Much of the church today tends to ignore prophecy, or at least, put it to one side, deeming it to be ‘difficult’, ‘hard to understand’ or even divisive! In ‘The Purpose Driven Life’, a book embraced by many churches both in the UK and in America, pastor Rick Warren made the following incredible statement: “When the disciples wanted to talk about prophecy, Jesus quickly switched the conversation to evangelism. He said in essence. “The details of my return are none of your business.” – yes, pastor Rick says the details of Jesus’ return are not for us to worry our little heads over! Err…. Excuse me! In the words of an old Christian song “If the Bible don’t back it then it seems quite clear, perhaps it was the Devil who whispered in your ear!”
Seems to me like pastor Rick and those who subscribe to views like this should spend less time on motivations pep talks and get back to what the Bible actually says!
The Bible actually says:
“Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” (Matt 24:5)
“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. (Matt 24:25-26)
Now learn a parable of the fig tree…… (Matt 24:32)
So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near (Matt 24:33)
Therefore be ye also ready……… (Matt 24:44)
Watch therefore…….. (Matt 25:13)
Take heed lest any man deceive you: (Mark 13:5)
But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that reads understand,) (Mark 13:14)
For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things. (Mark 13:22-23)
Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. (Mark 13:33)
Watch ye therefore (Mark 13:35)
And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch (Mark 13:37)
Take heed that ye be not deceived (Luke 21:8)
And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. (Luke 21:28)
Doesn’t look like this is ‘none of our concern’!
In fact, almost one third of the Bible is made up of prophecy; and God says that prophecy is unique to Him, and is evidence that His Word is supernatural and from outside this time domain.
In Isaiah 46:9-10 God says: “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure”.
Prophecy is not a prediction about the future. We make predictions, which are really educated guesses, about things like the weather, or a sporting contest. We have a little bit of information, and coupled with experience we give it our best guess. But prophecy is history recorded in advance by a God who is outside of Time!
Without doubt, one of the most detailed areas of prophecy in the Bible has to do with the ‘Day of the LORD’, or as we are often more familiar, ‘the Tribulation’. This coming seven-year period begins in chapter 6 of Revelation, and concludes in chapter 19. This period of time is spoken of by a number of names in both the Old and New Testaments:
The Tribulation in the Old Testament
The Time of Jacob’ Trouble – Jeremiah 30:7
The Seventieth Week of Daniel – Daniel 9:27
God’s Strange Work – Isaiah 28:21
The Day of Calamity – Deuteronomy 32:35-43
The Day of the Lord – Obadiah 15-17 / Isaiah 2:12 / 13:6-9 / Joel Ch 1-2
The Tribulation – Deuteronomy 4:26-31
God’s Indignation – Isaiah 26:20-21 / Daniel 11:36-37 / Isaiah 34:2
The Overflowing Scourge – Isaiah 28:15, 18
The Day of Vengeance – Isaiah 34:1-8 / Isaiah 61:2
The Time of Trouble – Daniel 12:1
The Great Day of The Lord – Zephaniah 1:14-18
The Tribulation in the New Testament
The Day of the Lord – 1 Thessalonians 5:2
The Wrath of God – Rev 15:1 / 14:10
The Hour of Trial – Rev 3:10
The Wrath to Come – 1 Thessalonians 1:10
The Great Tribulation – Matthew 24:21 / Revelation 2:22
The Hour of Judgment – Revelation 14:7
In Chapter 6 of Revelation we see the beginning of the wrath of God being poured out on this unbelieving and Christ-rejecting world. The Lamb – bearing the marks of slaughter – now begins to break the seals on the scroll, and with each succeeding seal that is broken there is an accompanying event that unfolds, as if part of a chain reaction. This will usher in the most terrifying and cataclysmic period of history since the Flood of Noah. We will see world-wide conflict, poverty and starvation on an unimaginable scale, disease and pestilence that will confound the World Health Organisation and will be so great that a quarter of the Earth’s population will be wiped out in a matter of months. Then we will see the largest earthquake ever recorded, where every island – including the British Isles – will be rocked and shaken. But remember, this is just the ‘birth pangs’!
The following verse-by-verse study notes of Revelation chapter 6 accompany the audio teaching given on the 6th March 2016, available for download from our ‘Sunday morning studies’ section.
Before moving into Revelation chapter 6, it is helpful to look at how God foretold this period of time, and to realise that the Tribulation is not merely an intense period of persecution, it is the outpouring of God’s wrath on this world:
Isaiah 2:10-21 “Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty. The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall, And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures. And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. And the idols he shall utterly abolish. And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.”
Isaiah 13:6-13 “Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt: And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames… Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir. Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.”
Zephaniah 1:14-18 “The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’s wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.”
Isaiah 26:20-21 “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.”
The New Testament is also gives many details, so that we should not be ignorant of these things!
1 Thessalonians 5:1-9 “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ”
Matthew 24:4-22 “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened”.
2 Thessalonians 2:3-8 “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked [one] be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming”
Other background reading: Mark 13 / Luke 21 / 2 Thessalonians 2
One thing already alluded to in our studies is that this period of time will last for seven years, itself divided into two periods of three and a half years. Three times in Revelation itself this is highlighted. In Revelation 11:3 the first three and a half years are referred to as ‘a thousand two hundred and threescore days’ – being the time that God will raise up two witnesses to witness from Jerusalem (more of them when we study chapter 11!). The second reference is in chapter 12v6, and records the time God will protect Israel from Antichrist, during the last three and a half years of the Tribulation. The final reference in 12v14 also concerns this time of Israel’s protection and is stated as being “a time, and times, and half a time”. This might initially sound strange to us, but back in Daniel we find a the same expression used in chapter 4 where it is clear that ‘seven times’ means seven years; and in Daniel 7:25 and 12:7 we have “a time and times and the dividing of time”, where ‘time’ (singular) = 1 year, ‘times’ (plural) = 2 years and ‘half a time’ / ‘the dividing of time’ = half a year.
But why seven years?
The Seventieth Week of Daniel
To answer that we need to again go back to the book of Daniel. In chapter 9 we have what is arguably the single most incredible prophecy in the Bible! That is quite a claim, but this prophecy foretold the very day Jesus would enter into Jerusalem, presenting Himself as King, on what we now know as Palm Sunday – over 500 years before the event! However the real scope of this prophecy is the future for the nation of Israel, and the city of Jerusalem.
I have annotated the text below to aid understanding – however this is worthy of a detailed study in its own right, and you are encouraged to be Bereans (Acts 17:11) and search the scriptures to see if these things are so!
“24 Seventy weeks [490 years] are determined upon thy people [Daniel’s people, Israel] and upon thy holy city [Daniel’s city, Jerusalem], to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. [These things have not been completed, so we know the prophecy has not yet been concluded].
25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem [given by Artaxerxes Longimanus in 445 B.C.] unto the Messiah the Prince [literally, ‘Jesus the King’] shall be seven weeks [49 years], and threescore and two weeks [434 years] – [totaling 483 years]: the street [of Jerusalem] shall be built again, and the wall [surrounding Jerusalem shall be rebuilt…], even in troublous times. [The troubles Israel had in rebuilding the city are detailed in the book of Nehemiah].
26 And after threescore and two weeks [so after the 483 years – but before the final 7 years…] shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself [Jesus was crucified and ‘cut off’ (Psalm 37:22) from the land of the living (Isaiah 53:8), but not for His sin, but ours]: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary… [the people who destroyed the city of Jerusalem were the Romans, so the prince mentioned here is Antichrist who is yet to come, who will also be ‘of the Romans’ i.e. will come out of the remains of the Roman Empire] and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined [viz. Israel are in for a very bumpy ride!]
[At the point the 483 years stopped, there were still 7 more years of the prophecy to run. This interval has now lasted for over 1900 years, but we are now poised for this prophetic clock to start ticking once again!]
27 And he [the price who shall come – namely Antichrist] shall confirm [ratify] the covenant [a peace treaty]with many [implying Israel and others] for one week [and here we have our final 7 years of this prophecy which become the 7 years of the Tribulation]: and in the midst of the week [after 3 ½ years] he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease [meaning that Antichrist will stop Israel from offering sacrifices in their newly to-be-rebuilt temple – thus breaking his covenant with them], and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, [in a re-run of the historical events of 167 B.C. where Antiochus Epiphanies desecrated the then Jewish Temple by erecting an image of himself and sacrificing a pig on the alter, Antichrist will do the same] even until the consummation [until everything God has decreed has been completed], and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate [and God’s judgment has been poured upon those who will be made desolate]” (Daniel 9:24-27).
REVELATION CHAPTER 6
1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
The Lamb – bearing the marks of slaughter – now begins to break the seals on the scroll, and with each succeeding seal that is broken there is an accompanying event that unfolds, as if part of a chain reaction.
The first thing John records is the noise like thunder, and it’s as if this ‘thunder’ reverberates back through time and into eternity. For now the Lamb, who had been found worthy open the seals, who had been found a rightful kinsman of Adam and able to claim back the title to Adam’s forfeited inheritance, begins to lay claim to what He has purchased!
All that follows in chapter 6-19 is the outworking of the Lamb wresting from the hand of Satan all that Satan can no longer legally keep. This world and all therein is now the Second Adam’s. Yet Satan does not give up his prize without a fight.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
There is much written, both in fact and fiction about these horsemen; but as to whether they will in some way ride on literal horses, time will tell. There is however no reason to believe that this is now purely allegorical. What is sure is that the colours of the horses themselves are significant, and none more so than with this first rider on the white horse.
At the end of the Tribulation Jesus will ride out of Heaven on a white horse, so some think this could also be Jesus here. However a little closer study and we see that this is one imitating Jesus, coming as it were in the place of Christ!
The rider in Revelation 19 is clearly identified as ‘the Word of God’ wearing a ‘diadem’ crown, such as worn by a King; it is unmistakably Jesus. However, the crown worn by the rider here in chapter 6 is a ‘stephanos’ crown, the type of crown given to an overcomer or victor. The fact that this rider is wearing such a crown shows they are coming to conquer, and by being on a white horse underlines that is part of a deliberate attempt to deceive. Jesus spoke of many coming in His name to deceive (Matthew 24:5), but also spoke of one specific individual who would not come in the Father’s name, but in his own name (John 5:43).
We also note that this individual has a bow. Some commentators have drawn a parallel with Nimrod, whom we read about in Genesis 10, who was a ‘mighty hunter’ and the first world dictator, setting up the first ‘one world government’ at Babel. This suggestion is certainly provocative, as Nimrod is without doubt a type or shadow of Antichrist. What is also significant is the fact that he has a bow, but no arrows! Our thinking naturally assume the bow is a weapon, however when we look at the word ‘bow’ we find that in Greek the word is ‘toxon’. The only other place this word is used is in the Greek Septuagint translation of the Old Testament where it occurs in Genesis 9:13, and it is the symbol of a covenant!
So what we have here is a rider posing as Christ, bringing a covenant, and going forth to conquer. This can be none other than Antichrist.
This is confirmed by Daniel 8:23-25 where we are told that this man will magnify himself in his own heart, be anti-Christ, and conquer by bringing false peace.
“And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.
And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.” (Daniel 8:23-25)
3 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.
4 And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
We now will see three other horses, and although the identity of the riders may not be known, the judgments they are bringing were foretold by Jesus in Matthew 24. “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”
Breaking this down:
“……For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” The white horse is Antichrist will be the culmination of all the false Christ’s that have preceded him and will establish a one world religion, worshipping him.
“……And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars……..For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom”
These quotes come from the Old Testament, ‘nation against nation’ comes from 2 Chronicles 15:1-7, and ‘kingdom against kingdom’ from Isaiah 19:1-4. In their original contexts they point to a total conflict of the area in view. When Jesus uses these expressions the area in view is the whole world. The first time this prophecy was fulfilled was with the First World War, and then with the 2nd World War – which in many respects was a continuation of the 1st.
The second rider, on the red horse, takes peace from the earth suggesting another world war.
40% of a global spending is on weapons. $3 Trillion per year spent on weapons, which equates to $8.5 Billion per day. $344 Million per hour $100,000 per second. There are 27 countries with long range ballistic missiles, and at least 10 with nuclear weapons. 50% of all scientific research is given over to weapons and weapons systems – yet every 8 seconds a child dies of hunger!
From the prophecies in Daniel we know that when Antichrist rises to power he will at first be the head of a 10 ‘nation’ confederacy. However he will subdue three of the ‘kings’ taking total power. It is easy to see how a world war would leave people wanting a leader, already known for bringing peace, to assume complete control and sort things out.
5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
“……..and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (Matthew 24: 7)
History has recorded how wars have led to famines and plagues. More people died from disease and starvation after the 1st World War than died in the war itself.
As the third rider comes on a black horse we hear the cry “Three measures of meal for a ‘denarion’”. In our language, that is a day’s wage for a loaf of bread. That’s somewhere in the region of £50 for a loaf!
But notice, as is always the case, the oil and wine are not affected. In other words, the rich get richer while the rest of the world plummets toward poverty.
As evangelist Barry Smith used to say, by controlling energy they control nations, and by controlling food they control individuals. All of this puts global power in the hands of Antichrist.
7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
This is a combination of all the first three riders, war, famine, pestilence and ‘the beasts of the earth’ – probably due to the shortage of food. Chemical/nuclear warfare may also play a part.
‘One fourth of the earth’ is over 1.3 Billion people. It is the equivalent of all of Europe, all of North America, all of Canada, all of Central America and Mexico, all of South America – all dead.
It is hard to even begin to imagine the carnage that will occur for those left on the Earth during this time – but it is also clear to see why Paul refers to the Rapture of the church as a blessed hope!
9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
Who are these martyrs? They seem to be distinct from the Elders; so whilst, throughout the history of the church, there have been countless numbers who have been martyred for naming the name of Christ, the context here implies that these martyrs have been recently slain, and they are asking God to avenge their blood on those who are on the earth at that time. They must therefore be people who were martyred during the start of the Tribulation. This will be confirmed in Rev 7:9-14.
It is worth noting that they are ‘souls’ and they are conscious, ie no ‘soul sleep’, which is the unbiblical idea that when we die we enter a state of unconsciousness until we are resurrected with new bodies. When we die we are immediately in the presence of the Lord (cf. Phil 1:23) (or in Hades, depending on which destination we have chosen to go to!). This is also confirmation that ‘we’ – the real us – are our souls. Our bodies are the temporary house that our souls live in, and our spirit – or if you will, our ‘conscience’ – is given by God for the duration that we are in our bodies to act as our God-consciousness. When we die our spirit ‘goes back to God who gave it’ (Ecclesiastes 12:7), but our soul will enter Eternity.
How did these people get saved? 1) By the testimony that we have left, 2) By the preaching of the gospel by the 144,000 Jewish evangelists that we will meet in chapter 7.
We should leave notes for our unsaved friends and family!
We should also note that there will be unparalleled persecution to the death during this time – it’s much better to get saved now, because, as we see in the next verse, it appears that to be saved during the Tribulation time results in being martyred for your faith.
And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
Again, these is a set number that only God knows who will go to Heaven. It’s not that there are limited places in Heaven, but rather that the places in Heaven are limited to only those who repent and accept Christ.
Two questions for further study: Will these martyred saints be part of the Church? (the Bride of Christ). And: Where is the Holy Spirit during the Tribulation?
And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
There are five earthquakes recorded during the Tribulation time: Rev:6:12 / Rev 8:5 / Rev 11:13 / Rev 11:19 / Rev 16:18. All of them are serious and cause great fear. However the last one is the one recorded in Isaiah 24:19-20 and is the ‘daddy’ of them all.
There are also five times that the Sun is turned to blackness, the first being before the Tribulation begins as recorded in Joel 2:31/ Acts 2:20, the last is immediately after the Tribulation as foretold by Jesus in Matt 24:29 / Mark 13:24, the others are here in Rev 6:12 and also Rev 8:12 and Rev 9:2.
Two other occasions in scripture are Exodus 10:21-23 (Moses & Pharaoh) and Matthew 27:45 (the crucifixion).
These could be ‘natural’ (Cf. Mt St Helens) or supernatural – either way I don’t want to be here!
And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
“Stars of the heaven” – in the Greek is ‘aster’ from where we get the word Asteroid.
Of asteroids we are told: ‘Their diameters range from 930 kilometres to less than one kilometre’ In Arizona in America there is a meteor crater that is a mile wide and 600ft deep; there is one in Siberia that is even bigger! NASA and other agencies have acknowledged the real threat posed from Asteroids and they have come up with a plan to shoot these huge space rocks into lots of little pieces by sending nuclear missiles into space to blow them up before they get to earth – just like we see on the films! – The only problem is back in 1989 they discovered an asteroid that was 50,000 miles, equating to 10 hours away from the earth, but they didn’t notice it ‘till it had passed by!
Seemingly, these asteroids don’t miss!
And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
It is hard to imagine every mountain and island being moved. However in August 1883 the volcanic island of Krakatoa in Indonesia erupted, it was heard 3000 miles away, it changed the tides up to 7000 miles away; that’s over half way around the world in each direction. Tidal waves for 1500 miles were recorded, and it took the weather two years to recover. And that was just one volcanic mountain!
“And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains”
This covers everyone! No one will escape from this. Jonah tried to hide from God – it doesn’t work! One commentator said that holes in the ground will become the most expensive real estate in the world during this time – so for those who don’t want to accept Jesus now, go by a hole while it is still cheep!
And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
For years this verse has amazed me. How can people be so arrogant as to acknowledge that these disasters are from God’s hand, and yet still not submit to Him, and bow the knee in reverent fear?
I now am certain that part of the answer lies in the fact that people are gradually being conditioned and prepared for this time by the Devil. The last 50 years on this earth have seen some amazing technological advances, some of which I believe God will use during the Tribulation as we will see. But Satan also has, and will continue to use these things to his advantage wherever possible. One of the most powerful ‘tools’ that the Devil uses is the media in general, and in particular movies. Now I’m not saying that all movies are a work of Satan, but over the last 50 years we have seen a growing number of disaster movies with recent films such as Independence Day (alien invasion), The Core (major planetary problems), Armageddon (meteor on collision course with earth), Volcano (major volcanic eruption), Earthquake 10.0 (half of America’s coast line falls into sea), Meteor (another big space rock on a collision course), The Day After Tomorrow (major climate change), Waterworld (ice caps melt & continents disappear) etc. etc. The one thing all of these have in common is that mankind wins in the end. This is now so ingrained that people won’t turn to God because the mentality will be ‘we must be able to fix this somehow!’
For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
The truth is that no one will be able to stand against the wrath of God, absolutely no one.
To be continued…