7 – MORE END TIME EVENTS
In our last study we finished by seeing what happened when the Lamb opened up the 7 Seals on the scroll. We will continue this where we left off, the opening of the 7th Seal. When the 7th Seal is opened we see 7 angels standing before God, with each one receiving a trumpet.
This is also a time when we see prayers of believers. One angel has a golden censor filled with incense. He offers this incense along with the prayers to God on his altar. This probably shows that even though many Christians will be killed during the beginning of the tribulation, there will still be some who find a way to stay alive and so continue to go through the Tribulation period.
With the 7 Seal judgments, we see a lot of damage that mankind does to himself when the Antichrist comes on the scene. But now with the 7 Trumpets we see a lot of what looks like natural catastrophes occurring, being the judgment directly from God. Mind you, these could be caused by weapons that mankind had developed and we just haven’t heard about yet, but it does look like nature will be rising up in judgment against mankind.
When the First Trumpet blasts, then hail and fire hail mixed with blood will come pouring out from the skies. This causes 1/3 of the trees on the earth to be burnt up along with all of the green grass. A lot of what makes this earth beautiful will be burnt up. This is not the first time these catastrophes have occurred. God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone and through Moses God turned Egypt’s water into blood. Even the prophet Joes predicted this, and other, trumpet judgments. Joel 2:30-31: “And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.”
Then the Second Trumpet blasts. It looks like a great mountain is on fire is cast into the sea. Then 1/3 of the sea became blood, causing 1/3 of the animals to die. But it not only affects nature, because 1/3 of the ships are destroyed. This ‘great mountain’ could easily be a meteor that will come blasting through the atmosphere. That is one thing that scientists are concerned about today that another large meteor strikes the earth. That is what they think killed the dinosaurs. We know a lot of small ones hit the earth each day. Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) currently has a program called NEAR-EARTH ASTEROID TRACKING (NEAT) to look for them before they can strike the earth. The sea that is mentioned could be the Mediterranean Sea. The waves caused from the meteor impacting the sea could cause waves that destroy the ships, and a chemical reaction from the meteor is what could occur to turn the sea red and kill the animals. There are several ships in that sea, as the U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently stationed there, along with the fleets of several nations.
The Third Trumpet blasts, and what is probably another bright meteor, or maybe a comet, come down to strike the earth. This one must just hit at the right spot, and go deep, to pollute the water supply of 1/3 of the rivers. Many people who depend upon those rivers will die.
Then an angel blows the Fourth Trumpet, and all of the luminous bodies in the sky will be affected. The sun, moon and stars will all lose 1/3 of their light. It is interesting to see that it was on the fourth day of creation that God created the sun, moon and stars. So the same God that created these lights can also diminish them by 1/3. This seems to reflect the same kind of darkness that occurred during the 9th plague on Egypt in Exodus 10. It also appears to be a fulfillment of a prediction by Jesus in Luke 21:25-26, “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” Our finite minds can hardly imagine what forces will be unleashed upon the earth in this judgment.
You think these are bad? An angel goes flying through the midst of heaven to warn that the next three trumpet judgments will be even worse. These are known as the three woes.
The Fifth Trumpet blows, then what must be an angel appearing as a star comes to the earth and receives the key to the shaft of the Abyss. When he opens the Abyss, a dark smoke comes out that darkens the sun and the moon. But that’s not the only thing that comes out, locusts come out with a powerful sting like a scorpion. These could be fallen angelic beings, or cherubim’s, that mankind cannot see. They will sting those unsaved people who are not followers of the true God, and their sting will torture these people for 5 months. They will want to die, the pain will be so bad, yet they will not be able to. It gives further description of these locusts, which no one can truly understand. These even have a leader who name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon, which means, Destroyer. And this is only the first woe.
The Sixth Trumpet blasts. This angel is commanded by a voice in the golden altar of God to release the 4 angels who are bound at the Euphrates River. During the previous woe men were tortured but not killed. But these angels will release troops numbering 200 million that will kill 1/3 of the remaining mankind. The Euphrates River is in the Middle East, a major part of it is in Iraq. This river will have to be crossed in order to reach Israel, which is the main country that God is dealing with in this period. We won’t get into the description of this army. But even though they will kill 1/3 of the people, still people will not repent of their sins and turn to God. Time limits discussion of a couple more events before the 7th Trumpet.
Similar to the 7th Seal, the Seventh Trumpet is more of a preparation for what is next. A loud voice in heaven declares “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.” The 24 elders who are before God’s throne worship the Creator of the universe, know that He is taking His rightful place on earth. They know it is time for God’s wrath to be poured out, for His saints to receive their rewards, and for those who destroy the earth to be destroyed. Then the temple of God is opened. In it we see the Ark of the Covenant he made with Moses, (the lost ark for you Indiana Jones fans.) Out of the temple come flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder, an earthquake and a great hailstorm. This shows that God is coming and moving in His power and might.
7 BOWL JUDGEMENTS OF GOD’S WRATH (Rev 15-16)
Now comes the wrath of God. If the Pre-Wrath Rapture view is correct, somewhere between the 6th Trumpet and before the 1st Bowl is poured out is when the Christians shall be taken up from the earth. So the surviving Christians will be taken away before this, so they won’t have to go through this time of wrath. We have seen where some of the judgments harm ¼ or 1/3 of the earth, but now we will see God’s wrath that will be poured out over the entire earth.
When the First Bowl is poured out, then ugly and painful sores will come upon those who have the mark of the beast and have worshipped his image. This judgment will come in the 2nd half of the Tribulation, after the Antichrist will have seated himself in the Temple in Jerusalem and proclaimed himself as the Christ. People will have worshipped him as the Christ, so God’s wrath will be poured out only on them. This passage does indicate that there will be people who have not taken the mark. So either this means that the Rapture will not have happened and will still be around for this, or there will be people in the Antichrist’s kingdom who have not taken the mark, but have not accepted Jesus either, or there will be areas on the earth that are not under the Antichrists kingdom and have not had to have taken the mark.
When the Second Bowl is poured out on the sea, then the sea turns to blood and kills every living thing, meaning both animal and plants. After the 2nd Trumpet, 1/3 of the sea turned to blood, but this bowl includes the entire sea. With all the animals dead, this would create a terrible stench and potential disease. This could also interfere with commercial shipping.
The Third Bowl is poured out over the rivers and springs of water, and they turn to blood. This will destroy the drinking water that is so needed. If people don’t drink 3 days they will die, so think of the panic and confusion that will be happening as people are seeking this essential need of life. God also gives us the reason for this, as the angel proclaims “You are just in these judgments, you who are and who were, the Holy One, because you have so judged; for they have shed the blood of your saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve.” Early in his reign the Antichrist killed a lot of Christians, so he and those in his kingdom are given blood to drink.
The angel pours the Fourth Bowl over the sun, and a great heat comes out of it that scorches people with fire. We have all gone through heat waves, but this will be hotter and more miserable than those we have endured. Add to that the fact that the waters are turned to blood, so people won’t be able to get the needed water that is needed will make for a most miserable time. But through all this, the Bible says that mankind still won’t repent of their sins and glorify God.
The Fifth Bowl is poured over the throne of the Antichrist, then a great darkness overtakes the land. His kingdom goes from fiery heat to a dreadful darkness. Mankind is still in pain from the sores from the First Bowl, so much that they are gnawing their tongues. After so much agony, they have run out of their pain relievers. They turn even more against God by cursing the one who sits on the throne, and still will not repent of their evil.
The Sixth Bowl is poured over the Euphrates River to dry it up so the kings of the east can easily cross through it on their way to the battle of Armageddon. Armageddon means the valley of Megiddo. Then 3 spirits, looking like frogs, came out of Satan, the Antichrist and the False Prophet. They went throughout the world performing miracles, drawing the rest of the world to fight with the Antichrist’s armies against the Lord. This will be the final, great battle.
The Seventh Bowl is poured out into the air. A voice from Heaven cries, ‘It is done!’ Then comes flashes of lightening, rumblings, and thunder. An earthquake more devastating than any this world has ever known looks like it goes throughout the whole world. The great city, (Babylon? Jerusalem?) is split into three. But that is not all. Hailstones weighing about 100 pounds come crashing into the earth. Imagine the devastation that will cause.
Battle of Armageddon. Rev. 19:11-19
Jesus Himself will come down from Heaven on a white horse. The Bible says “With justice he judges and makes war.” The robe He wears is dipped in blood, because it is His blood that was shed by which we are redeemed unto God. He will be followed by the armies of Heaven also riding white horses and dressed in fine white linen, indicating that they are cleansed and forgiven of all of their sin. This army from God will meet the Antichrist and the other kings of the earth in the Valley of Megiddo. The Antichrist and his armies will actually think that they can defeat the God of creation in combat. But the Antichrist and the False Prophet will be taken alive and be thrown into a fiery lake of burning sulfur. As for the rest of his military, they will be slaughtered by the sharp sword that proceeds out of the mouth of Jesus. This looks like it will be a literal killing, not figurative, because the birds of the air will gorge themselves on the flesh of these people.
Millennial Kingdom Rev. 20:1-10
After this happens, the Antichrist and his minions are defeated, then an angel will take Satan, bind him for a thousand years, and throw him into the Abyss. Satan will not be able to get out of there until that time ends. There will be peace on the earth during that period. Jesus Himself will reign on the earth from Jerusalem. Ruling with Him will be those who have lost their lives because of their testimony of Jesus. They did not give in to the deceptions and pressures of the Antichrist.
But at the end of this thousand years Satan will be released from his prison in the Abyss. Even though mankind will not have known wars or sickness for a thousand years, he will be able to manipulate them and turn them away from the Christ who is sitting in His throne in Jerusalem. It might be that people are so innocent, like Adam and Eve were, that they will be easily deceived into doing what is wrong. But when Satan is released, he goes throughout the whole world creating an army to attack Jerusalem to try to dethrone Jesus. Exactly how long it takes him to round up this army, how many people will be involved or what kind of weapons they will have, we don’t know. But what we do know is that fire will come from heaven and destroy this army. After which Satan will be cast into the lake of fire, where only the Antichrist and false prophet are at this time.
Great White Throne Rev. 20:11-15.
After this, everyone who ever lived will stand before God’s Great White Throne. Books will be opened, on which are written everything, good and bad, that people have done. As a good supervisor being ready for the employee’s job appraisal, God records everything that we have done so nothing will be forgotten. God is a just God, so everyone will know the reason they are condemned, or receive eternal life. Another book will be opened, which is the Lamb’s Book of Life, on whose scrolls are written everyone who is a true follower of God. Mankind will then receive their appraisal. Those whose names are in the Book of Life will receive eternal life with God. Those whose names are not in the Book of Life will be cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death, and there is no escaping this for all of eternity. This is something that keeps some people in believing in God, or not believing that a loving God could do this. But who are we to judge God? He sent His Son to die for us, is quite patient with us, loves us unconditionally, etc. Because we don’t want to believe in Hell isn’t going to make it go away. Only God knows why this is the eternal punishment. But eternity for Believers in Jesus is quite different.
The New Jerusalem Rev 21 and 22
We have run out of time for the details, but God will destroy the old heavens and earth, and create new ones. Everything that is bad and harmful is out, only that which is good and helpful is there. Even God Himself, who is currently in Heaven and out of our sight, will be there, we will be able to see Him. We will be able to see Jesus and the holes of His wounds to remind us what He had to go through for us. There will be no more pain, no more death. God Himself will wipe away the tears from our eyes. The New Jerusalem will be there. It will have gates made out of pearl, and its streets will be made out of gold. A river of the water of life will flow out from the throne of God and Jesus down the middle of the great street of the city. On both sides of that will be the tree of life. It will bear 12 crops of fruit, giving fruit every month. We will be able to eat of it, as it is for the healing of the nations. We will be able to see God’s face. God will give light, so that there will never be darkness again. We do not know what we will be doing, but we know that God has put in place those things that will give us a peaceful, joyful experience to spend all of eternity with Him.