Sylvia Colville

Rapture Ready Series – Part 5

The Tribulation - The Hour of Trial and the coming wrath of God

The Book of Revelation is about the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Alpha and Omega, the Mighty Conqueror, the One who has all authority and power and His victory over a defeated enemy. It is the total crushing of all rebellion and the final demise of all evil and of all sin. Total and complete annihilation!

There is only one Kingdom going forward from here – one that is ruled by God Almighty and by the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.

We have been discussing the Tribulation and what the last 7 years of this dispensation will be like. God is finalizing those who will be in the Eternal Kingdom of God Almighty and separating them from all those who are evil and who will be cast into the Lake of Fire.
He has no intention of allowing any evil into the eternal Kingdom of God.

Eph. 1:10 – That in the dispensation of the fullness of times, He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth: even in Him.

The time of this current dispensation of grace and God concentrating mainly on the Gentiles is coming to an end. The entire chapter of Rom.11 speaks about the future salvation of Israel.

The Seventy Weeks – Daniel’s prophecy in 539 BC

The last 7 seven years of this dispensation are the 70th week of Daniel’s prophecy in Dan. 9:24-27 and are about getting Israel saved.

To simplify this prophecy… God tells Daniel that He is giving Israel 70 weeks to finish the transgression and to make an end of sin. To make reconciliation for iniquity and to bring in everlasting righteousness. Each week represents 7 years…therefore 70 x 7= a total of 490 years.

It starts with the rebuilding of Jerusalem which will take 7 weeks or 7 x 7 = 49 years. (The temple and Jerusalem had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 587 BC).

Rebuilding the Temple began in 536 BC when Cyrus King of Persia allows the first group of Jews (42360) under Zerubbabel to return to their homeland to rebuild the temple.

They started rebuilding the temple but after 3 years they quit because they were harassed by the Jews who had been left behind after the destruction of Jerusalem. It would be 15 years before Haggai and Zechariah managed to convince Zerubbabel to complete the temple.

So although it took 20 years for the temple to be completed, the actual work only took 5 years. But the delay meant that it was rebuilt during the reign of three Persian kings.
Cyrus, his son – Cambyses and his grandson – Darius 1. The Jews receive official permission from Darius 1 to consecrate the temple in 516 BC exactly 70 years after it was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar.

Rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.

Artexerxes Longimanus, the grandson of Darius 1 allows a second group of Jews (5000) to return to Jerusalem with Ezra, the priest, who was an expert in the commandments of the Lord and of all His statutes to Israel. He is given the commission to return to see whether the law is being upheld there – 458 BC. Darius 1 gives him a freewill offering of gold and silver so that they can buy the bulls, rams and everything they need to offer on the altar in Jerusalem.

He allows a third group of Jews to go back to Jerusalem with Nehemiah to rebuild the 4km walls of Jerusalem in approx.452 BC. They managed to do this great work in just 52 days!

Altogether though, the rebuilding of the wall and rebuilding the rest of the city would take 49 years.

From the time of the completion of rebuilding Jerusalem until Messiah is cut off will be 62 weeks or 62 x 7 = 434 years. So from the time that they start to rebuild Jerusalem until Jesus is crucified it is a total of 69 weeks or 483 years. This part of the prophecy has all been fulfilled.

There is still one week or 7 years left for the Jews to finish the transgression and to make an end to sin, to be reconciled and receive everlasting righteousness but that week only starts when the fullness of the Gentiles comes in (Rom. 11:25).

The Tribulation and its purpose

The Tribulation is that 70th week. It’s a 7 year period, split into 2 periods of 3 1⁄2 years. The first is known as the tribulation and the second as the great tribulation.
During this time God is testing, searching the inner depths of man’s heart to see what really is there in order to distinguish ‘the wheat from the tares.’

With the church gone, who is still on the earth?

  1. The unfaithful (unbelieving believers.)
  2. The unbelieving which includes the Jewish nation.

The Tribulation is the time when God focuses on getting Israel saved.

God has a never ending covenant with the Jewish people. He has every intention of getting them saved. The land of Israel is theirs forever and ever and ever. They have never been replaced and they never will be.

The New Covenant was promised to them by prophecy in Jer. 31:31-33 and reiterated by Jesus in Matt.26:27-29. Jesus is celebrating Passover with His Jewish disciples. This is a totally Jewish event. During this Passover meal, Jesus is speaking about the New Covenant with them and the time when He will drink of the fruit of the vine with them in His Father’s kingdom.

It is time for Israel to be saved and be grafted back into their own olive tree. Like Paul the scales will fall from their eyes and they will know the truth.

Does that mean that He doesn’t care about getting the rest of the Gentile believers saved? No…He cares greatly for each one and wants all to be saved including the Jews. We have had over 2 thousand years, they have 7 years.

We therefore must understand that this being their 7 years, a lot of what is going to happen is about them.

The prelude to this is all the unease surrounding Israel. They have always been a greatly persecuted people. They went through all of this so that we could come into the Kingdom of God but God is about to set the records straight.

Rom. 11:25-26 – 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. V26 And so all Israel will be saved.

Understanding the metaphors, peoples and events of the Tribulation

The domination of Israel.

Over the centuries, Israel has been under the domination of 6 Empires. During the time that Daniel is held as a captive in Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar has a dream which Daniel interprets for him Dan. 2:28-45.

Nebuchadnezzar sees his kingdom and the three that will follow…therefore 4 kingdoms. Yet before Nebuchadnezzar there were two other kingdoms had taken them captive – Egypt and Assyria – a sum total of 6 kingdoms.

Click on image to enlarge

The Domination of Israel - 6 Empires - Kingdoms Past

1. EGYPTIAN EMPIRE

2. ASSYRIAN EMPIRE: 670 BC – 626 BC.

  • Judah had been under Assyrian domination as a Vassal state.

3. BABYLONIAN EMPIRE: 626 BC – 539 BC Nebuchadnezzar

The head of gold in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream – Dan. 2:28-45 

  • Neo-Babylonian or Chaldean Empire under Nabopolassar, followed by Nebuchadnezzar, followed by Belshazzar.

4. MEDO-PERSIAN EMPIRE: 539 BC – 330 BC Cyrus

The chest and arms of silver in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.

  • Cyrus followed by 13 kings. 
  • 538 BC Cyrus allows the first group of Jews under Zerubbabel to return to their homeland to rebuild the temple. 
  • 536 BC – 516 BC The temple is rebuilt during the reign of three kings.
  • First king of Persia Cyrus, second king – Cambyses 530 BC – 522 BC and the third king of Persia – Darius 1 521 BC – 486 BC. 
  • The Jews receive official permission from Darius 1 to consecrate the temple in 516 BC exactly 70 years after it was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar.
  • The fourth king is Ahasuerus (Xerxes 1) son of Darius 1 485 BC – 465 BC. He was the king who married Esther (478 BC) and it is through her life that the Israelites are delivered from destruction by Haman’s deceptions.
  • The fifth king is Artexerxes Longimanus, the son of Ahasuerus 464 BC – 424 BC.
  • He allows the second group of Jews to return to Jerusalem with Ezra in 458 BC.
  • He allows a third group of Jews to go back to Jerusalem with Nehemiah to rebuild
    the walls of Jerusalem in 444 BC.
Second Temple

5. GRECIAN EMPIRE: 330 BC-323 BC. Alexander the Great.

The belly and thighs of bronze in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.

  • Alexander IV – Upon his death 40 years of wars ensued between his generals, finally settling into 4 stable power blocs: Ptolemaic Egypt, Seleucid Mesopotamia and Central Asia, Attalid Anatolia and Antigonid Macedon.
  • Dan.8:3-22 Alexander IV and the four generals who take over his kingdom after his death. V9-12 – Anti-Christ.
  • Rome annexed Ptolemaic Kingdom in 30 BC – 641 AD – taken in the Muslim conquest of Egypt.
  • Seleucid Mesopotamia fell to Rome. Pompey made Syria (all that was left now) a Roman province. In 63 BC.
  • Attalid Anatolia – the Kingdom of Pergamon or Attalid kingdom was bequeathed to the Roman Republic by Attilus III upon his death as he had no heirs.
  • Antigonid Macedon – lost to the Roman Legions in 168 BC.

6. ROMAN EMPIRE.

The legs of iron in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.

  • The last Roman emperor died in battle on 29th May 1453 in the Siege of Constantinople by the Turkish Ottoman Empire. It was larger and stronger than any of the other empires that preceded It.

Kingdoms still to come

History tells us about the rise and fall of these 6 kingdoms – 4 of them represented by the head, the chest and arms, the belly and thighs and the legs of iron in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream but there remains one part of his dream that must still be fulfilled – The feet and the ten toes of iron and clay – these are 7th Kingdom and the 7th will morph into the 8th kingdom(ruled by the beast).

7th Kingdom

  • Revised Roman Empire which consists of 10 kingdoms who rule together independent of the Anti-Christ in the first 3 1⁄2 years of the Tribulation. They will be under the religious influence of Mystery Babylon. The Anti-Christ defeats 3 of these kingdoms towards the end of the first 3 1⁄2 years of the Tribulation.

8th Kingdom

  • Revised Roman Empire – The Anti-Christ has become satanically empowered in the last 3 1⁄2 years and the rest of the kingdoms give their power to him but still continue as kings under him. The Anti-Christ is now the earthly king of the 8th Kingdom.

Note that all of the 6 kingdoms ruled and reigned in a similar area. One kingdom may have been larger and another smaller but there are many countries who are common to all 6 kingdoms. Israel was one of these. Both the 7th and the 8th kingdoms will continue to persecute Israel. For that reason, and the fact that the 7th kingdom and 8th kingdom will be the feet of iron and clay with the 10 toes, it is safe to presume that this Revised Roman Empire will arise from those regions as well.

Babylonian Empire
Persian Empire
Grecian Empire 1
Roman Empire

Interestingly enough, today a very large number of these countries make up part of the 10/40 window of the unreached.

Mystery Babylon and the beast with seven heads and ten horns

Rev. 17:1-6 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, ‘Come, I will show you the judgment of the 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. So 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.
The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name is written: Mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth.
V6 I saw the woman, drunk with blood of the saints and of the martyrs of Jesus. When I saw her, I marvelled with great amazement.

Rev. 17:7-18 But the angel said to me, ‘Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
V9 Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo- Persia, Greece) one is (Rome was ruling at the time John wrote this) and the other has not yet come (the 7th kingdom). The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition.
V12 The 10 horns which you saw are 10 kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. 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.’
V15 Then he said to me, ‘The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and tongues. And the 10 horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire.
For God has put it into their hearts to fulfil His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. And the woman who you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.

Mystery Babylon

The fact that she is sitting on top of the beast shows that she is independent of the beast. They are two separate entities.

She is not a political power but a religious system in a great city, Babylon, where she has her headquarters. She has religious influence over the 10 kings. Rev. 17:18 These are 10 persons who will rule over 10 kingdoms yet to be formed. They will be in existence at the same time and place and will be reigning over the 10 kingdoms before the beast comes. They will make up the 7th Kingdom – Revised Roman kingdom and will rule independently.

Together with the 10 kings, she is responsible for killing a great number of martyrs for preaching the word of God and for the testimony which they held during the Tribulation (Rev. 17:6; Rev. 6:9-11).

They are also responsible for persecuting the Jews because they will refuse to acknowledge her religious influence over them.

However as we can see these same 10 kings will turn on her in the last 3 1⁄2 years. The 10 kings give their power to the Beast – the Anti-Christ who is now satanically empowered and they turn on her to destroy her so that the beast worship may be established. Rev 13; Rev.17:12-13.

The religious system

She is a symbol, a conglomeration of faiths and of apostate religions being linked together before or after the rapture. The world will commit religious harlotry with her. Multitudes of peoples, nations and tongues will follow after this new religion. Rev. 17:15

On the face of it, it will seem a really good thing and the people will be truly sincere. Universal acceptance and tolerance, peace, ‘love’. Isn’t that what we all want? But at the root of it what is this ‘new universal faith’ doing?

Its purpose is to draw man away from truly being reconciled to Almighty God which can only happen ONE WAY! Through the Lord Jesus Christ who is our only ONLY substitute, the only one who took the punishment for our sin, the only one who gave His life so that we can live in the Kingdom of God. There is no other way! It’s an exchange! We surrender our sinful life to receive His righteousness so that we can stand before God Almighty and be accepted. Again…there is no other way! Acts 4:12

So the plan of the enemy is to deceive us by getting us to be impressed by the seemingly sensible and right way that this ‘new, all encompassing, and ‘enlightened religion’’ will display. It will seem right and so ‘holy’.
But that is exactly what deception is, isn’t it?

That is why she is the called ‘Mystery Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth and the great harlot in Rev. 17 and Rev. 19.

The Great City

Babylon will be rebuilt. In the Hebrew bible it is mentioned 8 times as part of the land of Shinar – in which it is referred to as Babylonia. It is here in this land that the Tower of Babel was built (Gen. 11:1-9). It is here that Nebuchadnezzar brings some of the articles of the house of God into the house of his god. Dan. 1:1-4. It was part of the Babylonian Empire, part of the Persian Empire, part of the Grecian Empire, part of the Roman Empire in Southern Mesopotamia.

Today the land of Shinar is located in Iraq (almost all of it), the northern part of Kuwait and a small part of Iran.

From these scriptures we can see that Babylon plays a big part in these last days.

Is. 13 & 14; Rev. 14:8; Rev. 16:17-21; Rev. 17:1-18; Rev. 18:1-24

According to the Dakes bible it will become the capital city of the Anti-Christ in the first 3 1⁄2 years before he enters Israel to make the Jewish temple his capital the last 3 1⁄2 years of this age. It will be a great commercial centre of earth.

The city of Babylon will be destroyed by a great and mighty earthquake. Rev. 16:17-21

The Beast with seven heads and ten horns

The beast is a symbol of 3 things: The Anti-Christ, The Beast Kingdom and the satanic angel out of the bottomless pit.

The Anti-Christ is the Beast out of the sea

The Beast out of the sea

He is an ordinary mortal who will arise to power out of the sea of humanity.

He will not come on the scene until the 10 kingdoms are formed and until after the rapture of the church. He will come at the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week. He is identified as the Assyrian in Is.10: 20-27. He is the man of sin, the son of perdition, the lawless one in 2 Thess. 2:1-12; the beast in Dan. 7:11 and Rev. 13.

Rev. 13:1-8 – Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having 7 heads and 10 horns, and on his 10 horns 10 crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name.
Now the beast I saw was like leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion.
The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.
And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed.
And all the world marvelled and followed the beast.
So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast saying, ‘Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?
And he was given a mouth, speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority for 42 months (3 1⁄2 years). Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.
It was granted to him to make war with the saints and overcome them.
And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

He has 7 heads and 10 horns. He is not one of these heads or horns. He is separate from them. He symbolizes something different to them. He rules the 8th Kingdom. It says he has them. They are his…therefore what belonged to the 7 kingdoms before him now belong to him which includes the 10 kings of the 7th kingdom.

The 7 heads represent the 7 empires / kingdoms. The Beast that arises out of the sea of humanity will become ruler of the territory symbolized by the 7 kingdoms.
Each one of the 7 heads – empires/kingdoms has a blasphemous name.
One of his heads empires/kingdoms was mortally wounded but his wound had healed.

He has 10 horns with 10 crowns – these are the 10 kings.

He has the characteristics of the Grecian Empire – the leopard, Medo-Persia – the bear and Babylon – the Lion. Swift, brutal and fierce. The dragon gives him his power, his throne and great authority.
His kingdom is exceedingly strong, dreadful and terrible, devouring and breaking into pieces anything that comes against him. No wonder the kings give the power of their kingdoms to him. Dan. 7:23-24

He is a blasphemer – ‘He shall speak pompous words against the Most high…’ Dan. 7:25

All of this is the Anti-Christ – the Beast that arises out of the sea of humanity.

The Beast out of the abyss / bottomless pit

Rev. 11:7 – When they (the 2 witnesses) finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them.

Rev. 17:7-8 – But the angel said to me, ‘Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

This Beast is not a man. He has been kept bound in the bottomless pit. This Beast was, (lived out of the bottomless pit before John’s time), is not (is in the bottomless pit and not on the earth in John’s time), and will ascend out of the bottomless pit during the tribulation. No human being has ever been kept bound in the bottomless pit.

Darius was the earthly King who ruled over the Medo-Persia Empire. The Medo-Persian Empire ruled over all its lands. The prince of the kingdom of Persia was a satanic angel over Persia.

Alexander was the earthly King who ruled over the Grecian Empire.
The Grecian Empire was the kingdom, the empire that ruled over all its lands.
The Prince of Grecia was the satanic angel who ruled over the entire area of the Grecian empire.

In Dan.10: 7-20 Gabriel explains that he was dispatched by God in answer to Daniel’s prayer but the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood Gabriel for 21 days. Gabriel couldn’t get through but then Michael, one of the chief princes, (Michael is the prince, the chief ruler over Israel) came to help Gabriel. Gabriel goes on to say, ‘Now I will return to fight with the prince of Persia and after I have defeated him, the prince of Grecia shall come.’

So by the same token, the Anti-Christ is the earthly beast, the ruler of the 8th kingdom. The 8th kingdom – the Beast kingdom will rule over its lands and will continue to try and expand that territory.
The Beast released from the bottomless pit is the satanic angel over the Beast kingdom. Therefore he is the beast with seven heads and ten horns but no crowns because all the kingdoms belong to the Anti-Christ, the earthly ruler of the Beast kingdom.

The Beast from the Earth – the False Prophet – last 3 1⁄2 years

Rev. 13:11-18 – Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast (the Anti-Christ) in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast whose deadly wound was healed.
He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast that was wounded by the sword and lived. He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it the number of a man; his number is 666.

The seventh trumpet – The seventh angel sounded. It’s the beginning of the Third Woe. Loud voices declare in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms or our Lord and of His Christ and He shall reign forever and ever. The temple of God was opened in heaven and the Ark of His Covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake and great hail.

The angel from Rev. 10:1-7 had announced that there would be no more delay. The judgment and wrath of God is about to be poured out on all mankind with the coming of the 7 Bowl judgments.

The Great Tribulation – the last 3 1⁄2 years is about to begin

There is a great shift now as the Anti-Christ is given power and authority and his throne by the dragon. The satanically empowered Anti-Christ arises now as the Beast. The rest of the kings give their power to the Beast (Anti-Christ) forming the Beast kingdom. The Beast out of the bottomless pit is the satanic angel over the Anti-Christ and over the Beast kingdom.

He has had the two witnesses killed. Their voices are stilled forever. Pity about humanity seeing them be resurrected…that was damaging. And this earthquake in Jerusalem has made these people glorify God once more. It’s time…it’s time…to let the world know.

The world has witnessed the arising of the Anti-Christ throughout the first 3 1⁄2 years of the Tribulation…technology makes sure of that. He seems to be the answer to everything. He has suppressed the first 3 kings and now rules over their kingdoms. And now the remaining 7 kings swear allegiance to him and give him power over their kingdoms.

The False Prophet has arisen out of humanity and is operating in the authority of the Beast. Everything is in place now…it’s time to show this world who is boss…who really is God.
The False Prophet is performing great signs in the presence of the Anti-Christ and is causing those who dwell in it to worship the Anti-Christ.

The Anti-Christ ridicules God and his tabernacle and those that dwell in heaven.
You can almost hear the statements given by the False Prophet…’People of the world would a God of love do the things that we have been through? No! It’s time for the people of this world to arise from the ashes once more…as one. One people, one world, one God.
The Anti-Christ breaks the covenant with Israel and stops the priests from sacrificing and ministering in the temple. They are thrown out.
‘I will show you who is God. I will sit upon the throne in the temple’.

Daniel 12: 11 – And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be 1290 days. (3 1⁄2 years and one month).

The persecution of the Jews is about to begin. The Great Tribulation is about to begin.

Mark 13:14-20 – So when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not ‘(let the reader understand), ‘then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down into the house, nor enter to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter. For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be. And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days.