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The Christian Counter

 



Four Global Announcements

 

Revelation not only predicts the coming manifestations of the wrath of God (and the response of the religious and political systems of Earth), it also reveals four profound announcements that God shall send to every nation, kindred, tongue and people. These four announcements will be more widely known than AIDS.  

 

Time has not arrived

 

As of this moment, these four messages are essentially dormant because the appointed time for these messages has not arrived. However, do not misunderstand, Christians are proclaiming elements of all four messages around the world.  However, the four messages – occurring as a four-part sequence, require a specific progression of global events to be universally effective. In addition, when universal circumstances become appropriate, these four messages will penetrate every mind with the brilliance of sunlight. Even though they can be understood before their moment of glory, they have not yet received the power that is to accompany them.

 

There is nothing more powerful than a truth whose time has come. Like a runaway train, timely truth can penetrate any blockade – whether physical, mental or spiritual. The key word in the previous sentence is timely. Timing is everything. And the greater the resistance, the greater the exposure and power of timely truth. Just as heat is generated in an electrical circuit when there is more power than the circuit can bear, so these four messages will cause a great controversy among all people, nations and languages.

 

The four messages

 

What are these four messages? In abbreviated form they are:

 

  1. Obey God
  2. Disobey man’s laws
  3. Disobey the devil’s demands
  4. Do not receive the mark of the beast

 

Look at the diagram for the chronological placement of these messages. The first of these four messages will begin in a powerful way just before the censer in Revelation 8:2-5 is cast down. The global earthquake and attending phenomena that marks the judgment of the living serves as the starting gun for the world announcing the Great Tribulation. (Think about the significance of the earthquake as it relates to commerce. Can you imagine the consequences of thousands of collapsed bridges and freeway overpasses in the USA?) I believe there will be a short interval of time between the global earthquake and the sounding of the first trumpet, perhaps no more than eight months.  During this interval of time, the 144,000 will continue proclaiming the first of the four announcements – but comparatively few people will listen or give them due consideration. Then, the first trumpet occurs, the world will behold a fulfillment of the first trumpet that the 144,000 predicted. It is important to know that the fulfillment of prophecy does not change the announcement of the 144,000; rather, the first announcement will receive much greater attention by the people of earth as a result of the first trumpet. As a result, more people will respond to the gospel call.

 

 

To appreciate the impact these announcements are going to have, one has to understand the events that surround each message because each message is given in opposition to what is actually taking place. For example, the first announcement (in abbreviated form) is “Obey God.” While every born again Christian already understands the importance of this statement, the implication of this message is that most people aren’t obeying God even though they think they are! In other words, the reader must recognize that these four announcements have two dimensions.

 

The first dimension is the revealing of the will of God to all men. The second dimension is the revealing of the rebellion within man against the will of God. Thus, each announcement ignites a higher level of opposition as it is given until the people of earth are separated – as sheep or goats.

 

Right to the point

 

God uses few words.  Speech is a temporal and momentary means of communication. For example, over the course of your lifetime, how many sermons you have heard and forgotten? God prefers to be understood by His actions because men may learn much about the nature and character of God through the study of His behavior over the millenniums of time. Therefore, His words are few and far between, and everything the last generation needs to know about salvation has been written in the Bible. Therefore, God is going to speak to the people of the world through His servant – prophets, the 144,000. These will present four compelling messages from the Bible that all will hear. Within the context of these four messages, men and women, boys and girls everywhere will hear the gospel invitation: Receive Jesus Christ as Savior AND Lord so that you can be saved. To receive Jesus, as Savior is to recognize that one cannot save himself. Salvation is only possible through faith in Jesus. To receive Jesus as Lord is to recognize the authority of Jesus. If we accept Jesus as our Lord and Master, we voluntarily become subject to His commandments. But what brings the properties of salvation into sharpest focus is this: During the Great Tribulation, men will enact a number of laws that will stand in direct opposition to the laws of God. The result is that the subject of salvation will become simple to comprehend: One will not be able to obey God without great love for God and faith in His promises.

 

World response to the trumpets

 

I maintain that one cannot correctly understand Revelation’s story, especially the four announcements of Revelation, without first understanding what the fourth seal and the seven trumpets are all about. (Time will soon reveal if my assertion is true or false.) The reason I maintain such a position is that one has to first comprehend something of the first holocaust caused by the first four trumpets to appreciate the panic and desperation that will galvanize the whole world into a confused but collective unit to appease an angry God. This collective unit of seven religious systems is called Babylon, and it will rapidly rise to a coalition having great power – once the Great Tribulation begins.

 

I am convinced that the four angels holding back the four winds in Revelation 7:1-4 are the first four angels having the seven trumpets. Without going into much detail, here is why:  The four angels holding back the four winds have power to harm the earth. Specifically, they have power to harm the land, sea and trees. After the 144,000 are selected and sealed, the four angels will harm the land, sea and trees. The only place in Revelation where the land, sea and trees are specifically harmed is found in Revelation 8:7-9. Here, the first two angels of the seven trumpets accomplish the harm that God wants them to do. I also find that the devil and his angels are not permitted to harm the land, plants and trees; rather, they can only hurt people who have not received the seal of God. (Revelation 9:4) If the devil’s angels could harm the land, plants and trees, all humanity would prematurely die. Thus, the devil could thwart the work of God to reach people with the gospel. Therefore, God prohibits the devil and his angels from harming the environment. (Incidentally, trumpets five through seven are called curses or woes because they directly affect people.)

 

Therefore, an understanding of the fourth seal and the seven trumpets is central to Revelation’s story. The fourth seal contains four literal judgments from God: sword, famine, plague and wild beasts. These four judgments are four winds that shall be loosed after the 144,000 are ready to do their work! Moreover, the seven trumpets are the means by which the four judgments occur. The coalition of the world’s systems (the rise of the dragon like beast out of the sea, Revelation 13:1) is man’s response to the first four trumpets. This background information is imperative. It sets the stage for the announcements. In addition, once the setting is properly understood, one can see why these four announcements are as volatile as dynamite.

 

 

Two Witnesses

 

To make the testimony of the 144,000 credible, Jesus will give them two assets: a clear grasp of the five Bible doctrines and the Holy Spirit power. The Two Witnesses will make the 144,000 servant-prophets a formidable group of people even though they are few and far between. Here is a mystery. The 144,000 will be largely disconnected from each other by geography and communication – but they are very similar in character and they bear the same four powerful announcements during the probationary period of the Great Tribulation.

 

God’s purpose for empowering the 144,000 is this: The gospel is not only a proclamation of the love of God; it is a demonstration of God’s love. The 144,000 will be a group of chosen people that have a love for the salvation of souls. They will be individuals who love God with all their hearts, mind and soul and their neighbors as themselves.

 

In Revelation, we find the gift of prophecy is given to the 144,000. (Revelation 7:3; 10:7; 12:17) The gift of prophecy is called the “testimony of Jesus” because this phrase refers to a process that is most exciting to understand. In Revelation 1:9, we read, “I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.” Did you notice that John was suffering on the island of Patmos because of the testimony of Jesus?

 

Notice what the angel told John the testimony of Jesus is: “At this I fell at his feet to worship him. However, he said to me, ‘Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.’” (Revelation 19:10) What does the last sentence of this text mean?

 

Putting these two texts together, we find that John was on the isle of Patmos because of the spirit of prophecy! What is the spirit of St. Louis? What is the spirit of praise and thanksgiving? What is the spirit of the Olympics? Basically, the spirit of something is an attitude about that something. The spirit of prophecy is an attitude of esteem for prophecy.

 

Prophecy is a gift that comes directly from Jesus. Notice these two verses from Paul: “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers, prophecy, however, is for believes, not unbelievers.”  (1 Corinthians 14:1,22) Paul makes an interesting point that prophecy is for believers – not unbelievers! Why would he say that? Because believers (should) have an eager attitude or spirit of prophesy, a desire to know the will, the plans and purposes of God. In addition, the gift of prophecy is to be especially desired among the people of God, for it is the most direct means of knowing the plans and will of Jesus. The testimony of Jesus can come through Bible prophecy (the book of Revelation is called the testimony of Jesus; Revelation 22:16) or through a prophet. Regardless of the method of delivery – prophecies from the Bible or through a prophet – the testimony of Jesus remains in constant agreement. In other words, a true prophet has a correct understanding of Bible prophecy will be found to be in agreement.

 

(This last concept needs a qualifying remark. No prophet has ever been shown everything about the times and dates set by God. (Acts 1:7) Paul says of prophets, “For we know in part and we prophesy in part.” (1 Corinthians 13:9) The end result is that when Old or New Testament prophets were shown scenes concerning the end of the world, they all thought the end was imminent or near. However, their supposition about God’s chronology has been proven wrong by nearly two millenniums. Keep in mind that God only unlocks His chronology when the time for fulfillment arrives. This means the final generation can know they are the last generation because they alone are enabled to assemble all that the prophets were shown. (Daniel 12:9) The point here is that true prophets have been wrong about the timing of Christ’s appearing. (See 1 Corinthians 7:29; 1 John 2:18; Hebrews 1:1; 9:26; 10:37; John 21:22,23, 1 Peter 1:20, 4:7, Romans 13:11,12) However, a correct understanding of Bible prophecy will be found to be in agreement with the content of the visions given to true prophets.

 

Here is the mechanics of the gift of prophecy works: First, Jesus says something in heaven. The Holy Spirit hears what Jesus says. Then, the Holy Spirit carries the information to the prophet(s). Read the following verse twice and notice the mechanics of this operation: “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will only speak what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” (John 16:13) The gift of prophecy is the vehicle through which the testimony of Jesus comes. The 144,000 are servant-prophets that will receive “the word of the Lord” (testimony) from Jesus via the Holy Spirit.

 

This matter nicely comes into focus when we read Revelation 12:17: “Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring – those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” In short, the last generation of God’s people will be those obeying God’s commandments (remember the first announcement?) and holding to the testimony of Jesus as communicated via the Holy Spirit to the 144,000. (Incidentally, the devil in verse 17 goes off to make war against the remnant. The war is described in Revelation 13:7 Notice: “He [Babylon, the dragon like beast] was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given power authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.”) During this coming war, the saints will be greatly encouraged by the presence of Jesus!

 

Doctrine is important

 

Within the context of the four announcements that shall be given by the 144,000, five doctrinal truths will be revealed. They are:

 

  1. The salvation of God
  2. The worship of God
  3. The sanctuary of God
  4. The return of God
  5. The conditions of man in life and death

 

These five doctrines converge and bring Revelation’s story into clearest focus. For example, if one does not understand the worship of God, how can he understand the first announcement found in Revelation 14:7 which says, “Worship God?” If one does not understand the sanctuary of God, how can he understand the meaning of the throwing down of the censer in Revelation 8:2-5? If one does not understand the condition of man in death, how can he understand the purpose and importance of two resurrections? If one does not understand that the saints are going to experience the great tribulation and face martyrdom, how can he be prepared? I am not suggesting that every person on earth is going to receive the equivalent of a college education in these doctrines. On the other contrary, I am saying that every person on earth who wants to be saved will receive a saving knowledge of these five doctrines. The difference between a saving knowledge and years of study will be irrelevant. What will be relevant is knowledge sufficient for faith and a determination to stand firm for God and His truth.

 

 A calendar of events

 

There is an important difference between doctrinal truths and apocalyptic prophecy, and many people do not understand the distension. Perhaps the easiest way to understand the distinction is to think of apocalyptic prophecy as a calendar of events. Each element within a prophecy belongs to a specific moment in time. For example, the first trumpet in revelation 8 happens at a specific moment in time. In fact, the Bible says that the sixth trumpet happens at a specific hour, day, month and year! (Revelation 9:15) Therefore, every apocalyptic element has a date connected with it. Thus, apocalyptic prophecy is essentially a calendar of predicted events.

 

On the other hand, doctrinal truth is knowledge from God about His love and interest in man. Even more, doctrine reveals God’s interest and ideals for man, and within these ideals, we find God’s purpose for man and our power of choice to determine our destiny. I am personally convinced of something that seems strange to most people. I believe that many people would knowingly and freely choose to forfeit heaven if they could see the conditions and type of life that all in heaven will live. Think about this concept a few times. Can you imagine a person living in heaven for eternity and not being able to get something he wanted? Suppose someone wanted to get a promotion, a better paying job, and God said, “No.” How long could one live with this desire and God’s refusal and remain happy? (I chose this illustration, for this is a repetition of Lucifer’s fall.

 

Most people do not search the Scriptures to better understand doctrine. Rather, most of us become satisfied with a few simplistic ideas about this or that and that is the end of searching the Bible for more truth. Bible classes at Church are often discussions revealing the poverty of knowledge rather than serious investigation into the infinite realms of God’s Word. It is a lot like high school days. Can you still work an algebraic problem, or have your mathematical skills decayed to the point that basic math is a challenge? 

 

The point here is that apocalyptic prophecy and doctrine are brother and sister. Apocalyptic prophecy has to do with when.  Doctrine has to do with why. Put them together and we discover wonderful things about God’s purposes that were set in motion before the creation of the world!

 

The messengers

 

Now that these matters have been examined, let us examine the fullness of the four announcements that are soon to be heard. The first announcement is this:

 

“Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth – to every nation, tribe, language and people. {7} He said in a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.’” (Revelation 14:6-8)

 

The delivery of the four announcements is represented to John as the work of angels – flying in midair. Will God’s angels deliver the four annou8ncements to the inhabitants of earth? No, not directly. The 144,000 servant-prophets will bear the responsibility. The Greek word for angel is aggelos which simple means messenger. Notice how Jesus used the word aggelos in this text: “Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. {10} This is the one about whom it is written: ‘I will send my messenger [aggelos] ahead of you, who will prepare the way before you.’ {11} I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” (Matthew 11:9-12)

 

Clearly, the word aggelos in verse 10 applies to john the Baptist  – a herald of the First Advent, and in Revelation, 14:6 the aggelos represents the 144,000 – heralds of the Second Advent.

 

What is the first announcement given to every person living on earth?

 

1.      Fear God

2.      Give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come

3.      Worship the Creator who made the heavens, earth, sea and fountains of waters.

 

Let us look at each element within the first message, “Fear God.” The Greek word for fear is phobeo that means to cause fear or terrify. (The English word phobia is a derivative.) This command means exactly what it says. God is above every power or authority. He can speak worlds into  – or out of   - existence. He requires His subjects to hold reverent respect for His authority and His throne. No sovereign, in heaven or on earth, can tolerate insolent subjects and maintain the dignity of His throne. Peter puts some perspective on this saying, “For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; {5} if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; {6} if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly….This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings.” (2 Peter 2:4-6,10)

 

Thus, the work of the 144,000 on behalf of the world begins after the global earthquake. They begin with a call to fear God as Supreme Ruler, having the authority of life and death over all inhabitants of earth. As the reader might expect, this message flies in the face of the world’s attitude about God. Like Pharaoh of old they scoff, “Who is your God that we should be so concerned?”  

 

The second element within the first announcement contains more detail. It says, “Give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come.” The Greek sense of giving glory is equivalent today as giving high honor or exalted recognition. We give great glory to Olympic athletes when we stand them on a podium and place a medal around their necks that recognize their accomplishments. This glory is not imaginary. Often, it is converted into millions of dollars for product endorsements.   

 

In God’s case, we give God glory by recognizing that all His works and commands are faithful and true. We give God glory by exalting His laws and commands above anything else. We give God glory by putting Him first, above anything else. Indeed, this is the point of the first announcement because the hour of His judgment of earth has begun. In other words, when this message goes forth, God begins the judgment of the living. He begins sealing everyone in his or her decision for life eternal or for death eternal.

 

I need to make an important point here. God does not make a unilateral decision upon each person during the judgment of the living as He did upon the dead. Rather, during the judgment of the living, He seals people in their decision for faith or rebellion. He sends the gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue and people with great convincing power to see who will receive His truth and lives by faith, and those who refuse His invitation and rebel against Him. Here is the mechanics of the process:

 

  1. Each person on earth will hear the full gospel invitation.
  2. As they hear, they will have to decide for or against the message. There will be no middle ground because desperate circumstances will require each person to accept the gospel as delivered by the 144,000 or reject it. (When survival itself is at stake, decisions are not too complicated – they may be hard to make, but the issues are clear.)
  3. Once a decision is made, God will test each person to see if he or she is solid in his or her decision. If he or she is not, the testing becomes more intense until a solid decision is reached.
  4. After the test reveals the final decision, that person is sealed in his decision of faith or rebellion. The sealing is final.

 

So, the element of the first announcement, the hour of His judgment has come, clearly reveals that test-day has arrived. The Great Tribulation has begun. The last element within the first announcement logically follows the first two elements. Notice how they fit together:

 

  1. Fear God. Have due respect for His authority.
  2. Give Him glory because the hour of His judgment has come. Understand that His terrible judgments are the only means left to awaken the world to its sinful course, and He must take these drastic actions so that every person, regardless of religious background, might hear His truth and understand that He is now sealing each person’s decision for eternity.
  3. Worship the Creator who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and fountains of waters. This third command is a call to worship God. Strange as it may sound to some, God can only be worshiped on His terms. Think about this. If we can determine the time and manner for the worship of God, we would have greater authority than God would. Therefore, the call to worship God involves time and manner. The time is His holy Sabbath day, Saturday, the seventh day of the week. (Exodus 20:8-11) As shown in Chapter 21, God’s holy day is the seventh-day of the week. In addition, the Bible reveals that God can only be worshiped in spirit and truth. (John 4:23) The point is that God will not make anyone worship Him on His holy day. However, those who love Him, those who honor Him will choose to obey His commands. (John 14:15) In other words, the 144,000 will call the inhabitants of earth to worship God on Saturday, according to His fourth commandment. They will call the inhabitants of earth to worship God in spirit of humility and the joy of truth on His holy day.

 

Remember, these four announcements have two dimensions. The first is the revelation of the will of God. The second dimension is the revelation of the rebellion of man. The point here is that at the time the first announcement goes forth, men will scoff at God’s commandment, “Remember, the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” Thus, respect for the holiness of God will be revealed.

 

However, the story gets even more interesting. The call to worship the Creator who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the fountain of waters is not a rhetorical phrase. Notice how the elements are to be affected by the first four trumpets:

 

 Trumpet 1 Earth, trees and grass burned up

 

Trumpet 2 Sea creatures die, ships sink

 

Trumpet 3 Fountains of waters contaminated

 

Trumpet 4 Heavens turned dark

 

Now, the first announcement says, “Worship the Creator who made:”

 

  1. The heavens

 

  1. The earth

 

  1. The sea

 

  1. The fountains of water

 

Is there a direct connection between the first trumpets and the first message? Yes! Look and compare the devastation of the four trumpets with the first announcement. However, people will scoff at the first message because it begins shortly before the sounding of the first trumpet. However, when the trumpets begin, something revolutionary occurs. People will suddenly get very religious. There is a funny thing about fear.

 

Then, a second announcement joins the first. (The reader should understand that four announcements join sequentially together and swell the gospel call so that in their unison they become fully heard by everyone.)

 

The second announcement begins

 

I believe the first four trumpets happen in rather quick succession. Perhaps the time period is about one month. Regardless of the time frame, the devastation of the first trumpet is powerfully convincing because millions of acres on fire by flaming meteors. Then ka-boom! A great asteroid hits the sea and the tidal wave does horrific damage to seaports all around the ocean. Then, ka-boom! Another great asteroid hits a continent and the resulting ground waves sheer water wells and septic systems. The result is contaminated water and millions die from the plague of typhus or typhoid. Then, a deep rumble occurs within the belly of the earth and volcanoes belch tons of ejecta into the atmosphere. Whole islands disappear and darkness settles upon portions of the world.

 

The people of earth are stopped in their tracks. Truly, this will be a time when the people of earth stand still and behold something about the wrath of Almighty God. The first four trumpets are so overwhelming, so extensive, so horrific and so great that every knee will tremble before the wrath of God. Just as Mt. Sinai shook when Jesus descended upon it to speak His Ten Commandments, the whole world will tremble the day when Jesus begins His judgments of the living and manifestations will continue until He has opened every mind and ear to hear what He has to say.

 

In response to the first four trumpets, religious leaders will do two things. First, they will quickly conclude that these judgments have come upon the world because the people off earth 9not just one nation) have offended God. Christians will use texts like Daniel 9:13,14. Moslems, Jews, Eastern Mystics and heathen will reach the same conclusion by turning to their spiritual authorities. Almost spontaneously, religious leaders will call for a global conference to address the wrath of God. They will say things like, “The global union of mankind to appease a universal God can be diverse. Let us each do our part to put away sin so that God will not destroy us.” The end result of the conference will be a new one-world organization. It is identified as the dragon like beast in Revelation 13:1-8

 

As a result of the trumpet destructions, martial law and contingency constitutions will be implemented all over the world. Rationing will become the common means of controlling the supply and distribution of the necessities for life. Thus, the right to buy and sell will be curtailed. (Later, it will be even more restricted and controlled by the devil’s forces.) In short, the world will receive a mortal blow and men will recoil for survival.

 

Then a most interesting response will occur. While the 144,000 were proclaiming, “Worship the Creator,” men scoffed. Now every heart is filled with fear. As religious leaders call for laws compelling respect for God, politicians will be powerless to stop the surge of popular demand. Moreover, given the circumstances, who can argue with the movement? Martial law will be installed in heavily damaged areas. In addition, a national movement will begin in America to enforce Sunday laws. Sunday, religious leaders will say, is the Lord’s Day and it should be given due respect. It is a day for family, and reverence for God has been lost during this century. Commercial businesses will be required to close on Sunday for reasons consistent with the times. The net effect is that Sunday will, at first, be exalted in America for business and family reasons. Later, as circumstances worsen, it will be declared as God’s day of rest. (Friday will be similarly exalted in Moslem countries and Saturday will be exalted in Israel.)

 

The reader must understand this point. God approves the laws of man that cooperate with the laws of God. (Romans 13:1) However, when the laws of man run contrary to the laws of God, God is not pleased, and eventually, He destroys those laws and lawmakers. (Daniel 4:25) The relationship that will exist between religious leaders and civil authorities will become unholy the moment civil authorities enact a law respecting the sacredness of Sunday, for Sunday has never been the Sabbath of God. In fact, the fourth commandment clearly says that the seventh-day is God’s holy day. God’s law clearly mandates worship on the seventh-day of the week. However, the religious coalition that shall be formed by leaders all over the world will pressure civil authorities to mandate the worship of God on the prevailing day of worship in that nation. What makes this action so vile is this: What body of men can tell God when He is to be worshiped? Even more, what body of men have the authority to tell others when they must worship the God of Heaven? Such an act is a violation of the first human right – the right to freedom of conscience in the worship of God.

 

Therefore, in response to the actions of men, God sends a second announcement throughout the earth. It says, “A second angel followed and said, ‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.’” (Revelation 14:8)

 

Babylon is fallen

 

We often limit the world fallen to mean a fall from power or a fall from a high place. However, the word fallen goes farther. It also means to be found corrupt or deceptive. For example, we can say that PTL Club founder, Jim Bakkar, is fallen. In reality, he fell in several ways. He fell from his post as president of an enterprising ministry, he fell from high visibility in TV, and he fell from respect when it was found that his actions were dishonest, intending to deceive. To say that Jim Bakkar is a fallen man is a truth now self-evident.

 

What initiates the second announcement of the 144,000 that Babylon is fallen? The answer is found in this verse, “[it] made all the nations drink.” In short, when religious and political leaders of the world cross the line and knowingly enforce laws compelling false worship, they fall from God’s grace and are exposed as false religion. Let me explain.

 

God has permitted the establishment of seven global religious systems. These seven are identified as Atheism, Heathenism, Judaism, Islam, Eastern Mysticism, Catholicism and Protestantism. (These are the seven heads of Babylon found in Revelation 13.) During the Great Tribulation, God is going to clearly reveal to every person on earth that these religious systems are false. Even though they claim to speak for Him, none do. Even though they claim to have the truth about Him, none do. In addition, even though they claim to have the solution to appeasing God and stopping His judgments, none do.

 

Remember, after the global earthquake, the 144,000 will begin to proclaim with great power that the hour of God’s judgment has begun. They also call everyone to the true worship of Jesus the Creator on His holy Sabbath, but few will listen and give heed. Then the trumpets sound and what do the religious systems of the world do. They influence politicians to make laws requiring the worship of God. The last resort of false religions is the use of force. This is what the Bible means when it says, “[Babylon] made all nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.” The idea here is that the people of all nations are forcibly required to obey Babylon. As a result, the religious systems that constitute Babylon are now exposed for what they really are: false.

 

The matter almost becomes comical because universal agreement on the appeasement of God is not possible. The Catholics and Protestants require the exaltation of Sunday and Moslems and Jews want to exalt Friday and Saturday, respectively. Try to mentally surround the dilemma. There is one angry God. There is one devastated world. There are seven religions claiming to have the truth about one God that needs to be appeased. There can be no unanimity on the day of worship. In fact, it is this very dilemma from which the first beast of Revelation 13 derives its name: Babylon.

 

The real point here is that God sends a second announcement to the world at just the right moment. As the world coalition of religious powers rise to authority for the purpose of appeasing God, God says through His servants, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen.” They, the religious systems of the world, will be exposed as false. They do not know God’s truth. In addition, God hopes, of course, that people will choose to see the truth.

 

 

The third announcement is given

 

Timing is everything. Consequently, the third announcement is directly connected to the sounding of the fifth trumpet. (The fifth trumpet is the physical appearing of the devil.) One must understand that nothing has ever happened on earth (except Mt. Sinai) that can be compared to the physical appearing of the devil. Certainly, none among the living today have ever seen such a display of power, glory and beauty that shall attend the devil and his angels when they appear on earth.

 

Without going into detail, the primary work of the devil, once he is here in the flesh, is to take the world captive through deception. He will make a display all sorts of miracles and perform wonderful signs to convince people that he is Almighty God. His stated purpose will be the ushering in of a new age, where he, as God, rules the earth. Millions will receive him as God. Many Moslems will believe that he is Allah. Many Jews will believe that he is the promised Messiah. Many Catholics and Protestants will believe he is the long-awaited Jesus Christ. Atheists will have to admit this is a superior being. Heathen will acknowledge him as the Great Spirit of the ages and many eastern Mystics will receive this being as the God of the New Age. In short, he will be able to satisfy millions of diverse people with his claims of being God.

 

Revelation identifies the physical appearing of the devil as a beast that appears to be “lamblike” or Christ-like, yet he speaks like the “dragon.” (Revelation 13:11) However, the speech of the devil will reveal his true identity because, after a pleasant season of gathering believers unto himself, he will begin to place very heavy demands upon his followers. Notice this concerning the devil: “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)

 

The work of the devil is divided into three phases. First, the deceptive phase. Secondly, the controlling phase and lastly, the destructive phase. Therefore, the first thing he does is gathering billions of believers unto himself. Then, he motivates them to take control of the world for the sake of establishing a new kingdom. (The war to take control of the world is the sixth trumpet.)  Upon gaining control over the world, the devil will move followers to destroy the people of God as thoroughly and quickly as possible (especially, the 144,000). The Bible says, “He [the devil] was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed.” (Revelation 13:15)

 

In this setting the third message is given. It says, “A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: ‘If anyone worships the [lamblike] beast and his image and receives the mark on his forehead or on the hand, {10} he, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence pf the holy angels and of the Lamb.’” (Revelation 14:9-10)

 

The symbolism in both the second and third announcements out the drinking wine is important. To drink wine that is maddening (second announcement) or drink the wine of God’s fury (third announcement) refers to internalizing some event or digesting some experience. For example, Jesus said to His disciples,  ‘ ‘You don’t know what you are asking,’ Jesus said to them. ‘Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?’ ‘We can,’ they answered. {23} Jesus said to them, ‘You will indeed drink from my cup….’” (Matthew 20:22-23) So, the third announcement is a direct warning against obeying and worshiping the devil? This announcement will really bring controversy. Consider the problem: Many will believe the devil is God. The 144,000 will be claiming that he is the devil. What will be the feelings of those on the devil’s side toward the 144,000 and their followers?

 

The world will be caught in a great decision: Worship the devil and receive the promised wrath of God, or worship the God and receive the immediate wrath of the devil. In this furnace of persecution, only those who have strong faith in God will be able to stand firm for truth’s sake. Yes, here is the process that proves that salvation comes by faith. James says, “But someone will say, ‘You have faith; I have deeds.’ Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. {24} You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.” (James 2:18,24)

 

The fourth announcement

 

The final announcement given by the 144,000 is a plea from the heart of God. At this time, the importance of this plea is only comprehended by God since no human has ever seen anything comparable to the last seven plagues. In some respects, the seven trumpets are samples. However, the fourth announcement occurs just before the seventh trumpet sounds. (The seventh trumpet marks the end of God’s mercy and the beginning of the final woe, the seven last plagues.) John says of the seven last plagues, “I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues – last, because with them God’s wrath is completed.” (Revelation 15:1)

 

The fourth and final announcement to the world is this: “After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. {2} With a mighty voice he shouted: ‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird. {3} For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.’ {4} Then I heard another voice from heaven say: ‘Come out of her, my people, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; {5} for her sins are piled up to heaven and God has remembered her crimes. {6} Give back to her as she has given; pay her back double for what she has done. Mix her a double portion from her own cup. {7} Give her as much torture and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. In her heart she boasts, ‘I sit as queen; I am not a widow, and I will never mourn.’ {8} Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for the mighty is the Lord God who judges her.’” (Revelation 18:1-8)

 

The message is self-explanatory. However, there are four uses of Old Testament language in these verses that help make this announcement more encompassing and understandable. So, look up the references given below from your Bible and compare the fourth message with these scriptures. You will find this interesting. To help you get started, I have included a few remarks. Jeremiah 5:26,27 talks about cages full of birds. Therefore, what does Revelation 18:2 mean saying that Babylon is “a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird?” Jeremiah explains how wicked men are like those who set traps to snare birds. The trap works well because birds do not understand the trap nor their fate. In a similar way, this announcement is designed to unmask the fact that religious and political leaders of the world are leading people into a great trap where they shall receive the wrath of God without mercy. The tragedy is that millions refuse to admit the coming consequences of their doing. 

 

Jeremiah 25:15-17 speaks of God sending Jeremiah through the land and making all nations drink of God’s cup of wrath. The point here is that God is sovereign and He makes the nations drink of His cup of wrath if they drink the maddening wine of Babylon. See also Psalm 60:3.

 

Jeremiah 50:8-41 speaks of a parallel to flee ancient Babylon. Read the entire selection and see why god calls His people to come out of Babylon.

 

Lamentations 1:1-3 speaks of Israel’s former greatness. How like a queen, she ruled over the land, and then the wrath of God came upon her, she became helpless, like a widow. Compare this scenario with Babylon’s great power until the time of the seven last plagues.

 

Summary

 

The purpose of the four announcements is the gathering of all saints into one fold. Salvation will be freely offered to any and all who will receive Jesus and Savior as Lord – no matter how bad or terrible the past life.  These four announcements not only reveal the love of God to save to the utmost, they also reveal the will of our Creator. These four announcements will fully expose the rebellion of sin that contaminates the hearts of men and women.

 

Timing is everything. These messages will be borne by the 144,000, and every nation, kindred, tongue and people within a short time-period will hear them, perhaps 1,000 days in length. These four announcements occur at specific moments in the progression of end-time events. The final result of these four announcements will be a great harvest of souls at the second coming.  John says, “After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. {13} Then one of the elders asked me, ‘these in white robes – who are they, and where did they come from?’ {14} I answered, ‘Sir, you know.’ And he said, ‘these are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb.’” (Revelation 7:9,13,14)

 

 

 



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