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Martial Law

 

During the first four trumpets, each nation will be forced to suspend its constitution so that martial law can be enacted. Given the size and scope of God’s wrath, world leaders will do whatever it takes to maintain control. Food and water supplies will be rationed. Medical care and energy reserves will be scarce. Hunger and thirst will drive millions of dazed and bewildered people crazy. Extreme situations require desperate solutions. Earth’s population has never seen a global crisis like the first four trumpets. The crisis will be so huge that political leaders in every nation will be set free of their constitutional obligations almost immediately. This freedom will permit them to enact and enforce laws they would have strongly opposed during normal times. The declaration of martial law will make it very easy for lawmakers to comply with the demands of Babylon’s clergy. Given the fact that something must be done to appease God, very few citizens will complain – at first.

 

After Babylon begins to function as a religious authority over the nations of the

World, Babylon’s laws will become increasingly oppressive and restrictive, Remember, laws will be enacted demanding that everyone set aside one day for worshiping God. Later on, these laws will be amended and mandatory worship on specific days will be required. Man’s efforts to appease God wrath explains how worship will become a focal point for persecution. The Bible predicts, “All inhabitants of the earth will worship [obey] 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 13:8, insertion and italics mine)

 

The Ten Commandments, especially the fourth commandment, will be constantly debated. The topic of worship will become very important. The 144,000 will present the holiness of God’s seventh day Sabbath with clarity and compelling power. There is only one reason for rebelling against the fourth commandment. It is man’s natural hostility toward God’s authority. When the carnal nature is confronted with the demands of God’s  law, hostility is the result. Paul wrote, “The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.” (Romans 8:7,8)

 

Cain foolishly rationalized and assured himself that God would be pleased with his choice of fruit and vegetables (Genesis 4:3), but the Bible is clear, God was not pleased at all. God did not accept Cain’s worship (Genesis 4:5) because He saw Cain’s rebellion for what it was. Think about this: Why would anyone refuse to rest on God’s holy Sabbath when God’s prophets are teaching that God demands we rest from our labors on His holy day? God wrote the Ten Commandments in stone. They are inseparable and unchangeable. The Bible is not in conflict with itself. Paul wrote, “For somewhere [in the Scriptures, God] he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: ‘And on the seventh day God rested from all his work’…. There remains then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.” (Hebrews 4:4,9,10)  

 

During the Great Tribulation, God will test the inhabitants of Earth with His Sabbath rest test. Observing God’s seventh day Sabbath will become a global test of faith when Babylon’s legislates other days for worship. Consider the parallel: God required ancient Israel to rest on His Sabbath before He delivered them from slavery in Egypt. Similarly, God will require mankind to rest on His Sabbath before He sets us free from the slavery of sin. There was persecution in ancient Egypt for resting on Sabbath and there will be persecution for everyone who defies Babylon’s authority.

 

Incredible as it may seem, many people will fear Babylon’s persecution more than God’s seven bowls. However, the honest in heart will receive the gospel of Jesus and embrace the Creator’s Sabbath. A large number of Moslems, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Catholics, Protestants, Heathen, and Atheists will receive the gospel of Jesus Christ and rest on His Sabbath day once they understand who Jesus really is and what He wants!

 

Summarizing Babylon’s Persecution

 

Thus far, we have examined Babylon’s persecution of the saints between the fourth and fifth trumpet. Here is a short summary:

 

1.   Once it comes into power, Babylon will move quickly to appease God’s wrath. The first enabling lie told by the religious leaders is that everyone worships the same God even though He is called by different names. The second enabling lie is that God will be pleased with laws that outlaw sinful behavior. The third enabling lie will be Babylon’s assertion that is has the authority to determine when God is to be worshiped.

 

2.   At first, Babylon’s efforts to appease God will seem logical and appropriate to billions of people, however, the wheels will quickly fall of the wagon after a few weeks because man’s religious diversity will not permit a world of diverse religions to worship the same God in the same way. Babylon will consist of seven diverse religions and the worship of God will become inconsistent and internally conflicted topic. Babylon’s duplicity in appeasing God with laws regarding worship will undermine Babylon’s lies. The honest in heart will see through Babylon’s lies and embrace the gospel of Jesus.

 

The Gospel of Jesus Will Stall

 

The only people authorized to speak for Jesus during the Great tribulation will be His servants, the 144,000. Jesus will not use churches, clergy, priests, imams, rabbis, pastors, or evangelists. The 144,000 will begin their work on the day the censer is cast down. Their first message is the first angel’s message found in Revelation 14:6,7. “Fear God – worship Him.” Later, when Babylon begins persecuting the saints, the 144,000 will give a second message, “Babylon is fallen.” (Revelation 14:8, KJV).  Some of the 144,000 will speak before legislatures, parliaments, kings, prime, ministers, dictators, and presidents. (Revelation 10:11) The 144,000 will explain the plan of salvation from the Bible, including the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation, to young and old, rich and poor. They will present the love and sacrifice of Jesus and the terms and conditions of His gospel. They will boldly declare that Babylon is full of blasphemy and lies. In a word, the 144,000 will declare that “Babylon is fallen [corrupt].” (Revelation 14:8, KJV, insertion and italics mine) The 144,000 will tell the world that contrary to Babylon’s claim, everyone does not worship the same God. They will also inform the world that the God who has destroyed much of the world is Jesus Christ, the Creator of the world. The 144,000 will tell parliaments and congresses that legislating worship and moral conduct will not appease God’s wrath. If Jesus wanted moral legislation imposed on people, He would have imposed His Ten Commandments on mankind long ago. Jesus could have sent legions of angels with torturing devices if forced obedience was His objective. The 144,000 will tell the world leaders that the last resort of false religion is force and contrary to what Babylon claims, Jesus will not accept coerced behavior as a substitute for repentance. Tortured confessions are unacceptable to a God of love. Jesus will only forgive our sins when we are truly sorry and willing to turn away from our sins. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15) Of course, those who believe the formation of Babylon is appropriate will reject this testimony. Religious leaders will demand that politicians punish those “fools” who know nothing about God and are inciting and misleading others to offend God!

 

The 144,000 will plainly say,  “The devastating judgments have stopped until the fifth trumpet occurs!” World leaders will not believe them. When fear and panic rule, people retreat to what they think is secure and this is why the whole world follows after the leopard-like beast. Everyone will be looking to their religious experts for direction and instruction. No politician will be willing to risk more of God’s wrath by embracing the claims of 144,000 nobodies. The leaders of Babylon will argue and political leaders will agree that there is safety in numbers and remaining united, as one family is the best way to appease one angry God.

 

After two years of persecution during the Great tribulation, almost everyone on Earth will have decided whether or not he is willing to submit to the gospel of Jesus Christ. When the advance of the gospel ceases, the fifth trumpet occurs. Jesus will release Lucifer from the spirit realm where he has been confined. After he is released, the devil will physically appear before mankind masquerading as Almighty God. Paul calls the devil “the man of sin” (KJV) or “the man of lawlessness” (NIV) because the devil will not be subject to human laws. He will do a she pleases and no one will be able to stop him! As you read the following verses, notice that the devil is called a man and notice why the devil is permitted to physically appear before mankind:

 

“And then the lawless one [or, the man of sin] will be [physically] revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. The coming of the lawless one [masquerading as a righteous and holy God] will be in accordance [in perfect harmony] with the [cunning and deceptive] work of Satan [which will be] displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They [the wicked will] perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. [That is, the wicked heard the testimony of Jesus and refused His offer of salvation.] For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion [the devil masquerading as God] so that they will believe the lie [the delusion] and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12, italics and insertions mine)

 

God Releases a Destroyer

 

Before we examine the fifth trumpet, we need to discuss the full cup principle and God’s use of a “destroyer.” At the beginning of this study, we learned the full cup principle is a policy that God consistently uses to manage groups of people. When the majority of a group of people becomes so degenerate and defiant that extended mercy has no redeeming effect, God’s love for the innocent victims of sin, as well as oncoming generations, cause Him to respond to the decadence of the current generation. He sends warnings and redemptive judgments so that if possible, His wayward subjects will change course. If His warnings are ignored and His redemptive judgments do not produce repentance and reformation, God will send a destroyer to destroy the unrepentant. If the situation is not redeemable, He will send totally destructive judgments.

 

Sometimes, Jesus Himself is the destroyer. He destroyed the world in Noah’s day. (Genesis 6:7) Jesus destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. (Genesis 19:24) Jesus also killed the firstborn in Egypt. (Exodus 12:12) Centuries later, Israel ignored the warnings which God mercifully sent through Jeremiah. Notice Jeremiah’s words, “For twenty-three years – from the thirteenth year of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah until this very day – the word of the Lord has come to me and I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not listened. And though the Lord sent all his servants the prophets to you again and again, you have not listened or paid any attention…’But you did not listen to me,’ declares the Lord, ‘and you have provoked me with what your hands have made, and you have brought harm to yourselves.’” (Jeremiah 25:4,5, italics mine)

 

“Therefore the Lord Almighty says this: ‘Because you have not listened to my words, I will summon all the peoples of the north and my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon,’ declares the Lord, ’and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy them and make them an object of horror and scorn, and an everlasting ruin. I will banish from them the sounds of joy and gladness, the voice of the bride and bridegroom, the sound of millstones and the light of the lamp. This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.’”

(Jeremiah 25:8-11, italics mine)

 

Two important parallels can be applied to the Great Tribulation. First, there is a clear parallel between the work of Noah, Moses, Jeremiah, and the work of the 144,000. God warns people of forthcoming actions through appointed messengers. Second, when Jesus saw that extended mercy did not produce change in ancient times, Jesus took action. He either imposed destruction on His rebellious subjects or He raised up a destroyer (as in Jeremiah’s case, king Nebuchadnezzar) to accomplish His will. The same thing will happen during the Great Tribulation.  For 890 days, Jesus will grant everyone a chance to hear and receive His gospel and be saved.

When it becomes clear to Jesus that extended mercy has no further redeeming effect, Jesus will release the devil ( a destroyer) on the world. The devil will ultimately lead the wicked in a war to destroy Jesus at the Second Coming. Of course, the ultimate destroyer is Jesus. He will destroy His enemies with a command (represented as a sword that comes out of His mouth – Revelation 19:15-21) and return the devil to the Abyss. (Revelation 20:1-3) Just as Jesus released the king of ancient Babylon on Israel to bring Israel’s rebellion to an end, Jesus will release Lucifer, the king of modern Babylon to bring the world’s rebellion to an end.

 

Remember, the fifth trumpet does not occur until a majority of the wicked and the undecided have refused to accept the clearest evidences of truth. Paul wrote, “They [the wicked will] perish because they [heard the gospel of Jesus and] refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion [the physical appearing of the devil] so that they will believe the lie.”

(2 Thessalonians 2:10,11, italics and insertions mine)       

 


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