The Last Half Of The Tribulation - #4

We left off, in message #3 of this series, with the Trumpet woes of the fourth Trumpet judgment on Israel and the world. The next judgment will come with the sounding of the fifth trumpet.

Revelation 9:1-12: "And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven which had fallen to the earth; and the key of the bottomless pit was given to him. 2. And he opened the bottomless pit; and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit."

The star fallen from heaven may be a fallen angel or even Satan himself. Regardless who it is, he has the key to the bottomless pit where demons dwell. 3. "And out of the smoke came forth locusts upon the earth; and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 4. And they were told that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing. nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5. And they were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment for five months; and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man. 6. And in those days men will seek death and will not find it: and they will long to die and death flees from them."

The locusts that are going to attack people may well be fallen angels who are now demons and are under the guidance of Satan. Notice they attack only those who donít have the seal of God on their foreheads. (Verse 4)

Although their sting was not fatal, it inflicted torment that lasted for five months. It was so intense that men wanted to die, but God will not let them. These locusts are probably demons that were released from the pit and took possession of unsaved men and women.

It might seem like a science fiction story to us, but it is an actual fact. Itís difficult to visualize or understand the exact nature of these creatures or that their sting can torment the unsaved for five months time.

Verse 12: "The first Woe is past; behold, two Woes are still coming after these things."

The sixth trumpet, called the Second Woe: Revelation 9:13-16: "And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden-altar which is before God. 14. One saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates." 15. And the four angels who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year were released, so that they might kill a third of mankind. 16. And the number of the armies of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them." The sixth trumpet releases four of Satanís angels that are bound in the Euphrates River and they kill one third of mankind. It is a sobering thought that there are this very day, four angels with that kind of power, bound somewhere in the Euphrates River, waiting for that hour and day and month and year.

They evidently will be accompanied by an army of 200 million men on horseback in this slaughter of one-third of the world's population.

The mention of the golden altar which is before God links these following judgments to the prayers of God's oppressed people. The sixth trumpeter releases four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates. These four angels had been held in readiness for this exact moment to go forth and kill a third of mankind.

9:20-21: "And the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; 21. and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts."

Only two-thirds of mankind survived these plagues but they didnít repent, they still bowed down to demons and idols and commit sexual immorality and thefts. Punishment and suffering canít change a sinner's character; only the new birth can do that.

Chapter 10 describes another angel that comes down from heaven and gives the apostle John a little scroll that lists the impending judgments. This angel claims his domination over the world by placing his right foot on the sea and his left on the land and pronounces these judgments with the voice of thunder. The Seventh Trumpet will reveal what these judgments will be.

Chapter 11, verses 1-2. John is commanded to measure the temple and the altar, and to number the worshipers. He was not to measure the court of the Gentiles because it will be trampled under by the nations for forty-two months - the latter half of the Tribulation Period. The temple is the one that will be standing in Jerusalem during the Tribulation. Numbering the worshipers may signify that God will preserve a remnant of worshipers for Himself. The altar pictures the means by which they will approach Him, that is, the work of Christ at Calvary.

Verses 3-12 tell about the two witnesses for God that preach the Gospel for three and one half years but are eventually killed and their bodies left in the street for three and a half days. People from all nations will view their dead bodies, most likely on TV, no one will be allowed to bury them. There will be rejoicing and people will exchange gifts because the unpopular prophecies have been silenced. Before the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet, the Two Witnesses will come to life and be caught up into heaven. At this time an earthquake levels a tenth of the city of Jerusalem, leaving 7,000 dead. The survivors give glory to God, but not genuine worship, they are just grudgingly admitting His power. Revelation 11:13. "And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; and seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven." The second woe is past.

Chapters 9:13 through 11:13 are included in the second woe but chapter 10 through 11:1-13 is a parenthesis between the second woe (sixth trumpet) and the coming of the third woe (seventh trumpet).

Revelation 11:15 and 19: (15)"And the seventh angel sounded; and there arose loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever." (19): And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple. and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm."

The full results from sounding of the seventh trumpet are only introduced here and not brought to finality until chapter 16. When the trumpet sounded there were voices heard in heaven proclaiming the earthly kingdom of Christ.

This will be fulfilled at His Second Coming so it is clear that the period of the seventh trumpet chronologically reaches to Christís return to earth.

The seventh trumpet introduces and includes the seven bowl judgments of the wrath of God revealed in chapter 16. Previous trumpets record only a single voice heard while here a mighty chorus from heaven is heard.

11:16-17: "And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17. saying, "We give Thee thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who art and who wast, because Thou hast taken Thy great power and hast begun to reign."

Verse 18. "And the nations were enraged, and Thy wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to give their reward to Thy bond-servants the prophets and to the saints and to those who fear Thy name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth."

The unbelieving nations will be angry with Him, and try to prevent Him from taking power. But the time has come for Him to be angry with them, to judge those who do not have spiritual life and to destroy the destroyers. And the Lord will reward His own people, both small and great, at this time.

Verse 19. "And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm."

God has not forgotten His covenant with His people, Israel. When the temple of God is opened in heaven, the Ark of the Covenant appears as a symbol that all He promised to Israel will come to pass.

Revelation 16:1-2. "And I heard a loud voice from the temple, saying to the seven angels, "Go and pour out the seven bowls of the wrath of God into the earth." And the first angel went and poured out his bowl into the earth; and it became a loathsome and malignant sore upon the men who had the mark of the beast and who worshipped his image." The first judgment is sores like boils on the body of every man who gave allegiance to the Antichrist and to the False Prophet. They will be horrible sores, maybe malignant infections stemming from the mark of the Beast.

Revelation 16:3. "And the second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became blood like that of a dead man; and every living thing in the sea died."

I donít know how many of you have ever smelled the odor of a person that has been dead for some time but it is an odor you will never forget. The worldwide sea would have this odor.

Revelation 16:4-7. "And the third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of waters; and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters saying, "Righteous art Thou, who are and who wast, O Holy One, because Thou didst judge these things; For they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and Thou has given them blood to drink. They deserve it." And I heard the altar saying, "Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Thy judgments."

All the fresh water supplies will have that awful stench of death and will be impossible to drink. It will be a terrible time of famine and thirst.

Revelation 16:8-9. "And the fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun; and it was given to it to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues; and they did not repent, so as to give Him glory."

Maybe this is the global warming the scientists threaten us with. The sun and the earth will be altered so that the sun will burn people all over the earth, scorching them like fire. Instead of turning to God, people will curse God.

Revelation 16:10-11. "And the fifth angel poured out his bowl upon the throne of the beast; and his kingdom became darkened; and they gnawed their tongues because of pain. And they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they did not repent of their deeds."

The Fifth Vial will bring judgment on the Antichrist and all his followers. Instead of repenting and turning to God for deliverance, theyíll bite their tongues in pain and curse God because of their suffering.

Revelation 16:12-16. "And the sixth angel poured out his bowl upon the great river, the Euphrates; 13. and its water was dried up, that the way might be prepared for the kings from the east. And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; 14. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. 15. (Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his garments, lest he walk about naked and men see his shame.) 16. And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon."

At the opening of the Sixth Vial, we see the River Euphrates completely dried up so that the armies of the kings from the east (China, North Korea, Japan, India,) can cross over and gather for the soon coming Battle of Armageddon.

When the angel empties the Seventh Vial, it gives us an example of God's judgment on sinners and on the scene of man's sins. All these cosmic displays will rip the earth apart worse than any of manís science fiction or horror movies could portray. It shows how great God's hatred for sin really is.

Armageddon is the name for the battle ground where the greatest blood bath this world will ever see will take place. Armageddon is a strategic valley in Northern Israel named for the ancient city of Megiddo.

This city was built on Mt. Megiddo and it overlooks the Jezreel Valley and the Plain of Esdraelon and is the gateway through the mountains to Jerusalem from the North. When will the Battle of Armageddon occur? At the end of the 7-year Tribulation Period.

Revelation 16:16-21: "And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon. 17. And the seventh angel poured out his bowl upon the air; and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, "It is done." 18. And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty. 19. And the great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath. 20. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21. And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe."

Christ is victorious in this battle and Satan is confined in the bottomless pit.

Revelation 19:19-21. "And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 20. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh."

The Antichrist and the False Prophet will be cast alive into the Lake of Fire and Satan will be chained in the bottomless pit for 1000 Years and Christ will live and reign forever!

Revelation 20:1-3. "Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3. and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while."

In these messages we have dealt mainly with the series of judgments of God on the earth and mankind but there are far more issues recorded here that will be dealt with by God while these judgments play out their role in world history.

There will be an un-holy trinity composed of Satan, the Antichrist, and the False Prophet. They will imitate God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. They will mislead a large portion of the world population into following them in rebellion against God.

The Antichrist will gain political and financial control of much of the earthís population and then gain religious control and seat himself in the Temple in Jerusalem, proclaiming himself to be God.

There are many other situations dealt with in Revelation, one of which is the war in heaven where Satan is cast out and down to the earth. Here he will mount an all out offensive against God and Godís people in an attempt to overcome God. He knows his time is short so it will be a ďno holds barredĒ struggle. However, his doom is sealed. After the battle of Armageddon, Christ will be the Victor and Satan will be confined in the bottomless pit for a thousand years and all his followers will be cast into the Lake of Fire along with the"beast," (the Antichrist) and the False Prophet.

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, donít take the chance of spending eternity with Satan and his followers in the Lake of Fire. Jesus offers you full salvation just for faith in Him. He died on the cross for my sins and your sins and all He requires is your confession that you are a sinner and need His forgiveness and that you trust Him in simple faith for that forgiveness. He will accept nothing more and He will accept nothing less.

What can Satan and the world offer you for eternity? Only hell for all eternity. What does God offer? Salvation and a home with Jesus in heaven for all eternity.

God wants you to trust
in the finished work of His Son, Jesus Christ.
John 14:6. ďJesus said to him,
"I am the way, the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through Me.Ē