When we examine the Prophecies of the Messiah, we learn that He will come to earth on two occasions: Once for Salvation, a second time for judgement. Isaiah brings us a vivid description of the moment when Messiah returns to earth and finds a waiting army of enemies. As Isaiah sees the Lord, he asks the question: “Who is this with garments stained by blood?”
Isaiah is allowed to see the day when the Messiah returns to earth; not as the suffering Servant of Isaiah 53, but as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.
The Messiah’s garments are covered with the blood of His enemies at His second coming.
Isaiah 63:1-3 Who is this who comes from Edom, With dyed garments from Bozrah, This One who is glorious in His apparel, Traveling in the greatness of His strength?— “I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” Why is Your apparel red, And Your garments like one who treads in the winepress? “I have trodden the winepress 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.”
The Book of Revelation describes Isaiah’s prophecy
Revelation 19:13-15 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 winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
The Battle of Armageddon
Here in this prophecy from Isaiah 63:1-3, we see a vivid description of the Messiah upon His return to earth at the conclusion of the seven year Tribulation. As Jesus ascended back to heaven from the Mount of Olives, just outside of Jerusalem, after showing Himself to over 500 eyewitnesses at one time, during a period of 40 days after His resurrection; He will be returning to earth, at the same location.
When the Messiah returns, He will be coming with His church. A great army will be gathered by the antichrist at the Valley of Megiddo, north of Jerusalem.
Revelation 19:19 And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him (Messiah) who sat on the horse and against His army.
Revelation 19:15 Now out of His mouth (Messiah) goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations.
The Lord will simply speak as though His words were a great double-edged sword, and all the armies of the antichrist will perish. Isaiah describes the garments of the Lord that will be stained with the blood of His enemies, as one who treads out grapes in a winepress—splashes the blood of grapes upon himself.
Isaiah asks the Messiah: Why is Your apparel red, And Your garments like one who treads in the winepress? —Isaiah 63:2
The Lord answers: …He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. —Revelation 19:15
The fulfillment of this prophecy from Isaiah 63:1-3, is future—as the seven-year Tribulation and the second coming of the Messiah have not yet taken place.
The war described by this prophecy is fully detailed in Revelation Chapters 16 and 19. This is the most famous battle that will ever be fought on planet earth. Every nation will contribute their fighting men and machinery to assist the new world leader in his assault on Jesus, as He returns to earth. Megiddo is an ancient site of great strategic military importance where some of the world’s most famous battles have taken place. The importance of this conflict cannot be overstated. The winner will have control over the entire Middle East and the world.
Revelation chapter 16 describes the great river Euphrates as it is dried up to allow the armies of the east to cross over and enter the Valley of Megiddo.
It will be the outpouring out of the sixth Bowl judgment that will cause the River Euphrates to dry up.”
Revelation 16:12-14 Then 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.
Over the past several hundred years, many people have wondered how the mighty Euphrates River could cease its flow. This enormous tributary is over 1,700 miles long, 30 feet deep, and varies from 300 to 1,200 feet in width. In 1990, the Ataturk Dam” in Turkey was built. According to Turkish officials, the flow of the Euphrates river can be stopped at any time it becomes necessary.
This Arial photo shows the Euphrates River before and after the completion of the Ataturk Dam in Turkey. All the flow of water from the Euphrates, below the dam, can be stopped on demand.
The Euphrates River is the true west bank of Israel.
Genesis 15:18 On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt (Nile) to the great river, the River Euphrates—”
There is much discussion today concerning The West Bank of Israel and who should retain control over the city of Jerusalem. In July of 2007, Israel surrendered control of Gaza to the Palestinian authority. In November of 2012, war has broken out between Hamas in Gaza and Israel. In January 2012, over 2,256 rockets were launched at Israel from Gaza.
It is the stated goal of the Palestinian leadership that they want to acquire control over the entire area of Israel and drive all of the Jews who inhabit the land, into the sea.
“Throughout the Arab-Israeli conflict, and especially prior to the Six Day War in 1967, Arab leaders have at times pledged to drive the Jews into the sea as part of a victorious jihad to eradicate the Jewish state.” —Jonathan S. Tobin
The next objective of the Palestinian leadership is to take the West Bank from Israel and capture Jerusalem. The major reason that Israel surrendered Gaza to the Palestinians in the first place, was in the hope of making peace and a possible subsequent action to allow continued Jewish control over the West Bank. It is certain that Israel will never surrender all of the West Bank, because it contains their most cherished city, Jerusalem.
Under David, Israel’s kingdom extended to Damascus. Under David’s son Solomon, the kingdom extended all the way up to the Euphrates River. In Genesis 15, God said that the land which He gave to Abraham and his descendants, through Isaac, extended from the south, at the Nile river in Egypt, to the far north at the Euphrates River. Since the end of Solomon’s kingdom, Israel has possessed only a fraction of its former boundaries.
Given the massive size of the Euphrates River, could this torrent be dried up in fulfillment of the prophecy described in the Book of Revelation?
In February 1994, the Atlantic Monthly News reported that the “Ataturk Dam” in Turkey can “stop the flow of water into Syria and Iraq for up to 8 months.”
The article that published this data was called “The Coming Anarchy”.
“Unlike Egypt’s Aswan High Dam, on the Nile, and Syria’s Revolution Dam, on the Euphrates, both of which were built largely by Russians, the Ataturk Dam is a predominantly Turkish affair, with Turkish engineers and companies in charge. Erduhan Bayindir, the site manager at the dam, told me that “while oil can be shipped abroad to enrich only elites, water has to be spread more evenly within the society. It is true, we can stop the flow of water into Syria and Iraq for up to eight months without the same water overflowing our dams, in order to regulate their political behavior.”
The origin of this report is a secular news agency, not a Christian or Biblical source. The Euphrates can be dried up anytime it becomes necessary.
Revelation 16:12-14 Then 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.
The term “Kings of The East,” in the literal Greek language, means: The Kings of the Rising Sons. Bible translators knew that these were the Kings of the East, so they changed the term from Rising Sons to Kings of the East. The Japanese adapted this term to designate the location of their country as the place where the sun originates, later translated as: “The Land of the Rising Sun.”
The sixth angel will pour out his bowl on the river Euphrates. When this happens, the flow of the Euphrates River will be dried up at the Ataturk Dam. The Kings of the East—China and Japan—will be able to bring their massive armies west, into the Valley of Megiddo.
Revelation 9:14-16 saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. 16 Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them.
Can you imagine John, as he is writing this text here in verse 16: “Now the number of the army of the horsemen was 200 million.”
This is an interesting verse of scripture. When John wrote this prophecy two thousand years ago, the total population of the entire planet was less than 200 million people.
Today, China boasts that they have a standing army of just 2.5 million. They also recently boasted that they could raise an army of over 200 million in just a short period of time. There are some who have postulated that this “army” could be 200 million demonic beings. The more likely scenario is that this massive force will be a literal 200 million man army, coming from the east.
In a news article entitled: ‘It’s a Boy!’ Too Often”, we see how changes in Chinese culture are making the fulfillment of Bible prophecy possible.
XICUN VILLAGE, China — “Not much seems to have changed in Xicun, a cliff-side village deep in the mountains of southern Guangxi province. Except when you scan the birth records.
Last year, 20 children were born to the women of Xicun. Sixteen were boys. The year before, 24 were born and 19 were boys. There is a reason for the preponderance of males: In 1999, the medical center that serves Xicun bought a cheap, Chinese-made ultrasound machine that allowed doctors to determine the sex of a fetus. Sex-selective abortions followed. And now the town, like hundreds of others in China, is facing a boom in boys.”
Chinese researchers state publicly that there are 41 million more males than females among China’s 1.3 billion people. Back in the 70’s, China adopted a plan to control their skyrocketing population. Each family was limited to just one child, in an effort to limit their already gigantic population. Any couple that has more than one child was subject to a 15-year prison sentence. As a result, massive abortions of female fetuses began in China since the 70’s. Nine out of ten people born today in China are boys; this is nine boys for every girl. As a result, the entire culture of China is imbalanced. One of the unseen ramifications of this rule has been the rapid number of available males fit for army service.
Out of the 1.3 Billion people in China, there are more than 650 million men.
0-14 years of age: 153,401,051
15-64 years of age: 469,328, 664
65 and older: 46, 308,923
The possibility of raising a standing army from its current 2.5 million to 200 million is completely within reason, since China now has almost 650 Million men to choose from.
The late Chinese dictator, Mao Tsetung, boasted in his diary that China could field an army of 200 million, the exact number stated here in the prophecy of Revelation chapter 9. The Government of China later announced on their government radio—that in just 3 months, they could raise an army of 200 million men.
John was told that an army of 200 million soldiers would come from the east.
Revelation 9:16 Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them.
This present possibility of an army of 200 million is quite disturbing to many political and military leaders around the world. When we consider Japan, with all of her technology; and China, with their massive army; any attack made by these two countries coming together could spell disaster in the middle east.
In an article from Forbes magazine describing China and Russia in joint military maneuvers, we see a prelude to coming prophetic predictions made by the Book of Revelation.
NEW YORK – “While some world leaders are concerned that China and Russia are conducting their first-ever joint military exercises this week; the real story is what happened last week. The trade ministers of Russia and China met in Beijing to discuss joint economic strategies between these former Communist giants.
The Book of Revelation, chapter 16, describes, what appears to be China and Japan, uniting at the end of the 7-year Tribulation period. The Euphrates River will be dried up, so that their massive armies can cross over and allow their entrance into the Valley of Megiddo. Here, the Book of Revelation describes a massive battle that will occur upon the return of Jesus, north of Israel, called: “The Battle of Armageddon.”
I have, in my possession, a 54-page report from our Military, called: “FY04 report to congress on P.R.C (People’s Republic of China) military power.”
The United States is very concerned about the increasing military strength of China. Our leaders have been trying to partner with Japan who has taken a vow to never again be involved in any war. The United States has requested that Japan would reconsider their vow and join with the U.S. forces to protect each other against China.
An article in the Asia Times Online speaks of this interest by the United States, in partnering with Japan, to form a united front against Russia and China.
TOKYO – “This is just the beginning of a war of nerves of military strategy among the world’s three most powerful countries, based on real hardball politics, military hardware and spyware. The theater is the East China Sea, surrounding Taiwan and Okinawa. The actors are Japan, its ally the United States, and an increasingly powerful China that already is an economic powerhouse and is expanding and upgrading its military on the sea, on land and in the air.”
“This perceived Chinese “threat” – vehemently denied by Beijing – is a factor in the gradual transformation of Japan from a pacifist nation, with pacifism enshrined in the US-imposed constitution, to one that assumes a more powerful role on the world stage…”
As this prophesied army of 200 million comes across Asia, Revelation Chapter 9 speaks of one-third of the population of the earth—killed by their armies.
Revelation 9:17-18 And thus I saw the horses in the vision: those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone. By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed—by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their mouths.
After the Euphrates River has been dried up and the 200 million man army marches across Asia, we look with great interest at John’s next comment:
Revelation 16:13-14 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming 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.
John describes demonic spirits that come out of the mouth of satan, the antichrist, and the false prophet. These demonic spirits have been released by satan for the purpose of deceiving the military leaders of the world, in order to bring their armies into the Valley of Megiddo, to fight the Battle of Armageddon.
The Holy Spirit descends like a dove; here, the demonic spirit descends like a frog.
Frogs are cold-blooded. They can change their colors at will. They are denizens of two worlds: water and land. They live an average of 18 years. They remain young by taking their skin and pulling it off their bodies by their back legs and then eating it, growing an entirely new skin.
These demonic spirits will influence military leaders around the world in gathering their armies to the Valley of Megiddo, where Jesus will come from His arrival at the Mount of Olives. Under demonic influence, these military leaders at the end of the seven year Tribulation will come to the Valley of Megiddo. They will arrive via the Pan-Asian Highway, finished in the early 80’s.
The “Pan-Asian Highway”
The demonic spirits described in the Book of Revelation 16:13-14 are calling these military leaders from the East to Megiddo.
As all of this is happening, Jesus speaks:
Revelation 16:15-16 “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.” And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.
Jesus inserts a word of encouragement here for those who have given their lives to Him during the last three and one half years of the Great Tribulation. The Lord encourages His followers to not lose hope, because He is about to return.
Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica to instruct them in the specific details of the return of Jesus to earth.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-5 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day.
Jesus said that when He returns for His church at the Rapture, just prior to the seven year Tribulation, it will be sudden—like a thief; His arrival will come without prior warning.
At the midway point of the seven-year Tribulation, the antichrist will command the world to worship him, described by Jesus in Matthew chapter 24 as the Abomination of Desolation. Jesus will return exactly 1,260 days later. Paul told the Thessalonians that when Jesus returns at the Rapture, it will be at a time unannounced. This is a fundamental difference that distinguishes the Rapture from the Second Coming of Jesus.
Rapture: Time of Jesus’ arrival is unknown.
Second Coming: Time of Jesus’ arrival will be at the end of the 1,260 days from the Abomination of Desolation, that occurs at the midway point of the seven-year Tribulation.
These clear differences between the Lord’s two appearances in the last days makes it certain that there are two separate returns of Jesus. One, in which the timing is unknown that will take place in “the air,” at the Rapture. This will happen in close proximity to the beginning of the seven-year Tribulation.
Matthew 24:36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.
The Second Coming will occur a time certain—at the end of the seven-year tribulation (1,260 days from the Abomination of Desolation).
1. Abomination of Desolation, mid-way in the seven year peace plan.
2. Add 1,260 days to determine the end of the Great Tribulation.
3. Add 30 days for the Judgment of the Nations by Jesus.
4. At 1,290 days, the Millennium kingdom of the Messiah begins.
When the Abomination of Desolation is announced at Jerusalem, the Great Tribulation begins. Start counting: 1,260 days later, Jesus returns to earth at the Mount of Olives, with His church.
Matthew 24:15 Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand)…
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 one thousand two hundred and ninety days.
The return of Jesus with His church at the end of the 1,260 days.
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. 12 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. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 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 winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
The 30-day period, when Jesus judges the nations to determine the nations which will be permitted to enter into the Kingdom age of the Messiah
Matthew 25:31-32 When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.
When Jesus returns at the end of the seven-year Tribulation, this is when the Battle of Armageddon will occur.
Revelation 16:16 And they gathered them (The massive army) together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.
This is the Valley of Megiddo. Megiddo means Rendezvous.
There is going to be a rendezvous, 60 miles north of Jerusalem, in the Valley of Megiddo, in the final days of the seven-year Tribulation. This has been the rendezvous of over 34 past battles.
• Gideon took 300 men and overcame the Midianites.
• Samson defeated the Philistines.
• Pharaoh Necho killed King Josiah.
• Debora killed Sisera.
• Many other battles in history have been fought in the Valley of Megiddo with the Turks, Muslims, Syrians, and Egyptians.
Napoleon, on his way to conquer Syria, came through Megiddo. He declared: “If ever there is a place on earth where the last war must be fought, it is here.”
This final war will be fought at the Battle of Armageddon where the armies of the World will gather to fight the most important battle the earth has ever known. Why are they gathered? To devour Israel. To Destroy Jesus and His church who returns with Him at the end of the seven year Tribulation. To Determine who will rule the world.
Jude wrote that “the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints…”
Jude 1:14-15 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, 15 to execute judgment on all..”
Enoch 1:9 And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of His holy ones To execute judgment.
The term “ten thousands,” is used ten times in the Bible. Nine in the Old Testament, once in the New Testament; often to denote a large number of God’s people that is impossible to count.
In Revelation Chapter 19, John describes this army that will be coming with Jesus—His redeemed church who have been with Him in heaven, seven years previous. These are the ten thousands whom Jude and Enoch wrote of.
Revelation 19:14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.
Here we find two great proofs that the church has already been taken out of the earth by Jesus, having been “Raptured” before the Tribulation began. How could we come “with Jesus” from heaven to earth unless we had already been taken “by Him” from the earth previously?
The strategy for this final Battle of Armageddon is laid out in Daniel Chapter 11.
Daniel 11:40-47 At the time of the end the king of the South (Egypt) shall attack him; (Antichrist) and the king of the north (Russia) shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through. 41 he (Antichrist) shall also enter the glorious land, (Israel) and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: edom, moab, and the prominent people of ammon. (Jordan) 42 he shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of egypt shall not escape. 43 he shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of egypt; also the libyans and ethiopians shall follow at his heels. 44 but news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many. 45 and he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him.
At the end of the seven-year Tribulation, the Antichrist is headquartered in Babylon (Iraq).
The King of the South (Egypt), along with the North African nations of Libya and Ethiopia, launch a rebellion against the troops of the antichrist who are in Israel. They are hoping to knock out the antichrist’s forces, who are in Jerusalem.
While the antichrist is in Babylon, he hears a report that Egypt, Ethiopia, and Libya are rebelling…
The King of the North (Russia) also comes to assist the Egyptians and the North Africans in their attack of the antichrist’s armies. The Russians will deceive the King of the South, as they are coming to help the antichrist. Russian forces will descend from the North into Egypt and carry away Egypt’s treasures.
Today, we see that the alliance between Russia and China is increasing rapidly.
The King of the South (Egypt), Libya, and Ethiopia are coming up towards Israel. The King of the North (Russia) is coming down towards Israel. China, Japan, India, and other armies are coming East towards Israel. The antichrist departs Babylon in an effort to stop the rebellion. He sets up his tents between the Mediterranean sea and the Temple in the Jezreel Valley of Megiddo.
Suddenly, as the antichrist moves south, he hears a report that a 200 million man army is approaching from the East. This news causes him a great deal of concern. Coming back to Israel, the antichrist is trying to keep the territory that he has already conquered. Russia coming down, Egypt coming up—all converging on the Valley of Megiddo. For a detailed description of these events, see the Book of Daniel Chapter 11.
These are the events predicted by Isaiah Chapter 63, verses 1-2, the topic of this prophecy of the Messiah. Jesus will fulfill this prediction when He returns with His church from heaven, at the end of the seven-year Tribulation. He will touchdown at the Mount of Olives and then move up to the waiting forces gathered in the Jezreel Valley, to fight the Battle of Armageddon.
Zechariah 14:2−4 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. 3 Then the LORD will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle. 4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, 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.
We know that Jesus will return to the same place that He departed from, the Mount of Olives, as foretold by the angels who stood nearby when He ascended back to heaven, as recorded in the Book of Acts.
Acts 1:10-12 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as Jesus went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 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.” 12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey.
Isaiah continues his description of the Messiah’s return, as He seeks vengeance on those who hate Him and salvation for those who wait for Him.
Old Testament Prediction:
Isaiah 35:4 Say to those who are fearful-hearted, “Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, With the recompense of God; He will come and save you.”
New Testament Fulfillment:
Hebrews 9:28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.
Revelation 6:16 and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!”
Revelation 19:11-15 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 winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
The Events of Messiah’s Return
The Old Testament is clear in its affirmation that the Messiah will have two appearances on the earth. The first for salvation, the second for judgement. Those who will live through the horrors of the seven-year tribulation will find Jesus visiting the earth in 21 judgments which will cause two-thirds of the people of the earth to perish. Those who have waited for His return will be removed from the earth before the seven-year tribulation begins. Either by Rapture in bodily form while still alive, or by resurrection for those who have already died believing in Jesus for their salvation. Both the living and the dead who love the Lord, will be taken from the earth to meet Him in the air.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
Waiting to receive Jesus will cost your life
All those who come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ during the seven-year tribulation shall find themselves under the terror of the beast. This new global ruler will appear on the world scene shortly after the disappearance of all believers in Jesus, at the Rapture. He will command the inhabitants of the world to give their worship to him in exchange for the right to buy or sell during the seven years of the antichrist’s rule.
Revelation 13:7-17 It was granted to him (antichrist) to make war with the saints (Christians) and to 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. If anyone has an ear, let him hear. He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. 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 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 who 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.
To take the mark, the name of the beast, or his number is tantamount to worship of the beast. All those who worship him by taking his number or name will be assigned to the lake of fire forever.
Revelation 19:20 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 worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.
For those who love Jesus and gratefully live their lives in anticipation of His return, He will forbid that they should experience the coming wrath which will cover the earth during the Great Tribulation. According to 1 Thessalonians Chapter 4:16-17, the Lord will descend out of heaven suddenly and completely unexpected by the world. Believers will disappear where they stand as the Lord calls them to meet Him in the air. There is every indication that there will be no sound, no signal, or advanced warning prior to the disappearance of more than a Billion people. It may be that those whom the Lord is about to remove will hear Him call their name, similar to the event that preceded John’s rapture from the earth to heaven, in the fourth chapter of the Book of Revelation.
Revelation 4:1 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here…”
The Rapture will be similar to Jesus’ appearance to Paul while he was on the road to Damascus. Paul was aware of Jesus and could hear Him, while those around Paul saw only the light but could not hear Jesus.
Acts 22:6-9 “Now it happened, as I journeyed and came near Damascus at about noon, suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me. And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ So I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’ And those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me.”
Jesus’ return for His church at the Rapture will not be a physical return to the earth. He will meet us in the air, in the outer atmosphere. This is truly amazing when you consider that the description of this event given by the Bible seems to imply that we will meet in an environment that a normal human being could not survive. The fact that we will all receive a new glorified and eternal body similar to the one that Jesus possessed after His Resurrection, is most likely the reason that we are able to live in such a hostile environment.
1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
At His second coming, Jesus will return physically to the earth at the end of the seven-year tribulation. He will be seen by everyone who dwells on the earth at that time.
Revelation 1:7 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.
We should understand that the Messiah’s return to earth is a fulfillment of various Old Testament prophecies, such as this prediction from Isaiah 35:4. The purpose of the seven-year Tribulation period is to reveal the wrath of the Lamb against all those who worship the beast and have taken his mark. This group of people will be made up of those individuals who have rejected Jesus Christ and have refused to repent of their sins and come to God through the provision of the Messiah’s sacrifice.
 Acts 1:10-12, 1 Corinthians 15:6,
 Map created by the author, Rob Robinson, 1998
 S. Malla; M. Wieland, R. Straubhaar (2006-10-17). “Monitoring Atatürk Dam”. International Water Power & Dam Construction.
 Photo is public domain, NASA Earth Observatory
 Iron Dome intercepts missiles aimed at Tel Aviv, Jerusalem post. Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General (2012-11-21). “Secretary-General’s remarks to the Security Council [as delivered”]. Tel Aviv. Retrieved 2012-11-22. “”Overall, in that same time period, more than 1,456 rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel. 142 have fallen inside Gaza itself. Approximately 409 were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system. (…) Since Israel’s targeted assassination from the air, on 14 November, of Ahmed Jaabari, chief of Hamas’ military wing, and with Israel’s offensive in Gaza in its eighth day, the Israel Defense Forces publicly reported that it has conducted strikes at more than 1,450 targets in Gaza.
 Commentary Magazine, May 7, 2009, “Contentions Jews Driven Into the Sea at Last,” Jonathan S. Tobin, http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2009/05/07/jews-driven-into-the-sea-at-last/
 Photo is public Domain
 This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons. Commons is a freely licensed media file repository as public domain.
 “The Coming Anarchy”. How scarcity, crime, overpopulation, tribalism, and disease are rapidly destroying the social fabric of our planet by Robert D. Kaplan
 1.“Rising Sun”, where the sun originates, and are often translated as the Land of the Rising Sun. This nomenclature comes from Imperial correspondence with Chinese Sui Dynasty and refers to Japan’s eastward position relative to China. Before Nihon came into official use, Japan was known as “Wa” was a name early China used to refer to an ethnic group living in Japan around the time of the Three Kingdoms Period.
2.Nussbaum, Louis Frédéric et al. (2005). “Nihon” in Japan encyclopedia, p. 707. at Google Books; n.b., Louis-Frédéric is pseudonym of Louis-Frédéric Nussbaum, see Deutsche Nationalbibliothek Authority File.
 The late Chinese dictator, Mao TseTung. Boasted in his diary that China could field an army of 200 million
 By John Pomfret, Washington Post Foreign Service, Tuesday, May 29, 2001; Page A01
 “Mao Zedong”. The Oxford Companion to Politics of the World. Retrieved August 23, 2008.
 Forbes Magazine, “Russia And China Play Army”, Alex Storozynski, 08.18.05, 12:00 PM ET
 Asia Times Online, China ‘threat’ strengthens US-Japan military ties, By Kosuke Takahashi
 This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons. Commons is a freely licensed media file repository, by Erwin 1990, 13 of May, 2007. This photo is public domain according to Wikipedia
 The Battles of Armageddon: Megiddo and the Jezreel Valley from the Bronze Age to the Nuclear Age, by Eric H. Cline, ISBN-10: 0472067397