Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs By Nathan Jones Nathan Jones: Doesn’t it seem like God has…
The Three Witnesses to Jacob’s Trouble – Daniel, Jesus, and John – Part 4
By Randy Nettles
Revelation 18 describes the fall of Babylon, the capital city of the Antichrist. Babylon will become the world political and economic capital during the second half of Jacob’s trouble, according to Revelation 18:9-17. This city is not a symbolic “Babylon” but is the actual Babylon that is located in Iraq as portrayed in the vision of Zechariah 5:5-11. It will be rebuilt during the Tribulation.
The proclamation of the destruction of Babylon the Great is given by another angel coming down from heaven. He is said to have great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory. “The angel cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, ‘Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury’” (Revelation 18:2-3).
Another voice from heaven tells the Tribulation saints to come out of her lest they share in her sins and plagues. The voice from heaven declares Babylon’s plagues (death, mourning, and famine) will come in one day, for she will be utterly burned with fire. Several Old Testament prophets speak about Babylon’s destruction as well. Isaiah 13:1-8 explains the means by which this destruction will occur. I believe verse 8 could be describing a nuclear bomb, perhaps a small mini-suitcase nuclear or dirty bomb. “And they will be afraid. Pangs and sorrows will take hold of them; they will be in pain as a woman in childbirth; they will be amazed at one another; their faces will be like flames.”
Isaiah compares Babylon’s fate to that of Sodom and Gomorrah, which burned with fire that was rained down from heaven upon them. “And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, The beauty of the Chaldeans’ pride, Will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It will never be inhabited, nor will it be settled from generation to generation; nor will the Arabian pitch tents there, nor will the shepherds make their sheepfolds there” (Isaiah 13:19-20).
Babylon was built on land that is a fine clay mingled with sand with a large amount of asphalt underneath. This asphalt, when ignited, could burn for a very long time at an extremely hot temperature. This asphalt was used instead of mortar for the making of clay bricks in the time of Nimrod and the building of the Tower of Babel.
Revelation 18:9-19 describes the mourning of the destruction of Babylon from the kings of the earth (and especially the Antichrist, I would assume) and the merchants of the earth. “They cried out when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What is like this great city?’ They threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and wailing, and saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city, in which all who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth! For in one hour she is made desolate.’”
Meanwhile, in heaven, the Tribulation saints and the two witnesses who were martyred will be rejoicing as they watch the death of those who persecuted and murdered them, for God will avenge them. For the final touch, “a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, ‘Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore’” (Revelation 18:21).
When Jeremiah, the Old Testament (weeping) prophet, went with Zedekiah, the king of Judah, into Babylon, he wrote his book/scroll (Jeremiah) and commanded Seraiah to bind a stone to the scroll and cast it into the midst of the Euphrates River. He told Seraiah, “Thus Babylon shall sink and not rise from the catastrophe that I will bring upon her. And they shall be weary” (Jeremiah 51:64). The stone is symbolic of the great millstone that is cast into the sea by the angel in John’s account. This prophecy was spoken by Jeremiah over two and a half millennia ago. Babylon will cease to be inhabited again (except for demons, it will be a prison for every foul spirit) even through the Millennium Kingdom of Jesus.
Revelation 19 describes the events in heaven immediately preceding Jesus’ 2nd Coming to the earth. The inhabitants of heaven are celebrating four events on the earth and respond with shouts of ‘hallelujah’ each time. The first hallelujah is for the fall of Ecclesiastical Babylon, which occurred earlier during the mid-point of Jacob’s trouble. “After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, ‘Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her’” (Revelation 19:1-2).
The 2nd hallelujah, in verse 3, is shouted out for the destruction of the city of Babylon, which is described in the previous chapter. The 3rd hallelujah, in verses 4 and 5, is given by the 24 elders and the 4 beasts/cherubim who fall down and worship God who is on the throne. The 4th hallelujah, in verses 6-8 is for the marriage of the Lamb, which takes place in heaven at this time. This joyous event will occur after the Judgment Seat of Christ. This is evident from verses 7 and 8, “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife [the Church] has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.”
After the Church saints are raptured and are then found righteous (for their faith), they will be given their wedding apparel of fine linen, bright and pure.
The marriage feast of the Lamb will take place on earth after the Millennium Kingdom of Jesus begins. This event is described in Revelation 19:9, “Blessed are they who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!” The blessed ‘they’ is referring to the Old Testament saints and Tribulation saints, who will be the guests at this wedding feast. I believe it will occur on the 1,335th day that is mentioned in Daniel 12:12: “Blessed is he that waits, and comes to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.”
In Revelation 19:11-16, we see why the inhabitants of heaven are singing hallelujahs and worshipping God in such a jubilant manner; for these verses describe the return of Jesus Christ to the earth at the battle of Armageddon and the results thereof.
“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”
There are two heavenly armies that come with the Lord to the earth. One army is known as hosts of the Lord, or the angelic army, as described in Matthew 16:27. The other army that will return with Jesus is the Church saints. Jude 14-15 describes this army. These armies will not participate in this war against the armies of the earth led by the Antichrist. Jesus will fight and win this battle by Himself.
The coming of the Messiah was very important to the beliefs of the Jewish people in the Old Testament days. Ever since the first prophecy was given by the Lord to Satan (in the form of a serpent) in the Garden of Eden, and recorded by Moses, the Jews have been looking for their Messiah. If you don’t remember, here is that prophecy:
“And I will put enmity between you [Satan] and the woman [mankind as represented by Israel], and between your seed [Antichrist] and her Seed [Jesus]; he [Antichrist in the form of ungodly man/Judas Iscariot, religious elites of Israel, Romans] shall bruise your [Jesus’] head, and you [Jesus] shall bruise His [Antichrist/Satan] heel” (Genesis 3:15).
The Jews didn’t even recognize their promised Messiah when He came the first time as the suffering servant of Isaiah 53. They are still looking for Him to this day. Many Old Testament prophets have prophesied about His coming. They just didn’t realize He would come twice…once to save mankind from sin, death, and the grave; and the second time to judge mankind and save the faithful remnant of Israel and the Gentiles. Most of these prophecies are referring to the 2nd Coming of Jesus. Here are a few of them that describe this awesome and supernatural Day of the Lord:
1. “O Lord, I have heard Your speech and was afraid; O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years! In the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy. God [Jesus] came from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of His praise. His brightness was like the light; He had rays flashing from His hand, and there His power was”
“Before Him went pestilence, and fever followed at His feet. The sun and moon stood still in their habitation; at the light of Your arrows they went, at the shining of Your glittering spear. You marched through the land in indignation; you trampled the nations in anger. You went forth for the salvation of Your people, for salvation with Your Anointed. You struck the head from the house of the wicked, by laying bare from foundation to neck” (Habakkuk 3:2-5;11-13).
2. “Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of the hills also quaked and were shaken, because He was angry. Smoke went up from His nostrils, and devouring fire from His mouth; coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down with darkness under His feet. And He rode upon a cherub, and flew; He flew upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness His secret place; His canopy around Him was dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.
“From the brightness before Him, His thick clouds passed with hailstones and coals of fire. The Lord thundered from heaven, and the Most High uttered His voice, hailstones and coals of fire. He sent out His arrows and scattered the foe, lightnings in abundance, and He vanquished them. Then the channels of the sea were seen, the foundations of the world were uncovered at Your rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of Your nostrils” (Psalm 18:7-15).
Many Bible eschatologists believe this day of the Lord will occur on the 5th Feast of the Lord, known as Trumpets. This day will transpire (in my humble opinion) on the 2,490th day after the start of Jacob’s trouble (7-year Tribulation) when the Antichrist confirms the covenant with the many for 7 years (2,520 days).
The end of Daniel’s 70th Week/Seven does not end with the battle of Armageddon but rather 30 days later. This extra 30 days takes into account enough time for the last two Feasts of the Lord, Atonement and Tabernacles, to be fulfilled by Jesus after His return to the earth on the Feast of Trumpets/Rosh Hashanah.
According to Daniel 9:24, six things must occur before the last ‘week’ (7 years) of the Tribulation/Jacob’s trouble/Daniel’s 70th seven/Day of the Lord will end. 1) to finish the transgression 2) to make an end of sins, 3) to make reconciliation for iniquity 4) to bring in everlasting righteousness 5) to seal up vision and prophecy 6) to anoint the Most Holy. There is no time for all of this to happen if the Tribulation is over when Jesus returns at Armageddon on Trumpets. However, there is sufficient time for the before-mentioned six results to occur if given another 30 days after Trumpets. Also, there will still be enough time for Jesus to fulfill the prophecies of Matthew 24:30-31 as well as Matthew 25:31-46.
30 days after the last Feast of Trumpets, Daniel’s Seventieth 7 will have ended, and the Millennium reign of Jesus Christ will begin. 1,290 days will have passed from the Abomination of Desolation to the end of the Great Tribulation (as mentioned in Daniel 12:11). And 2,520 days will have passed from the start to the end of the 7-year Tribulation.
Most Bible scholars believe there will be 6,000 years of recorded history for mankind, and then Jesus will return and reign for 1,000 years on the earth. The Bible says that a thousand years is as one day with the Lord. “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8). Just as the original creation week took 6 days of work and 1 day of rest (Genesis 2:1-3) for a total of 7 days; so mankind will work on the earth for 6,000 years and will then rest for 1,000 years during the earthly reign of Jesus Christ. We are advancing rapidly towards those 6,000 years, according to biblical chronologists.
Six millennia will have passed from the creation, when the first created man, Adam, ruled the earth. Now, 6,000 years later, the second Adam (as described in 1 Corinthians 15:45-49), Jesus, will rule the earth, and the 1,000-year glorious reign of Jesus Christ as King of the earth will have begun, and we who love Him will rule with Him. Hallelujah!
Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
Authors note: This article only covers the Tribulation part of Revelation (as well as Matthew and Daniel). You need to read and study Revelation 20-22, which covers Satan’s fate, the Millennium Kingdom of Jesus, Satan’s last rebellion, the Great White Throne Judgment, the new Earth and Heaven, the New Jerusalem, and the River of Life. Revelation is the only book of the Bible that guarantees a blessing for those who read and study and believe it. Actually, the blessing is mentioned twice (which means it is important), once at the start and once at the finish of Revelation.
“Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near” (Revelation 1:3).
“Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book” (Revelation 22:7).