Revelation Chapter 12 – A Grand Synopsis of the Rapture and Daniel’s 70th Week

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(Note: This is an update from previous articles Revelation 12 – Rapture and Tribulation Overview and Revelation 12 – A Visual Rearrangment)

Ooooh, you guys!  I just love Revelation 12 so much.

Over the last few years we have had SO much excitement over this little chapter – particularly with verses one through five.  You know you’re a watchman when your point of reference for events is “pre-Rev12” and “post-Rev12” – referencing the Revelation 12 sign that occurred on September 23, 2017.  If you are just joining us here, you just have to read through these amazing articles – you just HAVE to!!!!

Revelation 12 is a fascinating chapter.  Up to this point in the book of Revelation, we have seen views of end time events in the throne room of God in heaven (the “third heaven”, where God dwells).  We have also seen views on earth and in the atmosphere (the “first heaven”).  Now, in chapter 12, we are privileged to see a view of end time events as they appear in the universe/space (the “second heaven”), as well as in the first and third heavens.

Revelation 12 uniquely gives an overview of the entire Tribulation Week (Time of Jacob’s Trouble) from all 3 vantage points – the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd heavens.

An overview of the entire tribulation period, you say?  Well, I want you to consider the structure of the book of Revelation itself.  It seems that in his visions, John is first given a sweeping overview, followed by what I call “detail pop-outs”.  These details are given in separate parts of his visions, after the overview.  I believe this is the structure of Revelation chapter 12 as well.  I suggest to you that verses 1-6 give an overview, and the rest of the chapter fills in the details.

In this post I hope to visually demonstrate what I mean by rearranging the verses in what I suggest is chronological order.  Some of this may challenge what you currently believe.  I don’t want to be dogmatic about it, I just want to see what you think!

Visual Rearrangement – Revelation 12

1 And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.  2 She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth.  3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems.  4 His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth.  And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it.  7 Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon.  And the dragon and his angels fought back, 8 but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9 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.

5 She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne,  10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. 11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.  [Chapter 7: 9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”]

12 Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”

13 And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.  6 and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.  14 But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.  15 The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood. 16 But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth.

17 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.  13:1 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… 13:5 And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. 13:6 It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. 13:7 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, 13:8 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.

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Verse-By-Verse Commentary – Revelation 12

Verse 1 – And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.

  • There is no reason to believe anything other than that this is a literal alignment that appears in the heavens (constellations – second heaven – space).  God placed the sun, moon, and the stars deliberately, and He controls their movements (Genesis 1:14).
  • The only woman constellation is Virgo.  While “Virgo” is the corrupted astrological name for the constellation, in the Mazzaroth (God’s redemption plan in the heavens) Virgo is generally considered to represent Israel.  At this point in time, the woman is in unbelief (believing Jews are instead considered part of the church).
  • This vision of John’s is reminiscent of Joseph’s dream in Genesis 37:9-11.
  • This sign, in its completion, seems to appear in the heavens in one time only in human history – September 23, 2017.

Verse 2 – She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth.

  • The heavens obviously can’t be pregnant, but the theme of labor pains and birth is used to describe the “discomfort” of the end of the age in multiple places in scripture. (Isaiah 26; Matthew 24).  It’s interesting that the woman is described as already in birth pains and in the agony of giving birth here, before the dragon is described.
  • It’s possible the crying out in verse 2 illustrates the early fulfillment of Ezekiel’s vision of the Valley of Dry Bones (Ezekiel 37), where Israel is restored nationally and physically before she is restored spiritually.  This is described in Isaiah 26 as Israel laboring by herself (without God) to attempt to obtain deliverance.  The woman is clearly Israel, and it is her who is in pain.
  • God is not about to bring to the point of birth without delivery (Isaiah 66:9).  Israel is about to enter TRUE birth pains, and receive TRUE deliverance.

Verse 3 – And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems.

  • This is “another sign”, separate and distinct from the “great sign” in verses 1-2.  This sign has prompted a whole host of speculations as to what it might be!
  • The dragon constellations include Draco, Serpens, and Hydra.  Will any or all of these be involved in the sign of the red dragon?  What about the yearly Draconid meteor showers in the fall?  What about Planet X?  Some people suspect a mysterious planet or planetary system could be involved.
  • Maybe the dragon sign won’t be in the sun, moon, and stars at all – maybe it’s a separate kind of sign from the “great sign”.  As of the time of this post, no one is truly sure how the dragon sign will play out, although it will likely become clear as the time of its fulfillment is imminent.  I am inclined to agree that we probably won’t physically see a sign.
  • The seven-headed, ten-horned dragon, however the sign plays out, is clearly a reference to satan.  (We are explicitly told this in Revelation 12:9 and 20:2)
  • Elsewhere, we see a seven-headed, ten-horned Beast (Daniel & Revelation), which is also satan, or the human kings he controls.  The heads are wearing diadems (like crowns); we are told they are kings.

Verse 4 – His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth.  And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it.

  • The Bible refers to angels as “stars of heaven” multiple times, such as in Job 38:7.  It seems that this third of the stars of heaven is quite possibly referring to the portion of the angelic host that joined satan/Lucifer in his initial rebellion (Isaiah 14:12-15, Ezekiel 28:12-17).  When they fell, they were cast to the earth, where they are now the powers, principalities, and rulers of this present world (Ephesians 6:12).
  • If verse 4 is giving an overview of the “war in heaven”, then this casting down of stars to the earth would suggest the fallen angelic host will no longer have access to the third heaven, where God dwells.  While satan has this privilege currently, we are not told if his horde does or not.
  • There may be a connection between this event and Seal 6, in which “stars fall from the sky” (Revelation 6:13).  If this connection is valid, then it seems that the fallen angels will somehow be involved in the fulfillment of the so-called dragon sign.  (“alien invasion” anyone?)
  • Note that the dragon isn’t actually devouring the woman or her child, but is anticipating devouring her child.  He wants to, but the child hasn’t been born yet.
  • One might say the dragon is being restrained from devouring the child (wink, wink).


Verse 7 – Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon.  And the dragon and his angels fought back,

  • “Now” brings us to a different part of the vision, referencing back to the dragon of verse 3-4.  This seems to lend credence to the view that verses 1-6 are an overview, and we are about to be filled in with the details, starting with the dragon.
  • Is the war in heaven when the child is snatched?  Is it when the woman flees?  We are not told what causes the battle, but the most likely scenario in my opinion would be the rapture of the Church.  John MacArthur makes the interesting suggestion that the prince of the power of the air and his demon hosts may try to hinder the passage of the raptured believers as they pass through their realm (Rev 12:3-4), which would trigger the battle with Michael and the holy angels (Rev 12:7-8).  I believe this has strong merit, as the dragon is poised to devour the child as it is being born.
  • This is a monumental war, guys.  It’s not like war erupts in heaven every day, like it does on earth.  This war is over something BIG.

Verse 8 – but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.

  • There is no longer any place for Satan and his demons in heaven.  Now listen, until this moment, there apparently WAS a place for them in heaven.
  • “Place” here doesn’t so much refer to space or room, but to purpose (Strong’s 5117, topos).  Biblehub describes this as “the condition or station held by one in any company or assembly” or “opportunity, power, occasion for acting”.
  • What was satan’s purpose in heaven?  Satan, after his initial fall, retained access to God’s throne in order to accuse believers before Him (remember the book of Job?).
  • There’s no longer any purpose/place for him to do so all of a sudden.  Why?
  • I would suggest there is momentarily no longer any believers left to accuse on earth – as they have all just been raptured.  Think about it…  Big event, big war, no purpose for satan in heaven anymore…

Verse 9 – 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.

  • As we learned in verse 8, since there is no longer purpose for them in heaven, they are cast to the earth.  There is still purpose for them there, which is a “woe” for the inhabitants of earth.  Note that verse 12 is coincident with this event.
  • I see possible connection between the casting down of Satan and his horde in verse nine with Seal 6, where the “stars” fall from heaven to the earth (Rev 6:13 – “and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind“).   In v4 we have already been introduced to the fallen angels as being “stars”, and we know Satan and the demons are cast down to the earth.  Are the figs dropping as part of the “fig tree generation”?  Is the strong wind the Holy Spirit ascending to heaven with us – the reverse of the Holy Spirit descending as a strong wind from heaven on Pentecost, detailed in the book of Acts?  What do you think?

Verse 5 – She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne,

  • Rapture time!!!
  • Using an interlinear translation, we see the woman give birth to a male huion arsen (Strong’s 5207 and 730).  This male child is to shepherd the nations with a rod of iron.  The woman is  identified as Israel (the corporate entity), who brings forth Jesus (the male child – huion arsen).  A child, teknon (Strong’s 5043), is then caught up to God and to His throne.
  • When Jesus ascended to heaven, He was not seized suddenly with great force, nor was He in any danger from the dragon.  In Acts 1:9, Jesus is lifted up (eperthe – Strong’s 1869) until He is hidden from view.  We see this word in 19 other instances in scripture, and it means “exalts;  lifts itself; lifting up voice or eyes; lifting up; turning gaze“.
  • The child in Rev 12:5 is “caught up” – herpasthe (Strong’s 726), not eperthe .  Where else do we see Strong’s Greek 726?  1 Thessalonians 4:17 – Those who are alive and remain will be caught up together…; 2 Cor. 12:2, 4 Paul is caught up to the third heaven; Acts 23:10 – take him away from them by force; Acts 8:39 – Philip is snatched by the Spirit of the Lord.  There are 14 instances of this word in scripture and it means “plucked; seized; snatched suddenly and forcefully“.  There is quite a difference between being lifted or raised and being snatched or seized, isn’t there?
  • Let’s take a look at the child who is snatched.  Is it the same child as the male child – huion arsen?  Well, no, in fact, it isn’t.  This child that is snatched is a teknon (Strong’s 5043).  This is a commonly used word to mean children, child, descendant (gender neutral).
  • If Israel represents the corporate entity of Israel, the child (neutral gender) represents the corporate entity of the church – Jew and Gentile made one in Christ.  It is the church that is snatched up, suddenly and forcefully.  It is the church to whom Jesus has promised to share His iron-rod rule with (Revelation 2:26-27).
  • The woman, currently unbelieving, is left behind.
  • Are you stunned?  From Isaiah 66 we know that “before she was in labor she gave birth”.  This is entirely consistent with Jesus telling us that when we BEGIN to see all these things (the beginning of birth pains sign He describes on the Mount of Olives), that our redemption draws near.  As Israel enters her birth pains, the time of Jacob’s Trouble, the body of Christ will be delivered.  The nation that is born in one day is the body of Christ (1 Peter 2:9).
  • Listen folks – the rapture IS equivalent to salvation at this one moment in human existence – there is no partial birth, no partial rapture!
  • Still not convinced:  Please see these amazing articles on Unsealed:

Verse 10 – And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.

  • Woohoo!  Celebration in heaven as the accuser has been cast down.  Note that this is coincident with verse 12 – heaven is rejoicing.
  • Salvation has come through the power of Christ – the power of resurrection and eternal life – our blessed hope, the rapture!

Verse 11 – And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.

  • Who is the “they” that have conquered the accuser?
  • Okay guys, I’m going to have to do some fast talking here not to lose you.  I realize this but please, hear me out!
  • Who is it that conquers satan by the blood of the Lamb?  Don’t we all, as believers?  I mean, we don’t conquer satan by our own strength.  It is the blood of the Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world, that gives us victory over sin and death.
  • Who is it that conquers satan by the word of their testimony?  Don’t we all, as believers?  The word of our testimony is that we confess that Jesus is Lord.
  • Check out the comparison with Romans 10:9-10 – “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”  Is not this conquering by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony?
  • Those who persisted in faith until the end (death for those who died, the moment of the rapture for those yet living) are the overcomers!  The conquerors!  “For everyone born of God overcomes the world.  This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.  Who is it that overcomes the world?  Only the one who believers that Jesus is the Son of God.”  1 John 5:4-5
  • I do believe that the reference to not loving their lives even unto death is reference to the martyrs in Christ, but that is a topic for another post!

[Chapter 7:9-10 – After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”]

  • Just dropping this bomb here… note the close association with verse 10 – singing about salvation…
  • Vast multitude… largest group ever seen in heaven by far… from every nation, tribe, people, and language… clothed in white and singing about salvation… immediately post-birth event… pre-tribulation… as Israel is about to enter her true birth pains…
  • Big event, war in heaven, no purpose for the accuser anymore…
  • Just chew on it.

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Verse 12 – Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”

  • This verse is coincident with verses 9 (dragon cast down – woe to the earth) and 10 (salvation celebrated with the accuser having been thrown down – rejoicing in heaven).
  • We see here the extremes of rejoicing in heaven contrasted with the woes on earth.  This is a theme throughout the book of Revelation.
  • With the Restrainer removed (the Holy Spirit indwelling in the body of Christ), satan will now unleash his deception upon the remainder of humanity – who refused to be saved. (note yet another connection between salvation/rapture).   “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)
  • God will use satan for His purposes, to fulfill the time of Jacob’s Trouble and the Day of the Lord.

Verse 13 – And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.

  • Satan immediately starts pursuing Israel.  I want you to note that the word is pursuing, not devouring or attacking.
  • Let’s go to the interlinear, because I’m not quite sure you believe me!  Pursued is Strong’s 1377 – dioko.  While Strong’s lists the definition as “to put to flight, pursue, by implication to persecute”, HELPS Word-studies has a different take – “1377 diṓkō – properly, aggressively chase, like a hunter pursuing a catch (prize). 1377 (diṓkō) is used positively (“earnestly pursue”) and negatively (“zealously persecute, hunt down”). In each case, 1377 (diṓkō) means pursue with all haste (“chasing” after), earnestly desiring to overtake (apprehend).”
  • Satan will aggressively and zealously pursue Israel, earnestly desiring to overtake her.  Instead of viewing the pursuing as open and hostile aggression, though, I tend to view it as manipulative and cunning.  Think of it as deceptive infiltration.
  • I would suggest in the first half of Daniel’s 70th week, satan will try to make this pursuing look positive.  Imagine satan trying to woo Israel as her long-awaited Messiah.  Israel is expecting a Messiah and I believe that satan will have his antichrist attempt to step into that role.

Verse 6 – and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.

  •  Admittedly, the placement of verse 6 can cause some consternation.  Without viewing verses 1-6 as an overview, with details following, it can seem that the rapture might not be until mid-tribulation.  But is that what the rest of scripture tells us?  Clearly, a literal interpretation of scripture describes a pretribulation rapture.  So what gives?  There is a gap in the overview between verses 5 and 6.
  • In verse 6 we skip forward to view the fate of the woman, at some point (approximately 1260 days, or 3.5 years) after her child has been snatched.
  • John Abent in his book “Signs in the Heavens” suggests that the 144,000 sealed Jews flee to the wilderness right away after the rapture event.  He sees the 2 witnesses as instructing them there in the wilderness, teaching them as Jesus taught His disciples for 3.5 years.  If this is correct, it would give an amazing key to the timeline in Revelation – defining two consecutive 1260 day time periods.  After the initial 1260 days, the abomination of desolation would occur, and the watching faithful Jews would join these in the wilderness for the last 1260 days  of “Greatest Tribulation” described in Matthew 24.  I’m not sure that I agree with this view, but I thought that it was worth considering.
  • Because we are viewing a grand panorama, I believe that verse 6 is more than likely an identification marker.  It is used to positively identify the woman as the elect remnant – faithful, believing Israelites – by clearly connecting her identity to later verses.
  • Verse 6 positively identifies the woman, and tells us what will become of her.
  • [Totally unrelated, but I have heard speculated that God will again provide manna for the people of Israel in the wilderness – wouldn’t that be so wonderful!]

Verse 14 – But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.

  • Here we have the detail of how the woman (faithful Israel) will flee to the wilderness.
  • When the abomination of desolation is placed in the Third Temple, and the antichrist claims to be “god”, observing Jews will recognize the warning of Jesus from Matthew 24/Daniel 9 and flee to the wilderness.
  • The wings of the eagle and flight here refer to the speed with which she flees.  There is also connection to being sheltered under the wings of the Lord (for further discussion please see: The Woman Flees to a Place Prepared).
  • I would suggest that this is when Michael stands up (Daniel 12:1), to defend and protect Israel in the wilderness for the duration of the 1260 days of Beast rule.  Guys, it makes sense.  Michael is Israel’s angelic prince.  He’s not relieved of his duties for the worst time of her life.  Instead, he gets an extra-special assignment!
  • Verse 14 confirms what verse 6 stated – believing Israel will be securely protected by God in the wilderness throughout the time of “greatest tribulation”.
  • This verse also gives us confirmation that time, times, and half a time is equivalent to 1260 days, when related back to verse 6.

Verse 15 – The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood.

  • Will this be literal water?  Possibly, but I don’t think so.
  • I think a more likely explanation might be armed troops, as the same word for water (Strong’s 5204) is used in Revelation 17 to represent many peoples.  “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters… And the angel said to me, “The waters that you saw, where the prostitute is seated, are peoples and multitudes and nations and languages.” (Revelation 17:1,15)  So the serpent (dragon) could send forth many peoples after Israel, to try to drown her out before she reaches safety.
  • Another possibility for the water that the serpent sends forth might be demonic entities that chase elect Israel as she flees. Why demonic entities?  I base this interpretation from a similar description during the 6th Bowl judgment, where impure spirits flow from the mouths of the dragon, beast, and false prophet –  “Then I saw three impure spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet.  They are demonic spirits that perform signs” (Revelation 16:13-14).  Note the similarities of pouring out of the mouths of the serpent versus the unholy trinity (dragon, beast, false prophet).  This is not the SAME event, as verse 15 is at the midpoint of the 7 year period, and Bowl 6 is near the very end of the 7 year period.

Verse 16 – But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth.

  • I don’t see why this couldn’t refer to the earth literally opening its mouth, with sinkholes or an earthquake.
  • Whatever this “earth opening its mouth” is, God saves the fleeing Jews from the serpent/dragon/satan in this way.

Verse 17 – 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.

  • In this chapter, we have already seen the woman (believing Israel) and the Church (gender neutral child/descendant).  Who then are the “rest of her offspring”?  Here we see the woman’s other offspring (spermatos – gender neutral – Strong’s 4690), that have come after the baby that was snatched up to heaven.  Since the woman is securely hiding in the wilderness at this point, these offspring must be the post-rapture gentile followers of Christ – the “tribulation saints”.
  • We find out in Revelation chapter 13 that these saints will be given into satan’s hand.  Most will become “tribulation martyrs” during the “greatest tribulation” period – the last half of Daniel’s 70th week.

Chapter 13:1 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… 13:5 And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. 13:6 It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. 13:7 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, 13:8 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.

  • Throughout the duration of the last half of Daniel’s 7th week (3.5 years, or 1260 days), the antichrist has global rule, blasphemes the one true God and His followers, and slaughters the tribulation saints.  He is not allowed to touch the believing remnant of Israel, who is hiding in the wilderness under God’s hand of protection.

And thus concludes our study on Revelation chapter 12, with a little sneak peek at chapter 13.  I hope I’ve given you some food for thought!

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Further Resources:

Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

God’s Mosaic – A Whole Scripture Overview of Things To Come

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture.  I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

Approximately Half an Hour of Silence in Heaven

When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.  Revelation 8:1 ESV

The eighth chapter of Revelation opens with this alarming statement – in heaven, silence.  Heaven, where cherubim never cease to proclaim God’s holiness – Silent.  Heaven, where the angels sing and the elders throw their crowns down before the Lamb in praise and worship – Silent. What monumental event could possibly cause such silence???

silence in heaven

In The Heavenly Silence of Seal 7, I suggested that besides foreboding awe at the wrath of God about to be poured out upon the earth, there are probably other events taking place:

  • The war in the heavenlies between Michael and the holy angels and satan and the fallen angels, described in Revelation 12:7-12
  • The sealing of the 144,000 described in Revelation 7:1-8
  • The antichrist begins his rise to power and is revealed as per 2 Thessalonians 2:7-11
  • The 2 Witnesses show up as described in Revelation 11 and Malachi 4:5 (Elijah)
  • The true birth pains begin as the effects of the Seals opening are felt; the Blood Moon sign is seen globally as described in Revelation chapter 6

And in Day Counts – Studying 1260, 1290, 1335, and 2300 DaysI studied how long this approximately half hour of silence might be.  This is the relevant portion:

About Half An Hour

The Day of the Lord seems to be equivalent to the 70th Week of Daniel, or the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble”.  It also is referred to as the “Hour of His Wrath” (Revelation 3:10).  Can these references give us a clue as to how long “about half an hour” is?

To understand how long “about half an hour” is, let’s do some math.  Now, as I’ve said previously, I don’t believe that end times prophecy requires one to understand convoluted equations and mental gymnastics.  So, take this interpretation with a grain of salt.  We already talked about how the opening of the Seals knocks Earth back into 360-day-years.  So here goes:

The Day of the Lord = 1 Week = 7 Years = 84 Months = 2520 Days

One Day = 24 Hours, Or Does It?

Taking the phrases “Day of the Lord” and “Hour of His Wrath” literally:

One Day of the Lord = 84 Months

Hour of His Wrath = 1/24 of the Day of the Lord = 3.5 Months

Half Hour of Silence = 1.75 Months

I had someone PM me months ago, asking me “How many hours are there in a Hebrew day”?  Now, there are obviously 24 hours in a day, but the way that the Jews historically calculate the hours in a day is by dividing the number of hours of sunlight on any given day into 12 equal parts.  Thus, the length of an “hour” varies from day to day.

The Halachic Hour

The hour has a special meaning in Jewish law. “The third hour of the day” doesn’t mean 3:00 a.m., or three sixty-minute hours after sunrise. Rather, an hour in halacha is calculated by taking the total time of daylight of a particular day, from sunrise until sunset, and dividing it into twelve equal parts. A halachic hour is thus known as a sha’ah zemanit, or proportional hour, and varies by the season and even by the day.

For example, on a day when the sun rises at 5 a.m. and sets at 7:30 p.m., one sha’ah zemanit, or proportional hour, will be 72.5 minutes long. The third hour of the day will come to a close at 8:37:30 a.m.

This information is important because many observances in Jewish law are performed at specific times during the day. The calculation of these halachic times, known as zmanim(“times”), depends on the length of the daylight hours in that locale.

Source: https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/526872/jewish/Hours.htm

If we take this halachic hour into account:

One Day of the Lord = 84 Months

Halachic Hour of His Wrath = 1/12 of the Day of the Lord = 7 Months

Halachic Half Hour of Silence = 3.5 Months

Note that 3.5 months of 30 days each gives us a total of 105 days.  105 days seems to nicely parallel “time, times, and half a time” using months instead of years.  I’m not big on mathematical patterns, but this one stuck out for me as a possible verification of this interpretation:

1260 1290 1335

Why “Approximately”?

The day counts given in Daniel and Revelation are very specific.  Why would this “half hour of silence” be approximate?  Why would it be the only day count that isn’t exact?

In considering this question, remember that I suggest the Seals on the wrath-scroll all open at the time of the rapture.  I believe the seals are currently being restrained from being opened by the Restrainer (Holy Spirit indwelling the body of Christ).  The opening of the Seals marks the transference of sealing from the hearts of the body of Christ to the foreheads of the firstfruits of the Jewish tribulation saints (the 144,000).  The resurrection/rapture event itself is pictured in Seals 5&6, and is followed by the “approximate half hour of silence” of Seal 7.

The events listed in Seal 6 are completely catastrophic.  Remember that the entire world is shaken by earthquakes at this time.  Similar to the days of Noah, when the global flood caused the earth’s orbit to change, I believe the opening of the seals and the nuclear transformation event of the resurrection/rapture will cause the earth’s orbit to change.  I believe Isaiah describes this orbit change:

For the windows of heaven are opened,
    and the foundations of the earth tremble.
The earth is utterly broken,
    the earth is split apart,
    the earth is violently shaken.
The earth staggers like a drunken man;
    it sways like a hut;
its transgression lies heavy upon it,
    and it falls, and will not rise again.

Isaiah 24:18-20 ESV

This “reeling like a drunken man” of the earth in its’ orbit will affect the day counts during the “half hour of silence” and could explain why they might be defined as “approximate”.  It might be difficult to track the days at this time; the day length may vary; the month length may vary.  It seems that the orbit stabilizes in time for Daniel’s 70th Week to begin, as those day counts are listed as definite.

Can We Find “Approximately Half an Hour” in End Times Prophecy?

Remember that we are looking for an APPROXIMATE half an hour of time.  Is there any significant date range that is approximately 3.5 months in duration?

I have recently undertaken writing a series on Pentecost being the highest watch Feast of God for the rapture of the church.  It seems that the Restrainer (the Holy Spirit sealing the body of Christ) might just leave the same day He came down.  Links to the full study are found here:  The Biblical Feasts – God’s Appointments.

Considering the entire Red Moon Rapture model I have presented in this blog, I believe that this “approximate half hour of silence” in Seal 7 supports a Pentecost rapture.  The Halachic Approximate Half Hour of Silence = Approximately 3.5 Months.  There are approximately 3.5 Months between Pentecost (Sivan) and Yom Kippur (Tishrei).  Remember that the dates don’t have to be exactly 105 days, as it’s the only day count that’s given as an “approximate”.

monthsarial400.jpg

During this silence, I believe the war in heaven occurs, the 144,000 are sealed on earth, the 2 Witnesses appear, the effects of the Seals begin to play out, the antichrist starts his rise to power and is revealed, the birth pains begin in full force, and the blood moon sign occurs.  These events are stated to occur BEFORE the Day of the Lord, and yet, they must occur AFTER the rapture of the church.  What a perfect timeframe for them to be placed within – the “approximate half hour of silence”!  For more on these, please see: Precursors to the Day of the Lord.

Once the silence ends, the Yom Kippur ceremony is performed in heaven and wrath is poured out upon the earth for 7 years in the Day of the Lord.

This year (2018), the days between Pentecost (11 Sivan) and Yom Kippur (10 Tishrei) are approximately 119 (correcting for 360-day-years; at 365.25 day years the count is 114).  This count will vary from year to year.

Summary

I believe that a Pentecost rapture of the church, followed by an “approximate half hour of silence” of a halachic ~3.5 months perfectly fits in to the big picture of end times prophecy.  During this time, the earth will be restored to a 360-day-year orbit.  Once this ~3.5 months is complete, Yom Kippur will begin the wrath of the Day of the Lord.  I’m not stating this is a certainty, or stating a year, but am proposing this as a hypothesis.  If it turns out to be bogus, at least I had a grand ole time calculating it all day today 🙂


Further Resources:

Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

Heavenly Silence – Seal 7

Precursors to the Day of the Lord

Everything You Need to Know About Pentecost, the Feast that Ties It All Together For The Church

The Meaning of the Silence in Heaven (Beginning and End)

Seals, Sealing, and the Ministry of the Holy Spirit

God’s Mosaic – A Whole Scripture Overview of Things To Come

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture.  I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

A Summary of the Seals, Trumpets, and Bowls – Are They Coincident, or Sequential?

There are several models of thought when it comes to the Seal, Trumpet, and Bowl Judgments.  Are these overlapping, or are they sequential?  Is there any way to find out?

First, let’s review what occurs at each Judgment, then we can see if there are any clues that would help to place them on a timeline.  I won’t quote the scripture passages here as that will make this article long, but I will give the references.

The 7 Seals (Revelation 6)

The Lamb (Jesus) opens the seals.  The four living creatures (the cherubim) announce each of the horses and riders of Seals 1-4 by saying “Come!”  There are no announcements for Seals 5-7.

Seal 1 – White Horse with a Rider holding a Bow and wearing a Crown

Seal 2 – Red Horse with a Rider Granted to Take Peace From the Earth

Seal 3 – Black Horse with a Rider Holding a Pair of Scales or a Yoke

Seal 4 – Ashen (Pale/Green/Dappled) Horse ridden by Death, Given Authority to Kill a Fourth of the Earth

Seal 5 – Martyrs Under the Altar cry out for Vengeance; Given White Robes and Told to Rest for a Little While

Seal 6 – Great Earthquake, Sun turns Black, Full Moon turns Blood Red, Stars fall from the Sky, Sky vanishes like a Scroll, Every Mountain and Island Moved, Earth Dwellers all Hide in Fear and Declare that the Great Day of the Wrath of God and the Lamb has Come.

Seal 7 – Silence in Heaven for About Half an Hour, an Angel Offers the Prayers of the Saints Before God’s Throne, The Angel Fills the Censer with Fire from the Altar and Throws it on the Earth, Followed by Thunder, Lightning, and an Earthquake.

The Seventh Seal brings forth 7 Angels with 7 Trumpets.

The 7 Trumpets (Revelation 8:6-9:21, 11:15,19)

7 angels each have a trumpet, and when they sound it, the judgment occurs.

Trumpet 1 – Hail and fire mingled with blood, 1/3 of trees burned, all green grass burned

Trumpet 2 – Great Mountain burning with fire cast into sea, 1/3 sea becomes blood

Trumpet 3 – Great star falls from heaven, 1/3 of fresh water made bitter

Trumpet 4 – 1/3 of light from the sun, moon, and stars is dimmed

Trumpet 5 – Woe 1 – Demonic army is unleashed from the abyss and tortures men for 5 months.  They are not allowed to touch the sealed 144,000.

Trumpet 6 – Woe 2 – Demonic army of 200,000,000 is unleashed from the region of the Euphrates, where they have been bound, and kills 1/3 of humanity.

Trumpet 7 – Woe 3 – Lightnings, voices, thunderings, earthquake, great hail.  Announces that the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord.

The angel with the little scroll announced “but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.” Revelation 10:7 ESV.  Thus we know Trumpet 7 is carried out over a time period.

The 7 Bowls (Revelation 16:1-21)

7 angels are given 7 bowls containing the final 7 plagues of God’s wrath.  A loud voice tells them to begin pouring out their bowls upon the earth.

Bowl 1 – Harmful and painful sores occur on people who have taken the mark of the beast.

Bowl 2 – Entire sea turns to blood, all sea creatures die.

Bowl 3 – All rivers and springs become blood.

Bowl 4 – Sun scorches people with fierce heat.

Bowl 5 – Kingdom of the beast is plunged into darkness.  People in anguish over their pain and sores (continuing from Bowl 1).

Bowl 6 – The Euphrates river is dried up to allow humanity to assemble for the battle at “Armageddon” (Jerusalem?).  The antichrist and false prophet send three deceiving frog-like spirits go out into all the world to collect the people.

Bowl 7 – Lightning, rumblings, thunder, greatest earthquake ever, 100 pound hailstones.

Examining the Similarities and Differences Between the Seals, Trumpets, and Bowls

From a quick comparison, we see that the 7 Seals are opened by Christ Himself, whereas the Trumpets and Bowls are carried out by angels.  This is a major difference.

We note that Seal 7, Trumpet 7, and Bowl 7 all contain lightning, rumblings, thunder, and earthquakes.  These are major similarities.

The effects of Seals 1-6 have no similarities to any of the trumpets or bowls.  In Seal 6, 144,000 people are supernaturally sealed with the seal of God, and this seal protects them from Trumpet 5’s judgment specifically.  Thus, we know that Seal 6 comes before Trumpet 5.

Trumpet 1 & Bowl 1 have no similarities.

Trumpet 2 & Bowl 2 are similar in that in Trumpet 2, 1/3 of the sea turns to blood and in Bowl 2 the entire sea is turned to blood.  There is a vast difference in scale between 33% and 100%.  If this were the same event it couldn’t be both “1/3” and “all” at the same time.

Trumpet 3 & Bowl 3 are similar in that in Trumpet 3, 1/3 of the fresh water is turned bitter or poisonous.  In Bowl 3 all the fresh water is turned to blood.  Again, there is a vast difference in scale between 33% and 100%, and it can’t be both at the same time.  Also, there is a difference between “bitter” and “blood”.

Trumpet 4 & Bowl 4 are not similar.  Trumpet 4 has 1/3 of the light from the sun, moon, and stars being dimmed.  Bowl 4 has the opposite – the sun is scorching people with great heat.

Trumpet 5 & Bowl 5 are not similar.  Trumpet 5 has a demonic army torturing people for 5 months.  Bowl 5 has the Beast’s kingdom literally plunged into darkness, and no timeframe is given.

Trumpet 6 & Bowl 6 are not similar.  Trumpet 6 has a demonic army killing 1/3 of humanity.  Bowl 6 has 3 deceiving spirits sent out into the world to gather people for the Battle of Armageddon.

 

Conclusion

The opening of the Seals, Trumpets, and Bowls are sequential.  The effects of previous judgments continue on in a snowball effect, as new judgments unleash.  The world is going to be a mess.

snowball_effect.png

While there are some minor similarities between several of the trumpet and bowl judgments, there are marked differences in severity between these judgments.  That the 7th Seal, Trumpet, and Bowl all contain lightning, thunder, and earthquake signals the “completion” of each of these sets.  Seven is the number of completion.

Seal 7 heralds the start of the Trumpets, and Trumpet 7 heralds the start of the Bowls.  With Bowl 7, the wrath of God is complete.

heptadic-structure.png


Further Resources:

Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

Seals, Sealing, and the Ministry of the Holy Spirit

The Four Horsemen – Seals 1-4

The Martyrs Under the Altar – Seal 5

The Blood Moon – Seal 6

Heavenly Silence – Seal 7

7 Bowls/Vials of Wrath

7 Trumpets, with 3 Woes

God’s Mosaic – A Whole Scripture Overview of Things To Come

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture.  I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details, some of which I think might need to be adjusted slightly.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

 

 

 

Seals, Sealing, and the Ministry of the Holy Spirit – The Unsealing of the Scroll

I want to propose something to you about the Seals of Revelation 6 that you might not have considered before.  When you get a letter in the mail, do you open it all at once, or do you pick at it over days or weeks or years?  You open it, right?  So you can read what’s on the document inside?  It’s the same with the Seals.

In Revelation 6, the Lamb (Jesus) is about to break open the seals that hold the title deed to Earth, the scroll, sealed shut.  Note that Seals aren’t normally considered part of a document, they “lock” the document until it is the right person, place, and time to open it.  Opening the seal(s) is a prerequisite to reading the document.

Jesus has been worthy to open the scroll since His death, resurrection, and ascension. We thus have had the correct person (Jesus) and place (heaven/earth) for almost 2000 years.  What we have been waiting for is the right time.  Until then, the Seals restrain the document from being read (sound familiar?  2 Thessalonians 2…).

Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.  Romans 11:25 ESV

What we are waiting for is the mystery of the church age to be complete.  When the fullness of the Gentiles has come in to the New Covenant, the fullness of time will be reached.  The rapture will occur and the partial hardening upon Israel will be released.  This occurs when the Restrainer, the Holy Spirit indwelling and sealing the body of Christ, is removed from the earth (with the church).

Seals and Sealing

I want you to pay attention to the words seals and sealing.  When the fullness of the gentiles is complete, the sealing of the Holy Spirit upon them will be released as they are called up into heaven and redeemed – it is the Day of Christ, the Day of Redemption.  The sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit will then immediately be transferred to a specific 144,000 Hebrew new believers.  All this occurs during the opening / release of restraint of the 7 Seals which hold the scroll containing God’s judgment and wrath closed.

In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed (esphragisthete, Strong’s Greek 4972) with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.  Ephesians 1:13-14 ESV

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed (esphragisthete, Strong’s Greek 4972) for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30 ESV

Each of the 7 seals of Revelation 6  (sphragidon, sphragida, Strong’s Greek 4973)

The scroll had been sealed, Revelation 5:1 (katesphragismenon, Strong’s Greek 2696)

But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal [wahatom, Strong’s Hebrew 2856] the book [scroll], until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”… He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed [wahatumim, Strong’s Hebrew 2856] until the time of the end.” Daniel 12:4, 9 ESV

Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, with the seal (sphragida, Strong’s 4973) of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed (sphragisomen, Strong’s 4972) the servants of our God on their foreheads.”  Revelation 7:2-3 ESV

The Hebrew wahatum root translates to the Greek sfragida root. (Google Translate)

I hope you are noticing that the body of Christ is sealed (Strong’s 4972) as a guarantee until the day of our redemption, at which point the 144,000 will be sealed (Strong’s 4972) as servants of our God.  The 144,000 are firstfruits of the Lamb and of God – the firstborn into Christ after the rapture (Revelation 14:4).  The seals, sealed, and sealing all have the same root word – sphragida.

What if the Seals on the scroll represent the mystery of the church age, the indwelling Holy Spirit who currently seals the body of Christ for the day of redemption?  What if the ripping open of the SEALS on the scroll is a picture of the rapture of the church, and the Holy Spirit transferring His ministry from the church to the 144,000 Hebrews?  What if the seals on the scroll is a picture of the passing of the torch in action?

When the Seals holding the scroll are opened, restraint on the Lamb’s and God’s  wrath is clearly released.

The Effects of the Release of the Seals

Imagine horses at a starting gate.  They are chomping at the bit, desperate to burst forth!!!  But they are currently being restrained.

The horses of the apocalypse gallop forth the moment we leave.

When the Day of the Lord (“Tribulation”) arrives, it will be marked all at once by  widespread war, global earthquakes, famines and pestilences, terrors and great signs from heaven.  Collectively, “all these” are the “beginning” of the birth pains described by Jesus in the Olivet Discourse.  These are exactly paralleled in Seals 1-4 and Seal 6.  I believe the rapture of the church is pictured in Seal 5 (dead in Christ) and Seal 6 (alive in Christ).

  • Seal 1 – Unrestrained antichrist – the lawless one is freed to rise to political and spiritual power (2 Thessalonians 2, Revelation 6).  How quickly he arises is unspecified, but within about 3.5 years he will declare himself to be “god”.
  • Seal 2 – Unrestrained Violence and/or War – Possibly WW3, Ezekiel 38-39, and the wars the antichrist fights as he rises to power (described in Daniel 7&11).  Possibly includes the violence as people fight for survival.  This violence begins now but continues until the Second Coming of Christ.
  • Seal 3 – Unrestrained Economic Control and Famine – these will occur as a result of the events that are being unleashed.  The ultimate economic control will be seen in the “Mark of the Beast” system at some point after the antichrist declares himself to be “god”.
  • Seal 4 – Unrestrained Death…with Hell Following – A result of Seals 1-3 – Death via sword, famine, infectious disease (pestilence), wild beasts.  Death is followed by Hades (hell); as such, it does not affect Believers in Jesus Christ.  The gates of hell do not prevail against the church (Matthew 16:18).  A fourth of the earth will be killed, beginning at the opening of the seals and extending for some unspecified period of time.  I would assume a short time, based on the fact that many people WILL become true believers shortly after the rapture when they realize that the Bible is true.
  • Seal 5 – Resurrection of the Dead – The dead in Christ arise (resurrection and rapture) and enter their rest (Isaiah 26).  Meanwhile, the martyrs will continue to collect until the full number of martyrs is complete – this time, their souls are seen gathering on the crystal sea (Revelation 15) instead of under the altar.  Unrestrained antichrist religion will result in martyrs for the true Christ.  The martyrs’ blood will not be completely avenged until later, when the 7th bowl judgment is poured out.
  • Seal 6 – Translation of the Living – A great earthquake, which moves every mountain and island; the sun is blackened; the moon turns blood red.  I believe the earthquake causes volcanic eruptions as a chain reaction, and the smoke and ash in the air darken the sun and make the moon appear blood red worldwide.  In Joel 2 we are told this occurs BEFORE the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord begins.  I believe this earthquake is CAUSED by the nuclear transformation of the physical into the eternal, as the dead are resurrected, the living are translated, and both groups are raptured.  When the sky vanishes like a scroll being rolled up, I believe this is the third heaven opening up to allow the entrance of billions of resurrected and translated believers to enter heaven.  This may come after the great earthquake.  Additionally, the stars of the sky fall to earth.  I believe this parallels Revelation 12:9 – “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.”  This may be the basis for an “excuse” of what happened to believers, and may involve “aliens” (fallen angelic deception).  Alternatively, this could be asteroids/meteors, or the fallout from a near-collision with “Planet X / Nibiru”.  The left behind, every human left from rich to poor, hide among the caves and rocks to attempt to hide from the wrath of him who is seated on the throne and from the Lamb, “for the great day of their wrath has come”.   With the seal of God released from the body of Christ, we now see the transference of the sealing as the events of seal 6 continue to be described.  On earth, 144,000 Israelites are sealed on their foreheads, to be God’s new witnesses (along with the 2 Witnesses, of course).  They will become the firstfruits unto God and the Lamb of the remnant of Israel that will be saved.  I believe these are literal bloodline Israelites, from the 12 tribes as detailed in Revelation 7.  Meanwhile, in heaven, we see believers from all nations, tribes, tongues, and peoples worshipping the Lamb and the One on the throne.  These are the newly raptured saints.
  • Seal 7 – Silence in Heaven for “About Half an Hour” – This half hour of silence may represent the “10 Days of Awe” between the Feast of Trumpets and Yom Kippur, it may be a literal half hour, or it may represent some other sum of time.  After this, it appears that the Yom Kippur Ceremony takes place in heaven and God’s judgments on the earth begin.

Are the Seals Wrath?

After much pondering, I don’t believe that the Seals contain the “wrath” of God.  I believe they announce His imminent, or impending, wrath (as the inhabitants of the earth recognize in Seal 6).   One reason is that the nature of the seals, which are generic and somewhat natural, is very different from the nature of the trumpets and bowls, which are specific and obviously supernatural.  Another is that the Lamb opens the seals, whereas the Trumpet and Bowl Judgments are introduced and carried out by holy angels.  The cherubim announce the actions resulting from Seals 1-4, the 5th seal contains no judgment at all, and Seal 6 contains a massive amount of catastrophe with no listed cause (I believe the cause is the rapture of the church).

Timing of the Release of the Seals

There are a few interpretations of when the seals are opened.  For a number of reasons, I don’t agree with the interpretation that the seals are opened over a period of time during the “Tribulation”.  The main reason is because I believe the rapture is clearly pictured in Seals 5&6 as discussed above.

The two interpretations of the timing of the Seals opening that I consider most logical are:

  1. Jesus takes the Seven Sealed Scroll from the right hand of God at His triumphant ascension to Heaven.  He immediately opens Seals 1-5.  The first four seals unleash 4 spirits who roam the earth, bringing trials and testing throughout the entirety of the church age.  In Zechariah chapters 1&6 we can see these exact horses, and at that time they report on the earth’s condition to God. Perhaps seals 1-4 reassign them to new or more specific purposes. The fifth seal isn’t a judgment, but represents the persecution and martyrdom that the church has faced throughout the entire age (for details see Foxe’s Book of the Martyrs!).  Following Seal 5, there is a long (2000+ year) pause while waiting for a certain number of the Seal 5 martyrs to accumulate, as well as the fullness of the Gentiles to come into the new covenant – Romans 11:25 – before opening Seal 6.   While Seals 1-4 seemingly include judgment, it’s markedly different than the wrath that occurs in Seal 6 and the Trumpets and Bowls.  When Seal 6 is opened, it unleashes the Day of the Lord (wrath).  This is the view suggested by David Lowe in his book  Earthquake Resurrection.
  2. Jesus takes the Seven Sealed Scroll from the right hand of God at His triumphant ascension to Heaven.  Jesus then waits (~2000 years) until the fullness of time to open the seals.  This includes the fullness of the Gentiles to come into the new covenant – Romans 11:25.  There is scriptural corroboration for this in Daniel 12:4, 9:  “But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal [wahatom, Strong’s 2856] the book [scroll], until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”… He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed [wahatumim, Strong’s 2856] until the time of the end.”  The time of the end seems to be marked by an increase in transportation abilities and in knowledge, which happens to be actively occurring in our day.  When this set of preconditions occurs, Jesus will then open the seals simultaneously – it’s time!!!  As one unit, seals 1-7 unleash a torrent of chaos on the earth, while the saints are transformed and caught up to heaven.   In his book When God Intervenes, Douglas Berner describes this moment – the unleashing of the seals – as the beginning of birth pains.  Having birthed two children, I understand what Berner conveys – once birth pains hit, you KNOW.

There are three keys that make me lean towards the second interpretation.  The first, is due to the analysis of the sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit as discussed above.  The second is in Daniel 12 as above, about the scroll remaining sealed until the time of the end.  The third is that in Seal 4, Death and Hades (Hell) specifically are BOTH given control over 1/4 of the population to kill them.  Hades / Hell has no power over believers, and as there is no mention of them being supernaturally protected from seal 4, it is extremely unlikely to apply during the church age.  There is only one point in time when there will be NO saints on the earth, and that is at the moment of the rapture.

Sealed Fates

I’m not sure when the rapture will be.  The Feast of Trumpets is a high watch possibility, with Yom Kippur being a high watch possibility for the start of the wrath/judgment of God.  What if the Days of Awe (the 10 days between the feasts) represent the approximate 30 minutes of silence in heaven following Seal 7?  The Days of Awe are traditionally a time of repentance, at the end of which “fates are sealed”.  Will the 144,000 Israelites be sealed during some future 10 Days of Awe?

From Hebrew4Christians:

According to Jewish tradition, on Rosh Hashanah the destiny of the righteous are written in the Book of Life, and the destiny of the wicked are written in the Book of Death.  Most people, however, won’t be inscribed in either book, but are given ten days — until Yom Kippur — to repent before sealing their fate.

 (Source: http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Holidays/Fall_Holidays/Elul/Days_of_Awe/days_of_awe.html)

The Ministry of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit has many functions; only one of them is sealing.  There have been some questions raised about salvation versus sealing.  These are two different things outside of the church age.  The Holy Spirit calls people to repentance and salvation in Jesus Christ.  In the Old Testament, this was through the Law.  In the New Testament church age, this is through Grace and is marked by a sealing in the heart.  After the rapture, it will still be by grace, but not everyone will be sealed (only the 144,000 chosen ones get sealed).  Thus, in the Old Testament, and after the rapture, it is possible to fall away from the faith and “lose” salvation.

Conclusion

I believe that the Holy Spirit is the one restraining the scroll until the fullness of time, as part of His sealing ministry.  The scroll contains the details of how Jesus completes taking back control of the earth and initiates His millennial kingdom.

John encounters all three members of the Holy Trinity in his visions in the book of Revelation.  This is possibly symbolised by the Father handing the 7-sealed (Holy Spirit in completeness) scroll to the Son.  The wrath of the One on the throne and of the Lamb is contained therein, held until the  transference of sealing between the body of Christ (church age) and the 144,000 Hebrews (firstfruits of tribulation Hebrew believers).  I strongly believe that Seals 1-7 involve the removing of the “Restrainer”, which is the Holy Spirit indwelling in the body of Christ.  This results in the “beginning of birth pains” as described by Jesus in the Olivet Discourse.


Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

The Four Horsemen – Seals 1-4

The Martyrs Under the Altar – Seal 5

The Blood Moon – Seal 6

Heavenly Silence – Seal 7

10 Days of Awe – Hebrew4Christians

What Does the Holy Spirit Do? – Gotquestions

God’s Mosaic – A Whole Scripture Overview of Things To Come

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture.  I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details, some of which I think might need to be adjusted slightly.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

4

The Covenant With Many – Daniel 9:27

If a peace treaty is signed in Israel soon, is that THE COVENANT that we are looking for to be fulfilled?  I believe the answer to this question is NO, and I will attempt to explain why!

And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed.
And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering.  And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.
  (Daniel 9:26-27 ESV)

Like many of you, I have studied that the “strong covenant with many” that will be made as per Daniel 9:27 involves the Antichrist making, or confirming, a peace or land (or land for peace) treaty with Israel.  This is the traditional pre-tribulation, dispensational teaching, and it goes something like this (from GraceThruFaith):

“The Bible says a false peace will precede war in the Middle East. Through a series of events such as preliminary battles (Psalm 83, Isaiah 17) and meaningless peace agreements the Israelis will come to believe the threats to their national security have been removed, and they’ll let down their guard. A that point a coalition of Moslem nations will attack with such force that nothing short of God’s direct intervention will save them. But He will intervene and Israel’s enemies will be defeated (Ezekiel 38).

That’s when a powerful man will come forward with the suggestion that it’s time to enforce a covenant that’s already been negotiated between the combatants. This time the world will be convinced that real and lasting peace has finally come, and this man will be hailed as a great peace maker, unlike any the world has ever seen (Daniel 8:25).

After presenting himself as their savior, he’ll turn out to be their destroyer and once again they’ll find themselves on the brink of utter defeat. That’s when the Lord will pour out His spirit of grace and supplication, Israel’s eyes will be opened to their true Messiah, and He will again intervene on their behalf to destroy their enemies (Zechariah 12:10, 14:3). This time the peace will be real and the remnant of Israel will be ushered into their glorious Kingdom Age. You can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah. 09-18-10″

SOURCE: Jack Kelley – GraceThruFaith- https://gracethrufaith.com/end-times-prophecy/confirming-the-covenant/

Is there any reason to doubt this view?


And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed.  Daniel 9:26 ESV

The Anointed One

First let’s discuss Daniel 9:26.  I’m going to assume you’re on the same page with me here and we both understand that the “anointed one” who was “cut off”, but not for Himself, was Jesus.

The People of the Prince Who Is to Come

The “people of the prince who is to come”, the Romans, literally destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD. Titus, the Roman prince who was “still to come” in Daniel’s time, opposed the destruction of the Temple and actively tried to stop it 3 times while his people (or mercenaries, as the case may be) destroyed it.

It was literally the “people” of the “prince who was to come” who destroyed the Temple. Daniel 9:26 may be specifically describing that it was the people, not the prince, who was acting because that would have been very unusual (normally armies follow the commands of their leaders).   The end of Jerusalem and the Second Temple did come very suddenly, “like a flood”.  For a detailed discussion of the destruction of Jerusalem, please see this post – The 70 Weeks of Daniel.

The intervening time would then involve wars and desolations for the Jewish people.  Dictionary.com defines desolation as “a state of complete emptiness or destruction; anguished misery or loneliness”.  It comes from the Latin desolare – ‘to abandon’ – and for all intents and purposes, it will seem that God has abandoned His chosen people for almost 2000 years.  This fulfilled their scattering among the nations, which was foretold repeatedly in scripture. 

Now on to Daniel 9:27.  Does the main character remain the same (the people of the prince who was to come), or does it change?  In the different prophecy views, there is a lot of discussion over that little word, “he”.


And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering.  And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.  Daniel 9:27 ESV

Who, Exactly, are the “he’s”?

And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. Daniel 9:27a

The First “he”:

The Antichrist – The futurist view of Biblical prophecy considers there to be a break (of about 2000 years) between Daniel 9:26 and 9:27.  All rapture timings within this view traditionally teach that the “he” who makes the covenant, causes sacrifices and offerings to cease, and makes desolate, is the antichrist.  This makes a lot of contextual sense, as Daniel’s visions are repeatedly of the end times and of the antichrist.  Until very recently I also agreed that the “he” was the antichrist.   I still think it’s a definite possibility.  Because this view is well described elsewhere, I won’t expand on it here.  However, a new twist on the traditional view is that the antichrist may try to confirm the MOSAIC covenant.

The False Prophet – Since we are told in Revelation 13 that the false prophet is the one who organizes the setting up of the image that will be worshiped (the abomination of desolation), it is possible that the “he” who makes the strong covenant with “many” is actually the false prophet on behalf of the antichrist.

Israel – Chris White, in his book “False Christ”, takes the futurist view but suggests that the covenant may be initiated by Israel herself instead of by the antichrist.  From memory, I think he suggests that the covenant Israel makes is with the antichrist and surrounding countries, but that she is the one in the powerful position to propose the terms and conditions.  Regardless of who initiates the covenant, this view still holds that the covenant is made with the antichrist or Israel’s enemies.  I think this is an interesting twist on the usual interpretation.  (Note that he holds a pre-wrath rapture view and we disagree on that).

Jesus – Those who believe the 70 weeks of Daniel were fulfilled historically (the historicist view), state that the “he” who confirmed the covenant was Jesus back in ~32AD.  These believe that there was no break between Daniel 9:26 and 9:27.  There are a number of problems with this view, but perhaps the greatest is the specific term “abomination of desolation”.  This view is well described by historicist scholars and I also won’t expand on this view here as I personally believe the covenant of Daniel 9:26-27 is future.  Jack Kelley explains the problem of the abomination of desolation this way:

“Some say this prophecy was fulfilled during the Roman destruction, but most believe it’s yet future, partly because of the term Abomination that causes Desolation. It’s a specific insult to God that has happened only once previously.  Antiochus Epiphanes, a powerful Syrian king, had attacked Jerusalem and entered the Temple area in 168BC. There he had sacrificed a pig on the Temple altar and erected a statue of the Greek god Zeus with his own face on it. He then required everyone to worship it on pain of death. This rendered the Temple unfit for worshiping God and so incensed the Jews that they revolted and defeated the Syrians. This is all recorded in Jewish history (1st Maccabees) where it’s called the Abomination of Desolation. The subsequent cleansing of the Temple is celebrated to this day in the Feast of Hanukkah.”

SOURCE: https://gracethrufaith.com/end-times-prophecy/the-70-weeks-of-daniel/

(Father) God – Another possibility that I have seen circulated recently (I apologize, I can’t find links), is that God Himself confirms the covenant.  This also takes the futurist stance, but states that there will be a “dueling of the covenants” in which God will confirm His covenant with Israel while the antichrist ALSO makes a covenant of his own.  Despite the confusing way this view was presented, is it possible that God Himself is confirming a covenant?  This is what I set out to explore.

There is no first “he” –  An interesting translation of Daniel 9:27 has been brought to the surface this week.  I became aware of it through Dan Matson at watchfortheday HERE.  On his website he posted (bolding mine):

And one week shall establish the covenant with many: and in the midst of the week my sacrifice and drink-offering shall be taken away: and on the temple shall be the abomination of desolations; and at the end of time an end shall be put to the desolation.”

(Daniel 9:27 LXX Interlinear Translation, Samuel Bagster and Sons, London, 1792)

I have this Septuagint translation in Appendix A of Israel: The Handwriting on the World. In most English translations, there is a “he” supplied that is not there because the Hebrew is ambiguous. This LXX translation fits the Rapture scenario at the start of the 70th Week since there is no requirement for some covenant signing or peace agreement to initiate it. And really this Covenant here is The Covenant between God and Israel. After these 7 years the 70 Weeks are fulfilled bringing to completion all of the promises in Daniel 9:24.

SOURCE: http://watchfortheday.org/same.html

What if the actual meaning of Daniel 9:27 goes something like this:  And the covenant with [the Hebrew people] shall be strengthened / reconfirmed for one week [7 years], and in the middle of the week [God’s] sacrifice and offering shall be taken away.  In the temple, the abomination that causes desolation shall be set up until the decreed end comes upon the desolator [i.e. the second coming of Jesus when He tosses the antichrist into the lake of fire].  Could this meaning fit?  I will explore this as well.

What Does the Second “he” Do?

And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering.  And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.  Daniel 9:27 ESV

If there is a “he” confirming the covenant, it would make sense that the “he” is also the one putting an end to sacrifice and offering, to be gramatically consistent.  This could be the antichrist OR the false prophet.  As mentioned previously, they are two of the members of the “unholy trinity”, who both bring worship to the third member – the dragon (satan).

In all the translations there seems to be an interesting divide between the “he” associated with the covenant and the sacrifice and offering, and the “one” who makes desolate.  Here is where the LXX interlinear translation proves interesting:

“And one week shall establish the covenant with many: and in the midst of the week my sacrifice and drink-offering shall be taken away: and on the temple shall be the abomination of desolations; and at the end of time an end shall be put to the desolation.”  Daniel 9:27 LXX Interlinear

Is there a second he?  It doesn’t specify in the LXX how the covenant is (re)established, or who is doing it.  However, it does state that it is God’s sacrifice and drink offering that will be taken away in the middle of the week.  This version also doesn’t spell out who is placing the abomination of desolation, and it suggests that an end comes to the desolation itself (not discussing the fate of the desolator).

I’m not convinced that we can conclusively state that the “he” who confirms the covenant is also the desolator who places the abomination of desolation.

The Third he – The One Who Makes Desolate

Clearly, the one who makes desolate is the antichrist, regardless of who confirms the covenant and who stops the sacrifice and offerings.  We are told that he will place an abomination that makes desolate a number of times in scripture (Daniel 11:36; Matthew 24:15-16,21; Revelation 13:13-15; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).

 

A Covenant of Peace?

So… will the covenant in Daniel 9:27 be a new covenant or reconfirm an old one?

The traditional futurist interpretation of the covenant that is made, or strengthened, or confirmed, is that it involves peace.  If you re-read the verse, you will note that the word “peace” is not there.  Neither is land.  Let’s look again:

And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. (ESV)

And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease  (KJV)

What we know about the covenant:

  1. It will last for a week of years (7 years).  Whether this covenant is specifically made for 7 years, or if we are simply being told that it will last for 7 years, is not stated.  I have read that the covenant may be presented as open-ended or “eternal”, but that God is telling us that it will last for only “one week”.  This may be supported by the verse that the antichrist will “seek to change the times and the law” (Daniel 7:25), but we have been given the foreknowledge that God will cut short his days and he will come to his decreed end (Matthew 24:22, Daniel 9:27).
  2. The strong covenant must include the people of Israel (the 70 Weeks prophecy is about Daniel’s holy people – Jews, and his holy city – Jerusalem), but it might include others as well.

What we can surmise about the covenant:

  1. It may or may not be a “new” covenant.  It might be a new covenant made; it might be a strengthened or restored pre-existing covenant.
  2. It will likely include Old Testament-style Jewish worship and sacrifices in a rebuilt Third Temple in some fashion.  We can surmise this because in the same sentence, sacrifice and offering is ended – which means it likely started occurring as part of the “strong covenant”.
  3. The covenant seems to continue on for the full 7 years, even though sacrifices and offerings cease in the middle of it.  It only ends when the “decreed end is poured out on the desolator” (at the second coming of Jesus Christ).

Is the Covenant a Bad Thing?

Land / Peace Covenant:

We have been assuming that the covenant is a bad thing, and so it would be if made with the antichrist.  To understand why, we see that when leading Israel to their promised land for the first time, God repeatedly commands the Israelites not to enter into covenant with the nations or peoples around them:

 You shall make no covenant with them and their gods. (Exodus 23:32; Exodus 34:12; Deuteronomy 7:2 ESV).

God knew that if Israel made covenants with the peoples around them, they would fall into spiritual idolatry, which is exactly what ended up happening.  History often repeats itself, and any covenant made for peace/land will also lead to spiritual harlotry.  If the covenant is made with the Antichrist and the “many”, it may offer compromise on the Promised Land, which isn’t Israel’s to give.  The holy land belongs to God and is His alone to allot and possess.

Mosaic Covenant:

Chris White, in his book The False Christ, suggests that the “Jewish view of the phrase ‘new covenant’ is no more than a renewed national commitment to abide by God’s laws”.  In this view, the antichrist will re-confirm the Mosaic covenant by authorizing the starting of sacrifices and allowing the rebuilding of the Temple.  Not only may he confirm it, he may actively be involved in the process.  For more on this, please see:  Why Israel Rejected Jesus at His First Coming.  This would fulfill Jewish messianic expectation and also take focus off the true Messiah – and His “New Covenant”.

Three and a half years later he will stop the sacrifices and break the Mosaic covenant, possibly introducing a “new covenant”:

“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah”.  Jeremiah 31:31 ESV

If the covenant is a re-confirmation of the Old Testament Mosaic Sacrificial Law, by either the antichrist or Israel herself, it blatantly rejects Jesus Christ as Messiah and His atoning sacrifice. When Jesus came, He made a new covenant, a better covenant, in His blood.  Jesus fulfilled Jeremiah’s new covenant prophecy through His death and resurrection:

But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second. For he finds fault with them when he says:

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord,
    when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel
    and with the house of Judah,
 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers
    on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt.
For they did not continue in my covenant,
    and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.
 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
    after those days, declares the Lord:
I will put my laws into their minds,
    and write them on their hearts,
and I will be their God,
    and they shall be my people.
And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor
    and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
for they shall all know me,
    from the least of them to the greatest.
 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,
    and I will remember their sins no more.”

In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Hebrews 8:6-13 ESV

Alternately, Israel herself may try to return to the Mosaic covenant. God would not want the Mosaic Covenant re-instated, as it was a temporary covenant that has been replaced.  2 Corinthians 3 discusses this, as well as the passage in Hebrews above.

Abrahamic Covenant:

If the covenant spoken of in Daniel 9:27 is a re-confirmation of God’s Abrahamic Covenant, His eternal promise to Abraham for descendants and land – this would actually be a GOOD thing.  This is an eternal covenant, promised to Abraham, which has yet to see complete fulfillment.

What covenant are we talking about here?  

I am increasingly leaning towards the view that the covenant that is strengthened in Daniel 9:27 is the Abrahamic covenant God has with Israel.  This could also be a dual fulfillment of the “generation sign”, as some scholars state that “genea” can also refer to race, i.e. the Jewish race:

Assuredly, I say to you, this generation [genea] will by no means pass away till all these things take place.  Matthew 24:34 ESV

Let’s review what God’s covenants are all about!

 

God’s 7 Covenants

From Gotquestions: (bolding  mine)

Question: “What are the covenants in the Bible?”

Answer: The Bible speaks of seven different covenants, four of which (Abrahamic, Palestinian, Mosaic, Davidic) God made with the nation of Israel. Of those four, three are unconditional in nature; that is, regardless of Israel’s obedience or disobedience, God still will fulfill these covenants with Israel. One of the covenants, the Mosaic Covenant, is conditional in nature. That is, this covenant will bring either blessing or cursing depending on Israel’s obedience or disobedience. Three of the covenants (Adamic, Noahic, New) are made between God and mankind in general, and are not limited to the nation of Israel.

The Adamic Covenant can be thought of in two parts: the Edenic Covenant (innocence) and the Adamic Covenant (grace) (Genesis 3:16-19). The Edenic Covenant is found in Genesis 1:26-302:16-17. The Edenic Covenant outlined man’s responsibility toward creation and God’s directive regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The Adamic Covenant included the curses pronounced against mankind for the sin of Adam and Eve, as well as God’s provision for that sin (Genesis 3:15).

The Noahic Covenant was an unconditional covenant between God and Noah (specifically) and humanity (generally). After the Flood, God promised humanity that He would never again destroy all life on earth with a Flood (see Genesis chapter 9). God gave the rainbow as the sign of the covenant, a promise that the entire earth would never again flood and a reminder that God can and will judge sin (2 Peter 2:5).

Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12:1-36-713:14-171517:1-1422:15-18). In this covenant, God promised many things to Abraham. He personally promised that He would make Abraham’s name great (Genesis 12:2), that Abraham would have numerous physical descendants (Genesis 13:16), and that he would be the father of a multitude of nations (Genesis 17:4-5). God also made promises regarding a nation called Israel. In fact, the geographical boundaries of the Abrahamic Covenant are laid out on more than one occasion in the book of Genesis (12:7; 13:14-15; 15:18-21). Another provision in the Abrahamic Covenant is that the families of the world will be blessed through the physical line of Abraham (Genesis 12:322:18). This is a reference to the Messiah, who would come from the line of Abraham.

Palestinian Covenant (Deuteronomy 30:1-10). The Palestinian Covenant, or Land Covenant, amplifies the land aspect that was detailed in the Abrahamic Covenant. According to the terms of this covenant, if the people disobeyed, God would cause them to be scattered around the world (Deuteronomy 30:3-4), but He would eventually restore the nation (verse 5). When the nation is restored, then they will obey Him perfectly (verse 8), and God will cause them to prosper (verse 9).

Mosaic Covenant (Deuteronomy 11; et al.). The Mosaic Covenant was a conditional covenant that either brought God’s direct blessing for obedience or God’s direct cursing for disobedience upon the nation of Israel. Part of the Mosaic Covenant was the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) and the rest of the Law, which contained over 600 commands—roughly 300 positive and 300 negative. The history books of the Old Testament (Joshua–Esther) detail how Israel succeeded at obeying the Law or how Israel failed miserably at obeying the Law. Deuteronomy 11:26-28 details the blessing/cursing motif.

Davidic Covenant (2 Samuel 7:8-16). The Davidic Covenant amplifies the “seed” aspect of the Abrahamic Covenant. The promises to David in this passage are significant. God promised that David’s lineage would last forever and that his kingdom would never pass away permanently (verse 16). Obviously, the Davidic throne has not been in place at all times. There will be a time, however, when someone from the line of David will again sit on the throne and rule as king. This future king is Jesus (Luke 1:32-33).

New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34). The New Covenant is a covenant made first with the nation of Israel and, ultimately, with all mankind. In the New Covenant, God promises to forgive sin, and there will be a universal knowledge of the Lord. Jesus Christ came to fulfill the Law of Moses (Matthew 5:17) and create a new covenant between God and His people. Now that we are under the New Covenant, both Jews and Gentiles can be free from the penalty of the Law. We are now given the opportunity to receive salvation as a free gift (Ephesians 2:8-9).

SOURCE: https://www.gotquestions.org/bible-covenants.html

So Which Covenant Are We Talking About?

God made 4 of these covenants specifically with the nation of Israel, and since Daniel’s prophecy is about his holy people (Hebrews) and holy city (Jerusalem), we can surmise that the covenant Daniel is talking about is also about Israel.

If Israel is the one re-confirming her covenant with God, the only one she is capable of initiating herself is the Mosaic Covenant.  The Law of Moses, the sacrificial system, is what defines Judaism.  It is clear that Israel will indeed re-start sacrifices and offerings.  Will that be an attempt to re-institute the Mosaic Covenant?   If Israel were to re-confirm the Mosaic covenant, it would be with “the One” – God – which doesn’t fit the verse, because the covenant is confirmed with the “many”.  However, from Zechariah we know that while many Hebrews will come to Christ (~1/3), many will not (~2/3).  It is highly probable that the Jews who are shaken into returning to God, but still continue reject Jesus, will desire to return to the Mosaic Covenant.  If it is the antichrist appearing to confirm the Mosaic Covenant with Israel, this would fit the verse.

If God is the one confirming His covenant with Israel (the many) in Daniel 9:27, which covenant would He confirm?  Well, we’ve already discussed that the Mosaic covenant has been replaced with the New Covenant.  The unconditional Davidic covenant will be fulfilled at the second coming of Christ, when Jesus comes to establish His millennial kingdom.  There are two left (and many scholars view them as one single covenant – Abrahamic).  What if the covenant mentioned in Daniel 9:27 is a re-confirmation of the unconditional, eternal covenants made with Abraham?  That he would have offspring more numerous than the stars in the sky, and that he would be given a specific plot of land:

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”  Genesis 12:1-3 ESV

On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates,  the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites,  the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim,  the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites.” Genesis 15:18-21 ESV

If this is the correct interpretation, and God confirms He Abrahamic covenant with Israel, what could possibly lead Him to do so?

What Rouses God out of His Silence?

I believe it is event-driven.

There is only one event in the Bible where God is described as rising out of His silence towards Israel.  Only one event that could drive Israel to finally rebuild their Temple, and restart sacrifices and offerings to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Ezekiel 38-39, the Gog-Magog War.

I have discussed the Gog-Magog war, and the possible encircling wars of Psalm 83 and Isaiah 17, before.  I believe there are strong connections between Seal 6, the beginning of birth pains (Olivet Discourse), Ezekiel 38-39, and the rapture of the church.

Basically, in the Gog-Magog war, God Himself will raise Israel’s enemies up against her in such a way as to appear that Israel is on the brink of annihilation.  He will then rise up out of His “silence” to protect her.  God will break His silence with Israel for the purpose of announcing to an unbelieving world – Israel herself and all the nations – that He is still here!  He intends to fulfill His covenant promises and reclaim Israel as His people and His land.  God mentions this purpose 70 times in the book of Ezekiel; four times in these two chapters alone, to ensure He gets His point across.  However, He has one final test for Israel.  When God intervenes, what will Israel do?  God will send His 2 Witnesses to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ.  Will Israel finally accept Jesus as her true Messiah?

Sacrifices and Offerings

Israel appears to rebuild the Temple (it’s basically ready to go already).  She then appears to restart sacrifices and offerings in that Temple.  Are these an abomination to God?

As one of my fellow watchmen reminded me, Israel is going to be a real “mixed bag” in the latter days.  About 1/3 of the Hebrews, starting with the 144,000, will come to Christ, and may offer pleasing sacrifices in worship to God.  Or, maybe they won’t participate in the Temple and Sacrifices.  I’m not sure, but it is likely that the 2 Witnesses will guide this process.  It seems that the other 2/3 of Israel attempt to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob while continuing to reject the New Covenant of Jesus Christ.  Their sacrifices, in an attempt to atone for sin in an Old Covenant way, would be unacceptable to God.

The sacrifices and offerings in and of themselves aren’t necessarily bad, as these will be re-instituted in the Millennial Kingdom by God Himself as a memorial of what Jesus has done.  It will be the heart of why the sacrifices are being done that will make them either pleasing or an abomination to God.

The Holy Covenant

While I believe that Daniel 11:29-35 was fulfilled by Antiochus Ephiphanes historically, it seems possible that the antichrist may also be in view as a type of dual fulfillment in this passage.  Starting in verse 36 there is really no debate that the antichrist himself is in view.  What may be happening here is a type of dramatic fade from one character to the next (as occurs when describing a literal king fading into a description of satan in both Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28):

At the time appointed he shall return and come into the south, but it shall not be this time as it was before.  For ships of Kittim shall come against him, and he shall be afraid and withdraw, and shall turn back and be enraged and take action against the holy covenant. He shall turn back and pay attention to those who forsake the holy covenant.  Forces from him shall appear and profane the temple and fortress, and shall take away the regular burnt offering. And they shall set up the abomination that makes desolate.  He shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant, but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action.  And the wise among the people shall make many understand, though for some days they shall stumble by sword and flame, by captivity and plunder. When they stumble, they shall receive a little help. And many shall join themselves to them with flattery,  and some of the wise shall stumble, so that they may be refined, purified, and made white, until the time of the end, for it still awaits the appointed time. “And the king shall do as he wills. He shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak astonishing things against the God of gods.  He shall prosper till the indignation is accomplished; for what is decreed shall be done.  Daniel 11:29-36 ESV

If this passage describes the antichrist, it would seem to support the view that the covenant that is confirmed with Daniel’s holy people in 9:27 is indeed a “holy covenant” with God.  This passage describes those who know their God as standing firm, while those who rebel against God would seem to violate or forsake the covenant.

Types and Shadows

Update Mar 2/18:  Tonight as I was reading my children’s Bible to my kids, we read the passage where John the Baptist was born.  Remember that John came “in the spirit of Elijah”.  John proclaimed that the kingdom of heaven was near, and prepared the way for the Lord at His first coming.  The relevant passage is in Luke chapter 1:

 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
    for he has visited and redeemed his people
 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
    in the house of his servant David,
 as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
 that we should be saved from our enemies
    and from the hand of all who hate us;
 to show the mercy promised to our fathers
    and to remember his holy covenant,
 the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
     that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,
     in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
    for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
 to give knowledge of salvation to his people
    in the forgiveness of their sins,
 because of the tender mercy of our God,
    whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
    to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

Luke 1:68-79 ESV

Reading this just struck me with the mention of Jesus coming to redeem his people and to be salvation for them, tied together with God remembering his holy covenant that he swore to Abraham.  We know that in the latter days, God will again send 2 witnesses – one of them who is expected to be Elijah – to prepare the way for the Lord and to announce that the kingdom of heaven is at hand.  These will give knowledge of salvation to His people.  Is this again tied to God “remembering” His holy covenant with Abraham’s bloodline descendants?

Summary

I have come to believe that the covenant that is confirmed with the “many” in Daniel 9:27 quite possibly refers to God re-establishing His Abrahamic (lineage and land) Covenant with the people of Israel.  God, in His own perfect timing, will “hook the jaws” of Gog and make it appear that Israel is on the verge of annihilation.  He will do this specifically so that He can intervene and prevent her destruction – thus re-confirming His covenant with her.

I believe that the event that causes the impending destruction upon Israel, and results in the strengthening of the Abrahamic Covenant, is most likely to be the Ezekiel 38-39 War (likely coincident with the rapture of the church).  This will mark the fullness of the gentiles having come into the New Covenant and release the partial hardening that has been on Israel for the last 2000 years (Romans 11:25).  This will begin her national restoration (Romans 11:26).

I believe that Israel’s response to God’s miraculous intervention will involve rebuilding the Third Temple and restarting sacrifices and offerings to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  The Two Witnesses may guide or oppose this process, I’m not sure.  It depends on the heart of why the sacrifices are being done that will make them either pleasing or offensive to God.  Daniel 11 seems to indicate that the sacrifices and offerings might be a pleasing thing to God, as an act of worship (not to atone for sin, as that has been completed once and for all through Jesus Christ).

Following this, it seems that the majority of Israel will continue to look for a “new” messiah… and that they will find and embrace one who comes “in his own name”.

And one week shall establish the covenant with many: and in the midst of the week my sacrifice and drink-offering shall be taken away: and on the temple shall be the abomination of desolations; and at the end of time an end shall be put to the desolation.”  (Daniel 9:27 LXX Interlinear Translation, Samuel Bagster and Sons, London, 1792)

In the middle of the week of years, the antichrist will claim to be “god”, stop sacrifices and offerings to God, and set up the abomination of desolation.  When Jesus Christ appears at the Second Coming, 1260 days later, He will put an end to the desolation and the Desolator.


For Further Reading:

Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

Bible Covenants

Why Israel Rejected Jesus at His First Coming

Discussion of the Antichrist

Discussion of Mystery Babylon

Overview of Coming Prophetic Wars

Nation Rising Against Nation, Kingdom Rising Against Kingdom – WW3

Target Israel: The Destruction of Damascus – Isaiah 17

Target Israel: Arab-Israeli Promised Land War of Psalm 83

Target Israel: Gog and Magog War of Ezekiel 38 & 39

Triumph: The Beast Rises to Power

Daniel’s 70 Weeks

God’s Mosaic – A Whole Scripture Overview of Things To Come

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture.  I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

Who is the Antichrist and What Will He Do?

Expectations of a Future Savior

Almost all world religions point to some type of climactic event occurring in the future.  This event ranges from either enlightenment, a time of peace, or a cataclysmic ending.  These teachings often feature a “savior” or “messiah” figure in coordination with the climactic event.

Orthodox Jews (those who reject Jesus Christ as Messiah) are also anticipating a time of chaos, out of which will arise one or two messianic-type figures:

When one studies rabbinic views of the Messiah one finds something very interesting. Many ancient rabbis spoke of two Messiahs, one who was the “Son of David” and another who was the “Son of Joseph.” Though one can find the sufferings of Messiah attributed to the sufferings of the Davidic Messiah in many rabbinic writings, often a second Messiah is posited, the “Son of Joseph” or “Son of Ephraim,” who is the one who suffers while the Davidic Messiah conquers. The rabbis struggled with Biblical portraits of a suffering Messiah, as found in Isaiah 53 and other places, and portraits of a conquering Messiah, also found in the Hebrew Bible. They posited two Messiahs, but could it not also be reasonable to believe there is just one Messiah but two aspects of his mission, a suffering aspect and a conquering aspect?

The eminent scholar Raphael Patai, who “taught Hebrew at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem” and served as Professor of Anthropology at Dropsie University,1said this of the two-messiah theory:

“When the death of the Messiah became an established tenet in Talmudic times, this was felt to be irreconcilable with the belief in the Messiah as Redeemer who would usher in the blissful millennium of the Messianic Age. The dilemma was solved by splitting the person of the Messiah in two: one of them, called Messiah ben Joseph, was to raise the armies of Israel against their enemies, and, after many victories and miracles, would fall victim Gog and Magog. The other, Messiah ben David, will come after him (in some legends will bring him back to life, which psychologically hints at the identity of the two), and will lead Israel to the ultimate victory, the triumph, and the Messianic era of bliss.”

Source: The Two-Messiah Theory  https://www.chaim.org/2messiah.htm

Take note of the expectation:  One Messiah, Messiah ben Joseph, will fight and win wars for Israel and then be killed.  The second Messiah (perhaps the resurrected Messiah ben Joseph), Messiah ben David, will then lead Israel into the Messianic Kingdom.  This is exactly what we find in the description of the ANTICHRIST in scripture.

Jewish Messianic Expectations

As Christians, we believe that Jesus fulfilled the Suffering Servant role in His first coming, and will fulfill the Conquering King role in His second coming.  However, the Jews who rejected Jesus are still anticipating the coming of a Messiah.  For an analysis of why they rejected Jesus but will accept the antichrist, see this post: Why Israel Rejected Jesus at His First Coming.

The Jews are expecting the coming messiah to:

  • be descended from King David on his father’s side (see Genesis 49:10, Isaiah 11:1, Jeremiah 23:5, 33:17; Ezekiel 34:23-24).  According to Jewish sources, the Messiah will be born of human parents and possess normal physical attributes like other people. He will not be a demi-god, (2) nor will he possess supernatural qualities.
  • promise a future age of perfection characterized by universal peace and recognition of “God” (Isaiah 2:1-4, 32:15-18, 60:15-18; Zephaniah 3:9; Hosea 2:20-22; Amos 9:13-15; Micah 4:1-4; Zechariah 8:23, 14:9; Jeremiah 31:33-34)
  • build, or allow the building of, the third temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).
  • gather all Hebrew tribes back to the land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).
  • lead the Jewish people to full Torah observance (Old Testament sacrificial system). (Deut. 13:1-4)
  • reveal himself to the Jews at a national (not individual) level (Foundations of Torah, ch. 8; Deut. 5:3)

One Who Comes in His Own Name

Jesus foretold that while Israel nationally rejected Him, at some point in the future they will receive one who comes in his own name:

I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him.  (John 5:43 ESV)

Jesus came in His Father’s name to do his Father’s will, but was rejected.  God is about to present to them an alternative – the anti-messiah.  Whom will they accept?

Jesus warned that many would come claiming to be the Christ. These numerous lesser antichrists who were already in the world, as the Apostle John explained in 1 John:2:18, would prepare the way for the real Antichrist who would appear in the last of the “last days.” Behold the ultimate deception: Satan posing as God, Antichrist masquerading as the true Christ, and not just the world but an apostate church as well totally taken in by the bold fraud. Instead of a frontal assault on Christianity, the evil one will pervert the church from within by posing as its founder. He will cunningly misrepresent Christ while pretending to be Christ. And by that process of substitution, he will undermine and pervert all that Christ truly is. Anything less than such a diabolically malevolent strategy would be unworthy of Satan’s foul genius.

—Excerpt taken from Countdown to the Second Coming by Dave Hunt

Source: http://thebereancall.com/search?q=countdown-to-the-second-coming 

The anti-christ (anti-messiah) is going to try to parallel what Jesus did at His first coming, in addition to appearing to fulfill what Jesus will do at His second coming.  The Jews did not foresee the two-part role of the messiah, and were legitimately baffled when the Messianic Kingdom wasn’t inaugurated at Jesus’ first coming.  In this way, the anti-messiah will appear to clear up all confusion and will be received.

The God of His Fathers

The earliest view of the church was that the antichrist, when he appeared, would try to convince the Jews that he was their messiah.  This makes sense, and is well supported in scripture.

Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.  (Daniel 11:37 ESV)

While some translations state that the antichrist will not regard the “gods of his fathers”, the phrase “God of his fathers” is commonly used to refer to God, Yahweh (Genesis 31:29, 46:1,3; Exodus 3:16; 2 Kings 21:22; 1 Chronicles 28:9; Jeremiah 19:4; 2 Chronicles 33:12; Daniel 2:23).  The “fathers” referenced are very specifically Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and this would be perfectly understood by the Jewish audience.  Thus, if the antichrist is not regarding the “God of his fathers”, he must be Jewish.  Note that it also states he won’t regard any other god, either, besides the God of his fathers.  Instead, he will claim to be god himself.

The Identity of the Antichrist

There is much speculation on the identity of the antichrist.  You may be hoping that I will spill the beans and let you in on a little secret.  While I am certain that the man who will become the antichrist is currently alive and being primed for his position, we cannot know who he is.  He will not be revealed until the Restrainer has been removed, which I believe is the Holy Spirit dwelling within the body of Christ.  Thus, speculation into who he could be is probably a waste of time.  He might be someone of importance and power now, or he could be hidden and unknown.

What does seem abundantly clear to me is that the antichrist will be (or claim to be) a bloodline Jew, in order to fulfill Jewish messianic expectations.  He will not be of Roman, Islamic, or Assyrian descent, although he may arise out of one of those countries.

Some teach that the antichrist will come from a revived Roman Empire, based on the belief that the “he” refers back to the “people of the prince who is to come” in Daniel 9:26.  The Romans were indeed the ones who defeated Jerusalem and sacked the Temple in 70 AD.  Since the people who destroyed Jerusalem were the Romans, many see the prince as being from a revived Roman empire of sorts.  But does it have to be so?  When the Romans destroyed the second temple, it was truly the “people of the prince” who destroyed it.  This was despite the “prince”, Titus, issuing a command 3 times for them to specifically NOT destroy the temple.  Titus and his people fulfilled that role so accurately, that it seems that we will be looking at an entirely new and separately identified figure.  While the Roman Catholic church has many false teachings that are “anti-christ”, I do not believe that it, nor the pope, will fulfill the role of the actual “Antichrist”.   I have studied this more completely in The Covenant With Many – Daniel 9:27.

The claim that the antichrist will be Islamic is based on Islamic prophecies of the coming “Imam Mahdi”. This should tip you off right off the bat, that we should be studying Biblical prophecies, not ones from false religions.  Satan has had 6000 years to read the Bible.  He is fully aware of what is to come, and has had plenty of time to weave his “partial truths” in with actual truth and blatant lies.  This has been his strategy since Eden.  I fully believe that the Islamic religion and nations will cease to be a concern for Israel after the prophesied wars of Psalm 83, Ezekiel 38-39, and the Antichrist’s rise to power.

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Nor do I believe that the antichrist will be Assyrian.  Assyria was an ancient empire, whom God used to judge Israel in the past.  The present-day location of this empire is in Iraq.  Proponents of this view mention Isaiah 10 and Micah 5, which both reference Assyria and an Assyrian king.  Micah 5 states:

When the Assyrian comes into our land
    and treads in our palaces,
then we will raise against him seven shepherds
    and eight princes of men;
they shall shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword,
    and the land of Nimrod at its entrances;
and he shall deliver us from the Assyrian
    when he comes into our land
    and treads within our border.  (Micah 5:5-6 ESV)

I do not believe that the antichrist will come AGAINST Israel, but will try to WOO her as her messiah. She won’t believe that she is being attacked, but rather protected by this man.  Israel won’t raise shepherds and princes against him, but will follow him in the ultimate act of harlotry.  They will entice the world to follow him as well.  I detail that in Who is Mystery Babylon, and What Does She Do?

Scripture, and Bible prophecy in particular, is about Israel and its’ physical and spiritual descendants.  The consummation of scripture will include the fulfillment of all Old Testament prophecies and covenants.  Daniel specifically states that the prophecy he received was for his holy people and holy city (Israelites and Jerusalem).  God’s covenant relationship is with Israel alone, and the books of Daniel and Revelation (Ezekiel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Zechariah…) tell the story of how their relationship concludes.

The Sidekick – “Elijah”

This messiah figure will be accompanied, or preceded, by a prophet.  The Jews are expecting this to be Elijah.  For further discussion on the false prophet that will announce and accompany the antichrist, see Who is the False Prophet and What Does He Do?.

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.  And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”  (Malachi 4:5-6 ESV)

Note that God will send His own 2 Witnesses to preach truth during the antichrist’s rise to power (the Messiah ben Joseph phase), although this truth will be rejected by the majority in favor of satan’s lies.  Note that God will send TWO witnesses, whereas satan will only have one.

Every charge must be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.  (2 Corinthians 13:1; Deut 17:6, 19:15).

The false prophet will point to the false christ.  God’s Two Witnesses will point to Jesus Christ.  Who will Israel choose to believe, the false prophet, or God’s Two Witnesses?

The Covenant With Many

There is an upcoming covenant of interest, in which someone will “make (confirm, strengthen) a strong covenant with many for one week” (Daniel 9:27). The covenant would involve Israel, Jerusalem, and its people, but more nations may be involved.  The covenant(s) may be presented of open-ended length, but we are made aware that it will only last 7 years.  I have more fully discussed that in The Covenant With Many, but will summarize here!

Traditional interpretation suggests that the covenant will be confirmed, or made, by the man who will become the antichrist.  The covenant may be one of peace (at least for Israel), as the antichrist attempts to fulfill the messianic expectations of the Jews (Ezekiel 34:25; Isaiah 54:10).  Notably, the word “peace” is not mentioned in the description of the covenant in Daniel.

Thus, the covenant may not specifically be a “peace treaty”.  The Jews believe that the coming messiah will renew the covenant they already havethe Sinai covenant of the Law.  Chris White, in his book The False Christ, suggests that the “Jewish view of the phrase ‘new covenant’ is no more than a renewed national commitment to abide by God’s laws”.  The covenant might be renewed through the rebuilding of the altar of sacrifice, the establishment of the sacrificial system, and the rebuilding of the Temple.

Alternately, it may be God that re-affirms His Abrahamic (lineage and land) covenant with Israel at this time.  God, in His own perfect timing, will “hook the jaws” of Gog and make it appear that Israel is on the verge of annihilation.  He will do this specifically so that He can intervene and prevent her destruction – thus re-confirming His covenant with her.  I believe that Israel’s response to God’s miraculous intervention will involve rebuilding the Third Temple and restarting sacrifices and offerings to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  The Two Witnesses may guide or oppose this process, I’m not sure.  It depends on the heart of why the sacrifices are being done that will make them either pleasing or offensive to God.

The antichrist would also perhaps be involved in negotiating additional peace or land treaties during this same timeframe.  Regardless of how the covenant plays out, when it is made, it will restart the clock on Daniel’s 70th Week.

 

The Antichrist Rises to Power

Following the rapture of the invisible body of Christ, the restraint on the antichrist’s rise to power will be released.

For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.  And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.  (2 Thessalonians 2:7-8 ESV)

For further discussion on the restraint being lifted, please see:  The Restrainer and the Restrained, That Day Will Not Come Until, and The Four Horsemen.  This initial rise to power will occur over a period of approximately 3.5 years (possibly up to 6.5 years), and will represent “Mashiach ben Yosef.  During this time period, the false messiah will fight, and win, wars for Israel.  This will seem to fulfill Jewish expectations of the messiah – destruction of the enemies of Israel.

Following a major power vacuum, the world will be divided into four parts.  These four kingdoms will have specific characteristics.  The one the antichrist will arise in is called “The Beast”.

After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, terrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong. It had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.  I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things. (Daniel 7:7-8 ESV)

The fourth “beast” kingdom is described as exceedingly strong; no hint of weakness is mentioned.  It takes over the rest of the world that isn’t encompassed by the other three kingdoms.  That it has 10 horns suggests that it will arise with a coalition of 10 leaders.   An eleventh leader will rise up and replace 3 of these leaders, resulting in (presumably) an 8-leader kingdom.  This eleventh leader is identified as the antichrist, or false messiah.  This strong leader speaks “great things” and is “greater than his companions” (Daniel 7:19-20).  The antichrist’s rise to power is further detailed here:  Triumph: The Beast Rises to Power.

 

The Antichrist’s Death and Resurrection

So far we have gone through an overview of the first half of Daniel’s 70th week, where some type of covenant was confirmed with Israel and the antichrist has risen to power.  This is likely done under Jewish messianic expectations of the anti-messiah (Messiah ben Joseph) fighting and winning wars for them.  Around the 3.5 year mark, this messiah figure will set up his headquarters (“palatial tents”) in Jerusalem and declare it to be the capital city of the world.  This is again what Jews are expecting from the “messianic kingdom age”.  But first, just as all prophecies indicate, this messiah figure is about to die:

“And he shall pitch his palatial tents between the sea and the glorious holy mountain. Yet he shall come to his end, with none to help him.  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.”  Daniel 11:45-12:1 ESV

Israel will mourn over his death (seemingly in fulfillment of Zechariah 12:10, which won’t come to TRUE fulfillment until the second coming of Christ).  Then, the anti-messiah will be miraculously resurrected from the dead:

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 13:3-4 ESV

The resurrection will be through God’s power (only God has the power to give and take life), to fulfill His plans and purposes.  Basically, the antichrist is the final test for God’s people.  Will they pass and choose Jesus Christ, or will they fail and choose the anti-messiah?  It is at this point, right before, during, and after his death and resurrection, that the antichrist will set up his headquarters in Jerusalem (Dan 11:45), kill God’s two Witnesses (Rev 11:7), claim to be “god” (2 Thess 2:3-4), and set up the abomination of desolation.  Through this, the anti-messiah will be trying to fake the millennial reign of Jesus Christ.  It is at this point that the “Messiah ben David” role will take over (in Jewish expectation).

 

The Antichrist’s World Rule

When I was studying the prewrath rapture models, I came across the studies of Chris White, and it is through him that I first encountered the “contemporous beast theory”.  I encourage you to consider his teachings if you want to understand it further.  To introduce it to you, 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 ESV)

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?” (Rev 13:2-4 ESV) 

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 months. It 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.  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 13:5-10 ESV)

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 ESV)

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 ESV)

Daniel 7:21-25 and 12:1 describe the turning point where the Antichrist’s Kingdom has taken over the entire world.  This is the time of “greatest tribulation” for followers of Jesus Christ.  (Matthew 24:15-16, 21-22)  It will be a period of intense persecution and martyrdom for Christians (tribulation saints).

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:

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 ESV

It seems that the beating of followers of Jesus Christ will be in synagogues, the Jewish places of worship, among other places I’m sure.

Protection for the Elect Remnant of Israel

We have spent much time on the antichrist and his rise to power, but we also need to discuss God’s remarkable escape plan for the elect remnant of Israel which He has called unto Himself.  Right after the antichrist’s mortal wound and “miraculous” resurrection (at which point he is likely possessed by satan), he will seat himself in the Jewish Temple and proclaim himself to be “god”.  He will cause all sacrifices to cease.  This is the trigger for those in Israel to flee to the wilderness/mountains:

So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.  For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.  And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.   (Matthew 24:15-16, 21-22 ESV)

And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.  But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.  The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood.  But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth.  (Revelation 12:13-16 ESV)

 …and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.  (Revelation 12:6 ESV)

Those who obediently flee to the place prepared for them will be sheltered under the wings of God Almighty.  This will likely be done through the leading and the protection of the archangel Michael:

Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. (Exodus 23:20 ESV)

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 ESV)

Michael is the angel assigned to protect Israel (Jude 1:9).  It appears that Michael will stand for the obedient elect Israel who flee to the wilderness.  He will stand guard over them for the 1260 days of the antichrist’s rule – this is why Edom (Jordan) escapes out of the antichrist’s hand.  This leading to, and protection in, the wilderness is a similar parallel to the first exodus.  Perhaps God will even supply His people with manna once again 🙂

After the time of trouble, God’s people shall be delivered.  After 1260 days of Beast-Rule, the Beast Kingdom is destroyed – but not by human hands.

The Antichrist’s End

The antichrist is granted 1260 days of authority by God.  After this, his reign will come to an end at the appointed time  – at the second coming of Jesus Christ.  The antichrist will be judged in the court of the Ancient of Days, will be found guilty, and will be thrown into the Lake of Fire.  Daniel sees a vision of this:

“As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames;  its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and came out from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened. “I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire.  As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. “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 7:9-14 ESV

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 7:26-27 ESV

John also saw a vision of this:

And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.  Revelation 19:20 ESV

Both Daniel’s and John’s visions confirm that this judgment of the Beast occurs at the end of his rule, right before the Millennial Kingdom begins.  Jesus will come and destroy the antichrist and his false prophet, and chain satan and his fallen horde for 1000 years in the abyss.  After the Antichrist is destroyed at Armageddon, living humans will survive and continue into the Millennial Kingdom after the Sheep and Goats judgment. This is what is meant by the rest of the beasts (the lion, bear, and leopard) have their dominion taken away but their lives are prolonged for a time – some of these nations are specifically identified in the Bible as existing during the Millennial Kingdom.  One example of this is Egypt (Zechariah 14:16-19).

A Kingdom That Cannot Be Shaken

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 ESV

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!

Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus!


Further Resources:

Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

Triumph:  The Beast Rises to Power

Chris White – False Christ (book);  False Christ (YouTube)

The Religion of the AntichristMatt Walker 

Wounded Warriors – The Lamb Above and the Beast Below

The Second Coming of the Antichrist – Peter D. Goodgame (book); (YouTube)

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  Be a Berean – examine the scriptures for yourself to see if these things are so!

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Who is the False Prophet and What Will He Do?

Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon.  It exercised all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed.  And it performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people.  Because of the signs it was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived the inhabitants of the earth. It ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived.  The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed.  It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.

Revelation 13:11-18 ESV

While I believe that the person (being?) who will become the false prophet is alive today, I feel that there is no point in speculating who he might be at this time.  I believe he is currently being restrained by the Restrainer, along with the antichrist.  Once this restraint has been lifted, the false prophet’s identity will become extremely obvious to those who are paying attention.

One Witness, in the Name of Elijah?

The false prophet functions as the third member of the “unholy trinity”, along with the antichrist (false messiah) and satan (the dragon) (Revelation 16:13).  He may claim to be “Elijah”, whom the Jews are expecting to come before the “Day of the Lord”:

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.  And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”  (Malachi 4:5-6 ESV)

This Jewish expectation of Elijah is played out every Passover, where a cup of wine is placed for him at the Passover meal.  A chair is also set out for Elijah at circumcision ceremonies.  The Passover Haggadah hymn also references Elijah – “Elijah the Prophet, Elijah the Tishbite, Elijah the Giladite, May he soon (in our days) come to us, with the messiah son of David”.

Note that God will send His own 2 Witnesses to preach truth (Revelation 11), although it will be rejected by the majority in favor of satan’s lies.  Note that God will send TWO witnesses, whereas satan will only have one.

Every charge must be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.  (2 Corinthians 13:1; Deut 17:6, 19:15).

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).

Signs and Wonders

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

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. (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 ESV)

And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority.  (Revelation 13:2 ESV)

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 ESV)

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.  Chris White, in his book “False Christ”, notes that to the Jews, this calling down fire from heaven is almost the same as declaring himself to be Elijah.  Elijah is the only prophet in the Bible who performed such a feat, which he did three times.  These signs and wonders will deceive humanity, through the “wow” factor, into following the false prophet’s teachings.

Worship Director

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 spoken of by the prophet Daniel:

So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.  Matthew 24:15-16 ESV

And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.  Daniel 9:27 ESV

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.

Since we are told in Revelation 13 that the false prophet is the one who organizes the setting up of the image that will be worshiped, it is possible that the “he” who makes the strong covenant with “many” and then later stops the sacrifice and offering is actually the false prophet:

And he [no antecedant; it is perfectly natural that following such a time gap a new character might be introduced.] shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”  Daniel 9:26-27 ESV

The one who comes on the “wing of abominations” is the one who makes desolate until he meets his appointed end – this is clearly the antichrist.  However, the “he” who makes the strong covenant may or may not be the one who comes on the wing of abominations.  That is, this verse could be talking about the false prophet THEN the antichrist; the antichrist could be in view both times; there may be no first “he”; or God might confirm His Abrahamic covenant with Israel, followed by the antichrist making stopping sacrifice and making desolate.  It will become very clear as the events unfold in real time.

Mark of the Beast System

Once the antichrist’s world rule has been established, the False Prophet will set up the Mark of the Beast system.  Despite rumors that it is already in existence, it is not.  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 ESV)

At the end of the antichrist’s world rule (1260 days), the False Prophet will face the same fate as the antichrist – being tossed into the Lake of Fire by Jesus Christ.

And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.  (Revelation 19:20 ESV)

They will later be joined in the Lake of Fire by satan:

…and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.  (Revelation 20:10 ESV)

God’s purposes and plans will be carried out exactly as He has foretold.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV

Further Resources:

Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

The Covenant With Many

Who is the Antichrist and What Does He Do?

God’s Mosaic – A Whole Scripture Overview of Things To Come

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture.  I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details, some of which I think might need to be adjusted slightly.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

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The Woman Flees to a Place Prepared

Bible prophecy can be very confusing if you don’t understand that there are different tracks running at the same time for different people groups.  We have already discussed how there will soon be a sharp divide of the earth’s population into two main tracks:

  1. Believers – those who are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ are about to be snatched out of a time of great anguish upon the earth as it begins to unfold.  This is known as the rapture of the church.  Believers will enter the heavenly track known as the Day of Christ.  This involves both Jew and Gentile, there is no distinction.
  2. Unbelievers – those who are not “born again” into God’s family are about to face the Day of the Lord on earth.

Dividing Those Left Behind

It is the unbelievers, who are left behind, that we will further examine here!  The Left Behind are about to be further divided:

  1. God’s 2 Witnesses – Before the Day of the Lord begins, the Jews are expecting Elijah to appear.  Whether one of the witnesses is Elijah or not, God will arise two witnesses for Himself.  These will almost certainly be Israelites (Hebrew – not limited to the tribe of Judah (Jews)).  These two will function as prophets for a period of 1260 days and will be granted authority and power from God.  During their ministry, they are offered special protection from God and will be invincible (the fact that this invincibility is necessary suggests to me that people will be actively trying to kill them). They will perform miraculous signs and wonders, as in Old Testament times.  They are referred to as “lampstands” and “olive trees”, indicating that they are God’s light to the world (having replaced the church) as well as of Hebrew lineage.  For more on the 2 Witnesses see this post: Who are the Two Witnesses in Revelation 11?
  2. 144,000 Israelites – Once the church is removed from the earth, God’s Holy Spirit moves to supernaturally seal 144,000 Israelites.  These are described as “firstfruits to God and to the Lamb” and are likely the first Hebrew believers in Jesus Christ after the rapture.  They may not know their tribal lineage, but God certainly does.  How they are saved is not detailed.  These are specially protected against Trumpet #5’s demonic locust army.  They are not protected against death, as we see them all appear on the heavenly Mount Zion as firstfruits redeemed from the earth shortly after the 2 witnesses are killed.  For more on the 144,000 Israelites see this post: Who are the 144,000?
  3. Hebrew “Tribulation” Believers – With the partial blindness of Israel lifted after the fullness of the Gentiles was completed at the rapture (Romans 11:25), many Hebrews will come to know Jesus Christ at this time.  Zechariah 13:8 tells us that 1/3 of the Israelites will be brought through the trials of the Day of the Lord to be His people.  These Hebrew believers represent “Elect Israel”, who is portrayed as “The Woman” in prophetic passages.  The woman (the elect portion of Israel, written in the Lamb’s book of Life since the foundation of the world) will be offered two different chances to be protected and we will discuss that further below.
  4. Hebrew Unbelievers –  While most of the Hebrews/Jews will likely be inspired to rebuild the Third Temple and re-institute the Old Testament sacrificial system, many of them (the other 2/3 – Zech 13:8) will continue to reject Jesus Christ as the Messiah.  It seems that instead, they may actually embrace the antichrist as their “messiah” and later, after his apparent resurrection from the dead, as “god”.  They will be so enamored with the antichrist, in fact, that they will entice the nations of the world to worship him as well.  In doing so, they will perform the ultimate act of harlotry towards God and become “Mystery Babylon“.  When Jesus comes at the second coming, these will wail and mourn because of how they were deceived.
  5. Gentile “Tribulation” Believers – Many who are “left behind” at the rapture event will know enough to realize what has possibly occurred.  This is where the seeds planted today may finally sprout!   While the 2 witnesses and the 144,000 Israelites will be likely centered in Israel, they may also play a part in witnessing to the world during the Day of the Lord.  While the first 3.5 years after the rapture may be relatively peaceful for believers, all that will change when the antichrist proclaims to be “god”.  It is these “tribulation” believers that will face the greatest persecution and martyrdom of all time.  Because of the increase in lawlessness (and persecution), many will fall away and betray other believers. These saints will be delivered into the antichrist’s hand, and they will be offered no special protection from God.  “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 13:10)  Before God pours out His final Bowls of Wrath, He will send an Announcing Angel to give a final boarding call – declaring the eternal gospel to every tribe, language, nation, and people.  In this way, the gospel will be preached to all nations, and then the end will come.
  6. Gentile Unbelievers – This group will be deceived by the antichrist and the false prophet.  They may not actually buy into his religion, but will be definitely tempted to go along with him and take his mark in order to be able to buy and sell.  No special protection is offered from God to this group; in fact, they are the target of His wrath because “they refused to love the truth and so be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2).  When Jesus comes at the Battle of Armageddon, these also will wail and mourn at how they were deceived.

We have covered how God will specially protect His 2 Witnesses and the sealed 144,000 to some extent.  Gentile believers and all unbelievers will not have any special protection.  Now we need to further examine the special protection afforded to Elect Israel.  The elect remnant of Israel will be offered protection at two specific times – for the duration of the “greatest tribulation” and a last-minute-protection right before the destruction of Mystery Babylon.  Let’s take a look at these two times.

Protection in the Wilderness

“So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),  then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.  Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house,  and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak.  And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath.  For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.  And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. (Matthew 24:15-22 ESV)

Jesus, when teaching His disciples on the Mount of Olives, warns those who will be alive during the latter days that when they see the “abomination of desolation” they must immediately flee.  Although most of His teaching in this discourse spans a wide range of time, this part of His teaching is addressed to a specific group of people who will be living in Judea (Jerusalem) at a specific point in time.  It also suggests that the people He is addressing will be observing the Sabbath (and thus be observant Jews/Hebrews).  He warns that great tribulation is about to follow this event.  From the books of Daniel and Revelation, we know that this is when the antichrist/beast declares to be “god” and begins persecuting anyone who doesn’t worship him.  Jesus is offering protection for those who flee (note, if you are a Gentile living in Jerusalem, feel free to flee with them – you will also be protected!).  Where should they go?

and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days. (Revelation 12:5 ESV)

And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.  But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.  The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood.  But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth.  (Revelation 12:13-16 ESV)

The woman, who is the elect remnant of Israel, will be assisted by God to flee to the place He has prepared for her in the wilderness for 1260 days (equal to time, times, and half a time; where time= 1 year).  Most people interpret this location to be Petra, in Jordan (ancient region of Edom, which will be spared from the antichrist’s hand – Daniel 11:41).  (For more on Petra, see THIS YouTube clip)

petra-tomb

That she is given wings like an eagle to flee, speaks of her speed and God’s assistance in her flight.  It brings to mind when God brought them into the wilderness the first time in the first Exodus, in which He also refers to bearing them on wings like an eagle:

 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. (Exodus 19:4 ESV)

Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. (Exodus 23:20 ESV)

That the dragon/serpent pours water like a river out of his mouth in order to sweep her away, I really just see as the antichrist sending his troops after her.  That the earth opens up and swallows them could be sinkholes or an earthquake.

I believe this point in time is when Michael, the angel prince in charge of Israel, rises.  He rises to protect the elect remnant that have obediently fled, and perhaps stands guard to protect them in the wilderness.  This would also parallel the first Exodus, where God’s angel went before them in the wilderness.  It also might explain why Edom (Petra) is untouchable by the antichrist.

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 ESV)

Michael is the angel assigned to protect Israel (Jude 1:9).  It appears that Michael will stand for the obedient elect Israel who flee to the wilderness.  He will stand guard over them for the 1260 days of the antichrist’s rule – this is why Edom (Jordan) escapes out of the antichrist’s hand.  This leading to, and protection in, the wilderness is a similar parallel to the first exodus.

And so the faithful woman will be sheltered under the shadow of the Almighty:

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”  Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.  (Psalm 91:1-4 ESV)

 

Remember that Jesus has longed for this moment:

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!  (Matthew 23:37 ESV)

Israel’s children have been gathered at last, to be safely sheltered under the wings of the God who loves her so.  Perhaps the Lord will supply manna for this chosen remnant; wouldn’t that be a beautiful thing?

Last-Minute Protection

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 ESV)

In Revelation 18, during the description of the destruction of Mystery Babylon (the end-times city of Jerusalem), we are introduced to a voice from heaven which calls forth – “Come out of her, my people!”.  Since these people belong to the voice, this voice can belong to none other than Jesus Himself.  Jesus is offering a final escape, before the imminent destruction of Mystery Babylon commences.  But how are the people supposed to come out?  Where are they supposed to go?  The option to flee to the wilderness and be protected for 1260 days after the abomination of desolation (as per Revelation 12 and Matthew 24) has long since passed.  The answer comes to us through the prophet Zechariah:

 

Behold, a day is coming for the Lord, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst.  For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city.  Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle.  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. On that day there shall be no light, cold, or frost.  And there shall be a unique day, which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but at evening time there shall be light. On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea It shall continue in summer as in winter. And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day the Lord will be one and his name one.  (Zechariah 14:1-9 ESV)

In Zechariah chapter 14 we learn of God’s last-second-grace towards the last few stragglers of His believing remnant in Jerusalem.  Now, it’s a little confusing, so let’s go over the passage a little bit at a time.  The day that is coming is the End of the Day of the Lord – the Second Coming of Christ. This is the time when all the nations will gather against Jerusalem to battle for the Battle of Armageddon.  Note that Zechariah 14 ties together our previous discussions that Mystery Babylon is the end-times city of Jerusalem.  When the nations amass for the Battle of Armageddon, they also destroy Mystery Babylon – much to her surprise and dismay.  She will “sit as a queen” no longer. This likely happens between the 6th and 7th Bowl Judgments, although Jerusalem (in its current form) will be destroyed more completely at the 7th Bowl.

Also of note is that Jesus inserts a warning that He is coming like a thief in between the 6th and 7th Bowls, and that “Blessed is the one who stays awake”.  Those who are awake and watching will hear His call to  “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 ESV).  It seems that possibly half the city will go into exile (come out of the city) in obedience.  On that day, the day that the city goes into exile, the Mount of Olives will be split to create a path for the exiles to flee “as before a great earthquake”.  Whether Jesus literally touches down on the Mount of Olives at this time, I am not sure.  What is clear is that the Mount of Olives splitting in two to allow fleeing, is not at the same time as Jerusalem splitting in three at the 7th Bowl Judgment.  The fleeing is a true escape option.

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 2:31-32 ESV)

This escape route is also detailed in Joel 2. Remember how when Peter quoted Joel 2 in Acts 2 he stopped after “And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved”?  That salvation was for the church age, and marked its’ end at the rapture.  Now, we see the final fulfillment of that verse.  Again, “it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved”, but this time it will be those who flee from Mount Zion and Jerusalem – “there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.”.  This is the elect remnant of Israel – “and so all Israel shall be saved.” (Romans 11:26).

God, in His faithfulness, will extend every opportunity to His elect.

Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

Further Resources:

Edom, Moab, and Ammon (GraceThruFaith)

What is the Significance of the City of Petra in the Bible (gotquestions)

Jerusalem at the End of the Age (GraceThruFaith)

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

 The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  Be a Berean – examine the scriptures for yourself to see if these things are so!

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The Mount of Olives – Final Escape Route

Come Out of Her, My People

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 ESV

In Revelation 18, during the description of the destruction of Mystery Babylon, we are introduced to a voice from heaven which calls forth – “Come out of her, my people!”.  Since these people belong to the voice, this voice can belong to none other than Jesus Himself.  Jesus is offering a final escape, before the imminent destruction of Mystery Babylon commences.  But how are the people supposed to come out?  Where are they supposed to go?  The option to flee to the wilderness and be protected for 1260 days after the abomination of desolation (as per Revelation 12 and Matthew 24) has long since passed.  The answer comes to us through the prophet Zechariah:

 

Behold, a day is coming for the Lord, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst.  For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city.  Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle.  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. On that day there shall be no light, cold, or frost.  And there shall be a unique day, which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but at evening time there shall be light. On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea It shall continue in summer as in winter. And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day the Lord will be one and his name one.  (Zechariah 14:1-9 ESV)

Now, it’s a little confusing, so let’s go over the passage a little bit at a time.  “The Day” that is coming is the End of the Day of the Lord – the Second Coming of Christ. This is the time when all the nations will gather against Jerusalem for the Battle of Armageddon.  Note that Zechariah 14 ties together our previous discussions that Mystery Babylon is identified as the end-times city of Jerusalem.  When the nations amass for the Battle of Armageddon, they also destroy Mystery Babylon – much to her surprise and dismay.  She will “sit as a queen” no longer.  Let’s review Bowl 6 and the gathering of these armies at Armageddon (near or even within Jerusalem herself):

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.  (Revelation 16:12-16 ESV)

Did you note that Jesus inserts that He is coming like a thief here?  And Blessed is the one who stays awake?  Those who are awake and watching will hear His call to  “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 ESV).  It seems that possibly half the city will go into exile (come out of the city – Zechariah 14:2) in obedience.  On that day, the day that the city goes into exile, the Mount of Olives may be split to create a path for the exiles to flee “as before a great earthquake”.

Whether Jesus literally touches down on the Mount of Olives at this time, I am not sure.  What is clear is that this Mount of Olives splitting in two to allow fleeing, is not at the same time as Jerusalem splitting in three at the 7th Bowl Judgment.  The fleeing is a true escape option.  This escape route is also detailed in Joel 2:

“And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke.  The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.  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 2:30-32 ESV)

Everyone Who Calls Upon the Name of the Lord

Remember how when Peter quoted Joel 2 in Acts 2 he stopped after “And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved”?  That statement is transitional.  It links the two different escape options that the Lord provides:

  1.  First Fulfillment – BEFORE the Day of the Lord, there is an option to escape what is coming upon the earth.  (Luke 21:36)  That salvation is for the church age, and is known as the (pretribulation) rapture.  Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved in the rapture.  Then, a new set of believers will begin to accumulate.
  2. Second (Dual) Fulfillment – Before the final outpouring of God’s wrath, again, “it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved”. This time it will be those who literally, physically flee from Mount Zion and Jerusalem – “there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.”.  This is the remainder of the elect remnant of Israel – “and so all Israel shall be saved.” (Romans 11:26).

When Does the Calling Out Occur?

Can we put this calling out and fleeing on a timeline?  I believe that the 9th plague from the First Exodus may give us a hint:

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness to be felt.”  So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was pitch darkness in all the land of Egypt three days.  They did not see one another, nor did anyone rise from his place for three days, but all the people of Israel had light where they lived.  (Exodus 10:21-23 ESV)

Compare this with Bowl 5:

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.  (Revelation 16:10-11 ESV)

Is it possible that the earthquake that divides Mount Olives to provide deliverance for the remnant of Israel will occur 3 days after the darkness of Bowl 5?  This would parallel God’s deliverance of Israel after 3 days of darkness at the first exodus.

Wrath Poured Out on Those Left Behind

Of the people who do not go into exile, those that remain in the city, the Lord will then go out and fight against the nations that have amassed there.  This is when He comes, with all His holy ones with Him. This will happen on a special day where “there shall be no light, cold, or frost.  And there shall be a unique day, which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but at evening time there shall be light.”  The light that is seen is the Sign of the Son of Man:

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.  His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself.  He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.  And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses.  From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.  On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. (Revelation 19:11-16 ESV)

The Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and the outpouring of Bowl 7, culminates in the final destruction of Jerusalem (Mystery Babylon) and the armies gathered against Jesus (in and around Jerusalem) in the Battle of Armageddon.  It is finished.

The earthquake of Bowl 7 finishes preparing the earth for the Messianic Kingdom.

On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea It shall continue in summer as in winter. And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day the Lord will be one and his name one.  (Zechariah 14:8-9 ESV)

What a welcome day this will be for those believers who have been suffering through the greatest tribulation of all time!  They are about to be ushered into the Millennial Kingdom, where the curse will be reversed and long lives will be granted.


Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

 The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  Be a Berean – examine the scriptures for yourself to see if these things are so!

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God’s Final 3 Announcing Angels

In between the Trumpet Judgments and the 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 Day of the Lord / 70th Week of Daniel / Antichrist’s rule.  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 / 7 bowl judgements 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 so often assumed.  Personally, I think this is because the mark may alter human DNA – and thus “if the days were not cut short, no human would be saved”.

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.” (Rev 14:6-7 ESV)

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.”  (ESV)  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 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.

I’m wondering if this gospel-proclaiming angel perhaps flies on the last Feast of Trumpets.  This first angel’s announcement would then maybe mark the start of the final “10 Days of Awe” (repentance).

Whenever it is, 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.” (Rev 14:8 ESV)

The second angel announces the imminent destruction of Mystery Babylon, which I have detailed elsewhere that I believe is the end-times city of Jerusalem.  The Beast and his 10-king confederacy turn on Mystery Babylon at the end of his reign and destroy her.  This comes much to her surprise, as she has been drunk in worship of him all this time.  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.” (Rev 14:9-11 ESV)

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.


Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

 The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  Be a Berean – examine the scriptures for yourself to see if these things are so!

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