Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near. Revelation 1:3
How is it possible that those who read and keep the words of Revelation will be blessed, while it contains the most horrific stories of what is going to happen on the earth? Because it tells us that God is in control, giving us peace in a world that is fast coming apart at the seams. It is also a blessing to know that the born again children of God will not experience the horrors of the Tribulation years, because God already released His wrath for our sins on Jesus. The difference that the cross makes!
If you haven’t read parts 1 & 2 of this series, please do so first, as it will help you see the bigger picture of the time known as The Tribulation and Jacob’s Trouble. (Jeremiah 30:7) The tribulation period will last for seven years, but the last 3 1/2 years are known as the Great Tribulation, because that will be the most dreadful time that the world has ever experienced. We will look into this second half of the Tribulation years in this article.
A question that we often hear though, is “why do we need to know this, since believers in the Lord will not be here when it happens?” God put it in the Bible because He wanted us to know about it. Also, sharing this information with unbelievers might help them to make an informed decision about what to do with Jesus who gave His life as a ransom for us all. Is it right to “scare” people into the kingdom of God? No, but it would be wrong not to warn them against things that we know will certainly happen.
So many prophecies have been fulfilled—some even in our lifetime—and to think that the prophecies of earth’s last days will not be fulfilled, is ludicrous. The world has seen some terrible times, but none of it can compare with what is coming. Here is what Jesus had to say about the Great Tribulation:
For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be. Mark 13:19
The prophets of old spoke of this time in this way:
That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of devastation and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of trumpet and alarm against the fortified cities and against the high towers. “I will bring distress upon men, and they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Lord; their blood shall be poured out like dust, and their flesh like refuse.” Zephaniah 1:15-17
The tribulation years God will primarily deal with the nation of Israel, (Daniel 9:24) but because the antichrist will rule over all the earth, all who dwell here at that time will suffer under his brutal regime. (Revelation 3:10) Many people will receive salvation during this time, but they will be subject to martyrdom for their faith. Some think to postpone their salvation to that time, but it is a foolish thought as surviving the terrors of the tribulation period is just about impossible. Bowing to the Lordship of Jesus now is much easier than it will be when the wrath of God is poured out on the earth.
Seven bowls with God’s wrath are being poured out in judgment of the earth, witnessed by the apostle John:
Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth.” So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. Revelation 16:1,2
When the second bowl is poured out on the sea, it became blood as of a dead man, killing all its creatures.
After that a third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of the earth, and the waters turned into blood—to avenge the innocent blood of the saints and the prophets that was spilled on the earth.
The fourth angel then poured his bowl on the sun, and its heat became magnified and scorched people with fire, yet instead of repenting, they blasphemed God for the plagues that came upon them.
After that, a fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast and his kingdom, causing it to be covered in darkness, and the people gnawed their tongues because of the pain of the sores that came on them with the first bowl, yet they did still refused to repent of their sins.
The sixth bowl was then poured out, and the Euphrates river dried up to prepare the way of the “kings of the east.” These are the armies that will participate in the battle of Armageddon.
And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon. Revelation 16:13,14,16
The seventh (and last) bowl was then poured out, into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” The apostle John also heard noises and thundering, and saw lightnings, and there was an earthquake—bigger than there ever was in human history. Babylon fell, and every “island fled away, and the mountains were not found.” Great hail fell from heaven upon the inhabitants of the earth, and they blasphemed God for it.
After these events the focus shifts to the great harlot:
The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written:
MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS
AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement. Revelation 17:4-6
There is consensus among prophecy scholars that the great harlot is every ideology that is not founded on the truth of God, wherein God is not worshiped as Creator of all things. Mystery Babylon is not geographic Babylon, but grew out of the rebellious spirit that undertook the construction of the tower of Babel. The spirit that is in the world, the exalting of self, mammon, and everything that is glorified above the God of heaven and earth, is this mystery (hidden) Babylon. This is the spirit that empowers every evil thing that is in the world. The beast that she is riding on, is the anti-christ.
Although the world enjoyed serving this harlot for centuries, will turn on her and destroy her:
And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.” Revelation 17:16-18
Note in verse 18 above that the harlot is connected to a city on earth, a “great” city with influence over the leaders of the world.
Looking at Revelation 17, we understand that this world is not our home. There is no point in holding on to it, or for what is has to offer, as its end will surely come and it will pass away. Don’t become too attached to your house, your belongings, or any such thing, for it will not survive the wrath of God when it is released upon the earth.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:15-17
The most important thing in life right now, is to be sure that you are in good standing with God, and you do it by putting your trust in the finished work of Jesus on the cross. He suffered the death penalty for your sin, and He is the only way to he heart of God. It is not about being good, or doing good things—you cannot earn your entrance into heaven. None of your accomplishments in life will count for anything when you come to stand before Him—only if you are marked with the cleansing blood of Jesus.
…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 8:9,10
Don’t delay–today is the day of salvation!