By John C. Bartee, M.Div.
6 6 6
“Seal up the book until the time of the end . . . the wise shall understand” (Dan. 12:4-10)
Much has been written concerning the symbols and times set forth in the vision given to St. John on the Isle of Patmos at the end of the first century. Many elaborate charts have been created by ingenious students of prophesy in an attempt to understand the seemingly complicated and bizarre depiction of John’s experience. I always wondered how the Antichrist and his followers would find the time and stable environment to get anything done with 21 judgement/plagues pounding them for 7 years. Not much gets done when the world is constantly cleaning up from judgements and rebuilding from disasters. Another enigma was how the last Seal became the first Trumpet Judgement, and the last Trumpet became the first Bowl Judgement in the sequential time line. That enfolded interpretational schema did not make logical sense, and was not contextually supported according to my understanding.
However, the higher truth always lies in simplicity. Jesus taught ultimate truth that even the greatest philosophers and theologians marvel at, and He did it in a way that was accessible to even a little child.
In the realm of science, technology evidences this principle of higher-level simplicity. An emerging technology always initially appears as a variation of the contemporary applied scientific state. However, as the new technology advances, it becomes increasingly complex and takes on its own character, e.g. the motorized kite at Kitty Hawk evolved into the Red Baron’s bi-plane and onward to the multi-pistoned marvels of World War II. At a certain point, the system takes a quantum leap via a paradigm shift, and we see simplicity at an entirely new level, e.g. the introduction of the jet engine at the end of WWII.
The framework of the study of God’s prophetic word is similar to that process – the simpler and more meaningful interpretation is to be preferred. Only the Holy Spirit can usher in the quantum leap that brings us into a new way of viewing the prophetic Word as the time draws near for its fulfillment. Each new generations of prophetic scholars stands on the shoulders of giants and must never take credit for that which only the Holy Spirit can reveal. As the prophet Daniel foretold:
“I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, My lord, what will the outcome of all this be? He replied, Go your way, Daniel, because the words are rolled up and sealed until the time of the end. Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.” (Dan 12:8-10 NIV) – Emphasis mine
The paradigm to understanding the chronology of the Book of Revelation is found in the first chapter, verse nineteen:
“Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter” (Rev. 1:19 KJV)
Chapter one contains the vision of the resurrected Christ as presented to John in his present time, the things which he had witnessed up to that verse. Chapters two and three represent messages which would be delivered to the seven historical churches in his near future. The things which will take place hereafter are prophetic future events and begin in chapter four when John is ecstatically enraptured to heaven by the sound of the prophetic rapture trumpet (cf: 1Thess 4:16):
“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” (Rev. 4:1 KJV)
The scripture in verse 1:19 is restated in 4:1 in order to eliminate any confusion as to the timing of this event (1Cor. 14:33).
In chapters four and five, John is shown the heavenly scene as a prelude to the terrible judgments about to fall upon the earth. Chapters six through nineteen encompass the “shabua” of God’s judgment (Hebrew for a period of sevens), and the preparation for God’s people to receive their Messiah. The primary purpose of the final week of secular history is to fulfill God’s plan for the Jewish people – it is not about Christians nor about Muslims. Daniel’s vision 9:24-27 is a timetable for the completion of God’s prophetic promises to Daniel’s people, the Hebrews. Without understanding this perspective, it is impossible to understand the prophetic unveiling as Christ himself verifies in Matthew 24:15 “when ye see…spoken of by Daniel”:
“Seventy of years are decreed concerning your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.” (Dan. 9:24 RSV) Emphasis mine, weeks = shabuas)
On a trip to London, I visited the British Museum where the Rosetta Stone is exhibited. While in Egypt, Napoleon’s engineers discovered a curious stele (a monument with writings on it) which bore inscriptions in three languages. One of these languages was the enigmatic Egyptian hieroglyphic, but the others were ancient Greek and Demotic. Using the known Koine Greek language, the mysterious ancient language of the Pharaohs was deciphered. This serves as an object lesson for prophetic scriptural interpretation:
Apply the known to understand the unknown, use the transparent to observe the opaque; employ the obvious to unveil the mysterious.
Applying the Rosetta principle of deduction to the Book of Revelation, there must be logical events which stand out and, when correlated, comprise a cohesive framework for interpretation, i.e. we should find the same thing being said in different passages which serve as a common point for interpretation – an interpretational hook. Indeed, one of the most obvious occurrences in the entire vision is the consistent mention of a great earthquake. The events which accompany the great earthquake in each of the various judgments: seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven bowls; indicate the occurrence of a great battle between forces from the East and the rest of the world in the valley of Har Megiddo, rendered Armageddon in English.
Immediately following the great earthquake, all three serial judgments end with the ultimate divine punctuation; silence in heaven just before His return, His coming, and a resounding “It is done” (at the cross Jesus yelled “it is finished” but at the end, all heaven declares the finale). All of these events comprise what is theologically known as the “Parousia”, a Greek term which simply means Christ’s visible and physical appearing (see Mat. 24:27 “the coming”). The Parousia is co-temporary with Armageddon and is the Point C of the prophetic ABCs. Point C occurs as the ending point of the seven year Tribulation period.
To put this into the time-line: the beginning of the seven year Tribulation is Point A, the middle of the Tribulation is Point B, and the grand finale is Point C. After these ABCs, the prophetic Word discusses the one thousand year millennial reign of Christ beginning at Point D. Then finally, Point E begins with the Final Battle of “Gog and Magog” and the Great White Throne Judgment (which launches us into an Eternity with a New Earth and New Heavens). We have to distinguish between tribulation with a small “t”, which has been occurring for centuries, and Tribulation with a capital “T” which is a unique time frame that only occurs at the end of secular human history.
7- Year Tribulation = "Day of the Lord" and "Time of Jacob's Troubles":
o Christians Raptured (Church not mentioned from Rev. 6-18 which is the 7 year Tribulation period)
o WWIII and The Rapture are at the beginning of the 7 year period (Ezekiel 39:6,9-15)
o Antichrist revealed with a bow but no arrows, the “savior” of post-WWIII (Rev 6:2)
o Russia and 5 Muslim allies attack Israel (Ez.38:1-6, six nations attack the Jews)
o Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: white (Antichrist), red (war), black (economic collapse),and pale (death)
o Abomination of Desolation (Mat 24:15, Dan 9:27)
o Antichrist suffers mortal wound (fake resurrection – Satan indwells his clone)
o Saints persecuted and martyred
o Righteous Jews flee to Petra (Only the Two Witnesses prophecy, Mal. 4:5 Elijah)
o Plagues occur 3-6 months before point C, like in the Exodus from Egypt (Moses)
o All nations of the world involved in the Battle of Armageddon (Ezek. 38-39)
o Christ’s visible return (Zechariah 12-14) to the Mount of Olives (cf. Acts 1:11-12)
o Antichrist and False Prophet cast into lake of fire (Rev. 19:20)
o Transitionary Period of 75 days to purify and rededicate the Temple and institute the Millennium Kingdom
– 1,000 Years of Rest
o Satan’s final rebellious battle of God and Magog (Rev. 20:8)
o Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11)
o Unbelievers cast into Lake of Fire with Satan, their god (Rev. 20:15)
o New Heavens and New Earth and New Jerusalem (Rev. 21)
Prophecy is like a puzzle where one starts with a known piece and carefully aligns the unknown pieces to match the asymmetric contours. During this process one gains an increasingly clear picture of the whole, unraveling the mystery through a systematic application of sound interpretation. As more and more pieces are added, it becomes easier and easier to put the remaining pieces into the framework. So it is with Biblical prophetic interpretation, as long as the anchoring foundational piece is properly chosen, the mystery of the enigma will be unveiled. The other passages “line upon line and precept upon precept”(Isa. 28:10) and fall into place.
Initial Tribulation Events: Ezek. 38-39 Rev. 6 & 8
The New World Order:
The four power blocks of Revelation are forming even as we speak. Two have been and still remain, one has formed its Economic Union and one is coming of age: economically, militarily, and politically. Of course these are the world powers that we have before us now that did not exist in biblical times (the prophets had no idea that these undiscovered countries, lands, and peoples would become empires).
The post-WWII powers of America and Russia (along with the nascent EU) and the “sleeping giant of the East” comprise our end-time players. The Americans were preeminent in 1945, but their old comrades became adversarial and challenged the US to a Cold War. There were two super powers until 1989 and then just the USA, but the other three key players were waiting in the wings, growing stronger, and being prepared for the last days.
Using the first four characters of the Greek alphabet (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta to avoid confusion with the ABCs), these are the key global power spheres of the end times:
o The Alpha Americans
o The Beta Bear of Russia
o The Gamma European Union
o The Delta giant of China/Asia
Even though the Russian USSR had dissolved, the Russian Bear is rising in defiance again. The Gamma power, The European Union, has grown for decades and has tried to exert itself but will not reach maturity until the Ten Zones of Antichrist demarcate the planet. These Zones will most likely be zones dividing the planet into ten global areas, e.g. North America, Canada, and Mexico will be one zone (that is already in the works with the North American Free Trade Zone).
The final Delta power, the Kings of the East, has awakened and will form a Union of all the Asian countries into the most powerful force the world has even seen -- the brains of Japan and the brawn of China, along with the resources and talent of Korea and the other client states. As I watched the opening for the last Olympic Games in the Beijing National Stadium, it became apparent to me that the Chinese will become a super power - it's only a matter of time (and not long now). They even have plans for a large fleet which is sure to threaten stability in the Pacific naval theater in the future.
“Nature abhors a vacuum” – Aristotle
After the Alpha-Beta powers wipe each other out in WWIII, the matured EU power-candidate will fill the vacuum (headed by their Führer). Oh yes, history repeats itself. It will happen again, but on a much larger scale. The world will be under Antichrist’s control and the Kings of the East will pay tribute – biding time until they can make their move over the Euphrates as the major player in WWIV (Rev 16:12 cf. Armageddon). This explains why the USA is not mentioned in Revelation and why Russia is absent after the Tribulation begins. Only 1/6th of the Russian military will survive WWIII (Ezek. 39:2 cp. Zech.14:2).
“The wrath of God is like for the present…… , and the fiery floods of the fierceness and wrath of God, would rush forth with inconceivable fury” – Jonathan Edwards (excerpt from “Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God” emphasis mine). The Rapture opens the flood-gate of Tribulation Judgement.
Let us view the beginning of the Tribulation, the events as given from two different perspectives: WWIII’s destruction upon mankind, and the aftermath of the nuclear devastation upon the environment. This initial focal point for the tribulation counter consists of a series of four rapidly occurring events as presented by the seal judgments – often referred to as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Rev. 6:1-8). The contemporaneous four trumpet judgments represent the overall result of this horrible man-made cataclysm as seen in the destruction of nature: the resultant plagues upon the vegetation, fresh water sources, oceans, and the atmosphere.
The first horsemen all happen in rapid succession like race horses following on each other’s heels. I believe that is why horses are used to portray these judgements. These are the events of World War III (my label for this conflict), and the first four trumpets are the effect upon the earth and environment as a result of WWIII. Some refer to these judgements as the “third” judgements since they affect one third of the world. Together, these seals and trumpets are both the cause and the effect of WWIII. Two views on the same overall mega-point in history.
It is interesting to note that the approximate land mass calculation for the United States and Russia is roughly one third of the earth’s land surface. I always wondered why the judgements only effected 1/3rd of the plants, streams, oceans, and atmosphere. Obviously when considering the land mass of the U.S. and Russia, it is more logical and easier to comprehend how this may take place given that these two old super powers are the protagonists of this one hour nuclear exchange. This gives further import to the meaning of Revelation 3:10:
Because you have kept my word of patient endurance, I will keep you from the of trial which is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell upon the earth. (RSV, emphasis added)
The Greek work for hour is hora, which literally means an hour. Exactly the time span of WWIII. The Scripture is amazingly accurate and defines the future before the future defines itself. This is a literal promise for the Church that a split second before the Tribulation begins, God will lift us out and up via a transdimensional transporter beam.
The Four Horsemen
The “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” (Rev. 6:1-8), as the first four seals are commonly termed, are apocalyptic figures pictured upon four horses of color. The calling forth of this macabre cavalry represents a call to “let the games of evil begin.” God is no longer patiently waiting for the fullness of iniquity to arrive; the time of grace is over.
The White Horse
The White Horse has a rider who conquers but has no arrows for his bow. This is not Christ as seen in chapter nineteen, but another who comes as an impostor at the appointed time (John 5:43). This rider’s going forth results in war, famine, and death. The rider on this white horse has a crown but no name except for the one his infernal father has given him. Horses are used as symbols to convey a rapid succession of sub-events in the opening of the first act of the Tribulation drama. Just like horses racing at the Steeple Downs, they pursue each other in energetic pace to reach the finish line – the establishment of a new world order headed by the white horse rider (Rev. 6:2).
Just as Hitler, the prototype of Antichrist, was placed in power by the aftermath of a post-WWI Germany, this madman will receive his crown without firing a shot or “arrow”. He will be recognized as the “savior” of the world, the prince of economic and political peace. He will pick up the pieces of a chaotic world system and will implement the most amazing government the world has ever seen – he will be a true wunderkind. (Hitler was given power by the German aristocracy in order to solidify the people with his powerful rhetoric and personality, cf. “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany “ by William L. Shirer)
The Red Horse
Revelation chapter six records that one-fourth of the world’s population will die as a result of these demonic riders. Given the future earth’s population, that would be over two billion souls. This war, represented by the “red horse”, will result in famine and world-wide economic collapse. But what about the cost to the environment of such a nuclear holocaust? The first four trumpet judgments give us God’s environmental impact statements. Although many Revelation scholars have interpreted the seven seals and seven trumpets as two different chronological series, one following the other, I believe that these are concurrent and correlated judgments. The first four seals and the first four trumpets are giving us different information about the same Point A macro-event series. One can view this in a similar way to the perspectives found in the four Gospels – complimentary, but not contradictory. If this is true, then how can we reconcile the destruction of one fourth of the earth’s population with only a “one-third world” environmental impact?
What about nuclear climate change? What if there were a nuclear war between Russia and her allies and the United States, Israel, and our allies? As of this writing, Russia is re-arming and exerting her muscle while at the same time NATO is weakening. Russia is courting Iran and her satellites – the enemies of Israel. A nuclear exchange between these two old adversaries would devastate North America and Russia. Some experts believe this present time is more dangerous than even the past days of the Cold War, since a clear-cut hierarchy of checks and balances has dissolved. Russia still has her missiles and warheads pointing at the USA. A preemptive sucker punch to the States before an attack on Israel would leave the world defenseless against Islamo-Russian aggression. Only God will be able to foil that aggression and save Israel from assured annihilation. I believe this scenario will become increasingly apparent as we approach the time.
Ezekiel 38:18-23: 18 But on that day, when , says the Lord GOD, my wrath will be roused. 19 For in my jealousy and in my blazing wrath I declare, ; 20 the fish of the sea, and the birds of the air, and Annihilation the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep on the ground, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the cliffs shall fall, and every wall shall tumble to the ground. 21 I will summon every kind of terror against Gog, says the Lord GOD; every man’s sword will be against his brother. 22 With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him; and . 23 So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD. (RSV emphasis mine, fire and brimstone are the results of nuclear explosions)
Unlike the developing world which is now being called the “2/3rds world” (as opposed to the developed 1/3), advanced countries contain relatively more resources, than people. The majority of the world’s population lives within the 10/40 window, an area between 10 degrees and 40 degrees north of the equator. It is almost impossible to accurately predict the full effect of nuclear war, but the prevailing winds of fallout would most certainly circle the globe at the latitude of impact and spread the initial radioactive plague around the world. The southern hemisphere and much of the tropics might theoretically escape the worst (direct strike and peripheral contamination). There are those who estimate that up to one fourth of the world’s population would die from such an exchange, and most of the land and sea resources comprising the territories of the United States and Russia would be devastated, possibly as much as one third of the world’s resources.
A source of confusion to many prophetic scholars is the attack upon Israel mentioned in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. This passage refers to “Rosh” in the Hebrew text, the most northern ethnic group on the ancient map in relation to Israel, also called the ancient Scythians. These people dwelt in the land of the Cossacks, the ancestors of the modern Russians. These Rosh-ian peoples called Muscovites (Mechech/Moscow) and Tubalites (Tubal/Tobolsk) along with five Islamic allies will attack Israel from the utter most parts of the north in the last days (Ezek. 38:8, 15 & 19). Only Russia and Moscow can fit the description here for the “uttermost north” from Israel. To make the prophecy timeless and still relevant, God indicates the Islamic players by their ancient names:
Persia = Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq
Ethiopia = South of Egypt, Somalia, Sudan
Libya= North Africa West of Egypt
Togarmah = Turkey (old Anatolia)
Gomer = East Block Islamic nations
Their advance against the prophetically reborn Jewish state prompts a response from Israel’s allies, Tarshish/Britain and the young Anglo-Lions of the USA/Canada/Australia. Rosh-ia’s aim is to take a spOIL (Ezek. 38:13). There is a great shaking in the Land/Israel (38:19), and nuclear fallout covers the area (“fire and brimstone” 38:19-22). Only one sixth of the Russian army survives to retreat to Siberia (Ezek. 39:2).
…them that dwell carelessly in the isles…
God says that He will, “send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD” (Ezek. 39:6 KJV, emphasis mine). We have met the “Careless Isle Dwellers”. . . and it is US!
In Old Testament revelation, God is always presented as causing everything (Omni causality), i.e. responsible for everything that happens. Jesus gave us further light and insight in this area by showing that it is Satan who “kills, steals, and destroys”(John 10:10). In the Book of Revelation, we see that Satan and demonic forces are directly involved in the events of the Tribulation. This last seven years of Old Testament prophetic fulfillment demonstrates the New Testament principle and teaching that Satan is alive and well and his demons are working even now to oppose the people of God (Mat. 17:18, 2 Cor. 2:11, 4:4, 1John 4:3).
Ezekiel chapter 38 discusses Magog (v.2), an ancient biblical name for the people of Russia (Gen. 10:2). It also mentions a second sphere of power mentioned more by general location than as an ancient coherent people group. Both of these geographic areas are targeted for a “rain of fire.” There were two superpowers in Cold War world; and from a Russian perspective, they still have the nuclear capability to rank as contenders (Putin reminds us of that). There is only one nation that has come to the aid of Israel in a pinch.
In 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail to discover a shorter way to India and the Far East. He was looking for the spice isles and their goods that Europeans craved. When he landed in what was later to be known as the New World, he believed he had arrived at the Indian islands. In fact, he called the inhabitants “Indians,” i.e. those who live in the India Islands. This is not surprising since from ancient biblical times until 1492, civilized man believed that only islands existed west of the Old World shore (the Pillars of Hercules). Even the fabled Atlantis of legend was an island far out in the Atlantic Ocean – although it may have actually been part of the antediluvian world that sunk beneath the Flood of Noah.
Ezekiel wrote what God had shown him in terms that he was able to convey with words that existed in his Hebrew language. He saw something like fire raining down on two national spheres, Gog-Magog, and what he thought were the Isles out west in the ocean. God says that the inhabitants of these Isles would “dwell carelessly” at the time of the end (Ezek. 39:6). This means that these peoples would not be expecting nuclear war upon their shores – it couldn’t happen to them. America has not had a conflict involving a foreign nation on its continental turf since the War of 1812. America has never been invaded or attacked with major damage on the home front in a modern war (9/11 was not a traditional war event). Even in World War II, the homeland was not invaded. This sense of invulnerability has produced a complacency in our time that is only now being challenged by the threat of militant fundamental Islamic terror. Truly, we dwell carelessly in the so-called “Isles” that were discovered by Columbus and later named America for the New World cartographer, Amerigo Vespucci.
The Black Horse
The “Black Horse” represents one aspect of the chaotic aftermath of WWIII, economic collapse and follows immediately upon the heels of the “Red Horse”. The balance was used in ancient times to measure out and weigh foods in the marketplace. “A quart of wheat for a Denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius” tells us that a person will have to spent his entire day’s wages just for basic sustenance (a denarius in Roman times). With transportation severely disrupted and fallout affecting much of the crop yielding land, food will become scarce and very expensive.
When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” And I saw, and behold, a black horse, and its rider had a balance in his hand; and I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; but do not harm oil and wine!” (Rev 6:5-6 RSV)
“but do not harm oil and wine” highlights that the luxury items will not be affected for those rich enough to afford them. That is, there will still be the rich and powerful in various parts of the world who can spend their affluence on luxury goods.
The Pale Horse
In the original Greek, the word for “pale” is Chloris from which we get the name of the greenish gas chlorine. The Germans introduced chlorine gas as a weapon in 1915 during WWI. The opposing soldiers reported seeing a creeping green gas floating just above the ground and it terrified them. The translators rendered this word as “pale” in most English translations because the emphasis in the text was on a plague-like sickness that turned people to the color of terminal patients, figuratively “pale”. One is reminded of the Bubonic Plague that ravaged Europe, one of the most devastating pandemics in human history. Although general sickness is a component, in light of WWIII, radiation poisoning is most likely the major culprit in this pericope:
When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” And I saw, and behold, .
Death from crime, starvation, sickness, and even wild animals amidst the chaos of the fallen society and destroyed infrastructure. These multitudes are the unsaved that survive WWIII. The Church - and therefore all living believers immediately before WWIII- have been taken "up above" and "out of harm’s way", like righteous Noah and Lot (2Pet 2:5-9).
Much confusion has existed concerning Armageddon and the overall scenario of end time events. Have you ever heard of the War of Armageddon? Maybe in Hollywood circles, but not from Bible scholars. After careful examination of the primary passages concerning the conflicts of the last days, a contrast clearly shows that there must be at least two unique military showdowns during the Tribulation. The conflict that occurs in Revelation chapter 19 (cf. Rev. 14:14-20, Zech. 12-14, Isa. 66:24, and Mat. 24:28) is the initial phase of World War IV (some have called it the "Battle" of Armageddon, but Scripture does not). Just as World War IV begins, the war is over before it gets very far -- Jesus returns and disintegrates the entire heathen war machine.
The conflict mentioned in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 is best called World War III since it is a full blown war that involves much of the developed world and has consequences that last for years to come. The Rapture of the Church is the next major prophetic event for the Believers and it occurs immediately before the Four Horsemen. WWIII involves the existing nuclear super powers. When the passages concerning WWIII are contrasted with WWIV (which occurs at the end of the Tribulation), it is very obvious that the two conflicts are by definition dissimilar (some prophetic scholars have failed to realize this distinctive and conflated the two, causing confusion and gross time line anomalies in interpretation):
WWIII: Gog and 5 Muslim national ethnic groups
WWIV: All the armies of the world
WWIII: Magog Defeated
WWIV: Defeat of Magog not mentioned
WWIII: Russian Army retreats to Siberia
WWIV: No one retreats – all enemies destroyed
WWIII: Euphrates River not mentioned
WWIV: Euphrates dried up as a major factor
WWIII: No mention of the Kings of the East
WWIV: Kings of East are principle players
WWIII: No Parousia – Weapons burned 7 years
WWIV: Christ returns in glory – defeats Antichrist
WWIII: Antichrist not mentioned
WWIV: Antichrist is focus of WWIV
Ezekiel’s Other Chapter?
The original text did not contain chapter divisions; these were introduced over a millennia later by Bishop Langton. Chapters 38 and 39 of Ezekiel are a contiguous thought-train to a prophetic vision which starts in chapter 37, the “Valley of Dry Bones.” We must keep the principle of context, i.e. what is the overall passage that contains the target text and what is the prophetic vision communicating. In this case, scholars commonly agree that the message concerns the resurrection of the nation of Israel and events transpiring in the latter days for the Jewish people. When we read chapter 38 and continue reading in chapter 39, we discover an interesting passage which is the crux of the chronological question: when does this event occur? Immediately following the rain of fire on Russia and the United States, it states that those in the Land will dispose of the leftover WWIII weapons for seven years. If you remember, seven years is the exact length of the Tribulation period (one Shabua). What is the obvious conclusion when viewing this passage in context and aligned with Daniel and Revelation? WWIII occurs as the first event of the Tribulation period just as Daniel 9:27 and Revelation 6:3 concur. WWIII occurs at the same time as Daniel’s Antichrist covenant and the Red Horse of war (Russia’s army is called the Red Army, symbolized by the red star – there are layers of meaning in prophecy).
Nuclear Decontamination Squads:
“And : and they shall know that I am the LORD. So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel. Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken. And , both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall : So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord GOD. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog. And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land. Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord GOD.”(Ezek. 39:6-13 KJV, emphasis mine).
Ezekiel here speaks of the aftermath of WWIII and how the Israelis will accomplish the decontamination of the land in seven months. However, reading on, the prophet sees another strange phenomenon in verses 14 and 15: “And the passengers that pass through the land, when any seeth a man’s bone, then in the valley of Hamongog. And also the name of the city shall be Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land”(emphasis added). This may indicate the work of nuclear contamination squads appointed to collect the irradiated remains. The person finding the remains is not to actually gather them due to potential radiation poisoning, but is to place a sign marker indicating where the buriers are to find the bones. The buriers would wear protective suits for this purpose – radiation suits. This would make sense in the aftermath of a nuclear conflict.
Albert Einstein, a son of Abraham, devised the most well-known equation in history, E=MC2. From a simplistic layman’s perspective, it means that a body accelerated to the speed of light (squared) enters into the timeless dimension. I believe that this explains the mechanics of the “Rapture.” When God accelerates our bodies to the perfection of Christ’s Light (at His 2nd Coming for the Church), then the believers will enter into a new dimension, E=eternity. God is the creator and therefore author of all science. When he performs a supernatural miracle, it conforms the material world to the higher law of the Spirit, not the other way around. Just because man’s devices are not yet sufficiently advanced to detect the Spirit, that is no cause for rejecting the plain evidence of God’s Word that is beyond the primitive science of man.
Paul alludes to this event with a single Greek term which is found nowhere else in the New Testament, “episynagoge”. Paul uses this term to differentiate its usage from the varied and common meaning of gatherings – i.e. a gathering of any number of individuals for a common purpose or mission. In the literal and oldest “pure” meaning of the word, it means “gathering together above”. “Epi” is a prefix meaning above, e.g. epidermis (above skin) or epigee (above earth). In its context in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, it can only mean a gathering for the Church which will occur in the “above” realm. The final disposition of the wicked and Tribulation references in that chapter come after it in the reading sequence (for example Antichrist in the temple) – which would be the logical series given a proper interpretation of the ABCs:
Rapture (v.1), Desolation of Abomination (v.4), then Armageddon (v.10-12, referring to the perishing) [2 Thess. 2:1-12].
The Rapture Equation: E=MC2
Eternity = MC2 (M = Mankind redeemed during Church Age, C2 = Christ’s 2nd Coming above)
OR stated another way…
Mankind accelerated to Christ at the 2nd Coming above ==> translated into the Eternal state
“Beam me up Jesus”:
The Lord has promised in His Word to keep His Church from the Tribulation judgment by removing believers from the earth and transporting them to be with Him (Rev. 3:10). There are many fans of Star Trek who watch people being transported in the series and movies (“Beam me up Scotty.”). Most sci-fi buffs believe this will become a reality in the future (and with good reason, since we have witnessed the 1930’s Buck Rogers adventures become commonplace in our day, i.e. cell phone communicators, computers you can talk to, and big flat screen TVs). It is amazing that contemporary skeptics cannot conceive of an omnipotent God removing His believers from His planet without a magic black box. These futurists acknowledge the presence of “yet discovered” superior beings who operate technologically advanced craft, but cannot conceive of an ultimate being who doesn’t need a contraption (Oh ye of little imagination.). Sci-fi presents aliens as gloried evolutionary extrapolations of humanoid creatures who appear to be god-like, when the truth is that the infinite God of the Bible has created man in His image.
The Rapture, a theological term derived from the Latin Vulgate Bible, means “to snatch out” or quickly remove. Although the word “rapture” does not appear in the various English Bible translations, it is a valid theological concept. Most of the orthodox Christian world believes in the concept of Trinity, but that word does not appear in the scripture either. The Rapture is a concept which is discerned by contextual insight and Spirit-led inference. The Rapture is the next specific and identifiable event on the prophetic calendar. Nothing must occur before it, and its timing is yet to be revealed. Confusion concerning the timing of the Rapture is caused by violations of interpretation: taking isolated scriptures out of context, ignoring the panorama of prophetic chronology, and failing to discern the distinctive between the Church and the nation of Israel. The following eight reasons are some of the major arguments that form a balanced contextual justification for the initial-Tribulation Rapture position.
Eight Reasons for an Initial-Tribulation Rapture
1. God does not judge his people with the heathen (cf. Noah and Lot, Rev 3:10)
2. If the rapture were Mid-Trib or Post-Trib, the exact day would be known (we are given precise year/month/day information for all other Trib events)
3. The Greek words “Apostasia”, “Episynagogue”, and the Holy-Withholder from the man of sin are obvious references to the snatching out concept (2Thess. 2)
4. God has not appointed his Church to Wrath (Rev. 3:10, 1Thess. 1:10,5:9) [wrath = 13 times in Rev. 6-19 but no mention of the Church after Rev. 3]
5. Tribulation for Jews (OT scriptural terms: Jacob’s Trouble/refiners fire/melting pot –
Dan9:27 last Shabua for Jews – not for the Church)
6. Church not mentioned Revelation Ch. 4-18 but seen with Christ in chapter 19 (Ch. 4 “come up here”, a type of the Rapture)
7. Church called out by trumpet (Rev 4:1, 1Thess4 and 1Cor15)
8. Two Trumpets NUM 10:2 (1Cor 15, 2Thess4), last trumpet for Church is first trumpet for Israel, i.e. the Rapture ushers in the Tribulation – two sides of the same coin
Parallel Fulfillment: Leading Up to the Trumpet:
Parallel fulfillment is the belief that prophetic events occurring in Israel have spiritual correspondence in the Church and an overall impact concerning developments in the world. In the Hebrew year that bordered 1947-1948, the world took a quantum leap toward the fulfillment of prophecy. At the same time that the Nation of Israel was being chartered as a nation by the U.N., several other parallel developments began. In this post-WWII period, the Cold War started with nuclear proliferation, some of the 20th Century’s greatest ministries began, and reports of “flying saucers” began to circulate. This period marked the beginning of parallel prophetic fulfillment for three spheres: Israel, the Church, and the world.
WWII had prepared the stage for significant changes: a new Jewish state, the revival of Christianity, and the realignment of political-military alliances. The Jews and the Allies recognized as a result of the Holocaust that a national Jewish homeland was needed to guarantee the freedom and defense of the Hebrew people. The War had prepared the hearts of America and the world to receive the truth of the Gospel. Americans and most free peoples realized how close they came to losing everything and how much they depended on God as their source. Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, and Jack Van Impe are just a few of the ministries born at this time. On the other side, the forces of Satan began a full-fledged campaign to slowly wean mankind from Christian religion to scientific humanism (although this thrust began earlier, it was energized by post-WWII scientific miracles).
The myth of UFOs was born to undercut the belief in the Bible, i.e. earth is not the center of God’s creation, and we are not alone. The ultimate purpose of UFO-ism was to inculcate the world with a new “alien” religion, to substitute faith in God for a belief in super-technological entities who will save us from ourselves. Of course, a few bad aliens were thrown in for entertainment, but the progressive message is one of alien superiority and salvation.
At the same time, the lines were being drawn between East and West. These power blocks began to orient the world system toward the ultimate fulfillment of Ezekiel 38-39, Russia and her allies against America and her allies (which includes Israel). We should not forget that many of the colonial states of the Western empires were beginning to gain their independence which would later mean wealth and power from oil and other revenues, especially in the Islamic block – a key factor of Ezekiel’s prophecy.
Twenty years later, another quantum leap occurred in Israel, the Church, and the world. In 1967, Israel in the Six Days War recaptured their ancient capital of Jerusalem. The Church saw the introduction of the Charismatic movement and the Jesus Movement, along with a heightened attack from pagan religions, atheists, feminists, abortionists, and the playboy lifestyle (sexual perversion and hedonism). At this time the Hippie Movement began with drugs and anti- establishment rhetoric. Satan used the Beatles and pop music to introduce LSD, Eastern religions, and free sex.
However, the most insidious part of the Devil’s end time plan, was the propagation of what is today called the New Age. In 1967, America and much of the world was under the illusion of scientism, the belief in Science as the method to be applied to everything – in effect, the new anti-religion replacing the archaic Christian morality.
Satan’s ultimate objective was not to move mankind from religion to science. This was just an intermediary step. The forces of evil realized that in the West, the masses would not suddenly switch from Christianity to the New Age occult. They had to be tricked. The plan was and is to move humans from Christian religion to science and then to the New Age (counterfeit spiritualism and mysticism). In our time, this has pretty much been accomplished. For the hard core scientific mind, the occult studies are called paranormal (a guise to make it palatable).
Network television broadcasting was introduced in the year of Israel’s birth, and has always been key to the plan. The media and Hollywood have channeled the plan since the 50’s with Science Fiction being the main vehicle to accomplish the indoctrination. In 1967, the year that Jerusalem was captured by Israel, a series began on TV on a five year mission. This mission is going strong at the present time. At that time, at least in America, most viewers were grounded in some religious teaching. As we prepared to land on the moon, the sky was the limit for our great technological genius and idealistic power. The New Age, then called Metaphysics, was not main stream and had to be slipped in unawares. Science Fiction served the purpose nicely. What irony, that the very individuals who considered themselves scientific and non-superstitious, would be the same ones that would be moved from the god of science to mere occult superstition. I recall a science class where a teenager asked about astrology. The students laughed her to scorn. How unbelievable that someone would actually consider such superstition in the space age. That was only the 60’s, a short time in historical terms. Now I watch psychic networks proliferating and New Age doctrine spewing forth from every audio and visual source, not to mention the Internet.
Star Trek was the forerunner of many demonic propaganda pieces to come. The main characters were the humanistic captain who by his own innate ability could overcome any situation, and his pointy-eared science officer who through logic and scientific knowledge overcame all dilemmas (sometimes by occult mind reading). In those days the occult was not a prominent factor in the story lines, but in one episode, “The Apple”, a comment was made that Spock looked like the Devil (of course he is half human and half Vulcan, i.e. the demonic realm of the Hell). Spock would go on in the movie version to be resurrected from the dead on his planet of Vulcan (pagan god of the underworld, where we get our word “volcano”) where the prominent symbol of greeting is the image of two horned salute of the horned god of Wicca – Satan. By the way, Wicca is a reformulation by the Wiccans and mispronunciations of what the early European Christians called them, “the Wicked”. (Rev. 13:11). Wicca sounds better than Wicked and today people have no idea where it came from, so it is a good cover. Satan loves to mislabel and twist the truth to hide his plan from all but the enlightened (Mat 24:24).
In the Eighties and Nineties, the series evolved for the Next Generation where the science officer of logic was replaced by a computerized humanoid and the Counselor, a humanistic psychologist with the powers of an occult medium (the transition to the occult was halfway complete). The Deep Space Nine series introduced us to beings who can transform themselves into various manifestations (2 Cor. 11:14), shape-shifters, and to a priestly cast of Eastern-style religious monks, the Bajoran religious cast (Christian religion is never portrayed). The Eastern Religion which was introduced to the masses by the Beatles was going mainstream – New Age was becoming an acceptable mindset. Also, an interesting twist on pseudo-scientific demonic possession was introduced: humans acting as symbiotic hosts for an alien creatures implanted in their abdomens (out of the bellies shall flow rivers of living demons). In the politically correct “Star Trek: Voyager”, the ship’s doctor is a computerized holographic projection (Rev. 13:15). Native American shamanism, conjuring demonic spirits, is often in the plot along with other occult themes in this on-going campaign to capture the minds of the next generation (2 Tim. 2:26).
The devil uses man’s imagination for his evil purposes (Gen. 3; 2 Cor. 10:5). He is churning out major mind-altering presentations to reinforce the plan. Some are sci-fi, some are occult (although the lines are beginning to blur), some are pseudo-scientific, and some are humorous but all subliminally convey the plan. The demonic powers introduced drugs in the 60’s (which are now becoming legal in one state after another) to make sure the target subjects are easily malleable and their minds can be easily taken over and controlled (2Tim 2:26).
Some Examples: The Day the Earth Stood Still, the Star Trek series, the Star Trek movies ("Into Darkness" is the twelfth), 2001, Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, ET, Babylon 5, Predator, the Abyss, Men in Black, Independence Day, Aliens, Phenomenon, Contact, Sphere, Avatar, the X-Files, fill in the blank ____. The list would be a book in and of itself [not to mention a host of movies and TV programs with supernatural themes. Typically the UFO sci-fi enthusiasts are open to the New Age. Devotees of the occult mingle openly with the alien-seeking subculture and are in fact, one and the same.] 77% of Americans believe in Aliens according to a recent National Geographic survey. Only 68% believe that Jesus is the Son of God. The proof of what this master plan is clear to see if one does just a little research.
The message is simple: “We are not alone, we will make contact, they are superior, and they are coming! (They may already be here!)” The twelve Star Trek movies, not to mention the plethora of parallel epics, have helped to keep this demonic propaganda campaign alive and well. Three cinematic adventures may actually contain a key to the enemy’s plans: Generations, First Contact, and Insurrection. For generations now, Satan has been brain-washing the young to receive his plan for humanity (especially on Saturday morning). One day, and not too far off, Generations will make First Contact with Satan’s openly manifested demonic-aliens. This will be the beginning of the Devil’s last reign, the tribulation Insurrection. God’s Nemesis will reign over planet earth and usher billions into the new age – Into Darkness. According to his nefarious timetable, we are closer than you think. Generation Z is on the horizon and even that nomenclature may be prophetic. X and Y, the forerunners have pointed us to the final generation.
In the satanic strategy, the move from Christianity to science to pseudo-scientific-witchcraft has been achieved. The media continues to evolve in this direction portraying demon-like entities who are here on earth “helping” mankind, like enlightened Eastern-type alien avatars forming us into a one world federation (not far from the prophetic history about to unfold). The Bible calls the final conflict, the Tribulation and Armageddon.
From the first "flying saucer" reports in late 1947 until today, a series of books, TV shows, and movies have been slowly but surely preparing the population to receive a horde of demons as space aliens. The progression is obvious if viewed from the prophetic prism of God's Word with its insight into Satan's plans and goal for planet earth. From weird and laughable alien creations of the 50's until today, the enemy has paraded an evolution of images before the eyes and minds of the populace to desensitize them to the eventual manifestation of satanic forces during the reign of Antichrist. From Star Trek, to Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind, to E.T., to the X-Files, and beyond, this generation is ready for the materialization of apparently super-technological creatures who look very different from anything on this planet and who have powers that can only be described as supernatural. The song remains the same, from the Garden until the End of the Book. Satan has no new tricks, only new -isms and new trappings.
By in large, this generation doesn’t believe in the God of the Bible. They consider themselves educated and sophisticated, but they have been hypnotized by a non-stop campaign of satanic brain-washing to receive the greatest deception of all time (only second to the Garden of Eden – same Snake, same plan, same propaganda). The Antichrist could very well be introduced as the ultimate abductee. A human being taken to a distant alien civilization (a la “Contact”), and trained to be the ambassador overlord to bring peace to the evolving human planet – the emissary of a New Age (this is the premise of the 1977 movie, Close Encounters also – a steady stream of mind control). Antichrist’s blend of worldly knowledge, power, and wisdom (as the Scripture describes) would have to come from much higher powers than mortal man.
The message you are to believe: “They are here. They have made contact. They want you to receive them. They are here to help you.” It reminds me of the Twilight Zone episode where the aliens say they have come to “serve man”. It turns out they were here to serve man for dinner! Antichrist will introduce you to the world prepared for you by your Alien Father. They have sent alien trans-dimensional light beings into the world to be your helpers (the unholy spirits). You must open yourself up to channel these guides as symbiotic hosts and enter into the dawning of the New Age of Aquarius.
The Ultimate Alien Abduction:
How will Antichrist explain the disappearance of millions of believers across the world when the Rapture occurs? The population will readily receive the explanation - the higher powers had to remove them, a la transporter beam, to another planet for reprogramming. The born-again Bible- believing nuts, the non-progressive and unenlightened ones, could not be allowed to impede the planetary evolution. With their intolerant and ignorantly biased viewpoint they were not fit to inherit the kingdom - the kingdom prepared for them by their Alien Father.
Of course, in the wake of WWIII, the populace will have so much on their plate that they will not even need much of an explanation. Antichrist will immediately engage a world-wide building and reorganization program to keep the populace busy and productive and not dwelling on the unpleasantness of WWIII. Those poor Christian dummies were the first casualties of the conflict. Their god could not even save them from the destruction and horror of nuclear death. Probably a combo of both these rationales will be used as needed to obfuscate the truth of the Rapture from the spiritually ignorant and gullible masses.
Mid-Trib Events: Dan. 9:27 & Mat. 24:15
In the exact middle of the final shabua of secular world history, Daniel’s 70th week of prophecy, the key sign for prophetic interpretation is manifest. This is the sign which Jesus used to anchor the prophetic sequence of signs given in the Olivet Discourse (Mat. 24:15). This is the key sign which correlates Daniel’s vision to the timetable of John’s Revelation. Jesus ties all prophecy together with the binding of this unmistakable and clearly identifiable event: the Abomination of Desolation.
Many of the Bible believing clergy shortly before and during WWII believed that Adolph Hitler was the Antichrist. This was not unjustified based upon the spectacular rise to power of the Nazi party and the malevolent character of the leader. Given Hitler’s strong anti-Semitic bias and his quest for world domination, he fit the prophetic profile of the end-time demigod. Many of the Führer’s traits and objectives lined up nicely with the Biblical Antichrist. In fact, it seems obvious in retrospect that this German man of sin was a prototype of the coming Antichrist mentioned in Revelation.
Jesus is not referring to the abomination of Antiochus Epiphanes who lived two hundred years before he was born. That original abomination of desolation was a commonly known historical fact remembered by every Jew during the Festival of Lights celebration. Today, it is more commonly know as Hanukkah. He is clearly referring to a future event.
As historically delineated in the master work, “Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” by William L. Shirer, Hitler rose to power in a time of unprecedented economic and nationalistic collapse, post-WWI Germany. He offered to a defeated and hopeless nation, a strong personality who promised to restore order and return the nation to a sense of national pride and prosperity. Not all the governors of Germany viewed Hitler as the savior, but they saw the Nazis as a necessary evil that could be used to catalyze the nation into stability and strength.
Although many in the “old line” leadership of Germany saw Hitler and the Nazis for what they really were, thugs and murdering criminals, they were content to let the rouse continue – to forward their political agenda. Germany in the thirties did indeed appear to achieve great progress, stability, and prosperity. However, underneath the surface it was obvious to those in the know that there was a price to be paid.
In the progression of time, the Führer became an absolute dictator and unfurled his true colors. Anyone who opposed him was executed, even his old cronies. Eventually the true nature of this madman was manifested by his psychotic and demonic ravings. However, the military was powerless to change the course that had been set (although some unsuccessfully tried to assassinate the leader). In the end, the Third Reich, the envisioned 1,000 year reign of evil, was “cut short” – its time was limited (Mat 24:22).
The Biblical Antichrist will be the full-blown version of Hitler. He will rise to power in the aftermath of a world war (III), and will be freely given the reins of power without firing a shot (he holds a bow but has no arrows, Rev. 6:2). After the chaos of the war and resulting collapse symbolized by the red, black, and pale horses of the Apocalypse, Antichrist will present his brilliant solutions for reconstruction. His government will usher in an unprecedented time of peace and prosperity. For the first three and one half years of the tribulation period, it will appear that the New Age and its New Age Messiah truly have brought the dawn of an enlightened utopian era – the Fourth Reich.
There is an Old Testament passage which is often quoted as applying to Satan and his tragic fall, Isaiah 14:12-19:
“I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; . Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; that made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, everyone in his own house. But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch . . .” (Is. 14:12-19 KJV emphasis mine).
Lucifer said he would be “like the most high,” or said another way, he would mimic God. These verses which probably have a double interpretation (historical and spiritual) certainly identify the characteristics of Satan and all that would follow in his sin of pride. Satan’s ultimate flaw was that he wanted to be his own god. Like all the other creatures who will join him in hell, they all want to be their own god. It can be summed up by the attitude of the citizens in the Parable of the Pounds, “We will not have this man to reign over us” (Luke 19:14). This is the attitude of Satan and his followers against God’s rule and authority.
Satan wanted to be God from the beginning of his rebellion. Everything that he does is an imitation of what he has seen God do. Satan followed Jesus around and constantly incited riot against him. Jesus said that they would not receive Him, but if another came in his own name, they would receive that one (John 5:43). Jesus was prophesying about the coming of Antichrist. The Jewish people rejected Jesus (and they do as a people to this day), but another Jew will come that the Jewish leaders and people will receive, the False Messiah. Many orthodox in Israel are preparing for him even now.
I grew up in South Florida and have many Jewish friends. The idea that any of them or their relatives would receive a non-Jew, a Goy, as Messiah is ridiculous – although that concept has become popular in some prophetic circles. The idea that the Jews would receive a Muslim, an especially an Arab leader as Messiah, is beyond the pale and is to be rejected out of hand.
Being about 30 years old, he will come upon the scene (Luke 3:23). He will be Jewish by heritage but will not practice the faith of his ancestors but an occult Eastern mysticism (Dan. 11:35b-39 note: he will not honor the god of his fathers, i.e. YHWH). The Bible seems to indicate the antichrist will be asexual, homosexual, or just uninterested in women, but most likely will support every alternative lifestyle because he is against God’s plan:
“, nor will he show regard for any other god; for he will magnify himself above them all” (Dan 11:37 NASB, emphasis added)
He will have an Israeli False Prophet, his own evil John the Baptist, who will proclaim him as the New Age Messiah that all should follow him (cp. John 1:29, Rev. 13:11). He will minister to the world for three and one-half years teaching his New Age wisdom and knowledge. In Satan’s mimicry of Christ’s 3.5 year ministry, Antichrist’s benevolent leadership will last for the first 3.5 years of the Tribulation. At the mid-point of the Tribulation, Antichrist will commit the ultimate Abomination of Desolation. This is a very definitive event in the Jewish mindset which is an act that defiles and desecrates the rebuilt Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. Antichrist will make it desolate and defile the holy site by his proclamation and command to be worshiped as God. This is the abomination that makes desolate. This is like the historical events that inspired the rebellion of the Maccabees and resulted in the re-dedication of the Temple recorded in the Books of Maccabees, an event which is celebrated by Jews every year in the festival of Hanukkah.
After moving rapidly from obscurity to world prominence, this Prince will suffer an apparent mortal wound and be apparently resurrected from the dead (Rev. 13:3; Dan. 11:16-17). Satan does not have the power to resurrect nor create life, but I believe Satan will inhabit the body of the dictator’s clone to perpetuate the myth of an Antichrist resurrection. A clone would have no soul like a “beast”, but the evil one who will empower this “beast” will give it the power to represent the Antichrist in every inward and outward appearance.
This is the definitive prophetic point where the man conceived in sin will be personally in dwelt by his un-heavenly father (Rev. 12:9-12; 13:2b,4). There is precedent for Satan personally possessing a human being. That case is found at the Last Supper, and the human’s name was Judas Ischariot (John 13:27). For the first 3.5 years, the Antichrist is empowered by the unholy spirit (demons). Antichrist will boast that the impostor Jesus came and claimed to be the Anointed One, but after three years died as an utter failure. Antichrist will proclaim that after 3 years he will rise from the dead to prove his Messianic credentials. Even the agnostic Jews will have to wake up at that point and they will run for the hills (of Petra).
At that time, all the worldly skeptics will become believers and will hail him as the true New Age Messiah (Rev. 13:4, 8). There will be a ceremony in the newly rebuild Temple in Israel where this leader will proclaim himself as the Messiah and “one world” god (2 Thess. 2:4, Mat. 24:15, Dan. 9:27; 11:27b-35). An “image” of the beast, possibly a computer simulated holographic projection, a clone of himself, or a computerized cyborg, will mimic his person and require obeisance (Rev. 13:14-15). This will be the singularity, which Ray Kurzweil, the noted futurist and director of engineering at Google, predicts will be achieved by 2029. Like the days of Caesar, all the citizens of the world will be required to pay him homage. If anyone does not worship this satanically possessed “son of Satan” he will not be able to carry on a normal existence and will be under the threat of execution (Rev. 13:15). As in the days of the early persecuted Church, the martyrs will cry, “Jesus is Lord” and have their heads cut off (Rev. 7:14, 20:4)).
The above reference to decapitation is most likely the guillotine and not the Islamic sword – the Antichrist is Jewish, not Islamic. However, an Islamic Messiah may indeed appear from the pit to unify the Sunnis and Shiites. It will take a charismatic unifying personage to bring these age old diverse sects together, even for a common cause. These two Islamic factions have been killing each other for centuries, and it will take a supernatural Mohammedan to bring them together in the last days. In the world today, they are constantly fighting each other and vying for supremacy. The purpose of this foretold prophet is to form a Muslim alliance with the Russians which will bring about the destruction of Israel and the establishment of a new Caliphate. There will be many powerful antichrists in the last days, each a player in his own right, but none of them will be thee Antichrist. There is only one Antichrist supreme leader in Scripture.
At the time when the Antichrist manifests as the Son of Satan, the Jewish remnant will flee to the mountains and deserts and be hunted like dogs (Dan. 11:41 “Petra”, Mat. 24:16-20). Note that the plagues will be so great near the end that very few will make it through the final three and one-half years of Antichrist’s great persecution to see Armageddon. Only one third of the Jews will survive (Zech. 13:9). The Jews have a saying about the Holocaust, “never again”, but it will happen again and will be the Holocaust on steroids!
The Greek word for “mark” (charagma) is the root word for the English word “character”, which means a burned or etched symbol. In today’s technological world, it could very easily mean a symbol created by a laser device such as a tattoo. At this time in the United States, there is an amazing resurgence of body tattooing, perhaps to prepare the population for what’s up ahead. Tattooing has always been pandemic in pagan societies, never in Christian ones. The Jews were forbidden to mark themselves like the heather (Lev. 19:28). Its popularity in today’s society indicates a general pagan tolerance or acceptance of piercing and marking the skin to enhance personal identity. The Hebrews were forbidden to tattoo or pierce their bodies like the pagans (Lev. 19:28).
This is preparing the way. It is interesting to note that the Greek manuscripts for Revelation 13:17 have this literal wording: “the mark the name of the beast or the number of its name.” Since the original language does not have modern punctuation marks, it could be read as an appositive with two meanings, i.e. the mark: 1) the name of the beast OR 2) the number of his name. As in Nazi Germany where the swastika was the symbol of party affiliation and acceptance, some kind of visible symbol would assure allegiance to the one world government of Antichrist. Concentration camp prisoners were known by their number. The scripture mentions a very definite number associated with the Mark, which is 666. It does not contradict proper interpretation for the “Mark” to be both a number and a tattoo, i.e. a logo which can be displayed and/or a digital angel buried beneath the skin for scanning purposes.
There has been much speculation down through the centuries about this mark, whether it will be a mere symbol or an actual numbering system. Given the translation above, it is probably is both. The mark will refer to the visible symbol tattooed upon the hand or forehead (for those who have no hands) and a numbering system. For cosmetic purposes, the tattoo may only yield its symbol under ultraviolet light or artificial illumination. In the future Antichrist world system, reference to “the Mark” will probably be understood by its context to refer to the tattooed symbol or the identification number (or even both). Possibly the unique personal number will be integrated into the tattoo or just beneath it in the skin. The numbering method will probably be some kind of RFI computer chip which is implanted in the citizen’s tissue which can be read via a wireless scanner, the ultimate “personal” peripheral IO storage device. This technology is being pioneered even now by Digital Angel and Veriteq.
Currently, every citizen of the United States has a Social Security Number. This has become the de facto identification key for almost every system employed by government and business (originally it was not to be used for identification). It consists of a number comprised of three groups of 3-2-4, i.e. 3 digits, 2 digits, and 4 digits. People are often asked for their SSN, Social Security Number, when carrying on business transactions. In the future, it might be common for the clerk to ask for your “SIN”, Social Integration Number. Without this number, you will not be integrated into society, i.e. you cannot buy or sell or participate in society. Of course the name S.I.N. is speculative, but the idea is real. One day as predicted by the Bible, you will not be able to buy or sell without the Mark of the beast. The problem with the SSN that we Americans use today is that its potential for world wide deployment is limited; it is too limited for projected 21st century needs. With a world population exceeding seven billion, a unique identifier for each human being would take a much larger numbering scheme, especially if additional information were encoded in the overall UPC, universal person code. The creator of this new numeric identifier would want to assure scalability for future population growth and sub-code use. A scaled number based upon the SSN division of three groups could be projected and devised (but increased to sufficient size to project future growth and categorization):
6 6 6
Groups of six digits would be more than sufficient to accommodate world population identification and subgroup categorization. 6digits-6digits-6digits, 6-6-6, or just 666 for short -- would do it.
During the last months of the Great Tribulation, five terrible plagues will be unleashed upon the earth-dwellers. Moses announced ten great plagues upon Pharaoh’s Egypt in less than a year (according to most Biblical scholars, the ten plagues occurred over approximately one year or less). The last judgments in the Book of Revelation are called the “bowl” or “vial” judgments. As has been shown earlier, the final two judgments – the great earthquake and Parousia of Christ – occur at point C, the end of the Tribulation. The preceding five “bowl” plagues occur rapidly just before the end, probably over less than six months (i.e. if ten plagues took one year, then five plagues could possibly take half a year or so).
Return of the Jew-di
The body of Moses was never found and a chariot of God took Elijah up to heaven. Upon the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus spoke with Moses and Elijah. The last plagues of the Book of Revelation are very similar to those of Moses and Elijah. The Old Testament ends with this verse:
“Behold, of the LORD” (Mal. 4:5 KJV Emphasis mine)
John the Baptist said that he was not the fulfillment of this prophecy (John 1:21), Jesus said he had come in the “spirit” of Elijah, Luke 1:17; Mat. 17). The great and dreadful day of the Lord is a reference to the end times and the Tribulation. I believe that the literal real Elijah of fiery chariot fame will return as part of the dynamic duo. Moses will be with him, either as a resurrected saint or via some other manifestation. The Revelation speaks of two prophets who prophesy the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation (42 months/1260 days) clothed in sackcloth (Rev. 11:1-13). They personify God’s judgment on an Antichrist world. The Gentiles have control over the Holy City for the last 42 months (Rev. 11:2) of the seven-year period, i.e. the Times of the Gentiles are not over yet. The Gentile Times will not be over until Christ returns at Armageddon as the “stone not cut with hands” to destroy Gentile world ruling power of the “ten toes” (Dan. 2:34). All the believing Jews have fled the city, and the 144,000 are nowhere to be seen. Only these two prophets representing the Law and the Prophets are a witness for Judaism, God, and the Truth against this usurper and villainous dictator from hell.
An Environmental Nightmare
The first five plagues of the bowl judgments are boils, bloody seas, bloody rivers, scorching heat, and darkness (Rev. 16:2-10). After reading about this quintessence of disaster, it is easy to see why Jesus said that nothing would be left if the time wasn’t limited (Mat. 24:22 “cut short”). Although these plagues probably take place over six months or less, it is not unreasonable to believe that they happen in rapid succession over the course of only weeks or even days. Nothing in the text indicates a particular length of time. These plagues occur before Point C, the Parousia. They are terminated in that final point of the Tribulation and cascade down to the very end in an ever increasing bombardment of misery and horror.
The first five bowl judgment are pre-Parousia events occurring just before the Battle of Armageddon, and could be likened to the heavy shelling on D-Day before the Normandy invasion. The Allied ships bombarded the coastal defenses and as soon as the shelling was over, the troops hit the beach. The last plagues are probably like that, one after the other in rapid succession and then the final attack on P-Day, Parousia-Day at the Battle of Armageddon. The “Parousia” is the Greek term used for the visible second coming of Christ. Some have suggested that these final plagues could be the result of a solar supernova or an asteroid impact (Aphosis) that would result in an Extinction Level Event (ELE) – if not for the return of Jesus.
Three of the plagues that Moses pronounced to curse Egypt are similar to the bowl judgments: the boils (Ex. 9:8), the bloody waters (Ex. 7:19), and the darkness (Ex. 10:21). Elijah brought down fire from heaven (1 Kings 18:38) which is similar in kind to the scorching heat of the sun plague of the Apocalypse. In Revelation chapter 11 concerning the “two witnesses”, it states that they have power to send plagues upon the earth. The only plagues that match the description of these terrible judgments are the seven bowls.
“And if anyone would harm them, ; if anyone would harm them, thus he is doomed to be killed. T, as often as they desire.” (Rev. 11:5-6 RSV emphasis mine)
Elijah shut up the heavens so that it did not rain (James 5:17-18) and brought fire down from the heavens. Moses turned the water to blood and brought many plagues upon Egypt. Death could not conquer Moses and Elijah (The Law and the Prophets) the first time and it will not prevail the second time either, after three and one half days they shall rise again (Rev. 11:11). The Jews rejected their Messiah the first time, and the Jews at the time of the end will hear testimony from the Law and the Prophets personified – Moses the Lawgiver, and Elijah their greatest prophet.
Trib-Terminus: Zech. 12-14 & Rev. 16
As an analog, the events of the Tribulation are organized somewhat like the Feasts of Israel. (A) The Beginning Festival of Passover (which was comprised of 3 feasts spread over days), (B) Pentecost (a single day feast), and © Tabernacles (which was 3 feast events spread over weeks). One festival at the beginning of the Jewish sacred year, one 50 days later, and one festival in the 7th lunar period. This relates to the general relationship of the A, B, and C points of the Tribulation. Point A is a single event with multiple sub-events, point B is a single day event, and point C is a series of events occurring over several weeks (or months).
(A) The first mega-event of the Rapture is followed immediately by the revealing of the White Horse of Antichrist and the Red Horse of WWIII (which will only last one hour Rev 3:10). However, the effects of WWIII and the disappearance of millions of believers will manifest in total chaos. 1/3rd of the earth will be destroyed by fallout. There will be economic collapse (the Black Horse), and massive death from radiation sickness and disease (the Pale Horse) resulting in the total breakdown of society. Then, the super hero and wonder worker will arise to save the world!
(B) The second mega-event is the Antichrist proclaiming himself as God in the newly rebuild Temple in Jerusalem. This will result in the Jews and other believers fleeing for their lives. Such an announcement will totally change everything and will be the defining moment for the world system – a new Emperor-God for the Revived Roman Empire.
© The final mega-event is the culmination of the final plagues and the earthquake at Armageddon culminating with the return of Christ. The plagues will soften up the populace and then the Great Earthquake will really shake them up. At that time the armies of the world will be gathered in the Valley of Megiddo. Napoleon overlooking the valley said “All the armies of the world could maneuver their forces on this vast plain”, and on that day they will look up and see their worst nightmare – the armies of heaven coming in the clouds with Commander Jesus.
Immediately after the lead-in of the first five bowl judgments, the Tribulation ends with a bang. The sixth and seventh bowls are two sides of the same coin – Point C. The Return of Christ, the Parousia in the original Greek, is in response to Armageddon. The Parousia and Armageddon are inseparable events. These events happen in rapid succession, like the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” that begin the Tribulation, they are in essence one terminus on the prophetic judgment time line. The armies of the world gather together in Israel and before the true “Mother of All Battles,” Jesus returns in the clouds of heaven and destroys the Antichrist and all the heathen armies.
“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; and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Rev. 6:12-17 KJV emphasis mine)
The atmospheric and astronomical signs that are mentioned here correlate to the signs mentioned by Jesus (Mat. 24:29-30) and the sermon of Peter on the day of Pentecost where he quotes the prophet Joel. Peter quotes Joel but stops short of verse 30, because there would be a two thousand year gap between Joel 2:29 and verse 2:30. Verse 30 picks up with the end times and the Second Coming of Christ:
“And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call. (Joel 2:30-32, Emphasis mine).
Joel identifies the last Battle extending into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, the Kidron Valley east of Jerusalem (below the Mount of Olives where Jesus will return to earth). Certainly, the main headquarters of the Antichrist’s forces will be his Fortress Temple where his icon compels worship. The prophet defines this as a conflict involving “all” the nations of the world after a time of dispersion for the Jewish people (events which have never happened in recorded history):
“For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.” (Joel 3:1-2 KJV, emphasis mine).
In the sixth seal, St. John parallels the signs mentioned by Joel concerning the end:
“Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD. Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain” (Joel 3:11-17a KJV, emphasis mine).
“Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt. And the rest of the 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: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.” (Rev. 9:14-21 KJV emphasis mine).
The Sixth Trumpet unleashes four fallen angels which had been chained by God and reserved to fulfill His Will in these judgments (2 Peter 2:4, Jude 6). The Fifth Trumpet, which occurs at Point B of the Tribulation, records the unleashing of a fallen angel from the Pit – the Destroyer. The name given in the Rev. 9:11, Abaddon or Apollyon, indicates this being is a high ranking fallen angel that followed his rebellious leader into perdition. Jesus says that Satan is the one who comes to destroy, not the forces of God (John 10:10). Of course, Revelation 12:7-12 which occurs also at Point B, mid-trib, shows us the same event from a slightly different perspective. In both cases, Satan and his evil powers are cast to earth like falling stars (1/3 of the stars of heaven may refer to the fact that there were originally three archangels: Lucifer, Michael, and Gabriel – each with his own third of the angelic host under his command).
The Bottomless Pit is the underworld and the habitation of evil. The “messenger” of the Bottomless Pit is not an angel of God (cf. 2 Cor. 11:14). The word translated “angel” is the Greek word angelos, simply means a messenger. A messenger was sent to torment Paul, but that messenger was from Satan not God, as the text clearly states (2 Cor. 12:7). The same is true in chapter nine of Revelation. The angels of God throughout the Revelation, even when seen unleashing horrible judgments, maintain their holy character and presence of righteousness. It is the Beast who ascends out of the Bottomless Pit and overcomes and kills God’s prophets (Rev. 11:7-8). It is the angel of God who chains Satan in the Bottomless Pit at the end of the Tribulation (Rev. 20:1-2). God’s angel is not chaining a holy angel. The holy angels are not being reserved in the haunt and habitation of demons, “what concord hath Christ with Belial?” (2 Cor. 6:15). God’s angels are not chained nor bound – only prisoners and convicted rebels are incarcerated. Satan and his fallen angels are the convicts, prisoners, and rebels.
“And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 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. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.” (Rev. 16:12-16 KJV emphasis added)
The Sixth Seal is the beginning of the Armageddon terminus. The Euphrates River is dried up so that the 200 million man army from the Kings of the East can cross over on their way to Israel (Rev. 16:12). Why are these Kings marching to the Holy Land, it is the headquarters of the Antichrist. This mighty river has served as a territorial boundary from the earliest days of man; it defines the Fertile Crescent of civilization. Without a proper bridging infrastructure, it would present an enigmatic barrier to massive mechanized troop movements. However, the scripture states that this formidable geographic impediment is eliminated so that this mighty mass of oriental destructive power can continue on to their appointment with annihilation.
The Kings of the East are most likely a relatively new confederacy of Far Eastern states, a United States of Asia. Probably the technological brains of the Japanese aligned with other Southeast Asian powers will combine with the enormous brawn of China to form an unequaled power sphere. After years under the rule of the European Antichrist, the Asians see their chance for a coupe and the opportunity for hegemony, ascendancy to total world domination. The scripture states that this army will consist of 200 million warriors (Rev. 9:16). China has been able to field this number for several decades now, and no other army in the contemporary world can make that boast. The “Sleeping Giant” shall awaken and is stirring even now. There is something new in the news almost every day concerning the increasing ascendancy of the Chinese economy and military.
Thief in the Night?
Revelation 9:15 is addressed to the Tribulation believers and not the Church. First of all, the Church is told to watch for the increasing birth pangs and budding of the fig tree (Mat. 24:42-50). In Matthew, Christ informs us that the evil servant will be caught by surprise when His Master comes:
“The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of” (Mat. 24:50 KJV emphasis added)
The Church is not to be surprised by the Coming of Christ, He is not coming as a thief for us (1 Thess. 5:4). Paul makes this perfectly clear in the quintessential “Rapture” passage in 1 Thessalonians chapter 4:13-5:9. Christ will overtake the unbelievers as a thief in the night, but not the Church:
“For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5:2-9, emphasis mine).
The sinners will be overtaken and endure the judgment of the Tribulation, but we are to be alert and aware of His Coming for the Church. The reason? God has not appointed us to the harsh judgment of His Tribulation wrath (which is the clear context of this passage). Keep in mind also that the tribulation saints who are still alive at the time of the sixth bowl will know the exact time of his coming since they will have the Book of Revelation to read and will be counting down from the Abomination of Desolation, 3.5 years – 42 months – 1260 days until P-Day. They will be watching and thus will be blessed by the Parousia. If the Parousia was the same as the Rapture, then they would know the exact time of its occurrence. Even if the Rapture was mid-tribulation, these persecuted Trib believers would also know the exact timing by the calculus of simple math. Both of these logical deductions prove that only an Initial-Trib Rapture is Scriptural.
The Three Amphibious Entities
“I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 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” (Rev. 16:13-14 KJV emphasis added).
After WWIII, at the beginning of the Tribulation, there will be a power vacuum which will be immediately filled by the Antichrist’s hegemony. Russia will be devastated, and the United States decimated. However, by the end of the Tribulation, it appears that some Western-Northern powers and a certain Southern Islamic alliance are strengthened. The Scripture mentions The King of the North and the King of the South (Hammitic and Shemitic nations that are aligned against the Dictator). These power groups amass to attack Antichrist around the same time that the Kings of the East are on the move. The King of the South is led by the ancient Hammitic peoples of Egypt and other African powers (Dan 11:43). Daniel’s King of the South is the southern confederacy of nations who were not involved in WWIII and therefore escaped that massive retaliation. The northern confederacy of Islamic nations will be neutralized during WWIII along with Russia.
Islam is not a factor during the 7 year Tribulation period in the north or east. Islam may have a resurgence in the Kings of the South at the very end and be the unifying factor. The powers of the final days are Antichrist and the kings of the north, south, and east according to Scripture. Every ethnic group and Zone will be aligned with one or the other.
The first part of Daniel ch. 11 is historical, but 11:36-45 is futuristic and concerns the time of the end, the appointed time. In this passage, the use of the words “he” or “him” refer to Antichrist. In this lead-up to Armageddon, the Northern and Southern campaigns are interrupted by news that all the armies and powers of the world are gathering at Armageddon (Dan 11:40-45 cp. Rev 16:14). Keep in mind that Antichrist is headquartered in Jerusalem in the Tribulation Temple and his power base is in Israel during the Great Tribulation. The five named Islamic nations in Ezekiel 38 will not be a factor during the Tribulation, having been neutralized at WWIII, but some form of Islam may come into play at the very end, since Egypt is not mentioned in Ezek. 38:5-6, but becomes the leader of the Southern alliance. Egypt has been Islamic for the past 1400 years. It is not clear who the Northern confederacy is, but this is not the Antichrist. It could be that the leader of the Euro Zone makes an attempted power grab near the end by challenging the emergent southern zone confederacy.
This demonstrates another reason why the Antichrist is not the “Mahdi”, Islamic redeemer, of the Twelvers (the Shi’a‘s 12th hidden Iman). Antichrist is not Islamic and Islam is not a major factor during the main seven year Tribulation due to its significant defeat along with Russia. This is analogous to the post-war environment after 1948, 1967, and 1973 (when Israel soundly defeated the Arabs), and the Jews were at peace for long periods of time – Islam was neutralized. After Israel defeats Russia and the Islamic powers in WWIII, years of peace will follow until they realize who their false Messiah really is – a rude awakening.
Daniel 11:40-45 is a clear reference to this battle strategy which shall take place “at the time of the end” (Dan. 11:40a). This passage shows the tactics employed by the Antichrist, whose personality portrait is found in the preceding verses, Dan. 11:36-39. The King of the North (Dan. 11:40) will attack Israel in league with the King of the South (Dan. 11:40), but the Antichrist’s forces avoid this pincer movement by a “blitzkrieg” against Africa (probably the weaker of the two opposing confederations).
As these forces clash with the Antichrist’s forces centered in the Middle East, early warning detection picks up the Asian Confederacy crossing the Euphrates to join the North and South in the fray. The Antichrist will encamp between the Mediterranean Sea and the inland sea of Israel prepared for the final conflict, an unambiguous reference to the valley that runs from the Mediterranean Sea to the Sea of Galilee, the Valley of Megiddo (Dan. 11:45). The Son of Satan will be utterly destroyed in this encounter, and no one can help him (Dan. 11:45).
Three frogs are released, the Trinity of Evil (Rev. 16:12-14), to control key players in each of the three attacking power blocks. The purpose is to energize these leaders to mobilize toward the Battle of Armageddon. These are mind controlling propaganda demons. One major demon for the King of the North, a big demon for the King of the South, and another high ranking evil spirit dispatched to the Kings of the East. These Big Three spheres of power converge against the Antichrist’s power block. Frogs are symbolic of unclean creatures and are typical of evil powers, one of the plagues of Moses upon Egypt was the unleashing of frogs upon the land (Exodus Ch. 8).
God allows these foul emissaries to work their scheme. The Satanic kingdom is like the Mafia, warring families vying for control. In fact, Nazism, Communism, and the Crime syndicates give us insight into the workings of the satanic kingdom. Each of these nefarious organizational entities were ruled by their alignment with the forces of darkness and enforced by the imposition of fear, intimidation, and violence.
These three frog-spirits along with “the gang of four” loosed in Rev. 9:14-15 form a satanic judgment of seven, a demonic septuplet of evil sent forth to spread havoc upon the world. In some sense of apocalyptic balance, God allows the enemy to mount a final counter-strategy, an inverse set of “seven” which ultimately works into the Divine prophetic culmination to their total defeat.
Ezekiel in chapters 38 and 39, describes a vision of Russia and five allies attacking Israel in the End Times. There is no mention of the Kings of the East nor the return of the Lord. In fact, just the opposite, Russia is defeated and retreats to Siberia and the radioactive decontamination lasts for exactly seven years. The assembly for Armageddon is by its name, in the Valley of Megiddo (Jezreel Valley). The heathen armies assembled at Armageddon are all destroyed by the Return of the Lord, the Parousia. In light of this contrast, it is plain to see the distinctive which separates these two conflicts, seven years of Tribulation separate them.
In Revelation, it clearly states that this conflict will occur in a physical place called in the Hebrew, Har Megiddo. In the Septuagint, the Greek Old Testament that Jesus and the Disciples read, Megiddo is mentioned nine times. It is in the valley directly below the city of Megiddo which sits upon the elevated Tel of Megiddo (Har Megiddo). This is where King Josiah came to fight against the king of Egypt, Necho (2 Chron. 35:22). The original Greek in the Revelation renders the two words, Har and Megeddon. Today, we call this Final Conflict – Armageddon. Megiddo is an ancient city of Canaan assigned to Manasseh. It is located on the southern rim of the Plain of Esdraelon, about 11 miles from Nazareth, and 6 miles from Carmel. Jesus must have looked out over this vast plain many times as a child growing up in the area. Even in the time of Christ, this plain was a major travel route and saw the passage of many conquering armies.
The Revelation gives us many descriptions concerning this Battle. In Chapter 14, we see the great harvest of God’s Wrath with Christ casting in the sickle and the blood of the enemy soldiers rising to the height of a horse’s bridle (14:10-20). The length of the distance mentioned in verse 20 matches the dimensions of the Valley of Har Megiddo (the Valley of Jezreel). Chapter 16, the last bowl judgments, identifies the Eastern power block and the exact physical location of the engagement. Chapter 19 verifies that “all” the armies of the world will assemble to fight against the Christ (v. 19) and be utterly defeated. Their flesh will be eaten by the vultures (v.21; cf. Mat. 24:28) as their blood rises to flow as one mighty crimson river of carnage.
“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. . . . In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. . . And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God. . . Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle (Zech. 12:1-14:2 excerpts, emphasis added).
The Old Testament prophet, Zechariah, writing five hundred years before Christ gives us even more perspective on the Battle of Armageddon and the Parousia of Christ. Zechariah chapter 12 describes a future time when Jerusalem and Israel will be encompassed about by “all the people of the earth” who are gathered against the City of David (12:1-3, 14:1-2; cf. Isa. 29:1-8). This is the “Day of the Lord” (Zech. 14:1) an eschatological term which can only mean the end time. God will utterly destroy the heathen armies aligned against His Holy Land (v. 4; cf. Rev. 14 and 19). Although there was a partial fulfillment in 70AD when Titus destroyed the city (not all nations, just the Romans), the events that accompany this complete vision did not all occur at that time, and are yet future.
In the Olivet Discourse (Mat 24), Jesus alludes momentarily to 70AD and the Temple’s destruction then moves on to speak at length about the end times. Zechariah skips over two millennia and reveals “in that day” the Lord will destroy “all nations” that seek to destroy his people (v. 9) and they shall see the One that they pierced 2,000 years ago (v. 10). On that day, the Jewish nation will receive their Messiah, Jesus Christ. Obviously, this prophecy was not fulfilled in the historic past. Following through on the ABC points, Zechariah’s passage indicates the exact point on the time line, Point C, which also specifies the location of this end time event in “the valley of Megeddon” (12:11).
Only one third of the Jewish people will survive the Final Holocaust (Zech. 13:8-9). The Jews will be tried as by fire in the melting pot of God, the Tribulation furnace of preparation. Malachi prophesies concerning the First and Second Comings of the Lord (Mal. 3:1-3; cf. Zech. 13:9). He begins with a pronouncement of John the Baptist’s ministry and Christ the “messenger of the covenant” (v.1) and then skips over the gap of 2,000 years to the Second Coming. The Second Coming will be a time of refining and purifying for the Jewish people (vv.2-3). Today in Israel, they echo “never again” in defiance of another holocaust, but what awaits them is way beyond the atrocities of Hitler. This is the “time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7) which Jeremiah proclaimed would come. The Jewish nation rejected their Messiah; and they will accept another, a false deliverer, who will terrorize Israel (John 5:43, “if another comes in his own name”). This is what God says, not some radical anti-Semite from an Aryan-Nazi fringe party. This is the truth of God’s Holy Word as stated by Jewish seers. The surviving Jews will receive their Messiah and inherit the Millennial Kingdom, the covenant promised to Abraham by God (Gen. 13). A Covenant which cannot be disavowed (Rom. 11:25-27).
“Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light. And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one. All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses. And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited. And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth” (Zech. 14:3-12 KJV excerpts, emphasis added).
Zechariah gives us vivid pictures of the Return of Christ at Armageddon (Zech. 14:3-15). Just as Jesus ascended into Heaven two millennia ago, He shall return to that very spot on the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:9-12). He ascended to Heaven in clouds, and He will return in the clouds (Mat. 24:30, 26:64; Acts 1:9; 1 Thess. 4:17; Rev. 1:7, 14:14-16). His feet will set down on the Mount of Olives, and a “great earthquake” (Zech. 14:5) will split the Mount of Olives area so that a great valley will be created (Zech. 14:4-5). This is all in the context of Armageddon when He will fight against all the nations in the day of Battle (Zech. 14:3). Again, “all” means all nations, unlike Ezekiel’s vision of WWIII. God will destroy his enemies with the spiritual power illustrated in the movie “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark”.
This great earthquake is the anchor and KEY event which ties all the Point C prophecies together. Each of the three “seven” judgments (seals-trumpets-bowls) end with a great earthquake. The sixth iteration of each judgment series is the great earthquake followed by the Return of Christ (either directly stated or implied). The sixth seal judgment is a “great earthquake” along with astronomical anomalies. The sixth trumpet is a “great earthquake” with severe urban destruction. The sixth bowl dries up the Euphrates which may be the naturalistic trigger to set off the great earthquake (mentioned in the 7th vial). All the Point C events comprise the Point C mega-event and happen within such proximity to each other as to be effectively considered as one focal point – The Day of the Lord (Joel 3:14). The Bowl Judgments are somewhat out of sync with the other major Judgements much as the Gospel of John (being distinctive) is out of sync with the Synoptic Gospels. This does not diminish that distinctiveness in any way but augments and illuminates the uniqueness of the end times and ties the major figures of the Old Testament into the redemption of Israel.
Of the thirteen occurrences of “earthquake” in the King James Version, only three do not apply to the Comings of Christ. Of the remaining cases, there are two references to the earthquake at Christ’s resurrection (Mat. 27:54, 28:2). At least six of the references, one half, apply to the Second Coming of Christ (Isa. 29:6; Zech. 14:5; Rev. 6:12, 8:5, 11:13(19), and 16:18). Not only are earthquakes rarely mentioned in prophetic scripture, but the “great earthquake” can only be found in relation to the resurrection of Jesus, the ministry of Paul (Acts 16:26), and at the end of each 7-Judgement in the Book of Revelation. There are no coincidences in God’s Word.
The “great earthquake” of Revelation is one and the same event viewed from different judgment perspectives, just as the resurrection is one event viewed from four Gospel perspectives. Once this is understood, it is possible to construct an accurate time line based upon this foundational correlation. This is the Rosetta Stone of Revelation interpretation (within the framework of Rev 1:19). This proves that the three judgments presented in Revelation (seals-trumpets-bowls) are not serial – i.e. one group of seven following another. These are primarily concurrent judgments presented from different vantage points for different purposes. Each has its own unique focus that communicates a Divine insight into the overall judgments of the Holy God of Israel.
7th Seal – 7th Trumpet – 7th Bowl
Silence in Heaven – Second Coming – It Is Finished!
(Rev. 8:1) – (Rev. 11:14-15) – (Rev. 16:17)
The Seventh Seal, Trumpet, and Bowl Judgments are correlated descriptions of The Second Coming. From a Heavenly perspective, His Return punctuates Heaven with pregnant silence. The culmination of God’s plan of salvation and the promise of the Messianic Kingdom is a breathtaking realization. The Last Adam who defeated Satan at the Cross is returning to Earth with the Title Deed which was usurped from the first Adam. Ownership of the Edenic planet is being returned to the rightful owner, and Satan’s tyranny over man is finished. From Man’s perspective, Satan will no longer dominate as ruler of the evil world system (Eph. 6:12, 2 Cor. 4:4). The Mission of Christ is done, it is finished. The Lamb who was slain from before the foundation of the world returns to earth as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. The Suffering Messiah returns as the Conquering King. The Parousia is the righteous vindication of a just God who has graciously offered a rebellious creation every opportunity to repent and receive The Truth.
The Parousia is the Return of Christ, the Second Coming. The term, Parousia (pronounced pa-roo-see’-ah), occurs 24 times in the New Testament in some form. It is used in Matthew 24, 1 Corinthians 15, 1 Thessalonians chapters 2-5, 2 Thessalonians 2, James 5, and in the First Epistle of John 2. Its literal Greek meaning is the coming, arrival, or presence of someone. In all cases referenced here, it refers to the future visible return of Jesus in the clouds of Heaven to fulfill all Messianic prophecy and rule and reign in His Kingdom on earth.
The Exilic Prophet Zechariah presents a consistent chronology for our timetable and follows events through from the Return of Christ into the Millennial Reign. As in the Book of Jude, Zechariah tells us that the Lord is going to come with all His saints, both Old and New Testament (Jude 1:14). In chapter 14, he speaks of a strange lighting effect which shall occur at the Parousia (v. 6-7, cp. Mat. 24:29) and how the living waters will flow to the Dead Sea (v.8). At that time, no more judgmental destruction shall occur (v.11), i.e. Christ has returned to rule in peace for 1,000 years.
The final plague, the horrible judgment which Christ will unleash upon the heathen armies of the world at the Battle of Armageddon, is also described (Zech. 14:12). This has all the characteristics of a neutron bomb attack but Revelation 19:21 indicates that this phenomenon results from the sword of His mouth, the Word of God (Heb. 4:12).
“And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth” (Zech. 14:12 emphasis added)
Verse nine proclaims that the Lord shall be ruler over all the earth in that day. The “day” referred to is the “Day of the Lord,” an end time term which means Christ’s return and His rule on the earth. In that day, His name will be One name since the name of Jesus is the name of Jehovah. There will be one name for the true God of Israel, Jesus – the Lord our Savior. People of faith have argued and debated about the persons and character of God for centuries, but in the glorious era, all will be one in Christ (Gal. 3:28).
At the end of Zechariah’s book (14:16-21), the prophet reveals two very important concepts for the Millennium. First, there will be mortal people left alive from the nations after the Battle of Armageddon, and secondly that all the nations of the world will go up to Jerusalem each year at the Feast of Tabernacles to commemorate the Return of Christ. This is to celebrate the establishment of His Kingdom, like we Americans celebrate July 4th, our Independence day – this will be the world’s realized independence day from sin and Satan – a yearly celebration of Messiah.
There are seven feasts of Judaism (Lev. 23): The first four feasts, which occur in the Spring/Summer, were fulfilled by Jesus at His First Coming and the promised Holy Spirit. Only the last three fall feasts, await fulfillment: the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah), the Feast of Atonement (Yom Kippur), and last feast (the Feast of Tabernacles). Zechariah confirms that the last one of the Seven Feasts will be fulfilled when Christ sets up the Millennial Kingdom (Zech. 14:16, 19). This fulfillment implies that the other two unfulfilled fall feasts, Trumpets and Atonement, will be fulfilled by future events during the Tribulation before the Millennium begins. Five of the feasts are historical fact and/or prophetically accounted for, the prospect of the other two observances not fitting into the testamental pattern would violate the consistency of God based upon His foreknowledge of designed typological patterns.
St. John heard a trumpet call on the Isle of Patmos and the Apostle Paul writes of the trumpet call. Interestingly enough, Jesus came into the world the first time in the fall of 4BC. It is most likely that he was born sometime during the Fall Feasts when Shepherds would still be in their fields in Israel. The early Christians invented the traditional Christmas celebration of observance to avoid persecution by the Romans. They celebrated the Lord’s birth at the same time as the Roman “sun god”, a winter solar re-emergence festival on December 25th. According to Roman mythology that was the first day it was confirmed that Sol Invictus came back from his apparent death during the winter solstice.
“Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Mat. 24:23-31 KJV emphasis added).
In the end times discussion on the Mount of Olives, Jesus prophesies concerning His visible return (Mat. 24:23-31). He makes it plain that His parousia will be undeniable and unmistakable. His disciples should not be fooled by dubious reports of His return. In verse 27, the Lord states that His Coming will be visible to everyone on the earth just like lightning flashing from East to West – you can’t miss it. This visible Coming will occur at the Battle of Armageddon, where the vultures are gathered together (v.28). This seems to have a double meaning since the human army of vultures will gather together in the Valley of Jezreel, and the foul of the air will also gather for the consumption of their decaying flesh. All the earth shall see “the sign of the Son of Man in Heaven.” (Mat. 24:30). The only sign that the first generation received was the sign of Jonah, Jesus coming back again from the dead. It may be that the only sign the final generation will see is the same one, Jesus coming back again. Although there will be unique atmospheric or astronomic phenomenon occurring at that time (v.29), it may be that what follows in this verse is the sign. If so, then the verse would read, “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, i.e. all the tribes of the earth shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; all the tribes of the earth will mourn at this sight.” (paraphrased).
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast 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 were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.” (Rev. 19:11-21 KJV emphasis added).
Revelation chapter nineteen gives a compelling vision of the Parousia from Heaven’s perspective. From verse 11 onward, we see the image of the resurrected, ascended, and victorious Christ. Although some scholars have assumed that the rider on this white horse is the same as in chapter six, the first horse of the apocalypse, even a cursory comparison between these two riders should dispel this notion. The rider here has his name written all over, Faithful and True, the Word of God, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The rider in Rev. 6:2 has no names. The rider here has many crowns and a sword for His weapon; the rider in chapter six has a bow with no arrows and only one crown. The rider in chapter six is accompanied by three other horsemen, but Christ is followed by the armies of heaven.
The Beast, who is the Antichrist, and all the leaders of the world gather together to make war with the Creator of the Universe – how arrogant, how foolish, how hopeless. There is no contest. The War hardly begins, thus it is commonly known as a “Battle” – not a war. This is the beginning of WWIV, it is the world preparing for a war that is over before it gets under way. Jesus destroys all of them with His Word and the Beast and False Prophet are cast into the Lake of Fire. The believers return to earth to rule and reign with Christ for 1,000 years followed by a timeless Eternity (2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 20:6).
“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13 KJV) – the blessed hope of the Rapture and then the glorious Parousia.
Thus far we have discussed the ABCs or prophecy. After A, B, and C come D, and E. These events are years on down the prophetic road and occur post-Tribulation at a time when the believers will be in immortal bodies. The ABCs of the Tribulation are from God’s eternal vantage point right around the corner. However, we must put Point D and E into chronological perspective in order to avoid confusion when contrasting prophetic passages that would be unclear otherwise. Certain characteristics belonging to D and E make them impossible to confuse with events taking place during the Tribulation. Let me reiterate that there are only 5 major end time prophetic coordinates, and we already have an understanding of the first three: A, B, and C.
Post-Tribulation: Rev. 20:1-6
o Devil chained and bound in the bottomless pit for 1,000 years (Rev. 20:1-3)
o Martyred saints resurrected in the first resurrection after Tribulation (Rev. 20:4)
o Christ rules from Jerusalem – millennium of peace – 7th Day of Rest (Rev. 20:4b)
o Saints rule and reign with Christ (Rev. 20:4)
[_ Parousia +75 days = Hanukkah/Festival of Lights _]
After the visible return of Christ at the Battle of Armageddon, Daniel prophesies about a mysterious interlude:
“And from the time that the continual burnt offering is taken away, and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he who waits and comes to the thousand three hundred and thirty-five days. But go your way till the end; and you shall rest, and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.” (Dan. 12:11-13 RSV emphasis added)
It is clear that Christ returns 1260 days after Point B, the Abomination of Desolation, since the Tribulation lasts for one Shabua (the 70th week of years). However, Daniel is shown a mystery concerning a time period of 1290 days – 30 days past Point C, Christ’s Return. The Old Testament prophet even speaks of a more future event taking place 45 days after that (75 days beyond the Parousia).
That date would be the time of the Festival of Lights. These two events should not contradict the clear exposition of Daniel chapter nine and the explicit timetable set forth in the Revelation but be understood as key occurrences which mark the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom of Christ. After all, one cannot simply jump into the perfect 1,000 year reign without a little cleanup and preparation, let alone ceremonial inauguration and festivities (Zech. 14:16-21):
“And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.” (Zech. 14:16 KJV emphasis added)
The world is a disaster when Jesus returns to earth. Immediately following the Tribulation, Christ will set up His long-awaited Kingdom. This Kingdom will last for one thousand years. The Devil has tried to mimic this for some time; Satan is an imitator, and what he mimics assures us of what is real. If Satan has tried to set up a 1,000 year kingdom on earth, then we can safely conclude that God has a 1,000 year kingdom in our future.
The Roman Empire lasted approximately one thousand years. Charlemagne’s Holy Roman Empire lasted from 800 to 1806 AD, Hitler’s Third Reich was to be a thousand year empire but God snuffed it out. The Third Reich means the 3rd empire, after the Roman and the Holy Roman Empires. In the future, the ultimate Führer will announce his plans for a thousand year kingdom no doubt, the New-Agers are already quite aware of the Age of Aquarius and the coming Lord Maitreya. The 1,000 year kingdom is a well know concept on both sides of the spiritual fence.
At the time of Jesus, the Jews were looking for a King to rid them of their enemies, and even the disciples and their relatives viewed Jesus in this light (Mat. 20:20-22; Acts 1:6). The Lord knew that the earthly Kingdom rule was a long way off, but foresaw that day when He spoke to the Disciples before going to the cross. At this time, Point D of the time line, the crucified Lamb of God will set up His Kingdom from the rededicated Temple in Jerusalem.
The Millennial Temple is the subject of Ezekiel’s Vision from chapters 40 through the end of his book. In the middle of this passage of prophetic scripture is the often-quoted section concerning the sealed up Eastern Gate (Ezekiel 44:1-3). These verses so disturbed and haunted the Islamic conquerors that they placed grave yards in front of the sealed up Eastern Gate which are there to this day (in order to make this area un-kosher to the Jews). They thought that they could defeat the prophecy by this tactic. They are in for a big surprise when God splits the ravine wide open with an earthquake at the His Return (Zech. 14:3-5).
There have been two historic Jewish temples. The first was built by King David’s son Solomon, which was destroyed by the Babylonian invaders in 586 BC. The Second Temple, called Zerubbabel’s Temple (built after the Media-Persian Exile), was refurbished by King Herod only to be destroyed in 70 AD by the Romans. King Herod’s Temple was the one in which Jesus uttered His denunciations of the corrupt religious establishment. There will be a Third Temple built during the Tribulation (Rev. 11), but there is little Scriptural reference concerning the transformation of that ignominious temple into the final Millennial edifice. The Millennial Temple is much grander and covers much more territory. The Roman Emperors often built their magnificent edifices on top of their predecessor’s mansion (a la Nero’s Domus Aurea) – this is most likely what will happen to the Antichrist temple. Christ would hardly allow a monument of evil to perpetuate a reminder of darkness into His Kingdom of light.
Ezekiel’s description of the future Temple is not a historical allusion to Solomon’s Temple which had been destroyed in Ezekiel’s lifetime, nor to the pitiful temple of Zerubbabel which caused the old men to weep at its sight (the old men could compare the rebuilt version to the glory of Solomon’s Temple which they had seen in their youth). Herod refurbished and expanded Zerubbabel’s Temple at the time of Jesus, but it never approached the full description found in Ezekiel’s Vision. Not to mention that Jesus predicted the destruction of Herod’s Temple with no mention of His Kingdom being set up at the time of its demise (Mat. 24:1-2).
The passage found in Ezekiel chapter 47 concerning great geographic changes, will be fulfilled at Christ’s return to the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:3-5 cp. Acts 1:11). Jesus ascended from the Mount of Olives and will return to that very spot. This description which is part of the overall Temple Vision has never occurred and thus discourages any attempt at past historical fulfillment. This vision is not the delusion of a desert seer on mind-altering drugs but a well detailed account of a very specific architectural and geographic journey, a detailed blueprint and aerial satellite survey of the future Temple and surrounding areas.
Naves Topical Bible states that “More space in the prophetic scriptures is devoted to a future rule of God on earth than to any other theme” (p. 752). There are theologians that deny the future Millennial Kingdom, preferring the amillennial view. Of course, they also deny that the contemporary nation of Israel which permeates the news has any prophetic significance (although it disappeared from the face of the earth for almost two millennia and suddenly reappeared in one day as predicted, Isa. 66:8). Jesus had to contend with this same religious mentality in His day and observed that the first century theologians could discern natural things but did not understand spiritual realities (Mat. 16:1-12).
On the other end of the prophetic spectrum are Biblical scholars who believe that the Gospel of Grace will be preached into all the earth, converting the entire world and then Christ will return, post-millennialism (also known as “Kingdom Now” ) . This view teaches that the Church will make the world such a wonderful place that Christ can’t help but return. Of course, this contradicts everything that Christ taught His disciples on the Mount of Olives, spiritualizes the book of Revelation, and renders all prophetic Old Testament prophecy as historic or fanciful allegory. This flies in the face of every present reality and even a cursory historical analysis.
Just watching the news is enough to dissuade honest brokers from believing such nonsense. That is absurd in view of present day events, and the persistence of ever-increasing world alignments, which together with technological progress, are ushering us into a futuristic reality of Biblical proportions. Small points aside, we don’t see the world improving at all, just the opposite. Even after the Cold War, we are now entering the most dangerous period of potential disaster in history: nuclear terrorism. Pagan religion is flooding the undeveloped world, and the developed world is generally secular humanistic or superficially religious. With Ebola, HIV, bio-resistant bacteria, genetic engineering, and global weather changes, we are hard-pressed to adopt this utopian fantasy. World Missions are exploding, but the world at large is not receiving the message and never will, as the Master declared, “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Mat. 7:13-14 RSV emphasis mine). Universal Salvation is not a New Testament concept (a la Unitarianism and Universalism).
For the first two centuries of Christianity, the Early Church Fathers taught a theological concept called Chiliasm. The term Chiliasm is derived from the Greek word “xilia” (pronounced kil-ee-ah) meaning one thousand. In Latin the term is “mille”, and is the root for “millennium,” a period of one thousand years. The word Chiliasm is defined as the belief in a 6,000 year timetable of human history followed by a literal 1,000 reign of Christ upon the earth. This corresponds to a Divine “week” of human history upon the present earth. This theological teaching states that fallen man will work in the corrupted world for six days of 1,000 years each (i.e. 6,000 years) and then mankind will find rest upon the seventh day when Christ returns to earth to set up His Kingdom. This is analogous to the creation account found in Genesis where the world was formed in six literal days with God resting upon the seventh.
The history of the 6,000 year teaching among the early Christians is well documented in “Patrology” by Johannes Quasten (Catholic University of America, D.C.) as well as other scholarly works on this topic. As Quasten observes about these writings, “Typical of all these writings is their eschatological character. The second coming of Christ is regarded as imminent.”
So we see there is always been the tension between the imminent return of Christ and the exposition of the 6,000 year theory (Quasten Vol.1 p.40). Papius of Hieropolis, the author of The Epistle of Barnabus, Justin Martyr, and Irenaeus (direct in line to the teaching of St. John), to mention a few, all taught this 6,000 year concept of secular human history.
The main scriptural sources for this Chiliast doctrine is found in several Biblical passages: Psalm chapter ninety, the Second Epistle of Peter chapter three, and Revelation chapter twenty. The Word says that everything must be established by the mouth of two or three witnesses (Mat. 18:16, 2 Cor. 13:1, 1 Tim. 5:19, Heb. 10:28):
1,000 years = God’s yesterday
Psalm 90:4 “For a thousand years in thy sight [are but] as yesterday when it is past, and [as] a watch in the night.” (KJV)
1,000 years = One day with the Lord
2 Peter 3:8 “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” (KJV)
1,000 years = Millennial Day of Christ’s Kingdom on Earth
Revelation 20:1-3 “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.” (KJV)
Is the scripture metaphorically discussing the relative time dimension of God to us human mortals or does the Bible give us insight into a deeper more literal meaning concerning God’s timetable – and ours? Archbishop James Ussher (1581-1656), an Irish Protestant theologian and scholar, at one time had the largest collection of books in Europe. Using the Book of Genesis, he exactingly followed the genealogies of “begets” back in time and determined that the present earth was created in the year 4004 BC (This chronology is still inserted into the margins of many editions of the King James Bible). Interestingly enough, a comparison of this chronology in one thousand year equivalent segments produces an enlightening correspondence to the purported Chiliast assertion:
The 1,000 Year Days of Human History
Given that the 1,000 year periods and Bishop Ussher’s calculations may not be precise, but approximate interpretations of Bible-based chronological data. However, this does not mean that this extrapolation is inaccurate in general.
4000 – 3000 BC Fallen Adam to the Flood
3000 – 2000 BC Flood to Abram
2000 – 1000 BC Abram to First Temple
1000 – 0000 BC Temple to birth of Christ
0000 – 1000 AD Christ to the Great Schism
1000 - 20?? AD End of 6,000 years of history
20?? - 30?? AD Millennium Day of Rest
The early church fathers taught that there would be a thousand year period of world history, the “day of rest,” i.e. the Kingdom of Christ upon the earth. The scripture clearly teaches when taken as a whole that God will rule upon the earth in a perfect Kingdom
In the last days, the Lord’s house will be in Jerusalem and He will judge the earth:
“It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” (Isa. 2:2-4 RSV emphasis added, the verse on the UN building)
“The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall feed; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The sucking child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. “(Isa. 11:6-9 RSV)
Christ will physically return to earth to the exact point of His departure. (Zech. 14:3-5; Acts 1:11)
Christ’s Kingdom will be inhabited by mortal human beings who survive the Tribulation and therefore it must be a physical earthly reality (Zech. 16:16)
Messiah will rule Israel as the Son of David. (Isa. 9:7; Micah 5:2; Zech. 12:10; Mat. 12:23, 22:42; Mark 12:35)
After Armageddon, Satan will imprisoned for 1,000 years (Rev. 20:1-3)
After 1,000 years, Satan will released from confinement (Rev. 20:7-10) – the Tribulation martyrs will rule and reign with Christ for 1,000 years after the First Resurrection (Rev. 20:4)
1,000 years separates the First Resurrection from the Final Battle of Satan (Rev. 20:5)
The Final Battle of Gog and Magog is fought on a physical “earth” (Rev. 20:8-9). At the end of the 1,000 years, there is a new earth, i.e. the old one exists until then (Rev. 20:11, 21:1-2).
Rev. 20:7 … to the End
o Satan’s loosed – Gog/Magog (Rev. 20:7-9)
o Devil cast into Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:10)
o Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11-15)
o Unbelievers into Fiery Lake (Rev. 20:15, 21:8)
o New Heavens/Earth & Jerusalem (Rev. 21)
o Eternity (Rev. 22) – The Beginning . . .
o The Great White Throne Judgment
Immediately following Satan’s volcanic bath in the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10), God sits in judgment over all mankind (Rev. 20:11-15). The books are opened, like a huge accounting of debits and credits, where a man’s life is reviewed and ultimately left wanting. Works, good or bad, cannot save you. The unsaved dead are judged according to their works. They will says things like, “I’m no worse than anybody else,” “I lived a pretty good life,” and “a loving God couldn’t possibly judge me, wonderful me”. The “works” candidates will speak of toleration and liberalism. The “works” crowd will profess philosophy and religion or at least good morals and some charitable giving. This group thinks that they can buy their way into heaven with token “good deeds” and a cursory comparison to their deluded fellow sinners. They think they can crucify Christ daily by their thoughts, deeds, and lifestyles and then expect God to ignore their self-willed rebellious souls. That is not going to happen – what a wake-up call that day will be!
Books will be opened at the final judgment and there is “another book” that determines the fate of all mankind called the Book of Life. Whosoever was not written in that book was cast into the lake of fire with their infernal father the Devil (Rev. 20:12.15). Just as Jesus is the first-born of a new race of men, Satan is the father of all sinners. Men and women will spend eternity with their spiritual leader, the saints with Jesus and the sinners with Satan. Christians have to choose to be with Jesus, it’s called “making a decision for Christ.” Sinners choose to be with Satan everyday of their lives; a choice made with constant rejection of God, reliance upon their own self-righteousness, and a willful decision to go the way of the world. To not decide for Christ is to make a de facto commitment to the Evil One.
There are only two categories of people who have ever lived, and they were represented in the crowd before Pilate almost 2,000 years ago. They are with us today. The categories are not rich and poor, small and great, or educated and ignorant. The categories are delineated by dripping blood from an old wooden cross in that pivotal moment of Divine time, the cross-road of eternity. The categories are separated by each man’s heart as he beholds Calvary through the prism of time and rebelliously cries out for a contemporary Barabbas or humbly bends his knee to a crucified eternal King. The choice is simple; it is a choice of the heart – the innermost core being.
Which crowd are you in? If you are trusting in your own works and goodness then you are your own savior. Your self-centered humanistic “god of decaying flesh”, who can barely get up in the morning, is your ticket to eternity. You cry out, “Give me the world’s way, I will not have this Jesus rule over me,” and crucify Jesus daily. In reality, you have chosen the way of Satan. You say how can that be? Your every decision, act, and attitude nails Christ to the cross anew. Like Satan, you have chosen to rebel against your creator. If you had been there 2,000 years ago, you would have rejected Christ then, just as you reject him now.
It’s not too late! The Holy Spirit is convicting you of the Truth. You can confess your sins; pray to God and tell Him that you realize you are a sinner. Cry out for the Savior, Jesus. You can receive salvation through the shed blood of Christ at Calvary and receive the free gift of salvation. The sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross is your ticket to an eternity of Heaven with God. You can live forever and inherit the Kingdom and the New Heaven and New Earth. The alternative is an eternity with your pathetic self-god, separated from Christ and lost in the flames of perdition. The choice is yours. Jesus has paid the price. The wages of sin is death. Choose life.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 KJV)
“God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 KJV).
“If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9-10 KJV).
“But as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:13 KJV).
The KEY to this final letter “E” of the prophetic alphabet is the word “new.” After the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11-15), God makes a new heaven and a new earth and a New Jerusalem (Rev. 21 and 22). The fact that God makes a new earth implies that up to this time the only earth that existed was the “old” earth, i.e. the same one we are now whirling around the sun on. During the Millennial Reign, Christ will establish His rule and drastically change the world, but the core physical essence of the world will remain the same. The world will be getting a divine face lift, but not a brand new body. In a way this is like the believer, when a person is saved they get a new spirit and outlook on life, but the immortal body is on down the road of life. Well, the earth gets a “make over” during the Millennium, but the immortal earth will not occur until after the Great White Throne judgment over one thousand years from now.
The New Jerusalem, the heavenly city of God, comes down from heaven to the newly renovated earth and heavens (Rev. 21). John writes down an elaborate vision of the new city, but only in terms that a mortal first century man can manage. In this high-tech age, it seems more likely that many of the descriptions here are inter-dimensional – more fitting for modern quantum mechanics and Einstein’s theories. John describes the light of God as if tangible and congealed to form structural reality, as if the beams of God’s brilliance were molded to form the very substance of this heavenly tabernacle. Paul describes a similar construction in Ephesians chapter two where he speaks of the keystone, Jesus Christ, and this temple built upon a foundation of apostles and prophets (New and Old Testament saints, Eph. 2:18-22). Peter gives us another glimpse of this foundational and ultimate truth in his first epistle chapter two (1 Peter 2:4-9).
In this glorious new city, the whole of human salvation is edified into an eternal structure with Christ at the center. The curse has been removed forever and the eternal plan of salvation has found its fulfillment in this nexus of Divine presence. God is its light and its walls are prisms of saintly reflection that manifest the redemptive splendor of their Creator Christ. There is no sickness, sadness, nor death, and those who are written in the Book of Life shall live as light beings with the “Light of the World” forever.
But just as it is written, “Things that no eye has seen, or ear heard, or mind imagined, are the things God has prepared for those who love him.” (1Cor. 2:9 NET Bible)
Today is the day to choose where you will spend eternity, either with a Loving God who cares for you and offers the free gift of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ, or in an eternity of separation from your Creator. The choice is clear: choose Jesus and enter into the blessed family of God. He wants you to come to Him just as you are. Won’t you receive Him as Savior now?
Dear Heavenly Father, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe you died for my sins and rose from the dead. I trust and follow you as my Lord and Savior. Guide my life and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you prayed the prayer, welcome to the family, you are now at:
About the Author
After years as a professional musician, songwriter, audio engineer, and recording artist in the 70’s, the author was saved at a home Bible study during the Jesus Movement. This resulted in his forsaking the worldly music business and bolstering his Philosophy degree into a more practical career in technology. He has been working ever since as a systems analyst and senior engineer with leading software companies. This “tent making” employment has led to the present book as the culmination of his post-graduate and Master of Divinity work – a lifetime of prophetic study. His ministry is teaching Bible prophecy, preparing the Church for the soon coming of Jesus.
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This work focuses on the Book of Revelation in the Bible and presents a simple but educated understanding of the symbolic meaning. It is the culmination of my graduate studies and a realization that the end times are rapidly approaching, as evidenced in the world news each night. We need to get the message out and put current events in perspective, making Bible prophecy relevant to the average reader. The mysteries of this enigmatic final book of the Holy Scripture can be understood when analyzed within the matrix of a systematic and logical framework. The name of the Revelation in the original Greek means the uncovering of the mystery - that which was previously hidden becoming clear. Hopefully, the reader will find that this work helps further that revealing by the Holy Spirit and inspires a renewed walk with the author of the The Book, the Lord Jesus Christ.