End-Time Prophecy

PART 4 - The Eternal Reign of Christ. - The Campaign of Armageddon.

THE CAMPAIGN OF ARMAGEDDON (an order of events) 
(The major prophecies for this time are Joel 2,3; Zechariah 12-14; Matthew 24,25; Revelation and Daniel 12).

JUDGEMENTS 
1. The whole Tribulation is a period of intensifying judgments.  It is ‘the Day of the Lord.’ But throughout this time God gives man a chance to repent. 
2.  Christ judges the Armies that attack Israel in the War of Armageddon.  Things get worse and worse for Israel in the Tribulation until the climax when antichrist calls all the armies of the world to gather at Armageddon to attack Israel.   Then Jesus returns and destroys them. 
3.   There is a series of Judgments after the Lord returns.

THE CAMPAIGN OF ARMAGEDDON

1.  Antichrist gathers his armies. 
The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared.  And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.  For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.... And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon (Rev 16:12-16).

THE SIXTH BOWL initiates the Campaign of Armageddon which will result in the final destruction of antichrist and his empire.   It is a judgment because although satan gathers the armies to destroy Israel, God is gathering them for destruction.  The Euphrates has always been the great barrier and division between armies and empires.  The 6th Bowl dries it up to allow the armies from the East to come and invade Israel.  Also demons are released to gather all the armies of the world to Armageddon (Har-Megiddo)- a strategically located hill overlooking the Jezreel Valley in Israel.  It stood at a mouth of a pass of the international highway between Egypt and Mesopotamia.  The city of Megiddo controlled this major road and so was often a prime target for invading armies. Many major battles have been fought in the past on the plain it overlooks. It is a perfect gathering point for the invading armies of antichrist.   Now this is not where all the fighting takes place -the Battle covers all Israel and even Edom.  Armageddon is the GATHERING POINT for the armies of the world. It is called: The War of the Great Day of God Almighty (v14).

The armies are not gathered to fight each other, they are the armies of antichrist’s world empire and they are gathered by the command and persuasion of antichrist (and satan) in order to destroy ISRAEL as a nation and prevent the return of JESUS CHRIST who has promised to come to establish His Kingdom through Israel at this time.

When the disciples asked about where and when the Second Coming will occur, Jesus answered: 
For wherever the carcass is (Israel), there the vultures (the nations) will be gathered together (Matt24:28, Luke17:37).  This refers to the gathering of the armies of the world (the vultures) at Armageddon to devour Israel (the carcass).  They will see Israel as dead meat, but Jesus will return as the lightening to destroy them (Matt24:27).

Joel 3:9-11a gives the call for these armies to assemble: Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare for war! 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.’  Assemble and come, all you nations, and gather together all around.  This is followed by a prayer for the heavenly armies to come down to save Israel:  “Cause Your mighty ones to go down there, O LORD (3:11b).  This prayer will be answered when the Lord returns with His armies to fight the invading armies of antichrist.  Then He will crush these armies like grapes: Come, trample the grapes; for the wine press is full, the vats overflow - for their wickedness is great (3:13b).

Psalm 2 describes the ongoing spiritual warfare upon the earth in the time before the Lord’s Return. This warfare (opposition to God) reaches its climax at Armageddon: 
Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? 
The kings of the earth set themselves (in opposition to Christ), 
and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, 
Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us. 
At Armageddon antichrist gathers his armies not just against Israel, but to fight against the Lord, for he knows that Jesus has promised to return at this time to rule the earth.

He who sits in the Heavens shall laugh.  The LORD shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure: 
Yet I have set (established) My King (Jesus) on My holy hill of Zion. 
God laughs because He knows their efforts are futile.  He has made Jesus the Lord of Heaven and earth.  Jesus is already enthroned as King on the Throne in (heavenly) Zion ( Jerusalem).  He also has been given the authority to reign as King over all the earth, and soon He will physically return to sit upon His earthly Throne in Zion and reign as King upon the earth  and there is nothing that antichrist and his armies can do about it!   In fact God’s wrath is about to fall on them!

Jesus confirms this by repeating the words of the Father at His Kingly coronation: 
I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations - Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth - Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel. 
This is a warning that God has appointed Jesus to be King over all the earth (King of kings).  He has given Jesus all authority  to rule the earth and that it all now belongs to Him (both the land and the peoples) and that now He is about to come and reign upon the earth, powerfully crushing all resistance.

So a final warning is given to the kings, their armies and peoples to submit to Jesus Christ as their King and trust Him as Saviour. For if they don’t, they will be quickly destroyed when He comes in His wrath to rule the earth: 
Now therefore, be wise, O kings; be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 
Kiss (submit to and worship) the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little.  Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.

Psalm 2 reveals that the nations don’t want to submit to God and His Christ, and that the main issue why they finally come to Jerusalem is not Israel but the Kingship of Jesus on the earth. Satan has been determined throughout history,especially as the time gets short, to annihilate Israel because they carry the Name and Word of God and are living testimony of His faithfulness.  Thus anti-semitism is a satanic spirit.   Satan’s plan through Hitler and the Holocaust, knowing the time was approaching for Israel to be restored to the land in preparation for the Kingdom, was to annihilate the nation before this could happen.  If he succeeded, God’s Word and covenant would be broken and the promised kingdom unrealised.  But God even turned the Holocaust for good because it provided an strong case for the need for a Jewish state.  The final Judgment of nations will be for rejecting the God of Israel and not wanting to submit to His King.  This is revealed in their historical sins against Israel. So the judgment of nations is primarily based on their attitude to Israel. 
 

2.  Israel is invaded and Jerusalem comes under siege. 
The enemy’s purpose is to finally destroy Israel and prevent the return of Christ.  This is why the armies are gathered. There will be a hard battle with many losses for antichrist, for God energises the Jews for battle but Jerusalem will finally fall.  However this will lead to the destruction of the Gentile armies when Jesus returns in judgment.   They have gathered to destroy Israel but God has gathered them to Israel for destruction and to completely destroy antichrist’s world empire.

The Armies gather: The burden of the word of the LORD against Israel.  Thus says the LORD, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him:  Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem and it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it (Zechariah12:1-3).

Joel 2:1-10a.   The invading army is efficient, well-trained and equipped and seemingly irresistible with a hint of modern weaponry: Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain!  Let all inhabitants of the land tremble for the Day of the LORD is coming, for it is at hand: a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness.  Like the morning clouds spread over the mountains a people come, great and strong, the like of whom has never been; nor will there ever be any such after them, even for many successive generations.   A fire devours before them, and behind them a flame burns.  The land is like the Garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; surely nothing shall escape them.  Their appearance is like the appearance of horses; and like swift steeds, so they run.  With a noise like chariots over mountaintops they leap, like the noise of a flaming fire that devours the stubble, like a strong people set in battle array.   Before them the people writhe in pain; all faces are drained of colour.  They run like mighty men, they climb the wall like men of war; every one marches in formation, and they do not break ranks.  They do not push one another; every one marches in his own column.  Though they lunge between the weapons, they are not cut down.  They run to and fro in the city, they run on the wall; they climb into the houses, they enter at the windows like a thief.  The earth quakes before them.

God starts His judgment by enabling Israel to fight well: In that day,” says the LORD, I will strike every horse with confusion, and its rider with madness; I will open My eyes on the house of Judah, and will strike every horse of the peoples with blindness.  And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem are strong because of the LORD of hosts, their God.’  In that day I will make the governors of Judah like a fire pan in the woodpile, and like a fiery torch in the sheaves;  they shall devour all the surrounding peoples on the right hand and on the left, but Jerusalem shall be intact in her own place (Jerusalem will not be destroyed although she will fall).  The LORD will save the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall not become greater than that of Judah. (Israel’s deliverance is coming soon when the Lord returns).  In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the Angel of the LORD before them (Zechariah 12:4-8).  Every Jew will be anointed to fight like David.

This attack on Jerusalem and God’s people is the last straw and the signal that Christ is ready to judge. 
Zechariah 12:9: It shall be in that Day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.  The final result will be the total destruction of the armies that attack Jerusalem.

3. Antichrist also attacks the remnant in Bozrah 
Antichrist sends his armies to destroy the remnant in Bozrah (perhaps persuading Jordan’s army to do it).

ANTICHRIST ATTACKS BOZRAH to eliminate all Jews there: I have sworn by Myself,” says the LORD, “that Bozrah shall become a desolation, a reproach, a waste, and a curse and all its cities shall be perpetual wastes.” I have heard a message from the LORD, and an ambassador has been sent to the nations: “Gather together, come against her, and rise up to battle! (Jeremiah 49:13,14).

False prophets for antichrist try to induce them out of safety by playing on the fact that they are looking to Messiah to rescue them.  They will claim that Messiah has arrived so that those in hiding can come out: 
Then if anyone says to you, Look, here is the Christ!, or  There! - do not believe it.  For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.  See, I have told you beforehand.  Therefore if they say to you: Look, He is in the desert!, do not go out; or: Look, He is in the inner rooms! - do not believe it.   For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be (Matthew 24:23-27).

4. Jerusalem falls. 
There will be a hard battle with many losses for antichrist, for God energises the Jews but Jerusalem will finally fall:  Micah 4:11-5:1 describes the heroic Jewish resistance: Now also many nations have gathered against you,  who say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion.  But they do not know the thoughts of the LORD, nor do they understand His counsel;  for He will gather them like sheaves to the threshing floor.   Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion; for I will make your horn iron, and I will make your hooves bronze; you shall beat in pieces many peoples; I will consecrate their gain to the LORD, and their substance to the Lord of the whole earth.  Now gather yourself in troops, O daughter of troops; he has laid siege against us.   They will strike the judge of Israel with a rod on the cheek(finally Jerusalem will fall).

Zechariah 14:1-2:  Behold, the Day of the LORD is coming, and your spoil will be divided in your midst.  For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; the city shall be taken, the houses rifled, and the women ravished.  Half of the city shall go into captivity, but the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 
This attack and the fall of Jerusalem is the signal for Christ to return: 
Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle (14:3).  
But He can only do this if Israel is spiritually ready to receive Him.  Israel must be in faith, for Christ made it a condition that for Him to return to judge the nations and establish Israel in the Kingdom, Israel must receive and invite Him back as her King (Matthew 23:37-39).   Therefore at the fall of Jerusalem, we would expect to see a national repentance and that is exactly what Zechariah describes.

5.  The Fall of Babylon (at the 7th Bowl) 
Revelation 16:17-21: Then the 7th angel poured out his Bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the Temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done! And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth.  Now the great city (Jerusalem) was divided into 3 parts, and the cities of the nations fell.   And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath.  Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great.

During the Campaign of Armageddon the 7th and final BOWL is poured out which immediately causes a massive  world-wide earthquake and heavy hail which splits the great city (Jerusalem) into three.  The 7th Bowl also destroys the cities of antichrist’s empire, and this destruction of BABYLON is described in more detail in Revelation 18, after the interlude of Revelation 17.  This final judgement on antichrist's kingdom, before the Personal Return of the Lord Jesus Christ, must happen on the last (the 1260th) day of antichrist’s total dominion.   

Revelation 17 is an interlude describing the historical background of BABYLON (antichrist’s world political-economic-religious order which controls mankind) which is being destroyed.  This passage focuses on the RELIGIOUS SYSTEM of Babylon - the great HARLOT, which is intertwined with (sits upon) the POLITICAL SYSTEM - the BEAST.   ‘Harlot’ is Biblical imagery for false religion.  In the Old Testament when Israel was unfaithful to God and went after other gods, she was an adulteress and a harlot.  This HARLOT living in BABYLON is the counterfeit of the BRIDE of CHRIST living in the NEW JERUSALEM (Revelation 21).

Then one of the 7 angels who had the 7 Bowls (probably the seventh angel because the destruction of Babylon is caused by the seventh Bowl) came and talked with me, saying to me, Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication (v1,2). 
She sits on (indicating her power over) many waters - which are the peoples and nations of the world: 
The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues (v15).  She is an apostate world-wide religion or church. As a prostitute misuses and corrupts something which is good (sex) causing destruction  so this harlot misuses and corrupts religion to control mankind.  After the Rapture the remaining apostate church will unite with other faiths to form a world-wide church (this is already beginning to happen) which Jesus will spew out of His mouth (Rev3:16).

Her power base in the first-half of the Tribulation is the Beast (the Revived Roman Empire): 
He carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness.    And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns (v3).

She wears the trappings of ceremonial religion and has great riches: The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication.  On her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH (v4,5). 
Her name ‘Mystery’ identifies her as something revealed and developing in the Church-Age.  She reaches full development in the Tribulation once the true Church is removed.   In this, she is like the ‘mystery of iniquity’, the spirit of antichrist (2Thess2:7), which is at work now but can only be fully revealed in the person of antichrist after the Church is removed.   She is therefore the apostate church, the harlot, the counterfeit of the Bride who loves political power rather than Christ Himself.  Her name ‘Babylon’ identifies her in her origins with Babylon and the Babylonian religion that started at the Tower of Babel and can be traced through history.  It also identifies her with the present political form of Babylon - the Roman empire.  ‘The Great’ - indicates her world-wide influence. ‘The Mother of Harlots’ indicates an amalgamation of all false-religions under one organisation as being all valid roads to God.

This woman (Babylonian false-religion wedded to political power) is responsible for the blood of many saints in history and especially in the first half of the Tribulation as she gains power and kills those who do not submit: 
I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. 
And when I saw her, I marvelled with great amazement (v6).

Verses 7-14 reveal the Beast (the political power) she sits on, which we have previously described in Part 3.  In the Tribulation she sits on the seventh head which has the ten horns.   That is, she is united to the ten kings of Revived Rome who give her much power and prestige.  These same kings fight the Lamb at Armageddon (v14).  She in turn co-operates with the kings and helps them to control the people (this kind of thing happened in the Dark Ages).  She exists throughout the Church-Age but comes to her fullness of size and iniquity in the Tribulation and is then judged.

The ten kingdom Roman-federation that she sat (depended) on will: hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked (steal her riches) eat her flesh and burn her with fire (v16). This will be done at Mid-Tribulation when they decide to give all power to the antichrist.  This involves not just the transfer of all political power but also the destruction of all religion, replacing it by the worship of antichrist and his empire: For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled (v17). This is the state of affairs during the Great Tribulation.  The Harlot religion of Babylon will then change and become the enforced worship of antichrist.

The woman is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth (v18). The harlot-religion is worldwide but centred on a city.

Many believe this city has to be ROME. 
First - in John’s time Rome and her religion was the city that reigned over the world.

Second - the ten kingdoms she sits upon are Revived Rome.  v9 may contain a secondary reference to the seven hills that Rome was originally built upon (this may explain the unusual phrasing of v9,10).

Third - Roman Catholicism has incorporated some aspects of Babylonian religion, it has always had a desire for political power, it is the only world-wide religious system centred on a city, it is rich and ritualistic;  it is responsible for many martyrdoms and the Revived Rome countries are mainly Catholic at present.  In other words for many Protestant interpreters it fits the description of the Harlot.

In Rome’s favour is that she is true to the Creeds concerning the nature of God and she does not deny Christ and Biblical morality, and  there are many true believers in her midst.   My belief is that after the Rapture the remaining apostate (Catholic and Protestant) church will unite with Rome being the central city of this church.  She will then quickly apostasise further and unite with other religions -abandoning her remaining orthodox beliefs. Then the harlot will be fully manifest.   At present she is working spiritually as false-religion but is not fully manifested and so it would be wrong to identify her with any particular body of people.  In the Tribulation however it is likely that the world-church will be centred on Rome, but it includes many faiths united together (including liberal Protestantism not just Catholicism).

Revelation 18 - The Destruction of Babylon
Is this a literal city of Babylon rebuilt to be a world capital?   This depends on whether the prophecies of the fall of Babylon in Zechariah 5:5-11, Isaiah 13,14 and Jeremiah 50, 51 are seen as having been fulfilled or still awaiting future fulfilment.   I interpret this Babylon to refer to antichrist’s world-order in the Great Tribulation. It is named Babylon because of its origins in history.  Rev18 describes a world-wide judgment on the world-system which has become a ‘global-city’. By modern computer technology and communications the cities of the world are being linked together.  A global economy is developing.  This will all come to a head in the One-World Government of the Great Tribulation.

Revelation 18 describes the destruction of this global-city especially focusing on the economic aspect: 
v1.  This angel is probably JESUS CHRIST Himself. 
v2-8.  Judgement is announced for her sins - a sudden judgment by fire hits the city or cities of antichrist causing economic disaster. 
v9-19.  As a result the kings, merchants and mariners mourn who gained from her prosperity and luxuries built on the suffering of many (v13).  They had completely trusted in Babylon instead of God for their peace, prosperity and security and now as they see it crashing down they know they realise they have lost everything - the folly of trusting in man. 
v20-24.  Heaven rejoices at her final judgment. 
v25. The sin above all that brings her judgement is the blood she sheds of millions of believers who would not take the mark of the beast and so did not join themselves to the global economy in obedience to v4.

Revelation 19:1-5.  Antichrist’s whole world-order is unravelled by this judgment.   It not only destroys the beast-economy but the beast’s religious system(the great harlot).

Where is the antichrist at this time? 
He and his armies are involved in the Armageddon Campaign.  He has invaded Israel and has just captured Jerusalem.  Then, in response, God poured out the 7th Bowl of judgement which devastated his whole World-Empire, Babylon the Great.  This marks the end of the time (the last day) of antichrist’s absolute power, therefore it happens on the 1260th day.  The next event in Revelation is the Second Coming of Christ (19:6-21) on the following day, when He comes to destroy the invading armies of antichrist, in response to repentant Israel calling upon Him.

6. THE NATIONAL REPENTANCE OF ISRAEL 
The Basis for the Return of Christ. When Christ came the first time, Israel’s leaders (of His generation) rejected Him (the unforgivable sin of Matthew 12).   As a result Christ could not establish His Kingdom then and instead judgment came upon the nation in AD 70 (destruction and dispersion).  See also Luke 19:41-44.  God never turned His heart from Israel but He hid His face from her.   There followed 2000 years of suffering and persecution, and sadly the Church was to blame for much of the anti Semitism.  God’s Plan, however has not changed.  He will still establish the Kingdom through Israel.   As a result, for Christ to return and establish it, Israel and her leaders must first repent of their rejection of Jesus and welcome Him as her King.  Only then can He fulfil God’s covenants to Israel in the Messianic Kingdom.

In Matthew 23, Jesus denounced the leaders for rejecting Him (v13, 29-36). He then said: Jerusalem.  Your house is left unto you desolate.  For I say unto you, You shall not see me henceforth, till you shall say (to me) “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord (v37-39).   In other words, He will only return when Israel as a nation accept Him as her Messiah.   This is confirmed in Leviticus 26:40-42, and Jeremiah 3:11-18.

In her extremity on the brink of destruction, God gives Israel repentance. 
Israel (in the land and in Bozrah) calls upon Jesus for deliverance.   Israel’s repentance is the basis for the Return of Christ.   At the point of extinction at the Campaign of Armageddon, they call upon Jesus to come and save them.

Zechariah 12:10-14 describes this national repentance: 
I will pour upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and supplication, and they will look (in faith) unto Me whom they have pierced and they shall mourn (plead) for Him (to return) as one mourns for his only son (who has been lost, desiring reunion at his return).  In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.  And the land shall mourn, every family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of  Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves;  the family  of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and their wives by themselves;  all the families that remain, every  family by itself, and their wives by themselves.

Israel’s national repentance, conversion and pleading for Christ to return in Zech12, is the condition for the Second Coming of Christ bringing cleansing (the spiritual salvation) of Israel in Zech13, as well as the physical deliverance of Israel from her enemies and the establishment of the Kingdom in Zech 14.

In that day (when Christ returns) a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness (Zech13:1). 
One result is that all idolatry and occult practices are removed and banned from Israel in the Millennium: 
It shall be in that day, says the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, and they shall no longer be remembered.   I will also cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to depart from the land.  It shall come to pass that if anyone still prophesies, then his father and mother who begot him will say to him, You shall not live, because you have spoken lies in the name of the LORD.  And his father and mother who begot him shall thrust him through when he prophesies.   It shall be in that day that every prophet will be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies, they will not wear a robe of coarse hair to deceive.  But he will say, ‘I am no prophet, I am a farmer; for a man taught me to keep cattle from my youth.  And one will say to him, What are these wounds between your arms?  Then he will answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends
 (v2-6).

Zechariah 13:7-9 tells us that only one third of Jews in the land will have survived the Great Tribulation to this point, but the ones left will all believe and be cleansed and saved. 
Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd (Jesus), against the Man who is My Companion, says the LORD of hosts.  Strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered (Israel were scattered because she rejected Christ); then (in the Tribulation) I will turn My hand against the little ones (Israel will be under the hand of discipline to bring her back into fellowship). And it shall come to pass in all the land, says the LORD, “that two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die, but one-third shall be left in it.   I will bring the one-third through the fire (the Tribulation), I will refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested.   They will call on My name, and I will answer them (the nation calls on Jesus to return and He does).  I will say, This is My people; and each one will say, The LORD is my God (the whole nation will enter into the New Covenant when Jesus returns).

Throughout the Tribulation, ISRAEL will be increasingly turning to God and Jesus Christ.  Factors causing this will be: 
(1)  The Rapture of the Church in accordance with the New Testament. 
(2)  The removal of their blindness (Romans 11:25). 
(3)  The witness of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists. 
(4)  The testimony of the two witnesses, including Elijah, to Jesus as Messiah. 
(5)  The events of the Tribulation will be seen to agree with prophecy about Jesus and the Book of Revelation in great detail. 
(6)  Being deceived by antichrist will make them seek the true Christ. 
(7)  The sufferings of the Tribulation will cause them to seek help from God and to understand why these things are happening to them.  They will see that it must be their rejection of the Messiah. 
(8) They will see from the Scriptures that the Messiah had to come before the destruction of the Temple in the first century. 
(9)  Unbelievers will be purged from the land by the fires of the Tribulation. 
(10) The final invasion of Israel brings them to the point of extinction.  In this crisis, the whole nation will call upon the name of the Lord (Jesus) to save them.  They will be in a situation of total helplessness, where destruction is certain and only God can rescue them (as at the Red Sea). 
(11) God will pour out a Spirit of grace and supplication enabling them to believe and repent. They will see that it is time for Christ to return but He will only do so when Israel calls upon His name to save them.

That Israel will recognise Jesus in the seven years of Tribulation after not coming to know Him in the seven years of blessing (AD 26-33) is foretold in the type of Joseph whose brothers finally recognised as Lord the brother who they had rejected.  They did not know him in the seven years of abundance but came to him in the seven years of famine, when he revealed himself to them and saved them from death.

If Christ did not return, all Israel would have been destroyed but He returns for the elect’s sake - to rescue them: 
Then there will be Great Tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.  And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened 
(Matthew 24:22).

Hosea 5:15-6:3 contains the call to repentance that the leaders of Israel use in uniting the nation and preparing her for the Lord’s return.  They will call upon Him to save them from destruction and He will: 
I (Jesus) will return again to My place (Heaven) 
till they acknowledge their offence (of rejecting Christ). 
Then they will seek My face; in their affliction (Tribulation) 
they will earnestly seek Me (saying:) 
Come, and let us (the nation of Israel) return to the LORD; 
for He has torn (judged us), but He will heal us; 
He has stricken, but He will bind us up. 
After TWO days (2000 years) He will revive us; 
On the THIRD day (the Millennium) He will raise us (Israel) up, that we may live in His sight. 
Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD. 
His going forth (out of Heaven) is established (certain) as the morning (by now they know and fully believe from the Scriptures that Christ will come to save them, as surely as the sun rises in the morning.  He will come right on time in His Father’s Plan). He will come to us like the rain, like the latter and former rain to the earth (the outpoured spiritual blessings in the Kingdom).

Israel will also use the words of Isaiah 53 to confess her sin.

Their pleading is described in the following Scriptures: 
Isaiah 64:1-12:  Oh, that You would rend the heavens, that You would come down!  That the mountains might shake at Your presence - as fire burns brush wood, as fire causes water to boil - to make Your name known to Your adversaries, that the nations may tremble at Your presence!   When You did awesome things for which we did not look, You came down, the mountains shook at Your presence.   For since the beginning of the world men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who acts for the one who waits for Him.  You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness, who remembers You in Your ways. You are indeed angry, for we have sinned - in these ways we continue; and we need to be saved.    But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.  We all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.  And there is no one who calls on Your name, who stirs himself up to take hold of You; for You have hidden Your face from us, and have consumed us because of our iniquities.  But now, O LORD, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our Potter; and all we are the work of Your hand.   Do not be furious, O LORD, nor remember iniquity forever.  Indeed, please look - we all are Your people!   Your holy cities are a wilderness, Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation.   Our holy and beautiful Temple, where our fathers praised You, is burned up with fire;  and all our pleasant things are laid waste.  Will You restrain Yourself because of these things, O LORD? Will You hold Your peace, and afflict us very severely?

Psalm 79:1-13:  O God, the nations have come into Your inheritance; Your holy Temple they have defiled.  They have laid Jerusalem in heaps.   The dead bodies of Your servants, they have given as food for the birds of the heavens, the flesh of Your saints to the beasts of the earth.  Their blood they have shed like water all around Jerusalem and there was no one to bury them.  We have become a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and derision to those who are around us.   How long, LORD?  Will You be angry forever? Will Your jealousy burn like fire?   Pour out Your wrath on the nations that do not know You, and on the kingdoms that do not call on Your name.  For they have devoured Jacob, and laid waste his dwelling place.  Oh, do not remember former iniquities against us! Let Your tender mercies come speedily to meet us, for we have been brought very low.  Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name; and deliver us, and provide atonement for our sins, for Your name’s sake!   Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Let there be known among the nations in our sight the avenging of the blood of Your servants which has been shed.  Let the groaning of the prisoner come before You; according to the greatness of Your power preserve those who are appointed to die; and return to our neighbours seven-fold into their bosom their reproach with which they have reproached You, O Lord.  So we, Your people and sheep of Your pasture, will give You thanks forever. We will show forth Your praise to all generations.

Psalm 80:1-19:  Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, You who lead Joseph like a flock; You who dwell between the cherubim, shine forth!  Before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh, stir up Your strength, and come and save us!   Restore us, O God; cause Your face to shine, and we shall be saved!  O LORD God of hosts, How long will You be angry against the prayer of Your people?  You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in great measure.  You have made us a strife to our neighbours, and our enemies laugh among themselves.  Restore us, O God of hosts; cause Your face to shine, and we shall be saved! You have brought a vine out of Egypt. You have cast out the nations, and planted it.  You prepared room for it, and caused it to take deep root, and it filled the land.  The hills were covered with its shadow, and the mighty cedars with its boughs.  She sent out her boughs to the Sea, and her branches to the River.   Why have You broken down her hedges, so that all who pass by the way pluck her fruit?   The boar out of the woods uproots it, and the wild beast of the field devours it.  Return, we beseech You, O God of hosts.  Look down from heaven and see, and visit this vine and the vineyard which Your right hand has planted, and the branch that You made strong for Yourself.  It is burned with fire, it is cut down; they perish at the rebuke of Your countenance.  Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand, Upon the son of man whom You made strong for Yourself.  Then we will not turn back from You.  Revive us, and we will call upon Your name.  Restore us, O LORD God of hosts; cause Your face to shine, and we shall be saved!

Jesus will return in answer to these prayers from Israel.

Romans 11:25-27 will then be fulfilled: For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in (at the Rapture of the Church) and so all Israel will be saved (spiritually and physically) as it is written (Isa59:20): The Deliverer (JESUS) will come out of Zion(HEAVEN - to save Israel from the antichrist) and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob for this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins (He will also bring Israel into the New Covenant as a nation for the Millennium).  All the Jews in the land, surviving to the end, will be believers and be saved by Jesus at His Return: He who endures to the end shall be saved (Matthew 24:13).

Both Joel and Zechariah describe the same sequence of events. 
1.  INVASION and DESTRUCTION 
2.  REPENTANCE 
3.  DELIVERANCE and RESTORATION by the Return of Christ, Who judges the nations, saves and cleanses His people and establishes His Kingdom.

We have already studied Zechariah: 
1.  INVASION and DESTRUCTION (12:1-9). 
2.  REPENTANCE (12:10-14). 
3.  DELIVERANCE and RESTORATION (13:1-14:21). 
Cleansing and rebirth (13:1-9). 
Deliverance (14:3-7) from the invading armies (described again in v1,2, to set the scene) by the personal Return of Christ.   The Kingdom is then established (v8-21).

JOEL 2: 
1.  INVASION and DESTRUCTION (2:1-10a) 
 (2:10b,11 show the Lord about to ride out of Heaven in response) 
2.  REPENTANCE (2:12-17) 
3.  DELIVERANCE and RESTORATION (2:18-32).

1. ENEMY INVASION.   We have seen the invasion of Israel (Joel 2:1-10a). 
The Lord’s response is dramatic, with a blackout, then He will come out from Heaven with His army: 
The heavens tremble; the sun and moon grow dark, and the stars diminish their brightness.  The LORD gives voice before His army (in heaven), for His camp is very great; for strong is the One who executes His word.  For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; who can endure it? (v10b,11).

2. REPENTANCE (2:12-17): Now, therefore, says the LORD, Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.   So rend your heart, and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm.  Who knows if He will turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind Him - a grain offering and a drink offering for the LORD your God?   Blow the trumpet in Zion, consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly.  Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children and nursing babes.  Let the Bridegroom go out from His chamber, and the Bride from her dressing room  (could this also be a prayer for Christ and His Bride to return from Heaven?).  Let the priests, who minister to the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar.  Let them say, Spare Your people, O LORD, and do not give Your heritage (Israel) to reproach, that the nations should rule over them.   Why should they say among the peoples, Where is their God?

3. DELIVERANCE and RESTORATION (2:18-32): Then (upon their repentance) the LORD will be zealous for His land, and pity His people: The LORD will answer and say to His people, “Behold, I will send you grain and new wine and oil, and you will be satisfied by them; I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations (Millennial Blessings).  But I will remove far from you the northern army (the armies attacked from the North - from a gathering point at Armageddon) and will drive him away into a barren and desolate land, with his face toward the East sea and his back toward the West Sea; his stench will come up, and his foul odour will rise, because he has done monstrous things (v18-20, though these armies cover the whole land they will be destroyed on the spot).

Millennial Blessings (v21-27): Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice, for the LORD has done marvellous things!  Do not be afraid, you beasts of the field; for the open pastures are springing up, and the tree bears its fruit; the fig tree and the vine yield their strength.  Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God; for He has given you the former rain faithfully, and He will cause the rain to come down for you - the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.  The threshing floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.  So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you (total restoration of the land and people in the Millennium after the destruction of the Tribulation).  You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; and My people shall never be put to shame.  Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel (this will be literally true - Jesus and the glory will be present in Jerusalem).  I am the LORD your God and there is no other. My people shall never (again) be put to shame.

Spiritual Blessings in the Millennium: And it shall come to pass afterward (after their repentance and the Return of Christ) that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.  And also on My men servants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days  (These are the blessings of the New Covenant that Israel will all enter into as a nation when Christ returns.  The fact that in Christ the Church enjoys the new covenant now does not mean the prophecy has been fulfilled yet because it concerns Israel in the Kingdom of God).

Joel now gives the signs of Christ’s Return to deliver Israel: And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood (total blackout) before the coming of the great and terrible Day of the Lord And it shall come to pass that whosoever calls upon the name of the LORD shall be saved (delivered). For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance (those who escape), as the LORD has said, and among the remnant whom the LORD calls (2:30-32).

This tells us that the Lord returns in response to those in Israel calling upon Him to save them.

THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS CHRIST  - God’s JUDGMENT on the invading ARMIES will be completed at the Return of Christ.

(7) God ends the Tribulation with a TOTAL BLACKOUT (preventing antichrist’s progress). 
This will be followed by the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ. 
This is man’s last chance and the immediate prelude to His return. 
The blackout marks the start of the GREAT and TERRIBLE DAY OF THE LORD (Joel 2:30,31) - a 24-hour day, when Jesus personally destroys the armies at the BATTLE OF THAT GREAT DAY OF GOD ALMIGHTY (Revelation 16:14).

It is the UNIQUE DAY of Zechariah 14:6,7: 
It shall come to pass in that Day that there will be no light; the lights will diminish.   It shall be one (a UNIQUE) Day, which is known to the LORD - neither day nor night.  But at evening time it shall happen that it will be light.  All lights will go out in the sky for some hours, so that when Jesus returns the only light over the earth will be His glory.   This will continue until the end of the Day when His work is complete and the sun, moon and stars reappear.

Matthew 24:28-30: For wherever the carcass is, there the vultures will be gathered together (the Armies at Armageddon).  Immediately after the Tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.  Then the sign of the Son of Man (GLORY) will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Mark 13:24-26: But in those days, after that Tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.   Then they (the world) will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

Joel 2:31,32: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.  For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance.

Acts 2:20,21:  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD.  And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.

Notice that Joel puts the blackout just before the GREAT and TERRIBLE DAY OF THE LORD starts at 6pm (the day of the Return of Christ). Jesus referring to the same event puts the BLACKOUT immediately after the TRIBULATION.  Thus it marks the closing of the Tribulation. Probably darkness will fall at noon on the last (1260th) day of the Great Tribulation. It shall come to pass in that day, says the Lord GOD, that I will make the sun go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in broad daylight  (Amos 8:9).   This happened at the crucifixion and will happen again just before the Lord comes.

Thus in order we have: 
1. The Tribulation   2. The Blackout   3. The Glorious Return of Jesus.

Joel 3:14-17:  Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision!  For the Day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.   The sun and moon will grow dark, and the stars will diminish their brightness.  The LORD also will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem.  The heavens and earth will shake; but the LORD will be a shelter for His people, and the strength of the children of Israel.  So, you shall know that I am the LORD your God, dwelling in Zion My holy mountain.  Then Jerusalem shall be holy.

Isaiah 13:6-9 describes the Tribulation. 
Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and He will destroy its sinners from it (v9). 
Then he says: for the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be darkened in its going forth, and the moon will not cause its light to shine (v10). 
I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. (v11-the Second Coming).

Isaiah 24:23: “Then the moon will be disgraced and the sun ashamed; for the LORD of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before His elders, gloriously.”   This happens at the Second Coming (v21,22) when God turns off the light of the sun and moon so that only His glory is seen.  Then throughout the Millennium the glory of Christ in Jerusalem will put all natural lights to shame.

Joel 2:10,11:  The heavens tremble; the sun and moon grow dark, and the stars diminish their brightness.  The LORD gives voice before His army, for His camp is very great; for strong is the One who executes His word.  For the Day of the LORD is great and very terrible; who can endure it?

8.  The Lord’s Roar from Heaven shakes the universe 
The Commander of the Army of Heaven, the Lord of Hosts leads His army forward into battle with a shout.

Joel 3:14-17:  Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision!   For the Day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.   The sun and moon will grow dark, and the stars will diminish their brightness.  The LORD also will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem.  The heavens and earth will shake;  but the LORD will be a shelter for His people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So you shall know that I am the LORD your God, dwelling in Zion My holy mountain.

Joel 2:10,11:  The heavens tremble; the sun and moon grow dark, and the stars diminish their brightness.  The LORD gives VOICE before His army, for His camp is very great; for strong is the one who executes His word. 
For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; who can endure it?

Matthew 24:27:  Immediately after the Tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, 
and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, 
and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Mark 13:24-26: The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.   Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will shake all nations, and the Desire of all Nations (Christ) shall come (the Second Coming) (Haggai 2:6,7).  Since the Second Coming is the climax of the Tribulation some scriptures (like this one) which apply to the Tribulation also apply to the events of the Second Coming.   So, there will be a literal shaking of the heaven and earth immediately before the Desire of all Nations appears.

9. THE GLORY OF JESUS CHRIST APPEARS in the sky. 
The disciples asked Jesus for the sign of His Coming (Matthew 24:3) and He gave the answer in v29,30, namely the BLACKOUT and the appearance of His SIGN, the SHEKINAH GLORY, which lights up the whole world just before He appears Himself: “Immediately after the Tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.  Then the SIGN of the Son of Man (the GLORY) will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matt24:29,30). All the tribes of the earth see the SIGN, so it must fill the sky and they mourn because of imminent judgment.

Because of the blackout which will last for hours with the world in fearful anticipation, the appearance of the glory of God will be all the more wonderful and terrifying.  The glory will be the only light source in the sky proclaiming that Jesus is truly the Light of the world.

The glory follows the blackout: It shall come to pass in that Day that there will be no light; the lights will diminish. It shall be one (a UNIQUE) Day, which is known to the LORD - neither day nor night.  But at evening time it shall happen that it will be light  (Zech 14:6,7).   All natural lights will go out so that it is not DAY.  But neither is it NIGHT, for the Glory of Christ will light the world for that Day.

The Sign of the Son of Man is His Banner of Victory under which He fights. The first sign of an advancing army in the distance is its ‘glory’ - its shields reflecting in the sun and its banners flying high.   Likewise, this Heavenly army will be detected first by its glory.  This is not the shining of reflected light from the sun, but the glory of Christ shining out from the men and angels of His army.  This will be seem to fill the sky.   Most notably will be the display of the glorious Sign-Banner of Christ, before His personal appearance as the Commander-in-Chief.

10. Jesus Christ appears- His Second Coming in power and glory. 
Matthew 24:30: Then the sign of the Son of Man (the GLORY) will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Mark 13:26: Then they (all the tribes of the earth) will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 
His power is power to destroy all the wicked opposition. 
His glory is the shining Shekinah that will light the world.

Rev 1:5-8: Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.  To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.  Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him.   And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. I (Jesus) am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

Revelation 19:11-16:  Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse.    And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.  His (all-seeing) eyes were like a flame of fire (judgment), and on His head were many crowns (of the kingdoms of the world). He had a name written that no one knew except Himself.  He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called the Word of God.

And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.

Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations.  And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron.  He Himself treads the wine press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.  And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST- A MAJOR DOCTRINE OF SCRIPTURE 
The Second Coming is a major event in God’s Timetable of history.   It is a great turning point for it is the day that Christ will come as the Judge of all the world, and will establish His Kingdom on earth.  It is the subject of many prophecies in both the Old and New Testaments (2Peter 3:3,4).  It is the last promise in the Bible: He who testifies to these things says, Surely I am coming quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!(Rev22:20).

WHY DOES JESUS RETURN? 
(1) To save Israel (the elect) who are calling upon His Name and who are about to be destroyed (Matt24:22; Joel 2:32, Luke18:1-8).   Deut30:1,2 describe Israel’s repentance at the end of the Tribulation.   Then v3 shows God’s response: 
then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will RETURN and gather you from all the nations, where the LORD your God has scattered you.   So one purpose of the Lord’s Return is to regather and restore Israel (v4) so that they possess the land and enjoy abundance of blessing and population growth there (v5,9,10).  Also as a nation they will enter into the spiritual blessings of the New Covenant (v6,8). At this time He will also judge the nations according to their treatment of Israel:“the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon your enemies, and on them that hate you, which persecuted you” (v7).

(2) To judge the earth (the evildoers of the world -Jude 14,15; Rev19:11-16; Is 13:11). 
Psalm 96:13:  Before the LORD: for He COMES, for He COMES to JUDGE the earth: He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.

2 Thess1:7-10:  When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe.

Acts17:30,31: Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained (Jesus).   He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.

(3) To establish His Kingdom on earth and destroy man’s godless kingdoms. 
Daniel 2:31-45: Behold, a great image! ...This image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.  You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces.  Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found.   The stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth....And in the days of these kings (the toes of iron and clay) the God of heaven will set up a Kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.  Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold - the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. 
The Uncreated Stone is Jesus Christ returning from Heaven to destroy the Kingdoms of this world in one blow and establishing His Kingdom over the whole earth (the mountain).

Zech 2:10,11:  Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion (this always refers to the earthly Jerusalem, daughter of the mother-city in heaven)!  For behold, I AM COMING and I WILL DWELL in your midst, says the LORD.  Many nations (Gentiles) shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and they shall become My people. And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you.   This refers to Israel’s realisation that Jesus is their Messiah.  Notice that many Gentiles will also be part of this Kingdom that will be established when the Lord COMES to Zion.  This is confirmed in the next scripture.

Zech 8:3-8: Thus says the LORD: ‘I WILL RETURN to Zion, and DWELL in the midst of Jerusalem. 
Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, the Mountain of the LORD of hosts, the Holy Mountain. 
Now the joys of the Millennium are described: Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each one with his staff in his hand because of great age (long -life will be restored).  The streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets.  Thus says the LORD of hosts: If it is marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, will it also be marvelous in My eyes?, says the LORD of hosts.  Thus says the LORD of hosts: Behold, I will save My people from the land of the east and from the land of the west;  I will bring them back, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem (the regathering of Israel when the Lord returns.  They shall be My people and I will be their God, in truth and righteousness (the new covenant enjoyed by all).

Psalm 50:2-6:  Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God will shine forth (this is Christ’s Millennial reign from Jerusalem). Our God shall COME  and shall not keep silent; a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous all around Him.  He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people.  Gather My saints together to Me, those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.   Let the heavens declare His righteousness, for God Himself is Judge. 
Jesus Christ, the God-man will come to judge the world.  He will gather those who have become His people by accepting His covenant and judge them for purification and reward, appointing their positions in the Kingdom.

The many prophecies of Christ’s literal reign from Jerusalem require His Second Coming (Isa2:2-4).  God’s covenant to David promising an eternal King and Kingdom upon earth to the seed of David can only be fulfilled by the Second Coming of Christ to rule on earth: My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips.   Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David:  His seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before Me;  it shall be established forever like the moon, even like the faithful witness in the sky  (Psalm 89:34-37).

WHO IS IN THIS ARMY THAT RETURNS WITH JESUS? 
His army is clothed in fine white linen (Rev19:14).  This identifies them with the Bride who was introduced in the preceding verses, Rev 19:7-9: Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.  And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.  Then he said to me, Write: Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb.

Thus He will come  with all His resurrected saints: 
Zech 14:5:  The LORD my God will come, and all the saints with Him. 
Jude 14,15: Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied saying, Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.      Also in this army are His angels: The Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works  (Matthew 16:27). 
The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven with His mighty angels (2Thess1:7).

Jesus will come with the Clouds of Heaven: 
I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! (Daniel 7:13).  This will be fulfilled by Jesus (Matt 24:30, 26:64; Mark 13:26; Rev 1:7).  The appearance of this vast army of men and angels, clad in shining white linen is as clouds; hence these are the clouds of heaven.

When Jesus ascended a cloud received Him.  This was a cloud of saints and angels (see also Hebrews 12:1).  We know it included resurrected saints because there were a number of saints who were resurrected soon after Jesus, to be a first fruits offering to God (see Matthew 27:52,53).

Acts 1:9-11: When He had spoken these things, while they watched He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.  And while they looked steadfastly toward Heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel,  who also said, Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into Heaven?  This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into Heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into Heaven.

Thus Jesus will return from Heaven in the same way: 
(1) Personally. 
(2) Physically. 
(3) Visibly. 
(4) In clouds (surrounded by saints and angels).

11.  Jesus goes forth to fight against the armies of antichrist by Himself with His army behind Him.

Rev 19:11-16: 
Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. 
And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, 
and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 
His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. 
He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 
He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called the Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 
Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. and He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. 
He Himself treads the wine press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

A.  He goes to destroy the armies of antichrist who attack Him. 
Revelation 17:14: These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful. 
Rev19:19:   I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.

The Book of Psalms contain many poetic references to the Second Coming. 
One is Psalm 18:8-16: Smoke went up from His nostrils, and devouring fire from His mouth; Coals were kindled by it.  He bowed the heavens also, and came down with darkness under His feet (the blackout) and He rode upon a cherub (with the appearance of a white horse) and flew.  He flew upon the wings of the wind.  He made darkness His secret place; His canopy around Him was dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.  From the brightness before Him (His glory), His thick clouds passed with hailstones and coals of fire.  The LORD thundered from heaven, and the Most High uttered His voice (as the Commander announcing the attack), hailstones and coals of fire.  He sent out His arrows and scattered the foe, lightnings in abundance, and He vanquished them.   Then the channels of the sea were seen, the foundations of the world were uncovered at Your rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of Your nostrils (there will be great natural disasters also).  He sent from above, He took me; He drew me out of many waters (He rescues Israel).

B.  He captures and kills the antichrist. 
Rev19:20: Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshipped his image.

2Thessalonians 1:7-10: When the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.  These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe.... and then the lawless one (antichrist) will be revealed (at the Rapture), whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His Coming (2:8).  See also Habakkuk 3:13.

The arrival of antichrist in Hades is in Isaiah 14:3-11. 
Israel rejoices (v3-5). 
The oppressed of the earth rejoice at the death of this world-ruler (v6-8). 
As his spirit enters Hades, the great ones among the dead are amazed to see him humbled (v9-11).

The spectacle of his dead body on earth is in Isaiah 14:16-21. 
Those viewing the body will be amazed that this great ruler died so suddenly and easily (v16,17). 
He does not get a splendid burial like other Kings but is trampled by his fleeing armies (v18,19). 
He will not even be buried at all (v20) because soon Jesus will raise him and throw him into the lake of fire (Rev19:20). 
His evil children are also killed (v21).

C.  Then Jesus goes to destroy the armies. 
Rev19:21:  The rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. 
And all the birds were filled with their flesh. 
This refers to the largest and longest of the Roman swords, which was used as a weapon of mass-destruction.   Held with both hands, it was swung to and fro, cutting down all who stand in the way.  It could easily penetrate any armour.  It required great strength.   It was shaped like a tongue, and on that Day the Lord will use His tongue like a sword to cut down all his enemies.

D. He goes first to BOZRAH to rescue the remnant there Starting from Bozrah going to Armageddon, He destroys all the armies of antichrist.

Zechariah 12:7: The LORD will save the tents (temporary dwellings) of Judah first (He first returns to Bozrah to save the remnant there), so that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall not become greater than that of Judah.

Isaiah 34:1-8: Come near, you nations, to hear; and heed, you people! Let the earth hear, and all that is in it, the world and all things that come forth from it.  For the indignation of the LORD is against all nations, and His fury against all their armies. He has utterly destroyed them, He has given them over to the slaughter.  Also their slain shall be thrown out; their stench shall rise from their corpses, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood.  All the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll.  All their host shall fall down as the leaf falls from the vine, and as fruit falling from a fig tree.  For My sword shall be bathed in heaven; indeed it shall come down on Edom, and on the people of My curse, for judgment.  The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, it is made overflowing 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.  The wild oxen shall come down with them, and the young bulls with the mighty bulls; their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust saturated with fatness.   For it is the day of the LORD’S vengeance (the Second Coming), the year of recompense for the cause of Zion 
This last phrase refers to the judgement of the nations (Gentiles) and national entities that will take place in the 45-day interval following the Second Coming.   Individuals and nations will be judged for their treatment of Israel, and this will determine their situation in the Millennium.   The outworking of this for Edom is in v9-15.

Jeremiah 49:20-22: Therefore hear the counsel of the LORD that He has taken against Edom, and His purposes that He has proposed against the inhabitants of Teman.  Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out. Surely He shall make their dwelling places desolate with them.  The earth shakes at the noise of their fall; at the cry its noise is heard at the Red Sea.  Behold, He shall come up and fly like the eagle, and spread His wings over Bozrah.  The heart of the mighty men of Edom in that day shall be like the heart of a woman in birth pangs.

The Treading of the Grapes at ‘Armageddon’ starts at Bozrah. 
The prophet Isaiah, standing on a high point in Israel sees a glorious blood-stained figure coming from Bozrah in Edom.  He is marching through the land in indignation and treading the armies of the nations with His feet causing blood to be sprinkled on His garments.

Isaiah 63:1-6:  Who is this who comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah, 
this One who is glorious in His apparel, travelling in the greatness of His strength?

JESUS CHRIST: I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.

Isaiah: Why is Your apparel red? and Your garments like one who treads in the winepress?

JESUS: I have trodden the wine press alone, and from the peoples no one was with Me.   For I have trodden them in My anger, and trampled them in My fury; their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all My robes.   For the Day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redeemed (Jubilee) has come (He went forth to save His people).   I looked, but there was no one to help, and I wondered that there was no one to uphold; therefore My own arm brought salvation for Me; and My own fury, it sustained Me.   I have trodden down the peoples in My anger, Made them drunk in My fury, and brought down their strength to the earth.

E.  The slaughter is described as a Treading of Grapes. 
The Gathering and Treading of Grapes is a prophecy of judgment upon all the armies that come up at the campaign of Armageddon: Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe (the armies gathered at Armageddon ripe for judgment).  So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great wine press of the wrath of God (the land of Israel).  And the wine press was trampled outside the city (men are crushed like grapes), and blood came out of the wine press, up to the horses’ bridles, for 1600 furlongs(Rev14:17-20). This describes splattered blood on the horses for 200 miles - the distance from Bozrah to Armageddon in the North, the entire extent of the occupying armies.

Who does the crushing? 
He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 
He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS 
(Rev19:15). 
The grapes are people, whose blood is shed when Jesus crushes them under His feet when He returns to judge those who are destroying His people. 
Come, trample the grapes; for the wine press is full, 
the vats overflow - for their wickedness is great (Joel 3:13b).

Jeremiah25 describes the judgment of  the nations that takes place through history (v15-27) and will be completed in the Tribulation and Second Coming (v28-33). This includes World Wars (v29), and the judgments of the Tribulation (v32,33). The Lord’s roar from Heaven signals His Return (v30) to tread the grapes (v30) and judge all the nations, killing all the wicked (v31).

Rev19:17,18 describes the magnitude of the coming slaughter: 
Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.

Ezekiel 39:17-20 also describes this feast for birds and animals: 
As for you, son of man, thus says the Lord GOD, Speak to every sort of bird and to every beast of the field: Assemble yourselves and come; gather together from all sides to My sacrificial meal which I am sacrificing for you, a great sacrificial meal on the mountains of Israel, that you may eat flesh and drink blood.  You shall eat the flesh of the mighty, drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams and lambs, of goats and bulls, all of them fatlings of Bashan.  You shall eat fat till you are full, and drink blood till you are drunk, at My sacrificial meal which I am sacrificing for you. You shall be filled at My table with horses and riders, with mighty men and with all the men of war, says the Lord GOD. 
The unbelieving armies die and are eaten by birds while their souls go to Hades awaiting the Great Judgment at the end of time.

These events lead into the final redemption of Israel (Ezekiel 39:21-29): 
I will set My glory among the nations; all the nations shall see My judgment which I have executed, and My hand which I have laid on them.  So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day forward.   The Gentiles shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity; because they were unfaithful to Me, therefore I hid My face from them.   I gave them into the hand of their enemies, and they all fell by the sword, according to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions I have dealt with them, and hidden My face from them.  Therefore thus says the Lord GOD:  Now I will bring back the captives of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name.  After they have borne their shame, and all their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, when they dwelt safely in their own land and no one made them afraid, when I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and I am hallowed in them in the sight of many nations, then they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their land, and left none of them captive any longer. I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel, says the Lord GOD. 
This speaks of Israel’s regathering and entering into the New Covenant.  The Gentile nations will realise that God did not cast off Israel forever and her dispersion was due to her sin (especially for rejecting her Messiah).   They will all be regathered to the land and enter the New Covenant (the Spirit poured out upon them all).  Ezekiel then describes the Millennium in Ezekiel 40-48.

Zechariah 14:12-15: This shall be the plague with which the LORD will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem: their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet, their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets, and their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths. It shall come to pass in that day that a great panic from the LORD will be among them.  Everyone will seize the hand of his neighbour, and raise his hand against his neighbour’s hand; Judah also will fight at Jerusalem and the wealth of all the surrounding nations shall be gathered together: Gold, silver, and apparel in great abundance.  Such also shall be the plague on the horse and he mule, on the camel and the donkey, and on all the cattle that will be in those camps.  So shall this plague be.

Joel 2:20: I will remove far from you the northern army, and will drive him away into a barren and desolate land, with his face toward the eastern sea and his back toward the western sea; his stench will come up, and his foul odour will rise, because he has done monstrous things.

F.  Jesus breaks the siege at Bozrah and leads His people out. 
Micah 2:12,13: I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together like sheep of the fold, like a flock in the midst of their pasture; they shall make a loud noise because of so many people.  The One (Christ) who breaks open (the siege) will come up before them; they will break out, pass through the gate (the narrow corridor to Petra?) and go out by it.   Their king will pass before them, with the LORD at their head.

G.  He marches from Bozrah to Israel (Isaiah 63:1-6). 
The battle goes from Bozrah to Jerusalem to Armageddon, from east to west: For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be (Matthew 24:27).

Judges 5:4,5: LORD, when You went out from Seir, when You marched from the field of Edom, the earth trembled and the heavens poured, the clouds also poured water; the mountains gushed before the LORD, this Sinai, before the LORD God of Israel.

Habakkuk 3:2-19: O LORD, I have heard your speech and was afraid; O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years!   In the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy.  God came from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah.  His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of His praise.   His brightness was like the light.   He had rays flashing from His hand, and there His power was hidden.  Before Him went pestilence, and fever followed at His feet.  He stood and measured the earth; He looked and startled the nations.  The everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills bowed. His ways are everlasting.   I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction; the curtains of the land of Midian trembled. O LORD, were You displeased with the rivers, was Your anger against the rivers, was Your wrath against the sea, that You rode on Your horses, Your chariots of salvation?  Your bow was made quite ready; oaths were sworn over Your arrows. Selah.  You divided the earth with rivers.  The mountains saw You and trembled; the overflowing of the water passed by.  The deep uttered its voice, and lifted its hands on high.   The sun and moon stood still in their habitation; at the light of Your arrows they went, at the shining of Your glittering spear.

You marched through the land in indignation; You trampled the nations in anger. You went forth for the salvation of Your people, for salvation with Your Anointed. You struck the head from the house of the wicked (the death of antichrist), by laying bare from foundation to neck. Selah. You thrust through with his own arrows the head of his villages.

They (the armies) came out like a whirlwind to scatter me (Israel); 
their rejoicing was like feasting on the poor in secret.

You walked through the sea with Your horses, through the heap of great waters.

 When I heard (of the invasion of antichrist) my body trembled; my lips quivered at the voice; rottenness entered my bones; and I trembled in myself, that I might   rest in the Day of Trouble.   When he comes up to the people, He will invade them   with his troops.  Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines;   though the labour of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the   flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls - yet I will   rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation (he can rejoice because   the Deliverer is coming).  The LORD God is my strength.  He will make my feet like   deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills.

H. Having completed the destruction of the armies, He goes to Jerusalem and stands on the Mount of Olives.

He makes His victory ascent on the Mount of Olives, on the very same day that He starts fighting - this is the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord.  This completes the VICTORIOUS MARCH OF JESUS AT ARMAGEDDON. 
  
Zechariah 14:3-5: Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle.  And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives (this is His victory ascent), which faces Jerusalem on the east and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley; half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south.  Then you shall flee through My mountain valley, for the mountain valley shall reach to Azal.   Yes, you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah.   Thus the LORD my God will come, and all the saints with Him.

He splits the mountain in two. It is interesting that in Mark 11:23, He stood on the Mount of Olives when He said: For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed ... and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Jesus will do exactly that.  He speaks to the mountain and it divides in two, creating a large valley  that runs east-west from the Mediterranean to the Dead Sea.

The splitting of the Mount of Olives has two purposes: 
(1) It allows the surviving Jews to escape to safety from Jerusalem while Jesus makes massive renovations to the landscape of Israel involving huge earth movements (described later in this Book).

(2)  The valley created will be the channel for the living waters that flow out of the new Temple and water the land.

It shall come to pass in that day that there will be no light; the lights will diminish.  It shall be a unique day which is known to the LORD - neither day nor night.  But at evening time it shall happen that it will be light  (Zechariah 14:6,7).  By evening-time this work is done and the natural lights (sun, moon and stars) are restored.

Zechariah 14:8,9:  And in that day it shall be that living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and half of them toward the western sea (through the new valley).  In both summer and winter it shall occur (supplied by underground springs).

And the LORD shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be - The LORD is One, and His Name One. (His Name alone shall be worshipped).  Jesus is on His throne and a new administration begins. A righteous One-World Government and Worship is established.

The 40-day Interval   As we saw in Part 3, there will be 40 days between the Second Coming of Christ and the official start of the Millennium. The existence of this interval is made clear in Daniel 12:11,12From the time the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be 1290 days.  Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the end of 1335 days.  The period of the desecration of the Temple is 1290 days (from when the Abomination is set up).  This must end on the day that Jesus returns.  He will remove the whole Temple in order to replace it with the far more glorious Millennial Temple.   However, there are still another 45 days to account for in the reckoning of the 1335 days.   We saw that this period started 4 days before the Abomination with the death of the 2 witnesses.   Moreover there is the special (1) day of the Second Coming.  This leaves 40 days from the Second Coming until the Millennium starts.   Thus thus the 1335 days are composed of 4 days (before the Abomination) + 1290 days (the Great-Tribulation) + 1 day (the Second-Coming) + 40 days (of preparations for the Millennium). In this interval a number of major changes are accomplished in preparation for the Millennium.   There are many geographical and structural changes to be made in Israel, including the building of a new Temple.   Moreover the new Governmental system for the Millennium needs to be set up.  During this time Christ will also choose the citizens of His new kingdom, so that there will be the judgement and removal of all unbelievers from the earth, so that those who make it alive to the end of those final 40 days of the 1335 days, are called the blessed (Dan12:12), for these remaining believers are truly blessed to enter the Millennium: Then the King will say to those on His right hand, Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world (Matthew 25:34).  

Some say the interval is 75 days because the time of antichrist’s world-rule and persecution of Israel is 1260 days (Dan 7:25, 12:7, Revelation 11:2, 12:14, 13:5).  How long shall the fulfilment of these wonders be?  Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished (Daniel 12:6,7).   This period ends with Israel completely shattered and calling on Jesus Christ to save her.   He returns and ends antichrist's reign.  Then they say that Christ will leave the Abomination in the Temple for 30 days after His Return (Dan12:11). But it is illogical and even absurd for Christ to do such a thing.  Moreover, it would be impossible, since Christ immediately starts to make drastic geographic changes to Jerusalem and the Temple area (Zechariah 14), which means the Tribulational Temple would cease to exist after Christ's Return.  It will be removed because the far greater Millennial Temple will be built to take its place.   Moreover Daniel 9:27 clearly states that the Abomination will only last as long as antichrist.   The solution would seem to be that there is a 30-day interval at Mid-Tribulation from the time the Abomination is set up by antichrist, before he becomes world dictator.   This is confirmed by the fact that Israel has a short time to escape at Mid-Tribulation after the abomination is set up.   It would seem there is a month before antichrist is able to establish total dominance over Israel and the world.  Thus the 1290 days of the abomination (Dan12:11) and the 1260 days of antichrist’s world-empire and his persecution of Israel (Dan12:7) end on the same day, which is immediately followed by the Second Coming.   The 40-day interval then follows on after that, after which the Millennium begins.   

There is an interesting parallel between antichrist and Christ.   Half-way through the seven years, Jesus was anointed by the Holy-Spirit and began to work signs and wonders and claimed to be God in the flesh for three and a half years.   Satan will counterfeit this when he is cast down from mid-heaven at mid-tribulation.  He will make antichrist the offer of the kingdoms of the world which Jesus refused (at the parallel time).  Antichrist accepts and is then fully possessed by satan.  This will give him supernatural powers to work deceiving signs and wonders, including being raised from a deadly wound.   He claims to be god in the flesh to be worshipped and with satan’s help he rises quickly to become world-dictator.  However, he is only given three and a half years of power.

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