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For Then There Shall Be A Great Tribulation
How Do the End Times Affect the SAVED?
This hub is to review the book of Revelation and the experience of believers and those who become believers throughout the Great Tribulation. The book of Revelation appears to be written in sequence, in that there is an order regarding the seals, trumpets, thunders, woes and bowls (plagues). What will be the experience of the believers throughout the last days? Keep in mind, even the apostles preached that the world was “in the last days” during their time of ministry. However, the Word says in Daniel 12:1 "And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time Your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued."
There is much talk amongst the churches regarding the "rescuing" of the Church. Will it be by leading us out, while still on the earth? Will it be by rapture? For more on this topic, I invite you to read my hub Seven Seals, Trumpets and Bowls.
Now, we see when the seventh and final seal is broken in Chapter 8, seven “trumpets” of judgment are poured out. Prior to those seven trumpets sounding, we see prayers of the saints going up before God. Look at the protection of believers when the fifth trumpet sounds, when the “bottomless pit” that the dragon (Satan) will later be bound in for a thousand years is opened and “locusts” are released to torment “ONLY THE MEN WHO DO NOT HAVE THE SEAL OF GOD ON THEIR FOREHEADS.” (Chapter 9:4)
In Revelation 11 the temple of God is being measured (and those who worship in it). However, the “court” (open yard [sheep fold], which is outside the temple, was not to be included in this measurement because it was yet given to the pagan nations to “tread underfoot the holy city for 42 months (3 1/2 years)". This is when the two final witnesses are granted authority to not only prophesy and perform great miracles, but “smite the earth with every plague as often as they desire.” In Revelation 12, the Woman (a remnant of saints) is protected in a wilderness for this 3 1/2 years while the dragon makes war with "the rest of her offspring". Because the Word states that "these are those who keep the commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus", they will be persecuted.
The beasts show up in Rev 13. The “dragon” (Satan) empowers the beast (Antichrist) who is served by the false prophet to first kill the two witnesses and make war with the saints. When the two witnesses are killed, resurrected and ascend, a great earthquake happens with lightning, thunder and hail and causes “1/10 of the city to fall”. Because it numbers 7,000 die, I wonder if the "rest" of the people that were “terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven” numbered 63,000 (the remaining 9/10). Because verses 18-19 speak of the rewarding of the saints and lightning, thunder, an earthquake, and a great hail storm, this seems to confirm the final witnesses are caught up at the time of the Church.
In Revelation 13:16 the false prophet forces the nations to worship an image of the beast and receive his mark on their right hand and forehead. All throughout Revelation 14, three angels (in mid-heaven) warn everyone not to receive this mark of the beast and what will happen to them if they do! In verse 13 John was told to “Write, ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!'” These will be the new converts (note the 63,000 above ~ which could indeed be a far greater number over the earth) that have to die a martyr's death.
Saints, should you ever be in the position of temptation to receive the mark of the beast (for the beast is said to be able to deceive even the elect, if it were possible), remember Mat 10:28: "Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." If you receive the mark of the beast, you are sealed to the second death, the Lake of Fire.
After the rapture of the two witnesses and the Church, the subsequent chapters speak of the wrath of God: the ensuing battle of Har-Magedon and the fall of Babylon. The Antichrist (the beast) and the false prophet will be cast into the Lake of Fire and Satan will be bound for a thousand years.
It is when Satan is bound that the first resurrection happens (Rev 20:5). Based on verse 4, these are the martyred saints of the Tribulation period, "those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead or upon their hand...". The unbelieving dead are not included in this first resurrection. Revelation 20:6 states, "Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years."
After the thousand years, Satan is released one last time to deceive the nations on earth, who will encircle the people of God and the Holy City. In this case, fire comes from heaven and devours every single one living that has been deceived.* Then, Satan will be forced to join the beast (Antichrist) and the false prophet in the Lake of Fire. The unsaved dead will then be resurrected (the second resurrection) and because their names are not written in the Lamb's Book of Life, they also will be cast into the Lake of Fire, which is the second death.
The New Heaven and New Earth will then become manifest for all eternity. The saints and our Lord will live happily ever after! AMEN!!
*Isa 24:19-23, 2 Pet 3:7-10 WOW!