God’s people, both Abraham’s carnal and spiritual followers, have gone through many tribulations over the years, such as the captivity in Egypt, the captivity in Babylon, the siege and destruction of Jerusalem and the temple between 66 and 70 AD. and the great tribulation in the Middle Ages between 538 and 1798. These have all been great tribulations with many great and indescribable sufferings for the people of God, but the tribulation and the sufferings we will face in the end times will surpass them all in cruelty. Although the coming tribulation will be worse in every way, God’s faithful remnant should have no reason to fear because God will provide for his people. Not even when the web is seriously entangled around them in the end times will the remnant of God have any reason to fear because then the faithful remnant of God will have a special protection, which will preserve those who are faithful to God’s ten commandments and who have the faith of Jesus, until Christ return. So God will provide for His people, as He always has done for His faithful people throughout history.
We are now going to look at what awaits the whole world in the great tribulation that is coming soon, and whether we are God’s people or not, these events will affect us in some way. I will make an effort to set up what will happen based on how I understand the prophecies and with the good help of Ellen G. White’s writings. I want to emphasize right away that it is the Bible that is the great light, and that it is the Bible that I base these considerations on, and to make it clear once and for all, Ellen G. White’s writings are the little light. Having said that, I must add that I believe that Ellen G. White is the last prophet God has raised up to lead his people home to the land of heaven. For as Amos 3,7 says: Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
In the end times, God’s people are all those who hear God’s call to get out of Babylon, no matter what denomination they belong to. Ever since man first sinned in the Garden of Eden, God has called people to repentance, and in recent times He continues to call on all the unsaved, asking all who hear His voice to come out of Babylon. God calls on all who are in the fallen denominations, and in Revelation 18,4 we read: … … Come out of her (Babylon), my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. What is important is not which denomination the individual belongs to, but that all who hear the call of God, who are sounding all over the world now in the end times, are responsive and obey God’s call and get out of what the Bible calls Babylon, the confusion that prevails in the fallen church.
Although it is not important which denomination the individuals are in when they hear God’s call, it is important to belong to a church, this is something that appears in the Acts of the Apostles where it is stated several times that ´they were baptized and added to the church´ and similar expressions. (See Acts 2,41; 2,47; 5,15; 11,24.) I will by no means judge anyone, I have absolutely no authority to do so, but I believe that only they are completely honest and wholehearted when they leave Babylon who will seek God’s end-time church in the end-time. There is no middle ground in the kingdom of God. Either you are for, and then fully and completely for, or you are fully and completely against.
Ellen G. White was given a special assignment. She helped to establish and build up God’s end-time church, and for this she was given the prophetic gift that has given us a greater light on the Bible than people had before her ministry. We can therefore benefit from her writings today, and use them as an active helper, not instead of the Bible, but to help us understand what we may have difficulty understanding.
The coming judgement.
The judgment is a difficult topic, and it can offend many people to present what God’s word says about the judgment. Many, even among Adventists, believe that everyone will eventually be saved, and that a judgment is therefore not relevant. But we know from the texts of the Bible that there will be a judgment upon all people who have lived on earth throughout the ages. We know that Jesus Christ will judge the world, this is something Luke, the author of the Acts of the Apostles, tells us, and he writes the following: And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God [to be] the Judge of quick and dead, Acts 10,42.
Implicit in this is a clear command to us who call us by the name of Jesus Christ – Christians – that we should preach this to the whole world. It is not enough to proclaim God’s infinite and boundless love. We are called to preach the whole gospel, and that includes the judgment whether we like it or not. As I said, there are many who say that everyone will be saved and link this to verses like Ezekiel 18,23 where God asks the question: Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? … … or to 2 Peter 3,9 which says: … … He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (NIV 1984). What most people do wrong with these verses is that they completely ignore the context that tells us something completely different, so it is important to read the context, not just a small excerpt of a verse or the like. In both cases, strong contrasts are set up. In Ezekiel 18,23 some choose only a part of a verse that we saw above here:Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? this is, however, only a small part of the passage called The one who repents shall live, which points out that he who sins shall die, while he who repents shall live. This is not about the temporal life we live here and now, but eternal life and eternal death. Read the full passage, Ezekiel 18,19-32. In the case of 2 Peter 3,9, the whole letter should be read. Peter begins with the reliable prophetic word (1,16-21), on which he bases on the continuation, and sets up as a contrast the false prophets and false teachers who were already active at that time (2,1-22) . That is why Peter states that God is patient. God wants everyone to repent, but does not force anyone, and gives us a message that one day it will be too late to seek the Lord. One day God will judge the world.
We must say that this is an imminent event, and at the same time that there is a way out for those who do not want to be affected by the punishment that will soon fall upon all the wicked. In Luke 4,18-19, Jesus quotes Isaiah 61,1-2 as saying: The spirit of the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek*; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn. It is this mission that has been given to us – the people of God, and it is our duty to tell this to the whole world. God wants us to preach this message that tells of God’s infinite and boundless love, because God wants more than anything else that all people all over the earth should be saved. But we must also proclaim the coming judgment that awaits at the end of time so that those who hear the voice of God can turn to God and get out of Babylon before it is too late. * Meek here means poor, miserable and humble.
Historically, we know that God has protected the nations that have upheld God’s law and word. We have seen that the nations that accepted Luther’s Reformation, the Protestant doctrine, have been blessed and have prospered socially and economically in a completely different way than nations that have not been reformed. But sadly, we see that these nations that flourished under God’s blessings as they upheld God’s word today are losing more and more of the protection the presence of the Holy Ghost has given them because these nations are moving further and further away from God’s word.
Before I go on with this reasoning, I must refer to something the Saviour Himself has said, and we must all take into account what Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount about who is not God’s people. Here Jesus is very clear that many who call themselves by His name are simply working iniquity. We must keep this in mind when we continue the reasoning further down: Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it, Matthew 7,15-27.
So it is not enough to call oneself a Christian. In the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25,1-13, Jesus says to the five foolish ones in verse 12: … … Verily I say unto you, I know you not. The virgins in this parable represent the Christians (churches) on earth. They all have the Bible (the lamp), they all wait for the second coming of Christ, they all get tired of waiting, but when the second coming becomes real, only part of the Christian has the Holy Spirit (oil). In the parable of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25,31-46, Jesus says to those who are called goats in verse 41: … … depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. These are clear words for the money. We must do the will of our God in everything and keep all the ten commandments of God and follow the instructions we have received through the Bible, and do what Jesus asks us to do, such as give our neighbour food, drink, take in the stranger, give them clothes, and visit the sick and those in prison. It’s not necessarily just the literal that applies here. It is as much the spiritual as it is referred to. Surely we will give our next physical food and drink when he is hungry and thirsty, but just as much spiritual food and the water of life. We will not reject foreigners, which means giving the gospel to those who have a different faith than us, such as Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, atheists … … …
It is the same with clothing, because with repentance comes clothing that covers our shame, or the sins we have committed. He who is sick or in prison spiritually is afflicted by the devil and his angels, and then we can show them the way to Christ who can heal them and set them free. There are some preachers who have built mega-churches and who have earned fortunes. This is not God’s will. Jesus said: Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give, Matthew 10,8. I do not judge here either, I evaluate what others do and point this out. I am not saying that it is wrong to make money and that wealth is a sin. Job and Abraham were the richest men of their time, but they gave generously, they did not care about their wealth, and they did not take advantage of the weaknesses of others because God had conquered their hearts. It is when money becomes more important than God that it is a sin. The way you make money is also important. To make a fortune by deceiving and cheating other people is not God’s will, and it is those who do not do God’s will that Jesus calls false prophets, ye that work iniquity, ye cursed, and it is these Jesus does not know, i.e. these does not belong to God’s faithful remnant in the end times.
Back to the reasoning. These are nations that have flourished and developed in a good direction over four, five hundred years, and which have been good nations to live in for all people, regardless of religion, race or gender. If we look at the nations that introduced Luther’s teachings, they have all flourished, and these nations have been leaders in the social and economic development that has taken place in the world. It is important to note that all this first started after the Reformation. If we look at the development in the nations that cherished the teachings of the Catholic Church at the same time, we do not find the same development there, on the contrary. It cannot be underestimated that many of the nations which today are called the Third World are by definition Catholic countries, while the rest of the Third World nations, seen through Christian eyes, are pagan – that is, not Christian – nations. But now, in our day, this difference is about to be erased because many of the Protestant nations have stopped protesting against the syncretism that we find in the Catholic Church where pagan and human customs and traditions are made ´Christian´ by packing them into a Catholic wrapper. Many, if not all, of the nations that introduced Protestantism are losing the blessing they had when they defended God’s commandments and God’s word. We see signs that God is about to withdraw His Spirit from the earth. This is not something that happens in an instant, and it is done to remind us that God’s presence on earth in the form of the Holy Spirit has been what has protected the nations from disasters and calamities. The prophet Isaiah say this (51,6): Lift up your eyes to the heavens and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.
There have always been such catastrophes and accidents over time, but it is implicit in the prophecies of the Bible that there will be an increase. Now many will probably refuse this, but it is a fact that there is a much higher number of earthquakes today than just 100 years ago, there are more and more floods that destroy, and the number of forest fires has also multiplied in recent times decades. Diseases and the way of life that mankind has gradually developed also show us that we are approaching the return of Jesus.
Among scientists, the changes that take place in the nature today are attributed to human activity. It is human fault that the sea is rising because we ‘pollute‘ the atmosphere with CO2, a gas that is absolutely necessary to sustain life on earth. But the same scientists and women choose to completely disregard the fact that the city of Ephesus in John’s time was a port city. It was still a port city 800 years ago. Today, on the other hand, it is approx. 3 kilometres from the coast! This is because the sea has sunk a lot in the last 800 years, and much of it is due to the only ice age that can be proven – The Little Ice Age, when the glaciers in Europe and in the polar regions grew. All plants are dependent on CO2, and the more CO2 they get the bigger crops we get. All these highly educated scientists deny that it can have another cause, a cause that we can do nothing about. There is no doubt that something happens in nature, but it is beyond our reach. Look at all the hurricanes that are ravaging the Atlantic, and typhoons in the Pacific. Now these occur in a number that only a couple of decades ago was unthinkable. The same goes for heather and forest fires. In Norway a few years ago there was a large heather and forest fire. Now it is not uncommon for such fires in Norway, but the time was highly unusual, it was midwinter when it happened. In the United States, the southern states are affected by frequent floods that cause major damage to entire cities, and the west coast states are affected by constant forest fires that burn for weeks and months. We can also look at diseases and epidemics … …
But for those of us who have the spirit of prophecy, this is not surprising. In her book Maranatha, written in 1897, Ellen G. White states the following: In the last days of this world’s history, wars will rage. There will be plague and famine. The sea will go over its shores. Property and lives will be lost due to fire and floods … … and in Manuscript Releases vol 3, from the same year she writes: In the event of fires, tsunamis and earthquakes, in accidents on land and at sea we are warned that Spirit will not work on men forever … … One day God will draw the Holy Spirit back from the earth for good, and then the last seven plagues will fall upon the earth.
What happens when judgment falls, and God withdraws his protection?
There are many things that will happen before the last plagues, which are a kind of prelude to the second coming of Christ and God’s final judgment, begin to fall. Peter writes in 1 Peter 4,17: For the time [is come] that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if [it] first [begin] at us, what shall the end [be] of them that obey not the gospel of God? The judgment that begins with the house of God is the investigative judgment that separates God’s faithful remnant from the wicked. When this is completed, God’s faithful remnant in the end times will be sealed with the seal of the living God on his foreheads (see Revelation 7,3; 9,4), and the remnant of God will be beyond the reach of the plagues.
God’s judgment will come, and this we can read about it in several places in the Bible. In both the Old and New Testaments, we find texts that support this claim. Admittedly, a pictorial language is used in many places, such as measuring the temple: Zechariah 2,6; Revelation 11,1. To measure the temple in these verses is the spiritual temple to be measured, that is, an investigative judgment as to whether or not God’s people have obeyed God’s commandments and laws. But the term can also be used in a broader sense, and then to apply to all people. God will examine all people, and he will judge all people. We humans have set our own standard for right and wrong, and it is a lower standard than God’s standard, it is even upside down compared to God’s standard. We have begun to call the right wrong, and what is wrong we call right, the light we call darkness and the darkness we call light. We compare God with ourselves and believe that we are doing what God would do.
The Bible sets a standard that we should strive to live by. Yet the majority of priests throughout the world today will say that God has made a mistake, and they have invoked God’s love – because they say that God IS love, which is admittedly true. However, denominations around the world have made their own rules (liturgies) for same-sex marriage, despite the fact that the Bible is clear that marriage is a covenant between one man and one woman. They also claim that God loves all people and then we must also love those who are different from what is normal. This is also correct. We must love all people, and unconditionally. But there is a difference between loving one’s neighbour to eternal death by encouraging one to break God’s commandments, laws, and regulations, and loving one’s neighbour by pointing out one’s neighbour’s faults and shortcomings and helping one’s neighbour to find the right way. Yes, as a follower of Jesus, I am my neighbour’s keeper. Yes, I am my brother’s keeper, and I am going to make sure I do not cause my neighbour to perish and my brother to fall. But the clergy in the church today are of a completely different nature because they reason on the basis of their own lower standard of justice. God says through the psalmist in Psalm 50,21 the following: These [things] hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether [such a one] as thyself: [but] I will reprove thee and set [them] in order before thine eyes. They thus measure God by comparing Him with themselves. They think about how they should act under certain circumstances and believe that God would do as they themselves have done.
Typology in the Bible, type and antitype.
Typology is briefly explained as the doctrine of similarities between events in the Old Testament and similar events in the New Testament – in ancient times and in our time. In this context, Israel’s exodus from Egypt is the type of a future event. This future event is the return of Jesus and the deliverance of the Christians, and this must then be the antitype. We must therefore look at what happened to God’s people in Egypt to understand what will happen to God’s people in the end times. What will happen soon, the antitype, must therefore follow the same pattern as the events that led Israel to leave Egypt and take possession of the promised land, the antitype.
10 plagues fell upon Egypt. The first three fell on all who lived in Egypt, including on God’s people. In Exodus 8,23, however, God says to Pharaoh: And I will put a division* between my people and thy people: tomorrow shall this sign be. After this the last seven plagues fell upon Egypt, but they did not affect the people of God. They were beyond the reach of the afflicted, and we can say that they were in a way sealed by God. When the exodus from Egypt, and the fact that God’s people are spared the last seven plagues, is the type, the end-time antitype must follow the same pattern. God will put a divisionbetween His people and the people of the devil in the end times or put a ransom between those who are God’s people and the wicked. This will happen before the last seven plagues are released. * Putting a division between literally means putting a ransom in between.
What we usually associate with ransom is that someone pays to free another person, and that is what Jesus did for us on the cross. Jesus paid the ransom that was needed, and that is the ransom the law requires of the sinner. The law clearly states that the wages of sin is death, and in order for you and I to avoid dying, Jesus paid for our sins with his blood, and therefore God imputes his faithful remnant the righteousness of Jesus and will seal them with his seal. When the sealing is done, the last seven plagues will fall upon the earth. The figurative sealing took place in Egypt before the last seven plagues fell (the type), and we read in Revelation 9,4 under the fifth trumpet that the sealing in the end times has taken place at this time: 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. The locusts, which are here a picture of the devil’s angels, are empowered to torment all mankind, but with one small exception, they are not allowed to touch those who have the seal of the living God on their foreheads. After this sealing, there are seven plagues that will affect the people of the earth in the same way that the plagues in Egypt affected those who lived in Egypt. And as we saw above (see Exodus 8,23), these plagues will not affect the people of God, because they have been sealed. No one can say for sure when the last seven plagues will begin to fall, but one thing is for sure, and that is that they will fall all over the earth and affect people of all ages in all countries … … except for God’s faithful little remnant.
It is not God who is behind the plagues that will fall upon the earth. God allows this to happen when the world has reached a point where there is no going back. Just as God told Abraham that his descendants should not return to the land of Canaan until after a certain time because the wickedness of the Amorites must first be full before God punished them, (Genesis 15,16), and so is it now in the end times. Throughout history, God has repeatedly warned, begged, prayed, guided, rebuked and shown people to the only safe way, and now, when those who have been the subject of God’s special care follow their own path independent of God’s Spirit, after repeated admonitions choose their own path and continue to mock the Holy Spirit, then they have come to the same point as the Amorites were in the time of Israel, the evil of the world has become complete. Now God is pulling away the Holy Spirit for good, and we are entering the very last chapter in the history of the world, a short but brutal chapter.
The nations at war.
Today, four mighty angels of God are holding back the four winds of war. When God’s servants are sealed (Revelation 7,1-4), then God will unleash the four angels who are holding back the winds of war, and then hell will literally break loose. We haven’t got there, not yet, but we see signs that we are approaching the last great war by leaps and bounds. Russia has developed a new super missile called the ‘doomsday missile’ and China is upgrading and has expanded its Pacific fleet to three times its size compared to 20 years ago. North Korea is playing with nuclear weapons, and everyone is sharpening their sabres and getting ready for a major war.
Do we have any evidence in the Bible that such a great war will break out? In verse 14 of chapter 9 of Revelation we find a description of what is done by God when the evil of the world is complete: Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. These are the same four angels we encounter in Revelation 7,1-3 where it says: And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
Here are some words and phrases we should know the meaning of. The river Euphrates was considered by Israel as a symbol of the evil forces in the world. The four corners of the earth actually mean the four directions of the sky. Winds is a picture of war and unrest, when it comes to four winds it means that there will be a total war that will affect the whole world.
God will one day withdraw His protection from the earth and then the devastating war will break out and lay the earth in ruins. In The Great Controversy, first published in 1911, Ellen G. White states the following: The Saviour’s prophecy of the judgment that was to fall on Jerusalem will have a different fulfilment, but the destruction of Jerusalem gives only a faint picture of what is to come. The fate that befell God’s chosen city is a picture of what will befall the world, a world that has rejected God’s grace and trampled on his law. Therefore, God will judge the gods of this world as He judged the gods of Egypt, and what happened in Egypt will happen again, only on a much larger scale. The whole world will be affected.
It is said that the earth will be plagued by a number of plagues before Jesus returns. These plagues are a reflection of what happened in Egypt when Israel left the captivity. In Egypt, the people of God were treated very bad by the Egyptians and had no means of escaping the afflictions to which they were subjected. God’s faithful remnant in the end times will also in a way be in captivity, and these are found almost all over the world, and thus have no opportunity to escape the persecutions and trials the wicked, who are the Egyptians of our time, will expose God’s people to, and patiently they have to wait for the deliverance that they know will come. Many of the captives in Egypt also knew that God one day would deliver them, and they looked forward to that day. When Moses returned to lead God’s people to freedom, he was commissioned to invoke the ten plagues we read about in Exodus. It was God who caused the plagues, but it was Moses who told about this in advance. Everything that happened in connection with the Exodus from Egypt is an image of what will happen in the end times. In Egypt, which was the type, 10 plagues fell over the land. This means that there will also be 10 plagues over end-time Egypt, which is the antitype, not eleven, nine or seven, but ten plagues.
When it comes to type and antitype, the structure must be the same so that the number of plagues is identical, but the content of the plagues will not necessarily be identical. When the first plague afflicted Egypt, all the water in Egypt turned to blood, the second plague consisted of literal frogs, and so were all the ten plagues. The plagues in the end times will not necessarily be identical in content, but the number must be the same. Usually you count both the seven trumpets and the seven vials as plagues, but this will be a total of 14 plagues, and does not fit into the typology, so there must be an explanation for this. If we look at the contents of the 14 trumpets and vials, we will quickly find at ten ailments. I reckon many will not agree with me on this.
Let us first look at the first three plagues. The first trumpet is considered a plague. The second and third trumpets both deal with water, the sea, the rivers, and the springs of water. We should probably read these two together as the reference in Egypt is ‘all the water that became blood’. Or should we read the third trumpet as an explanation of who is behind the misery in the world? Can we read about a fallen star elsewhere in the Bible, and if so, to whom does it refer? If we go to Isaiah 14,12 we read: How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! [how] art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! Who is this star? Exactly, it is Satan, and that puts it all in a larger perspective. Perhaps we should read the third trumpet so that it describes Satan’s attempt to destroy God’s word through changing Gods word and paganism through the fallen church. The first three trumpets then, in my opinion, cause two plagues. The fourth trumpet then becomes the third plague.
If we look at the type, what happened in Egypt, God will make a difference between His people and the people of the world after the third plague, but before the fourth plague falls upon the earth. If we can find this in the antitype, among trumpets and vials, we have a certain starting point that we can use to calculate what are plagues in the true sense of the word, and what are not plagues. In Egypt, God said to Pharaoh: And I will put a division between my people and thy people: tomorrow shall this sign be, Exodus 9,23. This happened before the fourth plague fell upon Egypt. The first three plagues afflicted everyone in Egypt, including Israel, God’s people. The question is whether we can find a similar statement among the trumpets or vials indicating that God will make a division between his faithful people and the wicked. Revelation 9,4 says: 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. Here we see that God has put a division between the two groups, and God has sealed his faithful people with his seal. In order for the antitype to match the image, this must take place after the third plague, but before the fourth plague falls upon the earth. In other words, the fifth trumpet is the fourth plague after the type which is the ten plagues in Egypt. The sixth trumpet is thus the fifth plague.
The seventh trumpet says that the Kingdom belongs to Christ: And at the sounding of the seventh angel there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ, and he will have rule for ever and ever. And the four and twenty rulers, who are seated before God on their high seats, went down on their faces and gave worship to God, saying, We give you praise, O Lord God, Ruler of all, who is and who was; because you have taken up your great power and are ruling your kingdom. And the nations were angry, and your wrath has come, and the time for the dead to be judged, and the time of reward for your servants, the prophets, and for the saints, and for those in whom is the fear of your name, small and great, and the time of destruction for those who made the earth unclean. And the house of God which is in heaven was open; and the ark of his agreement was seen in his house, and there were flames and voices and thunders and an earth-shock and a rain of ice, Revelation 11,15-19 (Basic English 1964). I do not see how this should be a nuisance. It tells us that God and Christ have regained control of the entire universe, and we are shown the ark of the covenant that contains the Standard of God that everyone should be judged by – God the Ten Commandments. Notice the little word ‘the time’ which points to the time when the dead will be judged. I would argue that this is not a plague. We then have a total of five plagues under the seven trumpets.
Under the vials follow the last five plagues. It’s just one problem, there are a total of seven vials. We find the same pattern here, and if we go carefully through the last two vials we will find the following. The sixth vial, Revelation 16,12-16, tells of the kings from the east: And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs [come] out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, [which] go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed [is] he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. I cannot see how this should be a plague. Here the thoughts are drawn to preaching through the expression three unclean spirits like frogs [come] out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. What comes out of the mouth is preaching, and Satan has through his agents preached a false gospel ever since the Garden of Eden, and now in the absolute end time this is intensified. I think this seal shows us the end of it all. In the same way that when God destroyed the Pharaoh of Egypt and all his army in the Red Sea, we see God will destroy the Pharaoh of our time and all his army when Jesus returns to earth. The main message of the seventh vial, however, is not about Satan and his helpers, this is meant as an explanation for the evil that is happening. The main characters in these verses are the kings from the east who are none other than Jesus and his angels who come to redeem the faithful little remnant God has had on earth during the last seven plagues. Jesus’ return cannot be considered a plague, can it?
The seventh vial tells us this: And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, [and] so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, [every stone] about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great, Revelation 16,17-21. Nor can this be said to be a plague. Or is it a plague? If we look at what happened in Egypt when Israel was taken out of captivity, it is estimated that there will be ten plagues in total. The last thing that afflicted Egypt as a nation at the exodus was that Pharaoh and his soldiers received their punishment from God. They all perished in the Red Sea, but this is not considered a plague! Why then should the antitype contain a plague that the type does not have? God is a God of order.
We see in the last two vials the final judgment on Babylon, which is the antitype of Pharaoh’s punishment at the Red Sea, and the beginning of the restoration of the earth so that after the thousand years it can receive the new Jerusalem. Christ has come and delivered his people. This is the same as the exit from Egypt. Shortly after Moses led Israel out of Egypt they came to the Red Sea, and there they were captured by Pharaoh and his soldiers, and we all know how it went. The same pattern the type gives us is followed during the antitype in the end times. Now the enemy is not behind God’s people as they were at the Red Sea, but they are all around them. What happens under the seventh vial will be similar to what happened to Pharaoh and his soldiers. (See also The seven trumpets and the seven vials under Seven letters, seals, trumpets, and vials.)
The great tribulation.
The great tribulation will begin sometime after the transition from prophetic time to end time. Exactly when we cannot know, nor whether there will be an abrupt onset of these plagues, or whether there will be a fluid, successive transition. However, this is of secondary importance. The important thing is that we are aware that this things will happen. How we should interpret these plagues is a big question. Should they be interpreted literally or figuratively?
I believe the darkness that comes upon the earth when a third of the sun, moon and stars are affected (Revelation 8,12-13, the fourth trumpet) must be interpreted in a figurative sense so that the wicked are more and more enveloped in a spiritual darkness. If we look at how the world has become, it can look like a spiritual darkness descending upon those who are not considered God’s faithful people. Church leaders liberalize the word of God in every conceivable way and dig their way deeper and deeper into perdition. But there is still hope. We must preach the end-time message with power so that the wicked will have the opportunity to hear God’s call, repent, and turn away from their evil ways. It is not impossible that we are just ahead of the time when God’s faithful remnant will be sealed with the seal of the living God, and that means that soon there will be a worldwide Sunday which everyone must choose for or against. But there must necessarily be sometime between the fourth trumpet and the fifth trumpet so that the proclamation of Gods last warning may bear fruit. When the Sunday law is finally introduced all over the world with a strict regime that can control the observance of the law, those who obey this law will through their actions take the mark of the beast, while those who are against the Sunday law will be marked with God’s seal. After this, the last seven plagues will fall over a world shrouded in darkness, while God’s faithful remnant will still not know that they have been sealed.
Now the greatest tribulation in the history of the world is unleashed. A small group, relatively speaking, will be the object of the whole world’s contempt. Since the last seven plagues do not affect God’s saints, they will be blamed for all the misery that afflicts the wicked, and a death decree will eventually be issued against God’s people, and God’s faithful remnant will be hunted wild, and everyone has the right to kill them. The reason for this is that the wicked believe that only if they get rid of those who do not keep the false Sabbath, Sunday, the torments will stop. God’s faithful remnant will have to flee from the cities in which they live and seek refuge in the wilderness. They do not flee because they do not trust in the Lord, but because they have no peace day or night for Satan’s lackeys. It is now that God’s faithful remnant will go through the final cleansing, they go through Jacobs trouble, and night and day they ‘fight’ with God in prayer to be delivered from the literal hell they live in the last days of the earth’s history. Night and day they call upon the name of the Lord. All the wicked will be against them, but thanks to God, all who belong to the remnant of God will be protected with the seal of God, and a ring of God’s angels is protecting the Lord’s people.
To be sealed with the seal of the living God, one must have developed an unshakable faith in the Saviour. As it is written in Revelation 14,4: These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, [being] the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. That they had not become unclean whit women means that they have come out of the fallen denominations and taken refuge in the Lord. Even though they fear for their lives, they are still willing to follow the Saviour whithersoever He goes even if they have to die for the sake of the name of Jesus.
Just as Noah and his family were ridiculed and mocked when they entered the ark, so the remnant of God will be mocked and ridiculed. Just as God preserved Noah and his family through the Great Flood and saved them, so God will preserve His people in the end times. God will not allow the devil and the wicked to kill those waiting for the transformation. But what victory will they not win in the end this strange people who neither will not bow the knee to evil nor take the mark of the beast. Suddenly the tombs will be opened and the dead in Christ will rise and all of God’s faithful will be clothed in immortality and follow Jesus Christ and His angelic army home to God’s heaven. Night and day they ‘fought’ with the Lord, and they won. The Lord heard their cry and delivered them from this cruel world.