Solar eclipse followed by two successive hurricanes: signs in the sky. The US will give the anti-christ his power. Prophecies fulfilled and yet to be fulfilled. How it all ends.
In today’s program we’re going to run through the chronology of end time events. I’m using the word chronology not in the meaning of setting dates for events but rather in the meaning of sequencing of events. We’ll be looking at the order of the unfolding of events related to Jesus’ Second Coming.
If there’s any doubt in your mind that Jesus is coming soon, think again. I believe the signs are undeniable when we look at what’s happening in the US right now. And for those of you who may not know, the United States is the epicenter of end time prophecy, not Israel or the Middle East. All eyes need to be watching what’s happening in America right now. We have a President named Trump, the trumpet that announces judgment. Barely three weeks ago we had a rare celestial phenomenon, a US-only solar eclipse that traversed the US from coast-to-coast. Shortly after that Hurricane Harvey hit Texas and brought tremendous devastation with it. They’re just barely starting to clean up all the debris and trying to restore all the vital services. And immediately after that Hurricane Irma materialized and is now a Category 5 hurricane.
Literally right now as I speak, Hurricane Irma has already entered Florida. The governor had declared a state of emergency and ordered pretty everyone in the affected areas to evacuate. Hundreds of thousands of Florida residents left the state or took refuge in a shelter. Although Irma’s strength decreased from a Category 5 to a Category 2, it’s very big and the bands of this hurricane affect a large swath of land.
All of this should not be a surprise to the children of light. It’s been prophesied. So today we’re going to delve deeply into Bible prophecy so that we won’t be surprised by what’s coming. We want to be able to understand and correctly interpret the events that are happening all around us. So this is what we’re going to study today:
First we’ll analyze some recent events that give us undeniable proof that Jesus is near, even at the door. Then we’ll very quickly review the historical timeline of prophetic fulfillments so that we can situate ourselves on that prophetic timeline. That foundation will enable us to reveal the sequencing of events that have been prophesied that will bring us to the Second Coming of Christ and the end of the world.
The Bible says “But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:4-6).
The Bible also says “Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time” (Revelation 12:12). The devil knows that he has but a short time. I hope that by the end of today’s study you also will know that you have but a short time
Acceleration of Signs in the Skies over the US
We already mentioned Hurricane Irma, that in very few days went from a tropical depression to a tropical storm and then a Category 5 hurricane with winds of 180 – 185 miles per hour. If you’ve watched any of the news footage it’s pretty scary to see nature unleashed with such violence.
Weather analysts are saying that Irma is one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean. The governor of St. Maarten said that the island is now barely uninhabitable after being visited by Irma a few days ago. The storm had created fear and chaos as families need to evacuate the state of Florida and find shelter somewhere out of harm’s way.
The Bible tells us that in the last days there would be lots of natural disasters that would bring fear upon the people. “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken” (Luke 21:25).
Let’s talk briefly about Hurricane Harvey. Texas and Louisiana are still in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. There’s been incredible devastation in Houston. Freeways where I used to drive now look like marinas, except that instead of boats floating it’s cars. Homes, stores, schools and roads were covered should I say are still covered with several feet of water.
Hurricane Harvey had a couple of strange behaviors which arouse my attention, very unusual for tropical cyclones. First, it intensified in the 12 hours before it hit land. This is unique. In the past 30 years of records, no storms west of Florida have intensified in the last 12 hours before landfall. And then of course Harvey wouldn’t leave as most hurricanes do. It stayed over Houston for several days just bringing down the rain. Hurricane Harvey dumped 25 trillion gallons of water upon Texas, much of it in Houston.
There’s a lot of speculation about Harvey as to whether it was part of a “weaponized weather” pattern. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if that were the case because the globalists will resort to anything to impose their agenda. For those of you who may not know, Houston is the fourth largest city of the US in a state that’s probably one of the healthiest American states economically. This was supposed to be a record year for farming, especially for the cotton crops, which play a very important role in the Texas economy. Now all of these farmers are ruined and will take a few years to recover.
Regardless of whether Harvey was a deliberate fabrication or not, many weather analysts definitely do believe that global warming increased the intensity and the damage caused by Harvey. And we know of course that geo-engineering or climate modification conducted by governments is one of the primary causes of global warming. Geo-engineering is supposed to alleviate global warming but in reality it intensifies the warming.
The Solar Eclipse
Barely a couple of weeks before Hurricane Harvey, you couldn’t buy a pair of solar eclipse glasses anywhere in the US because all the shops and distributors were sold out. Everyone was very excited about watching the first US-only eclipse since the nation declared its independence in 1776.
There are a couple of things related to this eclipse that I think are significant. First, let’s look back at three other eclipses that crossed the US, or at least a portion of the US, and that marked some significant event.
The first two eclipses visible in America after the Declaration of Independence happened in 1777 and 1778. They’re known as Washington’s eclipses, because they’re both associated with key military victories of General Washington’s armies. That was a difficult year for the US revolution: the US freedom fighters had to spend the winter in Valley Forge or Valley Creek in very adverse weather conditions. They were lacking everything from food to medicines to clothes.
There were other eclipses but one worth mentioning happened in the US on June 8, 1918. This solar eclipse traversed the continent from coast-to-coast, just like the 2017 eclipse, from Washington State to Florida. This path is roughly similar to the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse and was the last time totality crossed the nation from the Pacific to the Atlantic.
There’s something very significant about the timing of this eclipse. That was the year that World War I ended. It was also the year that America emerged out of World War I as a world superpower. America’s superpower status was to be confirmed during World War II. That month of June America registered its first military victory of World War I. That same month America and France fought together to stop the Germans from crossing the Marne. Interesting to note that France’s recognition of the US Declaration of Independence and her help gave the US independence war the momentum it needed to defeat the British troops.
And now, a US-only solar eclipse that traverses the continent. What is this telling us? Remember that in the account of creation the Bible says: “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years” (Genesis 1:14). So God made the sun and the moon and the stars also for signs. What is God trying to tell us?
I believe the message of the 2017 solar eclipse has similar associations to the other eclipses I’ve mentioned, which happened at key moments of US history. First, I believe it’s linked to the principles of freedom that our nation was founded on. Secondly, it’s linked to America’s status as a superpower and its ability to influence the rest of the world for better or for worse.
What very important thing is happening in the US right now that’s related to the principles of freedom that this nation was established on? The answer is Donald Trump’s attempt to repeal or revoke the Johnson Amendment.
The Johnson Amendment
What is the Johnson Amendment? You probably never heard of it before. I hadn’t either until all the controversy was stirred up. Known as the Johnson Amendment, the legislation states that tax-exempt organizations including religious organizations “are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of [or in opposition to] any candidate for elective public office.” By repealing this law, religious organizations can decide to sponsor the parties and candidates of their choice, thereby driving government policy and decision-making.
This is what Trump says about the Johnson Amendment: “I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution,” he said. This statement is from the President of the National Religious Broadcasters: “For too long, the infamous Johnson Amendment has dangled like a sword above the heads of pastors and ministry leaders, chilling their constitutional free speech rights.”
Trump and the religious leaders mean well. You also may be thinking: Hey I think it’s great that large churches will be able to influence to get elected the candidate of their choice who’s friendly to the church’s agenda. Well, this whole issue is counter-intuitive. On the surface it seems like a good thing. But there’s a problem.
Repealing this law would significantly weaken the separation of Church and State that’s a pillar of the US government. This country was founded on that separation of Church and State in harmony with Jesus’ words: “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21) and “My Kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36).
Total religious freedom can only exist in a country where government is independent of religion and can’t be influenced by religion. History shows that whenever the Church meddles with the state it triggers persecution. And prophecy tells us that in the United States of the last days there will be a union of church and state that will result in the imposition of the mark of the beast. We learned that the mark of the beast is enforced Sunday worship, and the image of the beast is the union of Church and State as it was during the heyday of the papacy during the Middle Ages. Listen to this quote from the book “The Great Controversy” by Ellen White, page 443:
“But what is the “image to the beast”? and how is it to be formed? The image is made by the two-horned beast, and is an image to the beast. It is also called an image of the beast. Then to learn what the image is like and how it is to be formed we must study the characteristics of the beast itself—the papacy.
When the early church became corrupted by departing from the simplicity of the gospel and accepting heathen rites and customs, she lost the Spirit and power of God; and in order to control the consciences of the people, she sought the support of the secular power. The result was the papacy, a church that controlled the power of the state and employed it to further her own ends, especially for the punishment of “heresy.” In order for the United States to form an image of the beast, the religious power must so control the civil government that the authority of the state will also be employed by the church to accomplish her own ends”.
This would be the outcome of the abolishment of the Johnson Amendment: the religious power having enough control of the civil government that the authority of the state will be employed by the church to accomplish her own ends. Don’t think this is far-fetched. The erosion of civil liberties that we’re seeing in America today would have been unimaginable even 20 years ago.
What does this have to do with the Second Coming of Jesus? “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition” (2 Thessalonians 2:3). The anti-christ, also known as the beast, will be reinstated. The deadly wound will be healed. The papacy will again be given power to overcome God’s people worldwide (Revelation 13:7). And sadly, the US, a world superpower, will be the one to heal the wound and by its influence will lead the world to worship the beast (Revelation 13:12).
Where Are We in the Prophetic Timeline?
Let’s consider now some big picture milestones or time indicators that can help us situate where we are in the timeline of Bible prophecy. There are many prophetic time markers in the Bible and today we’ll consider four of them. You’ll see for yourself that this stacks up to tell us we’re almost out of time.
- We’re living in the period after the end of prophetic time. We studied this in our last program, when the angel of Revelation 10, the angel that stands on the sea and the land holding the little book, took an oath. Let’s read: “The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised up his hand to heaven and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be time no longer, but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets” (Revelation 10:5-7 – this is a combination of KJV and NKJV because most versions say “delay” but it should say “time” instead). Where it says “time shall be no longer” it means that after 1844 there are no more prophecies given with a date. Hence we’re living after the end of prophetic time. Not the end of time, but the end of prophetic time.
- We’re living in the time of the toes of the statue of Daniel Chapter 2, the time of the divided Roman Empire. This is the statue that appeared to King Nebuchadnezzar in a dream that foretold the successive unfolding of earthly kingdoms until God’s Kingdom would be established. The legs of the statue were made of iron and represented the Roman Empire. The feet and toes of the statue were made of iron mingled with potter’s clay and represented the divided Roman Empire. Let’s read from Daniel 2, verses 43 and 44: “As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay (we can see this in the European Union – no matter how hard they try they can’t stick together). And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever”. We see throughout history and in current events that although the European nations try to come together, they can’t cleave to one another. The diversity of languages and culture makes it difficult for them to become a united empire plus they have a history of war against each other. Even though they tried to unite their economies through the European Union, Brexit marked the beginning of the end for the EU.
- We’re witnessing the healing of the deadly wound of the anti-christ power. 1798 marked the end of the 1260-year prophecy also called the “time and times and the dividing of time” (Daniel 7:25, Daniel 12:7 and Revelation 12: 14). The beast, signifying the anti-christ power which is the papacy, had been given dominion over God’s people for 1260 years. It trampled upon the Sanctuary in heaven and tried to obliterate Jesus’ role as intercessor and High Priest by introducing all kinds of counterfeit intercessors such as saints, angels, the Virgin Mary and the priests. This is what’s referred to in Daniel 8:13: “How long will the vision be, concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled underfoot?” The 1260 years correspond to the period called “the Dark Ages” in Europe where the people lived in spiritual darkness. They had no choice but to obey the pope and the very corrupt clergy that occupied positions of power in each nation state. The papacy also known as the beast or the anti-christ power received the deadly wound prophesied in Revelation 13:3 and 13:12. The French army under one of Napoleon Bonaparte’s generals invaded Rome, deposed the pope and took him prisoner to France. But the same chapter of the Book of Revelation tells us that the beast’s deadly wound will be healed. In other words, the papacy will regain the same level of world power it had before 1798 when it ruled over Europe. The Bible says: “And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast” (Revelation 13:3). The Protestant Reformers all agreed and understood that the papacy was the beast and the anti-christ power. Sadly our Protestant Denominations today have forgotten what the fathers of our faith knew. This is why it’s so important to study history to understand how prophecy is fulfilled. Today we observe the position of prestige and power of the pope and know that we’re very close to the complete healing of that wound. Very soon the whole world will wonder after the beast (Revelation 13:3).
- We’re living in the time between the desecrations of the two institutions that God established at Creation: marriage and the Sabbath. In another study called “Prophecy Update: Crime Against Humanity and Nature” I demonstrated how Satan has set out to destroy every single element of the Lord’s creation, and the only one remaining is the Sabbath. On Day 6 and Day 7 of creation week respectively, God gave us first the institution of marriage, then the Sabbath. Marriage was desecrated in June of 2015 by the legalizing of gay marriage across the US by the US Supreme Court. I’m persuaded that the Sunday Law will follow shortly after same-sex marriage – I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop. “The abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet” (Matthew 24:15) is the union of church and state, the workings of the Papacy behind the scenes through most of the Protestant denominations resulting in the imposition of a Sunday Law. The Sunday Law establishes the first day of the week as a holy day of worship instead of the Sabbath day that God requires. The pope’s feverish efforts to unite the Protestant churches under his wing is leading us quickly to that outcome. The Catholic papacy is not ashamed to say that Sunday observance is “the mark of her ecclesiastical authority” (C. F. Thomas, Chancellor of Cardinal Gibbons, in answer to a letter regarding the change of the Sabbath, November 11, 1895). When the Sunday Law is passed in the US, it will set the trend for the rest of the world. At that point America will have filled the cup of her iniquity, and severe judgments will follow.
Chronology of End Time Events
We’re going to review now the chronology of end time events that are prophesied. Again I’m using the word chronology not in its meaning of assigning dates to events, but rather in its meaning of the sequencing of events, the order of the unfolding of successive events. Some events are fulfilled but many are not. There’s a previous study called “009 – The Mark of the Beast” that will give you some very useful background to follow along today. Let’s go step by step in order. There might be just a little bit of repetition here. Repetition is good.
- 1776: America declared her independence from Great Britain and in 1789 established the Constitution of the United States. In Bible prophecy America is the beast that rises up from the earth, having two horns like a lamb. The lamb is Jesus – this means that when America was born it was a Christian nation. Yet the Bible tells us that this country will speak like a dragon: the dragon is Satan working through Rome.
- 1798: End of the 1260-day prophecy. The anti-christ power receives the deadly wound. The historic event was the invasion of the Vatican and the overthrow of the papal power by the French. The anti-christ is not a person but a power, a system: not any single pope but the Roman Catholic Papacy.
- 1844: End of the 2300-day prophecy. The blowing of the trumpet to announce the beginning of the Investigative Judgment. This year marked the beginning of the cleansing of the heavenly Sanctuary, which is the judgment of all those who claimed or claim to walk with God. The judgment proceeds chronologically from Adam downwards, starting with the dead. At some point the judgment will transition to the cases of the living who profess to be Christ’s.
- 1844 corresponds to the First Angel’s Message of Revelation 14:6-7: “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters”.
- 1860: Creation of the Advent Movement, a cross-denominational mobilization of lovers of Christ. After the great awakening of the 1830’s and 1840’s and the great disappointment of 1844 those who remained faithful and continued to unearth gems of biblical truth came together to found the Advent Movement.
- 1922: Mussolini restores the Vatican and reinstates the pope as head of the nation state, in exchange for the pope’s support of his government. So the pope is both a political ruler and a religious ruler. He combines church and state in his person.
- 1929: Mussolini and the pope sign the Lateran Treaty. In this treaty the papacy recognized the state of Italy, with Rome as its capital. Italy in return recognized papal sovereignty over Vatican City and guaranteed full independence for the pope. This marks the beginning of the healing of the wound. As you know, healing is a process, it doesn’t happen overnight.
- From the 1950’s up to 2017: the Catholic Church is rocked by continuous reports of sexual abuse of young boys. The scandals emerged from all across Europe and beyond: Netherlands, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Brazil and Australia. This begins to fulfill the Second Angel’s Message: “And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication” (Revelation 14:8). What’s interesting about the Second Angel’s Message is that we usually take the fornication to mean spiritual adultery, the fact that the church is unfaithful to God by seeking worldly power and becoming entangled with the kings of the world. That is absolutely true. But there’s also a very literal sense in which she made the nations drink of the wine of her fornication with young children. I discuss the spiritual roots of pedophilia in another program called “035 – Prophecy Update: Judgment Is Coming”. So Babylon is fallen is fallen, because it’s a process in which she continues to fall lower and lower. In fact, she falls so low that when the loud cry is given (we’ll get to that in just a moment), the angel that gives the loud cry says: “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!” (Revelation 18:2).
- 1982: Beginning of the alliance between Pope Jean Paul II and US President Ronald Reagan during the cold war that ended with the coming down of the Berlin Wall in 1986 and the defeat of Communism.
- 2013: Pope Francis is elected to lead the Catholic Church in replacement of Pope Benedict who resigned in February 2013. We vividly remember the images of lightning falling from heaven upon the dome of the Vatican the evening of Pope Benedict’s resignation. Since then, Pope Francis has enjoyed great popularity and world renown and has become the darling of the media.
- 2014: President Obama secretly called on Pope Francis to help negotiate the Cuban situation in Guantanamo. That same year the pope reached out to a large gathering of evangelicals (we’ve all seen the video). This initiated a series of visits to the Vatican by American Protestant leaders: Kenneth Copeland, Joel Osteen, Rick Warren…
- 2015: In a historic event Pope Francis was invited to speak before the US Congress followed by a speech before the United Nations. In both political forums the pope received a standing ovation.
I hope you can see the progression here in the healing of the deadly wound. We’re only a breath away from the total healing of the wound and from the papacy receiving once more the power to rule over the world. So far we’ve covered events that have been fulfilled.
Events prophesied but not yet fulfilled:
- Once the papacy’s wound is completely healed, its political power will be fully restored. We read in Revelation 13:7: “And it was given unto him (referring to the beast or the anti-christ) to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations”. Rome is a persecuting power. She hasn’t changed, especially with the Jesuits now openly in charge.
- Rome will exercise great power over the kings of the earth – starting with the President of the US – through an alliance with the Protestant Churches, the harlot daughters of the mother harlot (Revelation 17:5). The Johnson Amendment could easily open the door to that.
- American Protestants will reach out to the pope and put pressure on the American government to help establish the pope’s agenda. This is the evil trilogy – the dragon, the beast and the false prophet – working together. The dragon is Satan working through Rome, the beast is the anti-christ or the papacy, and the false prophet is US Protestantism influencing and working through the US government.
- What is the pope’s agenda? The pope is using poverty, immigrants and refugees, and climate change as wedges to ultimately push a Sunday Law. I anticipate that in a country that has become as secular and anti-Christian as the US has become, something pretty big will happen to justify the passing of a Sunday Law. It could be a major economic crisis or a succession of natural disasters or civil unrest or a combination of all of the above. These will provoke the masses to cry out for Sunday to be made holy to appease what is perceived as God’s wrath and His judgments.
- The Sunday Law is passed in the US, and subsequently in the other major countries of the world. The passing of the Sunday law unleashes persecution against God’s commandment-keeping people who will refuse to keep a counterfeit day of worship. The issue is brought before mankind in very clear terms: follow the Bible and keep the Seventh-day Sabbath, or follow church tradition and keep Sunday.
- God’s people proclaim the Third Angel’s Message: “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” (Revelation 14:9-12).
- The Sunday law escalates through a gradual progression. First people are not allowed to do any work on Sunday, then they’re forced to worship on Sunday, and finally they’re forbidden to worship on the Sabbath. The United States chooses to legislate against the First Amendment of the Constitution that says: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. First, the US passes a law that establishes religion by imposing Sunday worship. Second, the US prohibits the free exercise of religion by forbidding Sabbath worship.
- At some point in this process the judgment in heaven passes from the dead to the living. All are faced with the great obedience test: taking the seal of God (the Sabbath) or taking the mark of the beast (enforced Sunday worship).
- God sends down His Holy Spirit upon His commandment-keeping people. The latter rain empowers them to carry the Third Angel’s Message with great power. Remember that the latter rain is more abundant than the early rain. They receive power from above to work miracles and signs and wonders, healings and deliverances for the glory of God.
- “The Loud Cry” is now given: the Third Angel’s Message proclaimed with Holy Spirit power. The Loud Cry is the Third Angel’s Message repeated and enlarged. “After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory. And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury”. And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities” (Revelation 18:1-5). People receive the message not so much with arguments but rather with the convicting power of God’s Holy Spirit (Ellen White, Great Controversy).
- In the meantime, the adulterous union of church and state is tightening its grip on the true people of God. No one can buy or sell except by taking the mark of the beast. Then a death decree is issued against those who persist in keeping the Sabbath. Let’s read Revelation 13:15-17: “He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name”. It’s very interesting to note that Jesus’ first coming was marked by a death decree, when Herod commanded that all male children 2 years and under be killed and Joseph and Mary had to flee to Egypt. In the same way, when the death decree is issued against God’s people, they have to flee to the mountains and the deserted places to escape from certain death. Many will be imprisoned and possibly tortured. Millions will die who have been justified and have witnessed for Jesus, but were not sanctified and so could not stand at the end without an intercessor.
- God delays the Second Coming of Jesus and the destruction of the world to give His people time: “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before” (Acts 3:19-20). Many of God’s people will heed the cry to come out of the Babylonian churches, whether the Catholic Church or the Protestant daughter churches of the mother church. Multitudes depart from Babylon as she falls. “Notwithstanding the agencies combined against the truth, a large number take their stand upon the Lord’s side” (Great Controversy p. 327).
- Many anti-christs reveal themselves in this process. Then, the nearly overmastering delusion: Satan himself impersonates Christ, disguising himself as an angel of light. Only those who have been faithful students of scripture will know the exact manner of Jesus’ Second Coming. Satan will not be allowed to counterfeit how Jesus comes, because that is the sign to His true people. This is why Jesus warned His followers: “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not” (Matthew 24:24-26). God’s true people are not deceived, but everyone else is deceived. God’s elect are not deceived because they trust only in His Word, not their feelings or their senses.
- And now finally, Michael the Archangel stands up (Daniel 12:1). Michael the Archangel is another name for Jesus. When Michael stands up, game is over. Probation closes. This is the close of grace. The heavenly sanctuary is closed. There is no more intercession. Jesus symbolically places the sins of His people on Satan’s head – he will have to pay for his share of their sins. Those who are saved remain saved, those who are lost remain lost. Revelation 22:11 has the solemn words of Jesus: “He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.”
- When Michael stands up in heaven that’s the signal to the seven angels of the seven plagues that they can unleash the plagues upon the earth. At this point also the Holy Spirit is withdrawn from the earth, and the wicked men are given over to Satan’s control. “At that time Michael shall stand up, the great Prince who stands watch over the sons of Your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time Your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book” (Daniel 12:1). Satan is now unrestrained because the Holy Spirit is the restrainer, and goes forth to destroy the earth and the people with war and natural calamities.
- The seven angels having the seven vials of the wrath of God come out of the heavenly sanctuary. The plagues start to fall upon the wicked of the earth. God’s people whose names were confirmed in the Lamb’s Book of Life are preserved and don’t receive the plagues. “After these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened. And out of the temple came the seven angels having the seven plagues, clothed in pure bright linen, and having their chests girded with golden bands. Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever. The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power, and no one was able to enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed” (Revelation 15:5-8).
- Intercession has closed. God’s people who are still alive must live in the presence of God before an intercessor. This is why only those who are sanctified will be allowed to survive – those who attained justification but were not engaged in a sanctification process must be put to sleep or else they wouldn’t make it.
- The plagues are falling upon the wicked. They’re convinced that it’s because of the refusal of God’s faithful people to worship on Sunday. The persecution becomes fierce and brutal. Remember that the Jesuits are masters of torture and persecution. God’s people have no rest. They’re driven up the mountains and into the wilderness. Angels minister to them to keep them alive, their bread and water are sure. Nevertheless death is very near. God’s people need extraordinary patience and faith to make it through this time of trouble. This time is referred to as Jacob’s Trouble because God’s saints will have to wrestle with God many days until their final deliverance. This is why the Book of Revelation says “Here is the patience of the saints…”
- Jesus comes back to the earth to deliver His people. He’s seen in the clouds of angels. “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:27, 30 -31).
- The faithful dead are resurrected and rise in the air to meet their Savior. The faithful living are translated into glorious bodies and follow them. The wicked are utterly destroyed and the earth goes back into primordial chaos, almost to the state it was in before creation. Satan is bound to the earth for a thousand years to contemplate the fruits of his rebellion. He has no one to tempt and will have plenty of time to meditate upon what awaits him.
- God’s people travel back to heaven with Jesus for a week to celebrate the marriage supper of the Lamb. This is the Feast of Tabernacles that we’re so looking forward to! Immediately after this the millennial period begins. The Millenium takes place in heaven, not on earth, and during a thousand years God’s saints will be performing a work of judgment on the wicked.
To God’s faithful people, it will seem that their Creator has forgotten them. We will be persecuted, scorned, humiliated, abused, and unjustly accused of all the tragedy going on around us. “Here is the patience of the saints, here are they who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus”. We need to stand firm. God will anoint us with the latter rain to give us power to stand. We must have the faith of Daniel in the lion’s den and the three Hebrew young men in the fiery furnace. God will deliver us.
But we need to get ready and ensure we have oil in our lamps. “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed” (Romans 13:1). “Watch ye therefore, and pray always that ye may be found worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36).