God has been speaking to us from the pages of the Bible, but it doesn’t seem that anyone is listening about the conditions of this world just prior to the return of Jesus Christ. Those conditions can be found in Matthew 24, Luke 21 and Mark 13.
False ministers are all over the place; our weather system seems to have gone crazy, violent crimes by young people are rampant, disease, wars and on and on it goes. All these things that will take place before God intervenes are only the beginning of sorrows.
How many people do you think know anything about the Day of the Lord, other than they think it is Sunday, the Lord’s day? The Day of the Lord is the focal point of all prophecy. The awesome events to take place during this time are described in more than 30 different prophecies in both the Old and New Testament.
“And I beheld when he had opened the 6th seal, and lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casts her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island was moved out of their places” (Rev. 6:12-14). These events are intended to warn the world that God’s wrath upon rebellious mankind is about to begin, the Day of the Lord with its punishments for sin is about to commence.
It is time to wake up to the fact that these are not normal times! For nearly 6,000 years of comparative quite, the world suddenly erupted in world shaking violence beginning in 1914. The two great World Wars, plus the smaller wars since the end of World War II is nothing compared to what is coming. Notice how Isaiah describes the Day of the Lord: “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 comes, 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. And I will make a man more precious than fine gold, even a man than a golden wedge of Ophir. Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall be removed out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in that day of his fierce anger” (Isa. 6:13-17).
Notice that God is going to punish the whole world and not just the descendants of Jacob (verse 11). “And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come” (Joel 2:30-31).
“The great day of the Lord is near. It is near and hastens quickly. The noise of the day of the Lord is bitter. There the mighty men shall cry out. 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 (Zech. 1:14-15). Read also Isa. 2:6-21 and Rev. 6:15-17.
The Day of the Lord is going to be a terrible awesome fearful time! The Great God is going to intervene in world affairs in a powerful way, after having left this world to our own way, we can see the results of that.
The main theme of the Book of Revelation is the Day of the Lord. The Apostle John said: “he was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day.” John was seeing horrible events unfolding that are described in many Old Testament prophecies.
The first thing we need to understand is why God is going to punish mankind so severely! Rev. 11:18 the last sentence: “And should destroy those who destroy the earth.”
“I will bring distress upon men, and they shall walk like blind men because they have sinned against the Lord. The blood shall be poured out like dust. And their flesh like refuse” (Zeph. 1:17).
“The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant” (Isa. 24:5).
Jesus Christ, the Lord of the Old Testament will be angry at the unrighteous aims of mankind. In our lifetime knowledge has increased and especially in scientific and technological development. Man has learned the secrets of the atom. We have learned how to unleash powers and forces and energies of nature that can destroy human life from off this planet.
Jesus Christ is coming to spank humanity in love, otherwise we (as Christ said in Matt. 24:22) would destroy all life.
It is our job, as ministers of the Church of God New World Ministries to give a witness and a warning to this world, but you and I know that they will not listen to us. But they will listen to Jesus Christ as the Day of the Lord begins. “And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains and said to the mountains and 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 is able to stand” (Rev. 6:15-16)?
How long will the Day of the Lord be? “For it is the day of the Lord’s vengeance. The year of recompense for the cause of Zion” (Isa. 34:8). “To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God” (Isa. 61:2). “For the day of vengeance is in My heart and the year of My redeemed has come” (Isa.63:4).
Now when the Bible talks about the Day of the Lord, it refers not only to the 24 hour day when Christ returns, but also the year of God’s punishment that precedes it and culminates in that return.
Notice what happens as soon as the 7th seal is opened! “When He opened the 7th seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints ascended before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thundering, lightning and an earthquake. So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound” (Rev. 8:1-6).
Now these 7 trumpets that John saw in vision that are handed to seven angels are symbolic. They represent real world events to come. These trumpets are plagues God shall send as physical punishment upon rebellious mankind. These 7 trumpets constitute the 7th seal and this 7th seal occurs in seven successive stages.
The first trumpet (v. 7) “The first t angel sounded, and hail and fire followed mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. The use of chemicals in Vietnam to defolage limited areas was nothing compared to the supernatural fire and heat that is coming to this earth. Verses 8-9 “Then the second angel sounded; and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.”
What does God do next? Verses 10-11 “Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch. And it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter.”
Has mankind repented of their rebellion against God? No! So God sends another plague. Verse 12, “The 4th angel sounded: and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. And a third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night. And I looked and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice. Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpets of the three angels who are about to sound.”
Webster’s Dictionary of the word woe – means grievous distress or trouble, an affliction. These last three trumpets are called woes, because there will be great destruction of human life and natural resources as a result of warfare.
The first woe or 5th trumpet has sounded, read Revelation 9:1-12. Precisely what specific weapons are meant and how they will be used by power-crazed man will come into focus when the 5th trumpet or 1st woe is blown, and this awful warfare begins.
Where does this super army of this 1st woe come from? “And the 5th angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit: and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace: and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power” (Rev. 9:1-3).
The Bible interprets this bottomless pit in Revelation 17:8-14. The final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire is the power that emerges from the bottomless pit. It is a war making power (v. 14) “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them.”
Who is the real motivating force behind this religious /political war making power? “And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon” (Rev. 9:11). Both of these names in Hebrew and Greek means destroyer the sinner, the power guiding the beast’s army is none other than Satan the Devil.
When the forces of the beast attack its enemies, those people who lived through the Great Tribulation and repented and called upon God, these people will be sealed with God’s Holy Spirit and protected from God’s wrath. Read Revelation the 7th and 14th chapters.
Now in the meantime hordes of other people in Asia will also have been preparing for war. The 2nd woe or the 6th trumpet is ready to sound.
“Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates so the four angels who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind. Now the number of the army of the horsemen were 200,000,000. I heard the number of them” (Rev. 9:14-16).
Verses 17-19 described how one third of mankind will be killed, fire, brimstone and smoke, this could be referring to some kind of nuclear weaponry, but we will just have to wait and see. It the world population hits 7 billion when this comes about, that means 2.3 billion people are going to die. This is what Jesus Christ was warning us about in Matthew 24:22, unless He intervenes, all flesh would perish.
Now after all of this, you would think that the rest of mankind would come to their senses, but they will not. “But the rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues did not repent of their works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear or walk. And they did not repent of their murders, or their sorceries or their sexual immorality, or their thefts” (Rev. 9:20-21).
As bad as these people are, God has not given up on them, notice Rev. 10:8-11; 11:3-8 and the two witnesses. Also read Revelation 14.
These two witnesses are given spiritual protection as they deliver God’s last warning to all the earth. Now of course once their job is over, God will allow them to be killed and their bodies will lie in the streets in Jerusalem for 3 ½ days.
Now a person might think that the miracles that these two witnesses will be doing, will take place in Jerusalem only, but that is not true. “And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth” (Rev. 11:9-10).
When God gives life back to these two men, great fear fell on those who saw them, then a great earthquake happened and a tenth of the city fell and 7,000 died, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven.
Verse 14 “The second woe is past: and, behold, the third woe comes quickly.” Revelation 11:15-19 describes Jesus Christ coming back to this earth to take over the reigns of government from mankind. The blast of this 7th trumpet or 3rd woe will save mankind from extinction by the return of Christ. This great World War will be raging on this earth when Christ intervenes, but what does rebellious mankind do? “The nations were angry” (Rev. 11:18). Mankind has never wanted God’s rule, even though it is the only way to peace and happiness.
This 3rd woe completes God’s wrath. Verse 18 and also Rev. 15:1 and Rev. 14:10.Just as the 7th seal is subdivided into 7 trumpets, so the 7th trumpet is divided into the seven last plagues which are and make up the 7th trumpet or the 3rd woe.
These 7 last plagues or vials or bowls are poured out at Christ’s second coming in His presence and the presence of all the Holy Angels. Now you can read about these plagues for yourself. In Rev. 18:8 tells us that these plagues will come in one day.
The final and last plague to be poured out is Rev. 16:17-21: “And the 7th angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne saying, it is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and the great Babylon came into remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.”
Finally, the nations, that is, what is left of them, will come to their senses and seek the True God (Isa. 2-4). World peace at last, security, happiness will be ushered in by the righteous rule of Jesus Christ, for the law of God will go out to all nations from Jerusalem during the millennium.
You and I must stay close to God and do our part in getting this gospel out as a warning and a witness. “Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you, hide yourself as it were for a little moment until the indignation is past. For behold the Lord comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity” (Isa. 26:20). The Day of the Lord begins! (If you would like to know more on the subject of The Day of the Lord send for our FREE DVD, “Trumpets 2009”).