Take Heed to Yourself
34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.
35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
37 And in the day time he was teaching in the temple; and at night he went out, and abode in the mount that is called the mount of Olives.
The present gulf between the earth and heaven will cease to exist as it now is after the Rapture. The Rapture is an incredibly supernatural event and will change almost every law of natural phenomenon, as we now know them. At the Rapture, the Lord of Sabaoth (Lord of a multitude), which is none other than Jesus Christ, and His host of heavenly angels will descend into our atmosphere to receive the raptured saints. They will break and destroy the sound and distance barrier between Heaven and earth and activity between the two will become commonplace. Earth’s population left after the Rapture will be limited to the earth, but the activities of the great Host of Heaven and the glorified saints will easily occur between the two worlds.
The same will be true to an expanded degree between the earth and beneath the earth. At the direction of God’s messengers, the hordes of evil spirits festering in hell’s chasms will be turned loose on the earth. Armies of evil creatures, led by Satan’s most vicious lieutenants, will terrorize the population of this world. The Bible does not describe the full extent of this overwhelming truth, but the evidence is certainly clear. The earth will become a battleground between God’s great army and His saints and the dark activities of the unholy trinity; Satan, Antichrist, the False Prophet, and a multitude of fallen angels. The worst event of all will be the unchaining of Satan’s darkest demons that have been bound in hell because of their evil activities on the earth. This earth is in for the darkest period of human history.
Amos cried out under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and stated, “Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?” (Amos 5:18-20)
There are all kinds of different interpretations about the Tribulation Period following the Rapture. Many deny a Tribulation Period altogether and believe that the world is progressing toward the Millennium. Others have the church still on the earth during the first three and one-half years. Still, others believe in a pre-wrath deception and have the church here until the middle or the second half of the seven years. This would put the church here for five years and three months of the seven years. Amos appeared to be warning anyone that denies or divides the Great Tribulation of seven years. He called it the Day of the Lord and the language clearly forbids dividing it or making any part of it less than complete. It is a specific time and must not be tampered with or changed. No part of the Day of the Lord will be less than a time of utter darkness.
Why Mankind Is So Superstitious
We live in a closed world compared to how it was before sin entered, and how it will be when sin is being judged, and how it will be after that judgment. We are body, soul, and spirit and were created to live in the universe with all of God’s created angelic hosts. God and man had fellowship together before sin entered the human heart. Man also communicated with Lucifer before man sinned and made the choice of believing Satan over God. The fall of man was so devastating that man was forbidden to eat the Tree of Life less he live forever in his sinful state. Man was also forbidden to communicate with Satan or his angels. It is clear that we are forbidden any contact with wizards, fortunetellers, or any of the host of fallen spirit entities.
Anyone trifling with these dark entities becomes subject to their attacks or their destruction. Man has an inward tendency (sin nature) to enjoy and delight in superstitious activities or to contact other worldly creatures. Our world will quickly descend into a new religion after the Rapture, which will be “naked Satanism” and will satisfy this innate hunger. Satan will take full advantage of the unbelieving multitudes. Already, the descent into this world of spiritual deception is not far from complete. I’m sure it will get worse. A solid Bible-filled life is man’s only hope of escaping the growing and overwhelming invasion of evil spirits before the Rapture. Let’s try to understand what will happen when the “Gates of Hell” are open. First, there must be the Rapture of His saints.
The Rapture: Caught Up To His Throne
Immediately, the moment that John was in the Spirit after He heard the Lord’s invitation, “Come up hither,” he was before the throne of God. My friends, that is time travel at a speed and in a manner unknown to our natural world, but absolutely normal in the world of the spiritual and the Divine. The limitations of flesh and blood are our normal experiences, so we have trouble thinking and understanding the way it will soon become. It’s actually exciting to learn about the future world and to anticipate what our Father has planned for us.
Our resurrection and rapture from this limited world into the glory of His presence fills the fourth and fifth chapters of the Book of Revelation. The twenty and four seats before His throne represent a literal multitude of glorified saints unashamed in the majesty of His presence. We will be center stage before Him and the Bible fully describes the glory of His throne. “And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.” (Revelation 4:3) Then, John describes this multitude prefigured as twenty-four to show both Old Testament saints and New Testament saints. He says of them, “And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.” (Revelation 4:4) This symbolic number of twenty-four is shown to be a multitude in chapter five. John describes this great company. “And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” (Revelation 5:11-12)
Mingled with the saints are the living creatures, heavenly principalities, seraphims, cherubims, and His archangels. The entire scene is so far beyond the limited universe, as we have lived our limited fleshly lives, that it appears unreal and beyond comprehension. All of this I write to show you what is about to happen in both Heaven and on earth as we pass into God’s planned future and the end of sin and all of its consequences.
Our Father never intended for our world to be so cheap and full of sorrows. Satan and his rebellious hosts are going to pay the price for turning our world into a wilderness and especially for destroying a great multitude of souls. Do not let the confused theologians tell you that our Heavenly Father planned all the hell that Satan has spewed on mankind. Such a god would not deserve your worship. He left no doubt when He inspirited His Spirit to proclaim by His prophet, “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father…” (Ezekiel 18:4) Satan is a thief that came to destroy. “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)
Opening The Gates of Hell
Before the Gates of Hells are opened, His saints will be removed and the sacred dead resurrected. Our God has never judged the righteous with the wicked, so this dark period called the Day of the Lord cannot begin without His saints being safe in His secret place. The bride and all the hosts of saints from six thousand years will be well beyond the reach of Satan and his vicious horde. The earth and its atmospheric sphere will be the scene of unfettered wickedness. Satan will be allowed to act almost without limitation until he has finished his last rampage.
The four horses and their riders in Revelation six present the first pictures of what is in store for the earth and its inhabitants. These horses and occupants clearly show us that nothing is normal any longer but that our world is in for a rough ride. A white horse, a red horse, a black horse, and a pale horse are all delivering a woeful picture of this world gone berserk. Nothing about this world will ever be normal again. Some voices have suggested that the first three and one-half years would be great peace and prosperity, but I thoroughly disagree. These four horsemen suggest the exact opposite. The seven years begin with these horses and their riders, and nothing about this picture is peaceful or prosperous. This is one of the main reasons to disprove the mid-Tribulation doctrine of the Firstfruits Rapture. The Lord is not going to leave His Bride here to suffer the effect of these horsemen.
9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.
The first horseman is a conqueror and it certainly is not a peaceful takeover. The second horseman takes peace from the earth and hatred and slaughter results. The third horseman is black and famines engulf the world, while the fourth horse is pale and its rider is called Death and Hell (so much for three and one-half years of peace and prosperity). The fifth seal is a picture of a multitude of people who have already been slain by the Antichrist because they embraced Jesus Christ and His Word in the face of having missed the Rapture. By the time the sixth seal is opened, the world is fleeing for a hiding place because the wrath of God has exploded in the world. I believe that by this time in the seven years every living soul will know that the great God of the Bible, the Father of Jesus Christ, is indeed the one and only true God.
“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Revelation 6:12-17)
Invasion From Below
The seventh seal was opened and there followed this seal, seven angels with seven trumpets. Everything that is occurring originates in Heaven where Jesus Christ Himself, along with His sainted elders, is directing the events. At the same time all of it is affecting the earth, the atmosphere above, and the world of hell beneath. It’s almost as if there is no separation between Heaven, the earth, and beneath the earth. The activity of the saintly elders and the heavenly host are clearly unhindered in movement between these three spheres of God’s universe. Satan has been cast down with his fallen angels, and they are certainly limited to the earth and beneath the earth.
The earth is about to get a picture of Satan’s real kingdom. He has been a cockroach for 6,000 years, hiding in the dark and fleeing for cover. His cover is about to be blown and his time to hide behind human shields is ending. The world will see the real devil, not a masquerade behind an angelic facade.
First, we need to look at Joel’s prophecy of this future revelation. He wrote by the Holy Ghost, “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.” (Joel 2:1-3)
Can you believe that the Charismatic deceivers are calling this army, “saints, a new breed of saints,” establishing the kingdom of God on earth? The doctrine of Dominion Theology, a hybrid form of post-millennialism, left them with no choice but to twist this account into some kind of a “criticized army,” much like the “Catholic Crusaders” of the past. My friends, these are devils, demons out of Satan’s kingdom invading the earth. This picture in Joel chapter two is an Old Testament preview of Revelation chapter nine. When the gates of Hell are open, the earth will be turned into a wilderness.
The following activity of this army leaves no doubt to their purpose and character. “Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness. They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks: Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief. The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?” (Joel 2:6-11).
1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.
4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.
The same scene is vividly revealed in John’s Revelation received from Jesus Christ our Lord. “And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.” (Revelation 9:1-4) This army out of the bottomless pit is evil spirits, fallen angels that have been reserved in hell and prepared for this future dark hour. Jude stated, “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” (Jude 1:6) Apostle Peter also gave testimony concerning these fallen angels and their future, reserved for the Day of the Lord or judgment time on earth. “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.” (II Peter 2:4)
The fallen angels make up the entire world of evil spirits and the total host of Satan’s army. It is clear that this army is divided into two groups. One group, probably the largest, is free to roam with Satan and carry on his business. The other company, which has been bound because of dark despicable deeds, are awaiting judgment of this earth. The second group is comprised of those we see in Jude verse six, II Peter chapter two and verse four, and in Revelation chapter nine. These spirits are reserved for judgment and will be loosed on earth to vent their festered wrath on earth’s godless multitude.
Please remember that the kingdom of Satan will be in utter disarray. His fallen angels that rebelled with him will turn on the host of men and women who have given allegiance to him on earth. The creatures out of the bottomless pit cannot attack men, women, and children that have the seal of God in their forehead so they attack the rest of the population. Look at a deception of their powers to torment and work havoc. “And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.” (Revelation 9:5-7) The Tribulation Period is not going to be a free ride for the wicked. The wrath of God is manifest on one side and the anger and vented wrath of demons is manifest on the other side. It will literally be “hell on earth.”
The demons fit the developing character of our present world. They appear to be half-men and half-women and the male population of the earth and even the church is well on its way to fitting that mold. The Word of God says, “And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.” (Revelation 9:8) Notice their activities, “And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.” (Revelation 9:9-11) These are clearly demons, fallen angels under the leadership of a satanic lieutenant, named Abaddon or Apollyon. The name of this ruler of darkness as Apostle Paul called him is frightening in itself.
Immediately, the Holy Ghost issues a warning to the earth’s population, “One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.” (Revelation 9:12)
1 Peter 2
1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,
2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
Beneath the City of Babylon
Then, the sixth angel sounds the trumpet and the very center of Satan’s historic activity comes into play. The Great River Euphrates originally flowed under the walls of Babylon. The Tower of Babel was on its banks or very near. The omnipresent office of the Holy Spirit is all that restrains the evil that still operates in this geographical area. When we understand that the center of evil is manifest in the very heart of the Middle East and the Arab nations, there is no wonder of the terrorism and evil being revealed in our present time. Please note that these spirits are bound in prison, but there are spirits operating worldwide already that are not bound and the activity of the unbound evil world has a special affinity for this historic evil connection. There will be no lasting peace in the Middle East because of this overabundance of interest and connection. Much of the Arab world is in total deception to this fact. The Muslim religion is clearly a devil’s religion controlled by his evil rulers of darkness.
In the Tribulation Period, it will be time for this Euphrates and Iraq connection to be fully revealed. Let’s watch the picture unfold. “And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.” (Revelation 9:13-16)
This multitude of spirits numbers a minimum of two hundred million (200,000,000). They slay one third of earth’s population. The first group of spirits that was loosed out of hell was restrained from killing, but this horde will be more unrestrained and bloodthirsty. They appear to bring hell up out of the earth with them, along with fire and brimstone. “And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.” (Revelation 9:17-19)
The picture is clear that this is God’s unleashed wrath using the anger of fallen angels against the kingdom and world of Satan and his army. Their time of judgment will have come to full power as demons destroy the godless. The cup of wrath is running over and the last fling of evil before the one thousand year reign of the kingdom of Jesus Christ is at hand. At this time Satan will have finally been fully exposed to the entire earth’s population. Look at the description of wicked men that will still refuse to repent and believe in the cleansing Blood of Jesus Christ even after a full revelation of Satan and his offense against the great omnipotent God of Christianity and all humankind. “And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.” (Revelation 9:20-21)
I have recently realized that man has become so evil that he no longer needs Satan and his evil spirits to be godless. May I say that much of our world population has become human devils themselves? Any person can serve the devil so long and with abandonment that they become one in nature with him. That is the picture that we see in this last hour before the final judgment is complete.
The entire period of the Seven Years of the Great Tribulation will be “Hell on Earth.” After the kingdom of Satan is cast out of the heavens above and his demon spirits arise out of his stronghold beneath the world, will be caught in the results. Satan will know he has but a short time (Revelation 12:12), and he will go forth against every conceivable enemy of his evil intents.
It should be easy to get men and women to do anything necessary to escape this coming dark period. Instead the world is looking for any theological system that denies the plain truth as revealed in Scripture. When men should be preparing for the Rapture and the one and only way out of this coming judgment, they are concocting new theories of End Time events. We could blame Satan, but the Bible is too plain and too available. It is the Father’s will that all should be saved. His blood will cleanse any soul that truly repents and His Holy Spirit will speak to any heart that says, “I’m ready to listen.”