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 Prophetic Times To The End Part Twenty-three

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PostSubject: Prophetic Times To The End Part Twenty-three   Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:40 pm

Revelation 16:1-2

The bowls of divine wrath (Rev_16:1-21)
Chronologically this chapter is close to the time of the second coming of Christ, and the judgments described fall in rapid succession. There can then be no doubt here, not only that the series reaches on to the time of the end, but that the whole of it is to be placed close to the same time. Daniel indicated that these closing days of the Tribulation will be a time of world war (Dan_11:36-45). World events are now pictured by John as rapidly coming to their climax.
The First Bowl
John recorded that he heard a loud voice from the temple instructing the seven angels to pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath on the earth. This is undoubtedly the voice of God speaking from His heavenly temple. The adjective translated “loud” (megalēs) is frequently used in this chapter (Rev_16:17 also refer to the loud voice). But the same Greek word is used in connection with intense heat (Rev_16:9), the great river Euphrates (Rev_16:12), the great day of God Almighty (Rev_16:14), a severe earthquake (Rev_16:18), the great city (Rev_16:19), Babylon the Great (Rev_16:19), huge hailstones (Rev_16:21), and a terrible plague (Rev_16:21). The judgments being poured out are greater, more severe, and more intense than anything that has happened in the preceding events. When the first angel… poured out his bowl of wrath, it produced ugly and painful sores on those who had the beast’s mark and worshiped his image.
The question has been raised as to whether the bowls of the wrath of God are chronologically subsequent to or identical with the seven trumpets of the angels. There is clearly much similarity between the trumpet judgments and the bowl judgments. They both deal with (a) the earth (Rev_8:7) or the land (Rev_16:2), (b) the sea (Rev_8:8; Rev_16:3), (c) the rivers and springs of water (Rev_8:10; Rev_16:4), and (d) the sun, moon, and stars (Rev_8:12) with only the sun mentioned in the bowl judgments (Rev_16:8-9). The fifth trumpet dealt with demon possession with the sun and sky darkened (Rev_9:1-3), which is similar to the fifth bowl in which darkness will cover the earth and sores will cause agony among men (Rev_16:10-11). The sixth trumpet deals with the river Euphrates (Rev_9:13-14), and the sixth bowl will dry up the Euphrates (Rev_16:12). The seventh trumpet implies that the Great Tribulation is coming to its end (Rev_11:15-19), and the seventh bowl of the wrath of God records a loud voice from heaven, saying, “It is done!” (Rev_16:17) with resulting destruction of the earth by earthquake and hail, which is also included in the seventh trumpet (Rev_11:18-19).
Similarities, however, do not prove identity, and a comparison of the trumpets with the bowls of God’s wrath reveals striking differences even though the order of the judgments is the same. In the trumpet judgments, generally speaking, a third of the earth or heaven is afflicted, whereas in the bowl judgments the effects of the judgments are on the entire earth and are much more severe and final in character. Accordingly it seems best to follow the interpretation which has long been held in the church that the seven bowls are an expansion of the seventh trumpet, just as the seven trumpets are an expansion of the breaking of the seventh seal. The order is climactic and the judgments become more intensive and extensive as the time of the second coming of Christ approaches. All indications are that the bowl judgments fall with trip-hammer rapidity on a world that is reeling under previous judgments and a gigantic world war. Some bowl judgments are selective and extend only to the wicked (Rev_16:2, Rev_16:8-11), and several affect parts of nature (sea, rivers, sun, etc.).
In the first bowl judgment people who followed the Antichrist received painful sores. Sores also come with the fifth bowl (Rev_16:10-11).

Revelation 16:3

The Second Bowl (Rev_16:3)
After the second trumpet blew (Rev_8:8-9), “a third of the sea turned into blood,” killing “a third of the living creatures” and destroying “a third of the ships” (Rev_8:8-9). In the second… bowl, however, every living thing in the sea died (Rev_16:3). It is probable that the ocean here did not chemically correspond to human blood, but that it looked like blood and had the same effect in killing everything. Just as in the second trumpet, the blood here is analogous to the first plague in Egypt (Exo_7:20-25). As most of the earth’s surface is covered by the seas, this is a worldwide, tremendous judgment. The Second Bowl Judgment - Now the second angel pours out his bowl on the sea, and it turns into blood like that of a dead man, and every living thing in the sea dies.
We have already seen that God will cause a third part of the sea to turn to blood during the 2nd trumpet, but this second bowl includes the entire sea. Imagine when all living creatures in the seas die. Think of the unbearable stench and the potential for disease.
This judgment may well interfere with commercial shipping and send whole populations into confusion as people grope for an adequate supply of water, not to mention destroying what is left of the fish industry.

Revelation 16:4-7

The Third Bowl
Just as the third trumpet made “a third of the waters” bitter (Rev_8:11), so the third… bowl extends the judgment of the second bowl on the sea to rivers and springs and they became blood (Rev_16:4). John heard the angel in charge of the waters proclaim that God the Holy One is just in His judgments (Rev_16:5). For God’s work in turning the waters to blood is in response to the shedding of the blood of… saints and prophets (Rev_16:6). This is echoed by a word from the altar declaring the judgment just (Rev_16:7; cf. Rev_15:3). The Third Bowl Judgment -The third bowl, a sequel to the second, carries with it an interesting explanation as to why God will permit it. God will destroy the only remaining sources of water, the rivers and fountains or springs of the deep, by letting them turn to blood.
Whether this means literal blood is inconsequential, for if Christ can turn water to wine, He certainly can turn water to blood. What is significant is that it will become corrupt blood, which will breed disease and pestilence. One of the basic needs of humankind is water. Unless God provides water from another source or engineers by some process can turn this corrupted water into pure water, the world will be in a state of riot and confusion, seeking this necessity of life.
All of this describes devastation beyond what we can comprehend. The judgment of God has fallen. Sometimes, God uses wars to bring His will about. At any rate, this no doubt does away with a good part of humanity. Notice here, this is not the people saying that God is righteous. This is the angel saying God is righteous. At no time do the people repent. The angel here is saying that this judgment that God has brought is justified. This God mentioned here is the I Am. It seems that blood in their water supply is in punishment for the blood of the saints and prophets. Throughout the ages, the world and its evil system has been opposed to God and His people. They deserve this punishment. As bad as these judgments are, they are deserved. As it was said before, everyone likes to think of God as love, but few remember, also, that He is the Judge of the world. Thank God His grace saved me. He is longsuffering, not willing that even one should perish. However, there is a day of reckoning when the God of the entire world will judge fairly. This seems to be that time.

Revelation 16:8-9

The Fourth Bowl
This judgment focused the intense heat of the sun. In response people cursed… God and refused to repent (cf. Rev_16:11). By contrast, the fourth trumpet (Rev_8:12) darkened a third of the heavens but did not include additional intense heat. It is clear from this and other prophecies that dramatic changes in climate will occur in the Great Tribulation. The Fourth Bowl Judgment - The Sun Scorches Men - Their mouths already parched from lack of water, those who are unrepentant suffer even more intense thirst when God causes the sun to "scorch" them with "great heat". But even this does not drive the rebels to their knees in repentance. Instead, they blaspheme the name of God "who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory."
How right the angel was who said to God, "True and righteous are Your judgments". (16 v.7) Like Pharaoh, their hearts have become hardened (Exodus 7:13, 22, 8:15, 19, 32, 9:7, 34, 35).
The environmentalists are telling us every day that we are destroying the Ozone layer above the earth. Every time a person sprays their hair or uses an aerosol spray of any kind it does away with Ozone. The scientists tell us that this is so thin that it might just go away altogether. And if it did, people would die by the thousands from harmful rays from the sun that had not been filtered to make them safe.
You see, God put this earth together very intricately and man, in changing God's ways, has messed up the atmosphere. An interesting thing to note in connection with this is that it takes just a very thin coat of the shed blood of Jesus to protect us from the enemy. What a comparison. With this type of rays from the sun, they would be covered with sores. This terrible plague is vented at the beast and its followers. The worst thing they could possibly do was to curse God, and that is just what they did. They did not repent, their hearts had been hardened. They either were not aware of God's power or just did not want to give Him the glory. Either way, they are in trouble.
This type of "heat" would burn up all crops, cause droughts, and probably even melt the entire polar ice region.

Revelation 16:10-11

The Fifth Bowl
This judgment was directed toward the beast’s throne, imposed darkness on the earth, and inflicted painful sores (cf. Rev_16:2) on people. Again they cursed… God and refused to repent. This is the last reference in Revelation to a failure to repent (cf. Rev_2:21; Rev_9:21; Rev_16:9; cf., however, Rev_16:21). The fifth bowl is similar to the fifth trumpet (Rev_9:1-11) in that both will bring darkness, but the fifth trumpet has to do with demon possession rather than physical pain. The Fifth Bowl Judgment - Darkness: What's John talking about when he refers to the judgment falling upon the throne or seat of the beast and his kingdom? It's probably best to think of the beast's throne as a reference to his entire kingdom since his kingdom was full of darkness. Some see this to mean the city of Babylon, but his kingdom will be worldwide.
Notice also that tremendous darkness envelops the beast's kingdom. This same phenomenon occurred in Egypt during the plagues; the whole land was consumed in darkness so oppressive that Moses said you could actually feel it. That's the sort of thing that will come upon the kingdom of the Antichrist at this time. This divine judgment will give a physical illustration of their spiritual darkness.
You see, the beast may have control of evil men upon the earth, but he cannot control God or nature.
This "darkness" here was not just physical darkness, which is bad enough; but this "darkness" is of the spirit, as well, bringing depression, attempted suicide, and all sorts of evil attacks on the mind.
Two things indicate that this darkness will prevail for some time on the earth: the predictions of other prophets, and the effects on human beings. This judgment, a repetition of the 9th plague of Egypt, is to be understood literally:
"Woe to you who long for the day of the Lord! Why do you long for the day of the Lord? That day will be darkness, not light." (Amos 5 v.18)
"Who can withstand his indignation? Who can endure his fierce anger? His wrath is poured out like fire; the rocks are shattered before him" "but with an overwhelming flood he will make an end of Nineveh; he will pursue his foes into darkness." (Nahum 1 v.6,Cool
"That day will be a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness". (Zephaniah 1 v.15)
Christ's own prediction was: "But in those days, following that distress, "the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light" (Mark 13 v.24). The effects on people, described in Rev. 16 v.10 ("Men gnawed their tongues in agony"), indicate that the relief from the heat will soon produce an exasperating, frustrating darkness. We may forecast that human ingenuity in producing electricity may solve this problem, but we must remember that the water supply produces electricity, and with the tampering of the water supply, as seen in the second and third judgments, people may be incapable of continuing to draw electrical power and illumination from the rivers and bodies of water.
These judgments are so clearly supernatural that everyone will know that they descend from the God of heaven. But instead of falling down before Him to become the recipients of His mercy, people only "cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done." They not only blaspheme God, but refuse to change their ways. Let it be understood that those who reject the Lord do so not because of philosophical doubts or unexplained answers to unanswered questions, but as a result of hardness of heart and love for sin.

Revelation 16:12

The Sixth Bowl
According to John’s revelation, the sixth angel poured out his bowl and dried up the river Euphrates to prepare the way for the kings from the East. There has been endless speculation about “the kings from the East,” with many expositors trying to relate them to some contemporary leaders of their generation. A survey of 100 commentaries of the Book of Revelation reveals at least 50 interpretations of the identity of the kings of the East. The simplest and best explanation, however, is that this refers to kings or rulers from the Orient or East who will participate in the final world war. In the light of the context of this passage indicating the near approach of the second coming of Christ and the contemporary world situation in which the Orient today contains a large portion of the world’s population with tremendous military potential, any interpretation other than a literal one does not make sense. This is the only understanding of these words which will suit the context, or the requirement of this series of prophecies.
This is related to the great river Euphrates because this is the water boundary between the Holy Land and Asia to the east (Rev_9:12-16). While the implication is that the water is dried up by an act of God, the fact is that dams have been built across the Euphrates River in this century to divert water for irrigation so that there are times even today when there is little or no water in the Euphrates. The Euphrates River is frequently mentioned in Scripture (e.g., Gen_15:18; Deu_1:7; Deu_11:24; Jos_1:4). The drying up of this river is also predicted in Isa_11:15. The Sixth Bowl Judgment - Euphrates Dried Up: The sixth bowl judgment comes in 2 parts. (1) the drying up of the Euphrates River, which will be a preparation for the "battle on the great day of God Almighty;" and (2) the tremendous demon forces that will bring the rebellious armies of the world to the Valley of Megiddo for the purpose of opposing the Lord.
The Euphrates River is the eastern border of the land God gave to Abraham (Gen. 15 v.18). It is about 1800 miles long and so large that it forms a natural barrier against the armies of the world. Most people are not particularly conscious of the fact that it served as the eastern border of the Roman Empire. The sixth bowl judgment will dry up that river to make way for the "kings of the East."
It is likely that when the Euphrates River - the natural boundary between east and west is dried up," the "kings from the east" will march a sizable army across to battle with the King of kings. That army will probably be 3 to 5 million strong. These forces will be joined in the valley of Megiddo by huge armies from all over the world, and while that valley is vast as Napoleon has said, "the most ideal, natural battlefield in the world", even it has a limit to how many people it can hold.
This river could have dried up because of the problems caused by some of the other vials. There will be such a drought that this waterway will dry up and these armies from the east will come into Israel on dry land.
These kings from the east have befuddled Bible prophecy scholars for many years, for few scholars mentioned anything about them. That is, until the communist takeover of China after WW2. Since then it has become apparent that this largest of all countries, by population, has a prophetic role in end time events.
China is controlled by some of the most dedicated Communists in the world. They are not "reformers" or "progressive" as our media tried to represent them a few years ago. They are a ruthless group of elite gangsters who have never wavered in their plan to use China as a military platform from which to conquer the world. The events of the next 2 decades, if indeed we have that long, will prove that point. One thing we can be certain: China is not going to go away. John the Revelator saw them as players on the world scene in the end times.
Even so, the Bible has very little to say about China. In fact, what is said includes more than just China, for the terms "kings from the east" really means "kings for the rising sun," which would include Japan and possibly other Asian countries.
The Euphrates River, one of the first rivers mentioned in the Bible, has served for centuries as the natural dividing line between East and West.
The significance of the rise of China to become a principal player among the nations of the world was not lost on Dr. John Walvoord. He saw the prophetic significance of the Chinese rise to prominence back in 1967 when he wrote:
The fact that the rise of Asia has occurred in the 20th century with so many rapid and unexpected developments is further evidence that the world is moving toward its final climax and the end of the times of the Gentiles. In Asia, as in other parts of the world, the stage is being set for the final drama in which the kings of the east will have their important part.
If he were writing on that subject today, he might be inclined to say the curtain is about to rise. We are the first generation to witness the sleeping giant of China reach the potential of fulfilling this prophecy. No one doubts that unless something drastic and unforeseen occurs soon, China will gain control of most of the countries of the East, with whom she shares many religious and cultural similarities.
It is realistic to believe that she could be led in these very days by her master, the dragon, "that old serpent, the devil," to so rebel against God that she would actually join the armies of the world in opposition to the coming of Jesus Christ. What is needed to bring her to that point? Very little! Merely the deceiving spirit forewarned by John the Revelator. She is almost there today and could gain control of the entire Orient in 10 or 20 years.
Remember, the events of Revelation Rev 16 v.12 do not take place until 7 years after the rise of Antichrist, which follows the Rapture of the church. More than enough time to be fulfilled and just one more reason to believe Christ may return for His church in our generation.

Revelation 16:13-16

John was then given a symbolic and comprehensive view of the preparation for the final bowl of God’s wrath. He saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs coming out of the mouths of Satan (the dragon) and the two beasts (Antichrist [Rev_13:1-10] and the false prophet [Rev_13:11-18]). One need not speculate on the identity of the three frogs, for Rev_16:14 explain that they are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs. These demons go throughout the world influencing kings to assemble for the battle on the great day of God Almighty (“Almighty” [pantokratōr] is also used in Rev_1:8; Rev_4:8; Rev_11:17; Rev_15:3; Rev_16:7; Rev_19:6, Rev_19:15; Rev_21:22).
While the meaning of this symbolic presentation is clear, there is a major problem involved in what the demons do. The coming world government in the Great Tribulation will be established by the power of Satan (Rev_13:2). Here, however, Satan, the world ruler, and the false prophet unite in inciting the nations of the world to gather for the final world war. Actually the war is a form of rebellion against the world ruler. Why then should satanic forces be let loose to destroy the world empire which has just been created?
The answer seems to be in the events which follow. Satan, knowing that the second coming of Christ is near, will gather all the military might of the world into the Holy Land to resist the coming of the Son of Man who will return to the Mount of Olives (Zec_14:4). Though the nations may be deceived in entering into the war in hope of gaining world political power, the satanic purpose is to combat the armies from heaven (introduced in Rev_19:1-21) at the second coming of Christ. The three unclean spirits are demons who support the activities of Satan, the beast and the false prophet. By means of miracles, they will convince the eastern "kings" and all the armies and kings of the earth and of the whole world to gather in Palestine to fight against the second coming of Christ (Rev. 19 v.19). This is Satan's final attempt to prevent Christ's return.
These unclean spirits will no doubt perform supernatural signs as part of their deception. Undoubtedly they will work lying wonders to deceive the eastern kings, seducing them to make the difficult journey to their doom at Armageddon.

The war is said to continue right up to the day of the Second Coming and involves house-to-house fighting in Jerusalem itself on the day of the Lord’s return (Zec_14:1-3). The reference to “the battle” (ton polemon, Rev_16:14) is probably better translated “the war”. Thus it is better to speak of “the war of Armageddon” (see Rev_16:16) rather than the “the battle of Armageddon.” The war will be going on for some time, but the climax will come at Christ’s second coming. “Armageddon” comes from the Greek Harmagedōn, which transliterates the Hebrew words for Mount (har) of Megiddo. That mountain is near the city of Megiddo and the Plain of Esdraelon, the scene of many Old Testament battles. To gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty this is the battle of Armageddon.
You see, it tells you here that these are "spirits of devils". In other words, they are the followers of the devil. Demons are the fallen angels who followed Lucifer out of heaven. These "spirits of devils" have power to do miracles, just like the Egyptian magicians copied some of Moses' miracles. Their power is limited, just as was the Egyptians. When Moses threw his rod down and it became a snake, the Egyptians threw two rods down and they became snakes. The only difference was that Moses' snake swallowed their snakes, Exodus 7:9 -12.
The Bible says that at the end, the devil will have power enough to call down fire from heaven. His miracles will be so convincing that people will believe a lie. This is deception to the utmost. These evil spirits are so deceiving, that they convince these armies to come against Israel. They willingly come to the battle of Armageddon, believing they will win. This battle is actually the forces of evil coming against God Himself. This war has actually been going on for centuries, but here is the culmination of it all.

Accordingly John heard the warning coming from Christ Himself: Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.
Christ’s return is often compared to the coming of a thief. It implies suddenness and unpreparedness as far as unbelievers are concerned. Just as Christians are not to be surprised by the Rapture of the church (1Th_5:4), so believers at the time of the Second Coming will be anticipating His return. Blessing is promised to the one who is prepared for the coming of the Lord by being attired in the righteousness or clothing which God Himself supplies. We see here that this comes unexpectedly. The garment spoken of here is the robe of righteousness. We must not despair of His coming and fall away into sin. We need to walk in righteousness after we receive our robe of righteousness, washed in the blood of the Lamb.
Verse 15 is an exhortation to the surviving believers to be watchful and alert (Matt 24:32-25:13), and to remain faithful and loyal to Christ during a time of intense persecution. To have garments, rather than be naked, relates to spiritual preparedness. Armageddon is the place where this great battle is to be fought is in Israel. The blood will run to the horses bridle in this valley of Megiddo during this battle. This valley is called by the name Jezreal, also. There have already been twenty battles fought at this very spot, but never a battle of this magnitude. This battle will be the twenty-first (3 x 7). Three means God. Seven means spiritually complete. God Himself will settle the outcome of this once and for all. This truly will be the war to end all wars. Shortly after this battle, Jesus will set up His Kingdom.
Verse 16 identifies the place of the final battle as Armageddon, from the Hebrew Har Megiddon (the Hill of Megiddo). The hill country of Megiddo and the adjacent valley of Esdraelon have been the site of many important battles (Judge 5:15; 2 Kings 9:27; 23:29).
Taken as a whole, the sixth bowl of the wrath of God is preparation for the final act of judgment before the Second Coming, and is the later stage of development related to the river Euphrates, anticipated earlier (Rev_9:14). The time factor between the sixth trumpet and the sixth bowl is comparatively short.

Revelation 16:17-20

The Seventh Bowl
The seventh angel then poured out his bowl into the air. John heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, It is done! A similar pronouncement followed the seventh trumpet (Rev_11:15-19). Here also John saw lightning flashes and heard thunder, which was followed by a severe earthquake (Rev_16:18). John was then informed that this will be the greatest earthquake of all time (other earthquakes are mentioned in Rev_8:5 and Rev_11:19), and the resulting description indicates that it will affect the whole earth with the possible exception of the land of Israel. The great city which split into three parts refers to the destruction of Babylon. The most important event, however, is that the cities of the nations collapsed. The huge earthquake will reduce to rubble all the cities of the nations (Gentiles). The stage is thus being set for the second coming of Christ. Obviously in the collapse of the world’s cities there will be tremendous loss of life and destruction of what is left of the world empire.
Though Jerusalem is mentioned in Rev_11:8 as “the great city, which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified,” “the great city” here is specifically Babylon, as indicated in Rev_16:19. God will give Babylon the cup filled with the wine of the fury of His wrath, that is, she will experience a terrible outpouring of His judgment. Some have suggested that this city is Rome, but is called Babylon because of its spiritual declension. While this has been debated at length by scholars, it is preferable to view “Babylon” as the rebuilt city of Babylon located on the Euphrates River, which will be the capital of the final world government.
In addition to the terrible earthquake and probably because of it, John recorded, Every island fled away and mountains could not be found. These verses (Rev_16:18-20), if taken literally, indicate topographical changes in the earth which eventually will also include great changes in the Holy Land in preparation for Christ’s millennial kingdom. This "great voice out of the temple" was probably God. In Genesis, when God made the earth in six days, then He said "it is finished". When Jesus hung on the cross six hours, He said "it is finished". I believe that is just what this "It is done" means here. I believe this is at the close of the six-1000 year days of work for the earth, just before the 1000 year Sabbath of rest. God would be the one to decide, and I believe this is Him speaking here.
The Seventh Bowl Judgment - The Wrath of God: - Then 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. 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. Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found. From the sky huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds each fell upon men. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible.
When the seventh angel pours out his bowl into the air a voice will be heard from the Temple of God before the throne, conveying a most welcome message: "It is done!" It is most welcome because it signifies the consummation of the Tribulation, the conclusion of the day of God's wrath on the ungodly, the end of the time of Jacob's trouble.
This final judgment of God will appear in the form of the world's greatest earthquake, one that "has never occurred like it since man has been on earth." As prophesied in Haggai chapter 2 verses 6-7 "For thus saith the Lord of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land;" "And I will shake all nations and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts."
In chapter 11 verse 8 we see where the witnesses were killed described as "the great city". This is Jerusalem where it is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
The massive earth quake will split Jerusalem into 3 parts. When the Mount of Olives splits in two, it will create a chasm into which the believers can seek refuge until the awful carnage is completed. Its interesting to note that there is a fault line that runs under the Mount of Olives that moves in exactly the same direction that the Bible prophesies.
Zech. 14 verses 3 to 5 says: "Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. And you will flee by the valley of My Mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah."
Jerusalem is being prepared for the central role it plays during the millennial kingdom. This is where New Jerusalem will come down out of heaven and rest.
In addition, "cities of the nations collapsed," meaning that all of the cities of the world will be destroyed. In addition, every island will vanish and the mountains will not be found. This will indicate a complete renovation of the earth, which may be a fulfillment of 2 Peter 3 v.10, which predicts that the entire earth will be destroyed, and "the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare." When it is done, the earth will basically flat with no seas, no islands and no mountains, preparing it for restoration to something like its pre-flood condition.

Revelation 16:21

In addition to the earthquake, huge hailstones of about 100 pounds each fell on people. Such huge masses of ice supernaturally formed would destroy anything left standing from the earthquake and would no doubt kill or seriously injure those they hit. In spite of the severity of the judgment and its cataclysmic character the hardness of human hearts is revealed in the final sentence: And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible.
The question is sometimes raised why eternal punishment is eternal. The answer is that people in the hardness of their hearts will not change; they deserve eternal punishment because they are eternally unrepentant. With the final destruction coming from the seventh bowl of the wrath of God, the stage will then be set for the dramatic and climactic second coming of Christ, revealed in Rev_19:1-21. Before this event, however, a future detailed description is given of Babylon in chapters 17-18. If this were not enough catastrophes, great hailstones, weighing about 100 pounds apiece will come down out of heaven. It is difficult for us to conceive of hailstones that large or the devastating effect they will have on the people they hit.
"This is what the Lord said in Job 38 v.22, 23. He has filled His armory full of hail and snow "against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war."
Even now, these men do not repent. Instead of repenting and asking for God's help, they curse Him. You see, in all of these plagues, God wants them to repent and turn to Him.
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Prophetic Times To The End Part Twenty-three
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