Let’s first look at the locusts of the 5th trumpet of the book of Revelation. There are strategic, limitations on these end-time locusts. They are not supposed to hurt the grass, and they can only hurt men without the seal, and only for five months. You can add another one. They cannot kill. They were not allowed to kill. These limitations are strategic. I do not know the reason for them, but I am sure there is a reason for each one of them. The seal of God will be upon the foreheads of the saints, in the same way that Israel was protected during the plagues of Egypt; in the same way, the saints will be protected during the end-time plagues of Egypt, so to speak, which are the end-time judgments and the Great Tribulation.
The children of Israel were in Goshen. Most of you are familiar with what I mean by the Goshen principle. Goshen was a geographical area in Egypt where the children of Israel lived. It was the slave camp. The Scripture says clearly that in Goshen, God’s judgments fell on the land of Egypt, but not in Goshen. The same principle—there will be a distinction; it is what the Lord told Moses—“I will make a difference between the Egyptians and the children of Israel” (Ex. 8:23, paraphrased). There will be a distinction between the believers and unbelievers in terms of the release of the judgment of God. When the angel of death came over the land at the Passover to kill the firstborn in the time of Moses—in the generation of Moses—if they put the blood on the doorpost in Exodus 12, it was a picture of the mark of God, of the seal of God. It protected them from the spirit of death.
GOD SEALS THE SAINTS BEFORE HIS JUDGMENT IS RELEASED
Another example where the Lord protects His own people in a time of judgment is, of course, Egypt in the generation of Moses, which is the most graphic example—the most prolific one. There are more details on it. There is another example; there are several of them in the Old Testament. Look at what happened in Exodus 8:22: God set apart the land of Goshen. Goshen was a geographic area in the land of Egypt where the Jewish slaves lived. A few million slaves lived there. I’m not sure it was the nicest subdivision in Egypt; I’m sure the living conditions for slaves in an ancient land weren’t very good. God set apart the land of Goshen, and the Judgments of God that fell on Egypt didn’t fall on the land of Goshen.
God raised up a protection around Goshen, and when His judgments were released, they did not fall on the land of Goshen. “I will set apart the land of Goshen, in which My people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there.” Because when God released flies through the prayers of Moses on the land of Egypt, none of the flies went to Goshen. Verse 23: “I will make a difference between My people and your people.” This is a tremendous insight into how God is going to manifest His glory in the book of Revelation. He will make a difference between the people of God and the people who are against the Lord in terms of the release of His judgments.
POCKETS OF MERCY THROUGHOUT THE EARTH
I believe that today we are going to have geographic areas around the earth where prayer is going forth. I don’t mean like prayer in our style. There are many styles of prayer and many different focuses of prayer; but where prayer is going forth in a concerted way, there will be the Goshen dynamic. There will be supernatural protection from the judgments of God in those geographic areas. I call those areas “pockets of mercy.” What I mean by “pockets of mercy” is that all over the globe there will be regions experiencing exceptional manifestations of God’s mercy. I call it a pocket of mercy in the midst of judgment. There will be supernatural protection in some of those geographic areas. “I don’t know that we know that all believers are sealed like the 144000. I think there’s a good argument that a lot of them are sealed, if not all of them. We can’t say for sure that they are.
Revelation 9:4 talks about how the locusts sting everyone except for the people sealed. Some say, “Well, that’s only the 144,000.” I don’t think it’s limited to the 144,000. I think it’s just like it says, those who are not sealed. The locust stings the people without the seal. I think it’s a bigger number than 144,000. Now In Ezekiel 9:6, when God is about to judge Jerusalem, He tells the angel, “Go down through the city and seal” —or mark—“the intercessors, those who sigh over the abominations in the land” (Ez. 9:6, paraphrased). But it’s more than intercessors; it doesn’t mean people who are part of a prayer ministry per se. I’m not limiting it to that. In Ezekiel 9:6, the angel marks them, but no one sees the seal. The guy who gets marked, I don’t think he sees it, but he gets spared. He thinks, “Man, I did not die. That is intense.” The other guys die.
That’s a verse that tells us there’s a sealing greater than that of the 144,000. Now with the children of Israel in Goshen. There were almost three million of them, but when the plagues hit Egypt, almost none of them were touched. Three million! That was in the old covenant. The new covenant far exceeds in glory that of the old covenant. I think there’s a good case for the fact of all of them, or if not all of them, then certainly a number that’s way up there. There might be some believers who are on the verge of denying the Lord. I can’t peer into God’s mind to know. Verse 5: “To the others”—the ones who do not cry out against these things—the Lord “said in my hearing, ‘Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare . . . Utterly slay . . . but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark’” (v. 6). The Lord is essentially telling the angel, “Put a mark on the forehead of those who intercede and cry out to Me for mercy.” When the angel is released, God commands the angel, “Do not touch anyone; do not even go near those who have the mark of God upon them” (v. 4, paraphrased).
JESUS HAS GIVEN THE SAINTS AUTHORITY OVER SCORPIONS
The Lord spoke in a general way with authority over Satan. I believe it will actually have application in the fifth trumpet. Though I believe the principle is much bigger than the fifth trumpet, I believe it will have application. Jesus said in Luke 10:19 (paraphrased), “I give you the authority to trample on serpents and I give you authority to trample on scorpions”—then He went on and made it more general—“over all the power of the enemy, and nothing by any means shall hurt you.” I believe when the Lord said this, He obviously understood the fifth trumpet; that the locusts would be released with tails like scorpions to sting, but that the saints would not be hurt by any of it. Again, that was not the general principle. He was talking about authority over Satan, but it does have an application in the fifth trumpet.”
There are four different examples in the book of Exodus of the ten plagues. Now we are led to believe that none of the plagues touched Goshen. That is the conclusion. That is the common consensus. It actually specifies four of the ten plagues and points them out. The livestock—when the cattle died in Egypt under the plagues—none of the cattle died in Goshen. These are categories that we are meant to understand—categories of life that we are meant to understand, because this is going to be duplicated again. There are dynamic similarities between the book of Exodus and the book of Revelation. When the hail fell on Pharaoh to destroy his crops and destroy parts of society, the hail did not fall in Goshen.
The swarms of flies—that just sounds repulsive. It is disease-ridden. It is more than just a disease-infested environment where swarms of flies fly to a geographic area in a supernatural way. It is just repulsive beyond measure. I think the most remarkable is this one about light. I do not know how this works, but I believe it. It says it in Exodus 10:21–23. I do not have to know how it works because God is really smart. Sometimes, guys read these passages and say, “That is not possible.” I say, “Guys, we are dealing with Someone who has Genesis 1 on His resume. I mean, come on. If you can do Genesis 1, you can do any of this.” It is time for little guys with little brains like us to bow down before a big God with a big brain. Big wisdom. Just look up in the sky. He is really smart, and He is really powerful. So hey, from then on, I just bow down and say, “Whatever. I am little guy. You are big guy. I am little.” He says, “There you go. That is a good way to approach this relationship.”
When I read some of these books and some of these guys are thinking, “big theologian, little God,” I think, “No, other way around. Pee-wee theologian, big God. Turn the thing around; bow down to the Word and tremble before it and its mysteries.” I do not know how it all works, but I know it will work, and it will be dynamic and dramatic as it works. Here in Exodus 10, “Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days” (v. 22). Look at verse 23 (paraphrased): “But the children of Israel—all the children of Israel had light in their homes.” I do not know how this works, because the darkness is so heavy that no one in Egypt can produce a light to overcome the darkness. It is terrifying.
We find in the trumpets—in the fourth trumpet and in the fifth bowl— there is darkness coming to the earth. It is actually God’s mercy, because the darkness that comes in the fourth trumpet and the fifth bowl is a warning of hell. Because if men think the darkness is bad now for a short period of time, the Lord is saying, “You have no idea what the outer darkness will be like. Repent now.” Even all of the plagues, as well as the trumpets and the bowls, are warnings of what God is capable of doing, and how far He will go to warn us to get our attention so we avoid the ultimate. The ultimate would be these plagues and judgments brought to the full degree in the lake of fire. The Lord is wooing the human race. Much of the human race will not take the warning, even though God’s messengers will be declaring with clarity what is going on.
Okay, we should look at the purposes, of the trumpets and bowl judgments and how they parallel the ten plagues, because these purposes are true of the trumpets and of the plagues.
TO GLORIFY GOD
The number one purpose of the this end-time scenario, in all it’s intensity, is to glorify God, of course. God released His power through Moses to show His superiority over Pharaoh and Pharaoh’s false gods. Pharaoh’s gods were humiliated before Moses’ God. The same thing is going to happen. The Antichrist and the False Prophet will be the two most powerful men in history in terms of evil. God is raising up a people who will release power that is superior to them. It will show Satan as inferior to God. Romans 9:17: Paul is talking about the book of Exodus and the Exodus drama. In Romans 9:17, this is Paul quoting it 1500 years after the Exodus drama was over. He says, “For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, ‘For this very purpose I raised you, Pharoah, up. I raised you up so I could show My power in you, and that My name would be declared in all the earth’” (Rom. 9:17 paraphrased). The reason God is raising up the Antichrist—it is God raising up the Antichrist. The devil is fully involved, but it is under God’s supervision that it happens. God is going to allow him to be raised up—for Satan to raise him up himself, in full cooperation with evil men’s participation and fully guilty for their participation in it.
It is under the orchestration of God. The reason He is doing it is to create a situation in the earth to show forth His power. All the nations will be talking about the name of Jesus. That is the point. To create a global environment in which the people of God—we cannot survive without the power of God. Right now, if we do not have the power of God at a certain level, we just kind of go on with business as usual. The day is coming when if we do not have the power of God, we will die. In a way, beyond the norm of life, that is what the Lord wants. Even the unbelievers will be talking about the God of Jesus. They will be talking about Jesus and His Father. The second purpose for which God is raising up the judgments is to destroy the Antichrist resources in the same way He destroyed Pharaoh’s resources. The third purpose is to win the lost. There are many ways the lost will come to Jesus during this time in history. Revelation 7 tells us there will be a great multitude from every tribe and tongue of the whole earth. The greatest revival in history will happen in context to the Great Tribulation. One of the ways that the unbelievers will be convinced is they will see the raw power of God far beyond the book of Acts and far beyond the book of Exodus. They will see the power of God far beyond any time in history. That will be convincing itself. A remarkable thing is that the Church—the forerunners who have studied Exodus—they have studied the book of Revelation; they have a spirit of revelation; they will be declaring in advance what is going to happen next. The judgments are numbered one after another on purpose. The reason the judgments are numbered—the fourth trumpet and the fifth trumpet. After the fourth one happens, we know the fifth one is next. Everybody knows. Five always comes after four. Some of the people in your neighborhood will not ever open the book of Revelation to figure out what is coming next. You will declare it and they will say, “How did you know with such clarity?” “Actually, it is written.” Even the declaration of what is going to happen will be part of that apologetics that convinces unbelievers, as well as the power itself.
KICK AWAY THE PROPS
Another dimension that will convince the unbelievers is the fact that the props that they are leaning on—the false thing they are leaning on to numb their hearts and distract themselves from the pain of real life—those props are going to be kicked away by the judgments of God. They are not going to be able to prop themselves up and keep themselves numb from facing the reality of what is happening in the earth. Because when the judgments disrupt society, it will be harder for them to escape away in some of their addictions. It is harder to escape reality when you do not have the resources there to prop up their addictions, etc. It will wake up many people. Just by the very fact that so many people are dying, people will face their own mortality. There will be so much death. People will think about death and eternity like no other time in history. Many will be saved. (I do not believe the majority will be saved.) We are believing God for a billion new souls in that time.
It will also kick out the props in the church. At some point the pre-trib rapture thing will die out. (It’s pretty hard to take 2nd Thes 2 and see the greek for apostacy (falling away from the faith) as meaning rapture there.) Then we will be faced with Christianity that asks all of us. In this Jesus’ prayer in John 17 that we would be with Him where He is will be answered. We will walked as He walked as an equally yoked bride. The Church will be on earth during the Great Tribulation. It is the context in which God will bring the Church to our greatest victory, purity and evangelism as we walk in the glory of God.
7 For the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. (Rev. 19:7) He might present her…a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle… by nourishing and cherishing her with the water of His Word [esp. song of solomon](Eph. 5:27-32) I saw…those who have the victory over the Beast…standing on the sea of glass… (Rev. 15:2)
The Great Tribulation will also be a time when many fall away from the faith because they will be unprepared in their hearts. They will lack understanding and perseverance (2 Thes. 2:3; 1 Tim. 4:1-2). The Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith… (1 Tim. 4:1). This is so far away from hiding with guns in caves, he wants us to be burning and shining lamps in this hour. He talks about spiritual preparation.
Only one generation will intentionally prepare His Bride to make herself ready in three ways: power (gifts of the Spirit), character (fruit of the Spirit) and understanding (Spirit’s wisdom). We are prepare in these three ways.
1. Power: preparation of our ministry to move in the power of the Holy Spirit by prayer.
2. Character: preparation of our heart in intimacy with Jesus, based on the Sermon on the Mount.
3. Understanding: preparation of our mind for the unique dynamics of the End Times in order to engage in Jesus’ action plan without being deceived (Harlot Babylon), offended (at Jesus’ leadership), to release God’s power by faith, and to be faithful witnesses. [ed note. Spending time with the Holy Spirit, dialouging the Word, journaling revelation He gives you, and studying the end times with fasting as Daniel modeled fasting and then recieving end-time revelation (angels!). Intimacy is the oil that the wise virgins of the end times have in Mat 25. Understanding is what will lead to great exploits dan 10:32.]
TO ALLOW MAN’S SIN TO BE FULLY MANIFEST
The next purpose of judgement allows man’s sin to be fully manifest. What do I mean by that? God has declared His judgments in time, and He has declared His judgments in eternity. The thing that offends the human race most about God is His judgments. Much of the Church is offended at God for His judgments. Not just unbelievers. Believers are too. The reason—the argument that is lodged in the human heart is: “Your judgments are not fair, God. They are too extreme and the people did not have a fair chance. If you would have given them a chance, you would not have judged them so severely.” Man assumes and has confidence in his own arrogance that his information is right, though it is very little, and God’s information is wrong. There is a complaint in the human spirit that complains against the judgment of God: “If I was God, the judgments would be different.” The Lord could say, “It is only because you do not have all the information.” Part of the information is that men hate God more than they know they hate God. (Not all men. Many get saved.) Multitudes—millions and millions of people hate God more than they think. They do not know they hate God, because the environment is such that their hatred of God never comes fully to the surface. It is there. God sees it crystal clear. The Lord is going to allow an environment where the truth that is in the human heart is manifest. The love of God and the hatred of God will come to a red-hot boil, a red-hot fire. God’s judgments will be seen as fair and as good. Of course one of the big statements around the throne of God in the book of Revelation many times is where the multitude, the saints, and the angels say, “God, Your judgments are good. Your judgments are good” (Rev. 16:5–7; 19:1–3; etc.). When all the information is available and it is clear, they say, “That was a really good judgment. That was a great decision.” Right now, people and even the saints are a little suspicious that God lacks wisdom and love compared to them. If God had as much wisdom and love as they had, then there would not be the problem of judgment.
TO VINDICATE THE SAINTS
One of the things that the judgments will do is to vindicate or avenge the saints. When God broke through in Moses, all the nations knew that God put His favor on the children of Israel. The nations were talking about it for generations. I mean generations after the testimony was coming: “We remember way back when, when you guys came out of Egypt. We are still afraid.” There are several times in the Old Testament where it is a generation who are trembling over the power of God in the nation of Israel. God will vindicate His saints through the release of His judgments.
TO CLEANSE THE EARTH
Another thing God is doing, He is going to cleanse the earth. His judgments are not only confronting evil and vindicating righteousness. It is actually part of His plan to cleanse the earth before Jesus’ millennial kingdom is established. His judgments do not do all the work of cleansing. They are a significant part of cleansing the earth, to prepare for the age to come.
The seven trumpets in the book of Revelation and the fall of Jericho. We are going to compare them because they are meant to be compared. Paragraph A. At the battle of Jericho, they have come through the wilderness with Moses. They are right on the promised land. They are crossing over the Jordan. They have one big battle in order to open the way to possess the land. It is the battle of Jericho. These guys are strong. It is the defining moment for them to possess the land. They have to get passed Jericho, a fortified city. They are slaves. They do not have good weapons, they do not know how to overcome a fortified city, but they cannot possess the land if they cannot get through Jericho. Jericho speaks of the fortification of the enemy against the people of God. They have to possess the land. The story is very dramatic in Joshua 6. The story is not just important for that day and for history to look back and reflect on. It is also a prophetic foreshadowing of another battle that is going to come that is going to have great fortifications. There is a global, eschatological Jericho that must fall—that is the Antichrist Empire and the harlot Babylon. You could tie it to whichever thing touches your heart. My point is it is the power of darkness, the harlot Babylon, the Antichrist system. It will keep the people of God from possessing the land until it comes down. The goal is not just to possess the land of Israel. That is very important. Jesus wants to possess the entire earth. Every nation He wants to possess. The land is the entire earth. He wants it all under His full leadership. It is under His leadership now, but I mean His manifest leadership where every single nation is actively obeying Him in the way they run their societies.
In Joshua 6, in the battle of Jericho, Joshua—of course, Jesus and Joshua are the same name (Joshua is Yeshua). It is the same name. Joshua sent seven priests and they blew seven trumpets. Well, King Jesus is sending seven angels to blow seven trumpets. It is the same story. They marched around Jericho seven times. They all shouted and the walls fell down. There is going to be a victory shout and it is actually going to be the Lord Jesus who shouts from heaven with His own voice. We are going to do a lot of shouting between now and then. The great shout at the end—there are several scriptures that talk about the Lord Himself shouting. The walls will fall down. The global fortifications—I am talking about the real military build up in the earth resisting God—it will all crumble under the power of these seven trumpets and seven bowls.
When the prophets and NT apostles talked about the end-times the main preparation issues they brought up were spiritual, like holiness and repentence, calling to a lifestyle of prayer (see 2nd Pet 3). The greatest need of the end-times is supernatural direction and provision and anointed messengers, because this is to be the church’s hour of miracles of exodus and Acts multiplied. Not just good planning and rations, but food multiplication like Jesus did, and manna from heaven. It is presumption to think we can endure and stand in that day with by only tending to natural preparation. It is presumption to think that when the fullness of God’s wrath is poured out that we will be in agreement with it, without cultivating understanding by the Spirit. The Spirit is calling for a Dan 11:32 people of understanding.
We need a heart connect with Jesus studying the 150 chapters the bible has on the end-times, understanding “the why” behind the what, of the tribulation, Jesus wants to speak “the why” to your heart that you can stand in that hour. And help others to stand. Many will be led astry if they think the issue of the end-times is natural preparation, instead of cultivating relational understanding, being connected with the Spirit so that they are continually with Him where He is, in that hour being led by the Spirit. God is looking for messengers who demonstrate that His ways work and are superior to any other way. The message and lifestyle and power are connected because God wants the power to get the attention of the nations, so that they get the message that has a lifestyle that works.