Revelation 16:17-20 – The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, “It is done!” 18 Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since mankind has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. 19 The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of His wrath. 20 Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found. 21 From the sky huge hailstones, each weighing about a hundred pounds, fell on people. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible.
As Christ is descending to Jerusalem to meet the Anti-Christ in battle, God will be destroying the Anti-Christ’s homeland. It says here that God will send a massive earthquake and hail against Rome and her allies (the ten-nation alliance).
Revelation 18-19:10 – One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits by many waters. 2 With her the kings of the earth committed adultery, and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.”
After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. 2 With a mighty voice he shouted:
“Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!
She has become a dwelling for demons
and a haunt for every impure spirit,
a haunt for every unclean bird,
a haunt for every unclean and detestable animal.
3 For all the nations have drunk
the maddening wine of her adulteries.
The kings of the earth committed adultery with her,
and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.”
4 Then I heard another voice from heaven say:
“’Come out of her, My people,’
so that you will not share in her sins,
so that you will not receive any of her plagues;
5 for her sins are piled up to heaven,
and God has remembered her crimes.
6 Give back to her as she has given;
pay her back double for what she has done.
Pour her a double portion from her own cup.
7 Give her as much torment and grief
as the glory and luxury she gave herself.
In her heart she boasts,
‘I sit enthroned as queen.
I am not a widow;
I will never mourn.’
8 Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her:
death, mourning and famine.
She will be consumed by fire,
for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.
9 “When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her. 10 Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry:
“‘Woe! Woe to you, great city,
you mighty city of Babylon!
In one hour your doom has come!’
11 “The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes anymore — 12cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble; 13 cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and human beings sold as slaves.
14 “They will say, ‘The fruit you longed for is gone from you. All your luxury and splendor have vanished, never to be recovered.’ 15 The merchants who sold these things and gained their wealth from her will stand far off, terrified at her torment. They will weep and mourn 16 and cry out:
“‘Woe! Woe to you, great city,
dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet,
and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls!
17 In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin!’
“Every sea captain, and all who travel by ship, the sailors, and all who earn their living from the sea, will stand far off. 18 When they see the smoke of her burning, they will exclaim, ‘Was there ever a city like this great city ?’ 19 They will throw dust on their heads, and with weeping and mourning cry out:
“‘Woe! Woe to you, great city,
where all who had ships on the sea
became rich through her wealth!
In one hour she has been brought to ruin!’
20 “Rejoice over her, you heavens!
Rejoice, you people of God!
Rejoice, apostles and prophets!
For God has judged her
with the judgment she imposed on you.”
21 Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said:
“With such violence
the great city of Babylon will be thrown down,
never to be found again.
22 The music of harpists and musicians, pipers and trumpeters,
will never be heard in you again.
No worker of any trade
will ever be found in you again.
The sound of a millstone
will never be heard in you again.
23 The light of a lamp
will never shine in you again.
The voice of bridegroom and bride
will never be heard in you again.
Your merchants were the world’s important people.
By your magic spell all the nations were led astray.
24 In her was found the blood of prophets and of God’s holy people,
of all who have been slaughtered on the earth.”
After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting:
Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,
2 for true and just are His judgments.
He has condemned the great prostitute
who corrupted the earth by her adulteries.
He has avenged on her the blood of His servants.”
3 And again they shouted:
The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever.”
4 The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried:
5 Then a voice came from the throne, saying:
“Praise our God,
all you His servants,
you who fear Him,
both great and small!”
6 Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
7 Let us rejoice and be glad
and give Him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and His bride has made herself ready.
8 Fine linen, bright and clean,
was given her to wear.”
(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)
9 Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”
Rome (“Babylon”) will be completely destroyed. It has sinned in two ways. One is that it has led other people astray by its idolatry of other gods and money. The other is that it has persecuted and martyred Christians.
Revelation 14:1-5 –Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with Him 144,000 who had His name and His Father’s name written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. 3 And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. 4 These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they remained virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever He goes. They were purchased from among mankind and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. 5 No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.”
Here again we see the 144,000 Jewish Christians. As both Jews and Christians, they are doubly chosen and are honored to stand with Christ as He descends to Jerusalem. The seal that the angels placed on them is now shown to be the names of Christ and God the Father.
As we saw earlier, the Anti-Christ has just defeated the Southern (Egyptian) Empire but has heard that a large force is rebelling against him and marching across the Euphrates from the north-east. In response, he travels north and sets up his army on the plain of Megiddo (Armageddon) in front of Jerusalem.
Revelation 14:6-12 – Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth —to every nation, tribe, language and people. 7 He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come. Worship Him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.”
8 A second angel followed and said, “‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great,’ which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.”
9 A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, 10 they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of His wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.” 12 This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.
From here, Revelation gives us two different summaries of the battle between Christ and the Anti-Christ, Jesus vs. Nero.
Revelation 14:14-20 – I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one like a son of man with a crown of gold on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand. 15 Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to Him who was sitting on the cloud, “Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” 16 So He who was seated on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.
17 Another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and He too had a sharp sickle. 18 Still another angel, who had charge of the fire, came from the altar and called in a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, “Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth’s vine, because its grapes are ripe.” 19 The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath. 20 They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia.
In this passage, we have two different figures sitting on the clouds and “harvesting” the earth. The first figure is Jesus. As He descends to earth, He is gathering the Christians in the Rapture before He descends with us to earth.
The second figure, the angel, is also “harvesting,” but his crop is being destroyed. With his sickle, he is killing the army of the Anti-Christ.
Remember that Armageddon is taking place outside of Jerusalem. Jesus has finished His “harvesting” of the good crop and has descended to Jerusalem to protect the city from the Anti-Christ. Therefore, the blood that will flow outside of the city is the army of the Anti-Christ being slaughtered outside of Jerusalem.
Revelation 19:11-21 – I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice He judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on Him that no one knows but He Himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and His name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following Him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Coming out of His mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On His robe and on His thigh He has this name written:
king of kings and lord of lords.
17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and the mighty, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, great and small.”
19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and His army. 20 But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. 21 The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.
Here, Jesus is seen descending to earth as a horrifying and glorious warrior. He has performed the Rapture, has gathered His army of raised Christians, and is ready to do battle. The Anti-Christ doesn’t stand a chance and is soon cast into Hell. Just as Daniel 7:11 reads, the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire.
The battle has been won. Armageddon is finished.
This blog post is included in my book, Last Days: A Biblical Guide to the End Times.
|Kindle $4.99, Print $7.99|
Read the answers to more interesting questions on my Theology 101 - Simple and Surprising Answers to Your Questions! page.