1 Corinthians 15:51-52 “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
The rapture of the church will be a moment in history that will shake the world. In what will be a compelling moment for many to fear and hide, some will realize the true nature of what just occurred and discover to their horror the shallowness of their belief.
The prophecies regarding the final days of the church have been spoken of for thousands of years, it’s no wonder so many people turn off their receptors when this imminent event is discussed. There have been many false prophets that have claimed to have knowledge of when this event will occur and all of those dates have come and gone in succession.
I don’t want to talk about when this event will occur, I want to share hope with those who will be left behind. Those who have listened to the warnings, have partaken of the services or revivals, or have even used the name christian as part of their identity and yet never gave their hearts to Christ….they will discover they never knew Him. It is this group of people who have realized their critical error and have found themselves having to partake of the greatest testing the world has ever known, it is to these I want to leave a final word.
Isaiah 13:9 “Behold, the day of the LORD comes, Cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, To lay the land desolate; And He will destroy its sinners from it.”
The false ideologies of this world will be exposed by the rapture of the church. All those who have entrusted their salvation to false prophets will be left holding a bag of empty promises. Muhammed, Charles Russell, Joseph Smith, Buddha, to name a few…the followers of these liars will be shocked to find the systems they established were founded in sin, rebellion, and idolatry. Behind every false doctrine is the great deceiver, Satan himself. There are so many ways for people to be led astray, it seems that a world system has been created for people to pick and choose their style like going to an ice cream parlor and choosing your flavor.
There is only One Way to salvation and that is by the blood of the Lamb. Some have made Jesus’ legacy into a sideshow, other’s have relegated Him to a child of incest, or a created being that had grandiose aspirations but was never who He claimed to be…God incarnate.
Most people have heard the gospel but many have not believed it. You’ve missed the rapture—-now what? What can you expect? What lays in store for you now that you’ve been left behind?
The Anti-Christ will arise.
Once the initial shock of losing millions of people simultaneously has passed, a central figure will arise upon the earth in whom the world will rally behind, a strong figure that plans to unite all of the kingdoms of the earth. The intent for world control will be labeled as one meant to be a peace mission, an opportunity to reestablish the world economy. The first 3 1/2 years of the tribulation is a giant set-up for what is yet to come. With the loss of the church, a massive world wide banking crisis will turn into despair. To combat this catastrophe, resources will be funneled into a new regime, an epicenter will be established, power will be relegated to this super commander in chief, and evil will loom in the background for a while. Currency will become unified under one title, more than likely a cashless society will take form and control of all commerce will be held in check by this One World government. Militaries will unite under his leadership and all who stray from his command will be punished by all of the world. A false prophet will also become prominent in this day, one who believes the antichrist is deity and ushers in a form of religion that forces people to worship this evil ruler, it is during this time that 144,000 previously orthodox jews will realize that Jesus was indeed the Messiah and will begin a world-wide evangelistic crusade.
Stages of Judgement
As outlined in Revelation 5-19, a series of judgements will befall the earth as ordered by God Himself; Seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven bowls of wrath. What looked like a new order of peace and security during the first 3 1/2 years will turn into a living nightmare for all who dwell upon the earth.
The 7 Seals
: Revelation 6:1-17
The seals hold a scroll closed and as each seal is broken a new judgement is unleashed upon the earth.
The angel calls forth in Heaven and seeks the One who is worthy….
Revelation 5:2 “And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?”
vs. 3-5 “But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or look inside it. And I began to weep bitterly, because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or look inside it.
Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
Why is Jesus worthy to open the scrolls? The purpose of the judgements is to draw forth any who might follow Christ and receive grace. The opportunity will be given through worldwide trials. In the midst of great suffering, the grace of God continues to shine forth, beckoning any remnant to come and know His goodness.
1. The first seal introduces the AntiChrist. Revelation 6:2 “And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer.”
2. The second seal releases warfare throughout the earth. Revelation 6:4 “And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.”
3. The third seal releases famine. Revelation 6:5 “When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a black horse! And its rider had a pair of scales in his hand.”
4. When the fourth seal is opened, 1/4 of the earth’s population are killed “by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.” Revelation 6:7-8 “When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.”
5. The scroll’s fifth seal reveals those who will be martyred for their faith in Christ during the tribulation. Revelation 6:9 “When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne.”
6. When the Lamb of God opens the sixth seal, a devastating earthquake occurs, causing massive upheaval and terrible devastation—along with unusual astronomical phenomena: the sun turns black, and the moon turns blood-red, and “the heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Survivors of the sixth seal, regardless of their social position, take refuge in caves and cry out to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” Revelation 6:12-14
7. When the seventh seal is opened there is silence in Heaven for 1/2 hour. Reminiscent of the Sabbath day of rest God took on the seventh day after creation, a brief pause occurs before the following judgments. Revelation 8:1 “When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.”
The next phase is about to begin and immediately 7 angels are handed 7 trumpets that are ready to sound. An eighth angel takes a censer and burns “much incense” in it, representing the prayers of God’s people (verses 3–4). The angel then took the same censer, “filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake” (verse 5).
Historically, the blowing of the shofar represented many things. The Tekiah sound of the trumpet would signal everyone’s attention regarding the entrance of the King. The Shevarim sound resembled weeping. The Truah sound was like a wakeup call. The Tekiah gedolah blast was a long call that signaled the wrapping up of an event.
The world will hear the calls of the Trumpets and will be given notice…but will they understand?
1. Hail and fire will destroy much of the plant life in the world Revelation 8:7 “The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.”
2. The second trumpet targets the seas. Then the second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned to blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. (Revelation 8:8-11),
3. The third trumpet targets the water systems. A meteor falls to the earth called Wormwood and a third of the waters turned bitter like wormwood oil, and many people died from the bitter waters.
4. The 4th trumpet affects the sun, moon, and stars. After the 4th angel blows the trumpet, a third of the sun and moon and stars were struck. A third of the stars were darkened, a third of the day was without light, and a third of the night as well.(Revelation 8:12).
5. The fifth trumpet releases Satan with power to use demonic influence, described as locusts, to torment those who have rejected God. Surprisingly, they are allowed to torment but those who they torment won’t die. (Revelation 9:1-11)
6. The sixth angel releases an army that brings a terror that not even Hollywood can replicate. (Revelation 9:12-21). With the sixth trumpet, four angels are released along with an army of 200 million which is probably a demonic army. They proceed to kill one third of all the people on the earth.
If there was any doubt who is King, the 7th Trumpet announces who is on the throne.
7. Then the seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and loud voices called out in heaven: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever.” Then the temple of God in heaven was opened, and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple. And there were flashes of lightning, and rumblings, and peals of thunder, and an earthquake, and a great hailstorm.
I encourage you to read Revelation 10 and 11 to gain a better understanding of these events.
7 Bowls of Wrath
The Bowls of Wrath will be the final series of judgements upon a world corrupted with sin. What the seals and trumpets did in part, the bowls will bring to completion. Any trailing hope in idols to rescue them, they will be proven futile before God’s wrath. Notice the correlation of the plagues of Egypt to the final bowls of wrath in the last days.
Revelation 15:1 “Then I saw another great and marvelous sign in heaven: seven angels with the seven final plagues, with which the wrath of God is completed.”
1. Loathsome sores. So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth, and loathsome, malignant sores broke out on those who had the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. For those who trusted in the flesh, their idolatry will be ruined. (Revelation 16:2)
2. Seas of blood. And the second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it turned to blood like that of the dead, and every living thing in the sea died. (Revelation 16:3)
3. River of blood. And the third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and springs of water, and they turned to blood. (Revelation 16:4)
4. Scorching Sun. Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was given power to scorch the people with fire. (Revelation 16:8)
5. Darkness. And the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness, and men began to gnaw their tongues in anguish. (Revelation 16:10)
6. War. And 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 of the East. And they assembled the kings in the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon. (Revelation 16:13,16)
7. God’s Fury. Bowl number seven looks into the air, and from the throne, a loud voice cries, “It’s completed!” (Revelation 16:17). The seventh bowl signifies the end of the judgments on the arena. The earth may experience a super earthquake.
Jerusalem will split into three components and the international cities will collapse. Mountain ranges will disappear, and humans will be hit by huge, hundred-pound hailstones.
In this bowl, there are interesting parallels with the moment of Jesus’ death at the cross. Jesus says, “It is finished” (John 19:30), and the earth shakes, and the veil is torn in two (Matthew 27:51).
Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came from the throne in the temple, saying, “It is done!” and there were flashes of lightning, and rumblings, and peals of thunder, and a great earthquake the likes of which had not occurred since men were upon the earth—so mighty was the great quake. The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. And God remembered Babylon the great and gave her the cup of the wine of the fury of His wrath.” Then every island fled, and no mountain could be found. And great hailstones weighing almost a hundred pounds each rained down on them from above. And men cursed God for the plague of hail, because it was so horrendous. (Revelation 16:17-21).
Wow…If this sequence of events doesn’t make you take notice of where you are now, nothing will. These events will be as close to Hell on Earth as possible and while there are reminders of God’s greatness, there is equal reminder of mankind’s frailty.
Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are Your judgments.”
“Great and wonderful are Your works, O Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the nations! Who will not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before You, for Your righteous acts have been revealed.”
Everything that God does reveals His glory. The judgements will call every last man or woman from the earth who might be saved from eternal judgement. The judgements will also show just how important salvation is for every person on earth and how much God hates sin.
We do not want to spend one day upon this earth during the great tribulation. The time of Christ’s return is imminent and He gives us a reminder of how to stay ready.
Revelation 16:15 “Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who remains awake and clothed, so that he will not go naked and let his shame be exposed.”
If your not ready….GET READY. If you don’t have a walk with Christ I encourage you to do it now. Humble yourself before Him, accept the grace He so readily offers and follow Him with all your heart. Jesus will accept you as you are. Trust Him and you will be spared from the wrath to come.