Don’t Panic Chapter 6 – Act 4 – The Last 1260 Days

This is part 7 in a 14 part series entitled Don’t Panic – Survival Guide to the Apocalypse.  Full PDF Download available free here: Don’t Panic – Survival Guide

Act 4 – The Last 1260 Days

Within the last 1260 days of the time of tribulation upon the earth, I suggest that the following will unfold:

  • One World Government
  • One World Religion
  • Christian Persecution
  • One World Economy
  • The Mark of the Beast
  • 3 Announcing Angels
  • Seventh Trumpet Sounds
  • Mystery Babylon is Destroyed
  • 7 Bowls of Wrath
  • A Kingdom That Cannot Be Shaken

 

Don't Panic Last 1260 Days


One World Government

The man whom the Bible refers to as the “beast”, will now be granted by God 1260 days of global domination.  I want you to note that if you take the beasts in Daniel 7 – a lion with wings, a bear, a four-headed leopard, and a ten-horned beast – and combine them all together, you get a seven-headed, ten-horned beast with lion, bear, and leopard characteristics.  And, this just happens to be exactly what we see when the antichrist declares to be “god”:

And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth.  (Revelation 13:1-2)

Out of one of them came a little horn, which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the glorious land. It grew great, even to the host of heaven. And some of the host and some of the stars it threw down to the ground and trampled on them. It became great, even as great as the Prince of the host. And the regular burnt offering was taken away from him, and the place of his sanctuary was overthrown. And a host will be given over to it together with the regular burnt offering because of transgression, and it will throw truth to the ground, and it will act and prosper.” (Daniel 8:9-12)

The antichrist’s power will come from satan:

And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?”  (Revelation 13:2-4)

It seems that the world will marvel after and follow the beast because of his apparent resurrection from the dead as well as his miltary prowess.  The antichrist’s 1260 days of rule (the last half of Daniel’s 70th week, or the last half of the covenant with many) is described further in Revelation 13:

And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two monthsIt opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. (Revelation 13:5-8)

The antichrist’s rule will now be worldwide.  The antichrist-beast’s rule is also described in the book of Daniel:

“As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them, until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom. “Thus he said: ‘As for the fourth beast, there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth,which shall be different from all the kingdoms, and it shall devour the whole earth,and trample it down, and break it to pieces. As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise,and another shall arise after them; he shall be different from the former ones,and shall put down three kings.He shall speak words against the Most High,and shall wear out the saints of the Most High,and shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.”  (Daniel 7:21-25)

At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book.  (Daniel 12:1)

Daniel 7:21-25 and 12:1 describe the turning point where the Antichrist’s Kingdom has taken over the entire world.  The antichrist will try to change the “times and seasons”, but his end is decreed.  He will rule for no more than 1260 days.  The time count starts when he declares himself to be god in the temple in Jerusalem.  Both Daniel’s and John’s visions confirm that the judgment of the Beast occurs at the end of his rule, right before the Millennial Kingdom begins.

One World Religion

While the antichrist and his sidekick the “false prophet” may have been trying to set up a one-world religion during the first 1260 days of the tribulation period, it is at the midpoint where they will become successful in their goal.

Jesus clearly taught that there will be a singular false prophet who will point to a singular false messiah.  This “messiah figure” may present for the Jewish religion (or, less likely, Islam, or perhaps “all religions”).  However he presents, he will claim to be “god” 1260 days after a 7-year covenant is signed or strengthened with Israel.  This is a very, very bad thing.  These will be empowered by Satan himself, performing all kinds of supernatural signs and wonders.  This will include the “antichrist” rising from the dead, and fire being called down from heaven (Revelation 13).  God will grant this authority for His specific plans and purposes.

Jesus warns repeatedly against being deceived.  This is Satan’s last chance – you can bet that he has been planning this for thousands of years and that it is going to be very convincing.

At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.  For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.   See, I have told you ahead of time. (Matthew 24:23-24)

God grants this authority because those who remain on the earth rejected His truth.

The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.(2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)

This will be the greatest deception the world has ever seen, and most people will be deluded.  You have been warned.  Do not believe the lie.

The false prophet will arise “out of the earth” as opposed to the antichrist arising “out of the sea”.  While the sea depicts humanity, the earth is less clear.  Perhaps he arises out of the pit of the earth (hell/abyss).  He is depicted as having horns like a lamb but speaking like a dragon.  He will appear gentle, docile, and persuasive; however, his words will come straight from satan (the dragon).

The false prophet is empowered by satan in action and speech:

And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. (Revelation 12:9)

The false prophet is permitted by God, and empowered by satan, to perform “great signs”.  These signs and wonders might include a number of things, but it will certainly include calling “fire to come down from heaven to earth” (Revelation 13:13).  Fire coming down from heaven could include asteroids, meteors, volcanic activity, or possibly even supernatural fire and brimstone.  Elijah is the only prophet in the Bible who performed such a feat, which he did three times.  Thus, the false prophet may claim to be “Elijah”.  These signs and wonders will deceive humanity, through the “wow” factor, into following the false prophet’s teachings.

The primary function of the false prophet is to bring worship to the antichrist.  He will set up an image of the antichrist, likely in the Jewish Temple, and will be given power to bring it to life.  Whether it has actual LIFE or is something like a hologram (statue?  android? hybrid creature? clone?) remains to be seen.  The image of the antichrist will proclaim the message of the antichrist.  It will “kill” all who refuse to worship it.  This “living” image, which “speaks” and demands worship, is likely to be the abomination of desolation event we discussed in the last chapter.

Israel is to worship the Lord God and serve Him only (Deut 6:13, 10:20; Luke 4:8).  Thus, setting up an idol of another god for the prime purpose of receiving worship in the Holy of Holies in the Jewish Temple is the ultimate abomination against Yahweh.

Jewish / Christian Persecution

When the “antichrist” claims to be “god”, this will begin the greatest persecution against Christians of all time. Those who are physically in the vicinity of Jerusalem can flee to the wilderness (likely Petra, in Jordan) and be supernaturally protected by God, along with believing Hebrews.  If you can get to that specific wilderness area near Israel before the antichrist claims to be “god” (approximately 1260 days after the 7-year covenant signing), you would also be protected by God starting when obedient Israel flees. Otherwise, laying as low as you can, off the grid, would be a wise decision.

Jesus warns that His followers will be persecuted, hated, betrayed, and killed for His name. They will have to stubbornly persist in the faith, even unto death. The Holy Spirit will guide the words of believers, just as He did for the apostles and early Christians.  There will be no special protection for Christians during this 1260 day period. This “antichrist” will actively hunt down and oppose all who believe in Jesus as the true Messiah.  So, as the Jewish holocaust foreshadowed, Christians will be forced into hiding, imprisonment, and martyrdom.  

Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.  (Revelation 12:17)

Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them.  (Revelation 13:7)

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.  And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another.  And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.  And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.  But the one who endures to the end will be saved.  (Matthew 24:9-13)

“But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them.  And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations.  And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.  And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death.  And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.  (Mark 13:9-13)

He shall speak words against the Most High,
and shall wear out the saints of the Most High,
and shall think to change the times and the law;
and they shall be given into his hand
for a time, times, and half a time.  (Daniel 7:25)

If anyone has an ear, let him hear:

If anyone is to be taken captive,
to captivity he goes;
if anyone is to be slain with the sword,
with the sword must he be slain.

Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.  (Revelation 13:9-10)

In Jewish end times study, once the Millennial Kingdom is established, they expect that unrepentant gentiles will be killed.  All will be expected to submit to their messiah as “god”.  I believe that this period of “greatest tribulation” starts from within the Jewish community that has embraced the antichrist, based on what Jesus says here about synagogues:

But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them.  (Mark 13:9)

I may or may not be correct on this point.  Regardless of how exactly your persecution comes about, may you endure in faith until the end and be saved.  Many of you will become martyrs for Jesus.

If you die for Christ, you will immediately be escorted to heaven. You will appear on the crystal sea before God’s throne and worship Him!

And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire—and also those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,

“Great and amazing are your deeds,
O Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are your ways,
O King of the nations!
Who will not fear, O Lord,
and glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come
and worship you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

(Revelation 15:2-4)

All God’s promises will be given to you. You will receive a glorified resurrection body and reign with Jesus in His Millennial Kingdom and into Eternity.

Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4)

One World Economy

The antichrist and false prophet will introduce a global economy of sorts.  To ensure allegiance to their religion, they will control buying and selling.  There will be no more “separation of church and state”!  This control will be elicited through what is commonly known as “the mark of the beast”.

The Mark of the Beast

At some point after the antichrist claims to be “god”, he will institute his “mark of the beast” system.  He will likely actively seek out and kill those who refuse either.  The mark is not specified in the Bible, but it will be on the right hand or the forehead.  It may be something that affects DNA.

Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead,  so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.  This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.  (Revelation 13:16-18)

No one will be able to take the Mark accidentally or unknowingly.  The Mark will be related to the worship of the antichrist, and will declare allegiance to him.  It will be required for all economic transactions.  Unfortunately, taking the antichrist’s Mark seals each person’s fate with the wrath of God:

And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand,  he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.  And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”  (Revelation 14:9-11)

You have been warned.  Do not take the mark, or worship this “beast”, even if it results in your physical death.

God’s Three Announcing Angels

In between the Trumpet and Bowl Judgments there is an interlude in the book of Revelation. In this interlude is a series of visions that give much greater detail to significant parts of the story that will unfold. While the book of Revelation is largely chronological, many of the “detail popouts” are overlapping.

In this vision, John sees 3 “Announcing Angels”:

  • Angel 1 – Proclaims Eternal Gospel
  • Angel 2 – Announces Judgement Upon Mystery Babylon
  • Angel 3 – Announces Eternal Damnation for Those Who Receive the Mark of the Beast

We are given no reason to believe other than that the sequence of the announcing angels is as presented. However, whether they follow one shortly after another or are separated by some gap in time we are not told.  It seems quite likely that they “follow” each other in short order as mentioned.

Based on their messages, it seems to me that the announcing angels are given their assignments near the end of the time of the apocalypse.  This can be surmised because Angel 2 announces judgement upon Mystery Babylon, who we have learned entices all the world to worship the beast.  It is unlikely that the beast turns on her until near the end of his reign.  As well, it seems that Mystery Babylon’s complete destruction occurs as part of the 7th trumpet / bowl judgments based on the detailed description given in Revelation chapters 16-18.  That is our best clue as to the time placement of the Announcing Angels.  If the 3rd angel follows in order, it would seem that the Mark of the Beast may only be implemented near the END of the beast’s rule, rather than earlier as is  often assumed.

Let’s examine the messages of the 3 angels in more depth.  The first angel is described as flying “directly overhead”, which suggests up in the middle of the sky for maximum visibility.  I would also suggest the angel circles around the globe.  The entire earth, every nation and tribe and language and people, is reached with the angel’s message.  This is assumed to be true for the two subsequent angels’ messages as well, although it is not explicitly stated.  Here are their announcements:

Angel 1:  Eternal Gospel

Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people.  And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgement has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.” (Revelation 14:6-7)

This angel will complete what the church began, by proclaiming the gospel message to the entire earth.  This will fulfill Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:14, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”   While the earth will have been undergoing God’s wrath (judgement) for some time now, this angel is announcing the final outpouring of judgement, which will come via the 7 Bowls.  This is the final call for salvation before each human’s fate is sealed.  Once this message is proclaimed, the “end will come”, which supports that it comes near the end of the beast’s rule and the outpouring of the Bowls of Wrath.

Whenever it occurs, it is certain that this is the final, supernatural call to Repent!  For the Kingdom of Heaven is Here!

Angel 2: Judgment Upon Mystery Babylon

Another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.” (Revelation 14:8)

The second angel announces the imminent destruction of Mystery Babylon, which for a number of reasons, I believe is the end-times city of Jerusalem.  Others believe that Mystery Babylon is perhaps Rome and the Roman Catholic Church.  Yet others believe it might be New York City, or other cities of the world.

Wherever, or whatever, Mystery Babylon ends up being, the Beast and his 10-king confederacy turn on Mystery Babylon near the end of their reign and destroy her.  This comes much to her surprise, as she seems to have been drunk in worship of him.  This also will come to the surprise of the nations who have become intoxicated in worship of the beast through Mystery Babylon.  Her destruction is certain and will come to pass in short order (perhaps that day or the next?).

Angel 3: Eternal Damnation to Those Who Receive the Mark of the Beast

And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand,  he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.  And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.” (Revelation 14:9-11)

This angel gives a final warning not to worship the beast or receive his mark.  To everyone who does, God’s wrath will be poured out full strength upon them.  This wrath will come not only in the form of the 7 Bowls of Judgment, but also throughout eternity.  To take the mark of the beast and to worship him seals one’s eternal fate, and destines one for the Lake of Fire.

The Seventh Trumpet Sounds

Before the 7th Trumpet is blown, there is a pause in the Revelation narrative as several other events are described.  At the blowing, loud voices proclaim that the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of Christ – it is certain, and it is coming to fulfillment.  There are flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.

The process that Trumpet 7 announces will take a number of days.  The seventh trumpet heralds in the final events leading up to Jesus taking His earthly kingdom, and allows the 7 Bowls to be poured out.  We are told in Revelation 10:7 that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled.  This mystery is the redemption of all of creation, which began at the cross and is about to be completed!

In heaven, we will be rejoicing.  The elders praise God who was and who is, but notably missing is the “who is to come”.  With the 7th trumpet, the “is to come” has arrived – it is finished!  The kingdom Christ paid for with His blood is now going to be claimed.  There is a stark contrast on earth, where the nations are enraged.

It’s entirely probable that there is a long pause in between the completion of Trumpet 6 and the sounding of Trumpet 7.  This would allow for the Beast to set up his rule and persecute the saints.   At the blowing of Trumpet 7, loud voices proclaim that the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of Christ – it is certain, and it is coming to fulfillment.  The 7th Trumpet ushers in the 7 Bowl Judgments, and as such, I believe is likely near the end of the Beast’s rule.

Mystery Babylon is Destroyed

There is a range of teachings on Mystery Babylon, from symbolic to literal. Symbolic interpretations include viewing Mystery Babylon as a conglomeration of false religions, the United States of America, ecumenical “Chrislam”, Roman Catholicism, and others. Literal suggestions include Rome/Vatican City, rebuilt Babylon in Iraq, Mecca, New York City, and Jerusalem.

Having looked into all angles, I have come to the conclusion that Mystery Babylon is a literal city – the great city of Jerusalem as it will exist in the time of the end.  This is not currently a common or popular viewpoint (at the time of this writing), and I may be incorrect.  I suggest that you keep an open mind as you discern her identity.  What I write here is along the lines of my interpretation – I leave it to you to discover if this is so.

Mystery Babylon, or Babylon the Great, and her destruction, is introduced in Revelation 16:

The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the Great was remembered in God’s presence; He gave her the cup filled with the wine of His fierce anger.  (Revelation 16:19)

We are then given a very detailed description of the above verse in Revelation chapters 17-18.  First, Babylon the Great is described as a prostitute.  Jerusalem is specifically called a “harlot” (prostitute) hundreds of times in the Bible, always referring to its’ spiritual idolatry.

Babylon the Great sits on many waters, which is explained in Rev 17:15,18 as peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues.  She, along with the beast she rides (who rose out of the sea in Revelation 13), reigns over the kings of the earth.  It appears that this city becomes the head of a world empire, or is raised above all other cities in the world.  This is foretold in the Messianic Kingdom prophecies (Zechariah chapter 12 & 14, Isaiah 66).  The antichrist seems to try to appear to fulfill these prophecies and convince Israel that he is ushering in the Messianic Kingdom.  In Revelation 18, we do indeed see people bringing gifts and making pilgrimages to Jerusalem just as they will in the true Messianic Kingdom.

This “great city” corrupts the whole world with her fornication.  I suggest that Jerusalem will promote the antichrist so intensely and passionately, that the whole world will be enticed (and likely pressured) to worship the beast.  It seems that Jerusalem embraces the antichrist as her Messiah, and not only that, but as “god” himself.  Her cup contains her own sin and idolatry, and the nations are made drunk with her idolatry.

She rides a scarlet beast with seven heads and ten horns, covered in blasphemy.  We have seen this beast before, in Revelation 13:1.  The beast is almost universally understood to be the antichrist.  The antichrist is full of blasphemy (Revelation 13:1-6, Daniel 7:8, 20, 25, Daniel 11:36, 2 Thessalonians 2:4).  The Great City is upon his back, but is a drunken passenger – she has no reigns or control.

Mystery Babylon is dressed in purple and scarlet, which are the colors of royalty.  She is clothed in fine linen, and decked in gold, precious stones, and pearls.  These all have strong parallels to Israel’s temple and to God’s clothing of Israel as described in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. She fulfills the role of an idolatrous high priest.  (But is not the False Prophet).

Upon her forehead is a name, “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.”  Of note is that her name is on her forehead, just as upon Aaron’s forehead was written “Holiness to the Lord” as high priest.  The 144,000 sealed Israelites in Revelation 7 are also marked upon their foreheads.  This is some kind of stamp, or seal, of loyalty and allegiance.  It marks the bold and wholehearted belief that is out in the open (not concealed).  The fact that the name is a “mystery” is an argument against it being the actual restored city of Babylon.  In Revelation 11, Jerusalem is called by the names of Sodom and Egypt according to the sins of those cities.  Now Jerusalem is being called Babylon, as she is spiritually reflecting the sin of that city – the heart of the antichrist religion.  Jerusalem is the mother, and her inhabitants are her “children” or “daughters”.  The mystery is because she shares Babylon’s sins, its’ power over the other nations (Babylon was the “world capital” at that time) and will face similar judgment.

End-Times Jerusalem, in promoting the antichrist as messiah, will kill a lot of saints who believe Jesus is Messiah.   We are told that the antichrist chooses Jerusalem to set up his “palatial tents” and is where he declares himself to be “god” (2 Thessalonians 2:4, Matthew 24:15, Daniel 11:31-32).  While many cities and nations have persecuted saints in the past, Jesus defines the worst period of persecution as yet future.  This event (the abomination of desolation) begins the greatest religious persecution of all time against true believers in Jesus Christ, and it centers around the city of Judea (Jerusalem) (Matthew 24:15-21).

Revelation 17 ends with the beast turning on the woman –  The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to hand over to the beast their royal authority, until God’s words are fulfilled. (v16-17)  This will be in fulfillment of the prophecy in Ezekiel 16:

Again the word of the Lord came to me:  “Son of man, make known to Jerusalem her abominations…And I will judge you as women who commit adultery and shed blood are judged, and bring upon you the blood of wrath and jealousy.  And I will give you into their hands, and they shall throw down your vaulted chamber and break down your lofty places. They shall strip you of your clothes and take your beautiful jewels and leave you naked and bare.  They shall bring up a crowd against you, and they shall stone you and cut you to pieces with their swords.  And they shall burn your houses and execute judgments upon you in the sight of many women. I will make you stop playing the whore, and you shall also give payment no more. So will I satisfy my wrath on you, and my jealousy shall depart from you. I will be calm and will no more be angry. (v1-2, 38-42)

In Jeremiah 4:30, Jerusalem’s lover is prophesied to despise her and take her life:

And you, devastated one, what are you doing
that you dress yourself in scarlet,
that you adorn yourself with gold jewelry,
that you enlarge your eyes with paint?
You beautify yourself for nothing.
Your lovers reject you;
they want to take your life.

This is exactly what happens in Revelation 17-18.

The beast and his ten kings aren’t the only ones to act in judgment upon Mystery Babylon.  God will judge her too, with the 7th bowl of His wrath.  This involves earthquakes and giant 100-pound hailstones.

Chapter 18 of Revelation gives a further detailed vision of Mystery Babylon’s destruction.  An angel declares that “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen” (Rev 18:2), which is the exact phrase used when the literal city of Babylon was destroyed (Isaiah 21:9).  Its’ destruction is imminent and certain.  It has become the home of demons.

The antichrist, possessed by satan, ruling from Jerusalem is the epitome of satan’s blasphemy against God.  Israel is the land and people that God chooses for Himself; hence, it becomes the bulls’ eye target for satan.  Israel’s history confirms this.  Satan, through the antichrist, seeks to “change the times and laws” by setting up his rule on God’s property – God’s holy ground.  It’s his final attempt to resurrect his religion, his own worship and perhaps offering to humanity that “ye shall be as gods”.  That the majority of Hebrews will go along with this and raise him up as messiah is the mystery that leaves John absolutely astounded.

The ultimate blasphemy leaves no question as to the necessity of Mystery Babylon’s judgment.  Revelation 18:3 reiterates that the whole world has been enticed into this religion.  Israel is so deceived by the antichrist that she passionately promotes him and worships him as her long awaited messiah, king, and “husband”.    Israel has finally heaped her sins as high as heaven, and the time of her ultimate judgment has come.  Yet, God offers one last chance at salvation:

Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.  (Revelation 18:4-5)

I believe this is where Jesus splits the mount of Olives, to allow the Israelites one last chance to flee before the great earthquake that will destroy Mystery Babylon (Jerusalem):

On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward.  And you shall flee to the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. (Zecharaiah 14:4-5)

And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.  (Joel 2:32)

That most of Jerusalem  is not aware that she is worshiping the antichrist is seen in Revelation 18:7, where she “sits as a queen and is no widow”.  Jerusalem believes she has found her true King.  The fact that she is not a widow could refer back to the beast’s resurrection from the dead.  It also is the exact phrase used by the ancient city of Babylon right before its’ destruction (Isaiah 47:8).

Mystery Babylon is wrong, she will indeed see mourning.  Revelation 18:8 states that “For this reason her plagues will come in a single day, death and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for mighty is the Lord God who has judged her”.  Verse 10 adds “Alas! Alas! You great city, you mighty city, Babylon! For in a single hour your judgment has come.”  Her destruction will come swiftly and suddenly.  This hearkens back to Jesus’ statement that he will come as a thief, as well as His statement about “no man knows the day or the hour.” (Matthew 24).  The Day of the Lord both begins and ends with Jesus coming suddenly and unexpectedly with destruction upon those who are not watching.  Both times, however, those who are watching do not need to be taken by surprise.  At the beginning of the Day of the Lord, the believing body of Christ is snatched out – away from the time and place of wrath.  At the end of the Day of the Lord, the believing remnant has one last chance to “come out” before the final bowl of wrath is spilled upon Jerusalem.

The kings of the earth who mourn her destruction and wail at the smoke of her burning are not part of the beast’s 10 kings who help destroy her.  These are the nations that are “living deliciously” with her through financial gain.  Note that the merchants sell to her all kinds of items specifically used for Temple worship: gold, silver, jewels, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, scarlet cloth, all kinds of scented wood, all kinds of articles of ivory, all kinds of articles of costly wood, bronze, iron and marble, cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and slaves, that is, human souls (Rev 18:12-13).

In Revelation 18:20, as the merchants of the earth mourn over Mystery Babylon’s destruction, they cry out Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, for God has given judgment for you against her!”  God has answered the prayers of the Seal 5 martyrs, and judgment has been meted out in completion.  The multitude in heaven does indeed rejoice:  

“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for his judgments are true and just; for he has judged the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality, and has avenged on her the blood of his servants.” Once more they cried out, “Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up forever and ever.”  (Revelation 19:1-3)

Mystery Babylon is held accountable for the “blood of the prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on earth” (Revelation 18:24).  Basically, end-times Jerusalem is being held accountable for all murders of the righteous from the beginning of humanity.  In this way, the blood guilt of earth will be cleansed for Jesus’ Kingdom reign.  Jesus says “for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!  Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you…” (Luke 13:33-34).  Jesus also says “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous.  And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’  So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets.  Go ahead, then, and complete what your ancestors started!…And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.” (Matthew 23:29-32,35).  We also know that the worst martyrdom in human history will originate from Jerusalem starting at the Abomination of Desolation.  God’s judgments are true and just.  Notably, Deuteronomy Chapter 21 details a procedure by which Israel was able to absolve itself of bloodguilt.  If they had followed God’s commands, they would not have heaped judgment upon themselves.  God always provides a way out, if only we would take it!

Revelation chapter 18 ends with the utter and complete destruction of Jerusalem as Mystery Babylon.  The entire earth is refashioned in a giant earthquake, and the area of Jerusalem is raised up onto a plain.  Jerusalem, it appears, will be rebuilt along with a Millennial Temple described in Ezekiel 40-48.

Seven Bowls of Wrath

Then I heard a loud voice from the temple telling the seven angels, “Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.” So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth, and harmful and painful sores came upon the people who bore the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became like the blood of a corpse, and every living thing died that was in the sea. The third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of water, and they became blood.  And I heard the angel in charge of the waters say, “Just are you, O Holy One, who is and who was, for you brought these judgments. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink. It is what they deserve!”

 And I heard the altar saying, “Yes, Lord God the Almighty,true and just are your judgments!” The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch people with fire. They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory. The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in anguish  and cursed the God of heaven for their pain and sores. They did not repent of their deeds. The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, to prepare the way for the kings from the east.  And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs.  For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty.  (“Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!”)  And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.

 The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, “It is done!”  And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake.  The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath. And every island fled away, and no mountains were to be found. And great hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, fell from heaven on people; and they cursed God for the plague of the hail, because the plague was so severe.

(Revelation 16:1-21)

Revelation chapter 15 introduces us to the 7 angels carrying the 7 bowls of God’s final wrath.  John describes them as a great and amazing sign – “Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and amazing, seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is finished.” (Revelation 15:1).

The Bowls are like saucers, with contents that will be hurled upon the earth.  Unlike the somewhat limited nature of the Trumpets, these are more severe and all-encompassing in scope.  Based on their severity, and the unlikelihood of human survival following them, it is likely they occur in a very short period of time near the very end of Daniel’s 70th Week / Day of the Lord.

Bowl 1 – Painful Sores

Harmful and painful sores will literally come upon those who have taken the Mark of the Beast.  These sores will be painful and untreatable.  This bowl reminds me of the sixth plague which God sent upon Egypt in the days of Moses (the plague of boils).  Note that this judgment is specifically upon those who have taken the Mark despite the holy angel’s warning not to do so.  While believers will suffer many things, they will be spared from this act of God’s wrath.

Bowl 2 – Sea Turns to Blood, ALL Sea Creatures Die

While the second Trumpet judgment affected one third of the sea, the second Bowl will affect the entire sea.  What specifically occurs is not detailed, but it may be similar to the phenomenon of a “red tide” of toxic algae.  This time, all the sea creatures will die.

Bowl 3 – Rivers and Springs Turn to Blood

Similar to the third Trumpet judgment, the third Bowl will affect the freshwater on earth.  Instead of only one third being affected, ALL fresh water will be affected.  Drinking water will be in critically short supply.  John MacArthur, in his book “Because the Time is Near”, explains the interjection of the angel at this point – “God’s judgment of sinners is unquestionably righteous because He is the Holy One.  God is just and holy and will execute vengeance for His people (Romans 12:19, Hebrews 10:30).  Having willfully rejected the knowledge of the truth (Hebrews 10:26), there is nothing left for the unbelieving world but to receive what they deserve, “a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries” (Hebrews 10:27)”.  Again, this reminds me of the plagues of Egypt; specifically the first plague where the Nile River was turned to blood.

Bowl 4 – Sun Scorches Humanity With Intense Heat

Again, we are not told HOW this will occur, but somehow the heat from the sun will become unbearable.  Imagine being covered in painful sores, and then getting them sunburned….   Besides extreme discomfort, there may be major ramifications from this heat depending on the duration of it: melting polar ice caps, drought, death of vegetation.  Note that up until now in the book of Revelation, only the Antichrist is mentioned as “blaspheming God”.  Now, humanity joins in.

Bowl 5 – Earth Thrust Into Darkness

The kingdom and throne of the Beast are thrown into darkness at this point.  Since the Beast’s rule is global, I see this as being a global judgment like the other Bowls.  This is obviously a supernatural event.  That the sores are still present notes that Bowl 5 will be poured out in reasonably close time proximity to Bowl 1.  Humanity will be in such agony that they gnaw their tongues in torment… yet continue in their blasphemy of God and unrepentance towards Him.

Bowl 6 – Euphrates River Dries Up, Evil Spirits Collect Humanity to Fight God

In Bowl 6, we see 3 evil spirits come forth from the “unholy trinity” of the dragon, antichrist, and false prophet to deceive humanity and gather them in open rebellion against God.  The Euphrates river dries up to allow access to Jerusalem from the East.  This reminds me of Trumpet 6, in which 200 million demons were released from the Euphrates river to kill one third of humanity.  The Euphrates river has been an important river from the dawn of humanity, and here we see the part it is playing in the close of this age of humanity.  The evil spirits gather humanity at “Armageddon”.

Bowl 7 – Lightning, Thunder, Greatest Earthquake Splits Jerusalem into 3 Parts, All Cities Worldwide Fall, Islands Flee, Mountains Fall, 100 Pound Hailstones

With the outpouring of Bowl 7, the announcement comes that “It is finished”. Note that this bowl is poured out upon the air (atmosphere).  This is when the heavens are shaken, not just the earth.  God is literally shaking the kingdom of satan out of place and is taking hold of the heavens and the earth to possess them for Himself once more.  The earth will be pelted with 100 pound hailstones. The greatest earthquake of all time will resurface the earth in preparation for Jesus’ millennial kingdom; all islands and mountains will disappear.  Jerusalem will be split into 3 parts, and raised up onto a flat plain.    Bowl 7 includes the events of the Destruction of Mystery Babylon, the Second Coming of Christ, as well as the Battle of Armageddon, which are discussed further elsewhere.

As the Bowl Judgments are progressively released upon the earth, we see humanity become harder and harder in their hearts towards God.  Their reactions of fear, terror, and giving glory to God (Seal 6, Revelation 6:15-16, Trumpet 6, Rev 11:13) have given way to cursing and blaspheming God (Bowls 4&7).  By the time Bowl 7 is poured out, all of humanity has chosen a side and will now be judged for whose side they are on – For God, or Against Him.

A Kingdom That Cannot Be Shaken

The antichrist is granted 1260 days of authority by God.  After this, his reign will come to an end at the appointed time  –  the second coming of Jesus Christ.   The Beast Kingdom will be destroyed – but not by human hands.  Daniel’s visions sum up this period of time nicely:

As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces.  Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.

(Daniel 2:34-35, 44-45)

“Thus he said: ‘As for the fourth beast,

there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth,
which shall be different from all the kingdoms,
and it shall devour the whole earth,
and trample it down, and break it to pieces.
As for the ten horns,
out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise,
and another shall arise after them;
he shall be different from the former ones,
and shall put down three kings.
He shall speak words against the Most High,
and shall wear out the saints of the Most High,
and shall think to change the times and the law;
and they shall be given into his hand
for a time, times, and half a time.
But the court shall sit in judgment,
and his dominion shall be taken away,
to be consumed and destroyed to the end.
And the kingdom and the dominion
and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven
shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High;
his kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom,
and all dominions shall serve and obey him.’

(Daniel 7:23-27)

“I saw in the night visions,

and behold, with the clouds of heaven
there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
and was presented before him.
And to him was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
that shall not be destroyed.

(Daniel 7:13-14)

The ultimate endpoint is that Jesus will overthrow all the kingdoms of the world and set up His kingdom that can never be shaken:

For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest  and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them.  For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.”  Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.”  But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,  and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

 See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven.  At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.”  This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain.  Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe,  for our God is a consuming fire.  (Hebrews 12:18-29)

God will use all things for the good, for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.  Even the antichrist, his false religion, and the time of tribulation.  Jesus Christ will reign victorious!

 

Proceed to Chapter 7 – Act 5 – The End Is Decreed

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