to recent history. Again, during the seventy years that communism reigned and ruled Russia, also about 50 million people were put to death. By their own government! Indeed, they have shed the blood of saints.
“And I heard another out of the altar say, `Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.'”
Do you see the emphasis here? I know the first thing that we humanly think is, God isn’t being fair. After all, why does this one generation have to come under such terrible cataclysmic events? It’s this generation that is just simply bringing to a head everything that the previous generations have been sowing the seed of. And God has always done that. Remember the verse that contains the Ten Commandments? “And I will visit down to the third and fourth generation.” That’s the way God does things. Now verse 8:
“And the fourth angel poured out his vial (bowl) upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire (or intense heat).”
Go back for a moment to Isaiah Chapter 13. Because I always like to help people realize, that there are some groups who think that Revelation shouldn’t even be in our Bible. But always remember, it still fits with all the rest of the Old Testament. Let’s start at verse 9:
“Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, (now this is Isaiah written approximately 700 years before Christ), to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.” Now here it comes in verse 10:
“For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.”
And in another place, the earth will be moved in and out of its orbit. And our scientists tells us if the earth was to tilt just two degrees off of what is normal, the earth would either burn up with heat, or would freeze up in the cold. So during that time the weather will be almost out of control. We are already seeing just a little bit of it, the bizarre weather around the world. Let’s come back to Revelation. I would like to finish the sixth bowl judgment and then be ready for the battle of Armageddon in our next lesson. So now let’s look at verse 10:
“And the fifth angel poured out his vial (bowl) upon the seat of the beast (Anti-christ in the city of Jerusalem); and his kingdom (world-wide) was full of darkness (don’t forget this also happened in Egypt); and they gnawed their tongues for pain,”
“And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds. And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up (why?), that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.”
So the Euphrates River will be as dry as a bone. And that last obstacle will be removed for the 200 million-man army to come to Jerusalem.
LESSON THREE * PART IV
TRUMPET & BOWL JUDGMENTS: BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON
Now to Revelation 16. We studied the last 6 terrible judgments that will be coming upon the earth. I’m going to stop before we get to number 7 for a reason. After the sixth bowl had been poured out, which was the drying up of the Euphrates River so the armies can come into the Middle East from the Far East, John says in verse 13:
“And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth (communications) of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.”
Satan, who is now indwelling the Anti-christ, will make contact probably by phone with all the national leaders still in place. He will ask for their armies to come to the Middle East to get rid of the real problem of mankind, the Jew (what Hitler called the final solution). I look at this final gathering of the nations at Armageddon as Satan’s attempt once and for all to annihilate the Jewish people. But it’s really going to end up, Satan against The Christ.
“For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.”
When President Bush was putting together the nations in Desert Storm, the papers said he would just pick up the phone and call the leaders of the various nations. Using only phone calls, he was literally getting these leaders convinced they should unify against Iraq. That was just a little tiny preview of what we have right here. Now verse 15, and The Sovereign God is behind it:
“Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” In other words, the Lord is reminding us that it is time for His appearance at the Second Coming, but before He does that:
“And he gathered them together (this is the power of a Sovereign God working through, of course, the mind set of the Anti-christ who puts out the call to the nations to come to Jerusalem) in a place called in the Hebrew tongue, Armageddon.”
From which the word Megiddo comes. Another word is Esdraelon. And if you go to Israel as we did last spring, that is one of the tourist attractions. You will see the archaeological digs of the ancient city of Megiddo. When you stand on the hills of Megiddo amongst all the ruins of that ancient city, you can look off to the northeast and there is that beautiful flat valley. The Nation of Israel is predominately mountainous. You have these valley areas between the mountain ranges. The reason I’m pointing this out is that when God brings the armies of the world to Israel, naturally they will put their encampments on those valley floors. And this area of the valley of Esdraelon has been a battlefield throughout time. The place had great strategic importance, since it commanded the pass through the mountains between the plains of Sharon and Esdraelon. There have been hundreds of battles fought here. So he will bring the nations of the world to the Middle East. Now I know there is not a bit of military intelligence connected to it, but you must remember we are dealing with a Sovereign God and He is going to cause those generals to pack their troops into these valleys, beyond description. They will be in there like sardines in a can, because a Sovereign God is forcing the issue. Now let’s come back a couple of chapters to Revelation 14, and we have a tremendous symbolic picture of all of this.
“And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.” I feel this is an allusion to Christ. He is the One who is about to reap this harvest.
“And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, `Thrust in thy sickle (they used to use the sickle to harvest the grain), and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.'” Remember the communication is between the angel and Christ.
“And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.”Chapter 16 shows the call going to all nations to come to the Middle East. That’s the reaping A Sovereign God is bringing about.
“And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the cluster of the vine of the earth: for her grapes are fully ripe.”
The word `fully’ in the Greek means `over-ripe.’ It’s past harvest time. Here is the symbolism again. The grapes were gathered and put into a wine vat, where they could be crushed; the juice taken out of them and made into wine. The juice was squeezed out of the grapes by walking on them in the wine vat. They would put two or three people in a vat and they would walk until all the juice would run out. That is the allusion here, that this is exactly what God is doing with the peoples of the world. Now come back to the Book of Isaiah Chapter 63, and you will get the beautiful analogy. And again, I do this so you can see that all of Scripture fits together.
“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.” Who do you suppose he is referring to? Christ! This is a picture of His returning and bringing forth judgment upon these gathering armies. “Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat.” Don’t lose that analogy. The grape harvest was put in the wine vat, and it was trampled by individuals. Naturally, the grape juice would spurt and juice would get all over them. The prophet sees Christ also covered with this red apparel. And he says, “Why are you this way?” Look at the answer in verse 3. And again, Christ is speaking:
“I have trodden the winepress alone (in Revelation Chapter 5, God the Father had a scroll. No one was worthy to open that scroll except the Son of God and He came and took the scroll. Here it comes to its fruition. I alone was worthy, and no one else was worthy of bringing on this particular judgment) and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, (do you see that) and trample them in my fury; and their blood (He’s not speaking of His own Blood here) shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.” As He more or less tramples the people in the wine vat. Now verse 4:
For the day of vengeance is in mine heart (this isn’t the God of Grace now. This is a God of wrath!), and the year of my redeemed is come.” Let’s hold all of this together. Revelation Chapter 19:
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True (it’s the Christ), and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.”
Because after all, what kind of people does he have in the wine vat? Military. It’s the armies of the world that have come to the Middle East. Supposedly to annihilate the Nation of Israel. Don’t forget those 200 million coming from the East. They will be packed into that little geographical area. And I think it will also include every valley in the Nation of Israel where these troops will be packed in. And as I said before, it will be contrary to all military strategy. But it’s the Sovereign God who has reaped the earth, and has placed them in what the Scriptures call His wine vat. But remember, it’s in righteousness. Now verse 12:
“His eyes were as (He doesn’t say they are flames, but as) a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, be he himself.” And here it is now. This is in complete accord with the Book of Isaiah:
“And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood (not His, but His victims), and his name is called the Word of God.”
“And the armies which were in heaven (that will be the saints, as this is His Second Coming. The saints have been with him for seven years because they have been raptured out ahead of time. That includes you and I as believers. Now they are coming back with him) followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” That is also in verse 8 of this Chapter, where the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints.
“And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword (what is the sharp sword? The Word of God. Remember Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword”), that with it he should smite the nations (how will He destroy them? With the spoken word): and he shall rule them (the nations, Believers only) with a rod of iron (benevolence, but absolute rule, there will be no funny business in His Kingdom. A good example is the Beatitudes. What are Beatitudes? Well the constitution of His government. That’s when the Beatitudes will come into their full definition, “Blessed are the meek…” “Blessed are the poor…” That doesn’t fit in the Church Age. You talk to a poor person today and I don’t believe that he feels blessed. Do you? The Lord may provide and get them through, but they are not happy as such. But in the Kingdom there will be no unhappiness): and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.”
What’s His winepress? The valleys of Israel, wherein all these millions of troops will be packed, and He will destroy them with one fell swoop. It’s hard for us to understand. Let’s read on in Verse 16:
“And He hath on His vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
Remember, I purposely stopped just before we came to the seventh bowl judgment back in Chapter 16. I left off after the sixth judgment because I wanted to leave the seventh one till now:
“And the seventh angel (we’ve covered six of them. We’re bringing you right up close to the end of the Tribulation) poured out his vial (bowl) into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, `It is done.'” This is the finale:
“And there were voices, and thunders and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.”
And again, I don’t feel that this is an isolated one. I think the whole planet is going to come under these convulsions. Although the epitome of all of this is going to be in Jerusalem in the area of Israel. Let’s go on:
“And the great city (Jerusalem) was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.”
Now I have to stop again. The Babylon in Revelation is not the ancient city, because the Old Testament says it will never be rebuilt. It will always be a habitation of nothing but wild animals and birds of prey. But the Babylon of Revelation is the whole world wide-system as we see it coming together today. The whole one world concept. Where Tokyo and Berlin and London and Rome and New York are just like one little tightly knit group. When I picture these end time events, I like to think that when Babylon falls, it won’t be just one city. It will be all the cities of the world, who will in one hour fall into nothingness, by the spoken word of God. Now remember that. The Babylon here is all the world. I just read an interesting article in our daily paper that some junior high student had just won a great essay contest. What do you suppose the title of her essay was? “The Great New One World.” That’s what people love to hear tonight. They love to hear about the great one-world that’s coming. And it is! It’s getting smaller and smaller. But you see, it’s going to suddenly evaporate.
“And every island fled away and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent (most of your Bibles tell you what that is. It’s 100 pounds. We talk about golf ball-sized hail and softball-sized hail, but these are hundred pound chunks of ice!): and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.”
Now to Revelation 14, where we finish that analogy of the grape vat. Can you hold all of this together? Just like the vineyard keepers put all of their grapes into the vat and they had somebody trample them, so God has brought all the armies of the world to the Middle East. How is He going to trample them? With this final plague of the hailstones. Picture all of the millions of troops out there in nothing more then tents to protect them from the elements. Can that stop a hundred pound hailstone? NO! So they will be literally squashed, even as the grapes in the vat. I know this verse has been a verse hard to swallow over the years, but I’ll make it real easy to swallow.
“And the winepress was trodden, without the city (indeed, these valleys are all to the north of Jerusalem), and blood came out of the winepress (out of these valleys), even unto the horse bridles (a river of water, and blood three to four feet deep), by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs (about 180 Miles).”
As that melting hail, which which has crushed these millions of troops, begins to melt in that Middle Eastern heat, do you see how fast you’re going to have a literal river of blood flowing as deep as a horse’s bridle? That’s not hard to believe. In fact, I always remind my classes that during World War II, during one of the battles on one of the islands in the Pacific, so many men were lost as they were coming ashore, that the ocean was red for about 5 miles out with the blood of our marines.