Let us continue on with my fifth message which was presented at the ancient fortress of Megiddo that overlooks the Valley of Armageddon. We will survey the third and fourth of the nine prophetic wars of the end times.
The Conventional War of the Tribulation — Revelation 6
By the time you get to Revelation 6, the Tribulation has begun. The Tribulation does not begin with the Rapture of the Church, so there could be months or even years between the Rapture and the beginning of the Tribulation. It will probably be several months to a year. No, the Tribulation begins when the Antichrist signs a treaty with Israel that allows them to rebuild their temple.
When the treaty is signed, you can count down to the day when Jesus Christ is going to come at the Second Coming. That’s one of the reasons I know there's a difference between the Rapture and the Second Coming, for the Rapture could occur at any moment. When the Bible says you cannot know when the Lord's returning, that refers to the Rapture, because we know when the Lord's Second Coming is going to occur. It's going to occur exactly seven years from the date that the treaty is signed. It even tells us in the book of Revelation how many days that will be until the Lord comes. So, if you were here during the Tribulation, you could calculate exactly seven years until the Lord's going to come.
The Antichrist is going to come to power out of the European Union. Daniel says he will get power through cunning, deception, and his charismatic personality. I think he's going to use all those things to take over the European Union.
But, let me tell you something, once he takes over, it doesn't matter how much charisma he has, he's not going to turn to the world quite yet and say, "Come and worship me." The world would say he's nuts because they haven't spent the last 250 years getting out from underneath European colonialism to suddenly turn around and say to a European ruler, "Come rule us." South America is not going to do that, and neither is Asia. They're going to declare they've had enough of European colonialism. "We're not going to let you rule us!" And so, what happens is that as soon as the Antichrist comes to power, we're told in Revelation 6 that he launches a war to conquer the world. It's a conventional war which you can read a description of in Revelation 6.
In the process of that war, the Antichrist will be responsible for slaughtering 1.5 billion people on planet earth! Revelation 6 says that one-fourth of humanity will die. Today we have close to seven billion people on planet earth. Let's say a billion of those are taken out in the Rapture. That's only going to leave six billion left here on this earth. One-fourth of six billion is 1.5 billion people that are going to die in this initial war.
The Nuclear War of the Tribulation — Revelation 8 & 9
Revelation chapters 8 and 9 explains how the Conventional War begins to morph into a nuclear war. It talks about how suddenly one-third of the earth is burned up. Jesus Himself said in the end times that men will faint from fear from the terrors that will come upon the world. The war will morph into nuclear weapons.
People need to realize that when mankind begins to rebel against God, God steps back and He lowers the hedge of protection. Read Romans 1 where it says that if there's no repentance, God steps back and lowers the hedge of protection. Romans also says that a third time He'll stand back and lower it, turning the people over to a depraved mind. Basically what He's saying is if you want to live that way, I will let you live that way, and I will stop giving you any protection whatsoever. I'll let evil take its course. That's what's going to happen during the Great Tribulation. God's just going to step back and man is going to begin to use those weapons that have been restrained up to that time.
Revelation tell us us that another one-third of humanity will die during that period. That's another 1.5 billion people. By the middle of the Tribulation, the book of Revelation teaches that one-half of the population of the world will be dead. That's 3 billion people!
I have preachers sometimes call me and ask, "Do you think we are living in the Tribulation?" I say, "If we were in the Tribulation, you wouldn't have to call anybody and ask them. You will know it if you are living in the Tribulation."
I don't plan to be here for the Tribulation. People will know if they are still here for the Tribulation because the death toll is going to be beyond anything in human history. Jesus said that if He didn't stop it, all mankind would cease to exist. The only reason anybody is going to live through the Tribulation is because He is going to bring it to an end. With those kinds of numbers, you know it's going to be that terrible.
In the third part of this sermon from the Holy Land presented at the ancient fortress of Megiddo that overlooks the Valley of Armageddon, we'll survey the fifth and sixth of the nine prophetic wars of the end times.