The following is a summary of the current series to the end of part 8.
- The world is going to end – the exact term, ‘end of the world’ is used in the Bible in the following scripture. Matthew 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
- The meanings of the words, ‘WORLD’ and, ‘EARTH’ are not synonymous in the Bible. ‘World’ means ‘an Age of time’ as well as ‘The System’ that governs life upon the Earth in any given age. Though the Earth has existed for an unknown length of time, many worlds have come and gone on this very Earth. From a Biblical perspective the ‘end of the world’ would mean the end of the age as well as the end of ‘The System’. The current dominant ‘System’ on this planet is the system of commerce, of buying, selling and trading, in other words ‘The Economic System’, on which the attention of the whole world seems to be focused today. So the end of the world means the end of The Age in which this system has dominated the lives of almost all humanity on Earth, as well as the end of ‘The System’ itself. Since the end of the system will be catastrophic, it will be accompanied by catastrophic destruction of much of the planet as well.
- The end of the world will come in several phases, which I have listed below; some of these phases may last several years from beginning to end, and some may last only a few months. The time period from the beginning of the end to the time that all things will have been fulfilled will be no more than 40 years. According to Matthew 24:32-34, ‘all these things’ must be fulfilled within the lifespan of one Biblical generation, which is 40 years. Three of the major phases may be divided according to the three groups of seven judgments, and events that constitute the pouring out of God’s wrath on mankind and this world. These three are named, The Seven Seals, The Seven Trumpets, and The Seven Vials. The various phases may not necessarily be of the same duration of time. And there will be pauses and divisions within the phases themselves, which will be identified in this series. All of the major and minor phases in which will the world (but not the planet) will come to an end are as follows:
THE NATURAL PHASE
1. THE OPENING OF THE SEVEN SEALS (Revelation 6:1 – 8:1): The opening of the first four seals parallels Jesus’ description of the events of the end beginning with Warfare, Famine, Disease, and Earthquakes shattering the world and the planet (Matthew 24:7-8). Jesus called this time ‘The Beginning of Sorrows’, which obviously leads to the conclusion that following the beginning, there must be a middle, and an end. ‘The Beginning of Sorrows’ will result in a quarter or more of the human population perishing in a relatively short period of a few years, almost certainly less than ten. I have termed this stage ‘The Natural Phase’ because nothing previously unseen, except for the scale of destruction, will be experienced on Earth at this time. During the time of the opening of the 7 seals, destruction arises from human warfare, famines, diseases, and earthquakes. The destruction is catastrophic, and of an unprecedented scale, but what will transpire may be termed ‘Natural’, in the sense that wars, famines, diseases, and earthquakes have wrought much destruction and loss of life in this world in the past, so there is nothing new that happens during this phase except for the scale of the destruction and the magnitude of the loss of human life. Between the opening of the 6th and the 7th seals, we read an account of the sealing of the 144,000 as well as of a group of believers who are seen in Heaven, who lost their lives on Earth because of the Word of God, and the testimony that they held. This group is one of at least two groups of martyrs that we read about in the book of Revelation. The possibility of believers being afflicted and killed during this time is indeed scriptural; therefore in the book of Matthew as well as in the letters to the churches, our Lord admonished us repeatedly to be ‘faithful unto death’, more on the subject of laying down of our lives later in the series. The identity of the 144,000 is a subject of much controversy and will be discussed later in the series; readers are also encouraged to read a previous article I wrote on the topic some time back.
THE COSMIC / SUPERNATURAL PHASES
In contrast to the first phase of the end of the world, in the phases that follow, man is not the central character, and destruction of the earth, and of the world results more from cosmic sources, such as Wormwood (which may or may not be a meteor / asteroid). The armies that conduct warfare and torment mankind in these phases are seemingly supernatural as opposed to flesh and blood man. For example, the locusts that rise out of the bottomless pit as well as the army of 200 million ‘horsemen’ that kills a third of the remaining human population, are not men, neither are they led by man. The king of the 200 million strong army is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name is Abbadon / Appolyon (Appolos of Greek mythology.) Later on, there will appear on the scene the Dragon / Serpent (Satan, the mythological Zeus?), the beast that rises out of the sea (Dagon / Poseidon / Neptune?), the beast that rises out of the Earth (Hades / Pluto / Hell?), and MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. Such mythological figures will make a visible appearance in the world, and the world will worship them openly as has happened in the past. So the post ‘Phase 1’ world will be very different from the world of today, which will continue, relatively unchanged until the blowing of the first trumpet.
In the Biblical universe, man is only one of numerous intelligent beings that inhabit the cosmos. In my ‘What is the real Matrix?’ series of articles and radio programs, I had proven that intelligent beings, mostly invisible to flesh and blood man, permeate the very atmosphere that surrounds our planet. The god of this world, Satan, rules his domain from somewhere above the surface of the earth. There is a veil that covers the minds of people so that they are unable to understand that there are other non – corporeal spirit beings and intelligences that influence and control their lives, both for good and evil, mostly evil since this whole world lies in wickedness. (1 John 5:19.) However in the time that follows the opening of the seven seals, this veil will be removed, not necessarily the deception but rather people will become aware that creatures, other than man, inhabit the universe and have direct interaction with mankind. Isaiah 25:7 speaks of this veil and covering that is spread over all nations, and its removal in a future day. Once this veil has been removed, and the hidden masters of man’s world will have been revealed, the world will become a much different place than today. Most people will not see the creatures that will be revealed such the two beasts of Revelation 13 as ‘devils’ but rather as benevolent aliens. It is for such reasons that in those days the world will experience much that would be termed ‘supernatural’ in the present day, much that in the present time may only be viewed in science – fiction or horror movies. The Cosmic / Supernatural Phases begin with the blowing of the first trumpet in Revelation 8 and continue right to the very end. In essence the inhabitants of the Earth are going to find out that the Bible was right all along, that both God and the devil are very real, and that man has little or no control over the world or the planet, and in the words of Bob Dylan, man must serve somebody, be it The Lord God or the devil.
The Cosmic / Supernatural Phases are listed below:
2. THE BLOWING OF THE SEVEN TRUMPETS (Revelation 8:2 – 11:19) This stage appears to be the longest of the three major stages, and has at least two significant divisions within it – The Utterance of the Seven Thunders, and the testifying of the Two Witnesses for 3½ years. The testimony of the two witnesses is a fulfillment of Matthew 24:14, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Though many have equated the preaching of the gospel by various missionaries throughout history as the fulfillment of this prophecy, I believe Jesus was referring specifically to the preaching of the two witnesses in this scripture, not a general preaching of the gospel over the course of history.
The Trumpets stage is the beginning of the Cosmic catastrophes stage where the Earth is bombarded, both from above and below, by cosmic projectiles, which may or may not be natural objects such as asteroids, and by armies of seemingly ‘alien’ creatures that rise up out of the bottomless pit. So the world is afflicted from above and from below; the first four trumpets bring cosmic destruction on Earth, destruction not caused directly by man in contrast to the first four seals. This is also the stage in which ‘other worldly’ intelligent creatures such as Abbadon / Apollyon (Apollos) will unleash armies of beastly / superhuman creatures that will wage war against man, rather than mankind waging war between themselves. These armies are also described by the prophet Joel in the 2nd chapter of his book in which we read an account of an army of superhuman creatures that are also seemingly indestructible. The prophet uses descriptions such as “when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded” to describe their supernatural condition. (Joel 2:8). At least a third of the remaining population of the world will perish in the time of the blowing of the 7 trumpets, which means that ‘The Beginning of Sorrows’ to the end of The Blowing of the 7 trumpets, at least half the Earth’s population will have perished.
3. BETWEEN THE 7 TRUMPETS AND THE 7 VIALS (Revelation 12:1 – 15:8) The Woman, The Manchild, The Dragon, The Beast and the False Prophet stage: This stage that immediately follows the ministry of the two witnesses begins with the Dragon / Serpent / Satan persecuting the woman that brought forth the Manchild (Jesus). Though the woman is generally identified with the nation of Israel, I am not certain that this is the correct interpretation; I will elaborate on my understanding of the identity of the woman later in this series. After the woman is hidden away in the wilderness, comes the war in heaven and the casting down of the Devil / Dragon / Serpent / Satan to Earth. After Satan has been restricted to the planet Earth, and realizes that his days are numbered will arise the beast and the false prophet. Although generally identified as flesh and blood men, the beast and the false prophet may in fact not be of the species of man. Regardless of the fact that their visible form is that of corporeal man or not, inside the shell or the body will be housed two very powerful devils, who in the Satanic hierarchy fall just beneath the prince of devils, Satan, the Dragon Himself. The rise of the beast will not necessarily be a time of catastrophic destruction, except for the martyrdom of those who will refuse his mark, his name, or his number. This time will be a time of relative peace, especially when compared to the hell on earth that will have been experienced during the Seals and Trumpets stage. It is at this time that people will be crying ‘Peace and Safety’, having believed the lying words and blasphemies of the beast and the false prophet; little will the majority of the remaining population on Earth realize that ‘sudden destruction’ awaits just around the corner. There is also many different interpretation regarding the so – called ‘mark of the beast’, and how the false prophet will force all who dwell on the earth to worship the beast, all whose names are not written in the book of life. I will detail my understanding of this subject later in the series.
4. THE 7 VIALS (Rev. 16)
5. THE JUDGMENT OF MYSTERY BABYLON, THE WHORE (Rev. 17 – 18)
6. THE PSALM 2 WAR (Rev. 19)
7. THE RETURN OF JESUS TO EARTH (Rev. 20)
In part 2 of this article I will write in detail on phases 4 – 7
Revelation 6:1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. 2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. 3 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. 4 And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword. 5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. 6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. 7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. 8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; 13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. 14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
Revelation 7:1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.
2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, 3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. 4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. 5 Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. 6 Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nephthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. 7 Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. 8 Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.
9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. 11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, 12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. 13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. 16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
Revelation 8:1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
To be continued