The Great Tribulation
Revelation chapters 8-18
As I finished my last letter in this chronicle of events, which will shortly be occurring during the time in which you are living post rapture, I had brought you up to the midpoint of the last 7 years of Earth’s history under the usurper Satan’s rule.
Remember, I have told you that this last 7 years, the Tribulation, is the culmination of God’s plan to redeem back His creation from Satan, who was given rulership of the world’s kingdoms as a result of Adam’s sin and forfeiture of the “title deed” to Earth. As a result of Adam’s rebellion, he forfeited man’s rightful ownership of Planet Earth and, in essence, lost the “title deed,” if you will, to Satan the Deceiver. God’s overarching Plan for the Ages has been to—through Jesus—God the Son to:
(1) pay the penalty for sin incurred by inheritance to all of the descendants of Adam
(2) bring salvation to a lost, sin-cursed world through Jesus’ sinless life. Our redemption is made possible because Jesus is the God man. He and He alone thus qualified to pay the infinite penalty of sin that no fallen, sin-cursed member of humanity could ever hope to pay.
(3) By Jesus’ substitutionary death in our place, Jesus, being fully God and fully man, thus was able to pay the legal requirement of the payment for sin in full measure (that is the penalty incurred by sin) and thus redeem (buy back) that which was lost in Adam’s rebellion (our righteous standing before a holy God). This was so that, upon each person’s salvation, man’s “filthy rags” self-righteousness could be done away with. The saved sinner thereafter in his belief, then has the righteousness of Jesus Christ imputed (transferred) to him.
(4) By the bodily resurrection of the victorious and risen Savior, mankind’s eternal salvation has now and forever been eternally set and secured by Christ’s victory over Sin, Satan, Hell, Death, and the Grave.
The “title deed” of Earth’s kingdom was lost and forfeited to Satan when Adam, by his deliberate disobedience, forfeited the rulership of Earth granted to him by the Creator. From that time until Messiah King returns to Earth, the Destroyer Satan has held legal dominion over every kingdom of the earth. For all of Earth’s history subsequent to the disobedience and fall of Adam, all aspects of creation have been subjugated and enslaved by the Law of Entropy, which is the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. In essence this means that everything in the universe is decaying and dying.
From the instant of Adam’s rebellion, God’s perfectly created order is and has been devolving into chaos and disintegration as a direct result of Adam’s fall. Adam and Eve died spiritually the instant that they disobeyed God’s one and only requirement of them, to not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. That was their one requirement, and they blew it – as God certainly knew, and Satan rightly suspected they would.
Additionally, the process of physical deterioration, which concluded in the ultimate deaths of their bodies (and as a result, ours as well), began in them the very moment they disobeyed God’s one rule – a rule that was meant for their spiritual and physical protection, by the way. Even animal life was affected by the curse of sin, because all flesh began to die physically from that point onward.
Such is the curse of Sin, and its fruit is death – both the physical death of the body (and far worse) spiritual death (eternal separation from God).
The very earth itself was cursed also as entropy, death, and decay began to eat away at God’s pristine creation. The stars and other celestial bodies too were affected by the curse of sin, for even the very stars in the vast multitude of galaxies within the celestial heavens also began to burn out and die.
The effects of Adam’s sin and rebellion have reverberated throughout the entirety of God’s created cosmos. This is why God hates sin. This is why mankind needed a perfect Redeemer, and this is why God the Son Himself knew even before He created anything that He would have to pay the penalty for sin that He knew would come, or else His fallen creation would have no hope and would be eternally damned.
God the Father knew beforehand that God the Son would have to die to redeem fallen man. Such is the love that God has for His creation that He Himself fashioned in His own image.
As we shall see, God is bringing to a close the millennia-old rebellious reign of the usurper of God’s creation. God is going to use these last 7 years to restore Paradise Lost; to exact final and ultimate justice upon Satan and upon all those who willingly follow him; upon all who have chosen to reject the free pardon of sin that God through Christ Jesus has made available to mankind.
God the Father through Jesus the Son, and by the power of the Holy Spirit (the Triune Godhead consisting of 3 distinct Persons yet still ONE God), made eternal salvation possible and freely offers it to “whosoever” is willing to believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ for his/her salvation.
Jesus, being the 2nd Person of the Trinity and therefore part of the Triune Godhead, nevertheless chose to clothe Himself in mortal flesh, to come to Earth – the God-man — and die in our place in order that HE might pay the penalty exacted by sin and rebellion, and thus satisfy the infinite justice demanded by a holy God, a penalty that no fallen, sinful human being could ever hope to pay.
Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, died a sinner’s death so that HE could ransom and redeem fallen man. He sealed AND settled mankind’s salvation and eternal redemption when He was bodily resurrected from the dead three days later. Here is the reason you are now in the left-behind situation you have found yourself in. Salvation in Jesus Christ alone is the only remedy to your eternal dilemma.
During these last 7 years, God is wrapping up all of fallen human history. He is preparing to renovate and restore this sin-wrecked world. He is purifying a remnant of His chosen people, Israel, in preparation for fulfilling ALL of the covenant promises that He made with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their physical descendants nearly 4,000 years ago.
He, King Jesus, is preparing to judge ALL SIN in order to set up His earthly kingdom which will last for 1,000 years, after which TIME itself, as a created construct, will cease to exist and will merge into eternity in a newly-created, eternal new heavens and new Earth.
This is an explanation of the purpose of these last 7 years. As we prepare to move forward through the last 3 ½ years of what will be even greater horrendous destruction on a level unknown to mankind, you can take great comfort and hope in understanding God’s plan and purpose of the ages that is being fulfilled and finalized in preparation for the earthly reign of the Prince of Peace – the Lord Jesus Christ.
From here on out, the destruction will be staggering. The overwhelming majority of both believers and unbelievers will most likely not survive. Do not fear.
Let us now move, with great solemnity, into the next events you will be facing during these last 3 ½ years.
Remember what has already occurred by this point in time: there will have been a devastating World War that will have resulted in massive death along with ensuing pandemic diseases. The entire globe will have suffered a famine of such devastation that the entire world population (except of course for the uber-rich elites) will have been so affected that it will take a day’s work to be able to buy one meal for one person.
You will have witnessed earthquakes, volcanic activity, and unprecedented weather anomalies that will have further reduced the already decimated crops; and you will have seen every aspect of the natural world turned on its head.
Just after the ecological and astronomical judgments have passed that will have destroyed one third (1/3) of all trees, grass, oceans, fresh water sources, and will have darkened the light of the sun and moon by a third, here is what is coming next:
(1) There will be some type of eruption, quite possibly a volcanic eruption, or perhaps this eruption will occur from a giant ground fissure opening which will come about as the result of a massive earthquake. From this event (whatever form it takes), will spew forth a demonic horde of locust-like creatures that will be released from “the bottomless pit” (the abyss).
These unholy terrors will be released and loosed upon mankind by a powerful fallen angel. Their number will be so vast that their emergence en masse will appear as the “smoke of a great furnace,” – so much so that the “sun and the air were [will be] darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.” (See Revelation 9:1).
Exactly WHAT these creatures are is unknown to us on this side of the rapture. Whether or not these are visible, physical manifestations or metaphysical in nature (unseen in the natural physical world) I cannot say. You will know for sure.
It is highly probable that these things will be visible, since the Word of God specifically states that the sheer number and volume of them appear to blot out the sun. Also, the Bible takes great care to explain, not just their physical appearance, but the sound made by the beating of their wings. So that lends credence to the speculation on our part at least, that these things, whatever they turn out to be, will be both visible and auditory within this earthly dimension.
Either way, what I can only speculate upon, you will know for sure once they are released from their abyssal prison and appear here on Earth in this dimension. Make no mistake; these creatures are UTTERLY DEMONIC in nature, in character, and in appearance. You can read about their physical description in Revelation chapter 9, verses 7-10.
They are supernaturally powerful and completely wicked to the core. They will have a “leader” who is a powerful, demonic entity named ABADDON (his name in Greek is called APOLLYON). This demonic ruler is (will be) in charge of these creatures. I do not know whether he will be visible in this dimension either or only visible in the spiritual realm; you will know.
There is a similarity to natural locusts only in the sheer number of them and in their destructive power, but that is where ANY similarity ends. These are SUPERNATURAL creatures which will be allowed by God to bring excruciating, physical torment upon all those who are followers of the Antichrist – those who have willfully rejected God — all those who “have not the seal of God upon their foreheads.” Here is what they will and will not be allowed to do:
(2) God will NOT allow these things to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, or any tree (as a natural, earthly locust swarm would do).
(3) They will be permitted to torment “only those who have NOT the ‘seal of God’ in their foreheads.”
(4) They are NOT ALLOWED TO KILL any person, but rather to TORMENT the “earth dwellers” (God’s term for those who are willfully lost – the Christ rejecters who will not come to salvation, and who have accepted the “mark of the Antichrist in their right hands or in their foreheads”).
(5) They are allowed to torment the “earth dwellers” for a LIMITED period of time – 5 months.
(6) The physical agonies inflicted by these creatures will be so great that those suffering from their torments will plead for the release of death, but God will refuse to allow the afflicted ones to die.
After this, the next horrendous judgment will begin almost immediately.
Keep reading. Things are only going to get worse as God’s full wrath and fury is (will be) finally poured out upon all who have chosen to reject Christ – all who follow and worship the Antichrist.