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Revelation – A Prewrath Overview

December 2023

 

Bible passages throughout this website are copied from the Holy Bible, New International Version (NIV),

Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc., Used by permission.  All rights reserved worldwide.

 

Many people believe that the Book of Revelation is either mainly symbolic, or that it was fulfilled centuries ago by the fall of the Roman Empire. I believe it to be largely literal and yet future. A significant portion of what I believe is based upon the fact that a huge amount of Old Testament prophecy concerning the establishment of a righteous State of Israel has never been fulfilled. I firmly believe that the Biblical answer as to how this righteous state will come about is the fulfillment of the prophecy in the Book of Revelation.

The Jewish people were promised an earthly Messianic Kingdom and very close relationship with God.  Allow me one example and a list of Scripture passages that lead me to believe that Satan's Tribulation and God's Wrath will lead to the Righteous State of Israel. The Rapture of Christians will be one of the dramatic occurrences during this war between God and Satan. The Rapture is treated more widely elsewhere on this website and will not be given much space in this article.

Isaiah 65:17-25

 

“See, I will create

                new heavens and a new earth.

The former things will not be remembered,

nor will they come to mind.

But be glad and rejoice forever

in what I will create,

for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight

and its people a joy.

I will rejoice over Jerusalem

and take delight in my people;

the sound of weeping and of crying

will be heard in it no more.

 

“Never again will there be in it

an infant who lives but a few days,

or an old man who does not live out his years;

the one who dies at a hundred

will be thought a mere child;

the one who fails to reach a hundred

will be considered accursed.

They will build houses and dwell in them;

they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.

No longer will they build houses and others live in them,

or plant and others eat.

For as the days of a tree,

so will be the days of my people;

my chosen ones will long enjoy

the work of their hands.

They will not labor in vain,

nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune;

for they will be a people blessed by the Lord,

they and their descendants with them.

Before they call I will answer;

while they are still speaking I will hear.

The wolf and the lamb will feed together,

and the lion will eat straw like the ox,

and dust will be the serpent’s food.

They will neither harm nor destroy

on all my holy mountain,”

Says the Lord.

 

This passage in Isaiah is very specific as to how the future Jewish Nation will be different from any society ever to exist on this earth. This passage refers to ‘new heavens and a new earth’ (Isaiah 65:17, 2 Peter 3:12-13). It is clear that it is not speaking of a new planet earth, but an earth that has been renovated after the massive destruction caused by Satan's Tribulation and by God's Wrath. The 'new heavens' will have also been renewed by God after the heavenly fireworks when Jesus appears to the people of earth (Revelation 6:12-14, Matthew 24:29-30, 2 Peter 3:10-11). People will still be born; people will still die; people will still build houses; people will still plant vineyards. There will still be signs of sin, though much less than on the earth in its current state. This new earth will be better than has been experienced since the time of Adam. Some laws of nature will be altered, but this will not be the Heaven where we will spend eternity. This appears to be the earth of the millennial reign of Jesus (Daniel 9:24, Isaiah 2:1-5, Isaiah 4:2-6, Isaiah 11:1-16, Isaiah 14:1-2, Isaiah 25:6-8, Isaiah 49:8-26, Isaiah 51:1-16, Isaiah 52:1-12,Isaiah 54:1-17, Isaiah 60:1-22, Isaiah 62:1-12, Isaiah 65:17-25, Isaiah 66:7-24, Jeremiah 31:7-40, Ezekiel 37:1-28, Ezekiel 39:25-29, Ezekiel 40:1 – 48:35, Hosea 2:14-23, Joel 3:17-21, Amos 9:11-15, Obadiah 19-21, Micah 2:12-13, Micah 4:1-8, Micah 7:11-20, Zephaniah 3:9-20, Zechariah 8:19-23, Zechariah 9:16-17, Zechariah 10:6-12, Zechariah 13:1-2, Zechariah 14:6-21).

None of these prophets mentions any conditions that must be met by the Jews. This righteous society is an unconditional promise of God. It will happen.

All of these passages are of a Jewish nation, a future Israel. Many of these passages directly quote God. Israel will be the center of the ‘new earth’. Gentile nations will also be included on this earth (Isaiah 2:2-5), but Mount Zion will be the center of society and Jesus will be ruler of all (Zechariah 2:10-12). These are firm promises from God and seem to have been taken literally by the prophets who knew God and understood what He was saying.

 

The Book of Revelation as a Logical and Coherent Document

 

I will cover the part of the book from Revelation 5:1 to Revelation 20:3. This is the portion of the book that explains the Tribulation of Satan, the Wrath of God, and the war for control of the world.

 

I take care throughout this website to point out Scripture from throughout the Bible to show the future as I understand it. The Book of Revelation best describes in one place how all of this comes to pass. I will not go into great detail. Much of that detail is explained elsewhere on this website.

 

Revelation Chapter 5

 

The focus on this chapter is the Scroll, written on both sides, and sealed with seven seals. I believe all seven seals to be around the outside of the Scroll such that all seven will have to be removed before the Scroll can be opened and read. Seven seals signify the importance of the Scroll. The fact that the Scroll is written on both sides makes it seem more likely to me that the Scroll is not opened one section at a time.

Picture copied from the Internet article at:

http://mdrministries.com/author/admin/page/34/

I believe the Scroll to be the symbolic ‘deed to the earth’. God has the ‘deed’ by virtue of the fact that He is the Creator. Satan is trying to claim ownership on the basis of his large influence over the peoples of the earth. Jesus has the right to open the Scroll on the basis of His triumph over sin through the shedding of His own blood. Satan is said to be prince of this world (John 12:31). Jesus is referred to as both a prince and a king (Acts 5:31, 1 Timothy 6:15). Satan zealously wants to keep his title as Prince and greatly desires to rule the world, but Jesus will be the true ruler of the earth, it was created “through him and for him” (Colossians 1: 16). Satan is going to try to take the world from Jesus, but Jesus holds the deed and is the only one who can open it (Revelation 5:9-10). Note that in verse 10, the people purchased with the blood of Jesus “will reign on the earth.”

 

Revelation Chapter 6

 

War will ensue on earth as Satan will attempt to take the earth by force. Satan will function through the person commonly called Antichrist. [Antichrist is not the Biblical term for this person, but it fits him well.] It is my fervent belief that Antichrist is demonically indwelt by a demon ally of Satan. This Antichrist first shows up in Daniel 7:9-25. Antichrist shows up again in Daniel 9:27 where he will take charge of Israel and set up the ‘abomination that causes desolation’ at the Temple [probably at the Western Wall which is the only surviving portion of the Temple and where current Jewish worship takes place]. This is said to happen in the middle of the last 7-years of seventy-seven-year periods explained to Daniel by the angel Gabriel (Daniel 9:21). I will be speaking mostly of only the last half of this final seven years. Half of seven years is referred to in the books of Daniel and Revelation as: ‘a time, times, and half a time,’ or as ‘1260 days,’ or as ’42 months,’ all of which correspond to three and a half years as the ancient Jewish people kept track of time.

 

In Revelation chapter 6, Jesus opens the seals on the Scroll. As each seal is opened a scene on earth is shown. Jesus is not seen as causing the events we see, but rather is revealing to us the things that will be taking place on the earth as Satan and Antichrist seek to take control of the world from God. This will be the time of Satan’s Tribulation.

 

If you search through the Bible, you will not find a seven-year Tribulation. We are nowhere given the length of the Tribulation. I will attempt to show that it will begin at the middle of Daniel’s last seven-year period and will continue past the end of the seven years.

 

The opening of the first seal shows Antichrist going forth in power and ‘bent on conquest” (Revelation 6:2). This takes place as Antichrist is revealed at the middle of the seven years. This is Satan’s opening attack through the person of Antichrist and is when the ‘abomination that causes desolation’ (Daniel 9:27) will occur. The opening of the second, third, fourth, and fifth seals show Antichrist’s exploits during the last half of Daniel’s seventh year. This is the period we call the Tribulation and this Tribulation will continue until Antichrist and Satan are removed from the earth. Antichrist will control the Land of Israel for only three and a half years (Daniel 7:25, Revelation 13:5). He will still have power after the end of the seven years, but not over Israel.

 

The opening of the sixth seal shows God finally arising to combat Satan. Much as God allowed Satan to afflict Job (Job 2:6), God has also allowed Satan to afflict the people of the earth with emphasis on the Jews and the Christians (Revelation 12:16-17). The opening of the first five seals will be a time of severe testing allowed by God and will have separated the true Christians from the pretenders. This will have been a test of perseverance for Christians and Jews. I believe that the opening of the sixth seal corresponds to Matthew chapter 24 in which we see Jesus appear and see the surviving Christians raptured. Many Christians will have been martyred because of their belief in the Salvation that we receive in Christ.

 

At the mighty appearance of Jesus, those who were not taken in the Rapture will be in severe dread of God’s Righteousness (Revelation 6:15-17, Matthew 24:29-31). The appearance of Jesus and the Rapture of the believers will indeed signal that the Wrath of God is at hand.

 

Revelation Chapter 7

 

Between the opening of the sixth seal and the seventh seal, we see the 144,000 Jews sealed to keep them from harm (Revelation 7:1-8). These will not have been believers in Jesus as either Savior or as the Jewish Messiah. Had they believed in Jesus, they would have been raptured with the other Christians. The 144,000 will now finally recognize Jesus as Messiah and Savior and will eventually become the firstfruits of the redeemed Nation of Israel.

 

We are also allowed the comfort in chapter 7 of seeing the raptured Christians in the presence of God (Revelation 7:9-17).

 

Revelation Chapter 8

 

The events of Chapter 7 will have been nearly instantaneous with the appearance of Jesus, and Chapter 8 will follow almost immediately. We now see the opening of the seventh seal on the scroll and the Wrath of God carried out through the seven Trumpet Judgments. The first four trumpets sound during this chapter. It is also indicated that the three trumpet judgments that remain will be more intense that those already encountered (Revelation 8:13). If the time of Satan’s Tribulation has been difficult, life on earth will now be much more difficult through the Wrath of God.

 

Keep in mind that Salvation through the blood of Jesus is still available to those on the earth who are not followers of Antichrist. Both Jews and Gentiles can still seek and find Jesus the Savior through faith. Since Satan’s Tribulation is still in progress, existence will be very difficult for those who choose to follow Jesus, but the choice to follow Jesus will eventually result in the same eternal presence with God as that of the raptured Christians.

 

Revelation Chapter 9

 

The fifth and sixth trumpets sound in this chapter. Those who follow Antichrist cling to faith in Satan and Antichrist. We are reminded that certain individuals have been sealed by God and will be kept safe (Revelation 9:4). My guess is that those saved after the appearance of Jesus and the Rapture will be kept safe from the Trumpet Judgments but will still be subject to the anger of Antichrist and to martyrdom for Jesus.

 

Revelation Chapter 10 

(Revised February 2024)

In chapter 10 we see a ‘mighty angel’ who stands on both the sea and the land (Revelation 10:1-6). I believe that this ‘angel’ is the Lord Jesus Himself. I believe that’ the ‘sea,’ is speaking of the Mediterranean Sea but signifies the countries of the world apart from Israel. I believe that the ‘land’ refers to the Land of Israel. In other words, I believe that Jesus is differentiating between Israel and the Gentile world. This idea is bolstered by the fact that in the Book of Daniel the passage speaking of the seven-year period (Daniel 9:27) is referring only to the Land of Israel and its future relationship with God.

 

The concept of God considering the Land of Israel separate from the rest of the world, along with the references to the Scroll introduced in Revelation 5:1 [which I believe to be the deed to the earth] lead me to speculate that the ‘little scroll’ in this chapter 10 passage (Revelation 10:2) may be the deed to the Land of Israel which is set apart from the rest of the countries of the world.

 

The Gentile nations will not be held to the seven-year period and will be dealt with after the seven years expire. However, the fact that the Jesus planted one foot on the sea and the other foot on the land signifies that Jesus is Master over both the Gentiles and the Jews; He holds both scrolls; and although the war between God and Satan is not over, the righteous end of the war is in sight.

 

The first six trumpet judgments will have been completed by the end of Revelation chapter 9. Revelation chapter 10 intervenes before the sounding of the seventh trumpet in Revelation 11:15. Revelation 10:7 significantly tells us that, “in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.” I believe that among the passages Jesus is speaking of are Isaiah 65:17-25, Jeremiah 30:17-24, Ezekiel 39:25-29, Daniel 9:24, and Zechariah 14:8-21. These are passages promising a righteous age for the Nation of Israel in which the Jews will rule over the other nations of the world. This will be the Thousand-Year reign of Jesus (Revelation 20:1-6).

 

John was asked to eat the ‘little scroll’ and found it both sour and sweet (Revelation 10:9-10). I believe that it is sweet because it sets aside the people of Israel as special to God, but sour because of the many Jews who did not and still will not accept Jesus as their Messiah and Savior.

 

[NOTE: I choose to reveal a little about the following four chapters to try to avoid confusion. Chapter 11 will follow the feats of two witnesses throughout the entire time from the midpoint of Daniel’s seven-year period until the end of the seven years, and only then will the seventh trumpet sound. Chapters 12 and 13 will flashback and detail the roles of Satan, Antichrist, and the False Prophet. Chapter 14 will then show what happens immediately following the end of Chapter 11.]

 

Revelation Chapter 11

 

As Revelation chapter 11 begins, we, the readers, are taken back to the midpoint of the seven years. This is done so that we do not confuse the Trumpet Judgments with other events happening at the same time as the Trumpet Judgments. Chapter 11 covers exactly the same time period as chapters 8-10, except that the seventh Trumpet will be allowed to sound at the end of chapter 11.

 

We are told that the Gentiles will “trample on the holy city” for 42 months (Revelation 11:2). This is three and a half years, the last half of the Daniel’s seven-year period.

 

Two witnesses in Jerusalem will prophecy and have power to cause much mayhem to the occupying Gentile forces for 1260 days (Revelation 11:3-6). This again is the same three and a half years beginning at the midpoint of the seven years. God will allow the occupying forces to kill the two witnesses just before the end of the seven years. Their bodies will lie on the earth for three and a half days. The forces of Antichrst will believe that they have won a major battle. The final witness to the world by these two individuals will be their resurrection and their ascension to Heaven (Revelation 11:7-12).

 

The seventh Trumpet now is allowed to sound (Revelation 11:15). We are told that, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.”

 

The ascension to Heaven of the two witnesses marks the end of 1260 days since the midpoint of the seventh year. This, then, would have to be the end of the seven years. The 42 months of Gentile occupation will also expire at this time. Daniel’s seven period has ended, and the new Nation of Israel will arise on this day (Isaiah 66:7-11). The Rapture has occurred, the final Trumpet Judgment has been sounded, the Land of Israel has been restored, but Satan is still at war with God and neither the Tribulation of Satan nor the Wrath of God have yet come to an end.

 

Revelation Chapter 12

 

Once again, we are taken back to a previous time. We are briefly taken back to the birth of Jesus (Revelation 12:1-5). We are told, ”Her child [Jesus] was snatched up to God and to his throne.” This brief statement explains the absence of Jesus from the earth since the time of his ascension (Acts 1:6-11).

 

We now are taken ahead, and once again are at the midpoint of Daniel’s seven-year period. We see another event added to the same time period as the Trumpet Judgments, the occupation of Jerusalem by the Gentiles, and the reign of the two witnesses. We are told, “The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days” (Revelation 12:6, Revelation 12:14). This again is the last half of Daniel’s seven-year period. A significant number of Jews will escape from Israel when Antichrist is revealed at the midpoint of Daniel’s seven years. These Jews will be kept safe from Satan and Antichrist until the end of the seven years. Once again, the 1,260 days will take us to the end of the seven years.

 

We are also told that Satan will be ‘hurled down’ to earth (Revelation 12:7-9). This will make Satan furious, and we are told, “Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you” (Revelation 12:12).

 

The same archangel Michael who will be enabled to hurl Satan to earth is the guardian angel of Israel (Daniel 12:1). I believe that Michael will have kept Antichrist from attacking Jerusalem until this time. I also believe that Michael, once he has thrown Satan to the earth, will go with the Jews that flee into the wilderness (Revelation 12:6, Revelation 12:14). I believe that Michael is the power spoken of in 2 Thessalonians 2:6 as holding Antichrist back. Now Michael will be with the Jews in the wilderness protecting them for three and a half years and will be absent from the Land of Israel.

 

The Jews remaining in Israel will be, “delivered into his [Antichrist’s] hands for a time, times and half a time” (Daniel 7:25). This again is the last three and a half years of Daniel’s seven-year period.

 

Remember that at the midpoint of the seven-year period, the Christians will not yet have been raptured.

Christians will not be raptured until after Antichrist is revealed (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, Matthew 24:15). Satan will be unable to touch the Jews who have fled to the wilderness (Revelation 12:14).

 

“Then the dragon [Satan] was enraged at the woman [Israel] and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus” (Revelation 12:17). Satan will attack Christians any way he can until the appearance of Jesus. God will allow [not cause] many Christians to be martyred in the Tribulation (Revelation 6:9-11) just as He has since the time of Stephen (Acts 7:54-60). Jesus tells us, “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened” (Matthew 24:22). The Tribulation will be shortened only for those Christians raptured; it will continue for the remainder of the people on earth.

 

Revelation Chapter 13

 

This chapter again reverts to the midpoint of Daniel’s seven years. We are introduced to three individuals, two of whom we have already been discussing. The three are the dragon [Satan], the Beast coming out of the sea [Antichrist], and the Beast coming out of the earth [the false prophet]. I continue with my contention that the sea represents the countries of the world, and especially those of the Roman Empire at the time that the Book of Revelation was written.

 

There has been much contemplation about the head of the Beast that has been wounded. This must be speaking of the Antichrist since it does not fit with historical rulers of the past. We also confuse this statement with a different statement that shows up later in Revelation 17:8. That statement says that a being that “once was, now is not, and yet will come up out of the Abyss.” I believe that the head wound applies to the human Antichrist and that the one who was before and is back again is the demon indwelling Antichrist. The head wound in chapter 13 seems to be a wound that afflicts the person of Antichrist shortly before he takes power. The being in chapter 17 seems to have existed before the Book of Revelation was written, was not present at the time of the writing but will exist again in the later time of Antichrist. The head wound of Antichrist may be a literal wound or it may be a figurative wound that would seemingly disqualify Antichrist from his rule. Either way, the wound will be overcome.

 

We do see that Antichrist has authority for 42 months [three and a half years],(Daniel 7:25, Revelation 13:5). Antichrist will have had enough authority before the 42 months to engineer a seven-year treaty between Israel and its enemies; but he will not yet have the power to overtake Israel.  Antichrist will also continue to have power for a short time after the 42 months; but that power will not extend to the people of Israel. Antichrist will have authority over God’s people for only the 42 months. Once the Righteous Nation of Israel has been established, the time and power allotted to Antichrist will have expired. He will be broken; his attempt to recover his power over Israel will lead to his demise.

 

Revelation 13:11 speaks of the beast out of the earth. The word translated ‘earth’ in in this verse could just as easily have been translated as ‘land.’ I believe that the phrase ‘beast out of the land’ is proper and that the ‘land’ is the Land of Israel.

 

Because the beast out of the land is also called the ‘False Prophet’ (Revelation 16:13), many people believe that he is a person of religion. I believe that he is called a ‘false prophet’ because of his subservient relationship to Antichrist. He is a prophet for Antichrist in the sense that Aaron was a prophet for Moses (Exodus 7:1). The False Prophet is the one who actually sets up the ‘abomination that causes desolation’ at the Temple site (Revelation 13:14-17). It is also the False Prophet who initiates the ‘mark of the Beast’ (Revelation 13:16-17).

 

Concerning the ‘mark of the Beast,’ even though I believe that this originates in Israel, I also believe that Antichrist, in his thirst for power, will adopt the practice of the ‘mark’ as widely as possible. I believe that an oath of allegiance to Antichrist will be required in order to receive the mark. We will find that accepting the mark will disqualify persons from salvation through Jesus (Revelation 14:9-11).

 

Satan, of course, is a demon. It is important to understand that both Antichrist and the False Prophet are also indwelt and controlled by demons (Revelation 16:13-14). This fact helps to explain both their relationship to Satan and their ability to wield their power. We are not told at what point Antichrist and the False Prophet were first controlled by demons, but it was at least by the midpoint of the seven years.

 

It is necessary that I comment on one of the best-known topics of the Bible, known far and wide even by people who have never read a single Bible verse.

 

 “This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666” (Revelation 13:18).

 

I must admit that I have not been given the wisdom to interpret this verse. I understand that Roman Emperor Nero’s name fits this number and that he most surely was an antichrist in the sense that he was opposed to Christ and to Christians, but I refuse to believe that there cannot be another 666 or that all of these prophecies were fulfilled two thousand years ago.

 

Revelation Chapter 14

 

Back in Revelation chapter 11 we heard the seventh Trumpet sound, but we have also found that a number of other events came to an end at the sounding of the last Trumpet. These events began at the revelation of Antichrist and lasted for the final half of the seven-year period. When they ended, the seven years ended.

  • Gentiles occupation of Israel (Revelation 11:2)

  • Two witnesses prophesy (Revelation 11:3)

  • Jews will be delivered into Antichrist’s hands (Daniel 7:25, Revelation 13:5)

  • Some Jews will flee into the wilderness and be protected (Revelation 12:6, Revelation 12:14)

 

These following events occurred just as the seventh was to sound (Revelation 11:13)

  • Severe earthquake

  • A tenth of the city collapsed [city of the two prophets – Jerusalem]

  • Seven thousand people were killed

  • Survivors were terrified

 

All of Antichrist’s followers in Israel who are still alive appear to flee the land in fear as we will hear no more about them as the Nation of Israel is born (Isaiah 66:7-9).

 

Much of the narrative in this article has focused on individuals and time periods. Keep in mind that after Jesus appears (Matthew 24:30, Revelation 6:12-17) and the Wrath of God is announced (Revelation 8:6-21), that mighty plagues will be unleashed on the earth [the Trumpet Judgments], and every person on the earth will be affected to some extent. Those who have not been set apart by God will be tormented greatly. These people will find it difficult to think about anything except for the Wrath of God that they are experiencing. There will be no pleasure or peace. Some will repent and turn to Jesus; most will not. Every chapter from Revelation chapter 8 through Revelation chapter 13 will be overshadowed by God’s Wrath. Most of the population of the earth will be caught between Satan’s Tribulation and God’s Wrath and will be living a horrible existence. God alone will have the ability to lessen the strain, and He will do so only for those who turn to Him.

 

The Restoration of Israel

 

Jesus and the 144,000 Jews are shown in Jerusalem after the seventh Trumpet Judgment (Revelation 14:1). Their presence in Jerusalem signifies that the time to, “bring in everlasting righteousness,” is at hand (Daniel 9:24). The 144,000 Jews are the first fruit of the new Kingdom of Israel (Revelation 14:4).

 

Because the final half of Daniel’s seven years has been completed, the following all happen at the same time:

  • Jewish transgression is finished – The Jews that remain in Israel are followers of Jesus (Daniel 9:24, Revelation 14:4)

  • The Jews that fled into the wilderness will return to Israel (Revelation 12:6)

  • Antichrist will no longer have any power over the Jews in Israel (Daniel 7:25, Revelation 13:5)

  • Followers of Antichrist will be gone from the Land of Israel (Revelation 11:2)

  • The city of Jerusalem will be filled with wreckage from two earthquakes (Revelation 6:12, Revelation 11:18)

  • There will be 7000 dead bodies to dispose of (Revelation11:18)

 

Three angels will deliver a message to the Gentile world (Revelation 14:6-13). This message is a final warning to the people who have not yet accepted the ‘mark of Antichrist.’ They can still be saved from eternal Hell by following Jesus. There will be tremendous pressure on these people even yet to submit to Antichrist, but they are told by the angels that death in Jesus is better than life in Antichrist.

 

We are shown two different ‘harvests.’ Considering the location of this passage, the first ‘harvest’ shows Jesus as King, and this harvest may be His army of 144,000 sealed Jews along with the Jews returning from the wilderness harvesting those enemies who have populated the Land of Israel (Revelation 14:14-16, Zechariah 14:14). (The word ‘earth’ in Revelation 14:16 would probably be better translated as ‘land’ or ‘country’ and would apply to the Land of Israel. The Bible also indicates that after righteous Israel is established, it will attack some of its ancient enemies who have not repented of their hatred of the Jews (Jeremiah 49:2, Ezekial 25:14, Obadiah 18, Zephaniah 2:9, Zechariah 12:6, Zechariah 14:14).

 

Other individuals, both Jews and Gentiles, will have been saved during Satan’s Tribulation. We are not told whether or not any of these will be sealed or will be brought to the Land of Israel prior to the Battle of Armageddon. It will still be possible for individuals who have not accepted the mark of Antichrist to be saved before the Battle. It is likely that persons around the world who have not taken the mark of Antichrist and having seen the resurrection of the two witnesses and the other events at the end of the seven years will begin to revolt against Antichrist.

 

The second ‘harvest’ in chapter 14 will be the harvest of Antichrist’s armies that will try to retake the Land of Israel. These armies will go to utter destruction (Revelation 14:18-20).

 

Timing between the end of Daniel’s seven-year period and the Battle of Armageddon

 

We are not specifically told how much time will elapse between the establishment of the Nation of Israel and the Battle of Armageddon, but their may be a hint in the Book of Daniel about this time period. A somewhat cryptic statement is given to Daniel by an angel in Daniel chapter 12.

 

“From the time that the daily sacrifice [personal prayer and sacrifice, not animal sacrifices] is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days” (Daniel 12:11-12).

 

Three and a half years is 1,260 days. The seven-year period is complete 1,260 days after the ‘abomination that causes desolation.’ The two time periods above are 30 days and 75 days respectively after the end of the seven years. We are not told the significance of these two time periods.

 

Keep in mind that even though the seven years have ended, Satan’s Tribulation and God’s Wrath continue. There is no time period given in the Bible for the length of either of these events.

 

I believe that thirty days would probably be sufficient for Antichrist and his forces to arrange an attack on the Land of Israel to attempt to take it back. The 1,290 days may be the time before the Battle of Armageddon.

 

My guess as to what will take place during the time between the Battle of Armageddon and the end of the 1,335 days is that the ‘separating of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 13:37-43, Matthew 25:31-46) will take place and that the Gentile nations will begin organizing governments that will be in compliance with the standards set forth by King Jesus. Jews from throughout the world will be brought to Israel (Isaiah 60:8-9, Isaiah 66:19-21). The persons still abiding on earth by this time will officially be entering the Thousand Year Reign of Jesus (Revelation 20:4).

 

Revelation Chapter 15 and Chapter 16

 

Like other visions in the Book of Revelation, the scene in chapters 15 and 16 returns to a time that has already been shown to us. The end of chapter 14 shows us the Battle of Armageddon. Chapter 15 and chapter 16 are a single narrative and a vision of the war between God and Satan. These chapters take place at the very same time as Chapter 14. Chapter 15 begins after the end of the seventh year (Revelation 14:1) and chapter 16 lasts until the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 14:17-20).

 

God’s Wrath will continue against the Gentile world during the time gap between the end of the seventh year and Battle of Armageddon. Seven angels are shown receiving seven final plagues (Revelation 15:6). The first six plagues will be unleashed upon the earth [except the reclaimed Land of Israel] (Revelation 16:2-12).

 

Evil spirits from Satan, Antichrist, and the False Prophet are sent out to gather the army that will attack Israel at the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:13-14). I believe that this will be happening at the same time as the first six plagues.

 

We find a warning from Jesus in Revelation 16:15

 

 “Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and shamefully exposed.”

 

I believe that this warning from Jesus is intended for the reader of the Book of Revelation as a warning  prior to for the any of the events described in Revelation; that is to say that it is intended for you and me. This is a warning to pay attention to what is being said and done in the Book of Revelation and not to simply dismiss it as nonsense. True Christians will have been taken in the Rapture before the events in this chapter 16; but before they are raptured, they will have to go through a very difficult part of the Tribulation shown in the opening of the first five seals on the Heavenly Scroll. Those who know God’s Word well – including the Book of Revelation – will be more prepared for this Tribulation and have a less difficult time than those who will be caught off guard.

 

Returning to the narrative in Revelation 16:16, we see the Gentile armies gathering at Armageddon to fight against Israel. Once the army is in place, the seventh plague will be released with much commotion, including the greatest earthquake ever evidenced on earth (Revelation 16:17-21).

 

Chapter 16 leads us right up to the Battle of Armageddon, but the narrative now reverts to our corrupt human society that brought about this great battle.

 

Revelation Chapter 17

 

An angel explains to John in chapter 17 about the corrupt society that ultimately led to the war between Satan and God (Revelation 17:1-6). This is insight into Antichrist’s world both before and during his reign. This chapter again covers the period of time from the midpoint of the seven years through to the end of the seventh year.

 

The society pictured by the ‘great prostitute’ throughout Revelation chapter 17 shows a corrupt society that includes a number of nations (Revelation 17:15). The way the woman is dressed (Revelation 17:4) appears to indicate a society of excesses. These people fit the Apostle Paul’s description of society in the last days.

People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:2-5).

 

Paul also describes the religion of ‘later times.’

“Some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared with a hot iron” (1 Timothy 4:1-2).

 

Paul also wrote a warning to the Corinthian Christians that all Christians would be advised to heed:

“For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

 

Paul also wrote,

“The time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires that will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear” (2 Timothy 4:3).

 

The Prostitute and the City of ‘Babylon’

 

The ‘great prostitute’ is also seen as a ‘great city’ (Revelation 17:18) and will “rule over the kings of the earth.” This city may be the home city for Antichrist. We are told that the prostitute’s name is ‘Babylon the Great’ and that she is the representation of the ‘abominations of the earth.’ We are told more about this city in Revelation chapter 18 and find that ‘Babylon’ is a city of much trade reminding us very much of the description of Tyre in Ezekiel chapters 26-28. We even find that the King of Tyre claims to be a god and sitting on the throne of a god, much as Paul tells us in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 about Antichrist claiming to be God.

 

The ‘Babylon’ of Antichrist is not the Babylon of the ancient Middle East nor is it the City of Rome that was referred to by Peter as ‘Babylon’ (1 Peter 5:13). ‘Babylon’ seems to be both a city and the very corrupt society typified by this city. Many scholars believe that this city must be Rome, but I do not see that as necessary or even probable. We do not know when the events pictured in the Book of Revelation will take place, but today’s Rome does not seem to fit the narrative. The ‘Babylon’ of Revelation is both very corrupt and very powerful. It is undoubtedly related to Rome (Revelation 17:9), but could also refer to any people whose ancestry and culture are descended from the Roman Empire. Decedents of Babylon could include most of Europe, the Middle East, Northern Africa, the British Commonwealth, and the Americas.

 

Daniel 11:2-35 speaks of wars yet future in Daniel’s time between kings in the area of Israel; and the descriptions given can be traced to various wars in ancient history. But the last king described to Daniel is a king that cannot be found in history. Daniel 11:36-45 describes a king “who will exalt himself above them all” (Daniel 11:37). This passage shows a very militant Antichrist attacking much, if not all, of the world.

 

As Antichrist goes about conquering the world, we are reminded in Revelation 17:6 that Christians continue to be a main focus of destruction by Antichrist and Satan (Revelation 12:17). We are reminded that Jesus said, “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened” (Matthew 24:22). This is a direct comment about the Rapture.

 

We are told in Revelation 17:8 that, “The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and yet will come up out of the Abyss and go to is destruction.” The angel is speaking to John about Antichrist. I wrote earlier that both Antichrist and the False Prophet will be indwelt by demons. I believe that this passage is speaking of the demon indwelling Antichrist, not the wounded head of Revelation 13:3. This demon has been allowed to indwell one or more rulers in the past. He existed before the time that Revelation was written and he will exist during the time of Antichrist, but he did not exist when John received this vision. We will see this demon again shortly in Revelation 17:11. He will be said to be an eighth king but belong to the seven. Possibilities would include any of the rulers of the first six empires that held sway over Israel. Antichrist may even brag that he is this ruler from the past.

 

Revelation 17:10 tells us of seven kings. This probably means seven kingdoms. I will hazard a guess on the first five as the kingdoms that controlled Israel while the Jewish people were present in the Land of Israel and the Temple was in Jerusalem.

  • Assyria (2 Kings 16:7)

  • Egypt (2 Kings 23:33)

  • Babylon (2 Kings 24:1)

  • Persia (Books of Ezra and Nehemiah)

  • Greece (Between the Testaments, foreseen by Daniel in Daniel 7:6)

 

I believe that both the Jews and the Temple are important, as both represent the focus of God. Both the Jews and the Temple are targets of Satan.

 

The Kingdom [Empire] in control at the time of the writing of the Book of Revelation was the Roman Empire. Rome was the sixth and final kingdom to control both the Jews and Jerusalem while the Temple was still standing. The seventh kingdom will be the kingdom of Antichrist. The Jewish people are currently in the land and the Western Wall of the Temple is still standing. This Western Wall may not be much of a Temple, but it is the most sacred site in the world to the Jewish people. It is also sacred to God (1 Kings 9:3). The sacrifices offered at the Western Wall are not animal sacrifices; but are sacrifices of prayer and of self (Romans 12:1).

 

Revelation 17:12-14 continues to speak of the time before the end of the seven years and also speaks of ‘ten kings’ who will receive authority for ‘one hour.’ We are told that this coalition has ‘one purpose.’ Their purpose is to wage war with Jesus (Revelation 17:14). Jesus obviously has appeared to the world and the Rapture has taken place (Matthew 24:29-31). Those still on the earth will seek to do the impossible, to defeat Jesus. Only those who have been sealed (Revelation 7:4-8) or who have fled into the wilderness (Revelation 12:14) are safe from Antichrist. The Tribulation is still underway and so is the Wrath of God. There is still some hope for those who have not taken the mark of Antichrist, but great pressure will be placed upon them to accept the mark. Satan and Antichrist will strive to convince the population remaining on earth that Jesus can be defeated.

 

Revelation 17:16 states that Antichrist and his submissive kings will hate the ‘prostitute,’ the lavishness of much of the world. Antichrist seeks only power and freedom from God. Anyone or anything that does not lead to his victory will be seen as getting in the way. He will see the struggle against God as the only real goal. He has no love or sympathy or compassion for anyone other than himself.

 

Revelation Chapter 18

 

We learned of the woman named “Babylon the Great” in Revelation chapter 17. As chapter 18 begins, we see that ‘Babylon’ has fallen. This chapter is a continuation of chapter 17. In chapter 17, we see the appearance of Jesus. We know that there was a great earthquake when the sixth seal was opened (Revelation 6:12), and another earthquake when the seventh seal was opened (Revelation 8:5). The seven Trumpet Judgments of God’s Wrath sounded over the last half of Daniel’s seven-year period. The earthquakes and the various Trumpet Judgments will be more than enough to destroy the city called ‘Babylon.’ An angel proclaims judgment on the city and God warns, ‘my people’ to leave the city (Revelation 18:4). God’s people would be the people saved after the Rapture (Matthew 24:29-31) and during Satan’s Tribulation.

 

It must be pointed out that any person who is redeemed is saved only through faith in Jesus and in His blood shed on the cross. Being a Jew as the time the Kingdom of Israel is being established is not a guarantee of salvation. Jews or Gentiles who have accepted the mark of Antichrist will not be saved.

 

We see the finality of the fall of ‘Babylon’ through the entirety of chapter 18.

 

Revelation Chapter 19

 

In chapter 19, we hear from Heaven the jubilation over the fall of ‘Babylon’ (Revelation 19:1-8).

 

Revelation 19:9-10 tells of the wedding of the Lamb. This will be a most joyous affair, but not enough details are given for me to hazard a guess as to time, place, or details of the ceremony. I do not believe that this is symbolic; I believe that such a ceremony will occur and will be marvelous beyond description.

 

Jesus is seen in Heaven with his army (Revelation 19:11-16). This force of Jesus will meet the forces of Satan and Antichrist at Armageddon (Revelation 16:16, Revelation 19:19-21, Ezekiel 39:3-6). This battle will end the war between God and Satan. Jesus will be overwhelmingly victorious.

 

Both the Tribulation and the Wrath of God will be ended at the Battle of Armageddon. God’s righteousness is not yet satisfied, however. We know that the persons left on earth will face King Jesus. The sheep [God’s people] will be separated from the goats and will go “to eternal life” (Matthew 25:46). The statement that they will go to ‘eternal life’ does not mean that they cannot die, but rather means that with these people, as with the Christians of today, hold the promise of a future in eternity with God.  The goats [not God’s people] “will go away to eternal punishment” (Matthew 25:31-46, Matthew 13:36-43).

 

Revelation Chapter 20

 

After the Battle of Armageddon, Satan will be chained and thrown into the Abyss for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-3).

Jesus will reign for one thousand years (Revelation 20:4-6). This will be an extension of David’s Kingdom. Jesus will finally now be the kind of Messiah that the people of Israel expected at His First Coming.

Although righteous Israel will be established immediately after the end of the seven-year period, this will still not be a perfect world. Sin and death will still exist as shown in Isaiah 60:1-12. As various nations serve Israel, there will also be the possibility of resentments and jealousies among those nations. In Revelation 20:7-10 we find Satan released for a short while and able to raise an army of people on the earth to attack Israel. Satan and his army will quickly be disposed of by God (Revelation 20:9). Only then will true perfection come; only then will death and sin finally be eliminated (Revelation 20:14, 1 Corinthians 15:26).

 

 

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