THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON

by David Dence

I developed a keen interest in this subject when I discovered to my surprise how little my friends know about the Battle of Armageddon. Many great men have suffered because their view of Armageddon differed from their superiors. Sad. Armageddon is NOT a salvation issue. I will not be saved or lost based on my understanding or misunderstanding of this subject. Thus I should never disparage those who hold a different view.

Some have argued that the Battle of Armageddon will be a spiritual battle, while others have insisted that it will be fought with real weapons and armaments. Some have taught that the focus of the battle will be literal Israel. And of course the exact location of the battle has always been a point of contention. So, does it really matter. Fifty years ago? Perhaps not. But if indeed the battle of Armageddon is imminent, we might be well advised to upgrade our understanding. Let me put it to you like this: The FAA has designated traffic lanes in the sky. When a plane is high in the sky and 150 miles out, air controllers are not going to be concerned if it is flying a hundred feet above or below its assigned altitude. When the plane is 15 miles from the airport it better not be more than a few feet above or below its assigned altitude. And when it is less than a mile from the runway it better be within a few inches of its assigned altitude. Folks, we are lined up with the runway now. We will be on the ground momentarily. We cannot afford to be off course any more. A proper understanding of the battle before us is critical.

The word “Armageddon” only occurs in Revelation 16:16, “Then they [the demons] gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.” This text has puzzled Bible students for almost 2,000 years, but I think the meaning is quite simple. The word har-megiddon is mentioned only once in the Bible, so a word study is not practical. However, in Old Testament times it is well known that the Hebrews would join words together to create names as circumstances warranted. For example, when God called Abraham to offer his son Isaac on Mount Moriah, the Lord intervened. The Lord interrupted the sacrifice of Isaac because He provided a ram that was caught in a thicket. Abraham named that place “Jehovahjireh” by putting two Hebrew words together. Jehovahjireh means “Jehovah will provide [the sacrifice]” or “Jehovah will see to it [that the sacrifice will be provided].” (Genesis 22:14)

The word Megiddon refers to a battlefield where kings Ahaziah and Josiah died. (2 Kings 9:27; 23:30) The interesting thing about Josiah’s death is that he foolishly went against God’s command. He went to war with Pharaoh Neco who was passing through the land, and was needlessly killed. (2 Kings 23:29; 2 Chronicles 35:21,22) The reference to Megiddo depicts a battlefield where kings die. The kings of Earth will foolishly make war with Almighty God at the mountain of God and they will be destroyed. In the end, “the King of the mountain” will be Almighty God. The kings of Earth will have all perished.

Primarily “Mageddon is from mo‘ed meaning a place of assembly. Secondarily “Magedon is derived from the Hebrew word gadad which means ‘to gather in troops or bands.’ The Hebrew way to make a noun from a verb is to add the prefix ma. Thus we have maged –‘a place of gathering in troops.’ Then the suffix o meaning ‘his’ is added, yielding ‘his place of gathering troops.’ 

As far as we know, no geographical location ever bore this name. But because Megiddo is similar to Armageddon, all eyes are focused on the plain of Megiddo which stretches out around the city of Megiddo in northern Palestine. More than two hundred battles have been fought here. Two of the most famous victories in Israel’s history are: 1) Barak’s victory over the Canaanites (Judges 4:15) and 2) Gideon’s victory over the Midianites (Judges 7). The plain of Megiddo is also the site for two great tragedies: 1) the death of Saul and his sons (1 Samuel 31:8) and 2) the death of King Josiah (2 Kings 23:29-30; 2 Chronicles 35:22). Hence it signifies a place of great slaughter.  Because of this history, the plain of Megiddo has become a symbol of the final conflict. The word “Armageddon” has become synonymous with a future battle at the end of the world. It is “the battle of that great day of God Almighty” (Revelation 16:14). Hence Armageddon primarily signifies an event rather than a place.

This is not an unheard-of concept. Consider the well-known word waterloo. A student might say, “It was in speech class that I met my waterloo.” Waterloo is actually a battlefield where Emperor Napoleon was defeated by the Duke of Wellington in 1815. But since that decisive battle, the word waterloo has come to represent a crushing defeat. Thus we see the similarity between Armageddon and Waterloo. They are both names of places but have transcending importance as special events or conditions.

Another indication that Armageddon is symbolic is noted in the word “place.” “And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.” Rev 16:16 The Hebrew word for “place” is “topos.” This can refer to a place in a book, or a situation, without attributing geographical significance to the term Armageddon.

Notice how “topos” is used in Hebrews 12:17 “For you know that afterward, when he (Esau) wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.” Here again “place” refers to a condition not a geographical location.

Who are the contestants? And what are they fighting about?

Every Bible scholar should know. But you would be surprised how few people know the answers. The most common answer is, “Well, it is a battle between good and evil.”

Sounds a bit nebulous, no? Might have been adequate 150 years ago, but not now. The most frequent misconception is that God’s people are involved. The first thing to be said about the battle of Armageddon is that it is one of the seven last plagues. In fact it is the sixth.

“The enemy’s last great conflict will be a most determined one. It will be the last battle between the powers of darkness and the powers of light. Every true child of God will fight bravely on the side of Christ.” {E. G. White – Pamphlets 135, 5.1}

Does this mean you and I will be actively involved? Yes, but our involvement will end when the plagues begin. The Battle of Armageddon does not begin until the sixth plague. So battles between good and evil occurring before the sixth plague should not be called Armageddon. This term has been carelessly applied to various conflicts. The focus of Armageddon is not Israel nor is it the saints, it is the coming Christ in the sky. Remember that the saints have been glorified BEFORE Armageddon begins. The saints will simply be spellbound spectators during the battle. We will likely be urging Him on, “Bare Thy holy arm O Lord ‘It is time for thee to work: for they have made void thy law.’” (Isa 40:10, Ps 119:126)

“John beheld an angel flying through the midst of heaven, warning men of the final judgments of God. He proclaimed the position of those who heeded his warning, and who would escape the seven last plagues. He announced them as God’s people, and called attention to their peculiar character: “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” The time for the fulfillment of this prophecy has come.” The Review and Herald  January 31, 1888

How can the children of God, who keep the commandments, be involved in spiritual fighting and at the same time escape the sixth plague?

“Then I saw that the seven last plagues were soon to be poured out upon those who have no shelter; yet the world regarded them no more than they would so many drops of water that were about to fall. I was then made capable of enduring the awful sight of the seven last plagues, the wrath of God. I saw that His anger was dreadful and terrible . . . . Then I realized, as never before, the importance of searching the Word of God carefully, to know how to escape the plagues which that Word declares shall come on all the ungodly who shall worship the beast and his image and receive his mark in their foreheads or in their hands. It was a great wonder for me that any could transgress the law of God and tread down His holy Sabbath, when such awful threatenings and denunciations were against them.” {EW 64.2}

“A book has been given us to guide our feet through the perils of this dark world to heaven. It tells us how we can escape the wrath of God, and also tells of the sufferings of Christ for us, the great sacrifice that has been made that we might be saved and enjoy the presence of God forever. And if any come short at last, having heard the truth as they have in this land of light, it will be their own fault; they will be without excuse. The word of God tells us how we may become perfect Christians and escape the seven last plagues.” {1T 125.3}

If we search the Bible we may know how to escape the seven last plagues. Thus the Bible tells us how to escape Armageddon, the sixth in a series of seven plagues. It might be argued that God’s people will be involved in the sufferings of the seven last plagues and therefore they will be involved in Armageddon, the sixth plague. It is true that the righteous will suffer during the seven last plagues but they are not being punished and destroyed as are the wicked. They will escape the punishment that is coming upon the wicked.

“Then my eyes were taken from the glory, and I was pointed to the remnant on the earth. The angel said to them, “Will ye shun the seven last plagues? Will ye go to glory and enjoy all that God has prepared for those who love Him and are willing to suffer for His sake? If so, ye must die that ye may live. Get ready, get ready, get ready. Ye must have a greater preparation than ye now have, for the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate and to destroy the sinners thereof out of it.” {EW 66.2}

“The people of God will not be free from suffering; but while persecuted and distressed, while they endure privation and suffer for want of food they will not be left to perish. That God who cared for Elijah will not pass by one of His self-sacrificing children. He who numbers the hairs of their head will care for them, and in time of famine they shall be satisfied. While the wicked are dying from hunger and pestilence, angels will shield the righteous and supply their wants.” {GC 629.2}

“The power of the Holy Ghost must be upon us, and the Captain of the Lord’s host will stand at the head of the angels of heaven to direct the battle. Solemn events before us are yet to transpire. Trumpet after trumpet is to be sounded, vial after vial poured out one after another upon the inhabitants of the earth. Scenes of stupendous interest are right upon us.” {7BC 982.7}

“Satan is now using every device in this sealing time to keep the minds of God’s people from the present truth and to cause them to waver. I saw a covering that God was drawing over His people to protect them in the time of trouble; and every soul that was decided on the truth and was pure in heart was to be covered with the covering of the Almighty.” {EW 43.2}

“Satan was trying his every art to hold them where they were, until the sealing was past, until the covering was drawn over God’s people, and they left without a shelter from the burning wrath of God, in the seven last plagues. God has begun to draw this covering over His people, and it will soon be drawn over all who are to have a shelter in the day of slaughter. God will work in power for His people; and Satan will be permitted to work also.” {EW 44.2}

“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. Then I saw three evil 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 spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty. ‘Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.’ Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.” (Revelation 16:12-16)

The meaning of this sixth plague is not too difficult if you understand the context and setting of this future event. The drying up of the great river Euphrates is an ancient phrase that means the arrival of the two kings coming down from the North (the Father and the Son) is unstoppable. In other words, ancient kings could cross through the river bed of the Euphrates because the great river itself was no longer a barrier. I believe the sign of the Father and Son will first appear in the sky during this time. This sign will be a small black cloud drawing near to Earth. (Matthew 24:30) Remember, divine destruction in ancient times always came out of the North (Jeremiah 51:48, Job 37:22), but visually, because of the rotation of the Earth on its axis, the Father and Son (the two kings) will appear to be coming from the East. (Matthew 26:64)

By the time the sixth plague is poured out, the wicked will be suffering in the extreme. The saints do not suffer from the seven last plagues. (Daniel 12:1) Every wicked person will be wearing the devil’s inescapable tattoo. Even more, the world will know that the Satan is not Almighty God, contrary to the devil’s claims. Wicked people realize they are looking at the embodiment of evil. Emotionally speaking, they will be at the point of utter discouragement. Everything they wanted to avoid during the Great Tribulation has happened to them. Then, with his incredible deceptions exposed and the wicked recognizing who he really is, the devil plays his final card.

It is a pathetic situation. Even though Lucifer knows the outcome of this drama, he will demonstrate his evil character one last time by sending three miracle-working demons with a pack of lies to visit the ten kings of Earth. (Frogs catch their prey with their tongues.) Lucifer, who is the dragon, and the lamblike beast and the false prophet, sends these powerful demons out. The Bible uses these three descriptors of Lucifer because these three caricatures describe him fully. As the great red dragon who was cast out of Heaven, he is the original Antichrist. As the lamblike beast who rose up out of the Earth, he is the final Antichrist. As the false prophet who led the whole world astray, he is the father of lies.

Their message to each king will be simple and direct: “You have but one chance to save yourselves from the approaching cloud in the East. If you will join with us in destroying Jesus as he draws near Earth, we can defeat him. You have atomic bombs. We have the power to work miracles. Do we have a deal? If so, arm yourselves for immediate battle.” The only option is to trust in human might and the miracle working power of these demons. They prepare for battle.

“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” Matt 24:30

Soon there appears in the east a small black cloud, about half the size of a man’s hand. It is the cloud which surrounds the Saviour and which seems in the distance to be shrouded in darkness. The people of God know this to be the sign of the Son of man. In solemn silence they gaze upon it as it draws nearer the earth, becoming lighter and more glorious, until it is a great white cloud, its base a glory like consuming fire, and above it the rainbow of the covenant. Jesus rides forth as a mighty conqueror.” The Great Controversy, 640, 641.

So why does the small cloud look black? Simply because it is traveling faster than the speed of light and is leaving the light behind. Kind of like a black hole. But when Jesus and His holy retinue approach Earth and slow their approach the light will catch up soon enough and about blind us earthlings.

Now let’s dust off Daniel 12

(New International Reader’s Version and Common English Bible) 11 “The daily sacrifices will be stopped. Then, after 1,290 days from that time, a blasphemous object that brings destruction will be set up.

12 Blessed are those who keep waiting for the 1,335 days and reach the end of them.

13 “Daniel, go on your way until the end. Your body will rest in the grave. Then at the end of the days (Which days? The days just mentioned, of course, the 1335 days.) you will rise from the dead, and you will stand to receive your reward.”

Has Daniel received his reward yet? We are talking about Daniel the prophet, not Daniel the prophecy. The unsealing of Daniel the prophecy is not the same thing as raising Daniel the prophet. Is Daniel the person standing today? Let’s try to be true to the Scriptures. We can no longer accept sloppy interpretations. Some of my esteemed colleagues say that the 1335 days ended in 1843 or 1844. But these verses tell us that a great blessing comes at the end of the 1335 days. Was 1844 a great blessing or a great disappointment? It is always curious to watch them squirm and backtrack and say things like, “Well, it was both.” That is not being intellectually honest. Let’s stick with the obvious historic fact that 1844 was certainly a great disappointment. Furthermore, verse 13 clearly indicates that Daniel will be resurrected at the end of the 1335 days. So if the 1335 days ended in 1844, where is Daniel? Have you heard anything about Daniel being resurrected? Neither have I. The Scriptures cannot lie. Daniel will indeed be resurrected at the end of the 1335 days which is still future. (For some documentation on the 1335 days, please ask.)

So does Jesus appear on day 1335? No, not yet. This is what happens on day 1335:

“The voice of God is heard from heaven, declaring the day and hour of Jesus’ coming, and delivering the everlasting covenant to His people. Like peals of loudest thunder His words roll through the earth.

He spoke one sentence, and then paused, while the words were rolling through the earth. The Israel of God stood with their eyes fixed upward, listening to the words as they came from the mouth of Jehovah and rolled through the earth like peals of loudest thunder. It was awfully solemn. At the end of every sentence the saints shouted, “Glory! Hallelujah!”

The living saints, 144,000 in number, knew and understood the voice, while the wicked thought it was thunder and an earthquake.

A glorious light shone upon them [the saints]. How beautiful they then looked! All marks of care and weariness were gone, and health and beauty were seen in every countenance. Their enemies, the heathen around them, fell like dead men; they could not endure the light that shone upon the delivered, holy ones. This light and glory remained upon them, until Jesus was seen in the clouds of heaven. And I saw a flaming cloud come where Jesus stood. Then Jesus… took His place on the cloud which carried Him to the East, where it first appeared to the saints on earth—a small black cloud which was the sign of the Son of man. While the cloud was passing from the Holiest to the East, which took a number of days, the synagogue of Satan worshipped at the saints’ feet.” Maranatha, Page 287

“I saw the sword, famine, pestilence, and great confusion in the land. The wicked thought that we had brought the judgments upon them, and they rose up and took counsel to rid the earth of us, thinking that then the evil would be stayed. In the time of trouble we all fled from the cities and villages, but were pursued by the wicked, who entered the houses of the saints with a sword. They raised the sword to kill us, but it broke, and fell as powerless as a straw. Then we all cried day and night for deliverance, and the cry came up before God. The sun came up, and the moon stood still. The streams ceased to flow. Dark, heavy clouds came up and clashed against each other. But there was one clear place of settled glory, whence came the voice of God like many waters, which shook the heavens and the earth. The sky opened and shut and was in commotion. The mountains shook like a reed in the wind, and cast out ragged rocks all around. The sea boiled like a pot and cast out stones upon the land. And as God spoke the day and the hour of Jesus’ coming and delivered the everlasting covenant to His people, He spoke one sentence, and then paused, while the words were rolling through the earth. The Israel of God stood with their eyes fixed upward, listening to the words as they came from the mouth of Jehovah, and rolled through the earth like peals of loudest thunder. It was awfully solemn. And at the end of every sentence the saints shouted, “Glory! Alleluia!” Their countenances were lighted up with the glory of God; and they shone with the glory, as did the face of Moses when he came down from Sinai. The wicked could not look on them for the glory. And when the never-ending blessing was pronounced on those who had honored God in keeping His Sabbath holy, there was a mighty shout of victory over the beast and over his image.” Early Writings 34

Did you see it? This is the blessing promised in Daniel 12:12.

Isn’t God good! Why does he bother announce the day and hour of His coming when it is only a few days away? Simply because what is about to transpire over our heads will be so horrific that we might think that all is lost. We have been forgotten. We are about to parish in the conflagration. So God, knowing our frailty and our long days of suffering and apprehension, reassures us that He is indeed coming. At this welcome announcement we rejoice. We are glorified. Our faces shine. Rainbows appear above us. Our enemies fall back in utter amazement. The special resurrection occurs. The stage is set, the river Euphrates dries up making way for the Kings of the East. Revelation 16:12

“There appears in the East a small black cloud…. The people of God know this to be the sign of the Son of man. In solemn silence they gaze upon it as it draws nearer the earth, … until it is a great white cloud, its base a glory like consuming fire, and above it the rainbow of the covenant. Jesus rides forth as a mighty conqueror….

As the living cloud comes still nearer, every eye beholds the Prince of life. No crown of thorns now mars that sacred head, but a diadem of glory rests on His holy brow. His countenance outshines the dazzling brightness of the noonday sun. “And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, King of kings, and Lord of lords…. The heavens are rolled together as a scroll, the earth trembles before Him, and every mountain and island is moved out of its place….” My Life Today 345

 “Then I described the lovely person of Jesus, his glorious appearance in the clouds of heaven, as he comes to earth the second time; with what majesty and power he rides forth upon the cloudy chariot, escorted by all the angelic host, and with the glory of the Father.” Life Sketches of James and Ellen White, Page 252 (1880)

Perhaps you are aware that NASA already has contingency plans in place to divert or fragment an incoming asteroid if they have enough lead time. And since by that time earth will have already been impacted by two devastating asteroids, the kings of the earth might think that this small black cloud is another asteroid. And it will be quite obvious that it is heading straight for Earth.

“Unlike the dinosaurs, we have the means to prevent catastrophic impacts,” says the B612 Foundation, which advocates finding and tracking asteroids, and testing technology to deflect them.

NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office, which co-ordinates efforts to detect, track and characterize potentially hazardous asteroids and comets that could approach the Earth says, “There’s only very preliminary research in the area of how best to shove away an asteroid if it’s in the rare position of heading in the Earth’s direction. Nuclear explosions in space, for instance, could fragment the asteroid or push it out of Earth’s way. Hazardous asteroids larger than a few hundred meters in diameter will require enormous energies to deflect or fragment.”

Now let’s review the recent past: The great multitude who would not accept the mark of the beast have all been beheaded or otherwise dispatched. Those faithful souls who have stood stiffly for the seventh day Sabbath have sealed their testimony with their blood. They are all sleeping in Jesus awaiting the resurrection. You can imagine how triumphant the devil feels. Next his evil attentions are turned toward the 144,000. He reasons that if he can now kill them, too, his triumph will be complete. He can then raise his bony fist toward heaven and declare, “Back off. They are all mine. There is no one left to rescue. The whole world now serves and worships me.” But to his chagrin, the 144,000 cannot be killed. They seem to be fire proof, water proof and bullet proof.

And suddenly his attention is shifted again. With horror he gazes at the small black cloud looming in the east. He knows very well what it is. He knows what he must do. I am here reminded of Jesus’ parable: “But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.” Matt 21:37,38

Now Brother Dence, you are not suggesting that the devil will try to destroy Jesus at His second coming? Yes, that is exactly what the devil will try to do. Let me show you some pertinent verses:

“The ten horns you saw are ten kings, but they’re not yet in power. They will come to power along with the Scarlet Beast, but won’t last long—a very brief reign. All ten have a common purpose, and they hand over their power and right to rule to the beast.  Together they will go to war against the Lamb but the Lamb will defeat them.” Revelation 17:12-14

“These evil spirits are the spirits of demons, which have power to do miracles. They go out to the kings of the whole world to gather them together for the battle of the great day of God Almighty. Then the demons assembled the kings and their armies together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.” Revelation 14:14 and 16

“Then I saw the beast and all the kings of the earth. Their armies were gathered together, ready to make war against the rider on the white horse and his army.” Revelation 19:19

“Here it is seen that the great battle is not between nation and nation; but between earth and heaven. Satan wishes to make another attack on Jesus Christ. He musters the fallen spirits of his command, and they go forth to the kings of the earth, and the whole world, to gather them to battle. The King of kings overcomes, and destroys all his enemies.”  Review and Herald, Battle Creek, Mi,  JAN 21, 1862                                                                                                                                                             

“Then the powers of earth will marshal their forces for the last great battle.” 6T14 (1900).

You see the picture. A frightful picture. It should be crystal clear who the combatants are. The devil stirs up the ten kings to fight against Christ. And where is Christ? Jerusalem? No, He is in the sky. The kings of the earth fear that Christ will set up his kingdom in Jerusalem. That is not a welcome prospect. They themselves are aspiring to rule the world and do not want any interference from Christ. Satan capitalizes on this fear and urges them on to destroy this invader from space.

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.” Revelation 19:11

Make War? Oh yes! This is not just a figure of speech. The war is very real. Why? Because Christ will face some stiff opposition. Satan will do everything to prevent Christ from stealing his subjects. You must understand, Satan is frantic. But he has been preparing for this war. Why do you think the US has 9,200 nuclear warheads stockpiled? So much for disarmament. Nothing will be spared to knock Jesus out of the sky. Super weapons even more lethal than nuclear warheads may be employed. Folks, we are in for quite a show. Do you think these weapons will hamper Jesus? Of course not. He simply needs to put forth His hand and what was outgoing is now incoming. Look out down below. We will witness the grandest fireworks display ever detonated.

When Jesus enters Satan’s airspace, do you really think Satan will just sit down and let Jesus conduct His world-wide reaping campaign unhindered? No, no. Satan has been looking forward to this murderous opportunity for a long time. Jesus will be hotly resisted at every advance mile. Some reason that since the earth’s systems will be heavily damaged at this point, weaponry may not work. That is certainly a good guess. But consider the possibility that devastation will not be world-wide. Also recognize that the most lethal weapons are protected in the depths of mountains and oceans. Nuclear warheads can be launched from numerous underground silos. You should also be aware of the awful destruction that can be deployed from under the seas. The USS Kentucky is a nuclear submarine which carries 24  Trident II D-5 ballistic missiles each with a range of 7000 miles. And they can cover that distance in a hurry. Would you believe 13000 MPH? These missiles are not toys. They were built at a cost of 31 million dollars EACH. And they can really pack a wallop, 30 times the explosive force of the Hiroshima bomb. The Trident missiles are currently carried by 14 US subs and 4 British subs. And who knows what other frightful weapons are aboard the 75 subs in the US Naval fleet? The larger subs can safely hide 800 feet below the surface. I expect some of them will survive the first five plagues. What do you think?

“And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” Revelation 14:15

This verse shows just how anxious Jesus is to rescue us. Who is in the temple? Not Jesus, but an angel. Where is Jesus? Out on His white horse, just waiting for the command to ride forth. So why is Jesus not in the temple? You will recall that Jesus’ work in the temple ended just before the seven last plagues began.

All that we have seen so far occurs under the sixth plague. And now comes the seventh plague. And where is Jesus? Still hovering above the earth directing the armies of heaven. Right?

“The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘It is done!’ [I believe this voice comes from one of the four living creatures. See Rev 8:13.] Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. The great city [Babylon the Great – the throne, the buildings and offices of Lucifer’s one-world-church-state] split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath. Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found. From the sky huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds each fell upon men. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible.” (Revelation 16:17-21, insertions mine)

When the seventh bowl is poured out, the entire planet goes into a violent spasm. A global earthquake rips up the Earth and the devil’s empire is torn into three parts.* The islands and mountains are moved out of their places as Earth vomits from the nausea of sin. The cities of Earth collapse into rubble and hailstones weighing a hundred pounds each fall on the enemies of the Lamb. “They called 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 his wrath has come, and who can stand?’” Revelation 6:16,17

* Note: The phrase, “The great city split into three parts” is significant. It means the complete destruction of Babylon, the global city whose citizens make up the harlot. God will divide and totally destroy the city. No mercy will be shown to the evil empire. Throughout the Bible, language describes the use of one-third and two-thirds. For example, David killed two-thirds of the Moabites when they refused to pay tribute. (2 Samuel 8:2) God killed two-thirds of Israel when they refused to keep His covenant. (Ezekiel 5:12 also see Zechariah 13:8,9) In these situations, David and God mercifully spared a remnant. The idea in Revelation 16 is that there is NO mercy for Babylon. Babylon will cease to exist. Three-thirds will be destroyed. (Revelation 19:21)

“Amid the reeling of the earth, the flash of lightning, and the roar of thunder, the voice of the Son of God calls forth the sleeping saints…. Throughout the length and breadth of the earth the dead shall hear that voice, and they that hear shall live…. All arise with the freshness and vigor of eternal youth….

The living righteous are changed “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.” At the voice of God they were glorified; now they are made immortal, and with the risen saints are caught up to meet their Lord in the air. Oh, what a glorious meeting!” My Life Today 345

Then, a sword comes out of the mouth of Jesus. This sword is the command, “death to the wicked.” The seventh plague marks the end of human life on Earth for 1,000 years. The saints sail away through space to spend the next 1,000 years living and reigning with Jesus in their Father’s house. (John 14:1-3)

Now you can see that the coming of Jesus is not just a peaceful 20 minute trip through the bright sky to pick you up from your front yard and then leisurely float back up to heaven. That picture simply does not fit Scripture. Now you know that the coming of Jesus will transpire during the sixth and seventh plagues. And that will necessarily take several days. Tumultuous days. But I am earnestly looking forward to those days. Aren’t you?

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

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