The Second Woe
Prophecy - Signs
Thursday, April 13, 2017
After last week’s article about the First woe of Revelation, I received a private email from a friend who said he really never worries about the three woes; because he would not be here.
“I will either be dead or raptured,” was his comment.
Ed, like most who are eschatology students, believes that a great disappearance of true Christians will happen before the bad stuff starts. The belief is scripturally sound and can be found in numerous verses throughout the Bible. The question that arises for my friend, who is a “true” Christian?
As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Luke 21:1-4 NIV
The Gospel of Luke is one of the numerous prophecies that pertain to more than one event. Jesus is talking to the Jews about a future time when Jerusalem would be surrounded and destroyed by the Romans and the Jews would be exiled to surrounding countries, again. That happened.
Jesus is also speaking of a time much further in the future, a time when Jerusalem would once again become a burden on the entire world and would be surrounded by enemies, awaiting her destruction. These times are referred to as the Great Tribulation and the Time of Jacob’s Troubles. Remembering that Jacob refers to Israel, Jeremiah the Prophet had this prediction 2,600 years ago:
‘The days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity and restore them to the land I gave their ancestors to possess,’ says the LORD.” These are the words the LORD spoke concerning Israel and Judah: “This is what the LORD says: ‘Cries of fear are heard— terror, not peace. Ask and see: Can a man bear children? Then why do I see every strong man with his hands on his stomach like a woman in labor, every face turned deathly pale? How awful that day will be! No other will be like it. It will be a time of trouble for Jacob, but he will be saved out of it.’” Jeremiah 30:3-7 NIV
This Tribulation and the unprecedented problems for Israel would only occur after the exiled Jews began a return to their ancient land of Israel, the same exile Jesus spoke of in the first part of the prophecy. By 1900, much of the Church did not believe that Israel would ever be a country again. It had been nearly 2,600 years. Then, in 1948, Israel became a country overnight. This single event, to many, signals the leadup to these last days that we are living in. Too many prophecies have come true for the story to be fictitious.
Back to Ed and “true” Christians who will be raptured just before the 7-year tribulation period begins: Wouldn’t all Christians consider themselves to be true Christians?
For the sake of argument, I asked Ed (we go back a long way), “What if it turns out that you are not a true Christian, even though you believe you are; will you still be raptured or will you have to endure this 7-year time of unprecedented anguish and despair?
There are several rapture theories that have evolved over the years, primarily since the 18th century. There is the pre-tribulation rapture, the mid-tribulation rapture, the post-tribulation rapture and the no rapture at all theories. I am truly hoping and praying for the first. Jesus advised his followers to do the same.
“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:34-36 NIV
Though my friend is a great Christian man and has been as long as I have known him, it will be Jesus who determines when and who will participate in the rapture. For that reason alone, it is worth studying all of Revelation and other end-times prophecies in the Bible.
Like Jesus told his Apostles, we will pray that we will not have to endure those times. In the meantime, we should learn about the great wrath of God that is being displayed even today; so we can warn the folk that think the story is mythology. If we know the details, we can warn our children and grandchildren.
Last week I wrote of the first woe of Revelation. The first woe begins with the fifth (of seven) trumpet sounding. As the devastation described in the first woe judgments concludes, the sixth trumpet sounds, signaling the second woe is beginning. What does the second woe mean for mankind who will still be living at the time?
My fifth book, The End Part five: The Two Witnesses, deals with the second woe. With the sounding of the sixth trumpet, announcing yet another series of judgments and the beginning of the second woe, a voice is heard announcing:
The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the four horns of the golden altar that is before God. It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind. The number of the mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand. I heard their number. Revelation 9:13-16 NIV
The four angels in this case are from the other side and will cause great calamities to Earth. These dark angels will bring an army of 200,000,000 from the East after the Euphrates River dries from drought, and their charge will be to slaughter a third of the remaining population.
During the second woe, two strangers appear in Jerusalem and begin witnessing to the Israelites and the rest of the world, that the world needed to repent and get back to God and recognize Jesus as the Savior of mankind. Doesn’t happen.
The Two Witnesses have great, supernatural powers; and though many try to kill them, the result is the same. The attackers are consumed by fire.
The Two Witnesses have the power to cause total drought, turn the water to blood and cause all sorts of plagues. They witness and cause havoc for a period of forty-two months, and then they are successfully killed. Three-and-a-half days later, the two men are resurrected, rising to the heavens in a cloud.
Of course the crowds are amazed with the resurrection of the Witnesses; but before they could continue their celebrations, a severe earthquake hits Jerusalem, destroying a tenth of the structures and killing 7,000. With that, the second woe is complete and the third and final woe will soon begin.
The Third Woe is my sixth book in the series and should be available in May.
About J.L. Robb
Last week: The First Woe
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