The conclusion of history as we know it on this earth is rapidly approaching. God has foretold this end for thousands of years, yet few understand or anticipate it. There is such spiritual blindness in the world that even the most egregious of culminating events trigger anyone – in secular society or, sadly, in the church – to realize how close we are.
Yahweh sent His prophets to Israel. They spoke His Words of warning, judgment, and redemption for hundreds of years. The religious men of the day – if not the people themselves – were well aware of God’s prophecies. Apparently, those they liked they appropriated and held close; those that didn’t sit so well with them were ones they ignored.
One such prophetic Word is shouted by the prophet in Zechariah 9:9:
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
What must have been the condition of men’s hearts – particularly that of the Pharisees who knew their Scriptures well – when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday fulfilling what Zechariah had proclaimed? This humble man – the Lamb of God – was the personification of what had been foretold. But they were looking for a military ruler, a king who would deliver them from the oppression of Roman occupation. That simple carpenter’s son surely couldn’t be the coming King. Apparently Yahweh had it wrong.
Because Israel rejected Jesus in His 1st Coming, she grieved the Holy Spirit with the unforgivable sin of equating Jesus with Beelzebub. This brought down the wrath of God with the severe punishments He would bring upon His people in these intervening years. Just as in the days of the prophets, when God described His children as stiff-necked, so it has been since Jesus came. For this great transgression, Israel must endure the persecution and suffering of the 7-year Tribulation that will soon consume the entire unbelieving world.
This time of trial will be the most horrible in the history of this planet. As Matthew 24:22 tells us:
And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.
The Tribulation will not be a pleasant time to be alive.
Because of the hatred against God and Israel that will harden to such extremes, the world in its deception will gather at the instigation of Satan and his minions with the expectation that they will destroy both the Lord and His Chosen People. Can you imagine even thinking that by coming together like this with this great army that you could defeat God? But that’s exactly what they do, as Revelation 19:19 describes:
And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army.
But this is the end. This is the final gathering on the plains of Armageddon of those who despise God in order to come against Him and His Holy City. What must these armies think – what fear they must know! – when Revelation 19:11 occurs?
Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.
From Revelation 19:13-14, we know in essence what this will look like:
He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses.
The mighty armies from the four corners of the world, so full of pride and expectation of victory, will face the Lord Himself and the consequences of their hubris, as Revelation 19:15 states:
From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.
Consider what the Jews who know their Scriptures – quaking in fear as they hunker down in Jerusalem – will realize at this moment. For those who have studied the Word of God and remember Isaiah 63:1-6, how shocked they will be!
Who is this who comes from Edom,
in crimsoned garments from Bozrah,
he who is splendid in his apparel,
marching in the greatness of his strength?
“It is I, speaking in righteousness,
mighty to save.”
Why is your apparel red,
and your garments like his who treads in the winepress?
“I have trodden the winepress alone,
and from the peoples no one was with me;
I trod them in my anger
and trampled them in my wrath;
their lifeblood spattered on my garments,
and stained all my apparel.
For the day of vengeance was in my heart,
and my year of redemption had come.
I looked, but there was no one to help;
I was appalled, but there was no one to uphold;
so my own arm brought me salvation,
and my wrath upheld me.
I trampled down the peoples in my anger;
I made them drunk in my wrath,
and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”
Surely God will make it known to them who this mighty warrior is. They will see His face and know that this is the Lamb of God they rejected, now come as the conqueror they longed for but despised.
It’s in these moments that all the world sees and mourns, for they realize that they have rejected the only One who could save them. They realize who this is that has ridden out of the clouds in victory, as Revelation 19:16 proclaims:
On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
But now it’s too late. Those who would be saved have been saved. Those who will die by the sword will do so.
The end is swift. By the millions this massive army is swept away by the Word of God – that great creative and destroying power.
Their leaders – Antichrist and the False Prophet – are cast unceremoniously into the Lake of Fire without even facing the Lord on the day of the White Throne Judgment. They are already judged and found guilty. Justice is served without hesitation.
Just as God gathered the birds to feast at the conclusion of Ezekiel’s War (Ezekiel 39:17-20), so He will call them again (Revelation 19:17-18) with this final banquet, as noted in Revelation 19:21:
And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.
The remnant of Israel will lift up a shout of joy, for this is the realization of the salvation of Israel as foretold in Zechariah 9:16-17:
On that day the Lord their God will save them,
as the flock of his people;
for like the jewels of a crown
they shall shine on his land.
For how great is his goodness, and how great his beauty!
Grain shall make the young men flourish,
and new wine the young women.
Soon thereafter the remnant of believing Israel, and those remaining throughout the earth who survived these terrible seven years trusting in Jesus, will experience the peace and wonder of the Millennial Reign of Christ.
How glorious this will be !