Phase 3—Return of Christ & the Saints

Fred R. Coulter—September 14, 2015

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Greetings, everyone! Welcome to the Feast of Trumpets! Time marches right along, and here we are with the fall festival season right upon us. Soon we will have the Feast of Tabernacles after the Day of Atonement. All of these are very important things to God!

Remember, the Law of God is perfect! No man can improve upon God! We need to remember that! We need to understand that God is the One Who has called us, and we answered the call. We do the things that God wants us to do His way, not our way!

One of the reasons why the Feast of Trumpets pictures the most devastating and destructive time in the history of mankind since the Flood is because men have not learned the lesson:

  • You must come to God His way!
  • You must believe God!
  • You must obey God!

Of course, this follows through with everything that God does. This is always a test of faith! God put all of the Holy Days in sequence—naming the day, numbering the day, counting the day for Pentecost—as a test of faith.

  • Do we believe God?
  • Do we love God?

If we do, God will show us and teach us His understanding! He will open the mystery of His Word to us, which then are called by Jesus 'the mysteries of the Kingdom of God.' One of the great mysteries is the return of Jesus Christ!

Leviticus 23:23: "And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel saying, "In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, you shall have a Sabbath, a memorial of blowing of ram's horns, a Holy convocation"'" (vs 23-24).

A ram's horn is the trumpet to be blown when there is war. So, the Feast of Trumpets is a war Feast! Let's look at this again for just a minute: All Holy Days are called a Sabbath. The weekly Sabbath is called the Sabbath. That's important to understand. All the Holy Days are Sabbaths.

Verse 25: "You shall do no servile work therein but you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD." Today we don't bring the animals; we don't have an altar on the earth for physical sacrifices. But we are to give of our substance to the Lord. God will bless us in giving an offering.

I know there are some people who are very fastidious and say that it says in Deut. 16 that 'three seasons'—Unleavened Bread, Feast of Weeks and Tabernacles—you are to bring an offering. That is true! But does that exclude and not count Trumpets, as well? When it says that we are to bring an offering (Lev. 23) that should be sufficient for us.

So, we always take up an offering on the Holy Days, and particularly what this day pictures with the return of Christ and all of the events at the end of the age, yes, we need to bring God an offering!

(pause for the offering)

Let's continue the unfolding of prophecy in the book of Revelation. We saw on Pentecost that Day 49 pictures the opening of the heavens for the first phase of the return of Jesus Christ. That first phase is the 'sign of the Son of man' in heaven, which then will appear as a second sun. Then we have the sealing of the 144,000 in Rev. 7.

Now let's come to Rev. 8 and let's pick up the flow of events from there. Remember, as I covered on Pentecost, you have from the next to the last Pentecost to the last Pentecost, which is the resurrection. Then you have another line below that which is from Trumpets to the return of Jesus Christ. And the seventh trumpet is the resurrection.

The resurrection is phase two of the return of Jesus Christ. We will come back to phase two then we will go into phase three, because that is going to be awesome, indeed!

Rev. 8 is where all the prophecies at the end-time shift. It is the angels of God vs Satan the devil and the demons, and the men who are following Satan, the armies that Satan has raised up. We will see how God deals with these things and every one of these plagues that come (Rev. 8, 9, 16). Those all go back to the weapons that God used against the Egyptians to bring the children of Israel out of Egypt.

Now the scene is that we are at the point when the first trumpet blows. There is one year until the saints come with Christ back to the earth. That one-year is going to be the most devastating year in the history of mankind from the time of the Flood until the end.
As we can see by Rev. 8 & 9, which we will do, there are great and fantastic weapons that will be employed, and that man will not be satisfied until he has fought to the very end.

Revelation 8:1: "Now, when He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about a half hour. Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. And another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar; and much incense was given to him, so that he might offer it with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar that was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense went up before God from the hand of the angel, ascending with the prayers of the saints. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire from the altar, and cast it into the earth…" (vs 1-5). Direct intervention by God!

Here are men fighting one another and all of a sudden the heavens rip open (Rev. 6) and the sign of the Son of man appears. There is quietness for a space of time for the 144,000. You count that space from Pentecost until Trumpets of the year that it occurs. Then starts all the devastation prophesied in the Old Testament. This is quite a thing! These are earth-shaking events, to say the least.

Verse 5: "And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire from the altar, and cast it into the earth and there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings, and an earthquake."

You'll notice going through the book of Revelation that there are many, numerous, earthquakes that take place.

Verse 6: "Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound their trumpets." There is a sequence of the seven trumpets: the first one and the last one. The last trumpet, as we saw on Pentecost, is the resurrection. Here is the first one:

Verse 7: "And the first angel sounded his trumpet; and there was hail and fire mingled with blood, and it was cast upon the earth; and a third of the trees were burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up." You will notice that these come one, two, three, four very quickly in a row. Same way with the seven last plagues. 

Verse 8: "Then the second angel sounded his trumpet; and there was cast into the sea as it were a great mountain burning with fire, and a third of the sea became blood; and a third of the living creatures that were in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed" (vs 8-9). Absolute devastation beyond belief!

Verse 10: "And the third angel sounded his trumpet; and there fell out of heaven a great star, burning like a lamp; and it fell on a third of the rivers, and on the fountains of waters. Now, the name of the star is Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood; and many men died from drinking the waters because they were made bitter" (vs 10-11). These things are going to be just so devastating upon the earth; great and fantastic events that will not ever be repeated again in the same way.

Verse 12: "Then the fourth angel sounded his trumpet; and a third of the sun was smitten, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars; so that a third of them were darkened; and a third part of the day did not shine, and likewise a third part of the night."

Right here is exactly why no man knows the day or the hour exactly. But we do know the times and the seasons. Those are depicted by the appointed times of God, the Holy Days of God!

Verse 13: "And I looked; and I heard an angel flying in the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice… [God always gives warning]: …'Woe, woe, woe to those who are dwelling on the earth, because of the voices of the remaining trumpets of the three angels who are about to sound their trumpets.'"

This is going to be quite a thing, especially the fifth and sixth trumpets. Of course, the seventh trumpet is the resurrection. Before we get into Rev. 9 concerning the great wars that will take place, let's come back to Joel 2 and let's see that these things were prophesied, not only in the book of Joel, but in the books of Isaiah and Jeremiah.

Notice how Joel parallels very closely with what we have already read. What happens in Rev. 8 & 9 fills us in on the details of what was given in the Old Testament. Remember, from the blowing of the first trumpet until the saints and Christ come back to the earth, the next Feast of Trumpets, is one year! Just like the sealing of the 144,000 and the great innumerable multitude to the resurrection is one year—Pentecost to Pentecost. So, Trumpets in fulfillment is from Trumpets to Trumpets, one year.

The memorial of the blowing of trumpets is a war Feast! Joel 2:1: "'Blow the ram's horn in Zion, and sound an alarm in My Holy mountain!' Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the Day of the LORD comes, for it is near at hand." We're reading of it in Revelation.

Verse 2: "A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness…." Didn't we read that? Isn't it interesting that the Gospel is preached in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament. That's why they are together, like a hand in a glove. They give us the full picture as to what is going to take place.

"…As the morning is spread across the mountains, so comes a great people and a mighty people; there has never been the like, nor shall there ever be again, even to the years of many generations" (v 2). That's our time!

Verse 3: "A fire devours before them, and behind them a flame burns. The land is as the Garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness—and nothing shall escape them. Their appearance is as the appearance of horses; and as war horses, so they run" (vs 3-4). We will see this aptly fits in with the description in Rev. 9.

Verse 5: "They shall leap with the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains, with the noise of a flame of fire that devours the stubble, like a mighty people set in battle array. In their presence the people shall greatly tremble; all faces shall grow pale. They shall run like mighty men. They shall climb the wall like men of war, and they shall march each one in his path, and they shall not break their ranks. And each one shall not crowd another; they go every one in his own path. And when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded" (vs 5-8). Amazing to think about!

Verse 9: "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 grow dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining" (vs 9-10). That is exactly what it says in the book of Revelation.

Verse 11: "And the LORD shall utter His voice before His army; for His camp is exceedingly great; for powerful is He who executes His Word, for the Day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can endure it?"

Well, there will be some people who will live through it; very few! We will see that this involves every nation in the world. When we get to the book of Revelation it talks about all nations. This is why the Gospel is preached as a witness to all nations. This is why God has the two witnesses in Jerusalem; to be a witness! This is going to be the greatest, most fantastic event that is pictured by the Feast of Trumpets that has been in the history of man.

Let's see some other things concerning how this is going to involve the whole world. As we will see as we put these various descriptions together, along with the book of Revelation, this gives us a vast picture of how this is going to effect everything on the earth. The return of Jesus Christ is going to be awesome, indeed!

Isaiah 24:1: "Behold, the LORD makes the earth empty and makes it waste, and turns it upside down, and scatters its inhabitants. And as it is with the people, so it shall be with the priest; as with the slave, so with the master; as with the handmaid, so it is with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the creditor, so with the debtor. The earth shall be completely laid waste, and utterly stripped; for the LORD has spoken this word" (vs 1-3).

Stop and think for just a minute. God fulfills all the prophecies to the maximum! When these things happen, they're going to be complete and devastating!

Verse 4: "The earth mourns and languishes; the world withers and languishes; the proud people of the earth wither. And the earth is defiled under its people; because…" (vs 4-5).

Notice why this is coming, and this will help you understand why the lawlessness at the end of this age is going to be so overwhelming. It's going to be really difficult to be a true Christian though all of these things!

  • God will give us the strength!
  • God will grant us His Spirit!

"…they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, and have broken the everlasting covenant" (v 5)—the covenant unto eternal life; it will go on into the ages of eternity.

This aptly describes the way that the religions of this world are toward God, including the Christianity of this world. Here is the effect; we've read the cause:

Verse 6: "Therefore, the curse has devoured the earth, and they who dwell in it are desolate; therefore, the people of the earth are burned, and few men are left." When God sets His hand for judgment…

Isaiah 13:1: "The burden of Babylon… [What is the end-time called? Babylon the Great!] …which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw: 'Lift up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice to them, wave the hand, so that they may go into the gates of the nobles. I have commanded My Holy ones, I have also called My mighty ones for My anger, even those who rejoice in My triumph'" (vs 1-3). That's all the angels of God and all the saints of God.

Verse 4: "The noise of a multitude in the mountains, as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations…" That's all encompassing! We will see how all of this is brought out in final detail and moving toward the return of Christ in the book of Revelation.

"…gathered together; the LORD of hosts gathers an army for the battle. They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, the LORD and the weapons of His indignation, to destroy the whole earth. Howl! For the Day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty" (vs 4-6). Quite a thing!

Verse 9: "Behold, the Day of the LORD comes, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to make the earth a desolation; and He shall destroy the sinners out of it, for the stars of the heavens and their constellations shall not give light; the sun shall be darkened in its going forth, and the moon shall not reflect its light (vs 9-10). Exactly what we read in the book of Revelation.

Verse 11: "'And I will punish the world for their evil…'" What I want you to do is understand how these prophecies encompass the world:

  • all nations
  • all kingdoms
  • all peoples

and how that no one is going to escape!

"…and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the tyrants. I will make man more scarce than gold; even man more than the fine gold of Ophir. Therefore, I will shake the heavens, and the earth… [again it talks about shaking the heavens and the earth] …shall move out of its place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of His fierce anger" (vs 11-13). Those are really quite some words!

Yes, this is going to involved all nations; no one is going to escape! No one is going to get away from it! They may survive—a number of people will survive—because it says 'there are few men left.' They will survive through these things. Just think of the trauma that they will have experienced and how that is going to be quite a job for us at the beginning of the Millennium. You need to understand that this is going to be awesome, indeed!

After listing all the kings, God told Jeremiah to 'go to all the nations that I tell you,' leading up to Jer. 25:26, and this begins to expand it out to the whole world.

Jeremiah 25:26: "And all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another, and all the kingdoms of the world…" Is that all encompassing or not? Yes, it is!

"…which are on the face of the earth… [here is speaks about the beast of Rev. 13] …and the king of Sheshach shall drink after them. 'Therefore, you shall say to them, "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, 'Drink and be drunk, and vomit, and fall, and rise no more because of the sword which I will send among you.'" And it shall come to pass if they refuse to take the cup at your hand to drink, then you shall say to them, "Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'You shall certainly drink. For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city, which is called by My name; and shall you go unpunished? You shall not go unpunished. For I will call for a sword on all the inhabitants of the earth,' says the LORD of hosts" (vs 26-29).

That is going to be profound! We will see how all of this fits in Rev. 9, and then it expands out into Rev. 16, as well.

Verse 30: "'And prophesy against them all these words, and say to them, "The LORD shall roar from on high, and utter His voice from His Holy habitation. He shall mightily roar over His dwelling place. He shall give a shout, like those who tread out grapes, against all the people of the earth. A noise shall come to the ends of the earth; for the LORD has a controversy with the nations; He will plead with all flesh. He will give those who are wicked to the sword,"' says the LORD. Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be stirred up from the farthest corners of the earth. And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth; they shall not be mourned, nor gathered, nor buried. They shall be as dung on the ground. Howl, you shepherds, and cry; and wallow yourselves in the ashes, you lords of the flock! For the days of your slaughter and of your scatterings are fulfilled; and you shall fall like a choice vessel'" (vs 30-34).

Amazing! Absolutely stunning! All of this! Let's see how this fits in with Rev. 9; let's see how God puts it all together. This is why we take part of it from the Old Testament and part of it from the New Testament—the book of Revelation—so that we can understand and get a full picture of what is going to happen. This is why that the Gospel is preached in all the world for a witness to all nations. All nations, all people are involved. God is going to make a statement that is going to be so absolutely profound and so devastating. God is going to do it!

  • He's going to use the armies to do it
  • He's going to use Satan the devil to do it
  • He's going to use His angels to do it
  • He's going to use the demons to do it

This is an all out battle of a magnitude that is almost beyond the scope of our imagination! Again, notice how it's angels of God and demons and Satan the devil:

Revelation 9:1: "And the fifth angel sounded his trumpet; and I saw a star that had fallen from heaven to the earth, and there was given to him the key to the bottomless abyss. And he opened the bottomless abyss; and there went up smoke from the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke from the pit. Then locusts came onto the earth from the smoke; and power was given to them, as the scorpions of the earth have power" (vs 1-3). These are demonic powers let out of the demonic prison, the abyss! In some places in the King James it's called 'the bottomless pit.'

Verse 4: "And it was said to them that they should not damage the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only the men who did not have the seal of God in their foreheads."

This shows that the 144,000 and the great innumerable multitude have not ascended to heaven, yet. They won't ascend until the seventh trump is blown; then they will ascend to meet Christ on the Sea of Glass. The reason that there are trees and grass is because a third were previously burned up.

When it's dark and cloudy, what automatically comes with that? Rain! Trees and grass have no understanding about devastation. If it rains it grows, regardless of what men do. So, however long it takes for the first four plagues to take place, by the time it gets to the fifth trumpet plague there has been time for the grass to grow and some of the trees to recover.

All the rest, this is probably from the King of the North who comes down out of Europe against the King of the South:

Verse 5: "And it was given to them that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months; and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man. And in those days men will seek death but will not find it; and they will desire to die, but death will flee from them. And the appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for war; and on their heads were crowns like those of gold; and their faces were like the faces of men; and they had hair like women's hair; and their teeth were like those of lions. And they had breastplates like iron breastplates…" (vs 5-9). Here is the greatest armament, the greatest weapons that men have been able to devise, and with the technology of Satan the devil and the demons, all working this together.

"…and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots drawn by many horses running to war; and they had tails like scorpions, and stingers; and they were given power to injure men with their tails for five months. And they have over them a king…" (vs 9-11). Satan is leading the battle!

"…the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but the name he has in Greek is Apollyon. The first woe is past. Behold, after these things two more woes are still to come. And the sixth angel sounded…" (vs 11-13).

Notice that these follow along and these great battles take place. This is going to be the greatest thing! There has never ever been an army like this. An army so vast that it's going to stretch from the Holy Land all the way back to the Far East.

Right now the Chinese are building the highway going west. They're building a highway from Afghanistan down to Pakistan and there will be Pakistanis involved. They're going to build a pipeline down to India. India will be involved; all the kings of the East. That army will be strung out for thousands of miles. You can't get 200-million men in one place. So, they will come like waves. This is going to be a great battle!

Verse 13: "And the sixth angel sounded his trumpet; and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar that is before God; and it said to the sixth angel, who had the trumpet, 'Loose the four angels who are bound in the great River Euphrates.' Then the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were loosed… [God is right on schedule] …so that they might kill a third of men" (vs 13-15).

Talk about how devastating this is going to be! Think about it for a minute. Rev 6—those wars and famines kill a fourth of men. That leaves three-quarters of them left. Then another third of those who are still alive means that half of the men in the world are going to die between Rev. 6 and 9. Maybe even more than that when you count all the things that are going to take place.

Remember what it said in Jeremiah. The dead will be strung from one end of the earth to the other, and they won't be buried. All the fowl of the air are going to eat up their flesh! (Rev. 19). Quite a thing! This is going to be awesome, indeed!

Verse 16: "And the number of the armies of the horsemen was two hundred thousand thousand; and I heard the number of them." That's 200-million!

In WWII the maximum they had under arms—counting all those who were not involved in combat—was 50-million, one-fourth of what this is, not counting what the armies of the beast were. This is something!

Here's what they looked like, v 17: "And so, I saw the horses in the vision, and those sitting on them, who had fiery breastplates, even like jacinth and brimstone. And the heads of the horses were like heads of lions, and fire and smoke and brimstone shoot out of their mouths." Shooting, killing, missiles; all of this going on.

Verse 18: "By these three a third of men were killed: by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone that shoot out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouths; for their tails are like serpents, and have heads, and with them they inflict wounds" (vs 18-19). There are still people alive.

Even in the greatest disasters, it's quite a wondrous thing how many people survive even buried under the rubble of buildings. Think of this:

Verse 20: "But the rest of the men who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the works of their hands…" These are men with super-modern hi-tech weapons! Some of the things that they're developing right now. They didn't repent. I wonder what would happen if they would repent? But they won't!

"…did not repent of the works of their hands that they might not worship demons, and idols of gold and silver and brass and stone and wood, which do not have the power to see, nor to hear, nor to walk. And they did not repent of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornications, nor of their thievery" (vs 20-21).

An amazing thing! This is going to be some battle, but we're going to see that God is going to do even greater than this!

Rev. 10 is the seven thunders. John was told not to write those, so, we don't know what that's going to be and how devastating that is going to be.

Revelation 11:14: "The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming immediately. Then the seventh angel sounded his trumpet; and there were great voices in heaven, saying…" This is the resurrection on Pentecost. This leads into the third phase of the return of Christ:

  • First phase—the sign of the Son of man appearing as a sun
  • Second phase—takes place right before the resurrection

The sun comes streaking to the earth and right over the Holy Land a vast Sea of Glass will appear, and then the resurrection takes place and we meet Christ in the air on the Sea of Glass.

Now then, as we covered on Pentecost, all the fantastic things that will take place at that point. So, the seventh trumpet sounded. We will see how we come from the last Pentecost and the resurrection to the last Trumpets and Christ and the saints coming to the earth.

Track 2 or Download

Now let's come forward to Rev. 14, a classic example of one of the methods that the Bible uses to describe what's going to take place. First of all, it gives a summary, and then it gives the details. We're going to see the two harvests.

  • the resurrection from the dead of the saints
  • the harvest of the wicked with their armies that God is going to destroy when Christ returns from heaven with the saints

What we have here is Rev. 14:14-16 talking about the resurrection of the saints. Then v 17 begins the summary of what is going to happen to the wicked coming to Jerusalem. This is quite a thing, and we will see that just as we saw on Pentecost, the prophecy of a nation raised at once. Likewise, we will see the prophecy of the wicked and their destruction in the book of Joel.

Revelation 14:14: "And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and one like the Son of man sitting on the cloud, having a golden crown on His head; and in His hand was a sharp sickle." We are the firstfruits. So, this is a sickle to harvest the grain. We will see that there is a special sickle to also harvest the grapes of wrath.

Verse 15: "And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him Who was sitting on the cloud, 'Thrust in your sickle and reap, because the time has come for You to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.' And He Who was sitting on the cloud thrust forth His sickle upon the earth, and the earth was reaped" (vs 15-16). That takes place right as the seventh trump is blown and the harvest beings!

That brings us over to Rev. 15. We've already covered this during Pentecost, so those who are raised are taken by the angels up to the Sea of Glass. All of those in the first resurrection on Pentecost will be there. Then everything that needs to take place will take place. It will be all on this big Sea of Glass.

When the resurrection has taken place that finishes the second phase of the return of Christ. There is yet another phase that has to take place; this is the seven last plagues. Rev. 14:14-16 applies to the resurrection, and Rev. 15. Then from Rev. 14:17-19 that applies to Rev. 16.

Revelation 14:17: "Then another angel, who also had a sharp sickle, came out of the temple that is in heaven. And out from the altar came another angel, who had authority over fire; and he called with a loud cry to the one who had the sharp sickle, saying, 'Thrust in your sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the earth, because her grapes are fully ripe.' And the angel thrust his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast its fruit into the great winepress of the wrath of God…. [the vengeance of God] …And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood spewed out from the winepress as high as the horses' bridles, to the distance of a thousand six hundred furlongs" (vs 17-19)

This spewing of the blood shows the death of the wicked, the soldiers/enemies fighting against Christ. Let's see where this exact thing was prophesied. What we find are the prophecies of the Old Testament, the prophecies of the New Testament, and they all fit together like a hand in a glove.

We saw that it talked about the army coming, the trumpet plagues five and six, and the seven plagues are announced with the beginning of the resurrection.

Joel 3:9: "Proclaim this among the nations, 'Prepare for war!'…." This will be the greatest war that has ever been.

"…Wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up. Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weak say, 'I am strong.' Gather yourselves and come, all you nations, and gather yourselves together all around; cause Your mighty ones to come down there, O LORD. Let the nations be awakened and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit to judge all the nations all around. Put in the sickle (Rev. 14), for the harvest is ripe. Come, come down; for the press is full; the vats overflow—for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision; for the Day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision! The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The LORD shall also roar out of Zion and utter His voice from Jerusalem. And the heavens and the earth shall shake. But the LORD will be the hope of His people and the strength of the children of Israel" (vs 9-16).
Isn't that interesting? His people being the first resurrection. Israel being the nations of Israel being brought back to their original inheritance. Let's see how this is going to be done. Rev. 15 gives us:

  • the temple of God
  • how the seven last plagues come
  • those who have been resurrected and stand on the Sea of Glass

Revelation 15:1: "Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and awesome: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is filled up." Remember, that takes place between the resurrection on Pentecost and Trumpets when Christ and the saints come back to the earth.

Verse 5: "And after these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened. And the seven angels who had the seven last plagues came out of the temple; they were clothed in linen, pure and bright, and girded about the chest with golden breastplates. And one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden vials, full of the wrath of God, Who lives into the ages of eternity. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from His power; and no one was able to enter inside the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled" (vs 5-8).

This is the vengeance of God! God has said, 'Vengeance is Mine!' He is going to bring the vengeance on the earth and carry it out! Let's look at some Scriptures that talk about this very thing. The seven last plagues come right after the seventh trump. Exactly when they begin we don't know. There are a lot of things going on, on the Sea of Glass, with Jesus Christ and God the Father and the resurrected saints.

We are going to be able to witness the vengeance of God! We're also going to see that God gives us a share in that vengeance. Remember what Jesus said, 'If My kingdom were of this world then would My servants fight.' So, the kingdom is coming to this world and then we will fight. We will actually see that we have part in carrying out the vengeance of God. This is quite a thing!

Isaiah 34:1: "Come near, you nations, to hear; and, you people, hearken; let the earth hear, and its fullness; the world, and its offspring, for the anger of the LORD is upon all nations… [it's called His wrath] …and His fury upon all their armies…. [the 200-million-plus] …He has completely destroyed them, He has delivered them to the slaughter. Also. their dead shall be thrown out, and their stink shall come up out of their dead bodies, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. And all the host of the heavens shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll; and all their host shall fall down, as a leaf falls off from the vine, and as the falling fig from the fig tree, 'For My sword is bathed in the heavens. Behold, it shall come down upon Edom, and upon the people of My curse for judgment. The sword of the LORD is filled with blood; it is made fat with fatness, with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams; for the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Edom. And the wild oxen shall come down with them, and the young bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust shall be greased with their fat'" (vs 1-7). That's going to be quite a thing when you think about that!

Verse 8: "For it is the day of the LORD'S vengeance, the year to repay for the fighting against Zion." God's vengeance is coming!

Notice how Isa. 63 ties in with Rev. 14 & 16; Isaiah 63:3: "'I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was no man with Me; for I will tread them in My anger and trample them in My fury; and their blood will be sprinkled upon My garments, and I stained all My clothing; for the day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redemption has come. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I was astonished that there was no one to uphold; therefore, My own arm brought salvation for Me; and My fury upheld Me. And I will tread down the people in My anger, and make them drunk in My fury, and I will pour their lifeblood down to the earth'" (vs 3-6).

That's a description of the seven last plagues! We'll read them; they're going to be something! Several Psalms talk about the vengeance of the Lord. Remember what Paul wrote in Rom. 12—'Vengeance is Mine says the Lord!'

Psalm 94:1: "O LORD God to whom vengeance belongs, O God, to whom vengeance belongs, show Yourself. Lift up Yourself…" (vs 1-2)—which He will. This is exactly what He is doing. All of these things are going to take place while we are on the Sea of Glass. We'll be able to see this! We'll see all of this take place!

"…Judge of the earth; render recompense to the proud. How long shall the wicked, O LORD, how long shall the wicked exult? They gush forth words; they speak arrogant things; all the workers of iniquity vaunt themselves. They crush Your people, O LORD, and afflict Your inheritance" (vs 2-5). That's quite a thing! Quite a vengeance!

We'll go back and see in Rev. 16 as these seven last plagues are poured out that they fulfill all these Scriptures we are reading of the vengeance of God.

Psalm 58:10: "The righteous shall rejoice when he sees the vengeance…" There is going to be a lot cheering on the Sea of Glass. Understand that we are cheering because of God's power! We're cheering because God is fulfilling His Word! We're going to rejoice in all of this because the kingdom is going to be setup by Christ! We are going to be a part of that.

For those that think all this blood, guts and gore is really terrible to take, and how can a God of love do this? Well, the God of love is a God of love so much that even in spite of all of this that they do, and what He does, they're going to be in the second resurrection! Think how astonishing that that will be for them! Quite a thing, isn't it? Yes, indeed!

"…he shall bathe his footsteps in the blood of the wicked, so that a man shall say, 'Truly, there is a reward for the righteous; truly, there is a God Who is judging in the earth'" (vs 10-11). Astonishing! Yes, indeed!

Psalm 59:5: "And You therefore, O LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel, awake to punish all the nations… [that's what this is all about: the trumpet plagues and the seven last plagues] …show no mercy to any wicked traitors. Selah."

Verse 8: "But You, O LORD, shall laugh at them; You shall hold all the nations in derision."

Verse 12: "For the sin of their mouth and the word of their lips, let them even be taken in their pride…" We're going to see the pride and arrogance that they have at the last is the greatest, because of the prompting of Satan the devil.

"…and for the cursing and lying, which they speak. Consume them in wrath; consume, so that they may be no more; and let them know that God rules in Jacob to the ends of the earth. Selah" (vs 12-13).

That's quite a thing to really think about, understand and know what is taking place! The vengeance of the Lord and the wrath of God! Let's see how this is going to take place. What a thing this is going to be!

The Seven Last Plagues

The seven last plagues prophesied in the Old Testament and to come. When we read them, we will also see something concerning how the saints will participate in this vengeance when we come back to the earth. That is prophesied.

Revelation 16:1: "Then I heard a loud voice from the temple say to the seven angels, 'Go and pour out the vials of the wrath of God onto the earth.' And the first angel went and poured out his vial onto the earth; and an evil and grievous sore fell upon the men who had the mark of the beast, and upon those who were worshiping his image. And the second angel went and poured out his vial into the sea; and it became blood, like that of a dead man; and every living soul in the sea died" (vs 1-3).

When we come back to restore the earth, it's going to be one giant disaster after disaster after disaster! That's going to give us a tremendous job to start doing when the Millennium begins.

Verse 4: "And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers, and into the fountains of waters; and they became blood."

Verse 5 becomes very important. Think about this for a minute. The righteous angels have been with God forever. The righteous angels rejected the rebellion of Satan and the angels who followed him and became demons. The righteous angels

  • saw how God created man
  • saw how Satan did to mankind all down through time

This is viewed from God's point of view! I know that for people who are very tender and don't like violence, blood, guts and gore, this may be a little difficult. But this is looking at it from God's point of view. Here's what the angel says because of these first three plagues:

Verse 5: "Then I heard the angel of the waters say, 'You are righteous, O Lord, Who are, and Who was, even the Holy One, in that You have executed this judgment…. [the judgment that was prophesied] …For they have poured out the blood of saints and of prophets, and You have given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.' And I heard another voice from the altar say, 'Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments'" (vs 5-7). Amazing when you look at from God's point of view!

Verse 8: "And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given to it to scorch men with fire. Then men were scorched with great heat… [they didn't repent] …and they blasphemed the name of God, Who has authority over these plagues, and did not repent to give Him glory. And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the throne of the beast; and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain" (vs 8-10)—of the plagues that came upon them and the darkness, showing that they are absolutely cut off from God!

But Satan, who is the king of pride, gets them up for one last try! This has got to be quite a thing!

Verse 12: "And the sixth angel poured out his vial into the great river Euphrates; and its waters were dried up, so that the way of the kings from the rising of the sun might be prepared."

They see this miraculous thing take place and say, 'Yes, we've got to get over to the Holy Land so we can fight against these invaders from outer space. We have got to stop this. They're going to come and take over the earth.' Yes, that's true! We will be the invaders!

To prepare them for it it's got to be powerfully persuasive, and it is, v 13: "Then I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon… [Satan the devil, the chief spokesman] …and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet; for they are spirits of demons working miracles, going forth to the kings of the earth, even of the whole world, to gather them together to the battle of that great day of the Almighty God" (vs 13-14).

That's going to be persuasive! They're going to sacrifice all that they have. They're going to get all their weapons and everything that they can do. All the nations are going to send some of their armies there to do it. We will see that we also have a part in carrying out this vengeance.

Verse 15—a warning to us: "Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is the one who is watching and is keeping his garments… [ties right in with the Laodiceans] …so that he may not walk naked and they may not see his shame. And he gathered them together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon" (vs 15-16).

Let them all get there! Let them all be ready! Everyone is looking up to this great Sea of Glass, and they're going to bring their weapons, all of the most powerful that they have so they can shoot at it to destroy the 'aliens' who seek to invade the earth.

Here's what happens, v 17: "Then the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, 'IT IS FINISHED.' And there were voices and thunders and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were on 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…" (vs 17-19). Notice the total destruction that this earth is going to experience! Does that not add a tremendous exclamation mark to the verse that says, 'The wages of sin is death!' Yes, indeed!

"…and Babylon the Great was remembered before God to give her the cup of the wine of the fury of His wrath. And every island disappeared, and no mountains were found; and great hail, each stone the weight of a talent… [180 pounds] …fell down from heaven upon men…" (vs 19-21).

I suppose some in the tanks could survive some of this. That's going to happen right there below the Sea of Glass. When that happens, another wave of the army is going to come, and we will see what happens to them in just a minute.

"…and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, for the plague was exceedingly great" (v 21).

We see in Rev. 19 that the marriage of the Lamb has taken place, the supper has taken place. We are all ready to go:

  • we have our assignments
  • we have our white horses
  • we know how to ride them
  • we know what we need to do

The Third Phase of the Return of Jesus Christ:

  • Phase One: the sign of the Son of man as a second sun
  • Phase Two: the resurrection
  • Phase Three: Christ and all the saints coming back to the earth

Then we will see that, yes, we will carry out some of the vengeance of God, because we are to rule the nations with 'a rod of iron.' If they resist they will be broken as pottery into shivers of nothing.

Revelation 19:11: "And I saw heaven open; and behold, a white horse; and He Who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He does judge and make war." This is Christ!

Verse 12: "And His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written that no one knows except Him. And He was clothed with a garment dipped in blood… [book of Isaiah] …and His name is The Word of God… [John 1:1-2] …And the armies in heaven were following Him… [that's us] …on white horses; and they were clothed in fine linen, white and pure. And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He might smite the nations; and He shall shepherd them with an iron rod; and He treads the winepress of the fury and the wrath of the Almighty God" (vs 12-15). That's the vengeance of God!

Verse 16: "And on His garment and on His thigh He has a name written: King of kings and Lord of lords. Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, 'Come and gather yourselves together to the supper of the great God so that you may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of chief captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all, free and bond, and small and great.' And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies, gathered together to make war with Him Who sits on the horse, and with His army" (vs 16-19).

God has a special surprise for the beast and the false prophet, v 20: "And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet who worked miracles in his presence, by which he had deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. Those two were cast alive into the Lake of Fire, which burns with brimstone; and the rest were killed by the sword of Him Who sits on the horse, even the sword that goes out of His mouth; and all the birds were filled with their flesh" (vs 20-21).

We come back to the earth; this is the final Feast of Trumpets. There is a space of time between Trumpets and Atonement—nine days to be exact. We know that Atonement pictures putting Satan into the abyss. What happens on those nine days? One church says that they're all up there on the Sea of Glass in heaven for those nine days and come down on Atonement. NO! That's not correct!

Let's read this amazing Psalm and it tells us what we are going to do:

  • we will help carry out the vengeance of God
  • we will help destroy the rest of those armies

—during the nine day period from Trumpets to Atonement when Satan and the demons are cast into the abyss.

Psalm 149:1: "O praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song, and His praise in the congregation of saints." All the resurrected saints on the Sea of Glass.

Verse 2: "Let Israel rejoice in his Maker; let the children of Zion be joyful in their King…. [Israel and the Church] …Let them praise His name in the dance; let them sing praises to Him with the drum and lyre, for the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He crowns the meek with salvation" (vs 2-4). That's us saved, spirit beings, clothed in righteousness, the linen pure and bright! Now on our first mission: destroy any of the wicked, all who resist the Kingdom of God.

Verse 5: "Let the saints be joyful in glory; let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand to execute vengeance upon the nations and punishments upon the people" (vs 5-7). God gives us the authority to do it; here's the prophecy of it.

Verse 8: "To bind their kings with chains and their nobles with iron bands, to carry out upon them the judgment written—this honor have all His saints. O praise the LORD!" (vs 8-9).

We will be busy doing that from Trumpets to Atonement. This is quite a day! The Feast of Trumpets, the seven last plagues and the wars of all the trumpet plagues!

Brethren! What an assignment we are going to start with when the Millennium begins! We can't handle that right now, but as spirit beings we will be able to do it. This is why we need to make our calling and election sure and believe the Word of God!

We will see you on Atonement!

Scriptural References:

  • Leviticus 23:23-25
  • Revelation 8:1-13
  • Joel 2:1-11
  • Isaiah 24:1-6
  • Isaiah 13:1-6, 9-13
  • Jeremiah 25:26-34
  • Revelation 9:1-21
  • Revelation 11:14
  • Revelation 14:14-19
  • Joel 3:9-16
  • Revelation 15:1, 5-8
  • Isaiah 34:1-8
  • Isaiah 63:3-6
  • Psalm 94:1-5
  • Psalm 58:10-11
  • Psalm 54:5, 8, 12-13
  • Revelation 16:1-10, 12-21
  • Revelation 19:11-21
  • Psalm 149:1-9

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Deuteronomy 16
  • Revelation 6-8; 10
  • John 1:1-2

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 7/26/15

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