|Revelation 11:|| 15: And the seventh
angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying,
The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord,
and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. |
16: And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,
17: Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.
18: And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
19: And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.
The 7th Trumpet brings us to the climax
of human history, when another mass-confrontation between good
and evil will take place. It will commence with a spiritual
election which will test the allegiance of every
soul on earth; will then progress through the unimaginable terrors
of the seven last plagues (called the Wrath of God) and
end with the total overthrow of Satan and his system.
Fearsome though the events of this Trumpet are, and this is why it is called a Woe, great joy will overwhelm the heavenly host at its sounding (Rev. 11:15), for only then will the mystery of God be finished. We know this from the following verse.
|Rev. 10:||7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.|
To most people God is a mystery and His
involvement with mankind is even more mysterious than His invisible
presence. How often have we heard people say: "If God
is a God of love and is all-powerful as He claims to be, why doesn't
He put an end to human suffering?" Or "What
is God doing about the rising tide of crime? Why doesn't He use
His power to prevent sickness, sorrow, pain and death? Doesn't
Questions like these, many of them awash
with tears, are repeatedly voiced by people all over the globe.
And, as conditions worsen, the same apparently cruel response
comes back from heaven
a bewildering, deathly silence. At the 7th Trumpet (the 3rd Woe)
that silence will be broken. The mystery of God,
hidden from most of humanity since the dawn of time, will be finished
and made plain. All the questions about God's strange dealings
will then be answered.
Analysing the main events of the 3rd Woe we discover that they fall into three distinct categories involving authority, anger and reward. These three are summarised in the following words. The words in bold type are ours.
|Rev. 11:||17: Saying, We give thee thanks,
O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because
thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.
18: And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come (ANGER) and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. (REWARD)
Most of the remaining chapters in Revelation
tell of the final scenes on earth just before the end of this
age, and in varying degrees they deal with either a call to recognize
Yahweh's authority, the outpouring of His anger
or the distribution of His rewards. Let us now very briefly
consider these chapters. It would obviously help a great deal
if the reader read each chapter before the explanation.
Satan's visible representative on earth
at the time will be the Man of Sin, the Antichrist,
the coming World Dictator. He will be a being of commanding
presence and power, and will exercise all the authority of the
Devil himself. The Man of Sin is symbolically referred to in the
Revelation as the Beast! According to the prophet John,
the Beast is scheduled to make a personal appearance on
earth at this Seal, and will govern the whole of the world for
a period of three and a half years. The vast majority of mankind,
we are told, will worship him in abject terror, demonstrating
their acceptance of his authority by doing his will and receiving
Those who refuse to accept the Mark of the Beast will lose the right to buy and sell. In other words they will be totally barred from the world's markets, banks and other economic institutions. On the other hand, those who do worship the Beast will receive the full measure of Yahweh's anger, which is to be poured out undiluted on mankind in the form of the seven last plagues.
A symbolic description of this coming World Dictator is given below:
|Rev.13:|| 1: And I stood upon the sand
of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven
heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his
heads the name of blasphemy.|
2: And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
3: And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
4: And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
5: And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
6: And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
7: And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
8: And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. 9: If any man have an ear, let him hear.
The Apostle Paul writing in plain language about the same being the Man of Sin said this:
|2 Thess. 2:|| 1: Now we beseech
you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by
our gathering together unto him,|
2: That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3: Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4: Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
5: Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
6: And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
7: For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8: And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.
Yahweh's warning message against worshipping the Beast and accepting his Mark is as follows:
|Rev.14:|| 9: And the third angel followed
them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast
and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his
10: The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
11: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
Who will dispute but that here before us is a prophetic warning of unparalleled importance; which we must understand if we wish to escape the wrath of the Almighty. The two burning questions that immediately come to mind are: