The title for this book is derived from a declaration that Jesus will soon speak from Heaven’s temple. When he says, “There will be no more delay!” (Revelation 10:6) life on Earth will radically change. His declaration will be marked by supernatural signs which will engulf the whole world; then, a Great Tribulation of 1,335 days will begin. (Daniel 12:11,12) At the end of the Tribulation, the Father and Jesus will appear together with clouds of glory. (Matthew 26:64)
God is angry with the world because of violence and wickedness. Bible prophecy teaches that His wrath is overdue! John wrote, “And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.” (Revelation 8:2) I believe this event occurred in Heaven several years ago; and we know from Revelation 8 and 9 that when each angel sounds his trumpet, a horrible judgment follows that produces unimaginable destruction on Earth.
A delay occurs after the seven angels are given the seven trumpets. John wrote, “I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the Earth, holding back the four winds of the Earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: ‘Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.’ Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.” (Revelation 7:1-4, italics mine)
The Bible does not explicitly say that the four angels in Revelation 7 are the first four of the seven angels who received the seven trumpets, but this conclusion is easy to deduce. Revelation 7:2 says the four angels “had been given power” to harm the land, sea and trees; Revelation 8:7-9 indicates that when the first two angels sound their trumpets a third of the land will be “burned up,” a third of the sea will be turned to blood, and a third of the trees will be destroyed. The harmony found between Revelation 7:2 and Revelation 8:7-9 is obvious.
Revelation 7:3 indicates the four angels were told to hold back their destruction of Earth until the 144,000 are selected and sealed. This delay is mentioned in the book of Revelation so students of apocalyptic prophecy can know that Jesus will seal 144,000 “servants” before He releases God’s wrath on the world. These 144,000 will be God’s prophets during the Great Tribulation. Jesus will actually speak through His 144,000 servant/prophets and everybody will hear in their own language “the testimony of Jesus.” (Revelation 12:17; 19:10)
After Jesus seals and empowers the 144,000 for their mission, He will declare, “There will be no more delay!” (Revelation 10:6) and the four angels presently holding back the four winds will sound their trumpets. (Revelation 8) The physical damage caused by the four angels will be so great that Earth will never recover.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ
The last book in the Bible is called the “Revelation of Jesus Christ” because it contains an awesome story that centers on Jesus. There is much about Jesus the world has not heard and does not know, but the truth about Jesus and His sovereign authority over Earth will be told! As the revelation of Jesus unfolds, He will become the centerpiece of a great controversy in every nation. He will demand certain things that will divide the people of Earth into two opposing camps. One group will cling to their religious traditions, the other will embrace “the testimony of Jesus” spoken by the 144,000. This coming conflict will be most interesting!
Currently, billions of people have not heard about Jesus. Part of the problem is that of the 6,900 languages spoken in 2017, the Bible has only been translated into 670 of them. The New Testament has been translated into an additional 1,521 languages, but this still leaves over 5,000 language groups without a complete Bible! Additionally, billions of people have heard about Jesus, but what they have heard is false. Finally, I would guess that half of Christianity today is Christian in name only. Knowing about Jesus is altogether different from loving, being disciplined by, and obeying Jesus as Lord and Master.
When Jesus was on Earth, He claimed to be the promised Messiah (Matthew 26:63,64), but Jewish leaders hated Him because He condemned their self-righteousness and worthless traditions. (John 11:50, Matthew 15:9) He also exposed their hypocrisy and challenged their religious control over the people. If Jesus were to come to Earth as a baby and grow up as a Christian, today many Christians would hate Him! This point is mentioned because you need to understand that when the revelation of Jesus occurs, there will be a great conflict among Christians as well as non-Christians.
Before Earth was created, the Father foresaw our generation . . . the final generation. He foresaw our great wickedness, religious gridlock, and cultural diversity. Knowing that most of the world would not properly know Jesus, the Father predetermined that during the Great Tribulation everyone should hear about and thoughtfully consider the salvation which Jesus paid for by His death. (Matthew 24:14) The Father designed an elaborate plan, which includes the revelation that Jesus is deity, a co-eternal, distinct, separate God that lived with the Father for all eternity past. (John 1:1-14) According to infinite wisdom, the Father predetermined the best way to level the playing field was by breaking down the powers of religion and culture through four divine judgments (the first four trumpets). God’s coming wrath is not only justifiable, but He will also use it to save as many people as possible! After this planet is damaged beyond any hope of recovery, many survivors will realize their need for a Savior and be more inclined to listen to a gospel they would otherwise reject. Think about it: The first four trumpets will open the ears of many people to hear Jesus. He will speak through the 144,000 and the world will hear Him declare the terms and conditions for eternal life. Much of the world will think, at first, the words they hear coming from the 144,000 are of human origin, spoken by “fanatics,” but this will not be the case. The revelation of Jesus will occur in the same way “the revelation of the Father” took place when Jesus was on Earth! Jesus told the Jews, “For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that His command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.” (John 12:49,50)
The Seven First Plagues
According to His foreknowledge, the Father designed fourteen judgments that will reveal the fullness of Jesus during the Great Tribulation. These judgments are both justified and purposeful because God’s wrath is always fair and righteous. He designed the seven trumpets so the largest number of people could be saved. He designed the seven bowls so the universe could witness the nature and properties of divine vengeance. These coming judgments will not be freak manifestations of “mother nature,” and they will not occur in random order or in random places. The book of Revelation describes the seven first plagues as “seven trumpets” because they parallel the purpose for the “Feast of Trumpets” in the Old Testament. In Bible times, before the Day of Atonement arrived each year, trumpets sounded in Israel for nine days. They warned the nation that God’s mercy was about to end and all sins must be confessed and restitution made. Likewise, the seven trumpets in Revelation will warn the world that God’s offer of salvation is about to end and all sins must be confessed and made right before God closes the door to salvation. (Revelation 14:14-20)
Jesus will speak through the 144,000 and the Holy Spirit will give weight to their words. This message will undermine the traditions and teachings of the religious systems of the world. Here are three topics that will be included in “the revelation of Jesus Christ,” which will be very difficult for Atheists, Pagans, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Catholics and Protestants to embrace:
- Jesus is an Almighty God like the Father. Jesus is a separate, distinct, co-eternal member of the Godhead. The Father found Jesus worthy in 1798 to receive the Book of Life, a book sealed with seven seals. At that time, the Father recused Himself and gave Jesus His throne. (Revelation 5:6-14; Daniel 7:13,14; Ephesians 1:9,10) For over two hundred years, Jesus, not the Father, has ruled in Heaven and over Earth as “King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” The Father commands everyone to worship Jesus as they would worship Him. (Revelation 14:7; Hebrews 1:6; John 5:22,23)
- Jesus is the Creative Agent of the Godhead. (Hebrews 1:2) and Creator of everything that exists. (Colossians 1:15,16) He is. Jesus was with the Father before anything existed. (John 1:1-14)
- At the end of the 1,335 days allotted for the Great Tribulation (Daniel 12:11,12), Jesus and the Father will appear together, descending toward Earth in brilliant clouds of glory. (Matthew 26:64) Because Jesus is the judge of mankind, He will personally determine who will be permitted to enter into His eternal kingdom. (John 5:22,23; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Ecclesiastes 12:13,14) During the Great Tribulation, He will save everyone who keeps His commands (spoken by the 144,000), puts their faith in Him, and obeys His gospel. (1 Peter 4:1,17; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-8; Revelation 12:17) Jesus will kill everyone, except the saints, at the Second Coming with a command, represented in the book of Revelation as a sword that comes out of His mouth. (Revelation 19:19-21) The saints will meet the Father and Jesus in the air at the Second Coming. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17) Jesus will take the saints to Heaven for 1,000 years (John 14:2,3) where the saints will reign with Jesus as judges. (Revelation 20:6) The saints will review the records of the wicked, and with Jesus, they will determine the amount of restitution (suffering) each wicked person must “pay back” in Hell. (1 Corinthians 6:2)
The Seven Last Plagues
I believe the seven last plagues will occur during the final 70 days of the Great Tribulation, with ten days allotted to each plague. These judgments are described in Revelation 16 as seven bowls (or vials, KJV) and have a twofold purpose:
First, the seven plagues will confirm that Jesus is Sovereign over the Earth. This is important because the Antichrist will be ruling over Earth at that time claiming to be Almighty God, but he will be powerless to prevent the plagues. Prior to the seven bowls, during the seven first plagues (the seven trumpets), the 144,000 will proclaim the sovereign authority of Jesus over Earth, and those who willfully refuse to obey His demands will be marked (by the mark of the beast) as “rebels deserving death.”
Second, the seven bowls represent seven merciless doses of God’s wrath which all rebels will be forced to drink. The idea behind drinking God’s wrath from a bowl (or a vial, KJV) indicates that nothing can prevent a person’s death once he has swallowed the poison. The seven bowls are horrible. They will impose a torturous death on the wicked for defying the King of kings, and for the specific torture and harm they inflicted on His saints.
The Father thoughtfully and deliberately designed the seven first and seven last plagues before the world was created because He wants certain facts known and numerous goals achieved. This is why Jesus will swear an oath to the Father just before He says, “There will be no more delay!” (Revelation 10:5-7) Jesus will promise to faithfully carry out the Father’s plans (horrible as they may seem) because He also wants the maximum number of people saved and the character and conduct of a righteous Father fully vindicated. It is ironic, but encouraging, to know that a numberless multitude will be saved during the first phase of God’s wrath, the seven trumpets! (Revelation 7:9-14)
What Will Be The Signs of The Great Tribulation?
Shortly before the Great Tribulation begins, two events will occur.
First, World War III will break out. I believe nations will attack one another with nuclear weapons and millions of innocent people will perish. When this annihilation occurs, people around the world will immediately cry out for “peace and safety” (1 Thessalonians 5:3) and God’s saints will intensely pray for divine intervention. (Revelation 8:3,4) While the mayhem on Earth is unfolding, Jesus will select 144,000 people to serve as His prophets and He will speak through them after He stops World War III.
Second, while the people of Earth are crying out for “peace and safety” and the 144,000 are prepared for service, Jesus will respond to the saints’ prayers by declaring, “There will be no more delay!” (Revelation 10:6) When Jesus makes this declaration, the “priestly angel” serving at the Altar of Incense in Heaven’s temple will throw down a golden censer (Revelation 8:5) and a sequence of powerful events will unfold.
For 6,000 years, an Altar of Incense has been functioning in Heaven’s temple. The Father established this altar on the day that Adam and Eve sinned because it was needed for intercession. The law of God is changeless, requiring a person who sins be immediately executed. In keeping with this law, the Father would have slain Adam and Eve on the day they ate the fruit (Genesis 2:17), but He knew that Adam and Eve had not defiantly sinned. He stayed their execution because Jesus offered to intercede on their behalf. The Father not only stayed the execution of Adam and Eve, He also graciously offered redemption through Jesus to all of their offspring who would listen for and obey the voice of the Holy Spirit; living by faith means obeying the Spirit of God. (Romans 8:14)
When Jesus says, “There will be no more delay!” the angel at the Altar of Incense will throw his censer down (Revelation 8:5) to indicate corporate intercession is over. Then, God’s wrath against the whole world (corporately speaking) will begin. However, there is good news: Intercession for individuals will continue! Even though Earth is doomed, everyone who will listen to and obey the voice of the Holy Spirit will be saved. Those who live by faith and hold to the testimony of Jesus will face persecution and very difficult circumstances, but they will be saved!
Because we cannot see or hear events transpiring in Heaven, God has linked certain events in Heaven with specific events on Earth so Bible students can discover their chronological position within His plans. When the angel at the Altar of Incense throws the censer down, the people on Earth will immediately see astonishing signs and wonders. The Bible says, “And there came peals of thunder, rumblings [mysterious voices will be heard], flashes of lightning and an earthquake.” (Revelation 8:5) Jesus begins the Great Tribulation with a display of divine authority in the heavens and in the Earth. The first four trumpets will follow these signs; the destruction will be so horrific that they will dwarf the nuclear madness that is escalating on Earth. The first four trumpets will occur in chronological order and in quick succession. World War III will be forgotten, because a much bigger problem will appear! World leaders and all of the survivors will cower in silence and fear.
Revelation Uses Inclusive Language
Before we proceed, understand that the language in the book of Revelation is inclusive. This means Revelation treats the world as one unit, because the story will be the same for everyone on Earth. For example, when the mark of the beast is implemented in Paris, it will be identical to the mark of the beast in Beijing and Muleshoe, Texas. When the peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and the earthquake described in Revelation 8:5 occur, every nation and everyone on Earth will experience the same phenomena. These events will be global and intimidating. Simultaneously, everyone will consider the possibility that Almighty God is a living reality, and He is very unhappy with mankind!
The global earthquake mentioned in Revelation 8:5 marks the beginning of the 1,335 days allotted for the Great Tribulation. This earthquake is interesting because geologists theorized that a “global earthquake” was physically impossible until the early 1990’s. More recently, physical evidence has proven that Earth’s tectonic plates go much deeper into the core of Earth than previously thought and this discovery caused geoscientists to change their thinking. In fact, they now say that the Indian Ocean earthquake which occurred off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia (December 2004) shook the whole world. Locally, it registered 9.1 to 9.3 on the Richter scale and the resulting tsunami killed over 240,000 people. This earthquake is a “prophetic sample” of the coming earthquake described in Revelation 8:5. Imagine the consequences of the entire world shaking violently at 9+ on the Richter scale!
The book of Revelation predicts there will be three global earthquakes during the Great Tribulation. (Revelation 8:5; 11:19; 16:18) Each earthquake will be more powerful and violent than the preceding one, ripping up the surface of the world and tearing down its infrastructures. Travel, communication, banking, shipping, and manufacturing will stop. These coming earthquakes will demolish dams, highway overpasses, bridges, runways, and power grids. They have no equal in past history. The third one will be so violent that the Bible says “all” of the mountains and islands will be moved from out of their places! (Revelation 16:20; 6:14)
The First Four Plagues (First Four Trumpets)
Shortly after the signs in the Heavens and the first global earthquake, the four angels will sound their trumpets and God’s wrath will begin:
Trumpet #1. The first angel will sound his trumpet and a meteoric firestorm will consume the world. Billions of white-hot sulfur stones will rain down from Heaven and, interestingly, they will burn up notably wicked places all over Earth. The Bible indicates this is how God destroyed the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and it says those cities serve as an example of what is coming upon the ungodly! (Genesis 19:24; 2 Peter 2:6) When the survivors realize that notably wicked places were targets of destruction, this will profoundly impact the thinking of many people. They will conclude that God has seen our decadence and He is angry and offended by our degenerate and immoral behavior, and this is why He destroyed places known for sinful conduct!
The destruction caused by the first plague will be mind-boggling. The Bible says one-third of the Earth will be destroyed by fire. (Revelation 8:7) This would be an area about 31 million square miles: the size of Russia, China, the United States, and Antarctica combined. Imagine the physical consequences to this planet while 31 million square miles are being reduced to charcoal. Hurricane force winds will fuel fires of all sizes and fill the atmosphere with smoke. Violent weather will follow. Floods and tornados will be common. People will fear for their lives.
Trumpet #2. A few days after the first angel decimates the Earth, a second angel will sound his trumpet. I believe God’s servant/prophets, the 144,000, will announce each judgment before it occurs so that people can observe who speaks for God. The second judgment will be a civilization threatening asteroid impact. A giant asteroid (maybe two or three miles in diameter) traveling several thousand miles per second will smash into an ocean. (Revelation 8:8,9) This impact will produce a tidal wave that will rise several hundred feet high. A circular wall of water will quickly radiate outward in all directions from the impact zone. This wall of water will destroy thousands of coastal cities located around the perimeter of the ocean. Seaports, well known for their decadent and immoral behavior, will be washed away. There will be no time or way to escape and overwhelming loss of life will be the result. Even people who do not live close to an ocean will be frightened and distressed, because the oceans will violently slosh back and forth with deadly results. (Luke 21:25) Ships will not be able to cross the ocean, international trade will stop, and men will be powerless to respond. Many survivors will notice that God has cleansed the Earth with fire and water! They will wonder what they should do and what God will do next.
Trumpet #3. After God’s 144,000 servants announce the third plague, the third angel will sound his trumpet. This judgment will come in the form of a great star (another asteroid impact), but this giant impact will be directed at a wicked continent. Millions of people who live far from the impact zone will perish because ground waves caused by the impact will fracture Earth’s strata hundreds of miles in every direction. Sewage, deadly bacteria, toxic chemicals, and other waste buried within the Earth will seep into underground aquifers. Underground rivers will carry poisoned water in all directions, and millions of people who survived the impact because of distance from the impact zone will die from drinking contaminated water. Many survivors will lament that Almighty God is angry and if we do not change our ways, He will kill us all!
Trumpet #4. A few days after the third plague, the 144,000 will announce a fourth judgment. The fourth angel will sound his trumpet and a deep rumbling will begin within the Earth. This sound, along with a terrible trembling, will crescendo into a deafening roar. Hundreds of powerful volcanoes will erupt simultaneously. Currently, there are over 1,500 active volcanoes on Earth. The volcanoes will bury millions of people with lava, ash, and rock, but the worst is yet to come. The jet stream will distribute megatons of ejecta, and black clouds will encircle the middle third of Earth. This is where most of Earth’s inhabitants live and food crops are grown. (Revelation 8:12) Millions of people will die from respiratory failure. Crops will fail because sunlight cannot penetrate the soot. Nuclear winter will set in and global famine will commence.
Two Billion Dead People!
The first four trumpets will cause indescribable death, devastation, and anxiety. These coming plagues will terrify the survivors and inflict a fatal blow to the ecosystems of this planet. Our feeble efforts to protect the planet from ozone and climate change will seem foolish. The Father designed it this way so His planet cannot recover from the plagues. The survivors will be left in a miserable state of existence. According to Revelation 6:8, twenty-five percent of Earth’s population will perish during these four judgments. Currently, Earth’s population is nearing eight billion people and everyone is unaware that two billion people are about to die! How can this be?
Four Desperate Questions
When the world has experienced the shock and awe of God’s wrath and realizes His fierce anger with man’s degeneracy, many survivors will ask: “What does God want?”, “Why is God so angry?”, and “What is coming next?” They will also direct a fourth question to their clergy: “Why didn’t you tell us?”
The gospel of Jesus is best told when people have questions. Jesus knows this and He will speak through the 144,000 so that everyone can hear the “testimony of Jesus.” The world will hear a powerful and transforming gospel on that day, which most of the world would not consider today.