RAPTURE And the GREAT TRIBULATION

By

Rev. Festus A. Ekenyere

All rights reserved® Rev. Festus A. Ekenyere No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any others without the written prior permission of the Publisher. National Library of Nigeria Cataloguing in Publication Data EKENYERE, Festus A. Rapture and the Great Tribulation. 1. Rapture (Christian eschatology). 2. Tribulation (Christain eschatology). BT 887. E34 1996 ISNB 978-32046-3-7 AACR2 Published by: P. O. Box 1803 MAIDUGURI. CONTENT 1. 2. 3. INTRODUCTION THE CONTROVERSIAL RAPTURE THE GREAT TRIBULATION CONCLUSION 3 16 46 5 LATTER DAY PUBLISHERS BORNO STATE. NIGERIA I. Title. 236.9

INTRODUCTION

This is one of the subjects that need to be properly taught and understood by both the clergy and the laity. “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” – Colossians 1:27. We have so much neglected the most glorious event that will happen to every serious-minded child of God. Will the Christian be caught up from this earth? Or will he suffer the wrath of God with the unbelievers? If Christ is in you, what is your hope of glory? There are so many schools of thought arguing one aspect or the other of this subject under review. Let us consider a few of them briefly. a. POST-TRIBULATIONISM: This school of thought believes that the Christian will undergo the wrath of God known as the “Great Tribulation”. They are waiting for the revelation of the antichrist as a major sign before the rapture of the church. They base their assertion on Matthew 24; Mark 13 and Luke 21. Please compare these Gospels carefully with the twenty-one judgments of the great tribulation recorded in the book of Revelation. b. MID-TRIBULATIONISM: This school of thought believes that the church will pass through the great tribulation but will be raptured at the very middle of it. This means that the church will suffer the wrath of God for a period of three and half years then, be raptured. They are also waiting for the manifestation of the antichrist as a major sign. They base their assumption of Revelation 6:9-11. From biblical point of view, I do not believe in any of the above. We many disagree as to agree later. One point remains outstanding – Jesus is coming back again. The only danger you may face even if you are born again is this – “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” – Hebrews 9:28. Can you sense the danger I am taking about? –“… and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time”. Who are you looking for? Christ or the antichrist? I know you must have been asking for the school of thought I belong to. Well, I AM A PRE-TRIBULATIONIST. This school of thought believes that the church of Jesus Christ will not suffer the great tribulation with the unbelievers. When you finish going through the first chapter of this book, you will definitely understand what I mean. Nevertheless, whatever is your belief, I wish to see you on the streets of heaven one day, provided you are born twice. However, if you have not have born again, this is an opportunity for you to quickly surrender your life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Why should you go through this world without Jesus? That is the worst risk you can take. Please I urge you to take a decision now as you turn to the last pages of this book for directions. God bless you as you do that. We do not need a prophet to prophesy to us that one day this world will come to an end. Events in recent years have demonstrated that a time of severe hardship is at hand. We will look into that in the second chapter. It is a nice, educative journey so; let us go through the pages together. May the good Lord grant you insight into all spiritual truth.

CHAPTER ONE THE CONTROVERSIAL RAPTURE The doctrine of “Rapture” has raised a lot of dust here and there. It is so controversial that some renowned ministers of God do not want to discuss it. Yet

this is the hope of every genuine Christian. The understanding that one day I will be taken away from this sinful world makes me more zealous for God. So many people have argued that there is nothing like “Rapture”. Some say, “You cannot find such word in the Bible”. That is right. My question has always been – can you find the word Bible in the Bible? Of course not. You can only find the word Scripture. That the word “Rapture” is not found in the Bible does not becloud its Christian use. It is the most exciting thing that would happen to any child of God whether dead or alive. The word “Rapture” is translated from the Greek word “Haparzo”. The Latin translation is “Rapio”. This means a “sudden snatching away from” or “to be caught up from”. The apostle Paul used this word as he wrote to the church in Thessalonica thus – “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” I Thess. 4:16-17. We will discover other passages of the Scripture where this word is used in due course. But with this we are certain that “Rapture” is in the Bible. Now we can define it as the event which suddenly snatches away the children of God (the Church) dead or alive from the earth when Jesus appears in the clouds. Let us start our investigations from the Old Testament. OLD TESTAMENT EXAMPLES OF RAPTURE a. ENOCH “And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: {Methuselah: Gr. Mathusala} And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” Genesis 5:21-24. Even though the Bible does not tell us the means by which Enoch was taken from the earth, Enoch did not die. He walked so righteously with God that God decided to take him alive. This is a clear possibility of rapture. b. NOAH AND HIS FAMILY “And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.” Genesis 7:1. Here is a picture of God’s faithfulness and mercy upon the righteous. Noah lived in a perverse generation. Speaking about Noah’s generation, the Bible says – “And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. {with the earth: or, from the earth}” Genesis 6:12-13. You can see the degree of evil in Noah’s generation and the verdict of God is – “I will destroy them the earth.” That generation was destroyed by flood except the righteous family of Noah. The account of the flood is given in Genesis chapters 68. God asked Noah to build an ark of gopher wood with rooms, doors and windows. After he finished constructing the ark, God asked him to go into it with his family – “and Noah went in, and his sons, and his sons’ wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood.” Genesis 7:7. That was a wonderful separation. Before God unleashed His wrath upon the unrighteous generation of Noah, He separated Noah and his family. What a symbol of rapture! c. LOT AND FAMILY “And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was

called Zoar. {Zoar: that is, Little}” Genesis 19:17,22 This is the case of the unrighteous city of Sodom and Gomorrah. God described the iniquities of this city thus “… the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous.” Genesis 18:20 In this perverse city was a righteous man named Lot, Abraham’s nephew. One day God decided to destroy this city with fire but before then, He (God) separated Lot and his family. God said to Lot – “I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither.” In the same vein, God will not pour His wrath upon this earth until we be gone. d. ELIJAH “And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” II Kings 2:11. I think this is a very close example of the subject under review. God has been just in all His dealings with man. How can we deny such a clear example of rapture? What could we say happened to Elijah? If God did it to Enoch and Elijah, He will do likewise to us. RAPTURE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT I have always said to my audience that the doctrine of rapture is taught today because of the existence of the church. Now the church consists of those who consciously surrendered their lives to the Lordship of the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour. They “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Ephesians 5:11. The Lord Jesus made some remarkable statement in the gospels concerning the evacuation of His people from this planet earth. But He could not teach the doctrine of rapture in its clarity because the church had not been born by then. However, He said - “ I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” John 16:12-13. Please get the last sentence clear – “and he will shew you things to come.” This is very important in the study of this doctrine. The Holy Spirit has come and today He is opening our eyes to the understanding of this basic divine truth. Let us therefore consider some instances where He taught on this future event in the Scripture. When the brethren in Thessalonica were disturbed concerning what will become of their dead, the apostle Paul, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit comforted them in this manner – “ But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. {prevent: or, come before, or, anticipate, or, precede} For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” I Thess. 4:13-17. The Holy Spirit is saying here – “Dear child of God, do not mourn or be grieved as the unbelievers do when a Christian falls asleep. You cannot prevent him from being resurrected when the Lord shall appear in the clouds with a shout. Those brethren asleep will surely hear His voice and rise first, and then we which are alive shall be raptured together with them to meet the Lord in the air.” I think the lesson is clearer now. We will be caught up some day! If you study the book of Revelation carefully, you will discover its divine chronological presentation. In chapter one verse nineteen, the apostle John was told to – Write the things which thou has seen, and the things which are, and the

things which shall be hereafter.” This verse is the key to correct interpretation of the book of Revelation. The past, present and future. Chapter one deals with the past. Chapters two and three deal with the present. In these two chapters, the Lord Jesus admonishes the church. (For clear understanding of the letters to the seven churches, please read my book – Understanding the book of Revelation – a verse by verse analysis of the book of Revelation. It is in the web site for you free of charge). After His admonition, the church is prepared for the next event. What then is the next event? Presently, the church has gone through the seven stages according to the study of the seven churches of Revelation chapters two and three. In Revelation 4:1, Apostle John says – “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” The next event that will happen to the church of our Lord Jesus Christ any moment from now is the “Rapture”. The Apostle says – “After this”. Pause a minute and ask – after what? After the admonitions of chapters two the three, the church age will come to an end by the rapture. How prepared are you for this glorious journey upwards? HOW WILL IT HAPPEN? Another aspect of this subject that cannot be overlooked is its moment of occurrence. How is the rapture going to be? How long will it last? Will the people concerned have time to bid bye to their relatives and friends? I know these and other relevant question must have been bothering your mind. The Lord Jesus made some remarkable statements that will be of great assistance to us here. He said – “I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. {this verse is not found in most of the Greek copies} And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.” Luke 17:34-37. As I said earlier, the Lord did not teach this doctrine because the church was not yet born. However, He made some important comments that point to the day of rapture. His disciples never understood what He was saying so they quickly asked Him – where, Lord? The Lord in His wisdom answered with a parable – “Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.” Do you understand that parable? Well, that is a home work for you. The most important thing here is that, the one taken amongst the two never had the time to bid bye to the one left. Let us go over to the book of I Corinthians 15:51,52 and read these lines – “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” These two verses of Scripture settle our argument. The rapture will take place in a moment. The whole thing will be finished in a twinkling of an eye. There is no notice, the Lord shall descend with a shout and the trumpet shall sound and immediately, in that self same second, the saints will be caught up from the earth. Are you set for that? It can be now! WHO WILL BE RAPTURED The Lord Jesus says – “ Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:1-3. Only one group of people will experience this glorious ride. They are those who

believe in God through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ the Mediator. Those whose sins have been forgiven; those who put all their trust in the finished work of Calvary. They are those who walk in total obedience to the commandment of the Most High. The Lord is coming for “a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but it should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:27. You see, the story does not end in identifying yourself with a denomination. The Lord is not coming for any particular denomination. He is coming for a body filled with His Spirit, without spot, wrinkle or any such thing. In describing this group of raptured people in heaven and as they come down with the Lord on white horses, the apostle John said that they were “clothed in fine linen, white and clean”. He further described the fine linen as the righteousness of the saints – Revelation 19:7-14. No wonder the writer of the book of Hebrews says – “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14. Do you want to see the Lord? Then, I Peter 1:16 says – “Be ye holy; for I am holy.” MY OBSERVATION In the course of my analysis of the subject of rapture, I came to a conclusion that there will be a space-battle between the angels of God and the kingdom of darkness. Presently you know that the devil and his demons are occupying the aerial and the stellar heavens. On the day of rapture, the church must go through satan’s domain. The Bible says that satan is “the prince of the power of the air.” Ephesians 2:2 In the book of I Thessalonians chapter four verse sixteen; we see the presence of the archangel in the scene. The only archangel introduced to us in the Bible is Michael. In the book of Jude we read – “Yet Michael the archangel,” Jude 9. Let us trace the first time Michael was introduced to us and all his appearances in Scripture in order to discover his response to events. The archangel Michael was first mentioned in Scripture when Daniel fasted and prayed for twenty-one days in the third year of Cyprus king of Persis. Daniel was seeking the face of God for an understanding of end-time events. An angel was sent to reveal the mystery to Daniel but was withstood by the forces of darkness in the air. When the angel finally got to Daniel, he said – “Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. ”. Daniel 10:12,13. You can see that Michael fought with the prince of Persia (the devil) before the messenger could get to Daniel. Another place where Michael the archangel was mentioned was in Daniel 12:1 – “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people:” If you read this chapter through verse four, you will discover that Daniel was prophesying about the great tribulation. There was no prophecy concerning the rapture, all prophecies point to the revelation of Christ. Before the great tribulation, the rapture must take place. Now Daniel saw Michael standing up for the people whose names are found written in the book of life. That was not a relaxed position at all. Michael was prepared to make war. In the book of Jude where he was introduced to us as the archangel, “when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses.” Jude 9. All through the Scripture, anywhere Michael is mentioned; it must be in connection with battle. Therefore I strongly believe that his presence during the scene of rapture must also be associated with warfare. Remember that even though there is a battle to fight, all the event of rapture will not last more than a twinkling of an eye. That is interesting! The devil is dispossessed of the first and second heavens. When the apostle John saw that in his vision, he wrote and said – “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhibiters of the earth and of the sea! For the

devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” Revelation 12:12.

CHAPTER TWO THE GREAT TRIBULATION I have always asked the Lord to grant us divine understanding when we are dealing with a subject as this. There are lots of opinions and interpretations on this subject matter more so when it concerns the participation of the church. Every school of thought claims to be more accurate than the others. Some believe that the church will go through the great tribulation: others believe that the church will be raptured at the middle of the great tribulation; while another school of thought believes that the church will never go through the great tribulation. However, my suggestion is, let us pick our Bibles, ask the Holy Spirit for insight, and go through this subject together. DEFINITION May I quickly say that there is a great difference between “Great Tribulation” and “Tribulation”. By tribulation is meant – affliction, trial, suffering, trouble, persecution and any other problems designed for the growth of a child of God. Christians all over the world are passing through one kind of tribulation or the other as at today. If you are not, I am, even right now as I am writing this book. You see, we cannot run away from tribulation as long as we proclaim the name of the Lord in this sin-sick world. We can neither deny it. That is obvious for the Christian! Great tribulation on the other hand is the wrath of God upon the planet earth. This is great affliction not meant for the growth of the children of God but which has never occurred in the history of mankind and will never be repeated after its duration. It is a period of great trouble which cannot be described in words. The Bible will help us to understand this better. As the Lord Jesus taught on the signs of His coming, He said – “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” Matthew 24:21. The prophet Zephaniah prophesied thus – “The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung.” Zephaniah 1:14-17. Jeremiah saw it this way – “For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” Jeremiah 30:5-7 Daniel defined it as follows – “… and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time:” Daniel 12:1. Isaiah also had a glimpse of the great tribulation and said – “Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man's heart shall melt: And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.” Isaiah 13:6-8. I hope by now you can give the Great Tribulation your own definition. Think about the severity of this trouble. “None like it, no,

nor ever shall be”. WHO SHALL SUFFER THIS HOLOCAUST? My beloved, this section will answer your question – will the church go through the Great Tribulation? First and foremost, we must understand that the Great Tribulation is the “wrath of God” upon the dwellers of the earth. This is very important! During this period, heaven will be waging war against the planet earth. This point is very important also if we must understand what the Great Tribulation is all about. The individual Christian or rather the Church as a body is God’s representative here on earth. The Bible says “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ,” II Corinthians 5:20. Every ambassador is withdrawn to his home country should there be conflict between his country and the nation in which he serves as an ambassador. If this is true in the natural, it is also true in the supernatural. The church is a body washed by the precious blood of Christ. This body is made up of those who believed in the finished work of Calvary. They are peculiar people – I Peter 2:9. They are lively stones, royal priesthood and acceptable to God by Jesus Christ – I Peter 2:5. Therefore the Bible says – “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.” I Thessalonians 5:9, 10. When the Lord Jesus taught His disciples on this subject, He made an outstanding statement because He knew that this question will arise. He said – “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” Luke 21:36. Did you get that message? In the original, the Greek word “ek” meaning “out of” or “from” is translated here as “to escape”. In essence, the Lord is saying – “watch and pray always so that you will be worthy to be taken out of or from this earth in order not to suffer the wrath of God as you stand before Him for your reward.” Other passages where this word “ek” is used are – Revelation 3:10 – “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee FROM (ek) the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” II Peter 2:9 – “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly OUT OF (ek) temptation, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:” These scriptures show clearly that the blood washed church will not suffer the wrath of God. Who shall then pass through this terrible experience? Let us go through a number of scriptures to find the answer to this question – Romans 1:18 – “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.” Romans 2:8, 9 – “But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; “ John 3:36 – “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” Zephaniah 1:17 – “And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung.” Isaiah 13:9 – “Behold the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.” In a nutshell, the unraptured will have a taste of the Great Tribulation. GREAT TRIBULATION CONTENTS The period of the great tribulation is divided into two. The first half of three and half years is the counterfeit peace period of the antichrist, while the

last half of three and a half years is the period of severe punishment on the inhabitants of planet earth. – Daniel 9:27. There will be twenty-one different judgments (in three groups of seven each) that will be unleashed upon the planet earth within this period. We will take some time to go through them carefully. As we do, please consider your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ again. These judgments are real, they are not fictions. They will occur literally as it is written. None of them is expressed figuratively. Again, compare these judgments with the Gospel accounts of end-time events. 1. THE SEAL JUDGMENTS When God revealed part of the contents of the great tribulation to Daniel, He asked him to seal it. “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro: and knowledge shall be increased.” Daniel 12:4. Daniel was asked to seal the book because of its contents. In it were “voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.” These voices were meant for “the time of the end,” when “men shall run to and fro,” seeking for knowledge. From the book of Revelation we understand that the book was sealed with seven seals and as it is loosed, the things recorded in it will be fulfilled. Let us first of all consider the process of opening the seals and who opens them. In Revelation 5:1-7, we read – “And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.” Revelation 5:1-7. I always call this scene “the preparation for great tribulation”. Please note that the blood washed church of Jesus Christ would have been raptured and in heaven by this time. Their rapture took place in Revelation 4:1 – “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” This is important point to note – “I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” The church will be in heaven watching the things which must be hereafter – that is the great tribulation which begins at the opening of the seven seals. Let us join the apostle John in watching this event. FIRST SEAL “And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” Revelation 6:1, 2. Want a nice way to deceive the world that rejected their Saviour. You may call me a prophet of doom or any such name. but the truth still remain sure – the world’s economy will never be resuscitated until the church is raptured then, the world will face the worst economic crisis ever. In fac t the Bible says – “Say not thou, what is the cause that the former days are better than these? For thou doest not enquire wisely concerning this.” – Ecclesiates 7:10. Did you get the message right? Today must be better than tomorrow as we count down to the last day. The world’s economy is getting worse and worse every day and it is in this dwindling stage of the economy that a world leader (the antichrist) will emerge with a vain promise to reviving it. The world which is in desperate need of solution will embrace this self-acclaimed problem solver.

He will gain this position of authority deceitfully. Promising peace and economic buoyancy to the world. This period will last for three and a half years as prophesied by Daniel in Daniel 9:27. This is true of him when you consider his out-fit here – He (the antichrist) came on a white horse – depicting peace. He had a bow (no arrow), yet a crown was given to him – this is diplomatic victory hence “he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” Some people question the possibility of the antichrist deceiving the entire world. First, remember that “the dragon (satan) gave him (antichrist) his power, and his seat, and great authority” – Revelation 13:2. You know that no body without Christ has power or wisdom more than the devil. Note that the antichrist is not deceiving the Christians rather he gained control of the unbelievers who are even today under his authority spiritually. That is why the Bible says – “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:” II Thessalonians 2:7, 8. So deceiving the world is not an impossible case to the devil incarnate. Secondly, consider the end-result of all the trade unions we have in the world today. I strongly believe that the antichrist will capture the world through these unions. SECOND SEAL “And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.” – Revelation 6:3, 4. At the opening of the first seal, the world was rejoicing for their counterfeit messiah. Now a different story is told. No wonder the Bible says “For when they shall say, peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” II Thessalonians 5:3. In Matthew 24:7, the Lord Jesus says – “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” then verse 8 says – “All these are the beginning of sorrows.” When the second seal was opened, a red horse emerged – signifying danger. The counterfeit peace of three and a half years has come to an end. “There was given unto him a great sword.” This pictures the antichrist in its cruelty. The earth has not witnessed bloodshed yet. The United Nations Peace Keeping Force cannot cope with the rate of conflicts amongst nations after the rapture. THIRD SEAL “And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” – Revelation 6: 5, 6. The Lord says – “… and there shall be famines, and pestilence.” – Matthew 24:7. In Nigeria today, you do not need a prophet to tell you that this will surely come to pass. In retrospect, I remember when ten cups of garri were sold for one naira in the village; when you walk into a restaurant and fill your stomach with two naira. Today, with a hundred naira you will only succeed in wetting your appetite and believe God for the next. What do you think will happen tomorrow as per the rate of today’s inflation? My dear, a time of famine is coming when your income will not be enough for two days meal. Remember, the church will not be on the earth then. Before the condition, gets to that point, the rapture would have taken place. FOURTH SEAL “And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them

over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” Revelation 6: 7, 8. At the opening of the third seal, we discovered that the inhabitants of the earth were stricken by hunger. So, the opening of the fourth seal reveals a pale horse – depicting famine. The rider of this horse is called Death. At this time one-fourth of the earth’s inhabitants will die by the sword, hunger, death, and beasts. The most interesting point to note here is that “Hell” followed Death. Why? Let me at this point define “hell” and why it followed Death at the opening of this seal. Hell is the abode of the spirits and soul of everybody who died before the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ. By then, Hell had two compartments; one for the righteous and the other for the wicked. When the Lord died on the cross, He went to hell, “and preached to the spirits in prison.” – I Peter 3:19. He set those in the righteous compartment free from the bondage of satan and hell. That is why the Bible says – “Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” – Matthew 27:50-53. From that time till date, the righteous compartment of hell has been empty but the wicked compartment is being enlarged daily. You know the Bible says – “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. – II Corinthians 5:8. Since the resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ, the soul and spirit of any believer in Christ who departs from this earth goes to be with the Lord in heaven. While the souls of the wicked are locked-up in the wicked compartment of hell. Hell is different from hell-fire. Let me illustrate this with our present day police cell and prison yards. Hell is like the police cell. You will notice that there are suspects who are detained behind the counter and some behind the bars. When the officer in charge of the station comes to the station and discovers that those behind the counters are people with little or no case to answer, he discharges them. But he cannot discharge those behind the bars until they appear in the court of law and having been found guilty, confined in prison yard. Therefore the final abode of a criminal – prison yard – is a replica of the final abode of the wicked – hellfire. (For more explanation on hell and hell-fire, read my book titled – Understanding the book of Revelation). In this text, hell followed Death in order to lock-up the spirits of those who were killed by hunger, sword, death, and beasts. One-fourth of the inhabitants of the earth gone! FIFTH SEAL “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” – Revelation 6:9 – 11. I think this text is where the mid-tribulationists base their assertions. If so, it is lack of proper understanding of scriptures. The fifth seal does not in any way have a rendering on the doctrine of rapture. This seal contains the souls of believers who for one sin or the other were not rapture. These are people who have heard the word of God but fail to obey it. They can be clergy or laity. We call them “Tribulation Saints”. Because they heard that whosoever receives the mark of the antichrist seals his eternal doom, they prefer to die for the word of God and for their testimonies instead of going to hell-fire. Another point that distinguishes these people from the raptured church is

their seeking for vengeance. The church under the dispensation of grace, asked for forgiveness of the sins of her persecutors. An example is the case of Brother Stephen inn Acts 7:60. Instead of Stephen asking for vengeance, he asked the Lord to forgive his persecutors as they stoned him to death. However, the tribulation saints were asked to wait until the rest of them were killed. This fulfills the prediction of the Lord in Matthew 24:9, 10 –“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.” They went to heaven via death while the church was caught up to heaven in a changed body. SIXTH SEAL “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” – Revelation 6:12 – 17. There is a change in the administration of the great tribulation here. You remember in the fifth seal, the antichrist and his followers killed some tribulation saints and their souls cried for vengeance under the alter of the Lord. If you notice very well you will discover that since the beginning of the great tribulation, the devil incarnate has been in charge. Now Heaven is angry, the souls of the saints must be avenged. God must release His wrath upon the whole earth and this will affect every body including the antichrist himself. The Apostle Paul says – “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.” Romans 1:18. As the sixth seal is opened, an unprecedented supernatural phenomenon ensued. Great earthquakes, sun becoming black, moon becoming blood, stars falling down from heaven, etc., etc. In my book – “Signs of His Imminent Return” I wrote about earthquakes as a sure sign of His soon coming. Nevertheless I made a very important remark – the worst earthquake in human history will take place after the rapture of the church. At this moment, men sought death as the mountains and rocks were removed from their places. This fulfills the words of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 24:7; Mark 13:8 and Luke 21:11 – “And great earthquakes shall be in divers places.” SEVENTH SEAL “And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.” – Revelation 8:1 – 5. This is the last of the seal judgment. Its contents are so horrifying that for the first time in the history of heaven, there was silence for about half an hour. Heaven is known for its continuous praise-worship and for God to be denied of this pleasure for half an hour – it must be serious indeed! Let us examine its contents carefully. First, it introduces us to the setting of another section of seven judgment

known as the “Trumpet Judgments”. This second section is more tormenting than the seal judgments. That was when baffled the host of heaven for thirty minutes. Second, this silence was broken by voices, thundering, lightnings and an earthquake. May I quickly say that these judgments are fulfilled literally. As it is written so shall it be. Today you can escape these judgments, tomorrow may be too late for you. If you desire to know how to escape these judgments, turn to the last pages and go through my “Word of Advice”. TRUMPET JUDGMENTS We are going to study another terrible judgment, upon the inhabitants of the earth during this dispensation. It is going to be unbearable! We will compare them with the wrath of God upon the land of Egypt in Moses’ days. Friend, if God did it in those days, He will do it again. Let us go through the seven of them one after the other – TRUMPET ONE “The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.” – Revelation 8:7. At the sound of the first trumpet blast, one third of the world’s tree and green plants was burnt up. I have been thinking of what will happen to the tree planting programs of our present day governments. You know, tree fellers today are regarded as saboteurs. I do not know what the government will regard this to be. However, I am not surprised at this judgment because it happened in Egypt. “And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt. And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt. So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.” Exodus 9: 22 – 24. TRUMPET TWO “And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.” – Revelation 8:8, 9. The second trumpet produced a gigantic object which was cast into the sea. Note that this object is not a mountain but “as it were a great mountain”. For this cause, one third of sea creatures will perish while one third of ships will be destroyed because they cannot sail on blood. Do not argue the possibility of this judgment. God did it in Egypt, He will do it again. Exodus 7: 19 – 21 – “Ex 7:19 And the LORD spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone. And Moses and Aaron did so, as the LORD commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood. And the fish that was in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.” TRUMPET THREE “And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.” – Revelation 8:10, 11. This is another judgment upon the waters of the earth. One of the stars of heaven falls as a burning lamp upon one third of our present day rivers and makes

the waters bitter as wormwood. Water will no more be good for human and animal consumption; it will be poisonous. Many people will die of the waters because thirst will force them to drink it. Jeremiah spoke of this when he prophesied thus – “Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink.” - Jeremiah 9: 15. Water is one of the necessities of life. Figure out what will happen when the earth is denied of it. Thank God the church will be in heaven when this judgment will take place. TRUMPET FOUR “And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.” Revelation 8:12. The sun, moon and stars control the day and night. Without them, of course, there will be nothing like day nor night. From our text we discovered that a time is coming in the history of mankind when, one third of the sun, moon and stars will be darkened. As a result, one third of the day and night will not be illuminated. What a terrible sight. Business will be forced to a stand-still. I wonder what will become of the people who fail to serve God as they should because of their business. So many people give that as an excuse today. If you are one of them, well, you have heard – there shall be a time when you will be forced to stop that business without compensation. It happened in the land of Egypt and must reoccur because “it is written”. “And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt. And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.” – Exodus 10:21 – 23. TRUMPET FIVE “And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon. One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.” – Revelation 9:1 – 12. I have taken time to copy verbatim all that will happen at the sounding of the fifth trumpet blast as the Bible records it. I would like you to do the analysis so, write your own understanding of this judgment in the space provided below. Use extra sheet for this. TRUMPET SIX

“And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.” – Revelation 9:13 – 15. I would like you to read these verses through twenty-one for an understanding of this judgment. The sounding of the sixth trumpet blast releases the wicked angels bound in the great river Euphrates to manifest their wicked works. The apostle Peter and Jude spoke about these chained angels when they said – “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;” – II Peter 2:4. “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved into everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” – Jude 6. These fallen angels had been there from genesis. Imagine what will happen in this world when these angels are released to manifest their wickedness. They will operate for one year, one month, one day and one hour. Within this period, they will kill one third of the inhabitants of the earth by fire, smoke and brimstone. Their description is frightening. (For more understanding of this loosed fallen angels, read pages 92-95 of my book – Understanding the book of Revelation). TRUMPET SEVEN “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.” – Revelation 11:15 – 19. May I quickly say that the trumpet and vial judgments (the last seven judgments) run concurrently. Do not be surprised that even though this judgment brings to an end the period of the great tribulation, we are still going to consider yet another seven known as the “Vial Judgments”. I wonder what will remain at this time after all these judgments. Again there is going to be another earthquake and great hail at the sounding of this last trumpet blast. I hope by now you must have taken a decision for Christ. If not, I wonder what is hindering you to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal Saviour. VIAL JUDGMENTS Friend, these last judgments are very grievous. They are indescribable. The writer of the book of Hebrews says “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” – Hebrews 10:31. However, the good news is, as a child of God, you will not experience them. If you are not born again, you need not to experience them either. The Lord Jesus gave His life for you also. All you need to do is to accept Him by faith as your Lord and personal Saviour. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. – “and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” – I John 1:7. You see, there is still time for you now. Tomorrow may be too late. FIRST VIAL “And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. And the

first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.” – Revelation 16:1, 2. Remember the vial and trumpet judgments run concurrently. So we find ourselves again at the middle of the great tribulation. The pouring out of the first vial produced boils upon every body who had worshipped the image of the antichrist or received his mark – 666. This is ulcerated sore. The Bible calls it “noisome and grievous sore.” I wonder what the World Health Organization (WHO) will call it and how they will handly the outbreak. God judged the land of Egypt with a similar judgment in the days of Moses. The account is recorded in the book of Exodus 9:8 – 11 thus, “And the LORD said unto Moses and unto Aaron, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh. And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt. And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast.And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians.” SECOND VIAL “And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man; and every living soul died in the sea.” – Revelation 16:3. We came across this kind of judgment in Revelation 8:8 when the second angel sounded his trumpet blast. Also in Exodus, such a judgment was passed upon the land of Egypt. “Thus saith the LORD, In this thou shalt know that I am the LORD: behold, I will smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood. And the fish that is in the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the Egyptians shall lothe to drink of the water of the river.” – Exodus 7:17, 18. As this judgment occurred literally in the land of Egypt, so shall it be on this planet earth one day. THIRD VIAL “And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.” – Revelation 16:4. “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation: which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him.” - Hebrews 2:3. The inhabitants of the earth may feel contented with the waters of the rivers and fountains and suddenly, as the third angel poured out his vial, all the waters in the whole world became blood. The angel of the waters reacted positively. Praising God for His righteous judgments. You know all the evils associated to our present day waters. Men worshipping marine spirits; sacrificing to the creature instead of the Creator. Therefore when God judged the earth by the waters, the angel was happy. God acted the same way in Egypt. It is written thus – “And the LORD spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone. And Moses and Aaron did so, as the LORD commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood. And the fish that was in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.” – Exodus 7:19-21. FOURTH VIAL “And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and

blasphemed the name of God which had power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.” – Revelation 16:8, 9. Humanity is preserved today by the sure mercies of the Most High God. Yet a mortal man denies the existence of God by his attitude. God will soon teach the earth dwellers lessons after the rapture of the church by this judgment but most unfortunately, instead of them repenting, they blasphemed the name of God. I believe that at this point God will seldomly remove the ozone layer from the face of the sun. Then the element of the sun that is anti to the human body will scorch men to death. Do not think of air conditioners or cold rooms because they will not work. Rather, think about your soul. FIFTH VIAL “And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain. And blasphemed the God of Heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.” – Revelation 16:10,11. This judgment is directly upon the territory or seat of the antichrist himself. What a joyful sight as the saints see the antichrist in torment. What a great disgrace to someone who has been boasting of his might. This darkness is not ordinary. It is severe punishment that makes the antichrist and his followers to gnaw their tongues in pain. The Egyptians were thus punished – “And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt. And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days: They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.” - Exodus 10: 21 – 23. Though the darkness in Egypt lasted for three days, nobody knows how long the darkness on the throne of the antichrist will last. Bible scholars believe that this judgment will climax in the day of the Lord. Some passages of scripture show that the day of the Lord is darkness e.g. Joel 3:14, 15 “… for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.” Prophet Amos says, “…to what end is it for you? The day of the LORD is darkness, and not light, even very dark and no brightness in it.” – Amos 5:18, 20. There are other scriptures proving that the day of the Lord is darkness. Therefore, the fifth vial judgment may extend to the day of the Lord. SIXTH VIAL “And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” – Revelation 16:12 – 14. The unclean spirits which came out of the mouth of the unholy trinity will deceive the whole world, especially their leaders to go to war against the Lord and his saints. River Euphrates was dried up so that the oriental will have easy access to Israel. This will be the worst bloodshed in human history. This event was predicted in Psalm thus – “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.” – Psalm 2:2 – 4. SEVENTH VIAL “And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so

great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.” – Revelation 16:17 – 21. We have heard and read about earthquakes but think about the emphasis on this last one – “… and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.” May I ask you again beloved, where will you be during this time? The whole earth will be shaken; there will be a lot of devastation, mountains disappearing and islands falling. Stones, about 120 pounds weight falling from heaven upon men and their properties, beasts and every other object under the sun. In conclusion therefore, the Bible says – “It is done.” This is the end of the twenty-one judgments known as “GREAT TRIBULATION” which must surely be unleashed on this earth after the rapture of the church.

CONCLUSION You may refuse to believe this explanation of the rapture and the great tribulation. In fact, you may prefer to believe that of the antichrist. He and his lieutenants will deceive many of you who are left on the earth after the rapture. He will force you to worship him by threatening your life and you will be left with no other alternative. Read Revelation 13:11 – 15. If you find it easy to believe him, it may be because you neglected and willfully refuse to trust the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour prior to the rapture. If you read II Thessalonians 2:8 – 12 carefully, you will discover that your present response was predicted. You will probably continue to follow the antichrist as you worship him and wear his mark 666. Give heed to this warning today – “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark (666) of his name.” – Revelation 14:9 – 11. If at the time you are reading this book the rapture has not taken place, you may still have time to be saved and avoid the horrible “Great Tribulation” suffering and death and separation from God eternally. After the rapture, it cannot be avoided. Be careful! Millions of people will miss the rapture because they trusted their own human efforts to help earn them salvation. Some thought that religion is the key to the gates of heaven. Your works or good morals cannot take you to heaven, only the Lord Jesus Christ does. Now beloved, I would not like this book to be a judgment against you on the last day rather, my aim is for this book to benefit you and through it you will take a decision to live eternally with God. The former will be the case if you fail to act on my advice immediately. On the other hand, you will live a purposeful life here on earth and in the world to come if you give heed to the words of these pages.

Do not be deceived, one day Jesus will come. If He does not come first, death will surely come and you will leave this earth. Your relationship with Him now determines your eternal position. Have you crowned him the Lord of your life? If not, please ask Him to come into your life now and take control of your life. I assure you, you will not regret it. Let us look at some passages of the Scripture. Take your time to meditate on them. They will surely bless your heart. 1. Acts 17:30, 31 – “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” 2. John 3:16, 17 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” 3. Romans 5:8 – “But God commendeth his love towards us, in the while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” 4. Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned, and some short of the glory of God.” 5. Isaiah 64:6 – “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rages; and we all do fade as a leaf: and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” 6. I John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 7. Romans 10:9, 10 – “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine hearth that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto salvation.” 8. Ephesians 2:8, 9 – “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: It is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” 9. Titus 3:5 – “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us.” 10. II Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new.” After going through these life-giving verses meditatively and you know that Christ has not been formed in you – II Corinthians 13:5 – you feel you really need His presence in your life, then, pray this prayer out of that conviction – “Dear Father, I thank you for sending Jesus Christ your only begotten Son to die on the cross of Calvary for my sins. I acknowledge my sins today and ask for your forgiveness. I believe with all my heart that Jesus died for my sins and on the third day you raised Him up from the dead; He ascended into heaven and is sitted at your right handside, from where He will come any moment from now to take me home. Dear Lord, write my name in your book of life and baptize me today with your Holy Spirit. I thank you for answering my prayer because I prayed in Jesus’ name. Amen!” Now if you sincerely prayed this prayer, I happily welcome you into God’s family. Write to me this day and tell me about your new found love or how this book blessed your soul. I promise to reply you immediately and send you some good materials for your spiritual growth. God bless you richly. Amen! Write to: Chaplain Rev. F. A. Ekenyere, The Faith Builders Ministries - Worldwide P. O. Box 1803, Maiduguri. Borno-State. Nigeria. E-mail:rev_efestus@yahoo.com info@thefaithbuildersministries.org

go@thefaithbuildersministries.org Websites:http://www.thefaithbuildersministries.org http://www.tfbm.net23.net