God's Plan for the Ages – Dispensations Lesson #29
October 14, 2014
"Father, we are thankful for this time we have to come together this evening to focus upon Your Word for Your Word is a clear source of stability for us and tells us that You have declared the end from the beginning and that you are in charge of history. That no matter what may happen within history, no matter how chaotic things may get in our own individual lives or in nations; nevertheless, we know that You are in control. Father, help us to focus upon You and as believers have the stability from Your Word to be able to communicate that the only source of hope is in You and to communicate that to those around us. May we be actively seeking opportunities to give the gospel to those we come in contact with and we pray this in Christ’s Name, Amen."
Just a couple of things to let you know what is going on in the evil cosmic system around us…. For those of you who don’t know what our lovely major has in retaliation to the pastors. Notice, she isn’t going after orthodox rabbis or imams at all, even though they are as hostile to her homosexual agenda as anybody else, but she has gone to court to subpoena the sermons and transcripts and media of sermons from a variety of pastors in the Houston area who have been fighting her on this city ordinance. At the same time, two weeks ago, the city secretary was deposed. There is a trial on this that is supposed to take place in January. The city secretary was deposed and basically it made it very clear that both the city attorney and the mayor were in complete violation of the city charter when they made an end run to cancel, violate the petition that had been signed and to invalidate many of those signatures. The city secretary has been the city secretary for 42 years; that takes her back to 1972. She said that never in her 42 years in her position has she been interfered with by the mayor or the city attorney like she has in this particular case.
So that really shows how egregious their violation of the law has been. And then for the mayor to seek the transcripts and sermons of pastors is a blatant act of intimidation and is just an obscene violation of the Constitution and it ought to be clear to anybody that the agenda of too many people on the left is not freedom. I hate to say this, but in my experience I think that one of the key characteristics of objective citizens of this nation; it probably applies to some liberals, but I see that this applies to conservatives most, is that from the left there is a tyrannical trend to suppress opinions that do not agree with political correctness. And on the right, in contrast, there is the willingness to fight and die for the freedom of speech, for the freedom of belief, and for the freedom of opinions of those they radically disagree with. I do not hear this so much from the left; that they are willing to go and fight and die for the beliefs of people on the far right that they disagree with. They don’t really, at the core of their being it seems, believe in the first amendment. And this bodes badly for this nation and for us and we, as believers, need to be aware. This battle is taking place right here in Houston. This isn’t the mayor of New York. This isn’t the mayor of Baltimore. This is the mayor of Houston, Texas who is at the forefront of this. She probably won’t get away with it, courts will throw it out, but it is a portent of what is coming.
Speaking of which, we are still talking about the Tribulation and the Antichrist and this is the kind of behavior we can expect of any type of Antichrist figure based upon Scripture. Tonight what I want to do in terms of our study on dispensations (slide 2) is to try to bring our study of the Tribulation to a close in looking at the great end time event, which is the campaign. It is not one battle. It is a series of battles, the Campaign of Armageddon. And so we will work through that as we approach the final part of our study, where we were look the last two or three times at the key people that we have in the Tribulation period. We have to know who the players are. We talked about the Antichrist. We talked about the false prophet. We talked about the 144,000, and we talked about two witnesses that are identified that appear near the beginning of the first half of the Tribulation and they are faithful witness to God to the truth in the tradition of Elijah and Moses. The miracles that they perform are very similar to those of Elijah and Moses and they fulfill the prophecies from Zechariah 4:11-14.
Now when we look at the Tribulation what I want to do is to give us an overview (slide 3). There are two parts, the first half and the second half of 3½ years each. In the first half you have the first two series of judgments. You have the seven seal judgments and when that seventh seal is opened it reveals seven more judgments and those are the trumpet judgments (slide 4). So each period is approximately 42 months and so the seal judgments will take place over approximately half that time, 21 months, and then the trumpet judgments will take place over the second half. I am not going to drill down on all of those details, but that gives you the overview. The Rapture of the church ends the Church Age. There will be a period of transition before the Antichrist, the prince who is to come, will sign a treaty with Israel and that is what starts the stopwatch for Israel going again. So that works its way down through the last seven years.
If we look at the whole scope of the Tribulation that we have in this chart (slide 5) the seven seals and the seven trumpet judgments in the first half; and then the seven bowl judgments in the second half. It should encourage us and I think this is one aspect of prophecy. You see it clearly in the book of Daniel. I think it is clearly there in the book of Revelation. It is that the believers who read that at the beginning, the believers who experienced what Daniel and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego experienced saw their world come apart at the seams. They saw all of the loss of their parents’ generation, many of their generation that is the generation of Daniel who were taken into captivity. You had economic chaos; you had loss of family; everything fell apart and yet God was in control. That is the underlying message in all of these prophetic scenarios. Even thought there is chaos and horror God is in control and therefore, believers can relax. Even though there will be an innumerable number of believers martyred during the Tribulation period, martyrdom is not something to be feared as a believer because that is just how we get transitioned into heaven. We are not to seek martyrdom, but martyrdom is going to take place in the Tribulation period like it has never taken place in history before and as believers we see that this happens in our own time. It happens mostly in countries that are denominated by Islam. It happens in a few other places but mostly there, where there is great oppression of believers. But they can relax and have hope and have faith because God is in control.
So we go through the seal judgments (slide 6). I am going to just go through some of these slides. I have a lot of slides I put in here tonight and I want to make sure that we go through them. So what happens in the first half (slide 7)?
1. In the first half we see that Israel is in the land. Israel is in the land but they’re unregenerate. They have to be restored to the land and that is why we believe that what we have been seeing since the mid-part, if not the early part of the 19th century is the beginning of God’s movement to restore the Jews to the land. Initially they’re restored as an unregenerate people and then the temple will be rebuilt either near the end of the Church Age, it’s possible, during the transition period or it may not be rebuilt until after the Tribulation begins, after that peace treaty is signed. We don’t know. As I pointed out last time, it doesn’t need to be finished by then. The temple where Jesus worshiped, the Herodian temple, was incomplete. It wasn’t finished for another twelve years or so after Jesus’ death on the cross. But once that area is consecrated and sacrifices can begin, the sacrifices will continue until the Antichrist puts an end to them halfway through the Tribulation.
2. The seal judgments are the first set of three judgments that occur in the Tribulation and each concludes with a judgment that reveals seven more. So they are successive. Some people try to say that they overlap, but they are successive judgments. They are a series.
3. The first four seals judgments are known as the four horsemen of the Apocalypse and they are the beginning of the wrath of God directed toward mankind. This is described in Revelation 6. If you look at the overall layout of Revelation 4-19, that is the course of the Tribulation. Revelation 4-5 gives us the prelude, the heavenly scene, and the seven-scroll document is given to Jesus, who then begins to open the seals; that is the beginning of these judgments. So they are properly termed the “wrath of the Lamb.”
4. The rise of the Antichrist takes place during the interim period and the ten-nation confederacy (slide 8). The picture that we see in Revelation is that this is a worldwide warfare, a world war. It is not something that is restricted to a war between Muslims and Jews; and that is going to be a dimension of it and of course, Armageddon brings a focal point, God brings a focal point at the end of the Tribulation to where it is always is and that is Jerusalem and the land of Israel, but it is a worldwide conflagration. This is one of the reasons I have a problem. You study the material long enough; you go back into the early 19th century, people want to identify current government structures and nations with what they’re interpreting in the Scripture and we must avoid that at all cost. What we see today because of the rise of terrorism and the rise of radical Islam is this desire to try to read that into the Scripture and that makes it a regional conflict and this is not a regional conflict. I know that some people will disagree with my contention there, but that doesn’t mean that it is not true. It reduces it to just a regional conflict and this is a worldwide conflict.
5. The 144,000 Jewish evangelists are sealed in Revelation 7.
6. Then we are told in the seventh seal judgment that there are now seven more judgments, seven trumpet judgments, and then the seventh trumpet judgment will contain that final series of bowl judgments.
7. The last thing that develops in this period that I’ll point out is the ministry of these two witnesses that takes place. They are special witnesses to the Jewish people to Jerusalem and to Israel and they will be martyred by the Antichrist at the halfway point, midpoint through the Tribulation, Revelation 11:3-6.
Now here we have the trumpet judgments (slide 9). Trumpet judgments involve a lot of things that take place in the heavens. There is fiery hail that comes upon the earth in the first trumpet judgment. There is a burning mountain that goes into the sea in the second trumpet judgment. The waters are turned bitter. The sun and the moon and the stars are darkened again in the fourth trumpet judgment, and then starting with the fifth judgment we see the introduction of the demonic in a way that it never takes place before; there is the release of demonic locust from the abyss with the fifth trumpet judgment. And in the sixth trumpet judgment you have a 200 million demon army that is released from under the Euphrates. Hal Lindsey tried to equate that to the Chi-Coms (Chinese Communists) coming across from China, but a close reading of the Text indicates that they are a demonic army that is released. This brings us to a point that I keep making, that is that at the end of human history the two great intelligent creations of God, the angels and mankind, who have rebelled against God, judgment is finally brought to bear on both of these creatures and they become intertwined there at the end of the Tribulation, especially from this period, the fifth trumpet on I believe demons and angels become clearly visible upon the earth.
1. So we have (slide 10) the episode of the little scroll that is described in Revelation 10:9-11, which contains prophecy related to the middle of the second half of the Tribulation. Biblical prophecy is considered good and sweet, but the judgment, when that scroll is taken the judgments are bitter, the scroll is bitter.
2. There is a head wound. The Antichrist is killed and then he is raised from the dead; he is brought back to life in Revelation 13:3.
3. Satan has a temper tantrum. He is cast out of heaven and cast to the earth and this time I believe is when all the demons truly become visible upon the earth.
4. The Antichrist is raised from the dead and he now makes the claim to be the true Messiah. He has been raised from the dead and he is going to establish his worship in the temple in Jerusalem.
5. The Antichrist (slide 11) consolidates his stranglehold on the West, Daniel 7:24; Revelation 17:12-13, and this shows it is a worldwide conflagration. He brings back the old Roman Empire. It is a revival of the Roman Empire. His nationality isn’t as significant as some people want to make it because he comes out of the West and he fulfills that revival of the Roman Empire.
6. There is the death and resurrection of the two witnesses and they are taken to heaven.
7. The “abomination of desolation” takes place, Revelation 13:3-4. All of this is at approximately the midpoint of the Tribulation.
8. The false prophet who is the leader of the false religious system will deceive the masses, Revelation 13:11-15.
9. The false prophet (slide 12) will instigate the mark of the beast in Revelation 13:16-18 where it says that “no one in the whole world” that is the global focus of the Antichrist empire. It is not something that is just in the Middle East; it’s global. No one in the world can buy or sell. All commerce is dependent upon loyalty to the first beast.
10. There will be an increase in persecution of the Jews.
Today, I need to send this link out to everybody, someone sent me a link today to a video where a variety of Jewish college students from places like one might suspect, like Berkley, Kent State, the University of Connecticut, the University of Maryland and Baltimore, and a number of other universities where they describe the level of anti-Semitism that they are experiencing, the hatred that they are experiencing on a university campuses throughout this country and this is developing more and more. This is just the precursor, I’m afraid, to coming attractions.
That brings us to the second half of the Tribulation (slide 13), the second 3½-year period, the bowl judgments (slide 14); and it is in these bowl judgments that everything is intensified. We cross the midpoint, the rise of the Antichrist, and now they are going to be these horrible diseases. I believe from this point on no one responds to the gospel from my reading of Revelation. It is not that they can’t; it is that they won’t. They’re set in their negative volition just as Pharaoh hardened his heart that after about the third of fourth plague he WAS NOT going to change his mind. It’s not that he could not, but that he would not. He had hardened himself so much. I think that is the case here in the last 3½ years. The seas are turned to blood, which impacts all fishing, commerce; the rivers are turned into blood, which wipes out your freshwater sources. There is going to be a scorching on the earth from the sun. There is darkness upon the throne of the Beast. The Euphrates River dries up. There are earthquakes and hail upon the earth as we reach this final stage at the Campaign of Armageddon just prior to the Second Coming.
That’s Revelation. You want to understand Biblical prophecy? It is seven years divided in half, two 3½-year periods; seal judgments, trumpet judgments in the first half; the bowl judgments in the second half culminating in the Campaign of the Battle of Armageddon. Armageddon has become a metaphor in our secular biblically illiterate culture where any sort of cataclysm is identified as Armageddon. But the Bible says this is the end-game. This is when the Antichrist brings certain armies. Armageddon is not just any crisis or any calamity or nuclear war or anything like that. It is very specific how the Bible describes it and it relates to the gathering of Israel.
In Micah 2:12 (slide 15) God tells Jacob. When he uses that term “Jacob” it usually is in relationship to Israel as coming out of or in rebellion against God. He says, “I will surely assemble all of you, Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel.” He says, “I will put them together like sheep in the fold.” This emphasizes the fact that God is going to protect the Jewish remnant during this time.
I pointed this out last time. There is this myth, this calumny that is passed around within the Jewish community that Christians want all the Jews back in the land because during the Tribulation they are going to be wiped out; and that is not the motivation. The Jews will return to the land; two-thirds of the Jews are probably killed. But it is not just two-thirds of the Jews that are killed. It is probably two-thirds of the earth’s whole population as well. Because in the seal judgments a quarter of the earth’s population dies. In the trumpet judgments and those two series are in the first half. In the trumpet judgments a third of what is left dies. That means that by the midpoint of the Tribulation, as Revelation describes it, half of the earth’s population has died. By the time you get to Armageddon I would guess at least half of what remains will be gone. So that percentagewise no more Jews are killed or lost during the Tribulation period than non-Jews. It is a time of incredible loss of life. God will protect the remnant. He gathers them and will put them “like a sheep in the fold; like a flock in the midst of its pasture. They will be noisy with men,” Micah 2:12; so God will protect them.
This is done because there are those who will respond to what Jesus said (slide 16), that when they see the sign of the “abomination of desolation” those who are in Judea are to flea to the mountains, Matthew 24:16. Notice it doesn’t say “all Jews.” It doesn’t say those who are in Galilee. It says those who are in Jerusalem in Judea. Those are the ones who flee to the mountains and we will see the reason for that. This is described in Revelation 12:6, “And the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she might be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.” That is 3½ years or 42 months. That is the second half of the Tribulation period.
Revelation 12:14 (slide 17) is talking about the same imagery, “And the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman.” This is a picture of flight. The woman is Israel, “in order that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times” that is one, times is two, “and half a time” that is 3½ years, “from the presence of the serpent.” So she is being attacked by the serpent. It is at the end of that time that the Bible depicts that Israel will turn back to God in repentance and accept her Messiah and cry out for her Messiah to deliver her.
In Zechariah 12:10 (slide 18) God says, “And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem,” this is an Old Testament (OT) prophecy given to the prophet Zechariah. “I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced;” now how in the world could they interpret that apart from understanding that phrase, “Me whom they have pierced,” to refer to the crucifixion of Jesus because of His claim to be the Messiah; “they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born.” That is a depiction of their repentance; they’re turning to God at the end of the Tribulation period.
This is also seen in Romans 11:25-26 (slide 19), which talks about the fact that it is at this time that after “the fullness of the Gentiles has come in,” that in Romans 11:26 “The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.” This references the coming of the Messiah to rescue the surviving remnant of Israel at the end of the Tribulation period. It is a fulfillment of God’s covenant (slide 20, Romans 11:27), which takes us back to the Abrahamic Covenant described in Genesis 15:18 (slide 21), where God promised to Abraham to give him all the land from the river of Egypt to the great River Euphrates.
Now if you will look at this map (slide 22); there is a lot of debate over just how this land is extended. But if we come over here, right here, you can see the delta for the Nile and off to the left of that you have the Nile River. Some people think that the Nile River is the river of the Covenant. That doesn’t fit the terminology because of the Hebrew words that are used for “river.” It is most likely for a lot of different reasons; I am not going to go into now, the Wadi el-Arish, which is located in the Sinai. The Sinai was never considered part of the Promise Land. So the Wadi el-Arish, coming down south of the Negev, would form the river of Egypt, and then everything from there over to the Euphrates. Well look how far the Euphrates goes. All the way down here through what is now modern Iraq. So this covers all the territory of the modern kingdom of Jordan as well as about half of modern Iraq; all the way up to Damascus, much of Syria. I believe all this territory was a part of that original land grant to Abraham. It is important to note too, in light of the on-going conflict, here is Jerusalem on the west side and here is Babylon on the east side. And from the time of Genesis 11, as we studied when we went through Genesis, there is this battle between Jerusalem and Babylon. So this is the territory that God has given to Abraham and his descendants through Isaac and Jacob; and this has never been owned or controlled by the Jewish people.
Now this is what is at stake. You have Babylon becomes a central figure again, and I believe it is a literal Babylon. For many years, using allegorical interpretation, a lot of biblical scholars, many dispensationalists took references to Babylon as being a code word for Rome. But there is no indication anywhere in Scripture that that is true. And for the last twenty or thirty years a lot of research had been done in relation to the use of these geographic terms in history. And I believe that under Saddam Hussein there was an attempt to resurrect Babylon, but I believe under the Antichrist’s worldwide kingdom Babylon will once again take its place as an economic center. Now we are a long way from that right now. But that doesn’t mean that it won’t be restored in the end times.
Revelation 16:14 (slide 23) talks about these three froglike demons that come out; they’re called “spirits of demons.” They perform signs, which go out to “the kings of the earth.” Again a global concept brings together all of the kings of the earth “and the whole world.” It brings them where? It brings “them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” This introduces us biblically to that end campaign, which ends in the Campaign of Armageddon.
Here is a map of Israel (slide 24) and we’re going to see that there are eight stages to this campaign culminating in the destruction of the armies of the Antichrist and the false prophet. They are sent directly to the Lake of Fire and Israel will be reestablished in the land and rescued by the Lord Jesus Christ as the Messiah.
1. There are first of all a gathering of the armies of the Antichrist here (#1 on map) at the Valley of Har-megiddo; har is the Hebrew word for mountain, Megiddo is the name of a major town that sat astride a pass in the Carmel Ridge overlooking this great valley that extends from this only natural harbor in Israel, where Haifa is located today. It is the only deep water port on the western end of the Mediterranean and the only deep water port in Israel and this is where the United States fleet comes in and they get their oil and their supplies and everything and (the only port that) can handle that kind of a navy. It is perfect when you stand there on the Carmel Ridge you can see it; that as ships come into that harbor they can offload supplies, material, personnel, everything needed for war that is then trucked southeast onto the Valley of Armageddon as the staging area for the war that is to come. It isn’t in the Valley of Armageddon that the war takes place; that is the staging area from which it will develop.
2. There will be destruction, a physical destruction of Babylon as part of this war. This final campaign is the result of a war that has been going on for some time that has drawn the Antichrist into the Middle East, which again indicates that he is not there originally. He is drawn there because of the warfare that has taken place, I believe, between the king of the north, which is probably a Muslim-type army, and the king of the south. There is a lot of debate how Ezekiel 38-39 fits into this. I am still not convinced. I think the best argument is that Ezekiel 38 takes place in the first half of the Tribulation and Ezekiel 39 in the second half of the Tribulation. Again that is a totally different issue but I think that is pretty well said.
3. The fall of Jerusalem. Jerusalem falls to the Antichrist.
4. The armies of the Antichrist gather at Bozrah, which is where the Jews have fled. They will see what is going on; they will see the “abomination of desolation” and they flee down across the Judean desert (this is really barren hostile territory) and across south of the Dead Sea into the area of Jordan around Petra and Bozrah, which is terrain where they can hide and they will be protected.
5. It is when the Jews are there that they will call upon the name of the LORD and that indicates the national regeneration of Israel. The people who flee are already individually saved. They wouldn’t be responding to Jesus’ command to leave Judea and to flee to the mountains if they didn’t believe Him and believe that He was the Messiah. They are individually saved. The people who flee mostly will be individually saved and then corporately they will call upon the Name of the LORD from Bozrah.
6. This is followed by the Second Coming of Christ, when He comes and rescues them.
7. Then they will march to Jerusalem with the tribe of Judah and the vanguard and they will end the fighting at the Valley of Jehoshaphat.
8. Then there will be the victory ascent up the Mount of Olives.
Now in the next twenty minutes I am going to go through as much of this as I can to help us understand this in the Bible. It is going to go fast. I am not going to go through every verse that I put up on the screen, but if you are taking notes you can write down the references and take a look at them later. Of course the slides will be put up on the Internet (www.deanbibleminsitries.org) afterward.
So what we see here in this map of the Middle East (slide 25); here is Babylon and Babylon is going to be attacking to the west. Part of this army is going to be attacking from the west and it is at Megiddo that the Antichrist will come in and will offload his soldiers and his equipment in preparation for this great battle. Here (slide 26, #1) we have the gathering of the armies of the Antichrist in this area as the staging ground for the beginning of the campaign. It is located here on the map (slide 27). We see Megiddo located here. This whole area. Here is Mt. Carmel, located here from this little point running all the way down to here, just below Mt. Gilboa. This whole area is just a long tall ridge overlooking a valley. The valley is called the Jezreel Valley. Here is a topographical map (map 28) looking at it; it runs the distance here and that is the area where this staging area takes place.
These are a couple of pictures (slide 29) taken from the ruins at Megiddo. There are twenty-seven layers of civilization that have been uncovered there. And as we look across here this is part of (Mt. Carmel). We are on the Carmel Ridge and it sort of circles around this way and extends up across here, but this flat area out to the front is all the lower part of the Valley of Megiddo. Here (slide 30) are some of the excavations there, and this (slide 31) is a wide angle shot taken from the historical location on Mt. Carmel. You can see these two angled concrete strips right here. That is an underground Israel Air Force (IAF) base. All you see are the runways, but this is the wide open area. Over here is Mt. Tabor and Mt. Gilboa is located over here, kind of fuzzy in the background, but you get an idea of how high the Carmel Ridge is as the Valley of Esdraelon goes out before you. Napoleon (slide 32) said that when he saw the Valley of Esdraelon that all the armies of the earth could gather there to do battle. That is the staging area.
The next thing that happens (slide 33, #2) is going to be over on the Euphrates (River) and Babylon is going to be destroyed. This is described in various passages. In Revelation 17:3-6 (slide 34) John states, “He carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns.” This depicts the ten-nation confederacy and all of the other imagery there. And on her name is, “BABYLON THE GREAT. THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” There is a significant economic headquarters in Babylon and Babylon is a description of the whole anti-Christian army. The woman is “drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus.”
We see passages in the OT like Jeremiah 50:9-10 (slide 35), which gives a prediction of the destruction of Babylon. God says, “I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country, and they shall array themselves against her.” Babylon is a major powerhouse, but it is not capitol of the Antichrist's army, but they are allied. We are not sure how that relationship works, but “Chaldea will be destroyed and plundered” according to Jeremiah 50:10. That is not the end of the Antichrist’s kingdom.
Revelation 17:16 (slide 36) “The ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot,” so the ten horns represent the Antichrist's kingdom and they hate the harlot, which is Babylon. It shows the distinction between the two.
Revelation 12:10-11 (slide 37) depict the angelic part. John says, “I heard a loud voice in heaven saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down.” KATEGOR there is the word for accuser. That is the Greek word that is the counterpart to satan. It means “accuser,” talking about when Satan is thrown down to the earth. Revelation 12:11, “and they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.” So this depicts Satan and the fallen angels being thrown out of heaven as this is described in this great angelic battle in Revelation 12:8-9 (slide 38).
Revelation 18:9 (slide 39) gets into more the immediate description of the Campaign of Armageddon. “The kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her,” that is with Babylon, “will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning.” Now Babylon is very interesting. Here (slide 40) we have a picture of a flyer done and the headline there, if you can’t read it says, “EUROPE: MANY TONGUES ONE VOICE.” They have taken one of the most infamous images of a building in history, the Tower of Babel, and intentionally and self-consciously used that as a symbol for the European Union (EU) for its translation headquarters. This is a Renaissance, Bruegel’s depiction of the Tower of Babel, on which the modern complex for translation, which I believe is in Strasbourg, is located (slide 41). This is how the EU sees itself, as connected to the Tower of Babel and a resurrection of the Babylonian mentality. They also have depictions. Here (slide 42) is a Europa Publication with a woman riding the Beast and there is the building located in Strasbourg again. So it is interesting how they intentionally use this imagery to identify themselves.
(Slide 43) Map (not discussed in this class, but included for reference)
Revelation 18:1-2a (slide 44) says, “After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory. And he cried out, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!” So this is the second stage in the battle. Other passages: (slide 45) Isaiah 13:19-20; (slide 46) Jeremiah 50:1; Jeremiah 50:39-40; (slide 47) Jeremiah 51:24 God says, “Before your eyes I will repay Babylon and all who live in Babylonia for all the wrong they have done in Zion, …” so there will be divine retribution at the end of the Tribulation.
That takes us to the third stage (slide 48, #3), the fall of Jerusalem. The Antichrist is going to move his forces down through Samaria, what is now called the West Bank erroneously. It should not be called that anymore because it is no longer the West Bank of Jordan. That is why it was called the West Bank, because Jordan was given all the land to the east of the Jordan after they took the land by force in Israel’s War for Independence in 1948. They were no longer the Kingdom of Transjordan, which refers to the eastern side of the Jordan, so they changed the name to the Kingdom of Jordan and they now had an east bank and a west bank, but they lost the west bank in the 1967 War. No country ever recognized Jordan’s right to sovereignty over the West Bank. And so now it basically becomes a land without a country, but it is not the west bank of anything anymore. So that is a misnomer. Every term you use has political repercussions and connotations, so it is better to just use the biblical terms. That is going to upset a lot of Arabs and Muslims, but that is life, Samaria and Judea. So he (Antichrist) will attack Jerusalem down through Samaria and this leads to the persecution of the Jews as described in Revelation 12:12-13 (slide 49).
Just look at Revelation 12:13, “when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child.” The male child is Jesus. The woman is Israel. So this is the increase of anti-Semitism in the end times. And (slide 50) Revelation 12:14, the woman is going to flee into the desert where she is going to spend 3½ years protected by God. And Revelation 12:15 (slide 51), the serpent is going to chase her and the serpent, of course, is the devil, and try to completely destroy her. Revelation 12:16, “But the earth helped the woman,” the land, “and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.” So the Antichrist’s armies will be defeated it seems by the terrain.
Here (slide 52) is a picture of modern Jerusalem. I was standing on Mount Scopus when I took this picture. This is the Mount of Olives (on the left). This is the Temple Mount (in the center of the photo) and you can see the various hills surrounding Jerusalem. Over here you can barely see a little white space (on the horizon, to the left side). There is a flag flying there. That is called the Hill of Evil Counsel. Historically it goes back to the evil counsel that was given to Rehoboam, which caused him to increase the taxation on the northern kingdom and caused the tax revolt that split the kingdom. You will never guess what that building is up there. That is the United Nations (UN) Headquarters on the Hill of Evil Counsel. [Laughter.] And they don’t think that God has a sense of humor.”
So Zechariah (slide 53, Zechariah 12:1) tells us a lot about what happens; that God is going to bring judgment upon mankind through Jerusalem. (Slide 54) “Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah,” Zechariah 12:2. That is why Jesus said those in Judea need to flee. (Slide 55) “It shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces…”, Zechariah 12:3. You hear this verse quoted a lot in reference to the modern Israel-Arab conflict. This specifically applies to what happens at the end times around the Campaign of Armageddon, not what is going on now.
(Slide 56) “And all of the nations of the earth will be gathered against it,” Zechariah 12:3. This is what happens in the end times. The whole world seeks to destroy Jerusalem and to destroy Israel. Zechariah 14:1-3 (slide 57) tells us even more. “The day of the LORD is coming, Zechariah 14:1a; and in Zechariah 14:2 “I gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem. The city will be taken.” So in this third stage the Antichrist takes Jerusalem and it is horrible. The houses are going to be rifled, “and the women ravaged. Half the city will go into captivity. But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city.” So there is a remnant that is left inside Jerusalem during this time.
Zechariah 12:4-5 (slide 58) “In that day… I will strike every horse with confusion, and its rider with madness.” I believe that because of all the other things that happen in the various judgments that all modern technology and modern weaponry is no longer functional and we are going to be back with bows and arrows and horses. Zechariah 12:6 (slide 59) “In that day I will make the governors of Judah like a firepan in the woodpile.” That is they are going to start this conflagration; “like a fiery torch in the sheaves; they will devour all the surrounding peoples on the right hand and on the left, but Jerusalem will be inhabited again in her own place…” No matter how bad it gets, Jerusalem will not be destroyed. So when the Iranians are mouthing their threats of nuclear war, I know it is never going to happen. They are not going to be able to destroy Jerusalem. As Christians we can be confident. We don’t have to worry about some sort of nuclear conflagration from Iran or anybody else, because that doesn’t fit the scenario that God has described for us.
Zechariah 12:7 (slide 60), “The LORD will save the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall not become greater that that of Judah.” So God saves Judah first and I am going to go ahead and skip through these (slide 61). Zechariah 12:9 (slide 62) and at the Campaign of Armageddon God says, “I will … destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.”
Then we come to the fourth point (slide 63, #4), the Antichrist marches to Petra in pursuit of the Jews. So this depicts their movement south across the Judean wilderness down to Petra, which is now in Jordan. In Micah 2:12 (slide 64), which I read earlier; it is very interesting to look at the Hebrew. Micah 2:12 says, “I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together like sheep of the fold.” The Hebrew for the sheepfold is Bozrah, which is a town not too far from Petra in that same area. So there is our sheepfold within that territory. There are several here who are going to be going on the trip to Israel and when we get back into Petra and we walk back through the Siq, which is the Arabic word for canyon. It is a little over a mile long and when it comes to that treasury house, which is what is depicted in this picture here; that when we come in it opens up and there is just this huge area that is open. It is very rocky, very hilly, but what is interesting is that if you look at this picture you can’t see it clearly here. You see a little bit of a line here (on the left side). This is like a gutter.
The Nabataean’s built this drainage system along this canyon and they have these gutters that run the length of the canyon that they dug out, carved out into the rock. And so if you get about an eighth of an inch of rain or a quarter of an inch of rain, which is about all they get, all of that drains down into this canyon. and they built all these water retrieval channels that come down into these gutters and they run down the length of the Siq. Then they have these holes carved out and they’ve hollowed out these mountains where they have 500,000 gallon cisterns. With just a small rainfall they can fill up those water systems. In our love for archeology in history, we are rebuilding these water systems. So by the time the Tribulation occurs, these systems will work again. They had broken-down so this is coming together in preparation for that.
Isaiah 34:5 (slide 65) says, “For My sword shall be bathed in heaven; indeed it shall come down on Edom.” We’ll see that Moab and Edom were located on that Transjordan area. This is where this fight will occur. Isaiah 34:6, “The sword of the LORD is filled with blood; it is made overflowing with fatness, with the blood of lambs and goats… For the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah and a great slaughter in the land of Edom.” That is describing this battle.
Here we have a map (slide 66). Here is Jerusalem here, the Dead Sea, the Salt Sea, and down here is Bozrah-Petra. Some maps identify them as the same, some as different, but this is the area that we are talking about southeast of the Dead Sea. Here is another map (slide 67), a modern map of Jordan. Here are Petra and Bozrah which sometimes are associated with Ma’an. It depends on the map you are looking at and who you are talking to.
Isaiah 63:1 (slide 68) says, “Who is this who comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah.” This is a reference to the Messiah. The Messiah comes from Edom. His garments are dyed red with blood. “This one who is glorious in His apparel, traveling in the greatness of His strength?” Isaiah 63:2 says, “Why is Your apparel red, and Your garments like one who treads in the winepress?” Because He has destroyed the armies of the Antichrist in judgment. He says in Isaiah 63:3-4 (slide 69), “I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with Me.” That is from the nations. “For I have trodden them in My anger and trampled them in My fury; their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained My robes. For the day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redeemed has come.” This is the Lord Jesus Christ coming to destroy the Antichrist and to bring all things to conclusion.
Now here are a couple of photos (slide 70). If you head south of Jerusalem across Judah this is what you get to see. It is a barren landscape crossing over into Jordan (slide 71). This is the area around Petra. It is an area that of course looks quite hospitable (slide 72) and quite comfortable. It is some of the most rugged territory that you’ll see. Alright, here is another shot inside Petra (slide 74). This is some of the ancient buildings. The city of Petra had a population of about 20,000-25,000 and they had carved everything out of the hillsides.
Jeremiah 49:13-14 (slide 74) “For I have sworn by Myself,” declares the LORD, “that Bozrah will become an object of horror, a reproach, a ruin and a curse; and all its cities will become perpetual ruins.” This is predicting the end times. “Gather yourselves together and come against her, and rise up for battle!”
What we have done (slide 75), we have gone through the first four points. The armies of the Antichrist gather at Bozrah and then Israel turns to God for help; that is the fifth (slide 76, #5). Right before the Olivet Discourse (slide 77, Matthew 23:37-38) before Jesus went to the Cross, He sat on the Mount of Olives and looked over Jerusalem and said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; (slide 78, Matthew 23:39) for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!” That is the key: when will Israel as a nation say “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD” and call upon the LORD?
Leviticus 26:40-42 (slide 79) predicts that they will at some point in the future confess their iniquity. And in Leviticus 26:42, then God will remember His covenant.
Deuteronomy 4:27 (slide 80) says the same thing, “The LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the LORD will drive you.” Deuteronomy 4:29 (slide 81). “But from there you will seek the LORD and you will find Him.” And in Deuteronomy 4:30-31, “when you turn to the LORD your God and obey His voice … He will not forsake you nor destroy you.”
Then in Deuteronomy 30:1-4 (slides 82-83) it says when all these things come upon you; you’ve been scattered among all the nations and you call these things to mind; when you are among the nations and you return to the LORD your God and obey His voice, then what happens? Then the LORD your God will bring you back from captivity and have compassion upon you.
Jeremiah 3:13-16 (slides 84-85) says the same thing, calling upon the Israelites to turn back from their iniquity against God and God promises in Jeremiah 3:15, “I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.” And “at that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the LORD, and the nations shall be gathered to it,” Jeremiah 3:17 (slide 86).
He says he’ll (slide 87) “pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication.” God’s grace upon the nation, Zechariah 12:10; (slide 88) “And it will come about after this that He pours out His Spirit” in the end times, Joel 2:28-29. And it is at this time that you have the blood moons (slide 89, Joel 2:30-32a). This is when the Scripture says that He “will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, blood, fire, and columns of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.” “Great and awesome day of the LORD” is the Campaign of Armageddon. “And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD will be delivered.” Those are the ones who say “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD.”
Romans 11:26-27 (slide 90) refers to this; that at this time is when “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob (Jerusalem).”
Zechariah 13:1 (slide 91) it is said that “In that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity.” There is going to be this earthquake that takes place in Jerusalem that splits the Mount of Olives so that the remnant of Jews that are in Jerusalem can escape as the LORD then returns through the East Gate into Jerusalem (slide 92, #6) to destroy the Antichrist and his armies. This is what happens at the Second Coming of Christ (slide 93). It is depicted in Isaiah 63:1-3 (slide 94) that He comes once again from Bozrah with His garments dyed red, the glowing colors, as if He’s trodden the winepress alone.
The seventh thing that happens (slide 95, #7) is that He destroys the armies of the Antichrist as He comes form Petra and moves north against Jerusalem and (slide 96, Joel 3:2; Joel 3:12) “He gathers all the nations,” the Gentiles, “and brings them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat.” That is the Kidron Valley most likely. It could be a little further south. There is debate over its exact location. And there God says “I will enter into judgment with them there on behalf of My people and My inheritance.” By the way, the Valley of Jehoshaphat was also called the Valley of Ber’akhah, “blessing,” the Valley of Berachah for those of you who don’t know Hebrew, Ber’akhah. “I will gather all the nations” there and they will stand before God and He will judge them. This is it (slide 97). Ya’ll recognize Betty. Right over her shoulders you are looking from the old city of Jerusalem straight across that valley there in the background, if it weren’t a little hazy you could see Bethlehem. That’s the Valley of Jehoshaphat.
Passages like Zechariah 14:3-4 (slide 98) talk about the fact that Jesus will come to the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem. It will be split in two from east to west forming a great valley with half the mountain moving north, half moving south; (slide 99, Zechariah 14:4-5) “and you will flee by My mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel.” We don’t know where that is. “You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with Him.” That is just going to be tremendous. This is where it will probably be split (slide 100). That is called Dominus Flevit, which means “the LORD wept.” This is a chapel that was built to commemorate the Lord’s weeping on the Mount of Olives. Here is another shot (slide 101) of the Mount of Olives (to the right of the middle). Dominus Flevit is located right down in this general area (in the dark green area to the right of the middle), but the Mount of Olives, this is looking at it from the north, so it will be split down the middle; and this is the Church of the Ascension up here marking the place where some believe Jesus ascended. It was somewhere on the Mount of Olives.
And then there will be this Victory Ascent (slide 102, #8) up the Mount of Olives, which is the real triumphal entry as He then goes into Jerusalem. This is the Temple Mount (slide 103) and over here is the eastern gate and this is where the LORD will come. (Slides 104-105) “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. Joel 3:14-17 describes this as the LORD rescues Israel finally.
Revelation describes it this way (slide 106) “And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war. And His eyes are a flame of fire, and upon His head are many diadems; and He has a name written upon Him which no one knows except Himself. And He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood.” See how He tied all these things together. “And His name is called The Word of God. (Slide 107, Revelation 19:14-16) “And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean were following Him…” And then skipping down to the bottom, “He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
Zechariah 13:8-9 (slide 108), OT Hebrew Scripture. Sometimes Christians are criticized, “you just believe that all the Jews are going to be wiped out.” This comes from OT Scripture. This is not something that is a part of Christian Scripture. It is not New Testament. It says that a “third will be left in it.” “It will come about in the land,” declares the LORD, “that two parts of it will be cut off and perish; but the third will be left in it. And I will bring the third part through the fire, refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them and say, ‘they are My people,’ and they will say, ‘the LORD is my God.’ ” That brings us to the end of the Tribulation, the end of the Campaign of Armageddon, where God has rescued the surviving Jews. There will be many others who are believers but He has rescued the remnant, and then He will establish His kingdom.
So next time when we come back, next week, we will look at the next dispensation, which is the dispensation of the Millennium or the Messianic Kingdom.
"Father, we thank You for this opportunity to look at this survey tonight to understand the end-game of the Tribulation and how it fits together with much of the prophecy of the OT, which dovetails with that which is revealed in Revelation and in Matthew 24 that we can see that everything in history is moving toward a great and final conflict and a culmination of Your judgment as well as Your grace. And Father, we look forward to being witnesses to that because as Church Age believers we will return with You at that time. And we pray this in Christ’s Name, Amen."