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The Christian Counter

 



Three Interesting Points

 

As we close this section, three interesting points should be noticed:

 

  1. The number of people killed by the first four trumpets is twenty-five percent. When the fourth seal is opened, a fourth of Earth’s population will be killed. (Revelation 6:8) This means 1.75 billion people will die (assuming there is a global population of seven billion people when the Great tribulation begins). The number killed by Lucifer’s forces will be the same! Look at the math:

       Fourth Seal                                                             Sixth Trumpet  

 7.00 billion population                                          5.25 billion population

-1.75 – 25% killed                                                - 1.75 billion – (33%) killed

 5.25 billion survivors                                             3.50 billion survivors

 

It is interesting to notice that Jesus and Lucifer kill the same number of people and together; they reduce the population of Earth by fifty percent during the Great Tribulation. It is ironic that Jesus justifiably kills twenty-five percent of the people on Earth in an effort to save as many survivors as possible, whereas Lucifer kills thirty-three percent of the world’s population in order to rule over Earth.

 

  1. When the sixth trumpet war is over, the devil will rule the world. The seven religions of the world will be abolished and ten kings will serve the devil as taskmasters. The Antichrist will establish a one-world religion and a one-world government, and no ordinary man could possibly accomplish this!

 

  1. The bible predicts slavery will be implemented during the Great Tribulation. Consider these three texts (italics mine):

a .“Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains.” (Revelation 6:15)

b “He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead. (Revelation 13:16)

c. “And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, ‘Come, gather together for the great supper of God so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great.’” (Revelation 19:17, 18)


Indentured slavery will be practiced during the Great Tribulation. People will ether 9a) fall into slavery because they cannot pay their bills, or (b) sell themselves into slavery in order to survive. This practice is as old as mankind. In fact, this is how the children of Israel became enslaved to Pharaoh. (See Genesis 41 and 42.) The devil will convince the world that he has come to establish 1,000 years of peace on Earth, and Earth must be rebuilt and repaired. People will have to work for food. Of course, the devil knows there will be no recovery from the destruction of the first four trumpets and he also knows there will not be 1,000 years of peace. (The 1,000 years mentioned in Revelation 20 occur in Heaven after the Second Coming.) These are lies that he will use to overwork the people of Earth until the seven bowls bring the devil’s rule to a grinding halt.

 

God’s Sabbath Rest

As the Great tribulation unfolds, resting and refraining from work on God’s holy day will become increasingly impossible without suffering a harsh or deadly penalty. Thus, conflict over God’s holy day will boil down to a question of survival, just as it did at the Exodus. Before ancient Israel could leave Egypt, God commanded that they rest on His holy day. Resting on the Sabbath made Pharaoh furious, and his punishment was so harsh that Israel’s foremen were willing to abandon the Sabbath and remain in Egyptian slavery. “The Israelite foreman realized they were in trouble when they were told, ‘You are not to reduce the number of bricks required of you each day.’ When they left Pharaoh, they found Moses and Aaron waiting to meet them, and they said, ‘May the Lord look upon you and judge you! You have made us a stench to Pharaoh and his officials and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.’”

(Exodus 5:19-21)  

 

This scenario will be repeated. Before spiritual Israel can exit this world of slavery to sin, we are going to be tested to see if we will rest from work on God’s holy day. Those who worship God will obey His laws. Those who worship Lucifer will obey his laws. When the laws of two kingdoms are in direct conflict, the allegiance of every citizen will be revealed. Those serving the devil will submit to his authority and receive his tattoo. Those serving Jesus will not be able to buy or sell. Millions will perish, but the saints will live by faith. “For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: To everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” (1 John 5:4)

 

Homecoming for the 144,000

We have come to the last segment in this lengthy prophecy. Just in case you have forgotten, we are studying Prophecy II, Revelation 12:7-14:5. Since we have examined Revelation 14:1-5 and the 144,000 in a chapter dedicated to them, a few closing words about the 144,000 are needed.

 

For good reason, the end of this prophecy recognizes the incredible service and victory of the 144,000 over Babylon and Lucifer. Even though most, if not all, of the 144,000 will be killed, they will accomplish everything that Jesus wants them to do. They will faithfully say everything Jesus wants them to say and they will go wherever Jesus sends them – not only during the Great Tribulation, but also throughout eternity! Whenever I meditate on the work and ministry of the 144,000, I am always fascinated with their worthlessness and yet, their exceeding great value – worthless in the eyes of the wicked, but having the highest value in the eyes of our Creator.

 

Taken to Heaven

Consider the glorious scene that takes place on the 1,265th day of the Great Tribulation. On that Sunday morning, Jesus will resurrect the 144,000 and take them to Heaven, and the wicked of Earth will witness this phenomenon. Notice how these two passages parallel each other.

 

“Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders.  No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.” (Revelation 14:1-3, italics mine)

 

“And I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire and, standing beside the sea, those [the 144,000] who had been victorious over the beast and his image and over the number of his name. They held harps given them by God and sang the song of Moses the servant to God and the song of the Lamb: ‘Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the Ages. Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.’” (Revelation 15:2-4, insertion mine)

 

The 144,000 will sing the song of Moses and the Lamb, and no one else can learn their song because no one but Moses, Jesus, and the 144,000 have endured such horrible experiences!

 

“These [the 144,000] are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes [because they belong to Him]. They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.”

(Revelation 14:4,5, insertion mine)

 

Jesus selected and sealed these ordinary people first and He will take them to Heaven first because they are samples of the harvest that will come from every nation, kindred, tribe, and people. They faithfully spoke the testimony of Jesus – without regard for their life.

 

Summary

Prophecy I and Prophecy II are inspiring because they tell us that Lucifer will ultimately fail. This may not sound very important right now, but it will be very encouraging in days to come. There will be an end to Lucifer’s torment. “Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days.” (Daniel 12:12) We have read about Lucifer’s failures in this study because Jesus wants us to know that evil may prosper for a season, but it will not endure.

 

Once again, review his failures:

 

1.   Lucifer tried to kill Jesus at birth.

 

2.   Lucifer tried to ruin the plan of salvation by tempting Jesus (at His weakest moment) to worship him.

 

3.   Lucifer tried to keep Jesus in the tomb by sealing it with a huge stone.  

 

4.   Lucifer tried to prevent Jesus from taking his position in Heaven’s government.

 

5.   Lucifer tried to keep the truth about Christ’s resurrection a secret.

 

6.   Lucifer persecuted the woman for 1,260 years, but he could not destroy her.

 

7.   Lucifer will make war on the remnant of the woman for forty-two months, but he cannot destroy her. He will kill most, if not all, of the 144,000, but Jesus resurrects them.

 

       (Note: To make this story complete, I must mention Lucifer’s next two failures.)

 

8.   Lucifer will lead the world into war against Jesus as He appears in the clouds, but he will be soundly defeated and returned to the Abyss for 1,000 years.

 

9.   At the end of the 1,000 years, Lucifer will lead the wicked again against the Holy City, but God will strike Earth with blazing fire from Heaven, and the wicked, including Lucifer and his demons, will be annihilated.   

 

An Invitation to Join the Winning Team!

 

Anyone who reads this book can join the winning team right now, this very minute, by giving your life to Jesus Christ. Here is the process:

 

First, tell Jesus you realize that you are a sinner and that you cannot save yourself from the penalty of sin. Then, tell the Lord “thank you” for dying on the cross in your place. Tell Him that you accept His offer: A life for a life. You are giving Him your sinful life and you believe that He will give you His perfect life, which brings the assurance of eternal life to you. Tell Him that you love Him for what He has done for you and that you are willing to do whatever He commands. Tell Him you are willing to become all that He wants you to be. Ask Him to show you where He wants you to go so that you may best serve His interests today. Tell Him that you want to bring honor to His holy name through humble behavior, and Jesus will warmly embrace you through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. It does not matter how messed up your present situation may be or how disgusting your past might have been. He will joyfully become your God and you will become His child.

 

Because we have the privilege of owning a Bible, we have the opportunity to see into the future. We know who the winners and the losers are going to be during the Great Tribulation. Many of the winners will be tortured and killed, but Jesus will not reward the winners until the dead in Christ is resurrected! Jesus does not see the first death as the end of life  “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and [the grave] Hades.” (Revelation 1:17,18, insertion mine) If Jesus was willing to give up His eternal life in order to save us from eternal death, surely we can give up our temporal lives (prompted by our love for Christ and the indwelling strength of the Holy Spirit) as a testimony for our love for Him. In fact, the most telling evidence of a born-again Christian is this:

 

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) The angel said, “They overcame him [Lucifer] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” 

(Revelation 12:11)



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