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The Christian Counter

 

 

The Last Three Trumpets

 

“Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the Earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!” (Revelation 8:13)

 

The first four trumpets will destroy notoriously wicked places all over the world and will cause twenty-five percent of the world’s population to die. Since the first four trumpets will be utterly destructive, you might expect the last three trumpets to be more of the same. Actually, the last three trumpets are quite different from the first four. The first four trumpets will awaken billions of people. They will hear a powerful message and many of them will thoughtfully consider a gospel that is totally contrary to what they presently believe. Since Jesus is not willing that anyone should perish, the last three trumpets can be regarded as a second attempt to move stubborn and rebellious people toward the right choice. The people of Earth will literally see demons with unvarnished clarity. Once this revelation occurs, a few will “see the light” and embrace the gospel of Jesus. When God has done everything possible to demonstrate right from wrong, there is nothing more He can do to save those who choose to do wrong.

 

The fifth trumpet marks the physical appearing of Lucifer. Lucifer is the dreaded Antichrist. He is the embodiment of evil. In an attempt to mimic Christ’s return, he will arise out of the Abyss to descend from the sky with 200,000,000 evil angels. (Revelation 9:3,16) He will appear as a most impressive, glorious being of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14) The devil will claim to be Almighty God and he will prove his assumed identity by performing incredible miracles at will. (Revelation 13:13,14) He will deceive billions of people and his demons will subdue anyone who stands in opposition to his presumed authority with searing pain. (Those who have already received the seal of God will not be harmed. (Revelation 9:4)

 

The sixth trumpet will be a world war. Lucifer will initiate this war. In the process, he will kill a third of mankind in order to take control of Earth and establish a “theocracy.” The devil will abolish the religions and governments of the world and will establish ten kings as “taskmasters.” The devil will be ruthless and victorious in his efforts to conquer the world. For a short time, Lucifer will appear to reign over the whole world as “King of kings and Lord of lords.”

 

The seventh trumpet marks the end of God’s grace for individuals and the beginning of the seven bowls. The seven bowls will last seventy days. The end of the seventh bowl will destroy the world and the surviving wicked. (The Second Coming occurs at the end of the seventh bowl.)

 

Before we examine the last three trumpets in detail, you need to be aware of several developments that will transpire between the fourth and fifth trumpets. The time between the beginning of persecution in the fourth trumpet and the fifth trumpet will be approximately 826 days (about 27.5 months). Although Babylon will be studied in greater detail in a later chapter titled “The Four Beasts of Revelation,” you need to understand a few things about Babylon and its mission in order to appreciate the significance of the fifth trumpet.

 

What is Babylon?

 

Babylon is represented in Revelation 13:1-8 as a leopard-like monster that will rise out of the sea. Babylon’s represents man’s response to God’s wrath. Babylon will be a religious government with a simple objective: Babylon will attempt to appease God so that His wrath will cease. The “sea” from which Babylon will rise represents “peoples, multitudes, nations and languages.” (Revelation 17:15) In other words, Babylon will arise from within the nations of the world. After the first four trumpets turn the world upside down, the political leaders of the world will humbly submit to the authority of Babylon. The Bible predicts this amazing turnover with these words: “…And he [Babylon, the leopard like beast] was given [the gift of] authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.” (Revelation 13:7, insertion and italics mine)

 

Babylon will be a “monster-sized” church-state government. Babylon’s leaders will dictate how the civil governments of the world are to proceed in their efforts to appease God so that His wrath will cease. Today, it goes beyond comprehension to say that a time is coming when the world’s political leaders will submit to the dictates of a one-world religious government, but the destruction caused by the first four trumpets is unimaginable, too. When the world witnesses God’s devastating wrath on notably wicked places and smells the stench of 1.75 billion dead people, almost everyone will have a dramatic change in their thinking about God. His authority and our accountability to Him will become the topic of greatest concern.

 

During the gloomy darkness of the fourth trumpet, the religious leaders of the world will convene and conceive a well-intended, but foolish plan to appease God. They will unanimously agree that one angry God is angry with all mankind and that degenerate behavior has provoked God’s wrath against all nations. Therefore, religious leaders will conclude that all nations and all religions must unite as one family to appease Him. “If we do this,” they will say, “our chances of offending God further will be reduced. Perhaps He will have mercy on the whole world when He sees that all mankind is anxious to please Him and sincerity is global.”

 

Three Enabling Lies   

 

Humbled by overwhelming destruction and desperate to appease God so that His judgments will cease, the world’s religious leaders will form a religious government to appease God’s wrath. The basis for this government will be three enabling lies. The first lie: Everyone on Earth worships the same God, even though He is called by different names. This lie will be convincing because of the rapid-fire destruction of the first four trumpets points to the handiwork of one God. This lie will enable the clergy of the world to temporarily lay aside their theological differences so that they can unite on two principles that all religions hold in common. The first principle is that God’s wrath is aroused by decadent and degenerate behavior. While this principle is true, religious leaders will conclude that God would be pleased to have nations enact laws forbidding degenerate behavior. Many people will conclude that this deduction is reasonable, but this is the second lie. A God of love is pleased when people choose of their own free will to forsake evil and obey His commands, but He has no interest in forced righteousness. The second principle that all religions have in common is the belief that Almighty God rules the universe and He is entitled to respect and worship. Babylon will claim that God will be pleased to have a government formed promoting respect for Him and the worship of the Almighty. Of course, this is the third lie. Babylon does not speak for God and even worse, Babylon’s demands will stand in direct opposition to God’s law.

 

One the political leaders of the world consent, the leaders of Babylon will move forward to implement a dramatic plan to appease God so that His judgments will cease. Everyone will be required to show respect for Almighty God. Many “sin-less” laws will be enacted and enforced. Babylon will declare a specific day for worship and require businesses to close on that day. The irony is that Babylon’s solution to appeasing God is built on three enabling lies. The leaders of Babylon will tell the world that they are confident that their plan to appease God is the right thing to do and billions of people will agree with their religious leaders. However, the 144,000 will boldly tell the world that Babylon is on the wrong track! The 144,000 will confront Babylon’s lies with Scripture and honest hearted people will find themselves trying to determine the truth.

 

The fact that Babylon will require all nations to set aside a day for the worship of God will quickly get the attention of the world. In Moslem nations, laws regarding the holiness of Friday will be imposed. In countries where Christianity is the primary religion, laws regarding the holiness of Sunday will be imposed. In Israel, laws regarding the holiness of Saturday will be imposed. This duplicity on Babylon’s part will cause honest hearted people to question how a one-world government can appease the same God with different laws in different lands. The three lies that enabled the formation of Babylon will be undermined by Babylon’s own behavior. 

 

Babylon’s Seven Heads

 

The leopard-like beast has seven heads and ten horns. When Babylon rises to power, the Bible says that one of the seven heads “has been healed.”(Revelation 13:3) Notice that the phrase, “had been healed,” is stated in the past perfect tense. This means that when the leopard-like beast rises from the sea, the deadly wound will be completely healed.

 

The seven heads represent the seven religious systems of Earth. The seven heads represent Atheism, Heathenism, Judaism, Islam, Eastern Mysticism, Catholicism, and Protestantism. If one head is a religious system, then the remaining six have to be religious systems too, because there are seven heads. Each religious system is a blasphemous organization – that is, each religious system is defiant to the will of God. This defiance is described with the phrase, “and on each head [was written] a blasphemous name.” (Revelation 13:1, insertion mine) At this time, this defiance is not discernable within each religious system because each religious system claims (and its followers believe) that it teaches the truth about the will of God.

Nevertheless, the honest in heart will see, in due time, that the claims of all seven religious systems are blatantly false. When the 144,000 begin speaking the testimony of Jesus, the religions of the world will fight back with prejudice, lies, insults, and persecution. The devil has used these well-worn tools for thousands of years to keep God’s truth hidden from sight, but there is nothing more powerful than a truth whose time has come. The religious systems of the world will be exposed. They are blasphemous and it will not take long for the honest in heart to recognize the gross deception that has kept them in darkness. 

 

The Wounded Head

 

The head that was wounded and “had been healed” when Babylon rises to power represents the Roman Catholic Church. The authority of the Catholic Church over the kings and nations of Europe began with Emperor Justinian’s decree in March, A.D. 533 (but the decree remained ineffective until A.D. 538). The Church’s authority over the kings of Europe lasted 1,260 years. (Daniel 7:25, Revelation 12:6,14) When this prophetic period ended, the French Revolution (1789-1799) fatally wounded the authority of the Church when Pope Pius VI was dethroned and put into prison (February 1798). One hundred thirty-one years later, on June 7, 1929, Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini, on behalf of King Victor Emmanuel III, granted the Catholic Church the right to exist as a sovereign state. This grant to the Catholic Church is known as the Lateran Accords or Treaty. This event granted the pope sovereign ruler ship over the State of Vatican City and more importantly, the pope was free to direct and lead the Catholic Church without accountability to any nation. 

 

For the past eighty years, the religious and political influence of the Catholic Church has been steadily growing throughout the world. In recent years (largely due to the extraordinary popularity of Pope John Paul II, 1920-2005), the Roman Catholic Church has become a significant political force in the world. Pope Benedict’s reception and extravagant birthday party at the White House (hosted by President George Bush on April 16, 2008) is a recent event demonstrating the Church has regained a position of international respect and power. Many nations (170 at this writing) have ambassadors assigned to the Vatican. However, the deadly wound will not be healed until the Roman Catholic Church once again exercises authority over sovereign governments.

 

When world leaders convene during the fourth trumpet to create Babylon, I believe three amazing decisions will come out of this emergency meeting. 

 

1   Recognizing the religious diversity of mankind and given the obvious fact that one God has destroyed a third of the world, this emergency council will agree that all nations must unite as a family to appease God so that His wrath will cease. This council will agree that a number of “sin-less” laws must be enacted and enforced or God’s anger will continue to burn against mankind. This council will also agree that God must be respected and worshiped. This council will conclude that anyone defying laws that honor God should be punished because it is better for one person to suffer for wrong doing than for a whole world to suffer additional destruction due to God’s wrath.

They will conclude that enforcing high standards of conduct is the only way that God’s wrath against world decadence will stop.

 

2.   Because everyone at the council will know that God’s anger was directed at notably wicked places all over the world, political leaders will have no choice but to accept the responsibility of enacting and enforcing laws to reduce sinful behavior. All nations will participate in this endeavor because world leaders believe that God’s wrath could possibly break out against the whole world if any part of the world family fails to participate. Political leaders will be in the position of having no choice but to go along with Babylon’s mandates in hopes that Babylon’s directions will quickly resolve the awful crisis that exists between God and man.

 

3.   Leaders of the world understand that every governing body requires qualified leadership. A supreme council, something like the Security Council of the United Nations will be created. Given the dire circumstances caused by the first four trumpets, Babylon will be far more effective than the Security Council. I believe the pope will be selected as the leader of Babylon for four reasons. First, the healing of the deadly wound has been ongoing since 1929. Second, the Catholic Church is uniquely prepared to serve the world through its diplomatic relations with 170 nations. Third, the Roman Catholic Church believes a church-led state is the best form of government. Finally, the Bible predicts the deadly wound will be healed (Revelation 13:3) and the little horn of Daniel 7 (the papacy) will speak boastfully after 1844 (Daniel 7:11). These four reasons led me to conclude that the pope will be chosen to lead Babylon.

 

The pope will not, however, be put in a position to impose Catholic doctrines on Atheists, Jews, Eastern Mystics, Muslims, Heathens, or Protestants. The diversity of the world’s religions will not permit this. Rather, the authority of the pope will be like that of the Secretary General of the United Nations. He will serve as Babylon’s “chief facilitator.” He and the supreme council of Babylon will direct the governments of the world in a global effect to appease God.

 

Babylon will not displace the civil governments of the world’s nations. Rather, the demands of Babylon will be imposed on all nations and they will be applied according to the prevailing customs and religions of each nation. The basic idea is that Babylon’s leadership to enforce laws on people so they will commit fewer sins will use civil government. Keep in mind that laws important to Muslims will not be applicable in Catholic or Hindu countries or vice versa. The leaders of Babylon (and the rest of the world) will soon discover that it is impossible for the human race to worship the same God as one family. Our diverse religious views and our cultural paradigms will not allow it.                

 



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