In the future 70th Week, a man (the Antichrist) unsuccessfully will attempt to bring world peace after Jesus, the Lamb, opens Seal 1 of the heavenly scroll (Rev. 5:1,6a,7, 6:1a). Then Satan’s wrath, manifested through nature and mankind and allowed by God, will be the theme and focus during the time period encompassed by Seals 2 through 4 and brought to a head after the opening of Seal 5 midway through the 70th Week. A preliminary “taste” of God’s wrath will be seen after Seal 6 is opened, and it will be exacerbated, on a vast scale, after the breaking of Seal 7.
At the beginning of Seal 7 will be an eerie period of complete “...silence in heaven for about half an hour” (Rev. 8:1), much as a typical day begins quietly and peacefully. (If this silence also is apparent on the earth by a cessation of sixth seal disturbances, Israel and the world may even think that “peace” finally has arrived.) But I see this as the “quiet before the storm” or the “eye of the hurricane” with the worst yet to come.
A few Old Testament prophets even seemed to predict this unearthly silence (Isa. 41:1a; Amos 8:3c; Hab. 2:20). Zephaniah said, “Be silent before the Sovereign Lord, for the day of the Lord is near” (Zeph. 1:7a). After this silence, from John’s futuristic point of view, “...there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake” (Rev. 8:5b), signaling that the real disturbances were about to ensue.
There are differing opinions as to what is meant by the expression, “Day of the Lord” (which I believe is equivalent to the supernatural events which will occur following the opening of Seal 7). Some feel that this term is synonymous with the 70th Week, while some think it literally is one 24-hour day on which the Judgment of God will fall. Others believe that it refers to the Millennium (seeC-13), which will begin after the 70th Week ends. And yet others hold it to be some combination of the 70th Week and the Millennium. As I already have explained (see “anticipation of ‘peace and safety’”: P-III, S-2), it is my belief that the Day of the Lord is the last segment of the 70th Week (plus an extra 30 days, explained later), during which the wrath of Almighty God finally and ultimately is poured out upon this world of unrepentant, rebellious people. It is possible that the Day of the Lord will include the Millennium (see C-13), which will be a time of peace, joy, and global enlightenment.
God’s wrath upon the nations of the world during this time will stem mainly from their 1) worshiping “gods” other than the true God, 2) failing to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord, 3) persecuting Jews and Christians, and 4) turning a beautiful world, which He specially created for us, into a colossal mess. Also, God increasingly will be displeased with the people of Israel for 1) having made a covenant with an earthly pseudo-messiah who then oppressed them (via an anti-God, anti-Israel world system), 2) continuing to worship idols and other God substitutes, and 3) still mostly refusing to believe in and accept Jesus as the true Messiah, who could have saved them out of their misery.
Ancient prophets spoke about the inevitable Day of the Lord to come. God warned through Zephaniah,
Listen! the cry on the day of the Lord will be bitter, the shouting of the warrior there. That day will be a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness.... I will bring distress on the people and they will walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Lord. ... Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them on the day of the Lord’s wrath (Zeph. 1:14b,15,17a,18a).
Amos scolded the future Israelites, who, I believe, mistakenly will interpret the supernatural signs (of the sixth seal) preceding the Day of the Lord as an indication of Israel’s impending deliverance and salvation from its enemies:
Woe to you who long for the day of the Lord! Why do you long for the day of the Lord? That day will be darkness, not light. It will be as though a man fled from a lion only to meet a bear, as though he entered his house and rested his hand on the wall only to have a snake bite him. Will not the day of the Lord be darkness, not light—pitch-dark without a ray of brightness? (Amos 5:18-20).
Zephaniah predicted that Jews will gather back to their nation (which they have done in multitudes in recent years) before the judgments of the Day of the Lord come to pass:
Gather together, gather together, O shameful nation, before the appointed time arrives and that day sweeps on like chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord comes upon you, before the day of the Lord’s wrath comes upon you (Zeph. 2:1,2).
Unquestionably, the Day of the Lord segment of the 70th Week will be the most frightening, horrifying time the world has ever known, because it will be the final expression of God’s holy and righteous wrath which has been restrained throughout the ages. If I knew I was going to be alive when it began, I would want to know of a way to be sheltered and protected from it. Fortunately, there is a way (see “‘Pre-Wrath’ Rapture (Pre-WR)”: P-V, S-2), and it is obtainable by the saving faith of Jesus Christ.
Previously, I described two large earthquakes that I experienced in one day, the second one shorter but more intense than the first (see “birth pains”: P-III, S-2). I likened the first quake to the segment of the 70th Week up to the beginning of the Day of the Lord and the second quake to the Day of the Lord period itself.
The onset of the Day of the Lord also reminds me of a particular segment on a bizarre “funny videos” TV show, filmed in Japan. A group of people would enter homes very quietly, go into bedrooms where people were sleeping, and suddenly begin screaming, crashing cymbals together, violently shaking those in bed, and using various other methods to “rudely awaken” the people from a sound sleep. I assure you, not one of the “awakees” was amused.
The one “wake-up call” that remains in my mind was extreme and excessive. A sleeping man and his mattress carefully were carried outside, without the man’s waking up, and placed on very muddy ground. One end of a rope was tied to a horse and the other to the man’s feet. (Sorry, folks, but I would have awoken as soon as someone walked into my room; this man, being in a deep sleep, did not heed any of the warning signs!) Suddenly, coincident with an assault of loud noises, the horse was slapped. It is not difficult to remember the look on the poor guy’s face and imagine his horror moments later as he was jerked off his mattress and dragged through the muck. Maybe, for a few moments, he even thought he was having a bad dream. Similarly, although the Day of the Lord will have warnings, those who are “asleep” will not heed them and suddenly will be faced with the worst nightmare they could ever imagine—only it will be horribly real.
After the Antichrist’s covenant has gone into effect at the beginning of the 70th Week, much of Israel will go through a period of rebellion and apostasy—the abandonment of faith in the True God (2 Ths. 2:3a)—just as occurred centuries ago after making a covenant with Antiochus Epiphanes (1 Macc. 1:11-14, 2:15—see “Antiochus IV Epiphanes”: C-11, P-II). And, as their predecessors did, many will adopt the customs and idol worship of pagan Gentiles (1 Macc. 1:41-49). God will view this as nothing less than spiritual infidelity, unfaithfulness, and adultery (Jer. 13:25b-27). Isaiah has recorded God’s future displeasure with Israel this way:
Behind your doors and your doorposts you have put your pagan symbols. Forsaking me, you uncovered your bed, you climbed into it and opened it wide; you made a pact with those whose beds you love, and you looked on their nakedness. You went to Molech [or to the king] with olive oil and increased your perfumes. You sent your ambassadors far away; you descended to the grave itself! (Isa. 57:8,9).
I believe that, at the same time, there also will be an apostasy taking place within the Christian Church (see “disputes with Pre-TR”: C-12, P-V), where people will be drawn away more and more by “New Age” teachings and practices (see “‘New Age’ folly” and “infiltration of ‘New Age’ theology”: C-9, P-I).
Even after the Antichrist is revealed (2 Ths. 2:3b,6b) as a fierce terror at the 70th Week’s midpoint, the people of Israel (as well as apostate Christians) will not turn to God but will maintain their idol worship and/or cultic and occultic practices. And Israel will be repaid “double” (Satan and man’s wrath during the Great Tribulation and God’s wrath during the Trumpet Judgments—see “Trumpet Judgments” later in this segment) for their apostasy:
I will repay them double for their wickedness and their sin, because they have defiled my land with the lifeless forms of their vile images and have filled my inheritance with their detestable idols (Jer. 16:18).
Sadly, the time of “Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:4-7) will be followed unrelentingly by the dreadful and frightful Day of the Lord period.
The nations of the world who come against and persecute Israel also will receive “double destruction,” all of it due directly to God’s wrath. Jeremiah’s statement, indicating a cry by Israel to God to be protected from its enemies, shows this:
Let my persecutors be put to shame, but keep me from shame; let them be terrified but keep me from terror. Bring on them the day of disaster [Day of the Lord]; destroy them with double destruction (Jer. 17:18).
The nations will receive a double portion of God’s wrath, via the Trumpet and Bowl Judgments (see “Divine Judgments” later in this segment). Unhappily, Israel also will receive the first of these (the Trumpet Judgments) as the second part of her “double trouble.”
Because of the Israelites’ idol worship during the 70th Week, I believe that God will divide the people into thirds and deal with each third accordingly. Through Ezekiel, God declared,
Because of all your detestable idols, I will do to you what I have never done before and will never do again. ... I will inflict punishment on you and will scatter all your survivors to the winds. ... A third of your people will die of the plague or perish by famine inside you; a third will fall by the sword outside your walls; and a third I will scatter to the winds and pursue with drawn sword (Ezek. 5:9,10b,12).
Although God has punished Israel and scattered the Jews in the past, I do not believe that He has ever divided them into thirds to do so. (I suspect this end-time scattering and exiling of the Jews will be done by both the forces of the Antichrist and of Gog and Magog during the Day of the Lord—see “regathering of the Jews” later in this segment and “interpretations” in the next segment.) Also, God indicates it is something “...I have never done before and will never do again.” Fortunately, there will be a remnant who is spared: “But I will spare some, for some of you will escape the sword when you are scattered among the lands and nations” (Ezek. 6:8). Micah also spoke of this remnant whom God will forgive and to whom Jesus, when He returns at the end of the 70th Week, finally will give the inheritance promised to Abraham and Jacob millennia ago (see “Israel’s inheritance”: C-2, P-II):
Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. ... You will be true to Jacob and show mercy to Abraham, as you pledged on oath to our fathers in days long ago (Micah 7:18,20).
This final returning remnant additionally was described by Isaiah:
In that day the remnant of Israel, the survivors of the house of Jacob, will no longer rely on him [Antichrist] who struck them down but will truly rely on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. A remnant will return, a remnant of Jacob will return to the Mighty God. Though your people, O Israel, be like the sand by the sea, only a remnant will return. Destruction has been decreed, overwhelming and righteous. The Lord, the Lord Almighty, will carry out the destruction decreed upon the whole land (Isa. 10:20-23).
Although almost total destruction is in Israel’s future, a remnant of Israelites will be protected through this time of judgment upon the land. These will be the ones who, in the end, will return home and accept the True God of Israel.
There will be fifteen great Judgments upon the earth during the Day of the Lord period; these will include the seventh Seal Judgment (Rev. 8:5), seven Trumpet Judgments (8:2,6-13, 9:1-19, 11:15a,19b), and seven Bowl (or Vial) Judgments (15:1–16:21), all resulting from God’s righteous wrath. It should be noted that one heavenly angel will “hurl” out the seventh Seal Judgment, and fourteen other heavenly angels will “blow out” and “pour out” the final Trumpet and Bowl Judgments of God’s wrath onto the world; whereas, there will be no angels dispensing the calamities included in the first six seals, because they will not be direct manifestations of God’s wrath (the sixth seal will be merely a “foretaste” of it). One also could say that the fourteen Trumpet and Bowl Judgments are “contained” within the seventh seal (which is the Day of the Lord), since they take place after the seventh seal is opened.
Some feel that the seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven bowls are exactly the same events seen from three different perspectives: hell, heaven, and earth. I do not agree with this, as I find too much variance between the respective items in each group (for instance, Rev. 8:7 and 16:2 bear no similarity whatsoever.) Although some parts of the Book of Revelation do not fall in order chronologically with parts preceding or following them, I do not believe the book consists of the same sequence of events stated three times.
As seven angels sound their trumpets, seven supernatural events will take place on the earth and in the sky, aimed at all the nations of the world. 1) Hail and fire mixed with blood will be hurled down upon the earth, causing a third of the trees and green grass to be burned up (Rev. 8:7). 2) A “blazing mountain” will be thrown into the sea, with a resultant third of the sea turning into blood, a third of the sea creatures dying, and a third of the ships being destroyed (8:8,9). 3) A great star-like mass (called “Wormwood,” meaning “absinthe” or “bitterness”—Jer. 9:15) will fall to earth, causing a third of the rivers and springs to turn bitter and killing many (Rev. 8:10,11). 4) The illumination of the sun, moon, and stars will be decreased by a third (8:12). (Apparently, the light of these heavenly bodies will have been restored partially sometime after the sixth seal period, maybe as smoke and debris clear from the atmosphere.)
It will be noted here that almost 200 good-sized asteroids (including Adonis, Cerberus, Daedalus, Hephaistos, and Icarus), whose orbits bring them close to earth, have been sighted; and one estimate says there may be as many as 10,000 of them with diameters between ½-kilometer (about 3/10 of a mile) and 5 kilometers.
According to David Morrison of the NASA Ames Research Center, if an object measuring ½-kilometer or larger hit our planet, the blast would be greater than the power of a 1,000-megaton bomb; and it probably would produce the equivalent of a “nuclear winter” globally.
The next two trumpet judgments involve terrifying demonic intruders. 5) Locusts, looking like horses with tails having stingers like those of scorpions, will use their tails to torment people for five months (Rev. 9:1-11). (Interestingly, five months—150 days—also was the length of time of the Great Flood—Gen. 7:24.) 6) Two hundred million demons on horses with heads like lions, tails like snakes, and fire, smoke, and sulfur coming out of their mouths will kill a third of the people which remain (Rev. 9:13-19)—including, I believe, many in the armies of Gog and Magog (see “demon forces”: “interpretations” in the next segment, S-2).
Finally, the seventh trumpet will sound (see the following section, “mystery accomplished”). 7) Loud voices in heaven will proclaim that the kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of God and that Christ will reign forever (Rev. 11:15), indicating that Jesus is making a bodily descent to earth. Other voices will announce the numerous activities of Jesus, the earth’s King (11:16-18). An earthquake and a great hailstorm will follow.
Most people forced to deal with all of these horrendous worldwide events to occur in the future will not be able to believe that they possibly could take place. Their degree of incredulity will be far greater than that portrayed by the characters in two award-winning films, Independence Day (1996) and Titanic (1997). As in these blockbuster (and I believe prophetic) movies, many people will not be able to progress beyond the initial stage of absolute denial before they are swept away by floods, firestorms, or other cataclysms.
A mighty angel (whom I believe is the Lord, Jesus—see “a mighty angel”: C-8, P-I, S-1) previously will have announced,
There will be no more delay! But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets (Rev. 10:6b,7).
Paul told us what (or, actually, Whom) is “the mystery of God”:
My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col. 2:2,3).
The “...mystery of God...[which He] announced to his servants the prophets” (Rev. 10:7b) is that His Messiah (Christ Jesus), in Whom is all wisdom and knowledge, would come once humbly to serve, save, and die, and once again gloriously to reign, judge, and bring eternal Life to whoever believed in Him. This mystery is the Gospel message, which God has proclaimed by his prophets (and even in the stars—seeC-9, P-IV, S-1) throughout the ages. If the mystery is “accomplished” when “...the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet...” (Rev. 10:7a), it means that Jesus Christ, who already has come once humbly to serve, finally will come again gloriously to reign—at the sounding of the seventh trumpet (11:15-17).
After the seventh trumpet is sounded by an angel, the following words will be heard in heaven:
The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever (Rev. 11:15b). ... We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign (11:17). The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great—and for destroying those who destroy the earth (11:18).
I believe that this is the day on which Jesus will descend to walk on the earth again in the physical, flesh and bones, glorified body which He now possesses. (Also, see “Second Coming”: P-V, S-1). This bodily advent was predicted by two angels (in the form of men) at the time that Jesus ascended bodily into heaven, on the fortieth day following His resurrection:
“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).
John envisioned the spectacular, corporeal return of Jesus as follows:
I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one but he himself knows. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Rev. 19:11-16).
Many things will occur at the time Jesus returns to the earth. Israel finally will know and accept Jesus as Messiah and Lord (Ezek. 39:22). He officially will begin to reign over the world as King (Zech. 14:9; Rev. 11:17b). All of the Old Testament prophets and people who believed in the Redeemer (Messiah) will be raised from the dead and their works judged by Jesus (Job 19:25-27a; Jer. 30:9b; Dan. 12:1c,2a,13b; Rev. 11:18c). These people (along with the saints previously resurrected in the Rapture—see “‘Pre-Wrath’ Rapture (Pre-WR)”: P-V, S-2) finally will receive their promised eternal rewards (Isa. 40:10; 1 Cor. 3:14; Rev. 11:18d).
The armies of the nations coming against Israel and taking part in the ruination of the earth (see “blood-stained garments” following in this segment and “interpretations” in the next segment) will be defeated in a tremendous blood bath (Isa. 63:1-6; Ezek. 38:21,22; Rev. 11:18e, 14:19,20, 19:15c). I do not (as many do) believe this to be the Battle of Armageddon (Rev. 16:16, 19:19,20a,21), which will happen a few weeks later (see “destruction of Antichrist and his armies”: S-3).
Zechariah wrote, “Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle” (Zech. 14:3). I believe this means that upon His physical return, Jesus will fight against the nations (Gog and Magog armies)—which will be coming against Jerusalem—just as He subsequently will fight against the Antichrist and His armies—which will rage specifically against Jesus—at a later time during the Battle of Armageddon.
Not long after Jesus’ physical return, God’s wrath will continue to come down in the form of seven more judgments (see “Bowl Judgments”: S-3) on the nations angry with God and ravaging the earth throughout the 70th Week (11:18abe). Israel, however, will be spared from these Bowl Judgments.
One might question Jesus’ “right” to come to earth, take over by violent force, and set Himself up as King of the world. First and foremost, it should be realized that Jesus has the right, as Creator of all things (see “Creator, Sustainer”: C-6, P-III), to do anything He pleases with what He has created. When He walked the earth, He had the Authority, given by the Father, to conquer all His enemies and take over as King at that time. Instead, however, He chose to earn the right and respect to be King, demeaning Himself to the position of the world’s chief public servant, making His name of no more value than anyone else’s, and submitting Himself to arguably the most inhumane torture and death possible (Phil. 2:7,8—see “humility, surrender, and exaltation”: C-6, P-III). By going through a process much more involved than we would expect of any earthly leader, Jesus has exhibited infinitely more qualifications to lead the people of this world than anyone else ever has or ever will. Jesus has every right to rule.
All of this was done, partially, to give people the opportunity to understand what a great sacrifice He made so that they voluntarily would accept His rule—in their lives and, ultimately, over God’s Kingdom on the earth. It is unfortunate that self-pride and lust for power has prevented multitudes from accepting the sovereign rule of God, through Jesus. Since God is a merciful God and does not want the people of this planet to destroy themselves (which inevitably would happen if left on our their own—Matt. 24:22a), He forcibly will intervene and exercise His perfect right to rule the world as He sees fit, for the advantage of all who themselves are humble and who know full well that submission to Jesus as King is the only way the people of earth will ever progress to greater heights and receive true spiritual enlightenment. They never would be able to do it on their own, which the “New Age” philosophy proposes.
In John’s vision of Jesus’ physical, final return back to earth, His blood-stained robe clearly is noted (Rev. 19:13a). This is not symbolic or a result of the blood He shed for us on the cross. Rather, his robe literally will be stained with blood, because “He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God” (19:15c) at that time—that is, I believe, He will destroy the armies of Gog and Magog and of their allied nations. (Even birds and wild animals are called to eat the flesh of mighty men, kings, princes, and others killed in the battle—Ezek. 39:17-20; Rev. 19:17,18.) John provides a graphic description of this battle:
The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathering its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath. They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia [about 180 miles] (Rev. 14:19,20)
(To understand how a flowing “river of blood” so deep and long could arise, see “plague, blood, and hail comparison”: “interpretations”: S-2.)
Now, notice that this enormous, bloody battle (along with the staining of Jesus’ garments with blood—Rev. 19:13a,15c) takes place before “the beast” (Antichrist) and “the kings of the earth” (of the remaining world nations which did not ally with Magog) gather their armies together to make war on King Jesus and His armies (19:19). Gog will make war on Israel and Jerusalem (see S-2 later in this part); whereas, the antichrist spirit, through the human Antichrist, will make war directly on Jesus (see “destruction of Antichrist and his armies”: S-3), refusing to accept His sovereign Authority, once He physically sits in Jerusalem as the world’s King.
Thus, Zechariah differentiated between two separate fightings or battles by Jesus:
Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations [armies of Gog and Magog], as he fights [at a later time against the Antichrist and his armies] in the day of battle [of Armageddon] (Zech. 14:3).
The carnage of Gog and Magog will be a slaughtering of the Gog/Magog forces by Jesus at His bodily return to earth. These forces will be attacking Jerusalem. On the other hand, the Battle of Armageddon will be a battle a month later between the forces of Antichrist (who will be coming against Jesus) and Jesus Himself.
Joel sheds more light on God’s battle against the armies of Gog and Magog and the allied nations with them, indicating that it will take place in the Valley of Jehoshaphat (Joel 3:2a,12b), meaning “Jehovah is Judge.” Jewish tradition indicates that Jehoshaphat is the portion of the Kidron Valley in Jerusalem located between the temple and the Mount of Olives.
Joel’s depiction of the very bloody battle to take place in the Valley of Jehoshaphat is brief but strikingly similar to John’s description:
Come, trample the grapes, for the winepress is full and the vats overflow—so great is their wickedness (Joel 3:13b)!
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine. The Lord [Lion of the Tribe of Judah] will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and sky will tremble (Joel 3:14-16b).
It is my view that the “[D]ay of the Lord” noted here (Joel 3:14b) specifically refers to the actual day of Jesus’ physical return. Multitudes will be warned—via the darkened sun, moon, and stars (see also Rev. 16:10a)—of Jesus’ impending advent, just as people worldwide will have been warned—via the blackened sun, reddened moon, and falling “stars” of the sixth seal (Rev. 6:12,13)—of His imminent arrival in the clouds at the Pre-Wrath Rapture (see “supernatural signs in the sky”: P-III, S-2; and “‘Pre-Wrath’ Rapture (Pre-WR)”: P-V, S-2). This will be the last time for anyone to accept Jesus’ blood atonement personally for his/her sins (and, possibly, to avoid the final outpouring of God’s wrath upon an unrepentant world, in the form of the Bowl Judgments—see “Bowl Judgments”: S-3; and “‘Multiple’ Raptures (MR)” and “discussion of MR”: P-V, S-2) and to accept His absolute Authority over the world and over each inhabitant. Multitudes, standing at the threshold of the greatest event in history—the Second Advent of the world’s Messiah—will be facing the most critical decision of their lives: whether to humble themselves before the Lord of the Universe or to hold onto their pride and allow their own blood to be part of the great overflowing winepress which stains His robe as He “...judges and makes war” (Rev. 19:11c) against them.
Jesus, initially, will not set foot in Jerusalem (nor even in Israel), as many might imagine, on the day He comes to save Israel from the onslaught of the Gog/Magog armies. Rather, He first will come to Bozrah (southeast of the Dead Sea in Jordan, the modern-day name for Edom). Isaiah, like John, describes the Messiah as “treading a winepress” in his account of the Messiah’s future arrival:
Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah, with his garments stained crimson? Who is this, robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of his strength? “It is I [Messiah/God], speaking in righteousness, mighty to save.” Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress? “I have trodden the winepress alone; from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing. For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and the year of my redemption has come. I looked, but there was no one to help, I was appalled that no one gave support; so my own arm [Messiah/Jesus] worked salvation for me, and my own wrath sustained me. I trampled the nations in my anger; in my wrath I made them drunk and poured their blood on the ground” (Isa. 63:1-6).
regathering of the Jews
I see the influx of Jews into Israel (Jer. 30:3; Ezek. 37:1-14; Zeph. 2:1,2) after it became a nation in 1948 (and more recently from Russia and Ethiopia) as being a prophetic requisite for the Great Tribulation and the ensuing Day of the Lord periods to take place. However, I believe that yet another scattering and regathering of Israelites will have occurred by the close of the 70th Week. I feel this dispersing of the people will be due to Israel’s unfaithfulness (Jer. 3:20), “spiritual adulteries,” and “prostitution” with false pagan “gods” (13:24-27) which will be embraced after the 70th Week covenant is made with the Antichrist (see “apostasy and destruction” and “three thirds and a remnant” previously in this segment).
I believe that in attacks upon Israel and Jerusalem during the Great Tribulation and Day of the Lord periods, the people will be dispelled and taken captive (Jer. 5:19b, 16:13, 18:17; Zech. 14:2c; Luke 21:24a), just as they were during the Assyrian and Babylonian invasions (see “partially fulfilled prophecies”: C-2, P-III). (Note: The description of an attack may pertain to more than one event in history and to more than one enemy, as history repeats itself.) At the end of the 70th Week, the Lord will bring back to Israel the Jewish survivors scattered and exiled to other nations during the Great Tribulation and Day of the Lord (Jer. 3:14a,18, 16:15, 30:8b, 31:8; Ezek. 11:17, 34:13a, 37:21,22; Micah 2:12,13, 4:6,7a). Then He will give them their promised eternal inheritance.
“I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the house of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord” (Ezek. 39:29).
On that day [of Jesus’ physical return] I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem.
And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit [or the Spirit] of grace and supplication. They will look on me whom they have pierced, and mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son (Zech. 12:9,10).
The Masoretic Text translation states,
And they shall look unto Me [the Father] because they have thrust him [Jesus] through (Zech. 12:10b).
Comparing the statements in these two renderings, one can perceive the unity of, as well as a distinction between, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Of course, “pierced” and “thrust him through” refer to the penetrating of Jesus’ body by the crown of thorns after His mock trial and by the nails and a spear on the cross.) “From that day forward the house of Israel will know that [Jesus, the Messiah] is the Lord their God” (Ezek. 39:22).
I believe a prophecy of Hosea, concerning Israel, will apply during the 70th Week:
The guilt of Ephraim is stored up, his sins are kept on record. Pains as of a woman in childbirth come to him, but he is a child without wisdom; when the time arrives, he does not come to the opening of the womb (Hosea 13:13).
In my opinion, Ephraim (Gen. 41:52), second-born son of Joseph (the eleventh son of Jacob/Israel), represents the whole of Israel (Gen. 48:20; Ezek. 37:16,17; Hosea 7:1a), who will embrace false religion and idols (4:17a) after engaging in a covenant relationship with the Antichrist (13:10-12). During the Great Tribulation (Seal 5), Israel will desire relief from the affliction and distress (increased “birth pains”) brought on by the Antichrist. But the people, predominantly, still will not accept the true Messiah, Jesus, as the one Who will save them, thereby refusing to be “reborn” (or to “...come to the opening of the womb”). Therefore, they will have to endure the “hard labor pains” (travail) of the Day of the Lord before finally being reborn spiritually.
I also believe that, at the close of the 70th Week, the final part of an important prophecy of Isaiah will be fulfilled:
Before she goes into labor, she gives birth; before the pains come upon her, she delivers a son. Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor [travail] than she gives birth to her children (Isa. 66:7,8).
In my view, this is an indication that the Son of God, Jesus, would be born in Israel as a baby, long before Israel even would begin her labor pains of the 70th Week to be reborn again as a holy nation (finally and permanently having turned back to God). Immediately after Israel’s hard labor pains (travail) during the Day of the Lord, Jesus will return to destroy her enemies (saving the entire nation from being “aborted” spiritually) and to pour out the Holy Spirit upon the remaining remnant (Ezek. 39:29; Zech. 12:10a). On that day, at the moment the remnant of national Israel perceives that Jesus is the real Messiah, the holy nation will be “reborn,” giving “birth” to all of her citizens (children of God) who, from that point on and forevermore, will know and embrace Jesus as Messiah, Lord, Savior, and King (Isa. 59:20,21; Jer. 31:34; Ezek. 34:30,31, 39:22).
Around this time of Jesus’ coming will occur a great celebration: the “wedding supper of the Lamb” (Psalm 23:5a; Matt. 22:1-14; Rev. 19:9a), the preparation for which will happen (Rev. 19:7,8) just prior to His coming. Some believe this event will take place in heaven prior to the coming of Jesus and His armies to earth. I suspect that this “wedding banquet” (Matt. 25:10b) will transpire on earth, during the Festival of Sukkot (see “Jesus, the King”: C-5, P-III), soon after Jesus’ bodily return so that all who embrace Jesus as Lord, whether mortal or transformed (see “changed bodies”: P-V, S-1), can take part in it. (Sukkot begins less than a week after Yom Kippur.) In fact, I would not be surprised if the wedding supper also will be a type of “awards banquet” with Jesus bestowing rewards as gifts upon those who have served God during history (Rev. 11:18d), though this is mere conjecture on my part.
It will be at this time that Jesus will drink the wine with all believers, as He promised to His disciples at the Last Supper (Matt. 26:29—see “Jesus’ blood, the wine”: C-4, P-II). With His cup high in the air, He will toast His Bride—the Church.
These are Scriptures which I believe relate to the final return of Jesus back to stand on the earth, to deliver Israel from her enemies, and to assume His rightful position as King: Psalm 110:2,3,5; Isa. 11:4cd, 24:14-16a, 27:12,13, 29:5-8; 30:19-21,27-33, 40:4,5,9,10, 41:8-17, 42:13, 52:7-10, 59:20, 60:1,2, 61:1-3, 62:11, 63:1-6; Jer. 30:8,11a, 31:11; Ezek. 38:22,23, 39:22,25-29; Dan. 2:44, 7:13,14; Joel 2:20, 3:2,9-12,13b,16ab; Hab. 3:3,4; Zech. 2:10, 9:14-16a, 12:2-14, 14:3-5,12-14; Mal. 3:2; Matt. 13:40-43a, 25:31-46, 26:29,64; Mark 14:25,62; Luke 22:18; Acts 1:11b; Rom. 11:26,27; 2 Ths. 1:7b-10a, 2:8b; Jude 14b,15; Rev. 1:7, 11:15-18, 14:14-20, 19:11-20ac,21, 22:7a,12,20a.
One of the most intriguing prophecies in the Bible was made by Ezekiel (Ezek. 38:1–39:29). Although there is a great deal of conjecture and debate as to when this prophecy will be fulfilled, I tend to believe that its events will take place near the end of the Day of the Lord, as the Trumpet Judgments are being “blown out.” I will quote here only a portion of the prophecy; one should read both Chapters 38 and 39 of Ezekiel to get the full impact. I will include a notation after each verse for easier reference later.
The word of the Lord came to me [Ezekiel]: (Ezek. 38:1) “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of [or the prince of Rosh,] Meshech and Tubal; prophesy against him (38:2) and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of [or prince of Rosh,] Meshech and Tubal (38:3). I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army... (38:4a). Persia, Cush and Put will be with them,... (38:5) also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops—the many nations with you (38:6). ...
“‘You will come from your place in the far north, you and many nations with you, all of them riding on horses, a great horde, a mighty army (Ezek. 38:15). You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land (38:16a). ...
“‘This is what will happen in that day: When Gog attacks the land of Israel, my hot anger will be aroused, declares the Sovereign Lord (Ezek. 38:18). In my zeal and fiery wrath I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel (38:19). ... I will execute judgment upon him with plague and bloodshed, I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him (38:22). And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord (38:23).’ ...
“I will display my glory among the nations, and all the nations will see the punishment I inflict and the hand I lay upon them (Ezek. 39:21). From that day forward, the house of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God (39:22). ...
“I will now bring Jacob back from captivity and will have compassion on all the people of Israel, and I will be zealous for my holy name (Ezek. 39:25). ... Then they will know that I am the Lord their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind (39:28). I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the house of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord” (39:29).
name and ally identifications
For a fascinating “Special Report” highlighting Ezekiel 38 and 39, I recommend obtaining The Magog Factor, by Hal Lindsey and Chuck Missler. One can order it by writing Hal Lindsey Ministries, P.O. Box 4000, Palos Verdes, CA 90274, or by calling 1(800)848-8735. Some of the name identifications which I will include next, as well as some of my prophecy explanations, come from this informative book.
In any standard translation of the Old Testament, the name “Gog” is found only in Ezek. 38 and 39 and in 1 Chr. 5:4b. However, in the Septuagint translation, there is a reference to Gog in the Book of Amos:
Thus the Lord showed me, and behold a swarm of locusts were coming, and, behold, one of the young devastating locusts was Gog, the King (Amos 7:1—Septuagint).
Now, literal locust insects do not have a leader or “king” (Prov. 30:27a); so this may well be referring to a demon host, indicating that Gog could be a demonic being leading the armies in Ezekiel’s prophecy. This seems more credible knowing also that Gog will return over 1,000 years later, as seen in John’s vision (Rev. 20:8a). It further is possible (I believe probable) that this demon, “Gog,” will possess two different men, over 1,000 years apart, to lead armies against Jerusalem, as the first (human) leader will die (Ezek. 39:11a). (Note: Chuck Missler has suggested that these armies of locusts may be “genetic mutants,” a result of out-of-control genetic engineering.
In some versions, Gog is listed as the “chief prince”; whereas, in others, he is said to be the “prince of Rosh.” (Remember that a “prince” can be a demon spirit controlling a nation—Dan. 10:13a,20bc; see “evil spiritual princes”: C-8, P-I, S-2.) “Rosh” probably is from the same root as “Rus” (the name for the indigenous Slavs), and the root from which “Russia” eventually got its name. Apparently, then, the spirit of Gog (prince of Rosh or Magog), at some point, will possess and control a human ruler of Russia.
Next, Magog, Meshech, Tubal, and Gomer were sons of Japheth (Gen. 10:2; 1 Chr. 1:5), a son of Noah. Togarmah was a son of Gomer (Gen. 10:3; 1 Chr. 1:6). Cush and Put were sons of Ham (Gen. 10:6; 1 Chr. 1:8), another son of Noah. Now, no countries today are known by these names; but the nations of the people descended from these men can be deduced.
Most reputable sources have indicated that the Scythians were descendants of Magog. Many of the Scythians settled in the Ukraine north of the Black Sea and in Russia east of the Caspian Sea and up to Siberia. They were fierce, cruel, and barbaric, the epitome of savagery in the ancient world.
Without going into further detail, the names of the present-day Russian cities of Moscow and Tobolsk probably are derived from Meshech and Tubal, respectively. Persia has become Iran; Cush usually is translated as Ethiopia (or, possibly, “Black Africa”); and Put is identified as Libya (but may also include Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, and Mauritania). Gomer probably indicates Germany, because his descendants settled in the Rhine and Danube Valleys; and Togarmah apparently refers to Armenia, Turkey, and Turkestan. (Armenians often refer to themselves as the “House of Togarmah,” which is what “Beth Togarmah” means.)
allied nations: The above nations now are allied in some way with Russia, who presently provides them with advanced technology and weapons. Most of these nations are Muslim (Islamic), with an inherent, intense hatred of Israel and Jews (see “Christianity and Judaism vs. Islam”: C-9, P-I). The Central Asian Republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tadzhikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, also are predominately Islamic; and they now are allying freely with the other Islamic nations.
Having been a part of the now dissolute Soviet Union, it is possible that these former Soviet states could be the “hooks in the jaws” (Ezek. 38:4a) that draw Russia into a conflict with Israel (38:15,16a). Being “short” on money but “long” on nuclear and conventional weapons, these republics may be selling pieces of their military arsenals to their fundamentalist Islamic brother nations. (In my opinion, the world is in more danger of a nuclear outbreak now than ever before, much as some politicians and political scientists might attempt to convince us otherwise.)
There is no nation further north of Israel than Russia, and Moscow is almost due north of Jerusalem. When the army of Russia comes against Israel, the armies of all of Russia’s allies will be accompanying her (Ezek. 38:15,16a). I believe the attack (Zech. 14:1,2) will come at some point after the opening of the seventh seal—that is, after the onset of the Day of the Lord and, in fact, very near the end of the 70th Week.
nation at “peace”: Prior to the invasion, Gog will say, “I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people—all of them living without walls and without gates and bars” (Ezek. 38:11). The Antichrist will have occupied Jerusalem midway through the 70th Week and brought a militarily-enforced, oppressive “peace” to Israel. The people, dealing also with the Trumpet Judgments, will not suspect that yet another outside foe will be coming against them—Gog’s armies.
demon forces: It seems probable that accompanying the human armies will be a “demon locust” army (which would make sense if Gog is the demonic “king” of the locusts). If so, Joel 1:4,6,7, 2:3-9, 3:9-12, and Rev. 9:3-11 may describe the combined human/demon forces. (Note the similarities between these pairs of passages: 1) Joel 1:4 & Rev. 9:3a; 2) Joel 1:6b & Rev. 9:8b; 3) Joel 2:4,5 & Rev. 9:7a,9b; and 4) Joel 2:10b & Rev. 9:2b.) This future attack also may be described in Jer. 5:14-17. Possibly, the human warriors, also operating like “locusts,” will come against plants, livestock, and people (Jer. 5:17ab; Joel 1:4,7,10-12, 2:25); while the “demon locusts” will concentrate on striking only people (Rev. 9:4). It may be that Abaddon (Apollyon) will direct strictly the demon locusts (9:11), while Gog will lead the combined demon/human forces.
If these demon forces do accompany the allied human armies (“human locusts”) into Israel, I surmise that God will use other demon forces to begin the demise of the demonic and human “locusts” and to kill one-third of mankind (Ezek. 38:22; Rev. 9:15-18) before the Messiah, Jesus, comes (Ezek. 39:21; Joel 2:20, 3:13b; Rev. 11:18e, 14:19,20, 19:15c). Incidentally, I am convinced that this second great army is demonic rather than human because of the number of mounted troops: two hundred million (Rev. 9:16). And coming against the first demonic (locust) army would be in keeping with Jesus’ statements, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined.... If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand?” (Matt. 12:25a,26). When the attaining of power and prestige are involved, demonic (and human) spirits will be ruthless against each other—especially since they will know that little time is left until the culmination of history takes place with Jesus’ bodily return.
earthquake comparison: As Israel is attacked, “...[Jerusalem] will be ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city” (Zech. 14:2bc). However, at some point after the attack on Israel has commenced, God’s fierce anger will result in there being a great earthquake in Israel (Ezek. 38:18,19; Zech. 14:4,5—see “Fountain and River of Living Water”: C-13, P-II).
I suspect that the great quake occurring at this time is the same as the one taking place at the end of the 70th Week, within an hour after the two resurrected witnesses are taken “...up to heaven in a cloud” (Rev. 11:12b): “At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city [Jerusalem] collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven” (11:13). Apparently, the Antichrist and most of his followers, if they are even in Jerusalem at the time, will escape (probably to somewhere within the revised EU—maybe Rome) and regroup (along with the remaining armies of the world) to attack Jerusalem thirty days later (see “destruction of Antichrist and his armies” in the next segment, S-3).
Incidentally, I do not believe that the earthquake of Rev. 11:13 and the earthquake of Rev. 16:18,19 can possibly be the same event (as some may assume). In the former (not as severe), only one-tenth of Jerusalem will collapse, and the quake will be limited basically to the land of Israel (Ezek. 38:19). In the latter (extremely severe), cities all over the world will collapse.
plague, blood, and hail comparison: The judgment God will execute at this time upon the attacking armies (“...plague and bloodshed;...torrents of rain, hailstones, and burning sulfur...”—Ezek. 38:22) appears to be aligned closely with that of the sixth Trumpet Judgment and the “winepress harvest”: that is, 1) “...three plagues of fire, smoke, and sulfur...” (Rev. 9:18); and 2) “They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and the blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia [about 180 miles]” (14:20). Isaiah wrote, “The Lord will cause men to hear his majestic voice and will make them see his arm [Jesus] coming down with raging anger and consuming fire, with cloudburst, thunderstorm and hail” (Isa. 30:30). I suspect that the river of blood (Rev. 14:20b) will be a combination of the blood of multitudes of soldiers and the water from the torrents of rain/hail which will be falling.
end of the 70th Week: If Jesus comes in the midst of this battle (which possibly will be fought between the horse/demon forces and the human/demon-locust forces headed by Gog), the earthquake and great hailstorm (Rev. 11:19c) may occur at this time, along with the heavenly proclamations (11:15-18). The declaration that the third woe is coming (11:14b) refers, I believe, to the events after the seventh trumpet is blown and after Jesus returns to earth—that is, to the seven Bowl Judgments—not to the proclamations of Rev. 11:15-18, nor to Satan and his angels’ being thrown down to the earth (12:7-9), as the latter is a mid-70th-Week event. (The first woe—Rev. 9:12a—refers to the judgments of the fifth trumpet, and the second woe—11:14a—to those of the sixth trumpet. It seems reasonable, then, that the third woe would refer to the events of the seventh trumpet, which encompasses the seven Bowl Judgments.) Assuming that the “third woe” does not refer to the events immediately following Jesus’ return (11:15-18), it may be that the seventh trumpet will be sounded during (or even just prior to) the severe earthquake (11:13), which probably begins as the victorious Jesus stands on the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:4).
Seemingly, another indication that the defeat of Gog/Magog will be at the end of the 70th Week is found in a comparison of two other passages by Zechariah and Ezekiel. Describing the fate of the armies coming against Jerusalem, Zechariah wrote,
This is the plague with which the Lord will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths (Zech. 14:12).
Whatever plague it is that will cause this unpleasant destruction, it seems as though all that will be left of the attackers is their bones. Ezekiel related how the Israelites will be burying the dead of the attacking army for seven months (Ezek. 39:12). Furthermore,
As they go through the land and one of them sees a human bone, he will set up a marker beside it until the gravediggers have buried it... (Ezek. 39:15).
If these indeed are bones of people who died of a horrible plague (possibly biological, chemical, or even nuclear destruction), it may not be safe to touch them. The location of a bone will be marked by one person, and someone else with specialized equipment will perform the burial.
All the nations of the earth, including Israel, will know that God has defeated the armies coming against Israel (Ezek. 39:21,22). Scattered Jews will be brought back to Israel under God’s guidance (39:25,28); and then God will pour out His Spirit upon Israel (39:29), just as the prophet Zechariah promised would occur coincident with the return of the (Zech. 12:10a).
Near the end of the Book of Daniel is written this prominent and important prophecy:
From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days (Dan. 12:11,12).
It has been mentioned repeatedly that, in the new temple to be built in Jerusalem (I believe relatively soon after the 70th Week covenant is made), “the abominations that cause desolation” will occur midway through the 70th Week (Dan. 9:27bc). There will be 1,260 days (Rev. 12:6) from the midpoint until the final, bodily return of Jesus at the end of the 70th Week (11:15-18).
There has been much speculation to attempt to account for the extra 30-day (1,290 – 1,260 = 30) and 45-day (1,335 – 1,290 = 45) periods. For instance, it has been suggested that the “abominations” actually will be set up in the temple 30 days prior to the midpoint of the 70th Week, so that there will be 1,290 days from that time until the return of Jesus. Then the count of the remaining 45 days will begin at the end of the 70th Week, after which the new millennial Temple will be dedicated.
However, I do not agree with this. Daniel was told that from the time Israel’s distress begins (I believe the Great Tribulation will commence at the midpoint of the 70th Week, not sooner) until the time living elect Jews finally are delivered from their enemies and Jewish multitudes are raised from the dead to everlasting life (Dan. 12:1b-2a) would be 3½ years (12:6,7a), which is 1,260 days (considering a Jewish month to be 30 days long). This will complete the 70th Week at this point. Therefore, according to Daniel’s prophecy (12:11,12), there are 30 more days beyond this point, and yet 45 more days beyond that (a total of 75 days), for which to account (1,335 – 1,260 = 75).
I believe the 30-day extension beyond the 70th Week will serve three purposes: 1) the swift (en tachei) pouring out of the Bowl Judgments upon the Antichrist’s kingdom on the earth, 2) Israel’s mourning for the Messiah, Jesus (whom the nation finally will have accepted as Lord), and 3) a purging within Israel of false idols and a purification from sin. Gabriel explained to Daniel that 70 “weeks” (of 7 years each) had been determined for Israel (Dan. 9:24a). Therefore, the Bowl Judgments, which I believe will be poured out after the 70th Week is over, will not harm Israel; while the nation is in a state of mourning and being purified, it will be protected from the final wrath of God coming upon other portions of the world. I believe that, at the time of the greatest earthquake to hit the earth (Rev. 16:18), most or all of the Jews in and around Jerusalem will be protected supernaturally as during the great quake on the day Jesus stands on the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:4,5ab) thirty days earlier.
Pertaining to the Bowl Judgments, Rosenthal states,
The Greek word translated bowl refers to a wide, shallow dish. A righteous Jew would cleanse himself by washing his hands before the Sabbath or for a variety of religious observances in just such a vessel. When finished, he could discard the dirty water in one quick swish because the bowl was wide and shallow. The rapid pouring out of that which was dirty and useless became the descriptive language by the Jews for the divine judgment upon the Gentile nations. The psalmist wrote, “Pour out thy wrath upon the nations that have not known thee, and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon thy name. For they have devoured Jacob, and laid waste his dwelling place” (Ps. 79:6-7). And the prophet Jeremiah wrote, “Pour out thy fury upon the nations that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy name; for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate” (Jer. 10:25; cf. Zeph. 3:8). Both texts speak of (1) the pouring out of judgment, (2) that it will be on the nations, and (3) that it will be based upon their treatment of Jacob (Israel). That judgment on the nations will begin at the end of the seventieth week. Christ will literally return to assume His kingdom at the seventh trumpet (Rev. 11:15-17). It will be the occasion of Israel’s national Day of Atonement (Zech. 12:10). At that time the judgment on the nations will be poured out (Rev. 11:18). ... That poured-out judgment will be swift, encompassing the thirty days beyond the last three and one-half years of the seventieth week (Dan. 12:11).
As I previously have asserted, the world’s nations will be punished both for being hostile toward Israel and for not accepting Jesus’ Authority as King after He comes. An interesting note is that King Darius once issued an edict stating that, for 30 days, no one would worship any god or man other than himself. Whoever did so would be thrown into the lion’s den (Dan. 6:7-9). Similarly, anyone who does not acknowledge Jesus as King (and God) during the 30 days following the 70th Week will receive the wrath (Bowl Judgments) of Jesus, the Lion of the tribe of Judah (Rev. 5:5b). Those within the nations who survive the Bowl Judgments but who still refuse to submit to the rule of Jesus will be the “goats” put on His left side (Matt. 25:33b) who then will go “...into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (25:41—see “sheep and goat nations”: C-14, P-I).
As for the purification of national Israel after the 70th Week, recall the implication in Zechariah’s prophecy that the Jews in Israel will look upon Jesus, who was killed in Jerusalem over 1,900 years ago, and will mourn because of what was unjustly done to their “firstborn son” as a result of their unbelief (Zech. 12:10bcd). Twice in Israel’s past, Israel mourned 30 days for leaders (Aaron and Moses) who had delivered the people out of bondage into freedom (Num. 20:28b,29; Deut. 34:5,8). Similarly, I think 30 days is likely the period of time the people in Israel again will mourn in respect for their ultimate Leader (who will have delivered them from the clutches of the armies of Magog and the allied nations under Gog). The nation of Israel never properly mourned for the death of Jesus, their beloved Messiah; however, during the 30 days following the 70th Week, they will. Furthermore, I suspect that this will be a time of national repentance when they will forsake all idol worship, destroy all graven images, and acknowledge Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords. Israel finally will be purified and cleansed from its unrighteousness at this time and forevermore.
Many Bible scholars are convinced that the “Bowl” (or “Cup” or “Vial”) Judgments seen by John will occur during the 70th Week, prior to Jesus’ return to earth. I disagree. I believe that after Jesus’ physical advent, and His salvation of Jerusalem and Israel from the Gog/Magog and allied troops, He will pour out His righteous wrath upon the nations of the world which have, in one way or another, come against Israel during the 70th Week and/or do not accept His Authority as King over all the earth (Psalm 79:6,7; Jer. 10:25; Zeph. 3:8). Seven more angels will pour out their bowls, and seven more severe plagues will strike the earth and the sky, aimed at the insurgent nations of the world (excluding Israel), particularly the vast domain of the Antichrist. (See “Daniel 12:11,12” and “30-day extension” previously in this segment).
1) Ugly and painful sores will break out on people who have taken the mark of the beast and who worship him (Rev. 16:2). 2) The sea will turn into blood, killing every sea creature (16:3). 3) The rivers and springs also will turn to blood (16:4). 4) The sun will scorch people with fiery, intense heat. People will curse God because of these plagues but will not repent nor turn to Him (16:8,9). 5) The Antichrist’s kingdom will be plunged into darkness. People will gnaw their tongues in agony because of their pain and their sores; they will curse God and refuse to repent (16:10,11). 6) The Euphrates River (which flows through Armenia, Turkey, Syria, and Iraq) will dry up, preparing the way for armies from the east to come to Israel to gather with other armies (presumably those of the Antichrist) in the Valley of Megiddo (located north of Armageddon, the mount of Megiddo), northeast of Jerusalem. Three frog-like spirits, performing miraculous signs, will be sent by Satan, the Antichrist, and the False Prophet to gather leaders (and more armies) of the world, also to Armageddon (Psalm 2:1,2; Rev. 16:12-16). 7) There will be the greatest earthquake ever to occur on the earth, collapsing world cities and mountains and sinking islands, along with the greatest hailstorm ever, each hailstone weighing about a hundred pounds. Again, people will curse God (Rev. 16:17-21).
During the outpouring of the Bowl Judgments, the Antichrist, retaining the delusion that he is “God,” naturally will be enraged because the real Messiah, Jesus, will have taken His rightful place in Jerusalem as King (Zech. 14:9; Rev. 19:16) and also because of the plagues brought upon the rebellious nations of the earth (Zech. 14:18b), particularly his kingdom (Rev. 16:2,10,11), during the 30 days after Jesus’ return (see all sections previously in this segment). Virtually all of the water in the world (excluding in Israel) will have been turned to blood (16:3,4); people will be parched from the scorching sun (16:8,9a); and rain (fresh water) will have been withheld from all who refuse to worship King Jesus during the first millennial Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot (Zech. 14:17—see “Jesus, the King”: C-5, P-III), which will begin 5 days after Jesus’ return to earth on Yom Kippur. These and other reasons will cause those in the Antichrist’s kingdom to want to eliminate Jesus.
As this will be their final combined opportunity to oppose Jesus, the members of the “unholy trinity”—Satan, Antichrist, and False Prophet—will send three demon spirits, performing deceptive miraculous signs, to the kings of the world to persuade them to bring their armies to Armageddon (Rev. 16:13,14,16). They will “...make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with [Jesus] will be his called, chosen and faithful followers” (17:14).
Because the Antichrist and his forces, even after undeniable evidence, will refuse to acknowledge Jesus as God and thus will be coming to make war against Him (Rev. 17:14a, 19:19), Jesus will come upon the Antichrist and his armies quite unexpectedly, “like a thief” (16:15a), and will overcome them (19:20a,21a). The Antichrist and the False Prophet will be “...thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur” (19:20c—see “lake of fire; fiery furnace”: “references to hell”: C-14, P-I). And all the birds (and probably other animals) that had feasted on the flesh of the Gog/Magog and allied armies attacking Jerusalem (Ezek. 39:17-20) will gorge themselves on the flesh of this second army of the nations (Rev. 19:21b).
These are Scriptures which I believe relate to the 30-day period following the 70th Week: Psalm 2:1,2, 45:5, 55:15, 75:8, 79:6,7, 110:5,6; Isa. 4:4, 30:17,22,27-33, 31:7-9, 51:22,23; Jer. 10:25, 30:17; Ezek. 11:18; Dan. 2:44b, 7:11,26,27, 12:11; Joel 3:16b; Hab. 3:5-16; Zeph. 3:8; Zech. 12:10-13:6; Matt. 25:32-46; 2 Ths. 1:6-10a; Rev. 15:1–16:21, 18:1-24, 19:19-21.
To explain the additional 45-day period beyond the 30 days of national mourning and defeat of the Antichrist and his armies coming against Jesus, first recall how I have predicted in a previous chapter that Jesus will return to earth on the Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur (see “Jesus and Yom Kippur,” “Jesus, our High Priest,” and “Jesus, atonement sacrifice and Redeemer”: C-5, P-II). There are 75 days on the Jewish calendar from Yom Kippur (Tishri 10) until the beginning of Hanukkah (Kislev 25).
Hanukkah (the Feast of Dedication) is the eight-day festival commemorating the reconsecration of the temple after being desolated by Antiochus Epiphanes (see “Antiochus IV Epiphanes”: C-11, P-II). Thus, it certainly would seem credible that the new millennial Temple (see “millennial Temple”: C-13, P-II) would be constructed during the 45-day extension and then be dedicated beginning on the first day of Hanukkah, 1,335 days from the day the “abominations that cause desolation” are set up in the Jerusalem temple (at the midpoint of the 70th Week) and 75 days following Jesus’ physical descent to earth.
These are Scriptures which I believe relate to the Day of the Lord (Seal 7): Job 20:20-29; Psalm 46:6,8,9, 58:11b; Isa. 2:11-18, 6:11-13, 13:6-9,11-22, 17:4-8, 22:5, 24:1-13,16b-22, 26:21, 27:7-11, 34:1-3,8, 41:2b-7 64:1,2; Jer. 4:5-22,27-31, 8:16,17, 9:15-22, 10:22, 13:20-27, 15:1-14, 16:18, 18:11-17, 25:15-38, 30:4-7,11b-16,23,24; Lam. 2:1-22; Ezek. 5:8–7:27, 13:2-23, 30:2,3; Hosea 5:9,10, 13:9-12; Joel 1:2-12,15-20, 2:1-11, 3:1,2,9-16; Amos 2:13-16, 3:2b,14,15, 5:9,16-20, 6:8b, 8:3c, 8:8–9:4, 9:8-10; Obad. 15,18; Micah 1:2-7, 5:10-15, 7:13; Nahum 1:2-6; Hab. 2:20; Zeph. 1:7–2:3, 3:8; Zech. 13:8,9a, 14:1,2,12-15; Mal. 4:1; Luke 21:33,34b,35; Acts 3:21; Rom. 1:18, 2:5b, 12:19; 1 Cor. 7:31b; 1 Ths. 5:2-4; 2 Ths. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:7,10,12; Rev. 8:1–9:21, 11:15a,19b, plus all entries under “30-day passages” earlier in this segment.
Proceed to Chapter 12, Part V
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Copyright © 1998– by Ted M. Montgomery, O.D. Most rights reserved.