9 - Daniel's Seventieth Week: Jacob's Time of Trouble

     There are two life issues that should concern non-Christians. The first has been around for nearly two millennia. It is the matter of a person dying before they accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior by receiving His sacrificial death as atonement for or cleansing from their sins. The second is the subject of this chapter.

     In Chapter 5 of this book, I discussed the "seventy weeks" prophecy of Daniel. We learned that God had decreed 490 years for the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies. This prophecy also determined the time frames for the Jewish people's future. We saw how Jesus accomplished the fulfillment of the first 483 years of this prophecy with His first coming. Now we will revisit that prophetic passage and study the final seven years of the "seventy weeks":

"Seventy weeks are determined upon your people and upon

your holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an

end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to

bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision

and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore

and understand, that from the going forth of the

commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the

Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore

and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall,

even in troublous times. And after threescore and two

weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself: and the

people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city

and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with

flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are

determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many

for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause

the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the

overspreading of abominations he shall make it

desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined

shall be poured upon the desolate."

- Daniel 9:24-27

The first thing to note in this passage is that this prophecy is for the Jews and not the Gentiles (although as we will see the Gentiles will also suffer greatly during this time). Daniel says that these seventy "sevens" of years will affect his people, the Jews, and the holy city of Jerusalem.

By the end of the fulfillment of this passage, the Jews will have obtained an end of their transgressions and sins through their reconciliation to God. They will also have acquired everlasting righteousness. Though Jesus did make a way for the Jews to have forgiveness of their sins (and many Jews did accept Him), they as a nation rejected Him and He was "cut off" or killed. So the time of everlasting righteousness has not taken place yet. The fulfillment of this part of the prophecy will take place at the end of this final week or seven-year period of the seventy weeks.

During this final period the people of a ruler will come and destroy Jerusalem and the Temple therein. There was a foreshadow of this future event in 70 A.D.  Jesus, when discussing the signs of the end-times while He was on the Mount of Olives with His disciples, said that the Temple standing before them would be destroyed: 

"And Jesus went out, and departed from the Temple: and

His disciples came to Him for to show Him the buildings of

The Temple. And Jesus said unto them, See you not all

These things? Truly I say unto you, There shall not be left

Here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown


Less than forty years later, in 70 A.D., the Roman army under General (and later emperor) Titus did invade Jerusalem and destroy the Temple. The Jewish historian Josephus describes how during this war the Jews were tortured, persecuted, and killed.2 As you will see, this was not a fulfillment of seventieth week of Daniel but rather a prophetic type of what will occur.

Christians refer to this future ruler as the "Antichrist" or the "Beast". I will elaborate on who he is and what he will do more fully later. For now though we will look at what the Book of Daniel has to say about him in reference to the seventieth week.

In the last verse of this passage in chapter 9 of Daniel, it states that this ruler or prince will confirm a covenant with many for one week of seven years. Many believe this covenant will be a peace treaty of some kind. Daniel speaks of this ruler or Antichrist and what he will do during this period:

"And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the

transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce

countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall

stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own

power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall

prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the

holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause

craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself

in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also

stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be

broken without hand."3

It states here that this ruler will destroy many through his policy of peace, which I will discuss in a moment. The apostle Paul agrees with Daniel where he says that the Antichrist will magnify himself and stand up against the Prince of princes:

"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall

not come, except there come a falling away first, and that

man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposes

and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is

worshipped; so that he as God sits in the Temple of God,

showing himself that he is God."4

On the Mount of Olives Jesus too made mention of the Antichrist entering the Temple when He said:

"When you therefore shall see the abomination of

desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the

holy place, (whoso reads, let him understand:) Then let

them which be in Judea flee into the mountains."5 

It appears this future leader will either author or at least support a peace treaty that lasts seven years. Part of this agreement will probably include the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple since the last verse of Daniel chapter 9 states that in the middle of this seven-year period the Antichrist will cause the Temple sacrifices to cease. This cessation of sacrificial offerings will come about when the Antichrist enters the Temple to declare himself God. Daniel writes that this will lead to the desolation or desecration of the Temple. Paul seems to be speaking about the results of this peace treaty in his first letter to the Thessalonians:

"For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so

comes as a thief in the night. For when they shall say,

Peace and safety; then sudden destruction comes upon

them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall

not escape."6 

At the current time it is hard to see how such a scenario could come about. The Jews do want to rebuild their Temple so that they can start offering sacrifices again. The problem is that at present the religion of Islam has their shrine called "The Dome of the Rock" located on the mount where the Jews must build their Temple. This of course provides quite a dilemma for the Jews and their desires. Many believe that the Antichrist, who will possess great might, deception, and charisma, will provide a solution to this problem through this peace treaty spoken of by Daniel. It is possible that because of the wisdom he shows in resolving this issue, both the Gentiles and the Jews will accept him as the Messiah. As we read earlier in Chapter 7, the Messiah is supposed to rebuild the Temple. If the Antichrist were able to accomplish this then the world would indeed accept him as the Messiah. The Book of Revelation states that the whole world, excepting the followers of Jesus, will worship him: "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."7

When I was a new Christian I talked to a friend about Jesus Christ. He said that he would believe what the Bible said about Jesus' second coming when he saw the Temple rebuilt in Jerusalem. Having recently been saved I had no idea what he was referring to. Since then I have studied the end-times prophecies and came to understand what my friend was alluding to back then. The problem with waiting for this event to occur is that by then, it may be too late for my friend or others to open their hearts to the truths of God.

There has indeed been a recent movement in Israel to rebuild the Temple. Every year this Jewish organization8 tries to lay a cornerstone for the Temple in Jerusalem. If they were ever successful this would be the third Jewish Temple to stand on the Temple Mount in history. The first one was Solomon's Temple, which King Nebuchadnezzar destroyed when he invaded Israel in the sixth century before Jesus Christ was born. The second one was Zerubabbel's Temple, which the Israelites built eighty years after the destruction of Solomon's Temple. In 19 B.C., King Herod decided to renovate Zerubabbel's Temple. This project was completed in 63 A.D. but the Romans destroyed this Temple of Herod's in 70 A.D.

The effort to rebuild the third Temple has not stopped at the attempt of the laying of a cornerstone. There is also another Jewish group9 in Israel who has remade all of the sacred utensils and vessels that the priests will need to use in the Temple services according to the Bible. However, they have not remade the Ark of the Covenant because they believe they know where it has been hidden all these centuries. When they build the Temple, they will then put everything into place including the Ark.

Therefore, from Daniel's seventy-weeks prophecy, we know that a wicked ruler will arise on the scene toward the end of the current age. He will make a peace treaty that will last for seven years and will include the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple. In the middle of that seven-year treaty he will proclaim himself God, desecrate the Jewish Temple, and proceed to persecute the Jews. This last event will happen in the middle of the seven-year Tribulation Period.

The prophet Jeremiah confirms that this period will last seven years and that it will pertain primarily to the Jews:

"The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,

Thus speaks the LORD God of Israel, saying, Write you all

the words that I have spoken unto you in a book. For, lo,

the days come, says the LORD, that I will bring again the

captivity of My people Israel and Judah, says the LORD:

and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to

their fathers, and they shall possess it. And these are the

words that the LORD spoke concerning Israel and

concerning Judah. For thus says the LORD; We have

heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask

you now, and see whether a man does travail with child?

Wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins,

as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into

paleness? Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like

it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be

saved out of it."10

God states that He will return the Jews to the land of Israel in the last days. He refers to this period as the "time of Jacob's trouble". This time will be unlike any other in history. The Jews will experience great times of travail or anguish yet at the end God will save them out of it. They will hear a "voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace" which is an allusion to the false peace that the "king of fierce countenance" will bring upon the earth.

The phrase "the time of Jacob's trouble" refers to an earlier period in the life of the Jewish patriarch Jacob. Jacob had returned to the native land of his grandfather, Abraham. While there, he fell in love with a daughter of his uncle whose name was Rachel. Jacob promised to work seven years for his Uncle Laban if he would allow Jacob to marry Rachel. Laban agreed but he deceived Jacob by putting a veil on his eldest daughter Leah and passing her off as Rachel on the wedding day. Jacob was angry when he found out he had been deceived but agreed to work another seven years for Laban in order to marry Rachel.11 So Jacob's time of trouble lasted seven years, the same amount of time that Daniel's seventieth week will last.

Christians refer to this seven-year time span as the Tribulation Period. The prophet Daniel in writing of this time said:

"And at that time shall Michael [the archangel] stand up, the

great prince which stands for the children of your people:

and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was

since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that

time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be

found written in the book."12

When Jesus told the disciples what the signs of the end of the age will be He said:

"For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since

the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall

be...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."13

It is from this saying of Jesus that we get the appellation: "The Tribulation Period". Please note that both Daniel and Jesus state that there never has been nor will ever be again such a time of trouble on the earth as that which will occur during the Tribulation Period. This time of tribulation will affect both Jews and Gentiles who are on the earth during that time.

The Tribulation Period

The Bible speaks of this period in many places. However, the primary source for our study of the Tribulation Period will be the Book of Revelation.

Many believe that the apostle John, one of Jesus' twelve disciples, wrote this prophetic Book.14 Revelation states that he was banished to the island of Patmos off the coast of Greece.15 While he was there an angel of the Lord visited him and showed him all the things that were going to happen in the future. John also saw the glorified Jesus Christ who said to him:

"Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter."16

Accordingly, John wrote down everything he saw and heard in the Book of Revelation.

Some end-times scholars believe that the themes of each of the twenty-two chapters of Revelation speak of the progression of world history since the time of Jesus. The first chapter represents the time that John was alive in the First Century A.D.  In chapters 2 and 3, Jesus told John to write letters to seven churches. Some think that each of these letters parallel the history of the Christian Church from the First Century to the end-times. In chapter 4 John hears a voice that sounds like a trumpet say, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must be hereafter."17 John finds himself in the throne room of God. Pre-Tribulationists believe this represents the Rapture of the Church before the Tribulation Period starts. Chapter 5 declares that the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, is the only one able to reveal the future of the world and its inhabitants. This future is written down in a scroll or book which has been sealed. Jesus Christ breaks open the seals in chapter 6. Chapters 6 through 18 reveal the events of the Tribulation Period with very descriptive language. As you read Revelation remember that John was looking at things that were at least two thousand years in the future. He was using First Century experiences and words to describe at least Twenty-first Century events. Chapter 19 tells of the second coming of Jesus Christ and the battle of Armageddon. Chapter 20 speaks of the Messianic Kingdom of Jesus Christ. Chapters 21 and 22 finish the Book of Revelation with a description of eternity.

I will begin with chapter 6 and the start of the Tribulation Period. I want to point out that the first series of events closely parallel what Jesus Christ said would be the signs of the end. Chapter 24 of the Gospel of Matthew lists these signs. Below each of the quoted scriptures from Revelation in this first section, I will write the corresponding signs given by Jesus in Matthew. Please note that I will maintain the order of these signs as given by Jesus as well as the order of the Book of Revelation.

The First Seal

"And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer."

- Revelation 6:1-2

"And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many."

- Matthew 24:4-5

Many scholars believe that this rider on the white horse is the Antichrist. Notice that even though he has a bow for a weapon he has no arrows to shoot. This could be a reference to the peace treaty that he will make with the Jews and Gentiles. No war will be involved in his conquering of the world. The world will receive him as the man with the answers to humanity's problems. This would fulfill Jesus' prophecy that false Christs or Messiahs will appear at the end.

How will it be possible for the Antichrist to come to such a position of power in the world without conquering it by force? I believe the Bible gives us two methods he will use to attain this power.

 The Prophet Daniel mentions several times a descriptive phrase of the Antichrist (or "little horn" as he calls him): "[The Antichrist has] a mouth speaking great things"; "I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spoke"; "and a mouth that spoke very great things"18 The Antichrist is going to be an orator the likes of which the world has never seen. Something similar has happened in our recent history.

In 1920, Adolph Hitler took over a political party that had around fifty members. By 1940 the membership of the Nazi Party numbered in the hundreds of thousands. Millions more in Germany and around the world believed in him. This was all do to the fact that Adolph Hitler was a mesmerizing orator. Because of this ability millions of people died during World War II.

The other method revolves around the Antichrist and his administration's ability to perform lying wonders and miracles. The apostle Paul said concerning the Antichrist: "Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders."19 Later in Revelation we will read of the Antichrist's right-hand man who also will have this ability: "And he does great wonders, so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceives them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast [i.e., Antichrist]."20

So the world will indeed be enchanted with this false messiah who will speak great words to their ears. When they see the lying wonders they will think that God Himself has come down to earth.

The Second Seal

"And when He had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword."

- Revelation 6:3-4

"And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom..."

- Matthew 24:6-7a

As Daniel said, by peace he "shall destroy many". After the Antichrist deceives the world, he will then raise an army with weapons and will cause a world war. The Book of Revelation states: "And they worshipped the dragon [i.e., Satan] which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast [i.e., Antichrist], saying, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him...And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations."21

The Third Seal

"And when He had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine."

- Revelation 6:5-6

"...and there shall be famines..."

- Matthew 24:7b

This passage in Revelation is saying that people on the earth will spend great amounts of money to buy food (it lists a day's wages for the First Century here). In Germany after World War I, it took millions of German marks to buy a loaf of bread. In the future Tribulation Period famine from the war will be worldwide.

The Fourth Seal

"And when He had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth."

- Revelation 6:7-8

"...and pestilences, and earthquakes, in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows."

- Matthew 24:7c-8

The current population of the earth is around six billion people. If these events took place in the next few years, more than 1.5 billion people would be killed. The death and destruction from this war will result in the spread of diseases from all the dead bodies lying around. Animals will be running loose and will be so hungry they will start attacking human beings. If numerous nuclear weapons are involved in this war it could result in an increase in earthquake and volcanic activity.

The Fifth Seal

"And when He had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled."

- Revelation 6:9-11

"Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and you shall be hated of all nations for My name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."

- Matthew 24:14

During this Tribulation Period, the Antichrist and his followers will persecute those who believe in Jesus Christ. He will kill many for their beliefs during this time as John saw in heaven. Jesus said that those who endure to the end will be saved.

The Sixth Seal

"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 casts 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 sits 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?"

- Revelation 6:12-17

"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."

- Matthew 24:29

Cosmic events will take place possibly as a result of a worldwide nuclear holocaust or by the hand of God. The world will finally know that they have worshiped a false god. But instead of turning to the true God they will try to hide from Him. The horrific part for the world is that this is just the "beginning of sorrows".

The 144,000 Jewish Evangelists

In chapter 7 of the Book of Revelation, God stops the flow of events that John saw taking place during the Tribulation Period to show him two unique groups of His servants.

The first group consists of 144,000 Jews from the tribes of Israel who are living on the earth during the Tribulation Period. These cannot be Gentiles because John specifically mentions twelve Jewish tribes as the origin of these persons. Gentiles are not descended from the tribes of Israel.

God does something special with these Jewish servants of His. An angel of God tells four other angels who were carrying out the judgments on the earth during the Tribulation Period to stop until God can protect these Jews from harm:

"Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel."22

The angel is to put the seal of God on the 144,000 Jewish servants of the Lord, which will protect them from the judgments that are to come with the opening of the seventh seal. Later in Revelation we will see that the Antichrist also requires his followers to receive a mark on their foreheads or right hands. To be a servant of God after the first coming of Jesus Christ means that you believe in Jesus as the Messiah and that you live your life according to His will. During the Tribulation these Jewish servants will be fulfilling God's will by evangelizing the people who are living on the earth at that time. These servants may have accepted Jesus as their Savior after witnessing the first few seal judgments of God. The second unique group in chapter 7 of Revelation is the result of the preaching of these Jewish servants.

After witnessing this sealing of God's servants, John saw a much larger number of persons in heaven:

"After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God who sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb...And one of the elders answered, saying to me, Who are these which are arrayed in white robes? And from where came they? And I said unto him, Sir, you know. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."23

A heavenly elder told John that the blood of the Lamb had saved this multitude of people during the Great Tribulation Period. Since this episode occurred right after the sealing of the Jewish servants the logical conclusion is that it was their preaching that led to the salvation of many of this multitude. As mentioned earlier in this chapter, the Antichrist and his followers will persecute and kill the followers of Jesus Christ. They will be extremely successful in this persecution during the Tribulation Period as John states that those saved and killed were too many to count.

After this interlude in the future events that John was witnessing, he now starts again with the opening of the seventh seal.

The Seventh Seal

"And when He had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.  And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound."

- Revelation 8:1-6

Pre-Wrath Tribulationists say that the Rapture takes place at this moment because they believe this is when God begins to pour out His full wrath upon the earth and its inhabitants. The fact that John mentions that there was silence for half an hour does indicate that something, the likes of which have never been seen on earth, is about to happen.

The seventh seal starts the upheaval in the earth's weather patterns. This is in response to the prayers of the saints of God in which His justice would finally come upon the earth: "I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, do You not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?"24

This also allows seven angels to prepare to blow their respective trumpets that will bring further judgments upon the earth.

The First Trumpet

"The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up."

- Revelation 8:7

Now that God has sealed His 144,000 Jewish servants for protection to preach the gospel, He allows the angels to bring down His judgments upon the earth. A strange hailstorm rains down from heaven that destroys one-third of the trees on the earth along with the grass. The earth will never have looked uglier then it will when this occurs.

The Second Trumpet

"And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed."

- Revelation 8:8-9

It is hard to know exactly what John saw here. Whatever this mountain is (possibly a meteor or asteroid etc), it poisons a third of the oceans and sea and kills the creatures therein. The stench from this event will be overwhelming.

The Third Trumpet

"And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter."

- Revelation 8:10-11

Whether what John sees here is a comet or meteor or something manmade is open for interpretation. He could be witnessing a nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile that poisons the water. The word "wormwood" is a translation of a Greek name of a plant that is bitter tasting. Many will drink this poisoned water because of an insatiable thirst that arises from the ecological devastations that have occurred.

The Fourth Trumpet

"And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise."

- Revelation 8:12

Something was causing a partial darkness over the earth. Whether this occurred because of dust and smoke, which were the result of all the earthquakes and storms, is not clear. John might be witnessing and describing a nuclear winter.


After the fourth trumpet sounded, John saw another angel issuing a warning:

"And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!"

- Revelation 8:13

As horrible as the Tribulation Period has been up to this point, it is going to get much worse.

The Fifth Trumpet

"And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he strikes a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them...And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon. One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter."

- Revelation 9:1-6, 11-12

The sounding of the fifth trumpet begins the first "woe" that was spoken of by the angel. John sees a "star" that falls to the earth. This star is actually a living being of some sorts. He uses a masculine pronoun to describe this star that receives the key to the abyss. This creature unlocks this pit and great smoke rises out of it. Out of this smoke come loathsome looking locusts. These locust creatures are given the power to torment mankind for five months. Their power is restricted though, which prohibits them from killing or harming any human beings who have God's seal on their forehead. Those that are horribly tortured by these creatures will seek to die but will be unable to do so.

The name of the ruler of these locust creatures is "Apollyon" in the Greek language and "Abaddon" in the Hebrew. Both of these terms mean "destroyer".

The Sixth Trumpet

"And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. 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 was 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."

- Revelation 9:13-21

The blowing of the sixth trumpet begins the second "woe" upon the inhabitants of the earth. Four angels receive their freedom from the spiritual chains that bound them to the River Euphrates. This river runs south from Turkey through Syria and through the middle of Iraq into the Persian Gulf. It appears as if these four angels will allow an army of 200 million horsemen to cross the Euphrates by drying up part of the river. Two issues militate against these 200 million men riding actual horses. The first is that there are probably less than half that many horses in the world today. The second is that John's description of what he saw is clearly not a horse in the sense that we know them. It is possible that since John is using First Century words to describe what he is seeing, they could be some type of modern mechanized military vehicles. However, the huge number of "horsemen" makes this scenario unlikely unless he saw them riding in vehicles of all kinds. Even then it would appear unfeasible simply because oil and gasoline supplies would probably be non-existent at this stage of the Tribulation Period.

In chapter 16 of Revelation, we find out that this massive army will be led by "kings of the east".25 These kings or leaders are probably from the Asian nation of China and some of the countries surrounding it. China currently has a population of 1.3 billion people. Even if half of their population were killed during the first half of the Tribulation Period they could still field an army of this size.

The result of this invasion will be the death of another third of mankind. Using current world population figures, this would mean that after this sixth trumpet judgment more than 3 billion persons would have died during the Tribulation Period. Now we know why the Bible states that this period of time will be unlike any other time in the earth's history.

The most unimaginable part of this entire scripture passage is that men's hearts have become so hardened that instead of repenting they continue in their hatred for God.

At this point (which is also the mid-point of the seven-year Tribulation Period) God again stops the revelation to John of the flow of Tribulation events that he has been witnessing. He now reveals to him another event that will occur during this period of time.

The Two Witnesses

In chapter 10 of Revelation an angel interacts with John. In the first section of this chapter he hears seven voices that sound like thunder. Mysteriously though a voice from heaven tells him not to write down what they said.26 There has been much speculation as to what these voices uttered but no one knows what was spoken.

In the second part of this chapter the angel gives John a little book to swallow which tasted sweet but grew bitter in his stomach.27  What the contents of this book were are not revealed. However, after eating this book the angel tells John that he must prophesy again to the inhabitants of the world. It is possible that this book is the Book of Revelation that John would write. Revelation is sweet in that John prophesies that Jesus Christ is coming again to set up His kingdom. It is also bitter in the fact that the world is going to suffer horribly before that event takes place.

In the first part of chapter 11, John is told to measure the Temple and the people that worship there.28 This reveals that there will indeed be a third Jewish Temple rebuilt during the Tribulation Period This measuring might not refer so much to the physical dimensions of the Temple but as to how this Temple and the people who worship there "measure up" to the standards of God's righteousness. However, the angel tells John not to measure the outer court of the Temple since it belongs to the Gentiles for a period of 42 months or 1260 days. Some speculate this means that the Temple will be built beside the Islamic Dome of the Rock shrine, which currently is located on the Temple Mount. At the present time it is hard to imagine how either religion would allow the other to "desecrate" the Temple Mount with their religious building. Nevertheless, as we have seen so far, many supernatural events will have taken place during this time and so it is possible.

After this, John sees two powerful servants of God:

"And I will give power unto My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceeds out of their mouth, and devours their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and an half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up here. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them."

- Revelation 11:3-12

There has been much speculation as to whom these two witnesses are. The most common belief is that they are Elijah and Moses who represent the "prophets" and the "law" of the Old Testament. Elijah is prophesied to come before the "great and dreadful Day of the Lord".29 Also Elijah did cause the rain to stop during his prophetic ministry on earth30 and Moses did invoke the plagues which included turning water into blood.31

Regardless of whom these two witnesses are they will be preaching salvation for forty-two months in the city of Jerusalem. If anyone tries to harm or stop them, the two witnesses will kill them with fire coming from their mouths. There is a disagreement as to when these two servants of God will start this ministry. Some scholars believe they will start it near the beginning of the Tribulation Period and others at the mid-point of the Tribulation Period.

At the end of their preaching ministry God allows the beast (probably the Antichrist32) to kill them. He will leave their bodies lying in the streets of Jerusalem for everyone to see. It is worth noting that only with the coming of television in the Twentieth Century is it now possible for everyone living on the earth to witness such an event. They will rejoice at the sight of God's prophets lying dead. However, after three and one-half days God will resurrect them and they will ascend to heaven with the entire world watching.

Immediately an earthquake destroys a tenth part of Jerusalem and kill seven thousand persons who live there. It is possible that this earthquake also destroys the third Temple. This event witnessed by John could take place after the Antichrist enters the Temple and declares himself God.33 It is also possible that the Temple may be standing until near the end of the Tribulation Period since the Antichrist's desecration of it may take place after the seventh trumpet sounds. The fact that the third or Tribulation Temple will be destroyed at some point is based on Zechariah's prophecy that the Messiah will build the Temple when He comes to set up His kingdom.34 Thus, the desecrated Tribulation Temple will not be standing when Jesus establishes His Messianic reign on earth.

The Seventh Trumpet

"And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever.  And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give You thanks, O LORD God Almighty, Which are, and were, and are to come; because You have taken to You Your great power, and have reigned. And the nations were angry, and Your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that You should give reward unto Your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Your name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth. And the Temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail."

- Revelation 11:15-19

The seventh trumpet sounds and the final seven bowl judgments upon the earth and its inhabitants begin. It is at this point that Mid-Tribulationists believe that the Rapture will occur. This is the third "woe" of the three warnings that the angel gave earlier to the people dwelling on the earth.

The last verse of this passage is actually a forecast of the final seventh bowl judgment that will consummate the end of Tribulation Period judgments.35 However, before John sees these final bowl judgments he is shown some events that occur at the mid-point of the Tribulation Period.

The Woman, The Dragon, The Heavenly War

In chapter 12 of Revelation, John sees a heavenly wonder in the form of a woman clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet, and a crown with twelve stars on it.36 This vision is very similar to a dream that the Jewish patriarch Joseph had.

In that episode Joseph dreamed that he saw the sun and the moon and the eleven stars which did obeisance to him.37 This was a prophetic dream that did come true. The sun was his father Jacob and the moon his mother Rachel. The eleven stars were his brothers who fathered the tribes of Israel. Joseph also was the father of the two of the twelve tribes of Israel through his two sons. Therefore, that dream represented the nation of Israel.

     Here John sees twelve stars, which would include Joseph. Accordingly, this vision was also a picture of the nation of Israel.

Then John sees a great red dragon that stood before the woman to devour her child as soon as it was born. She gave birth to a male child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron and He was caught up to God.38 As we will see shortly, this dragon is the devil and the male child is Jesus Christ who came from a Jewish mother of the nation of Israel.

Then John writes:

"And the woman [i.e., Jews of Israel] fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and sixty days."

- Revelation 12:6

The Jews will flee into the wilderness to a place where God protects them because of what happens next:

"And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens, and you that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time."

- Revelation 12:7-12

During the mid-point of the Tribulation Period there is a war in heaven between Michael and his angels and Satan and his angels. Michael's forces prevail and they remove Satan from the heavenly realm forever. As the angel says though this is not good for those who dwell on earth because the Devil knows he has only a little time left before God judges him. Between the persecution of humanity by the Devil and the final judgments of God's wrath on them, this truly will be the time of Great Tribulation such as never was on earth nor ever will be again.

As we will see next, the Devil will possess the Antichrist and take his vengeance out on the rest of the world. This might be when the possessed Antichrist enters the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and declares himself God. It will be at this moment that the Jewish nation as a whole will realize they have believed in the false Messiah. They will follow Jesus' warnings that He gave in chapter 24 of Matthew when they see the "abomination of desolation" [i.e., the possessed Antichrist] enter into the Temple:

"When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray you that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened."

- Matthew 24:15-22

"And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the male child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."

- Revelation 12:13-17

The Jewish people who flee to God's protective place will be safe until Jesus Christ returns at His second coming. Some think that their destination will be the ancient rock fortress of Petra in Jordan (biblical Edom). This belief is based on a couple of references in the Book of Isaiah that associate the Jews in hiding with a place called Sela, which is also known as Petra. In any event those who remain outside of God's protection will suffer the most horrifying time the earth has ever seen.

The Antichrist

"And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority."

- Revelation 13:1-2

In this passage, John sees a beast who is the Antichrist and the epitome of blasphemy against God and who is possessed with all the authority and power of the Devil.

"And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."

- Revelation 13:3-8

John sees the Antichrist mortally wounded. Whether someone assassinates him or he dies by some other cause is not clear. But he will be resurrected, which causes the whole world to worship him.

Up to this point in the Tribulation Period, the Antichrist was a wicked human being who deceived the world through great words and actions. Now he is the Devil-incarnate and will reign as such during the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation Period. He will openly oppose the God of heaven and the world will love him for it. They will follow him into war against the followers of God and will overcome them. As was mentioned earlier in this chapter, John saw the victims of this war:

"After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes...These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."39

     After this, John sees another "beast" whom Christians call the False Prophet:

"And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon. And he exercises all the power of the first beast before him, and causes the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, who's deadly wound was healed. And he does great wonders, so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceives them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed."

- Revelation 13:11-15

The fact that he appeared as a lamb and causes the world to worship the Antichrist but speaks as a dragon alludes to his being a falsely religious person. He has the ability to perform miracles by which he deceives those who live on the earth. He has them create an image of the Antichrist and then he causes this image to come alive and forces the people to worship it. He does this to separate the true followers of Jesus from the followers of Satan and puts the former to death. In a later chapter of Revelation, we read that one method of the execution of these Christians is by beheading:

"and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image..."40

Chapter 17 of Revelation speaks metaphorically of this worship of the Antichrist as a worldwide religion. The only holdouts from following this religion will be those who receive Jesus Christ as their Savior:

"Come here; I will show unto you the judgment of the great whore that sits upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration."

- Revelation 17:1-6

The fornication spoken of here refers to spiritual fornication or adultery. It speaks of that part of humanity who, instead of following the one and true God, deserts Him for the false god of this world. This woman represents a religious system that has been on the earth since the early days of human history.

In the ancient land of Shinar (i.e., Babylonia), the human race was united by one language. However, they became proud and decided they could become as God:

"And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth."41

The people did build the tower of Babel on what is considered to be the site of Babylon. God was displeased with their haughtiness and dispersed them by confusing their language. The problem is that this desire to become like God spread throughout the world after this and many false religions sprang up. The basis for most of these is the worship of idols, worship of humans, worship of animals, worship of nature, and worship of self. Therefore, the human race as a whole no longer worshiped the true and only God who had created them.

In the Tribulation Period all of these false religions culminate in one unified religion known as "spiritual Babylon" that worships the epitome of evil and the one opposed to God since the Garden of Eden: Satan incarnate.

"And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, except he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that has understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred sixty and six."

- Revelation 13:16-18

The False Prophet will create an economic system, which, just like the religious system he sets up, will also separate the true followers of Jesus from the followers of Satan.

This is one area of end-times prophecy where speculation runs rampant. However, the plain reading of this text states that during the Tribulation Period only those people who have the mark of the Antichrist (whether his name or the number that represents him) will be able to engage in commerce. Those who refuse to receive his mark will probably need to have some type of barter system in place or grow their own food.

Many end-times scholars believe the basis for this system will be the use of digital money through worldwide computer systems. Some think that this may involve the implantation of some type of computer chip in a person's body. This would probably result in a "cashless" society, which would mean that no one would be able to buy or sell anything without the mark of the Antichrist.

I was talking to an agnostic friend of mine about just such a scenario occurring in our lifetime. He said that it would never happen because people wouldn't want to give up on cash. I asked him if he paid taxes to which he replied yes. I then asked him why he paid taxes. He said because the government forced him to. I made it clear that this future evil government would make it mandatory for people to give up their cash so that they could keep track of who was buying and selling.

I have heard of some people who are concerned that one day they may accidentally receive the Antichrist's mark. As I pointed out above, the False Prophet will institute both the religious and economic systems so that he can weed out the followers of God from the followers of the Antichrist. This leads me to believe that a person will have to openly acknowledge their allegiance to the Antichrist so that there is no mistake as to whose side they are on. Therefore, I do not think anyone is going to receive the mark of the Antichrist accidentally. John points out that the way the False Prophet will "cause" people to receive this mark is by threatening them economically. If he could force everyone to take the mark he wouldn't need to threaten them. This would mean that the Antichrist could compel even those who want to follow God during the Tribulation Period to receive the mark. Since there are going to be many who die because they refuse to worship the Antichrist or receive his mark we know that he won't have the power to make people take his mark.

Chapter 18 of Revelation speaks of this economic system as a type of "commercial Babylon":

"And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies...How much she has glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she says in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judges her. And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buys their merchandise any more: The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, And cinnamon, and odors, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men. And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from you, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from you, and you shall find them no more at all. The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, And saying, Alas, alas that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come to nothing. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate. Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God has avenged you on her. And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all."

- Revelation 18:1-3, 7-21

There has been much debate concerning whether this financial capital of the world's commerce is the literal city of Babylon or some other city. Wherever it is, it is destroyed in one hour and the world will wail and weep over its demise. The Antichrist will no longer have control over the finances of the world.

Materialism and greed, which have destroyed men's souls throughout history, are themselves judged and destroyed by God.

The Final Preaching of Gospel

While still in this interlude from the events of the judgments of the Tribulation Period, John sees an angel flying through the sky above the earth:

"And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters."

- Revelation 14:6-7

This correlates with what Jesus said would happen before the end of the Tribulation Period:

"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."

- Matthew 24:14

The inhabitants of the world who have not yet taken the mark of the Antichrist will have one last chance to repent of their sins and follow Jesus Christ. Those who choose to follow the Antichrist will suffer the consequences of their decision:

"And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receives the mark of his name."

- Revelation 14:9-11

The language here is very clear. There is a real Hell and those that enter it will be there for eternity. To those who believe that a God of love would not perform such an act are not aware of the judgments of God that we are discussing in this chapter. God is loving but He is also just and therefore must punish sin. God sent His Son Jesus Christ to take the punishment for sin in man's place. All He asks is that we accept Jesus' sacrificial death as atonement for us. If we do then our sin's debt to God is paid. However, if a person refuses to receive Jesus Christ as their Savior from sin then God will punish that person. This is because it is intrinsic in God's nature that He must punish sin. I will discuss further the biblical concept of sin and punishment in Chapter 13.

The Bowl Judgments

With this we now come to the seven final judgments of God that are to come upon the earth and its inhabitants:

"And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God...And after that I looked, and, behold, the Temple of the Tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened: And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God, Who lives for ever and ever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from His power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled."

- Revelation 15:1-2, 5-8

The First Bowl

"And I heard a great voice out of the Temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God upon the earth. And the first went, and poured out his bowl upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast and upon them which worshipped his image."

- Revelation 16:1-2

Prior to the emptying of this bowl, the last physical judgment upon humanity was the fifth trumpet sounding which unleashed a horde of locust-type creatures. They had the power to torment humans for five months yet not kill them. Now the followers of the Antichrist will be afflicted with loathsome ulcers. Those still living who have not accepted the mark of the Antichrist nor worshipped him will be spared this judgment.

During some of the plagues that God sent upon a rebellious Egypt during the time of Moses, He supernaturally protected His people. The insects that came upon the Egyptians did not bother the Israelites. The cattle of the Egyptians were afflicted with disease while God spared the Israelites' cattle. When hail fell upon Egypt, it did not fall in the Land of Goshen where the children of Israel were living. When God brought a darkness, which the Egyptians could actually feel, over their entire countryside, the Israelites had light in their places of habitation. Finally, when the Angel of Death killed the firstborn of Egypt, he passed over those who had the blood of the lamb on their dwelling places.42

The Second Bowl

"And the second angel poured out his bowl upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea."

- Revelation 16:3

 The oceans of the world turn into blood and every sea creature dies as a result. With the physical pain that rebellious humanity is suffering at this point they now have the added distress of an unimaginable stench from the bloody water and dead creatures of the sea.

The Third Bowl

"And the third angel poured out his bowl upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters say, You are righteous, O Lord, Which are, and was, and shall be, because You have judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are your judgments."

- Revelation 16:4-7

Next, God pours out His wrath on the fresh water systems of the earth. Just as God used the false gods of Egypt to judge that nation so now He is turning man's drinking water into blood because they had slain millions of God's peoples. Before they were bloodthirsty in killing the followers of Jesus Christ, now they will have their fill of blood while they are thirsting for water.

Some people say that a God of love would not punish nor pour out His wrath upon humanity. By saying this they are actually sitting in judgment of God. If He does do what the Bible tells us He is going to do during the Tribulation Period then these people are saying that God is not a loving God. Yet after this third bowl judgment, heaven declares that God's judgments are "true and righteous".

The Fourth Bowl

"And the fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, Who has power over these plagues: and they repented not to give Him glory."

- Revelation 16:8-9

With no fresh water to drink and already in severe pain, God sends an unbearable heat upon mankind. The term "global warming" does not do justice to what the earth will experience with this judgment.

The hearts of men will be irrevocably hardened by this point that they will continue to blaspheme God rather than repent of their rebellion against Him.

The Fifth Bowl

"And the fifth angel poured out his bowl upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds."

- Revelation 16:10-11

This judgment of darkness falling over the kingdom of the Antichrist is similar to the one that God poured out upon the Egyptians when they would not free His people. In that story God said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt."43 This darkness will not only keep people from seeing anything but they will also probably feel the oppressiveness of it.

The pain at this point is so excruciating that humans will chew on their tongues in response. Yet again they continue to blaspheme and hate God because of their sufferings and refuse to repent of their evil ways.

The Sixth Bowl

"And the sixth angel poured out his bowl 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 watches, and keeps 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."

- Revelation 16:12-16

Earlier we read that the sixth trumpet judgment freed four angels who were bound to the Euphrates River. There John saw an army of 200 million men on the move. With this sixth bowl judgment we see a consummation of that earlier trumpet judgment.

The kings of the east and their massive army try a power move against the Antichrist. They cross the dried-up river (probably through Iraq) in order to attack him and his army. But this battle is not only going to be between the East and the West but also the North and the South.

 The satanic "trinity" of the Devil, Antichrist, and False Prophet is going to send out demonic spirits to gather the rest of the world to the "battle of that great Day of God Almighty". The armies of the world converge on the plains of Esdraelon in the northern part of Israel in the valley of Megiddo (some believe that the name Armageddon is a reference to Megiddo). While this war is raging an angel pours out the seventh bowl judgment on the earth, which is also the final judgment that God brings during the Tribulation Period.

The Seventh Bowl

"And the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air; and there came a great voice out of the Temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great."

- Revelation 16:17-21

The historically unprecedented noise and light show of this final judgment will be unimaginable. Then a worldwide earthquake shakes the planet. The "great earthquake" that John sees here was spoken of by Isaiah:

"And it shall come to pass, that he who flees from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that comes up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake. The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited. Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before His ancients gloriously."44

This earthquake destroys the cities of the world including "Babylon". It appears that this shaking of the earth "to and fro like a drunkard" will level mountains and sink islands in the oceans.

Finally, hailstones weighing more than one-hundred pounds each, rain down on the earth and once again cause those still alive to blaspheme God.

This final, apocalyptic storm, which includes thunder, lightning, an earthquake, and hailstones will occur as the armies of the world are slaughtering each other in Israel. However, the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ will terminate all these events.

A voice comes out of the Temple in Heaven and declares, "It is done!" The Tribulation Period judgments of the world for its rebellious rejection of God and His Son are over.


In chapter 19 of Revelation, John sees the second coming of Jesus Christ and His destruction of the armies of the world during the battle of Armageddon. In the next chapter I will examine this battle in detail as it is spoken of several times in both the Old and New Testaments. In Chapter 11 of this book, I will discuss the second coming of Jesus the Messiah.


Before leaving this extremely long chapter, I would like to reiterate what I said at the beginning of it: Two life issues should be of concern to non-Christians. The first has been around for nearly two millennia. It is the matter of the unsaved dying before they accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. The second is this future time of trouble that is coming upon the whole world.

I believe we can see this period of tribulation on the horizon as we head toward economic and governmental globalization. The horrific nightmare that John saw coming upon the earth is almost unfathomable to the modern hearer. Yet as we saw in Part One of this book, Jesus did fulfill the Messianic prophecies that spoke of a suffering Messiah. Just as assuredly, the biblical prophecies that speak of this future time of distress will also come to pass.

The question that each person on earth has to answer is, "Do I want to suffer the wrath of God either in this life or in the next or do I want to spend eternity with God in peace?" Jesus said, "he that is not against us is for us."45 It is up to each individual to decide whether they are going to be on God's side or on the Devil's side.


1   Matthew 24:1-2

2   ["War of the Jews"; Josephus; Books IV-V]

3   Daniel 8:23-25

4   II Thessalonians 2:3-4

5   Matthew 24:15-16

6   I Thessalonians 5:2-3

7   Revelation 13:8

8   This organization is called the "Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful

     Movement".  Immediately after the Six Day War in Israel was over, the

     Jews had regained control of the Temple Mount for the first time in 1900

     Years. However, the Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan shortly

     thereafter relinquished control back to the Muslims. So the Temple Mount

     Faithful group was organized with the hopes of one day regaining

     control of the Temple Mount and rebuilding the third Jewish Temple.

9    This group is called "The Temple Institute" 

10 Jeremiah 30:1-7

11 Genesis 29:1-30

12 Daniel 12:1

13 Matthew 24:21, 29

14 Revelation 1:1

15 Revelation 1:9

16 Revelation 1:19

17 Revelation 4:1

18 Daniel 7:8; 11; 20

19 II Thessalonians 2:9

20 Revelation 13:13-14

21 Revelation 13:4,7

22 Revelation 7:3-4

23 Revelation 7:9-10, 13-14

24 Revelation 6:9-10

25 Revelation 16:12

26 Revelation 10:1-4

27 Revelation 10:9-11

28 Revelation 11:1-2

29 Malachi 4:5

30 I Kings 17:1

31 Exodus 7:19

32 Revelation 13:1-18

33 I Thessalonians 2:1-4

34 Zechariah 6:12-13

35 Revelation 16:17-18

36 Revelation 12:1-2

37 Genesis 37:9

38 Revelation 12:4-5

39 Revelation 7:9,14

40 Revelation 20:4

41 Genesis 11:4

42 Exodus 8:22-24; 9:4-7; 9:22-25; 10:21-23; 12:1-30

43 Exodus 10:21

44 Isaiah 24:18-23

45 Luke 9:50

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