THE TRIBULATION:

[Part 8: THE DESTRUCTION OF BABYLON,
THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON, THE RAPTURE
& THE RESURRECTION, AND ETERNITY]

By: S.R. Shearer
February 6, 2010

"And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever." (Revelation 11:15)

SECTION 1:
THE SEQUENCE OF EVENTS THAT
TAKES PLACE AT THE END OF
THE TRIBULATION PERIOD

Sir Robert Anderson 1841-1918

At the "Time of the End" - meaning the end of the Tribulation Period - a number of events will occur almost (but not quite) simultaneously; in no particular order, they are:

  • The Battle of Armageddon will commence.

  • The Destruction of Babylon will occur.

  • The Blindness of Israel concerning her Messiah will be removed.

  • The Last Trump will sound and the Rapture and Resurrection will occur.

  • The Wrath of God (i.e., the seven vials or bowls) will be poured out on the earth.

Now, one should take careful note of the fact that the Bible declares that all of these events will occur IN ONE SHORT HOUR, and if we use the same calculations concerning this time frame that Sir Robert Anderson used in calculating the duration of the "Sixty-nine Weeks" (or "sevens"), we come up with the fact that all these events will take place in a fifteen day period - one day representing 360 days, and one hour representing 15 days (360 divided by 24 = 15) [We URGE you to see Appendix 1 of our article, "The Tribulation, Part 6," "The Vision of the Seventy Weeks" - and, again, in doing so, we invite you to pay close attention to the EXACTNESS of the prophesy.]

THE RAPTURE & THE RESURRECTION

We begin to get an idea as to the actual order of these events (see above) by examining Revelation 11:11-12:

"And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.

"And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them." (Revelation 11:11-12)

Revelation 11:11 says that "... after the three and a half days [i.e., the last three and a half years of the Tribulation Period] the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them." The fact that we are speaking here of the last half of the Tribulation Period is easily gleaned from these words because it is during the first half of the Tribulation Period that the Two Witnesses are testifying, and they cannot be both dead in the streets of Babylon and testifying in those streets at the same time. [For those of you who are unfamiliar with the formula that the Bible is using here insofar as the time frame of these events are concerned, we urge you to see Chapter IX of the New Antipas Papers, "The Course and Character of the 'Last Days'."]

Then the Bible says, "And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, 'Come up here'. And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them." [Please see "Parables & Ciphers" in Part 5 of Chapter VIII of the New Antipas Papers."]

NOTE: Obviously, the resurrection and rapture of the Two Witnesses is the same thing as the rapture and resurrection of the saints of God - only written in a cipher:

"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God [i.e., the last or 7th trump]: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

"Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

And it is the same event that Christ was referencing when he spoke of the "... the END of the world (Aion - age)" (Matt. 28:19-20) which the Bible describes as "THE DAY OF THE LORD" - the same "Day of the Lord" in which, according to both Paul and Peter, the Lord will come "as a thief in the night" (1 Thessalonians 5:2 and 2 Peter 3:10). [Please see Chapter VII of the New Antipas Papers, "The Great Escape: Misconceptions Concerning the Rapture."]

Very obviously, then, II Peter 3 and I Thessalonians 4-5 plainly REVEAL THAT THE "DAY OF THE LORD" THAT COMETH AS A "THIEF IN THE NIGHT" IS THE TIME WHEN CHRIST WILL DESCEND FROM HEAVEN WITH A SHOUT, AND BELIEVERS WILL BE CAUGHT UP TO MEET THE LORD IN THE AIR - all of which will occur at the end of the Tribulation Period.

"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (1 Thess. 4:16-17)

Note carefully how all the events described by both Peter and Paul correspond perfectly with the rapture and resurrection of the Two Witnesses as described in Revelation 11:11-12:

"And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.

"And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them." (Revelation 11:11-12)

[Again, we URGE you to see Chapter VII of the New Antipas Papers, "The Great Escape: Misconceptions Concerning the Rapture."]

BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON

The Plain of Megiddo or Armageddon

Having dealt with the rapture and the resurrection of the saints (same thing as the rapture and resurrection of the Two Witnesses) the next event that we must consider is the timing of the Battle of Armageddon - and in doing so we are forced to conclude that this event will commence shortly BEFORE the rapture and resurrection of the saints, because it is precisely during this event (i.e., Armageddon) that the BLINDNESS of Israel insofar as her Messiah is concerned is removed:

"Then I [i.e., Christ] WILL POUR OUT ON THE HOUSE OF DAVID AND ON THE INHABITANTS OF JERUSALEM, THE SPIRIT OF GRACE AND OF SUPPLICATION, SO THAT 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.

"In that day there will be great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon IN THE PLAIN OF MEGIDDO.

"And the land will mourn, every family by itself; the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves;

"The family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the Shimeites by itself, and their wives by themselves;

"All the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves.

"In that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity. (Zech. 12:14-19)

This is exactly the time the Bible is referencing when it says -

"And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.

"And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.

"And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

"And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.

The winepress of the Lord

"And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.

"And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

"AND THE WINEPRESS [meaning Armageddon] WAS TRODDEN WITHOUT THE CITY [i.e., Jerusalem], AND BLOOD CAME OUT OF THE WINE PRESS, EVEN UNTO THE HORSE BRIDLES, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs." (Revelation 14:14-20)

THE DESTRUCTION
OF BABYLON

Revelation 11 continues:

"And the same hour [that is to say, the same hour as the rapture and resurrection of the saints] was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city [meaning Babylon] fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven." (Revelation 11:13)

The wrath of God.

This passage of Scripture is very significant: First of all, it fixes the destruction of Babylon shortly after the rapture and resurrection of the saints of God - i.e., the Two Witnesses; second, it signifies the time wherein the WRATH OF GOD - that is to say, the SEVEN VIALS (BOWLS) - are poured out on the earth, which by now has been TOTALLY subsumed by Babylon the Great.

As with everything else in Revelation 11, the references to the fraction "one-tenth of the city" and "7,000 persons killed" are symbolical. Not, however, in a good sense, but in an evil sense. Lange (Lange's Commentaries on the Holy Scriptures) suggests an answer to this symbolism:

"... ten denotes completeness; one-tenth denotes a minor completeness of destruction and wreck. The added figure, 7,000 is to be understood in the same manner. Three [denoting God] and four [denoting man], thus seven denoting God's dealings with man, multiplied by 1,000 [the greatest completeness, 10 x 10 x 10]: GOD IS NOW UTTERLY THROUGH WITH UNREPENTANT MAN - "My Spirit shall not always strive with man" (Gen. 6:3). Hence, the complete and final removal of His Two Witnesses. What this removal means is written by this figure of 7,000 killed in Babylon. The removal of the Two Witnesses is a catastrophe such as is caused when a terrific earthquake rocks the very foundations of the world, as when the central pillar that upholds the whole earth is removed. When the task of the Two Witnesses is through, GOD IS FINISHED WITH THE WORLD. The catastrophe first strikes Babylon, the headquarters of the beastly opposition. When this totters, the rest will not stand for long."

That this entire section is symbolical can easily be seen: To calculate that one-tenth of the city was 7,000 people, and that hence the entire city (i.e., Jerusalem - or New York, or Washington D.C, or whatever) was 70,000 (i.e., ten-tenths) borders on the absurd.

Moreover - and much more ominously - the passage that reads, "And the rest became terrified and gave glory to the God of the heaven" cannot mean that now at last all who were not slain repented. When judgment descends, it is too late for repentance. When under the power of the Beast, the enemies of God are struck with terror as the first blow of judgment falls, and then acknowledge that there is a God of heaven; they have not thereby shown repentance: "The demons also know and tremble." (James 2:19)

THE TOTAL AND COMPLETE OVER-
THROW OF BABYLON THE GREAT

The destruction of Babylon

Now, one should be very clear about this: The destruction of Babylon will be TOTAL and VIOLENT: Isaiah chapters 13 and 14, as well as Jeremiah chapters 50 and 51 insist that when Babylon is destroyed, it will be sudden and catastrophic - NEVER TO BE INHABITED AGAIN!! For example, Jeremiah 51:43 says,

"Her cities are a desolation, a dry land, and a wilderness, a land WHEREIN NO MAN DWELLETH, neither doeth any son of man pass thereby." (Jer. 51:43).

Isaiah describes the catastrophe as follows:

"The stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light; the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine" (Isa. 13:19)

The northeastern part of Yellowstone Caldera, with the Yellowstone River flowing through Hayden Valley and the caldera rim in the distance.

NOTE: I doubt very much that this catastrophe will be the result of a nuclear attack - for what country on earth could possibly attack Babylon? Moreover, the picture given in Revelation 14:14-20 depicts the Lord treading the winepress of His wrath ALONE.

While this is only a supposition on my part, I believe what will occur is the eruption of the Yellowstone Caldera. The Yellowstone Caldera is the volcanic caldera in Yellowstone National Park in the United States. The caldera is located in the northwest corner of Wyoming, in which the vast majority of the park is contained. The major features of the caldera measure about 55 kilometers (34 mi) by 72 kilometers (45 mi) as determined by geological field work conducted by Bob Christiansen of the United States Geological Survey in the 1960s and 1970s. After a BBC television science program (see below) coined the term supervolcano in 2000, it has often been referred to as the Yellowstone Supervolcano. If and when this supervolcano goes, it will take the entire country with it.

It should be noted that an unusual amount of tremors in the caldera have been recorded since 2004, when interpretation of satellite imagery with GPS readings indicated the caldera has been rising significantly.


Please see the 12-part video on the
Yellowstone Caldera prepared by BBC
- a two hour docu-drama

The Yellowstone "supervolcano" rose at a record rate since mid-2004, likely because a Los Angeles-sized, pancake-shaped blob of molten rock was injected 6 miles beneath the slumbering giant, University of Utah scientists report in the journal Science. Note what is being depicted here: the top of the cube (including the outline portrayed there) represents the caldera on the surface of the earth); the gold-colored mass below represents the molten mass that is at the heart of the caldera, the molten mass above the red slice passing through it represents how high the mass has risen since 2004.


"Their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there. And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses " (Isaiah 13:21-22)

And Isaiah goes on to say:

"And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.

"It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.

"But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there.

"And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged." (Isaiah 13:19-22)

Finally, as we have previously discussed, Isaiah declares that Babylon's destruction will occur on the "DAY OF THE LORD" (Isa. 13:9) - which is at the "Time of the End."

NOTE: Again, the "DAY OF THE LORD" is described by Peter as the time when "... the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up ... all these things shall be dissolved ..." (II Peter 3:10-11)

Which is to say, the destruction will be accomplished shortly after the rapture and the resurrection of the saints of God (meaning the Two Witnesses) because - remember - the Rapture and the Resurrection will occur on the "DAY OF THE LORD" (1 Thessalonians 5:2 and 2 Peter 3:10).

THE SEQUENCE OF EVENTS

So, what can we now discern concerning the sequence of events at the end of the Tribulation Period? - To review:

  1. The Battle of Armageddon will commence.
  1. The Blindness of Israel concerning her Messiah will be removed.
  1. The Last Trump (i.e., the 7th trump) will sound (signifying that the vials (BOWLS) of the wrath of God are about to be poured out on the earth), and the Rapture and Resurrection will occur.

    NOTE: Concerning the "Last Trump" (see #3 above) we turn to I Thessalonians 4:16-17 and read, "For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the TRUMP of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air."

    Now turn to 1 Corinthians 15:52 and read, "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, AT THE LAST TRUMP: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."

    The Seventh or Last Trump

    Notice three things that are mentioned here: (1) the TRUMPET (i.e., the "Last Trump") sounds; (2) the RESURRECTION of the dead in Christ occurs; (3) the living saints are CHANGED (which all agree, is when this mortal puts on immortality and believers rise to meet the Lord in the air). Both of these passages mention the sounding of the trumpet, but the latter passage specifies that this trumpet is the LAST TRUMPET. Bearing this in mind, we turn to Revelation 8:2 in which we read, "And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets - so the LAST trumpet (in linking this passage with the others) would be the seventh.

    Now consider Revelation 11:15-18:

    "The seventh angel sounded and there were great voices in heaven, saying the Kingdoms of this world have become the Kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever ... And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and THE TIME OF THE DEAD, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give REWARD unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth." (Rev. 11:15-18)

    Again, we notice the same three things that were included in the previous passages: (1) the TRUMPET sounds (the seventh - the LAST TRUMPET); (2) the time of the dead to be raised - the RESURRECTION); and (3) the saints REWARDED, which would include their having changed from mortality to immortality; caught up to meet the Lord in the air.

    Finally, one should bear in mind here that the seven trumpets proceed out of the seventh seal, Rev. 8:6, in the same way the seven vials proceed out of the seventh, or last trumpet (cf. Rev. 11:15-19, the opening of the Temple, with Rev. 15:1-8). One should also bear in mind that the Seventh Trumpet closes the Seventieth Week of Daniel - at which time the WRATH OF GOD is poured out on the earth, after which a voice is heard saying:

    "IT IS DONE." (Revelation 16:7)

    It is now that the Bible declares, "THE MYSTERY OF GOD IS FINISHED." (Revelation 10:7)

    PLEASE NOTE THE FACT THAT THE SEVEN TRUMPETS PROCEED OUT OF THE SEVENTH SEAL, AND THE SEVEN VIALS (BOWLS) PROCEED OUT OF THE SEVENTH TRUMPET.

    "And the seventh angel sounded [THE LAST TRUMP]; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

    "And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,

    "Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.

    "And the nations were angry, and THY WRATH IS COME, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

    "And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail. (Revelation 11:11-15)

  1. The Wrath of God (i.e., the seven vials (BOWLS) of the wrath of God) will be poured out on the earth:

  2. The seven bowls (or vials) of God's wrath which proceed out of the seventh trumpet - "Thy wrath has come!" (Rev. 11:14)

  3. The Destruction of Babylon will occur.

    Now one should pay very close attention here: In describing the destruction of Babylon, the Bible says:

    "And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, THUS WITH VIOLENCE SHALL THE GREAT CITY BABYLON BE THROWN DOWN, and shall be found no more at all.

    "And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;

    "And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.

    "And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth." (Revelation 18:21-24)

    Note carefully here: The declaration is made here that Babylon "will be thrown down with violence" because in her "was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth."

    THE BLOOD OF THE PROPHETS; The martyrdom of Christians in the coliseum, of St. Paul in Rome, and of Cramer in England

    The Bible continues:

    "And after these things [meaning the destruction of Babylon - see verse 18:21 (above)] I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:

    "For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.

    "And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.

    "And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.

    "And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.

    "And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for

    (Revelation 19:1-6)

    And now the assertion is made:

    "THE LORD GOD OMNIPOTENT REIGNETH." (Revelation 19:6)

    "THE LORD GOD OMNIPOTENT REIGNETH."

    Babylon is destroyed and the Lord takes ABSOLUTE control over the earth.

THE MARRIAGE FEAST OF THE LAMB
HAS COME, THE MILLENNIUM BEGINS

Wedding Feast of the Lamb

Finally, a new and exciting statement is made:

"Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: FOR THE MARRIAGE FEAST OF THE LAMB IS COME, AND HIS WIFE HATH MADE HERSELF READY." (Revelation 19:7)

A FEAST THAT WILL LAST ONE THOUSAND YEARS!! - oh, what rejoicing there will be!

It is toward this great event - i.e., the "Wedding Feast of the Lamb" - that Paul declares that ALL of creation (even the animals, indeed, every living thing on earth) are waiting:

"the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

"For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

"Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

"For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now." (Romans 8:19-22)

It will usher in THAT day when it can be said:

"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

"And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

"And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den.

"They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea." (Isaiah: 11:6-9)

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb; And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp.

The Revelation continues:

"And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

"And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

"And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, TILL THE THOUSAND YEARS [i.e., the Millennium] SHOULD BE FULFILLED: and after that he must be loosed a little season. (Revelation 20:1-3)

The prophesy goes on:

"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; AND THEY LIVED AND REIGNED WITH CHRIST A THOUSAND YEARS.

"But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

"Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." (Revelation 20:4-6)

THE FINAL REVOLT

The prophesy continues:

"AND WHEN THE THOUSAND YEARS ARE EXPIRED, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

"And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea."

"And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

"And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." (Revelation 20:7-10)

Satan commanding Gog

Now, one should be very clear here that in speaking of Gog, we are speaking NOT of any human agency, but of a great angelic prince - an angelic prince that will be loosed with Satan at the end of the Millennium - the same angelic prince that led the armies of the Northern Confederation in the battle described in Ezekiel 38; this time, however, he is at the head of all nations "from the four quarters of the earth." [Please see that portion of Part 5 of Chapter IX beginning with "The World Beyond Our World."]

The fact that we are NOT dealing with the war described in Ezekiel 38 is made clear because -

  • In the war described in Ezekiel 38, definite allies of Gog are mentioned as opposing the purposes of God - "Mescheck," "Tubal," "Gomer" (TURKEY), Ethiopia, Libya, (see Ezekiel 38) and EGYPT (see Daniel 11:42], while here all nations are engaged against the people of God.

  • In Ezekiel 38, Gog comes from the North (Ezek. 38:6, 15), while here, Gog's armies come from out of the whole earth.

  • In Ezekiel 38 there is a protest against Gog's invasion (Ezek. 38:13), but here there is no such protest because all the nations of the earth have joined themselves with Satan in his attack against the people of God.

  • In Ezekiel 38 Gog is overthrown by an alliance made up of Babylon and Israel acting in consort with one another as a result of the Defense Pact that Israel has made with Babylon - the Defense Pact that the Bible refers to as Israel's "Agreement with Hell" - while here his armies are destroyed by "fire from God." (Rev. 20:9) [It should also be remembered that at the time of this great battle, Babylon has "been laid waste" for over 1,000 years.]

  • Finally, there is NO seven year period at the end of this event as described in Ezekiel 38 (see below).

AND NOW ETERNITY BEGINS

The prophesy continues:

"And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them." (Revelation 20:11)

The judgment of the Great White Throne

"And I SAW A NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

"And I SAW THE HOLY CITY, NEW JERUSALEM, COMING DOWN FROM HEAVEN, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

"And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

"AND GOD SHALL WIPE AWAY ALL TEARS FROM THEIR EYES; AND THERE SHALL BE NO MORE DEATH, NEITHER SORROW, NOR CRYING, NEITHER SHALL THERE BE ANY MORE PAIN: for the former things are passed away.

"And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful." (Revelation 21:1-5)

SECTION 2:
ISRAEL & THE CHURCH IN ETERNITY

The 24 elders before the throne of God

THE TWENTY-FOUR ELDERS

And now we come to the matter of Israel and the church in eternity - that is to say, BEFORE THE THRONE OF GOD. We first catch a glimpse of these two entities in eternity in Revelation chapter four:

"After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

"And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

"And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

"And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I SAW FOUR AND TWENTY ELDERS sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold ...

"The FOUR AND TWENTY ELDERS fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." (Revelation 4:1-4, 10-11)

We also meet these 24 elders again in Revelation 5:8, 11:16, and 19:4. Note carefully in all of this: the number that is referenced here is the number 24; not 12, but 24.

And why is that? Because it is Israel together with the church that are being referenced -

  1. The TWELVE patriarchs representing Israel.

And

  1. The TWELVE apostles of the Lamb representing the church.

12 + 12 = 24

Plainly, what is pictured here is ISRAEL AND THE CHURCH.

THE TWELVE GATES & THE TWELVE
FOUNDATIONS OF THE HOLY CITY

The city has 12 gates named after the 12 patriarchs of Israel, and 12 foundations named after the 12 apostles of the Lamb.

Now we come to our next reference to Israel and the church in Eternity, and we speak here of the manner in which both entities are represented in the structure of the NEW JERUSALEM.

FIRST, THE REFERENCES TO ISRAEL:

"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

"And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband ...

"And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.

"And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

"Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

"AND HAD A WALL GREAT AND HIGH, AND HAD TWELVE GATES, AND AT THE GATES TWELVE ANGELS, AND NAMES WRITTEN THEREON, WHICH ARE THE NAMES OF THE TWELVE TRIBES OF THE CHILDREN ISRAEL:

"On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates." (Revelation 21:1-2, 9-13)

And now THE REFERENCES TO THE CHURCH:

"AND THE WALL OF THE CITY HAD TWELVE FOUNDATIONS, AND IN THEM THE NAMES OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES OF THE LAMB.

"And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.

"And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.

"And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.

"And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.

"And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;

"And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, PREPARED AS A BRIDE ADORNED FOR HER HUSBAND. (Revelation 21:2)

"The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.

"And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass." (Revelation 21:14-21)

Now it should be noted here that the reference to the twelve gates of the city (which are named after the twelve tribes of Israel) and the twelve foundations (which are named after the twelve apostles of the Lamb) are made in reference to the NEW JERUSALEM - and it is the NEW JERUSALEM that is called THE BRIDE OF CHRIST:

"And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, PREPARED AS A BRIDE ADORNED FOR HER HUSBAND.

"And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God." (Revelation 21:2-3)

ARE YOU SURPRISED?

Are you surprised? - that Israel is included here as part of the BRIDE OF CHRIST; that is to say, THE BRIDE OF CHRIST IS MADE UP OF BOTH ISRAEL AND THE CHURCH?

Well, you shouldn't be - because EVERY reference to the BRIDE OF CHRIST (which is to say, the New Jerusalem) includes the presence of BOTH Israel and the Church; for example, Revelation 21:2 (see above); Revelation 21:9 which references the Holy City as "THE BRIDE, THE WIFE OF THE LAMB,"

THIS IS NOW THE FOURTH TIME THAT ISRAEL AND THE CHURCH HAVE BEEN LINKED TOGETHER INSOFAR AS GOD'S PLAN AND PURPOSE IN THE AGES IS CONCERNED, evidencing the truth of what the great theologian Lewis Sperry Chafer, the first president of Dallas Theological Seminary, said; that -

"... throughout the ages God is pursuing two distinct purposes: one related to the earth with earthly people (i.e., the Jews) and earthly objectives ... while the other is related to heaven with heavenly people (i.e., the Christians) and heavenly objectives, which is Christianity ..."

NOW STOP FOR A MOMENT AND CONSIDER ...

Now stop for a moment and consider how profound this truth is (and we speak here regarding the manner in which Israel and the church are linked together as partners in "God's Plan and Purpose in the Ages") - to be mentioned FOUR times in the Prophetic Scriptures:

  • First, in Daniel 12:6-10 as the "Two men on each bank of the river."

  • Second, in Revelation 11 as the "Two Witnesses."

  • Third, in Revelation 4:1-4, 10-11 as the "four and twenty elders around the throne of God."

  • Fourth, in Revelation 21:1-21 as the twelve gates (Israel) and the twelve foundations (the church) of the New Jerusalem.

This is no small thing, and God expects us to take this matter very, very seriously: Both peoples (Israel and the church) brought together in the New Jerusalem as THE BRIDE OF CHRIST. It is in the light of this reality that the prophet cries out:

"And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, BEHOLD, THE TABERNACLE OF GOD IS WITH MEN, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God." (Revelation 21:3)

Think about that, THE TEMPLE OF GOD IS WITH MEN; isn't that exactly the point that we made in the first chapter of the New Antipas Papers: "The Nature of Man."

Revelation 21 continues:

"AND I SAW NO TEMPLE THEREIN [i.e., in the New Jerusalem): FOR THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY AND THE LAMB ARE THE TEMPLE OF IT.

"And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

"And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

"And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

"And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.

"And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life." (Revelation 21:22-27)

HEAVEN AND EARTH ARE BROUGHT TOGETHER

The prophet continues:

"And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.

"And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal." (Revelation 21:15-16)

A golden reed (ruler) to measure the city (Revelation 21:15)

Now think about what is being said here: the prophet is describing a cube that is twelve thousand furlongs long, twelve thousand furlongs wide, and twelve thousand furlongs high. And consider this: A furlong is 660 feet (201.168 meters); twelve thousand furlongs is 1,500 miles (2,413.5 Kilometers); that's a little less than the distance between Chicago and San Francisco, or a little more than the distance between Moscow and Rome. That's 273 times the height of Mt. Everest.

The New Jerusalem: Suspended between earth and heaven

THERE IS, OF COURSE, SIMPLY NO WAY SUCH A CITY COULD EVER BE CONNECTED DIRECTLY TO THE EARTH; IT WOULD THROW THE EARTH OFF ITS ACCESS. As a result, most theologians agree that the New Jerusalem will revolve around the earth as a satellite, much in the same fashion that the moon does the earth. IT IS THE PLACE WHERE HEAVEN AND EARTH ARE BROUGHT TOGETHER.

This is substantiated by Revelation 21:24, "AND THE NATIONS OF THEM WHICH ARE SAVED SHALL WALK IN THE LIGHT OF IT: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it" (Revelation 21:24) - much in the same way one walks in the light of the sun by day or the moon by night.

THE NATIONS OF THE EARTH

The Bible continues:

"And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

"In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for THE HEALING OF THE NATIONS." (Revelation 22:1-2)

Now, consider the last part of this passage of Scripture: "... And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations." THERE ARE NATIONS IN THE NEW EARTH beyond the "two entities" - i.e., Israel and the church - that we have been discussing.

And, again, this is substantiated by Revelation 21:23-24:

"And the city [i.e., New Jerusalem] had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

"AND THE NATIONS OF THEM WHICH ARE SAVED shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it." (Revelation 21:23-24)

"And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it." (Revelation 21:23-24)

Those nations which are saved? There are nations which - AS NATIONS - are going to be saved beyond Israel? If that's the case, the question that begs to be asked is this: Where did these nations come from? - and be clear here, we are obviously not talking about Israel, NEITHER are we talking about those who now constitute the church; one should remember here that those who now constitute the church have been taken OUT FROM the nations (Hebrews 11).

DIVIDING THE SHEEP FROM THE GOATS

We begin to get an answer to this question when we consider Matthew 25:31-33:

"When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

"AND BEFORE HIM SHALL BE GATHERED ALL NATIONS: AND HE SHALL SEPARATE THEM ONE FROM ANOTHER, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

"And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left." (Matthew 25:31-33)

Christ dividing the "sheep nations" from the "goat nations."

Now one must be very clear here: the Lord is NOT talking about individuals per se, but NATIONS - and they are divided on the basis of how these nations treated God's people - both Israel and the Church - during the Tribulation Period:

The Good Samaritan - people the Jews did not consider to be - as it were - saved.

"Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

"For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

"Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

"Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

"When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

"Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

"And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." (Matthew 25:34-40)

THE SHEEP NATIONS: THE
RIGHTEOUS OF THE NATIONS

Sheep Nations

We can begin to get an idea of what the Lord is talking about here when we consider the history of the Jewish people during the Second World War; we speak specifically of a group of individuals the Israelis today refer to as "RIGHTEOUS GENTILES:" Oskar Schindler springs readily to mind - the German who saved almost 1,000 Jews during the Holocaust; there was also Raul Wallenberg who saved thousands more in Hungary; and Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese diplomat in Lithuania who saved thousands of Jews there. And all this to say nothing of others such as Archbishop Damaskinos Papandreou of Athens, Ho Feng-Shan of China, Carl Lutz of Hungary, Irena Sendler of Poland, Baba Haxl Dede Reshatbardhi, a Muslim cleric from Albania, and countless others who risked everything to succor the Jewish people in their time of need.

Who really knows why any of these individuals stepped forward to help the Jews? Some were Christians; most, it seems, were not - at least not Christian in the way most evangelicals define that term; indeed, Schindler was a notorious carouser, Sugihara was a Shintoist and Reshatbardhi was a Muslim.

From left to right: Oskar Schindler, Raul Wallenberg, Chiune, Sugihara, Damaskinos Papandreou, Ho Feng-Shan, Irena Sendler and Baba Haxl Dede Reshatbardhi

Sometimes our friends are NOT those we thought they were - but instead are those we thought of as our enemies, as was certainly the case with Oskar Schindler and "his" Jews, to say nothing of the Bulgarian people - a people renowned for their ferocity - and "their" Jews.

In addition to these single individuals, there were also WHOLE NATIONS that saved "their" Jews during the Holocaust: First and foremost among them all was the little nation of Bulgaria which - although allied with the Germans during the Second World War - refused to hand "their" Jews over to the Germans for deportation to the death camps. Sofia's Metropolitan (the Bulgarian Church title equivalent of Archbishop) Stefan was one of the most outspoken opponents of Jewish deportation. He announced that every church and monastery in the country would be open to the Jews. Stefan even wound up giving refuge to Sofia's Chief Rabbi. Then there was Metropolitan Kiril of Plovdiv who organized demonstrations where citizens in every Bulgarian city were organized to lay on train tracks, blocking all deportations.

Then, of course, there was little Denmark whose citizens organized an evacuation of "their" Jews to Sweden. And there were other countries besides: Japan, Italy (before it was occupied by the Germans), Finland, Hungary (until it was similarly occupied by the Germans), Albania (a Muslim nation whose population succeeded in saving all the Jews of that country from Hitler), etc.

These are precisely the kind of people and WHOLE nations that the Lord is referencing when He said:

"Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

"For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

"Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me." (Matthew 25:34-36)

Goat Nations

THE GOAT NATIONS

Then, of course - and very sadly - the Lord shall turn to the nations on His left and say to them:

"Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

"For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

"I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

"Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

"Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

"And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." (Matthew 25:34-46)

Looking the other way when the holocaust trains passed by.

These are those people who turned the other way when the "Holocaust Trains" passed through their cities; those who - upon hearing one of these death trains rumble through the train station - turned away and then later said they never saw them, never mind the fact that they passed by not more than five feet from where they were standing; or those Christians who sang a little louder on Sunday when the trains sped by; those Christians in Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia and so forth who refused to take up Hitler's offer at Evian in 1938 to repatriate Germany's Jews to these countries.

THE GATES OF THE CITY ARE OPEN

It is interesting to note here that the Bible says that the gates of the New Jerusalem will be OPEN to the nations:

"And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

"And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

"And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

"And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it."

"AND THE GATES OF IT SHALL NOT BE SHUT by day: for there shall be no night there.

"And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it." (Revelation 21:21-26)


AND NOW THE ADVENTURE BEGINS! And where we go from here insofar as the heavens and the universe is concerned, the Bible does not say. It simply leaves us with these words:

"EYE HATH NOT SEEN, NOR EAR HEARD, NEITHER HAVE ENTERED INTO THE HEART OF MAN, THE THINGS WHICH GOD HATH PREPARED FOR THEM THAT LOVE HIM." (1 Corinthians 2:9)

That means that your highest thoughts, your most uplifting and inspirational ideas, as well as your most fantastic dreams cannot - even in the smallest way - come close to imagining what God has in store for us!

God bless all of you!

S.R. Shearer,
Antipas Ministries

We pray that you will remember the Word of God:

"IF WE HAVE SOWN UNTO YOU SPIRITUAL THINGS, IS IT A GREAT THING IF WE SHALL REAP YOUR CARNAL [MATERIAL] THINGS?" [1 Cor. 9:11]

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