What is the Apocalypse? Let’s look into scripture for the answer for this time of Tribulation.
“The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great Euphrates River, and its water was dried up, to prepare the way for the kings from the East. (And) the spirits of demons (gather) the kings of the earth and of the whole world, (for) the battle of that great day of God Almighty…. to the place which in Hebrew is called Armageddon.”
Revelation 16:12-14, 16
What Does Apocalypse Mean?
The term apocalypse is used in diverse ways. It’s used to describe a type or genre of literature. The purpose of apocalyptic literature is to reveal or teach. But it uses images and symbols–often in mysterious ways–to do so. So, people tend to think it’s trying to use them to obscure the message.
Apocalyptic Literature in the Bible
The Bible books of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and Zechariah all have sections written in apocalyptic style. These portions are usually prophecies about future events.
Revelation is also Called the Apocalypse
The Apocalypse is also a title for the last book of the Bible, Revelation. The first three chapters of Revelation are written as letters to churches, but the vision uses an apocalyptic vocabulary to communicate its message.
The remaining nineteen chapters of Revelation are in apocalyptic style. The Apostle John, one of Jesus’ twelve disciples, received this vision of and from Jesus, and John shares that vision with us.
The Apocalypse is Another Name for Armageddon
But when most people hear the word apocalypse, they envision the future climactic war when Jesus Christ returns to earth. This conflict is commonly known as the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:16). The battle gets its name from its location; they fight it in the valley of Megiddo in Israel.
Background for the Battle | The Tribulation
There’s a future seven-year period called the tribulation. It’s also known as the seventieth week (seven years, not days) of Daniel (Daniel 9:24-27) and the time of Jacob’s (Israel’s) trouble:
“Alas! for that day is great, so that no one is like it; it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it (Jeremiah 30:7).”
After the Rapture
This time begins after the rapture of the Church when believers in Jesus are taken to heaven. God pours out His wrath against earth dwellers during the seven years after the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
The Role of AntiChrist
Also, during this time, a false messiah known as Antichrist, also called The Beast, becomes the world ruler. Satan is the power behind this man who performs miracles to deceive the earth dwellers into following him:
“They worshipped the dragon (Satan) who gave authority to the beast. And they worshipped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to wage war with him (Revelation 13:4)?”
He persecutes Israel and those who believe in Jesus and forces people to receive his name or number 666 on their wrists or forehead. If they refuse this act of worship, they can’t do business, so most face starvation and are denied life’s necessities.
Antichrist Demands Worship
In the middle of the seven years, Antichrist enters the rebuilt Jewish temple and demands worship as God:
“That Day will not come unless … the man of sin is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself as God (2 Thessalonians 2:3-5).”
The AntiChrist Makes Jerusalem his Headquarters
From this point on, he sets up his headquarters in Jerusalem. He has a ten-nation federation he’s conquered, and the vision says the kings of the east will approach Israel. Demons ease their entry by drying up the Euphrates River:
The Nations Gather
“The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great Euphrates River, and its water was dried up, to prepare the way for the kings from the East (Revelation 16:12).”
“Gather(ed) them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty (Armageddon).
Who Fights Who During Armageddon?
These kings fight against Antichrist and his armies but stop fighting each other when they see Christ returning to earth from heaven and turn to fight Him:
“Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to wage war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. But the beast was captured and … the remnant were slain with the sword (His spoken word) which proceeded out of the mouth of Him (Jesus) who sat on the horse. And all the birds gorged themselves with their flesh (Revelation 19:19-21).”
The carnage from the battle is so great that the prophet Ezekiel, after describing the same war under a different name (God and Magog), describes the scene:
“For seven months the house of Israel shall be burying them so that they may cleanse the land (Ezekiel 39:12).”
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