Session 4


The 45 Days Before the Millennium

 

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We ended the last session dealing with the pouring out of God's final wrath in the form of the seven bowls found in the book of Revelation chapter 16. The 30 day period ends with two final events as depicted below:

 

30 Day Reclamation

 

 

The Bema Judgment

 

By this time, all of the saints of God will be in heaven having been rescued from the earth in the "rapture." While the Salvation of Israel and God's final wrath are happening on earth, in heaven the saints of God will be undergoing what the scripture calls the "judgment seat of Christ."  The word "judgment seat" is the Greek word "bêma," therefore this judgment is often called the "bema judgment." It is foretold by the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians...

 

2 Cor 5:10 (NIV) For we must all appear before the judgment seat [bêma] of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

 

The timing of this judgment is revealed in Revelation 11:15-18 as being after the seventh trumpet has sounded.

 

Rev 11:15-18 (NIV) The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever. {16} And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, {17} saying: "We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.{18} The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great-- and for destroying those who destroy the earth.

 

There are three prophetic events mentioned in this passage.  First, the seventh trumpet is sounded. Second, it is proclaimed that God has once again begun to reign on earth. And third, the time has come for judging the dead and for rewarding God's servants."  So, the judgment seat of Christ will be taking place during this time.

 

We studied that there are 1,260 days for the rule of Antichrist and 1,290 days until the destruction of Antichrist. The question is, what happens to stop the rule of Antichrist during the 30 days? Well, we have seen that Jesus, Himself, will return and lead the Israelites in exile back into Jerusalem and then reclaim rule from Antichrist. With Jesus' return, the power of Antichrist is limited.

We are told this in the book of 2 Thessalonians.

Dictionary - anaireo

 

2 Thess 2:8 (NIV) And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.

 

The word destroy in the original language does not mean to annihilate, but to render ineffective.

 

Therefore, as Jesus appears on the scene, the Antichrist's power is rendered ineffective. In fact, the only two actions we have recorded that the Antichrist will take during the 30 days, is to kill the two witnesses and to gather together the nations for the battle of Armageddon.

 

The Battle of Armageddon

 

Rev 19:11-16 (NIV) I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. {12} His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. {13} He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. {14} The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. {15} Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. {16} On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

 

This is a description of the Lord Jesus leading the armies of heaven to the battle of Armageddon.  This is the decisive battle when the Antichrist will finally be defeated and the war WILL be over! The scripture tells us that the Lord will be leading the armies of heaven.

 

Rev 19:13-14 (NIV) He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. {14} The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. (emphasis added)

 

The question is, who are these "armies of heaven?" The scriptures are quite clear about the identity of this army.

 

Matt 13:40-42 (NIV) As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. {41} The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. {42} They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  (emphasis added)

 

Here in Matthew, the scriptures tell us that at the end of the age it will be the angels that are sent to "weed out" the kingdom. Several other times the angels are spoken of as being the agents of divine judgment and completion.

 

2 Thess 1:7-8 (NIV) … This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. {8} He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. (emphasis added)

 

There are many prophecies that deal with this final conflict.

 

Isaiah 34:1-3 (NIV) Come near, you nations, and listen; pay attention, you peoples! Let the earth hear… {2} The LORD is angry with all nations; his wrath is upon all their armies. He will totally destroy them, he will give them over to slaughter. {3}Their slain will be thrown out, their dead bodies will send up a stench; the mountains will be soaked with their blood.

 

Rev 19:19-21 (NIV) Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army. {20} But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. {21} The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh. (emphasis added)

 

This passage deals with the aftermath of the battle. We are told that the beast and the false prophet (the Antichrist and his right-hand man) will be captured and then thrown into the lake of fire. All the rest are killed by the sword that comes from the Lord's mouth. Some have speculated that this "sword" is the word of God coming from the mouth of Jesus. After all, in John 1:1 Jesus is called the Word.

 

Ezekiel 39:4 (NIV) On the mountains of Israel you will fall, you and all your troops and the nations with you. I will give you as food to all kinds of carrion birds and to the wild animals.

 

We are told twice that the birds will eat the flesh of those who will be killed in the battle. We are also told in Ezekiel that it will take seven months to bury all the dead from the battle

 

Ezekiel 39:12-13 (NIV) For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them in order to cleanse the land. {13}All the people of the land will bury them, and the day I am glorified will be a memorable day for them, declares the Sovereign LORD.

 

The Restoration Period

 

 45 Day Restoration

 

God's judgment is finished as the last bowl is poured upon the earth...

 

Rev 16:17-18 (NIV) The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, "It is done!" {18} Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. {19} The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath. {20} Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found.

 

The seventh bowl symbolizes total devastation. The earth will suffer a catastrophe as never before. It is described as an earthquake more severe than has ever happened before. The cities of the nations collapse and mountains and islands can no longer be found. This is the reason that Jesus protects the saints in the place called Azel.

 

The Restoration of Mt. Zion

 

Zechariah 14:10 (NIV) The whole land, from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem, will become like the Arabah. But Jerusalem will be raised up and remain in its place, from the Benjamin Gate to the site of the First Gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the royal winepresses.

 

We are told that the "whole land" will be like the Arabah. The Arabah is a desert. This seems to refer to the devastation described by the seventh bowl. But then we are told that Jerusalem will remain in its place and in fact, be raised up.

 

Isaiah 2:2 (NIV) In the last days the mountain of the Lord's temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.

 

This verse is repeated again in Micah 4:1. Mt. Zion will be raised as "chief:" of the mountains. This seems to be the opposite of what had happened in the seventh bowl. As all mountains disappear, Mt. Zion becomes the greatest of all mountains - and all nations stream to it.

 

Ezekiel 20:40(NIV) For on my holy mountain, the high mountain of Israel, declares the Sovereign LORD, there in the land the entire house of Israel will serve me, and there I will accept them…

 

The Restoration of Israel

 

Jeremiah 31:10-12 (NIV) Hear the word of the LORD, O nations; proclaim it in distant coastlands: 'He who scattered Israel will gather them and will watch over his flock like a shepherd.' {11} For the LORD will ransom Jacob and redeem them from the hand of those stronger than they. {12} They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will rejoice in the bounty of the LORD-- the grain, the new wine and the oil, the young of the flocks and herds. They will be like a well-watered garden, and they will sorrow no more. (emphasis added)

 

In Daniel we read that a major reason for the 70th Week was the judgment of Israel. But Isaiah records how Israel will come to truly rely on Jesus - "the Holy One of Israel" as their Messiah. Where they relied on the Antichrist and his covenant, they will now truly rely on the Lord.

 

Isaiah 10:20-22 NIV) In that day the remnant of Israel, the survivors of the house of Jacob, will no longer rely on him who struck them down but will truly rely on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel. {21} A remnant will return, a remnant of Jacob will return to the Mighty God. {22} Though your people, O Israel, be like the sand by the sea, only a remnant will return. Destruction has been decreed, overwhelming and righteous.

 

We also see that Israel will be restored from all nations. But, this will be a restoration of everyone "who is called by my name."

 

Isaiah 43:5-7 NIV) Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. {6} I will say to the north, 'Give them up!' and to the south, 'Do not hold them back.' Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth-- {7} everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made."

Micah 7:7-9 (NIV) But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. {8} Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light. {9} Because I have sinned against him, I will bear the Lord's wrath, until he pleads my case and establishes my right. He will bring me out into the light; I will see his righteousness.

 

Isaiah makes it plain that the "new" Israel will also include foreigners or gentiles.

 

Isaiah 56:6-8 (NIV) And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to serve him, to love the name of the LORD, and to worship him, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant-- {7} these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations." {8}The Sovereign LORD declares-- he who gathers the exiles of Israel: "I will gather still others to them besides those already gathered."

 

The Restoration of the Temple

 

Ezekiel 43:6-7 (NIV) While the man was standing beside me, I heard someone speaking to me from inside the temple. {7} He said: "Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place for the soles of my feet. This is where I will live among the Israelites forever. The house of Israel will never again defile my holy name--neither they nor their kings--by their prostitution and the lifeless idols of their kings at their high places.

 

We are told in Zechariah that Jesus, Himself, will build this temple.  We are told in verse 15 that those who are far away will come and help in this re-building, but the prophetic message is that Jesus will direct the building of the millennial temple. He will rule as King, and intercede as priest and he will finally bring true harmony between those roles.

 

Zechariah 6:12-13 (NIV) Tell him this is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the LORD. {13}It is he who will build the temple of the LORD, and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he will be a priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the two.'

 

Christ to Rule Over the Earth

 

Daniel 7:11,13-14 (NIV) "Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire… {13} In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven… He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. {14}He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed."

 

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