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Revelation 14:6 – Revelation 15:6

The Close of Mercy and the Seven Last Plagues


Begin Text:

This is our third and final segment on the seventh prophecy in Revelation. Today, we are going to begin our study with Revelation 14:14.   This verse introduces the close of mercy.

 

Before we read from Scripture please consider the following three points:

 

1.   Many Christians do not know (a) that the judgment of the living occurs during the Great Tribulation and (b) that the judgment of the living will be completed just before the seven last plagues begin.

 

In other words, everyone on Earth will have been judged when the Two Witnesses complete their work. At the end of the 1,260 days granted to the Two witnesses, Jesus will pronounce this benediction upon the world:

 

Revelation 22:11   “Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to be right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy.”

 

The end of the gospel invitation can be compared to the closing of the door on the ark in Noah’s day. When the door closed, everyone inside the ark was sealed inside and everyone outside the door of the ark was sealed outside. Once the door of the ark was closed, the judgment of the living was finished. Seven days later the rain began to fall.

 

For 120 years, Noah preached about the coming flood. And then one day, it was over. The huge door of the ark was closed. It could not be closed or opened by Noah! So it will be. God’s offer for salvation will be preached for 1,260 days and then the door to salvation will close.

 

2.   Here are two points that you need to know about the close of mercy.

 

First, during the 1,260 days of the seven trumpets, Jesus is willing to save any repentant soul until the Two Witnesses have finished their testimony. In other words, the close of mercy will not spring on sincere and honest hearted people as a trap snaps shut. However, it will spring like a trap on the foolish.

 

A lot of Christians are confused by this text:

 

Matthew 24:37   As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

 

Matthew 24:38   For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark;

 

Matthew 24:39   and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. This is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.”

 

This text offers two things that you need to know:

 

1.   In Noah’s day, the wicked were caught by surprise. Why? They failed to pay attention to what Noah was saying and it cost them their lives. However, Noah and his family were not caught by surprise.

 

2.      When most people read this text, they read, “…That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.” And they apply these words to the physical appearing of Jesus at the Second Coming.

 

But, this is not the case. This text should be applied to the commencement  of the Great Tribulation. The coming of Jesus is a process that takes 1,335 days. A parade of events will transpire and at the end of the parade, Jesus, sitting at the right hand of the Father, will physically appear on a huge float!

 

The point here is that in Noah’s day the wicked were caught by surprise. When the door of the ark closed they could have cared less. But, when the rain began to fall, it was too late.

 

So it will be. The judgment of the living will begin with the casting down of the censer and it will last for 1,260 days. During this time, everyone will be forced by circumstances to make his or her decision and then the door to salvation will close. There’s no surprise at the end. The surprising part is at the beginning of the Great Tribulation.

 

In fact, you may recall from a previous seminar that in the Old Testament, Day of Atonement (the 10th day of the 7th month) did not come as a surprise to anyone in Israel. The feast of trumpets gave everyone notice for nine days that mercy was coming to an end.

 

Furthermore, everyone in the camp knew that mercy ended as the ninth day of the seventh month came to a close. Everyone in the camp knew that his sins had to be confessed and made right before the Day of Atonement arrived. In other words, the close of mercy on the 10th day of the 7th month in ancient Israel was not a surprise.

 

Here’s a second issue that confuses a lot of people:

 

Before the 1,260th day is reached, everyone will have made their decision about the gospel of Christ. Listen carefully: The door of mercy does not close while people remain in the valley of decision. No! Every decision will have been made before the door of mercy closes. The mark of the beast test will be implemented several months before the door of mercy is closed. Therefore, everyone will have made their decision before the 1,260 days allotted to salvations offer ends.

 

3.   This brings us to the third and last point: The judgment of the living is a topic that most Christians do not understand. Consider this:

 

The judgment of the dead began in 1844 and the judgment of the dead is based on the recorded history of each dead person.

 

Daniel 7:10 “….The court was seated, and the books were open.”

 

Yes, the judgment of the dead continues after the Great Tribulation begins because millions of people will die before they can hear the testimony of Jesus that will be spoken by the 144,000.

 

But, the judgment of the living is different than the judgment of the dead in one major respect. The judgment of the living is not based on books of record. The judgment of the living will be based on our actions! Jesus will judge the living by putting the living through a test of faith and our actions will reveal our faith.

 

When God’s wrath begins, the composite beast in Revelation 13 will arise. It will persecute those who obey the three angel’s messages. The result is that the faith of every living person will be tested and our actions will reveal our choice. Faith in God or lack of faith in God is a matter of choice.

 

Look at this verse. Paul says that the essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ is to call people to obedience through faith in Christ!

 

Romans 1:5   Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith.

 

Romans 1:6   And you [those Jews living in Rome] also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.”

 

Think about this: If salvation comes by faith, isn’t a no-brainer that the faith of the living has to be tested?

 

The judgment of the living is a four-step process:

 

1.   Every person has to hear the gospel.

 

2.   Every person has to make a decision for or against the gospel.

 

3.   Every person has to be tested with persecution to see if they have embraced the gospel through faith in Christ.

 

4.    Every person has to be sealed in his or her decision.

 

 

We know the first people to be sealed are the 144,000.

 

Revelation 7:3   Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.

 

Revelation 7:4   Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.”

 

The Bible does not tell us how the 144,000 will be tested, but we know they will be tested before the Great Tribulation begins – before the four angels release their judgments.

 

However, we can be sure that their testing will be difficult and thorough because they will be tested as everyone will be tested during the Great Tribulation.

 

In summary, the judgment of the living will begin when the censer is cast down and the first angel’s message begins. The testing of mankind will last 1,260 days.

 

I am guessing, but I believe that –66% of the saints will be tested and sealed prior to the fifth trumpet! Remember, when the devil arrives, he will not be able to torment those who have the seal of God:

 

Revelation 9:4   They [the locusts – demons] were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads.

 

Revelation 9:5   They were not given power to kill them, but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of a sting of a scorpion when it strikes a man.”

 

In other words, I suspect that Jesus will “squeeze” out the last third of the redeemed after the fifth trumpet sounds.

 

To make this point clear, consider this:

 

There is a fourth angel’s message that will be proclaimed during the sixth trumpet. Remember, the third angel’s message is given when the fifth trumpet sounds because the lamb-like beast rises from the abyss.

 

We know from Scripture that the devil will be on Earth for 5 months before the sixth trumpet sounds, and when the sixth trumpet sounds, the devil and his angels will kill a third of mankind in order to set up the image to the beast – the devil’s one-world church/state. At that time, the mark of the beast will be tattooed on the survivors of the sixth trumpet (two-thirds of 1,000 equals 666).

This is the final call that Jesus sends throughout the Earth after the third angel’s message. This message will be proclaimed during the sixth trumpet. The beauty of knowing this now is that we can see how Jesus does everything possible to save one human being. Look at this message:

 

Revelation 18:1   After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor.

 

Revelation 18:2   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.       

 

Revelation 18:3   For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and her merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.”

 

Revelation 18:4   Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues;

 

Revelation 18:5   for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.”

 

The Holy Spirit will really torment the wicked with this message. There will be no rest, day or night for those who rebel against the Holy Spirit. (The cessation of this torment at the end of the 1,260 days explains why the wicked are so happy when the Two Witnesses are finally killed. Remember how the wicked celebrate and send gifts to one another in Revelation 11?)

 

The fourth angel’s message plainly declares that Jesus still has sheep in Babylon:

 

“Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins…. “

 

For mathematical reasons, the 6th trumpet lasts for –222 days (a little more than 7 months). I believe the devil will be on Earth, masquerading as God for a total of 445 days (this is the last third of the 1,335 days allotted to the Great Tribulation. So, the last 445 days looks like this:

 

    5 months  – 5th trumpet (148 days)

  - 7 months  - 6th trumpet (222 days)

-2.5 months – 7th trumpet and the seven bowls = (75 days)

 

Ok, now that we have briefly looked into the judgment of the living…

 Now that we have briefly looked into the first four angel’s messages….

 Now that we have studied the seven trumpets, the 144,000 and the Two Witnesses….

 

Now that we have studied the rise of the composite beast and the physical appearing of the lamblike beast….

 

You are ready to hear this!

 

Revelation 14:14   I looked, and before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one “like a son of man” with a crown of gold [stephanos] on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.

 

Revelation 14:15   Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, “Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.”

 

Revelation 14:16   So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.

 

Revelation 14:17   Another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle.

 

Revelation 14:18   Still another angel, who had charge of the fire, came from the altar and called in a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, “Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth’s vine, because its grapes are ripe.”

 

Revelation 14:19   The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath.

 

Revelation 14:20   They were trampled in the winepress outside the city,” and blood [of the grapes] flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridles [about 4 feet] for a distance of 1,600 stadia [the length of the Jordan river in John’s day. 625 feet x 1600 = 1,000,000 feet or 200 Roman miles].

 

Trampled outside the city: (Notice the significance of location)

 

Number 35:26   “’But if the accused ever goes outside the limits of the city of refuge to which he has fled

 

Numbers 35:27   and the avenger of blood finds him outside the city, the avenger of blood may kill the accused without being guilty of murder.”

 

The language and imagery used for the cities of refuge represents Jesus. As long as the sinner is in Christ, he is not under the condemnation of the law. If a sinner ventures outside the city (Jesus), he can be killed by the next of kin without guilt because of his sin.

 

>>Dying in our place as a sinner, Jesus was crucified outside the city.

 

>>The wicked will die outside the holy city (8th city of refuge) at the end of the 1,000 years.

 

>>Thus, the wicked will be trampled “outside the city” after the door of mercy has been closed.

 

Look at this text:

 

Revelation 14:15   Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, “Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.”

 

What does this mean?

 

Do you remember how “Plan A” would have been implemented upon the nations if Israel had been faithful and kept the covenant? (We examined this concept at length in my studies on Ezekiel and the audiotape series, “Shadows of God.”)

 

Notice the use of language in Plan A:

 

Joel 3:12   ‘Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshephat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side.

 

Joel 3:13   Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe, come trample the grapes. For the winepress is full and the vats overflow – so great is their wickedness!’

 

Joel 3:14   Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.

 

Joel 3:15   The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine.

 

Joel 3:16   The Lord will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the sky will tremble. But the Lord will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel.”

 

Look again at verse 13:

 

Joel 3:13   Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, trample the grapes, for the winepress is full and the vats overflow – so great is their wickedness!’

 

Here’s the end-time scenario:

 

At the end of the 1,260 days, one of the seven angels’ will come out of the temple and he will relay this command to Jesus to swing His sickle over the Earth because the harvest is ripe (ready).

 

The Father sends this command to Jesus through an angel because the Father is totally satisfied that everything that could be done to save mankind has been done.

 

Because the Father gives the command “swing the sickle,” there is no conflict of interest for Jesus who still mediates on behalf of sinners. In other words, our Mediator does not terminate salvation’s offer. The Father does this.

 

Consider this:

 

I have wondered if this event could explain where the days of tribulation is “cut short?” In other words, it is possible that during the Great Tribulation the Father could search out the hearts of every person on Earth and He finds that everyone has made a firm decision, so He sends the message to Jesus telling Him to swing the sickle and close the door of mercy before the 1,260th day is reached? Yes, this is possible.   

 

If this did occur, the martyrdom under the fifth seal would be cut short and the seven bowls could be poured out and this transaction would shorten the Great Tribulation by several days.

 

Of course, I can’t say it will happen this way. We will have to wait and see just how this plays out. The point though is that Jesus swings the sickle when He is instructed to do so and the door of mercy closes.

 

Then, one of the seven angel’s that stands before God is told to gather a sickle and gather up all the grapes and put them in the winepress of God’s wrath. This language is rather easy to understand.

 

The grapes represent the wicked. The winepress represents God’s wrath in the seven last plagues. The amount of grapes gathered up will be so great that the blood of the grapes will flow about 4 feet deep – for 200 miles – a river almost identical in size to the Jordan river.

 

The seven last plagues are called seven bowls or seven vials (cups) because the wicked will be forced to drink and swallow the wrath of God.

 

Now we will come to the last verses of this prophecy:

 

Revelation 15:1   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 15:2   And I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire [sparkling like diamonds] and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and over the number of his name. [the 144,000 are in Heaven at this time] They held harps given them by God.

 

Revelation 15:3   and sang the song of Moses the servant of 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.

 

Revelation 15:4   Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All the nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.” [The 144,000 resurrected martyrs sing this song at the time of the 7th trumpet.  They know the seven bowls are about to be poured out and they sing this song of Moses that declares the wrath of God is justifiable.]

 

Revelation 15:5   After this I looked and in Heaven the temple, that is, the tabernacle [ark] of the Testimony [the ark of the covenant], was opened  [see Revelation 11:19]

 

Revelation 15:6   Out of the temple came the seven angels with the seven plagues. They were dressed in clean, shining linen and wore golden sashes around their chests.” [Dressed according to their exceeding high rank for this royal occasion.]

 

These seven angels’ will now torture the wicked who have been righteously judged and eternally sealed. Time has come for God’s justice to be served.

 

There is nothing dark, sinister, dubious or unfair about the seven last plagues. We will examine the seven last plagues in coming seminar segments.

 

For now, this brings our verse-by-verse examination on the 7th prophecy to a close. Before we go any further, I would like to go back through the whole prophecy and summarize several salient points in the time remaining.  

 

If you read my September 2006, Wake Up Report, you know that I anticipate the outbreak of a war that will escalate to the point of a nuclear exchange.

 

I cannot say with certainty, but this war could begin in the Middle East and it could easily involve Israel. Because much of the world’s oil comes from the Middle East, such a war could drastically affect many nations.

 

Here’s the problem: Many of the larger nations on Earth have strategic alliances with the smaller nations of the Middle East, therefore, a nuclear exchange involving Israel could pull the world into World War III vortex within a matter of hours.

 

If this scenario happened, a World War III could only be stopped by divine intervention. At this very hour, hatred and tensions are building in the Middle East. Preparations for nuclear war are being made.

 

Will Israel attack Iran? Will Iran attack Israel? I don’t think it’s a matter of “if,” I think it’s a matter of “when.”

 

But wait! There’s more to this than killing man.

While nations on Earth are preparing for atomic war, the Bible declares the devil is preparing to make war on the remnant. (Revelation 12:17) And while the devil is preparing to make war on the remnant, Jesus is about to release the wrath of God and destroy 25% of humanity.

 

Wow! War is brewing on all sides!

 

Our planet is destined for a great deal of destruction in the near future! All the ingredients necessary for a “perfect storm” are present. (A “perfect storm” occurs when several elements in nature come together to produce a storm having the greatest destructive force possible.)

 

Whether or not a nuclear exchange will occur remains to be seen. However, the Bible clearly indicates the selection and sealing of the 144,000 will occur shortly before the Great Tribulation begins. (I am guessing, but I think the selection and sealing of the 144,000 will occur a few days, maybe a couple weeks, before the censer is actually thrown down.)

 

The, when things on earth are in a great uproar (war), Jesus will shout above the noise: “There will be no more delay” (Revelation 10:6) and the censer in Revelation 8:5 will be thrown down and the first of three global earthquakes will occur.

 

Peals of heavy thunder, brilliant flashes of lightning, and deep rumblings within the Earth will be seen and heard all over the world. These awesome and magnificent manifestations will probably last for several hours, even days.

 

Then, as they cease, the whole world will begin to shake and this earthquake will be so powerful that it will stop the world in its tracks. This earthquake will break up the world into 144,000 cells.

 

By collapsing bridges and overpasses, by cracking dams, and pulling voltage lines apart, felling tall buildings and buckling highways and runways, the first global earthquake will effectively put the whole world in a position of “lock down.”

 

One prophet (that is, one of the 144,000) will be located in each cell. This prophet will be empowered by the Holy Spirit to speak the words that Jesus will put in his or her mouth.

 

The testimony of Jesus will be clearly heard. Jesus will speak through the 144,000 to the whole world through the mouths of the 144,000 in a context of divine wrath. Then, one of the four angels’ who have been patiently waiting to sound their trumpets since 1994 will be released to hurt the Earth.

 

Within 60 days of the global earthquake, 1.75 billion people will perish. Not from the nuclear exchange, but from the wrath of Jesus. Suddenly, the whole world will awaken and discover that our greatest threat isn’t atomic bombs --- no, man’s greatest threat is an angry God.

Unfortunately, this awakening and the first angel’s message is only meaningful within a global context of overwhelming death and destruction  

 

Once the survivors have been traumatized to the point of their religious paradigms are somewhat dysfunctional, may honest hearted people will then give consideration to a gospel that is unlike anything they have ever heard.

 

The first message will come as an outright demand:

 

“Fear God, for the hour of His judgment has come. Worship Jesus Christ the Creator as His law (the fourth commandment) demands.”

 

This message will suddenly and abruptly thrust the sovereignty of Jesus Christ to the forefront of human thinking all over the world! Moslems, Jews, Hindus, pagans and atheists (75% of the world’s population) will either be confused or highly irritated by the first message because, at the present time, Jesus Christ is either unknown or He is the last person in Heaven they would ever consider worshiping.

 

Catholics and Protestants will not fair much better. As you know, Catholics and Protestants claim to honor and worship Jesus Christ, but fact is, most Catholics and Protestants know very little about Jesus Christ as well!

 

How does one make an idol out of his religion or Jesus Christ? 

Simple: Worship the form and ignore the substance.

 

In other words, when a Christian’s religion is more about ritual and form than embracing the life-changing teachings of Jesus and carrying His cross, religion becomes an idol and Jesus Christ becomes an icon.

 

2 Timothy 3:1   But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.

 

2 Timothy 3:2   People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parent’s ungrateful, unholy…

 

2 Timothy 3:5   having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.”

 

So:

 

The global crisis created by the first four trumpets and the “bunker busting” words delivered by the 144,000 to “worship Jesus Christ on Saturday, His holy day” will irritate most everyone. The 144,000 will irritate Moslems, Jews, Hindus, pagan and atheists because (a) they don’t know about Jesus or (b) they don’t like Jesus Christ. These words will also irritate most Christians because for the most part, Christians don’t know that Jesus Christ is the Creator, they don’t know about His coming wrath, and they don’t believe that His fourth commandment is obligatory.

The point here is that the global earthquake and the first four trumpets will catch the whole world by surprise and the first angel’s message will badly irritate most everyone. Even the few Christian denominations that presently observe the seventh day of the week don’t understand these things.

 

They too will be caught off guard and highly irritated because their prophetic authorities and schematics will prove to be worthless.

 

Most Christians don’t expect to experience the wrath of Jesus, the global earthquake nor the first four trumpets. Therefore, Catholics and Protestants will be overwhelmed just like the Moslems, Jews, pagans and atheists.

 

Keep this though in mind:

 

The first angel’s message will irritate people for 1,260 days.

 

For this reason, the first angel’s message will eventually make many people very angry.  (I’ll say more about this in a moment.)

 

As you can see, the first angel’s message will not only a “a shocking introduction to the sovereignty of Jesus Christ,’ for many people it will become a very serious irritant.

 

The world needs a strong dose of reality: Jesus Christ overrules the universe and the 144,000 will be asking, “Will you let Him rule over you?”

 

You have heard me say in earlier segment of this seminar that I believe persecution for the saints starts about 60 days after the global earthquake.

 

The timing is determined by two things. First, the 42 months of persecution in Revelation 13:5 can’t be moved around very much within the 1,335 days of the Great Tribulation.

 

Second, the crisis has to produce enough destruction and enough time has to transpire before Babylon can form and begin to make laws. 

 

Look at the Chart Book page 19…

 

Ok, so Protestants, Catholics, Moslems, Hindus, Jews, Pagans and atheists will be offended when they hear the demand to worship Jesus Christ because the hour of His judgment has come.

 

This confrontation is exactly what Jesus wants.

 

Matthew 10:34   “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

 

Matthew 10:35   For I have come to turn “’a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—

 

Matthew 10:36   a man’s enemies will be members of his own household.’ 

 

Matthew 10:37   “Anyone who loves hid father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;

 

Matthew 10:38   and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

 

John 8:31   To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, If you hold to my teaching, you are my disciples.

 

John 8:32   Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free [of your friends, family, job and church].

 

Billions of people will complain to God’s prophets, “But this isn’t what my church teaches!”

 

The 144,000 will reply: “Is that your final answer?” : -)

 

A host of “sin-less” laws will be implemented and enforced by Babylon and everyone who violates Babylon’s laws will be punished. Those refusing to comply with Babylon’s laws will be punished because the leaders of Babylon will fear that God’s wrath will break out once again and if it does, more people will die if sinful behavior continue!

 

When Babylon exerts global authority to appease God, a second message from Jesus will be heard around the world. The second message will be very simple. The 144,000 will utter three provocative words: “Babylon is fallen.”

 

This means: Babylon is false, blasphemous, arrogant and in opposition to laws and the will of God. Once you understand the context of the first angle’s message and the test of faith that it represents, you can see that it will take a lot of courage and faith to receive the first angel’s message and act accordingly. Then, everyone who accepts the second angel’s message will find himself in a difficult situation called persecution.

 

Rebellion against the laws of Babylon will bring down harsh punishment.

 

Listen carefully to the following scenario. Here’s something I want you to carefully consider:

 

At first, the laws mandated by Babylon will have moral objectives that conservative people in all religions can accept. For example:

 

Homosexuality will be soundly condemned and those participating in homosexual behaviors will be harshly punished.

 

Sexual promiscuity, prostitution and the use or production of pornography will be condemned and those participating in sexual immorality will be harshly punished.

 

Gambling, stealing, dishonesty, the use of illegal drugs and violent behavior will be harshly punished.

 

And to insure that God’s wrath is appeased, the religious leaders of all nations will require their respective legislators to set aside a day of rest each week for the worship of God.

 

Businesses will be closed on a day set aside for God, sporting events will be canceled, and cathedrals, churches, mosques, temples, synagogues and kingdom halls will be filled with worshipers.

 

As you can see, the laws of Babylon will not dramatically impact people already living godly lives – at first.    

 

However, there will be “a fly in the ointment” an irritant that just won’t go away. The 144,000 will be proclaiming the first angel’s message with great power and authority and their presence and sharp condemnation of Babylon will create an enormous problem for them and everyone who embraces their message!

 

The 144,000 will be nagging everyone to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ and worship our Creator on His holy day, Saturday, the seventh day of the week. Were it not for 144,000 “pests” the issue of worship would not become so hotly controverted during the Great Tribulation.

 

But, the powerful and persistent preaching of the 144,000 will gain attention of Babylon’s leaders and the 144,000 will awaken their wrath. As the number of people resting on God’s seventh day Sabbath begins to grow, a controversy over God’s day of worship will erupt.

 

This controversy will grow in intensity and animosity because the testimony of the 144,000 will undermine Babylon’s authority and its blasphemous claims. Eventually, the 144,000 will become targets marked for death. Remember the word of Calaphas concerning the ministry and teachings of Jesus?   

 

John 11:50   “You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”

 

After a year or so, Babylon’s leaders will make laws mandating that all other days of the week are workdays.  Ironically, support for this foolish law is found in the fourth commandment:

Exodus 20:9   “Six days you shall labor and do all your work . . .. “ 

 

So, in Moslem countries, Friday will be declared THE holy day. All other days will be designated as workdays

 

In Catholic and Protestant countries, Sunday will be designated as THE day for worship. All other days will be designated as workdays.

 

In Israel, (If there is an Israel after a possible nuclear exchange), Saturday will be designated as THE day for worship and all other days will be designated as work days.

 

Why is it important that six days be declared workdays? The devil will work through Babylon’s religious leaders to eliminate as much religious diversity as possible.

 

This move will bring much confusion. People will ask, how can ONE angry God, whoever He is, have three different days for worship and six different days for work?

 

Then, the fifth trumpet will occur and the devil himself will appear.

 

He will do four things:

 

1.   Torment non-religious wicked for five months. (His opposition)

 

2.   Travel the world with a razzle-dazzle show of miracle working power – even calling fire to come down from Heaven to convince the world leaders that he is Almighty God.

 

3.   Order the leaders of Babylon to dissolve all religions and set up pa one-world church/state. (The image of the beast).

4.   Kill one-third of mankind and impose his mark on the remaining 2/3’s (666 is 2/3 of 1,000).

 

Revelation 13:2   “…The dragon gave the [composite] beast his power and his throne and great authority.

 

Revelation 13:5   The [composite] beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies [During the Great tribulation, Babylon will respond to the three angel’s message with boasting and lies. Babylon will declare the three angel’s messages to be heresy] and to [the composite beast will] exercise his authority for forty-two months.

 

Revelation 13:6   He [the composite beast] opened his mouth to blaspheme God [specifically, Babylon will denounce the demands of Jesus Christ], and [Babylon’s leaders will] to slander [misrepresent, speak evil of] his name [the sovereignty of Jesus Christ proclaimed by the 144,000 will be ridiculed] and [the composite beast will slander] his dwelling place [Babylon’s leaders will scoff at the idea that Jesus is sitting in judgment on Earth] and [after the fifth trumpet occurs, the composite beast will even slander the angel’s in Heaven] those who live in heaven [because the leaders of Babylon will think that heaven is empty! God Himself has come to Earth with His angels].

 

Revelation 13:7   He [the composite beast] was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.

 

Revelation 13:8   All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast – all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.”

 

Revelation 13:9   He who has an ear, let him hear [what Jesus has to say to the saints:].

 

Revelation 13:10  [Don’t worry about saving your life for you can’t.] If anyone is to go into captivity [because of his faith in me], into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword [because of his faith in me], with the sword he will be killed. This [submission to my will] calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.”

 

Matthew 5:11   “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

 

Matthew 16:25   For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.

 

Matthew 16:26   What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?

 

Matthew 16:27   For the Son of Man is going to come in His Father’s glory with his angels. And then he will reward each person according to what he has done.”

 

During the Great Tribulation, we will be tested to see if we love Jesus and His truth more than we love life.

 

For Christ’s sake, are you willing to forsake your family?

For Christ’s sake, are you willing to forsake your church?

For Christ’s sake, are you willing to go to prison?

For Christ’s sake, are you willing to die?

 

Matthew 10:37   “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;

 

Matthew 10:38   and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

 

Matthew 10:39   Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

 

May God give each of us the faith to surrender our will into His hands and leave the consequences to Him!

 

Possible Use:

 

“Eternal truth is not what I believe. Truth is greater than me. Truth is not even what I know for truth is larger than anything I know. Truth is fact. I may not believe it. I may not know it. But, that does not change it. It is there nevertheless, waiting to be discovered and believed. Truth does not depend upon the unsettled and changing opinions of men. It was there before it was believed and it remains truth whether it is believed or not. Truth is true. Reason does not originate it or create it, it merely discovers it. Consequently, reason is not its source. Truth goes back beyond the beginning of reason. Some would have us believe that the church is the source of truth, particularly in matters of theology. They are wrong. The church is a product of truth. It does not originate it. The church came into being by accepting divine revelation. The church is not the source of that revelation. Truth goes beyond the church it is antecedent to it. Truth eternal truth.”

(Written by Carlyle B. Haynes (1882-1958), my reference for this quote has been lost.)

 

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