The Prelude to the Meditorial Kingdom - The Tribulation 2

Menu


 

Part Ten – The Prelude to the Meditorial Kingdom

The Tribulation Part Two

 

In our last study, we noted that God’s restoration of His Kingdom will culminate in a seven year period known as the Tribulation. The Tribulation is the last 7 years of the Daniel 9:24-27 prophecy and its fulfillment has been postponed by God until Israel is ready to receive it. For the sake of this study we have chosen not to touch on every event that transpires during this seven year period or to go into great detail. It is our goal, rather, to give a basic overview based on the six things God is going to accomplish with these events. Last time we looked at the first three of God’s intended accomplishments. They were f this period of tribulation.

1) Israel answers its call to missions: God will use Israel through His selection and sealing of 144,000 Jewish males and His two witnesses to take the gospel of the Kingdom to all the world. For the first time in the history of Israel she will finally carryout her calling from God (Ex 19:5-6)

2) A full dose of life under the reign of Satan: Even though Satan took control of the world and its human population at the fall of Adam and Eve, yet he has been restrained in what he can and can not do and how far he can take his rebellion. His rebellion has been restrained or kept in check by the work of the Holy Spirit Himself. With the beginning of the Tribulation, the Holy Spirit stops His restraining work and we get a glimpse of how much of a despot Satan can be (2 Thes 2:3-9).

3) The wrath of God on the Gentile nations: Though God has used the Gentile nations as His form of chastening the nation of Israel for her rebellious heart, yet God still holds them responsible for all the persecution, torture, expulsion and genocide they carried out against His chosen people. The judgments that God pours out on the Gentile nations will come in three series of seven judgments. There will be st the Seal Judgments (Rev. 6:1-8:6) followed by the Trumpet Judgments (Rev. 8:7-9:21; 11:15-19) and finally the Bowl Judgments (Rev. 15-16). 

Let us now continue with the last three accomplishments of God in the period known as Daniel’s last week or the Tribulation.

4) The wrath of God on false religion: God had destroyed all but 8 who lived prior to the flood. Their condition was one of continual sin and God could no longer tolerate it (Gen. 6:1-11). God therefore chose to destroy all of mankind and most of his original creation in order to start over with the 8 Saints who came off the ark. For the first time in centuries, the world was inhabited by believers only. However, it is not long after the flood, that man is quick to disobey God by refusing to spread out and fill the earth. God knew that as long as man remained together in one spot, there was a great danger that sin and false religion would quickly rise to the levels prior to the flood. Mankind chose to center his civilization around one city, one area, and one tower. We know this as Babel. It was here that the beginning of false religion has its rebirth. Though God divides mankind through different languages, mankind takes with him this false worship and religion where ever he goes.

At the basis of all false religion is the doctrines and worship of demons. They work ultimately for the devil to get man to turn from worshipping God to worshipping Satan. In this goal they have been very successful (1 Tim 4:1; Lev. 17:7; Deut. 32:17; 2 Chr. 11:15; Psa. 106:37; 1 Cor. 10:20-21; Rev. 9:20). Even though Christianity has been working for 2000 years to evangelize the world yet today there are more non-Christians in this world then there are Christians. In fact it would appear that the true Church of Christ with each year makes up less and less of the population of the world.

In Rev. 17-18, the false religion of the world comes to its end during the Tribulation. It is described as a lady who has committed spiritual adultery with the nations of the world and it is also described as a city of great commerce. God will use the Antichrist to bring His wrath upon this false worship that has its origins in the city of Babel. The following is a quote from Dr. Harry A. Ironside on Rev. 17-18 and in it He paints clearly the connection between the religion called Babylon in Revelation and the worship at the city of Babel. 

"The woman is a religious system, who dominates the civil power, at least for a time. The name upon her forehead should easily enable us to identify her. But in order to do that we will do well to go back to our Old Testament, and see what is there revealed concerning literal Babylon, for the one will surely throw light upon the other . . . . we learn that the founder of Bab-el or Babylon, was Nimrod, of whose unholy achievements we read in the 10th chapter of Genesis. He was the arch-apostate of the patriarchal age . . . he persuaded his associates and followers to join together in “building a city and a tower which should reach unto heaven.” . . . to be recognized as a temple or rallying center for those who did not walk in obedience to the world of the Lord . . . they called their city and tower Bab-El, the gate of God; but it was soon changed by divine judgment into Babel, Confusion. It bore the stamp of unreality from the first, for we are told “they had brick for stone and slime had they for mortar.” An Imitation of that which is real and true has ever since characterized Babylon, in all ages.
Nimrod, or Nimroud-bar-Cush . . . was a grandson of Ham, the unworthy son of Noah . . . Noah had brought through the flood the revelation of the true God . . . Ham on the other hand seems to have been all too readily affected by the apostasy that brought the flood, for he shows no evidence of self-judgment . . . His name . . . means “swarthy”, “darkened”, or more literally, “the sunburnt”. And the name indicates the state of the man’s soul . . . darkened by light from heaven . . . [Ham begat a son named Cush, “the black one”, and he became the father of Nimrod, the apostate leader of his generation.

Ancient lore now comes to our assistance, and tells us that the wife of Nimroud-bar-Cush was the infamous Semiramis the First. She is reputed to have been the foundress of the Babylonian mysteries and the first high-priestess of idolatry. Thus Babylon became the fountainhead of idolatry, and the mother of every heathen and pagan system in the world. The mystery-religion that was there originated spread in various forms through the whole earth . . . and is with us today . . . and shall have its fullest development when the Holy Spirit has departed and the Babylon of the Apocalypse holds sway.

Building on the primeval promise of the woman’s Seed who was to come, Semiramis bore a son whom she declared was miraculously conceived! And when she presented him to the people, he was hailed as the promised deliverer. This was Tammuz, whose worship Ezekiel protested against in the days of the captivity. Thus was introduced the mystery of the mother and the child, a form of idolatry that is older than any other known to man. The rites of this worship were secret. Only the initiated were permitted to know its mysteries. It was Satan’s effort to delude mankind with an imitation so like the truth of God that they would not know the true Seed of the woman when He came in the fullness of time . . .From Babylon this mystery-religion spread to all the surrounding nations . . . Everywhere the symbols were the same, and everywhere the cult of the mother and the child became the popular system; their worship was celebrated with the most disgusting and immoral practices. The image of the queen of heaven with the babe in her arms was seen everywhere, though the names might differ as languages differed. It became the mystery-religion of Phoenicia, and by the Phoenicians was carried to the ends of the earth. Astoreth and Tammuz, the mother and child of these hardy adventures, became Isis and Horus in Egypt, Aphrodite and Eros in Greece, Venus and Cupid in Italy, and bore many other names in more distant places. Within 1000 years Babylonianism had become had become the religion of the world, which had rejected the Divine revelation.

Linked with this central mystery were countless lesser mysteries . . . Among these were the doctrines of purgatorial purification after death, salvation by countless sacraments such as priestly absolution, sprinkling with holy water, the offering of round cakes to the queen of heaven as mentioned in the book of Jeremiah, dedication of virgins to the gods, which was literally sanctified prostitution, weeping for Tammuz for a period of 40 days, prior to the great festival of Istar, who was said to have received her son back from the dead; for it was taught that Tammuz was slain by a wild boar and afterwards brought back to life. To him the egg was sacred, as depicting the mystery of his resurrection, even as the evergreen was his chosen symbol and was set up in honor of his birth at the winter solstice, when a boar’s head was eaten in memory of his conflict and a yule-log burned with many mysterious observances. The sign of the cross was sacred to Tammuz, as symbolizing the life-giving principle and as the first letter of his name. It is represented upon vast numbers of the most ancient altars and temples, and did not, as many have supposed, originate with Christianity.

From this mystery-religion, the patriarch Abraham was separated by divine call; and with this same evil cult the nation that sprang from him was in constant conflict, until under Jezebel, a Phoenician princess, it was grafted onto what was left of the religion of Israel in the northern kingdom in the day of Ahab, and was the cause of their captivity at last. Judah was polluted by it, for Baal-worship was but the Canaanitish form of the Babylonian mysteries, and only by being sent into captivity to Babylon itself did Judah become cured of her fondness for idolatry. Baal was the Sun-God, the Life-giving One, identical with Tammuz. . . . though Babylon as a city had long been but a memory, her mysteries had not died with her. When the city and temples were destroyed, the high-priest fled with a company of initiates and their sacred vessels and images to Pergamos, where the symbol of the serpent was set up as the emblem of the hidden wisdom. From there, they afterwards crossed the sea and emigrated to Italy . . . There the ancient cult was propagated under the headquarters of Babylonianism. The chief priests wore mitres shaped like the head of a fish, in honor of Dagon, the fish-god, the Lord of life – another form of the Tammuz mystery, as developed among Israel’s old enemies, the Philistines. The chief priest when established in Rome took the title Pontifex Maximus, and this was imprinted on his mitre. When Julius Caesar (who, like all young Romans of good family, was an initiate) had become the head of the State, he was elected Pontifex Maximum, and this title was held henceforth by all the Roman emperors down to Constantine the Great, who was, at one and the same time, head of the church and high priest of the heathen! The title was afterwards conferred upon the bishops of Rome, and is borne by the pope today, who is thus declared to be, not the successor of the fisherman-apostle Peter, but the direct successor of the high priest of the Babylonian mysteries, and the servant of the fish-god Dagon, for whom he wears, like his idolatrous predecessors, the fisherman’s ring.

During the early centuries of the church’s history, the mystery of iniquity had wrought with such astounding effect, and Babylonian practices and teachings had been so largely absorbed by that which bore the name of the church of Christ, that the truth of the Holy Scriptures on many points had been wholly obscured, while idolatrous practices had been foisted upon the people as Christian sacraments, and heathen philosophies took the place of gospel instruction. Thus was developed that amazing system which for a thousand years dominating Europe and trafficked in the bodies and souls of men, until the great Reformation of the 16th century brought in a measure of deliverance. (Harry A. Ironside, Lectures on the Revelation, pp. 287-95 as quoted by Pentecost in Things to Come, pp. 364-366)

5) The Spiritual Restoration of Israel: God will use the Tribulation period to finish His work of restoring Israel. The restoration of Israel must be first a spiritual restoration before it can be a physical restoration. As Jesus told Nicodemus, for anyone to be qualified to enter the Kingdom one must be born again (John 3:3). 

At Christ’s First Coming the people were willing to accept Him as their King as well as His Millennial Kingdom. We see this in the reaction of the people after the He multiplies the fish and loaves.

John 6:15, “Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.”

This is also the reflected in the cries of the people on Palm Sunday as He rides into Jerusalem to officially announce to the nation that He, the Messiah, had arrived as promised by the prophets.

John 12:12-15, “The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: "Hosanna! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord !' The King of Israel!" Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written: "Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold, your King is coming, Sitting on a donkey's colt."

However, the Kingdom could not be ushered in until the people’s hearts had been made right with God. They had to repent of their sins and accept Christ as their Savior before they could receive Him as their King. Their words just three days after Palm Sunday reflect where the people’s hears really laid..

Mark 15:12-14, “Pilate answered and said to them again, "What then do you want me to do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?" So they cried out again, "Crucify Him!" Then Pilate said to them, "Why, what evil has He done?" But they cried out all the more, "Crucify Him!"

In Daniels “70 Week” prophecy we looked at earlier, the purpose of this period of 490 years of God’s direct intervention and chastisement in the life of the Israelite people is to bring them to the point of repenting and accepting Christ as their Messiah/Savior.

Dan 9:24, “Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.” 

God will at the end of the Tribulation bring all the Gentile nations together against Israel under the authority of the Antichrist. Their goal is genocide. To eternally wipe from the face of the earth and the history of man the Chosen People of God, the Jews. It is when Israel’s back is “against the wall” and there is no hope of her survival that Israel will finally call upon their Messiah/Savior to save them from their sins and ultimately from all their enemies.

Zech 13:9, “I will bring the one-third through the fire, Will refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say, 'This is My people'; And each one will say, 'The Lord is my God."

Zech 14:2-3, “For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; the city shall be taken, the houses rifled, and the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the Lord will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle.”

Jer 29:11-14, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord , and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord , and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.”

Amos 9:9-10, “"For surely I will command, And will sift the house of Israel among all nations, as grain is sifted in a sieve; yet not the smallest grain shall fall to the ground.”

Joel 3:1-2, “For behold, in those days and at that time, When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; And I will enter into judgment with them there On account of My people, My heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; They have also divided up My land” (See Rev. 19:11-21)

Zeph. 3:8-9, “Therefore wait for Me," says the Lord, "Until the day I rise up for plunder; My determination is to gather the nations to My assembly of kingdoms, to pour on them My indignation, all My fierce anger; All the earth shall be devoured with the fire of My jealousy. "For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, that they all may call on the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one accord.

Zeph 3:19-20, “Behold, at that time I will deal with all who afflict you; I will save the lame, and gather those who were driven out; I will appoint them for praise and fame in every land where they were put to shame. At that time I will bring you back, even at the time I gather you; for I will give you fame and praise among all the peoples of the earth, when I return your captives before your eyes," says the Lord.

6) The Complete Restoration of the Kingdom to Man: God will use the Tribulation to end the government of fallen humanity and place it under the Lord Jesus Christ. In Luke God calls the end of the Tribulation the “end of the times of the Gentiles” (Lk. 21:24). Since the beginning of Creation when this world was placed under the rule and care of Adam and Eve, it has been under ruled by the Gentile nations. Though Israel has at times flourished as a nation, yet she rarely has know a time when she has been totally free of the controlling influence of neighboring Gentile nations. 

The Gentile nations, though appearing to be ruled by men, have actually been ruled by Satan and his fallen angels. Paul makes reference to this when he writes,

Eph 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (see also Eph. 3:10)

Daniel 10:12-14, 20-21 also addresses this fact. Daniel speaks of a godly angel sent from heaven to disclose information to him about the future. This angel on his way to Daniel encounters the prince of Persia, a satanic angel who is ruler over Persia. This satanic angel prohibits the godly angel from getting to Daniel for 21 days. It is only when Michael the archangel comes to his aid that he is able to finally to deliver his message. These satanic angels, under the direction of Satan, work behind the scenes by heavily influencing all the decisions that the rulers of the nations make.

It is at the close of the Tribulation that this rule of Satan is finally brought to a complete halt and the Kingdom is finally restored to mankind. In Revelation 19:11-20:3 we read these triumphant words.

Rev 19:19-20:3, “And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh. Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.”

The Antichrist, the rulers of this world, and all their armies, authority, and power are destroyed by the word of the Lord in His coming. With this accomplished, Satan is seized by an angel and imprisoned for a period of 1000 years. In place of the world rule under Satan with be the rule of man, the God Man, Christ Jesus. His rule will be divided and delegated to the Saints of God who have a part of the First Resurrection (Rev. 20:4-6). The whole world will have the curse-of sin removed and will be restored to its pre-sin condition (Rom. 8: 19-23) where the believing Tribulation survivors will go forth to live and bear children to populate the world during the 1000 year reign of Christ.

As Jesus said to Nicodemus so He says to all who desire have a part in the future Kingdom of Christ. You want to enter the Kingdom, you must be born again (John 3:3). Jesus goes on to tell Nicodemus how to be born again. You must believe or better trust in the one of a kind Son of God alone for your salvation. If you do, you will be removed from the road which leads to destruction and placed on the path that leads to everlasting life. Which road do you find yourself on? Today is the day of salvation!