The Woman, the Child, and the Dragon – Part 3

Studying Bible Prophecy

This is my third blog on this topic, from Revelation 12:13-17.  You can go to my first blog on this topic to get introductory information.

Verses 13-17. And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. 14 But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his…

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Mid-Tribulation Event (Revelation 12:1-15:4) – Part 1

Studying Bible Prophecy

To start with, let me clarify something about the title of this section. I am not meaning here that the events from Revelation 12:1 to 15:4 will all occur exactly in the middle of the Tribulation, or that they will even occur between the trumpets and the bowls. I only mean that they are found written about in the book of Revelation between the trumpets and the bowls. Actually, it is a parenthetical passage meant to convey details of key events during all of the Tribulation and especially during the last three and a half years of it. But it is more than a record of key events. The passage is meant to give us background information or a setting for the Tribulation and for the main characters: for Satan, Israel, Christ, the two beasts, the 144,000 witnesses, and certain angels.

We will divide this lengthy passage into seven parts:…

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The Sixth Trumpet (Revelation 9:13-21)

Studying Bible Prophecy

This sixth trumpet judgment, and the second woe, is every bit as terrible as the first woe; and it leaves us scratching our heads with questions. We will break up the verses into three parts.

Verses 13-15. Then the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 14 one saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 And the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released, so that they would kill a third of mankind.

So when the sixth angel sounded his trumpet John head a voice coming from the four horns of the altar of incense—presumably, the voice of God responding to the prayers of His saints; prayer for vengeance. And He told…

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The Third Seal — Revelation 6:5-6

Studying Bible Prophecy

In the breaking of this seal John looked and saw a black horse; and the one who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand.

A Black Horse

Most commentators would agree that the black horse is a symbol of famine, and some would add disease. I agree, because the hunger of famine is caused by a food shortage; and that food shortage—particularly fresh fruits and vegetables—would cause sickness and disease.

A Pair of Scales

The scales here, used to weigh food items, indicates to the reader that there will be a scarcity of food that will need to be rationed. Moreover, the voice that is heard in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius [a day’s wage], and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine,” gives us a true…

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Personalities in the Tribulation: Jesus Christ

Studying Bible Prophecy

Certainly, Jesus Christ must be included in the list of Tribulation personalities; for He is the underlying theme of Revelation. He is the central figure. In my study I have found seven different titles for Jesus Christ: Lamb, Son of man, Jesus, Faithful and True, Word of God, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We will highlight these titles as we present Him to you in chronological order as He appears in the Tribulation.

The Lamb is worthy to break the seals (Rev. 5:1-14). Here in John’s vision, God held in His hand a book that was sealed up with seven seals. And the question was asked by an angel, “Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?” And no one was found in heaven or on earth to open the book. And John began to weep. But then one of the elders said to…

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Personalities in the Tribulation: The Holy Spirit

Studying Bible Prophecy

The Holy Spirit is not mentioned in the Tribulation, but we know that He will be present, since He is eternally omnipresent. However, according to many scholars, it is believed that His ministry will be different in the Tribulation; and some believe that it will be the same as it was in the Old Testament.

The reason for this change is because at the Rapture the church will leave this earth; hence, the Holy Spirit’s ministry to the church will no longer be necessary, even to those who are believers during the Tribulation on earth, since they will not be the church. They will be believing saints, but not the church.

So what will the ministry of the Holy Spirit look like during the Tribulation? First of all, there are at least two, and possibly more, ministries that will be lacking: of baptism and of indwelling. The Holy Spirit will…

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Personalities in the Tribulation: The Antichrist – Part 1

Studying Bible Prophecy

The Antichrist is a prominent figure and the leader of all the evil that goes on in the Tribulation. Our information about him comes from three different biblical books: Daniel, 2 Thessalonians, and Revelation.

His origin and source of power

First, from Revelation 13:1 and 17:8-13, we see his origin as a beast that has seven heads and ten horns. This description is, of course, symbolic of a terrible and evil person, and who has his beginning from seven world kingdoms: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and a revived Rome; he being the king or leader of the seventh kingdom. (If you want a more detailed explanation of his seven heads read Revelation 17:9-13.)

As for his source of power, there is no doubt that God alone gives him power as His instrument to bring His wrath on the earth, both to persuade people to believe in Him and…

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Personalities in the Tribulation: Israel – Part 2

Studying Bible Prophecy

The nation of Israel and the Israelite people are probably the most important of all in our list of personalities; for the seventh week (the Tribulation) has been decreed for the people of Israel (Dan. 9:24), to prepare them for their Messiah by Tribulation. Here is part 1.

4. Israel flees to the mountains.When the first half of the Tribulation ends, right at the mid-point, the Antichrist will be revealed for who he really is, as his restraints to do evil will be removed. The sign of the beginning of his evil doings is when the Jews see “the abomination of desolation” standing in the Jewish temple. This may be the Antichrist himself displaying himself as being God (2 Thess. 2:4), or it could be his image that the false prophet sets up (Rev. 13:15). Nonetheless, I think they will see this abomination for what it is, and…

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The Nature of the Tribulation: A Time of Fear and Terror

In the following passages the words fear, terror, dread, and tremble in bold indicate to us how those on the earth greatly feared the Tribulation—mainly because they knew it came directly from the great wrath of God.

Isaiah 2:19

And men will go into caves of the rocks,

And into holes of the ground

Before the terror of the Lord,

And before the splendor of His majesty,

When He arises to make the earth tremble.

Isaiah 13:6-9

Wail, for the day of the Lord is near!

It will come as destruction from the Almighty.

7 Therefore all hands will fall limp,

And every man’s heart will melt.

8 And they will be terrified,

Pains and anguish will take hold of them;

They will writhe like a woman in labor,

They will look at one another in astonishment,

Their faces aflame.

9 Behold, the day of the Lord is coming,

Cruel, with fury and burning anger,

To make the land a desolation;

And He will exterminate its sinners from it.

Jeremiah 30:4-7

Now these are the words which the Lord spoke concerning Israel and concerning Judah, 5 “For thus says the Lord,

‘I have heard a sound of terror,

Of dread, and there is no peace.

6 ‘Ask now, and see,

If a male can give birth.

Why do I see every man

With his hands on his loins, as a woman in childbirth?

And why have all faces turned pale?

7 ‘Alas! for that day is great,

There is none like it;

And it is the time of Jacob’s distress,

But he will be saved from it.

Zephaniah 1:18

Neither their silver nor their gold

Will be able to deliver them

On the day of the Lord’s wrath;

And all the earth will be devoured

In the fire of His jealousy,

For He will make a complete end,

Indeed a terrifying one,

Of all the inhabitants of the earth.

Luke 21:25-26

“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26 men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Revelation 6:15-17

And the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; 16 and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; 17 for the great day of their wrath has come; and who is able to stand?”

The Nature of the Tribulation: A Day of Vengeance and Wrath

The following eleven passages, underscored by six words in bold—wrath, indignation, vengeance, retribution, judgment, and punishment—reveals to us the Tribulation’s primary basis, which is the righteous anger and judgment of God on an unrepentant sinful people. Hence, here is the Tribulation’s truest and most basic nature.

Deuteronomy 32:34-35

‘Is it not laid up in store with Me,

Sealed up in My treasuries?

35 ‘Vengeance is Mine, and retribution,

In due time their foot will slip;

For the day of their calamity is near,

And the impending things are hastening upon them.’

Isaiah 24:21-22

So it will happen in that day,

That the Lord will punish the host of heaven, on high,

And the kings of the earth, on earth.

22 And they will be gathered together

Like prisoners in the dungeon,

And will be confined in prison;

And after many days they will be punished.

In the climatic moments of the Tribulation, when the foundations of the earth are violently shaken (v. 19), God will punish evil angels as well as evil men.

Isaiah 26:20-21

Come, my people, enter into your rooms,

And close your doors behind you; Hide for a little while,

Until indignation runs its course.

21 For behold, the Lord is about to come out from His place

To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity;

And the earth will reveal her bloodshed,

And will no longer cover her slain.

During the Tribulation many will be saved, and many of those will be Jews. Here “my people” I think are referring to believing Jews. They are told to hide in their rooms until the indignation is finished (until God’s wrath is over). This implies that they will be spared of His wrath during the Tribulation. But all unbelievers will face His punishment.

Isaiah 34:8

For the Lord has a day of vengeance,

A year of recompense for the cause of Zion.

Isaiah 35:4

Say to those with anxious heart,

“Take courage, fear not.

Behold, your God will come with vengeance;

The recompense of God will come,

But He will save you.”

God will save and protect all who call upon Him, even when it is in the Tribulation. And He will come with vengeance against the unsaved evil ones.

Daniel 11:35-36

 “And some of those who have insight will fall, in order to refine, purge, and make them pure, until the end time; because it is still to come at the appointed time.

36 “Then the king will do as he pleases, and he will exalt and magnify himself above every god, and will speak monstrous things against the God of gods; and he will prosper until the indignation is finished, for that which is decreed will be done.

“The king” here is the Antichrist. He will remain alive to do his evil works all through the Tribulation—until God’s indignation is finished.

Zephaniah 1:15, 18

15 A day of wrath is that day,

A day of trouble and distress,

A day of destruction and desolation,

A day of darkness and gloom,

A day of clouds and thick darkness,

18 Neither their silver nor their gold

Will be able to deliver them

On the day of the Lord’s wrath;

And all the earth will be devoured

In the fire of His jealousy,

For He will make a complete end,

Indeed a terrifying one,

Of all the inhabitants of the earth.

Revelation 6:15-17

And the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; 16 and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; 17 for the great day of their wrath has come; and who is able to stand?”

Revelation 14:7

and he said with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.”

This is the message of a holy angel as he flies across the sky. It is a warning to repent before the bowl judgments come (Rev. 16).

Revelation 14:9-10

 And another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or upon his hand, 10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb…”

This aspect of the Tribulation, God’s vengeance and wrath, will be the most troublesome for people, and what they will fear the most (see Rev. 6:16). The entire seven years of tribulation will be based on God’s wrath; and the last three and one-half years (called the Great Tribulation) will be especially difficult. In fact, the seven-bowl judgments during that time span (Rev. 16:1-21), are symbolic of the “bowls of the wrath of God.” Hence, we may picture it as the constant and unrelenting wrath of God being poured out on the earth.