Earth Will Be Destroyed
Words cannot describe the death and devastation caused by the first four trumpets in Revelation 8. These coming judgments (a meteoric firestorm of burning hail that will burn up one third of Earth, an asteroid impact on an ocean that will destroy thousands of coastal cities, an asteroid impact on a continent that will poison the drinking water, and hundreds of volcanos that will erupt and darken the middle third of Earth) will ruin the whole world and leave survivors in a miserable state. According to Revelation 6:8, 25 percent of Earth’s population will perish during these judgments. Currently, the population of Earth is approaching eight billion so 25 percent will be two billion dead!
When the first four trumpets begin, I believe they will occur within a period of 30 to 60 days. Of course, time will tell. God’s fierce anger with Earth will bring trauma, anxiety, and suffering to everyone. The state of mankind must be at its lowest when a God of love has to resort to such extreme measures to make us humble. After the first four trumpets occur, three questions will surface: “What does God want?”, “Why is God so angry?” and “What is coming next?” These questions will cause people to turn to their religious leaders for answers. People will then direct this fourth question at the clergy: “Why didn’t you tell us?”
God Will Appoint 144,000 Prophets
Honest-hearted people will notice that God has ignored the clergy. Instead, He has chosen to speak through 144,000 people whom He has appointed as prophets. Assuming six billion people are alive after the fourth trumpet occurs, a ratio of one prophet per 42,000 people will speak Jesus’ words through Holy Spirit power. They can do all kinds of miracles at will, even holding back the rain! “These have power to shut Heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the Earth with all plagues, as often as they will.” (Revelation 11:6, KJV) God ensures that the 144,000 will properly use the power He has given them by removing their sinful nature and sealing them on their foreheads before they begin their ministry. (Revelation 7:3) This means there will be no sinful propensity within them. They will perfectly reflect Jesus, like Adam and Eve before they sinned. They will be living examples of what God promises to give everyone who overcomes the world through faith. Most of the clergy will despise the 144,000 because they will say things that will anger the clergy. These prophets will respond to every charge and accusation with divine wisdom. With Jesus speaking through their lips, the world will hear the testimony of Jesus. (Revelation 12:17) The 144,000 will explain God’s plans and actions, present Bible truth with clarity and authority, declare the truth about God’s offer of salvation, and confront every false doctrine on Earth and expose them as lies. When honest-hearted people listen to the 144,000, the people will accept the 144,000’s testimony because they will recognize God’s voice. (John10:27) However, many people will become angry and refuse to believe the 144,000 and will persecute the 144,000 for rebellion and blasphemy.
A great contest will develop between the clergy and the 144,000 over the question, “What does God want?” The clergy will claim that more judgments are coming unless mankind changes its behavior, but the 144,000 will declare that no more judgments are coming until the fifth trumpet occurs, about two and a half years later! The survivors will have to determine who is telling the truth. The Bible will be the only source that reveals the truth about God and His plans.
After the fourth trumpet judgment (volcanos), while darkness still lingers over the middle third of Earth, the world’s religious and political leaders will gather to discuss a solution to stop God’s wrath. With the world in ruins and two billion people dead, the leaders will be forced by circumstances and controlled by fear. They will set aside their differences to deal with God’s wrath. Fearing that more wrath is coming, they will question which God is angry: The Muslim God, “Allah,” the Jewish God, “Jehovah,” the Christian God, “The Father” or the Hindu God, “Shiva?” Of course, no one can say for sure and this will invite another question: “Does man worship one God having different titles or different Gods having different titles?” Catholics and Protestants believe “The Father” has a Son called “Jesus” who came to Earth to die for our sins and God has given Jesus the whole Earth as an inheritance. (Psalm 2:8,9; Revelation 2:26,27; John 17:6) The Gods of the Muslims, Jews, and Hindus do not believe in a God that has a Son and they reject the idea that Jesus is deity. Then, there will be the matter of worship, religious teachings, and obedience. The Catholic tradition regarding God’s will is not the Protestant tradition and the Islamic tradition is not the Hindu or Jewish tradition. Although everyone agrees there is an angry God, how does a religiously and politically diverse world appease one God, whoever He is?
A solution to these issues will be found in compromise. Given the extremity of the situation and the likelihood of more judgments, religious and political leaders will create three lies and at first most people will accept them as “gospel truth.” The lies will not be a deliberate effort to mislead the world; instead, the leaders will perpetuate these lies because it is important that mankind promptly responds to God’s judgments.
The Devil’s Three End Time Lies
The first lie will be everyone on Earth worships the same God, even though we worship Him in different ways and He is called different names and titles. This lie will seem reasonable because most people do not know enough about the various religions of the world to know the truth. The survivors will be so traumatized that they will accept whatever their religious experts say and conclude that since they are all saying the same thing, the lie must be true. The survivors also will observe that God’s wrath has been directed against notably wicked places and conclude that God hates sinful and decadent behavior. So, the second lie is that God’s wrath will be appeased and His favor restored if we eliminate decadent behavior. This will be a blatant lie, but the religious leaders will not know that they are lying! If the religious leaders knew God’s Word and God’s plan as outlined in the book of Revelation, they would not say such a thing.
As spiritual leaders of the world, they claim to know God’s will the best and they will be under enormous pressure to do something. Unfortunately, they will believe their own lies! Just so that you know (you may be reading this article during the Great Tribulation), the book of Revelation indicates nothing will appease God or stop His judgments. When the angel casts down the censer in Revelation 8:5, corporate intercession for Earth ends forever and this intercession cannot be resumed. Once the 1,335 days allotted for the seven trumpets and seven bowls begin, praying and repentance will not affect the remaining plagues. I am sure there was much praying and repentance in Noah’s day once the door was closed and the rain started falling; however, in God’s economy, a person is saved by faith or he cannot be saved!
Religious leaders of the world will also create a third lie to exalt themselves and their plan of action. This lie is that God has given authority to the clergy to lead the world in spiritual matters and after consulting with the political leaders of the world, they have a solution that will appease God’s wrath so that His anger will end. For two millennia, Catholics have insisted that the pope has been given divine authority in spiritual matters. They twist Jesus’ words to say that He gave Peter (and his many successors, the popes) this authority. Jesus said, “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven; whatever you bind on Earth will be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on Earth will be loosed in Heaven.” (Matthew 16:18,19) Other religious bodies have similar beliefs although their leadership is decentralized. For example, Muslims have imams, Jews have rabbis, Hindus have gurus and swamis, and Protestants have scholars and pastors. To make this lie believable, many of the clergy will suddenly begin to work miracles, signs, and wonders because the great red dragon (the devil) will give the clergy the ability to do so! (Matthew 7:22; Revelation 13:2) These amazing miracles will be convincing and billions of people will follow the clergy. The Bible predicts the whole world will be astonished. (Revelation 13:3)
The Devil’s Lies Create the Seven Headed Beast
I understand the book of Revelation divides the people of the world into seven religious systems: Atheism, Heathenism, Judaism, Islam, Eastern Mysticism, Catholicism and Protestantism. The Bible considers Atheism to be a religion because it is faith-based belief system, that is, atheists believe there is no God. Of course, the seven systems have many subsets within them. There are different sects within Judaism and Islam. There are subsets within Catholicism like Russian and Greek Orthodox and there are over 200 denominations within Protestantism. Eastern Mysticism includes Hinduism and Buddhism and these have many variations within them.
Although the religious world is currently divided and antagonistic, the religious leaders overcome their antagonism and do something that is currently impossible. They will unite on a solution to appease God’s wrath. They will propose a government be created that is controlled by seven heads (seven supreme leaders). This “beast of a government” will function as a global religious authority and will dictate “God’s will” to each nation. Representatives from the seven religious systems of the world will participate in this government much like representatives from fifteen nations participate in the United Nations Security Council. This new government will have far greater power than the Security Council because the political leaders of the world will agree to carry out its dictates. Because the political leaders of the world fear that God will impose more judgments if dramatic changes are not implemented within all nations, they will agree to obey the seven-headed beast.
Leaders from the seven religious systems of the world will be chosen. There will be coordination, cooperation, and compromise, but there will also be a distinction. Muslim representatives will direct Muslim nations on how to appease God’s wrath. Catholic and Protestant representatives will direct their respective nations, Jewish, Hindu, and Buddhist leaders will do the same. This coming religious authority (the seven-headed beast) will set itself up as “Lord of the Earth,” because no one will be in a better position to appease God’s wrath. Ironically, religious leaders will ignore the obvious question which is: If there is one angry God, how is it that He can be appeased in seven different ways? It would seem that one process should appease God.
The Bible predicts the seven-headed beast will be given “authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.” (Revelation 13:7) Revelation 13 describes this beast as a vicious leopard-like beast, having the mouth of a lion and claws like a bear. This caricature indicates this global authority will be a deadly monster, devouring anything and everything that resists it. The book of Revelation also calls this seven-headed beast “Babylon” because it will mirror the tactics of the ancient kingdom of Babylon in several ways. For example, it will command everyone to worship as it dictates or be killed. (Daniel 3:4-6)
The Devil Controls Human Organizations
Remember, counterfeit miracles, signs, and wonders will confirm that the religious leaders of Babylon have authority to lead the world in repentance and reformation. The Bible says the devil will give this organization “its power, throne and great authority.” (Revelation 13:2) This means the leaders of the seven-headed beast will have supernatural abilities and successes. They will achieve supernatural things because the devil himself will be like a “hand inside a puppet.” The seven-headed beast in Revelation 13 represents man’s response to God’s wrath. It will rise (out of a sea of peoples) after the first four trumpets and the devil will give it persecuting power so that it can punish everyone who refuses to obey its laws. Revelation 13:3 indicates the pope will be the leader of the beast. The religious system (the head) that was wounded in 1798 will be healed (restored to power). This makes perfect sense in a global crisis when time is of essence because the papacy already has diplomatic relations with 179 countries.
Because of God’s wrath, the leaders of the world will unite and create a global church-state for the first time in world history. Religious leaders will immediately implement “sin-less” laws (laws forbidding sinful conduct) and political leaders will appoint their military leaders, National Guard units, police, and sheriffs to enforce them. Because a state of emergency will exist in every nation, constitutions and personal freedoms will be suspended. Martial law will enable a very small number of people to control the whole world. The religious leaders of Babylon will say that everyone must repent of any conduct that is offensive to God and everyone must give the Creator the honor and respect He is due. Civil authorities will agree and everyone must cooperate or be punished.
What else but God’s wrath can bring this conflicted world together as one family on a course in which everyone wants to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem? The Father designed the first four trumpets thousands of years ago to bring a politically and religiously diverse world together to appease a God who most of the world does not even know, respect, or worship. The irony is that the world will discover through the 144,000 that the Creator who made us and deserves our worship is Jesus Christ! (Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2; Revelation 14:7)