“They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon,
and in Greek, Apollyon.” (Revelation 9:11)
It may surprise you that “[Paul] Revere did not shout the phrase later attributed to him, ‘The British are coming!’ His [April 1775] mission depended on secrecy, the countryside was filled with British army patrols, and most of the Massachusetts colonists, who were predominantly English in ethnic origin, still considered themselves British.
Revere’s warning, according to eyewitness accounts of the ride and Revere’s own description, was ‘The Regulars are coming out.’ ”* Years later, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the phrase, “The British are coming!” to dramatize Revere’s courageous ride in a poem called “Paul Revere’s Ride.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Revere [inserts mine])
Very few Americans are aware that Revere’s famous warning was created by a poet. Even fewer people know that the entire world is nearing the end of a global war and demons are going to physically appear on Earth before Jesus returns. Of course, demons (fallen angels) have lived on Earth since the day Adam and Eve sinned and increasingly, we see the results of their predatory efforts in the news every day.
The title of this study parallels the warning message that Revere gave in Longfellow’s poem because the world needs to hear a far more serious warning. Revelation 9 predicts a time is coming when Jesus will permit the devil and his demons to leave the spirit realm where they have been confined.
They will appear in the skies over large cities and descend in shows of magnificent power and glory. The devil will claim to be Almighty God. For five months he and his angels will do everything possible to make the people of Earth believe that he is God and now lives among men. After accomplishing this objective, the devil will change into his real character.
He will demand that one third of mankind be slaughtered, and overnight, he and his demons will take full control of Earth. Most of the people will receive his tattoo (the mark of the beast) and become slaves of a supernatural pharaoh. Incredible misery will follow. This sounds like science fiction, but do not be fooled.
Once you understand God’s purpose for permitting this drama to unfold, it will make perfect sense.
From Adam’s fall to Noah’s flood, evil had permeated Earth like a virus. The whole world had became so degenerate that after a mere 1,646 years, God concluded that the only cure was total destruction. The same thing has happened all over again, albeit at a slower pace. Once again, our modern world society has become so degenerate from the virus of sin that destruction is the only cure. The combination of sinful human nature and predatory demons will cause this destruction. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms [unseen or spiritual realms].” (Ephesians 6:12, insertion mine)
Human nature is naturally rebellious toward God’s laws. (Romans 8:5–7) The devil and his demons know this because they, too, are rebellious toward God and His laws. Demons know that if a person ignores and rejects the prompting of the Holy Spirit to do right, then he will succumb to the temptation to do evil. Demons know that human beings are like a piece of metal caught between two powerful magnets. The human sinful nature causes us to be naturally inclined toward doing evil. Fallen angels study us intimately to discover our weaknesses and prey on our weaknesses. Their objective is to lead us into sin. They want us to experience the painful consequences of sin, like Adam and Eve, and ultimately receive the penalty for sin. The consequences of sin always result in suffering for someone, such as illness, painful loss and separation, self-loathing, loneliness, and insatiable appetites for things that cannot bring joy or happiness. The penalty for sin is eternal death. Read Hebrews 11:25–26 and seriously consider if the consequences and penalty for sin are a fair exchange for enjoying the pleasures of sin for a short time.
The Cancer of Sin
When a majority of people ignore or reject the voice of the Holy Spirit, society spirals downhill quickly. When the next generation arrives, society races downhill even faster because the new generation has fewer inhibitions toward wrongdoing. Therefore, with each passing generation, society accelerates toward hopeless degeneracy and decadence. God does step in from time to time and slows this degeneracy by reducing or eliminating certain populations, thus cauterizing the cancer of sin.
The Bible teaches that people can be grossly evil and not know it. If God Himself were to enter each household and clearly point out each sinful thought, word, and action, He would be thrown out immediately. Unfortunately, most people are ignorant of God’s will and His righteousness, and within the confines of our natural rebellion, we will do everything possible to remain ignorant. Billions of people have no knowledge that their thoughts, ways, and actions are exceedingly offensive to God. We are born into sin’s pigpen and we have comfortably adapted to the constant stench (the customs and ways) of the sty. Pig farmers cannot smell the pungent and repulsive odor of their pigpens, and neither can a sinner detect his true condition before God without enlightenment from the Holy Spirit.
God Does Something That Causes People to Hate Him and Curse Him
God’s ways are predictable because He is changeless. (Malachi 3:6) Unlike Lucifer, God is not arbitrary, obsessive, paranoid, capricious, double-minded, or impulsive. Although we cannot understand everything about Him, there are many things we can understand if we take the time. We can be sure that God is a God of love because His actions at Calvary speak clearly. (John 3:16) When 4,000 years of Bible history (from Creation to the first century A.D.) are reviewed, it is easy to conclude that God is infinitely wise, infinitely intelligent, very careful, very deliberate, very thoughtful, very patient, and very nurturing. When we study the plan of salvation, we observe that in terms of kindness, God has no equal. These properties of God’s character are important to understand because He consistently does something which causes people to hate Him and curse Him.
Because God is changeless, He has discernable patterns of behavior. I would like to investigate one pattern of behavior from the Old Testament: When groups of people reach an intolerable level of degenerate and decadent behavior so that even extended grace has no redemptive effect, God always responds with destruction. I call this pattern, The Full Cup Principle.* Consider these applications: A God of love drowned the whole world in Noah’s day. A God of love burned Sodom and Gomorrah to the ground. A God of love caused the walls and buildings of Jericho to fall and bury most of the inhabitants of the city. A God of love empowered King Nebuchadnezzar to take Israel captive, destroy God’s temple, and reduce the City of David to ashes. A God of love empowered Cyrus and Darius to overtake the mighty city of Babylon. A God of love empowered Alexander the Great to destroy the Persian Empire. This same God of love will, at the right time, release the demons from the spirit realm allowing them to overtake the wicked and dominate those who insisted on ignorance and defiance. (For an in-depth study on this topic, please see Chapter 2 in my book, Warning! Revelation is about to be fulfilled.)
When dealing with ignorant and arrogant people, God consistently follows The Full Cup Principle. When God sees that a future generation has no possibility for happiness because of the current generation’s degeneracy and decadence, He sends redemptive judgments. If these judgments cannot achieve repentance and reformation, He sends totally destructive judgments. This pattern is described in the Bible in several places. For examples, see Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 28, and Ezekiel 14.
We need take a closer look at these two steps:
- When a nation reaches a point where a majority of its people refuse to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, when a majority falls into idolatry, greed, hatred, meanness, rage, gluttony, and sexual immorality, God knows that recovery is impossible on a human scale. Therefore, He takes action with redemptive judgments so that, if possible, that nation might repent and reform. God’s love and interest in the future generation is just as great as His love and interest in the present generation. Therefore, if a nation will repent and reform, it can once again enjoy the land which God gave it to inhabit, and future generations will have a chance to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and live upright lives.
Of course, redemptive judgments always bring suffering, heartache, and pain. During these judgments, some people do wake up and discover their true condition in God’s sight. They repent of their sins and reform. Corporately speaking, however, Bible history reveals this outcome is rare. The city of Nineveh is the only group of people who come to my mind who repented, but that repentance was short-lived and the city was only spared from destruction for 160 years. Most of the time, ignorant and arrogant people curse God on account of His plagues, and they stubbornly refuse to see any correlation between their behavior and His judgments. This is why destruction is the only solution. Isaiah wrote, “My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you. When your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness. Though grace is shown to the wicked, they do not learn righteousness; even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil and regard not the majesty of the Lord.” (Isaiah 26:9–10)
- After sending redemptive judgments, God waits to see what a nation will do. (See Daniel 5:18–31) If the people of that nation are unwilling to turn away from their wickedness, God responds by sending a destroyer to utterly destroy that nation. We see this process in the Old Testament several times. For example, speaking about the destruction of ancient Babylon, God said to Jeremiah “‘But when the seventy years [of Israel’s captivity] are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylonians, for their guilt,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will make it desolate forever. I will bring upon that land all the things I have spoken against it, all that are written in this book and prophesied by Jeremiah against all the nations. They themselves will be enslaved by many nations and great kings; I will repay them according to their deeds and the work of their hands.’” (Jeremiah 25:12–14, insertion mine)
The Seven Trumpets
I believe every nation on Earth has descended to a level of degeneracy and decadence that cannot be cured or reversed. The whole world is sick with a fatal virus, and no cure or solution is possible. Therefore, The Full Cup Principle is about to be invoked. God’s wrath is coming. When the appointed hour arrives, God will release four angels who have been given power to hurt the Earth (Revelation 7:1–4) and four horrific judgments will strike Earth in quick succession. These judgments are described in Revelation 8. They will be redemptive in nature; that is, some people will come to their senses and repent of their wicked ways realizing there is a God. God’s judgments will also have the effect of separating sheep (humble and repentant people) from goats (arrogant and defiant people). I do not have words to describe the global destruction that will be caused by the first four judgments. However, to offer some perspective, the Bible indicates in Revelation 6:8 that 25% of the world’s population will be killed when God’s wrath is released (1.75+ billion people). The misery index created by the first four judgments will cause billions of people to hate God and curse Him.
“The Demons Are Coming” and The Full Cup Principle
Today, Earth has become hopelessly decadent. Bible prophecy reveals the time has come when God will once again implement The Full Cup Principle. Prior to the Great Tribulation, God will select and empower 144,000 people as His spokespersons. Then, over a period of 64(?) days God will send four redemptive judgments (these are described in Revelation 8). These four judgments will destroy much of our planet and kill 1.75 billion people. Their purpose is to get the full attention of every survivor so that each person may thoughtfully consider God’s Words, spoken only by the 144,000. Many people will hate God and go to their deaths cursing Him.
Nevertheless, God will wait for 890(?) days to see what choices each person will make. At the end of 890(?) days, there will still be many people who refuse to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, God worsens the situation. He releases Lucifer and his angels from the spirit realm. God sends a destroyer who is eager to destroy the world. God does this so that in the process, some of those stubbornly wicked people will wake up and realize there are only two options in life. We either obey the voices of demons or we obey the voice of the Holy Spirit. A few people will discover this profound truth and repent of their ignorance and rebellion. Next month, I will attempt to explain why it is only our response to the Holy Spirit which determines our eternal destiny.