David Reagan - The Second Half of the Tribulation
Will the Antichrist be a Jew or a Gentile? Could he possibly be a Muslim? Will he really be killed and resurrected from the dead, or will that all be a ruse? And where will be his headquarters — in Rome, Babylon or the United States? Stay tuned for answers to these and other questions about the book of Revelation.
David Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus, our Blessed Hope, and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. Folks, I have in the studio with me again this week Tim Moore, who is our Associate Evangelist, and Nathan Jones who is our Internet Evangelist. Last week we began answering questions about the book of Revelation. And in the process we stressed several important points. Tim give us a summary.
Tim Moore: I would be glad to, Dave. First it is possible for anyone indwelt with the Holy Spirit to understand the book of Revelation. Number two, one of the keys to understanding it is to take it for its plain sense meaning. Number three, the outline of the book can be found in Revelation 1:19. Four, the letters of Jesus to the seven churches recorded in chapters 2 and 3 are symbolic of seven periods of Church history, and we are in the last period now. Five, the series of judgments portrayed in Tribulation will be chronological in order. Six, the book itself is in chronologically order except for occasional flashback and flashforwards. And seven, in the middle of the Tribulation the Antichrist will come to Jerusalem where he will kill the two witnesses of God and declare himself to be god.
Nathan Jones: And incidentally, folks, if you missed our program last week you can find it on our website at lamblion.com where we archive all our TV programs and make them available for people to watch on demand, or you can also download our Lamb & Lion app.
David Reagan: Okay, fellas, let’s jump into it once again.
Tim Moore: Okay.
David Reagan: First question sent by John G.: In chapter 13 of Revelation we are introduced to the Antichrist. Do you believe he will be a Gentile or a Jew?
Tim Moore: Well, I think he is going to be a Gentile. And I think that because it tells us in Revelation chapter 13 that the beast will rise out of the sea. Now, even though I am a literalist, there are things that are obviously symbolic in nature, and clearly throughout scripture the land of Israel talks about the people, the land, the blessed chosen nation of Israel, and the sea refers to the Gentile nations.
David Reagan: So, even when symbols are used, the symbols have literal meanings.
Tim Moore: They have literal meanings. They are not just some ephemeral thing that we can put any meaning we want to, spiritualizing them away. But, in Daniel chapter 7:3, and in Luke 21:25 we are told about the Gentile nations, and the expectation is that the Antichrist will come from those nations that actually destroy the Temple. We know that happened in AD 70 with the Roman Empire. So, out of the former Roman Empire, that portion of the world, will come the Antichrist. And that actually is in Daniel 9:26, anyone who wants to look that up. So, I don’t think it will be a Jew. It will be a Gentile who manifests himself as the Antichrist.
David Reagan: Yeah, throughout history the Church has normally taken the position that it is going to be a Jew, but that was mainly a reflection of their Anti-Semitism.
Tim Moore: Sure, it was. Yes.
David Reagan: And Replacement Theology.
Tim Moore: Yes, sir.
Nathan Jones: Absolutely. Daniel 9:26, like you said, gives the origin of the Antichrist, “And he will be of the people of the prince who shall come destroy the city and the sanctuary.” That was the Romans. That was Titus Vespasian. We know that he will be a European, and we know the European Union will revive and transform into a revived Roman Empire, which the Antichrist will birth out of. So, it is pretty clear that we know he’s got to be a Gentile.
Nathan Jones: Yes.
David Reagan: Okay. Well, that comes to the next question and that is one that has come up recently because we’ve had a couple of prophecy writers recently start maintaining that the Antichrist is really going to be a Muslim. What about it?
Nathan Jones: Well, that is quite a new idea, obviously, because Islam has been kind of reticent until recently and now Islam is in the news all the time, and unfortunately people then take the news and they superimpose it over the Bible. Could the Antichrist be a Muslim? I think there are some events that will happen before the Antichrist rises to power that will gut Islam. And that is the Gog and Magog War of Ezekiel 38 & 39, where Russia and a coalition of Islamic nations come down to destroy Israel, and God over Israel protects them and destroys those nations instead. It totally guts the Middle East of Islam. And then we read how the Antichrist then rises up as their protector and goes off to destroy the other armies, likely the other Islamic nations. So, when you get into the Tribulation there are only three religions: there is the Christians who are persecuted, the Tribulation Saints, there are the Jewish people, and the Antichrist, creates his false prophet, creates a new religion, which is basically Satan worship. There is no talk of Islam, or Buddhism or any other religion. So, Islam as a religion will not survive into the Tribulation according to the timeline of Bible prophecy.
Tim Moore: I appreciate what you said, Nathan, because you said a lot of people read the news and superimpose it upon scripture. And that is the exact opposition of what we try to do; we read scripture and then try to look at the news to understand what God is doing in the world. And so, that is a key distinction. And so, by reading scripture primarily, yeah, Islam is late to the consideration because it was not even around at this time period. And I agree with you it will not be a Muslim.
David Reagan: Well, I think that the idea is preposterous, for two reasons, number one it says that the Antichrist is going to go to Jerusalem and declare himself God in the middle of the Tribulation. Any Muslim who would declare himself God would be killed by the Muslims.
Tim Moore: Exactly.
Nathan Jones: Yeah.
David Reagan: That is just beyond comprehension. And secondly, it says he is going to make a treaty that is going guarantee I think the peace of Israel.
Tim Moore: Yes.
David Reagan: And is Israel going to put their faith in a Muslim? I don’t think so.
Tim Moore: No.
David Reagan: Okay. This brings us to the next question: Chapter 13 introduces us to a character who is later referred to in chapter 19 as the false prophet. Who is this guy? What is his role? Could he possibly be an apostate pope for example?
Tim Moore: Well, we to counter what we discussed a few moments ago regarding the Antichrist coming out of the sea, we know that the false prophet is going to come out of the earth. So, that leads us to believe that this person will be Jewish. And he will be a Jew who is obviously abandoned the faith and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We know today sadly that most Jews in the world are agnostic, and many of them are just hardline atheist, so that is not too far from consideration even today. We also know that this individual will force the whole world to worship the beast, or his image which he will craft. So, is it a pope? I don’t think so. I think that there have been a small “a” antichrist throughout history. We know that Antiochus Epiphanies was one of those small “a” antichrist who came and created an abomination there in the Temple. But this will be the large “A” Antichrist, so this spirit of antichrist is manifest through different individuals including, sadly, some religious leaders throughout the world, and throughout history. But this false prophet will point people to worship the large “A” Antichrist and quite possibly will be Jewish.
Nathan Jones: And it is interesting how you’ve got Satan, you’ve got his Antichrist, which is a form of Jesus, a fake Messiah, and then you have the false prophet which is the spiritual leader, so you end up with a trinity, a counterfeit trinity.
Tim Moore: An unholy trinity.
Nathan Jones: An unholy trinity. That’s what Satan does, he’s always a counterfeit of God.
Tim Moore: Yes, he is.
David Reagan: Okay, chapter 13 says that the false prophet will force people to take a mark in order to buy and sell. I think there is nothing in the book of Revelation that people are more obsessed with than the mark.
Nathan Jones: Wow, yes.
David Reagan: It says the mark will be the name of the Antichrist, or the number of his name which will be 666. What is meant by the number of his name, and why the number 666? Does it have any symbolic significance?
Nathan Jones: I was in a Bible study once we had this guest who was a young gentleman, and in the middle of the class you could just tell, he just interrupted the teacher and he said, “When the Antichrist comes and he threatens you to join him or not, that you just stay with Jesus, you put your head in that guillotine and you have your head chopped off.” And you could hear crickets. You know? What was that all about? It is where you put the Rapture of the Church is where you think the Antichrist and the Mark of the Beast. If you think the Rapture of the Church happens you are not worried about the Antichrist. You are not worried about the Mark of the Beast, because the mark is a loyalty mark given to Satan that will be implemented 3 ½ years into the Tribulation, well after the Rapture. It will be, and John could see this, so it is not something subcutaneous, the Greek is “epi” it is on, he could see the name or the number of the Antichrist on the right hand or forehead. John tells us it is 666 and it is a representation of Mankind. If God is the perfect 777, Mankind is one less 666. You can go to references too in the Bible about gold 666, it is a chasing after human things, not after God things.
Tim Moore: Yes, that is what Solomon was chasing after, false gods, and he was led away from the true and living God, as recorded in 1 Kings 10:14, and also 2 Chronicles 9:13. He had 666 talents of gold. I agree with you, Nathan.
David Reagan: That is the year that he turned and began to chase women, horses, and money.
Tim Moore: Yes. Women, horses, and money, yeah the downfall.
David Reagan: It is a symbol among the Jewish people of apostasy.
Tim Moore: Sure, it is. I think it is important to recognize for those of us who are believers today, Church Age believers, we don’t have to worry about this Mark of the Beast.
Nathan Jones: Not at all.
Tim Moore: But because our program maybe be viewable by those who are living through the Tribulation, they will have to consider what does this mark mean to them. And it will be something that they will be forced to do, but at risk of their very salvation. So, obviously believers will not take the Mark of the Beast, but it is something that people during the Tribulation will have to deal with.
David Reagan: In fact, right now we are getting a lot of questions about this, Nathan, because of the Bill Gates, explain that.
Nathan Jones: ID2020, yeah.
David Reagan: He’s got some sort of thing he’s going to do?
Nathan Jones: Well, during this coronavirus initiative there is a lot of talk about how do we get the world vaccinated? And should we be tracking people all the time? And Bill Gate’s organization has been suggesting these ideas, that well, we need to be vaccinated and chipped, and follow people. Clearly, after you read all the disasters of the Tribulation leading up to the middle, people will be clamoring for it because people are disappearing, and people are dying, they are going to want to be tracked. But it is not something you can be tricked into. It is a clear decision to follow the Antichrist, and Satan his master. No one will be tricked to be taking the mark.
David Reagan: Nathan, you have written a book about the angels of Revelation, a very popular book, and one that we just had reprinted.
Nathan Jones: Praise the Lord.
David Reagan: Tell us about the Gospel Angel who is portrayed in Revelation chapter 14.
Nathan Jones: Well, there are three evangelism angels who come near the end of the Tribulation, and they share the messages of what is going to happen at the end. And one of the three is what we call the Gospel Angel, and he comes out in Revelation 14. And he goes and preaches the Gospel to the world. And he has a four part message it’s: Fear God, in other words obey God; glorify God; realize that your final judgment is at hand, the Tribulation is about to end; and worship God. In other words, so he goes out and he share the Gospel. And this is counter to the idea that people say, well the Church needs to be in the Tribulation for the Gospel to spread. The Lord provides the two witnesses, and the 144,000 evangelists, and disasters, and the materials we leave behind.
David Reagan: Lots of Bibles.
Nathan Jones: Absolutely, hopefully this book. And it is all there but he leaves it with the Gospel Angel to give the Gospel to every person, and that fulfills what Jesus prophesized that the Gospel would reach the whole world before the end would come.
David Reagan: Yeah, well, that is very encouraging, that even in the midst of the Tribulation, that God’s fundamental concern is saving souls.
Tim Moore: Always.
David Reagan: That is real grace.
Nathan Jones: Amen.
David Reagan: When people have got their fists like that to God. Okay, this brings us to our next question and that one has to do with one of our viewers Sarah N. of Bellevue, Washington wants to know the meaning of a rather mysterious verse in Revelation 16:15. She wonders if it is an indication that the Rapture is taking place at that point in the second half of the Tribulation? So, would one of you read that verse and tell us what you think it means?
Tim Moore: I’ll read it. Revelation 16:15 says, and it is in parenthesis even in my translation here the New American Standard, “Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked, and men will not see his shame.” I actually think it is valuable, as I mentioned previously, that we look at even another translation. The King James Version says, “Blessed is he that watcheth.” And so, I think this is a parenthetical statement, that is why even our editors put this verse in parenthesis, it is one of those flashforwards of assurance that even in the midst of all this wrath that is being poured out, the Lord is telling those of us who are reading this book, and saying, “oh, my goodness it is going to get terrible here on the earth!” He says, “Do not fear. If you will watch for my coming.” In other words, stay alert, stay awake, but watch for my arrival you will be protected, and you will not walk about naked. So, it is a promise of God for those who watch.
David Reagan: Good point.
Tim Moore: It is kind of being one of the five wise virgins and staying alert and watchful.
David Reagan: The book of Revelation has a rhythm to it. It tells about what is going to happen, and one horrible thing after another, and it builds this up until finally you think, “Oh, my goodness there is no hope!” And then suddenly there is a flashforward that says, “It is all going to turn out in the end. Don’t worry. Just keep reading.” This is one of those flashforwards.
Tim Moore: Yes, it is.
David Reagan: Welcome back to Christ in Prophecy and our responses to questions about the book of Revelation. Okay, fellows, let’s pick up where we left off. And the question has to do with chapter 17 of Revelation which introduces us to a very mysterious, kind of horrible woman who is referred to as Mystery Babylon, and the Mother of Harlots, of all things. She is obviously a symbolic person, but a symbol of what?
Nathan Jones: She is an amazing character when you read about it. I mean she is obviously beautiful and voluptuous, but it is not long before John notices that she is dressed like a prostitute. She is an expensive prostitute. And she holds this chalice and she is drinking, and she is drunk, and then John realizes she is drinking the blood of the Saints. She is rejoicing in the persecution and death of Christians. And she rides on the back of, well the symbol for the Antichrist. And Mystery Babylon, it is a mystery obviously, so we don’t have all the details. But from what we can tell the first half of the Tribulation will be guided by a new religion that will rise up after the Rapture, a one world ecumenical, we are all linking arms kumbaya type of religion, that she is a representative of. Where some say that the pope will be the false prophet. I think the pope actually would be more of the leader of this Mystery Babylon. But she is a religious system, who then will be destroyed by the Antichrist and his ten kings.
David Reagan: Because it becomes too powerful.
Nathan Jones: She becomes too powerful. He hates her. He wants her destroyed. They got rich off her but now they are ready to have the Antichrist Kingdom rise, and so they kill Mystery Babylon.
David Reagan: So, you are saying she is a symbol of a false religion.
Nathan Jones: Right. And throughout the Bible you find that women are always attributed to religious system like Ishtar and all that. So, she would be that.
David Reagan: Sometimes it is positive like the Church being presented as the Bride of Christ.
Nathan Jones: Right. What a difference, she is the complete opposite. The Bride is pure and holy.
David Reagan: But usually, a false religion, yeah.
Nathan Jones: Absolutely, she is a false religion that will last 3 ½ years.
David Reagan: Tim, did you want to add something?
Tim Moore: No. Not right now.
David Reagan: Okay. In chapter 18 we are introduced to an entity called Babylon the Great, it appears to be a kingdom that will dominate the world at the end of the Tribulation. Is this a rebuilt Babylon? Or could it possibly be Rome, or the United States?
Tim Moore: I think it could possibly be any of those. Obviously for many years people said, “Well, it will be Rome,” because that is the capital of the Roman Empire in the old days. But we know that that may or not be the case. Rome is not in its hay day that it once was. Others say, well it will be a rebuilt Babylon. I’ve actually flown over the original Babylon, and yes, Saddam Hussein tried to rebuild some of the tourist attraction aspect of Babylon, but it is not a thriving city out in the plains there of Nineveh, what was. And we know according to Isaiah 13 that Babylon, the original one, was destroyed by the Medes, never to be inhabited again. So, we also have other folks that think, well this is New York, sort of the global center of commerce. Folks, I’ve got to tell you to some degree that center of commerce is shifting to other parts of the world even today. I think it will be a place that the Antichrist sets up his global command post, if you will, economically, politically, and that will be this Babylon the Great.
David Reagan: Oh, I agree.
Tim Moore: So, it is symbolic of a true place, a literal place.
David Reagan: It is going to be the headquarters of the Antichrist, but I don’t think there is any possibility, any, that it is going to be New York.
Tim Moore: No, I don’t, no.
David Reagan: And I don’t think its going to be Babylon. I think it is going to be Rome. And one of the reasons I believe that is because it is called Mystery Babylon, it is referred to that. And at this time when John is writing he is a prisoner of the Roman Empire.
Tim Moore: Of Rome, yes.
David Reagan: He can’t say the Roman Empire, it is impossible. So, he refers to Mystery Babylon. And everyone in the first century who was reading that knew what he meant. That’s why for example Peter in one of his epistles, I forget whether it is 1 Peter or 2 Peter. Do either one of you remember? It is 1 Peter. First Peter 5:13, Peter is writing from Rome. He is writing from Rome and he says, “She who is in Babylon,” speaking of the Church, “sends greetings to you.”
Tim Moore: Yeah.
David Reagan: He is using Babylon as a symbol of Rome.
Tim Moore: Yes, he is.
Nathan Jones: Yes.
David Reagan: Because that was used by everyone in the first century. First century person, yeah, this is Rome.
Tim Moore: Yes, they would have clearly understood that. And I think that obviously as the Roman Empire is reconstituted as the Antichrist comes from that region, that is the most logical place.
David Reagan: Okay, chapter 19 begins with all of heaven shouting, “Hallelujah” over, and over, and over again. It’s the only place in the New Testament where this word appears. Why are the angels of heaven praising God at this point when all hell is breaking loose on earth?
Nathan Jones: This is the destruction of Babylon. This is the destruction of the Antichrist kingdom, which was put, the headquarters, into darkness, as a judgment against it. This angel holds up this giant stone, I call it the Stone Angel in my book, and he hurls it down and destroys it. So, all the angelic forces are celebrating the end of the Antichrist evil empire. It’s also a fulfillment of Daniel 2 where it tells about the human empires will have to be destroyed when Jesus Christ returns, destroys human empires, and sets up His Kingdom. And so, this is a fulfillment of Daniel 2 where at last we are getting down to the last days of the Antichrist reign. Satan’s reign on earth is about to end. Jesus Christ is about to set up His Kingdom. Why would heaven not be rejoicing?
Tim Moore: Exactly right. And as a matter of fact, at the very end of that section of Revelation chapter 19 it says, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty reigns!” The angels are anticipating the final culmination when the Lord reigns, not just in heaven but on earth. You know we are supposed to be praying, “Lord mighty thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Well, at this moment in human history His will will be fully accomplished on the earth. Obviously as He reigns here on the earth as Jesus comes back in His glorious Second Coming.
Nathan Jones: Amen.
David Reagan: I’m ready to shout, “Hallelujah!”
Tim Moore: I’m ready to shout, “Hallelujah!” too, four times.
David Reagan: The rest of chapter 19 pictures the Second Coming of Jesus. And in verse 14 it says the armies of Heaven will come with Him. Is this speaking of angels?
Tim Moore: I think that it is speaking of angels, and us as saints. So, I’ll use this analogy, we know that in Joshua that Joshua meet a man who said he was the captain of the host of the Lord. Same word in Hebrew that is used here in this New Testament verse as a host, or as an army. In Luke chapter 2, verse 13 it says that a multitude of the heavenly host, the word used was “stratia” which in Greek is a version of the same word used here for armies, plural “strateuomai.” So, we are part of the armies of the Lord. We know that because later it says that the armies are clothed in white linen, fine linen, white and clean. Well, that is us because we were given white linen robes to wear. We are washed clean as we are given our glorified bodies and we return with the Lord. But I think the whole heavenly host also join in as the Lord comes back, to witness, His Second coming.
David Reagan: In fact in Revelation 19 that exact wording is used earlier in verse 7 it talks about how after all the rewards have been handed out, the last thing we are going to do in heaven before Jesus comes back to earth, and we with Him, is we are going to celebrate our union with Him in the Marriage Feast of the Lamb. And it says in verse 8, “It was given to her,” talking of the Church, “to cloth herself in fine linen bright and clean, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” And then when it talks about Jesus returning it says, “Those who come with Him are going to be in fine linen white and clean.”
Tim Moore: Fine linen, yes.
David Reagan: So, it is obvious that the Church is coming back with Him as well as the angels.
Tim Moore: As well, yes. Yes, sir.
David Reagan: Yes, the angels are coming too.
Nathan Jones: Another proof that the Rapture happens before the Tribulation, because otherwise we couldn’t be coming down from heaven with Jesus.
David Reagan: That’s true.
Nathan Jones: We couldn’t have already gotten our rewards, there wasn’t enough time, you had the Tribulation, where we were getting the Judgment of the Just, and getting our rewards. We were celebrating the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. And we were preparing to return with Jesus on whatever these white horses are. That is another mystery there.
David Reagan: Well, I tell you, when I first began to understand this and realize that we are going to return with the Lord I got excited about that. You know Jesus once before came to the Mount of Olives on a donkey, and He rode down into the Kidron Valley and up to that Eastern Gate, and it was filled with tens of thousands of people shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David.” I mean this was the one who had just raised Lazarus from the dead, and they wanted to see this great miracle worker. And He was going to be the one to deliver them from the Romans. So, they were worshipping Him. And a week later many of them were yelling, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” Well, He is going to replay that event in His life. He is coming back this time on a white war charger. A symbol of a victorious general. And He is going to ride down into that valley and up to the Eastern Gate. And Psalm 24 says that gate is going to blow open and say, “Come on in you King of Glory.” And we are going to be there to see Him crowned the King of kings and the Lord of lords. And every time I sing a song that has hosanna in it, I get goosebumps because I believe that on that day we are going to be singing hundreds of millions of us in the sky in our glorified bodies, others in the Valley of Kidron, singing, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Hosanna to the Son of God!” Oh, my goodness what a day that is going to be!
Tim Moore: Now, I am ready to yell, “Hallelujah.”
Nathan Jones: Yeah.
Tim Moore: You know every time we go to Israel and we take a group to the Mount of Olives, that is my favorite place because I sit there, or stand and talk about all the things you just described that are going to come to pass. And I’ve already seen in my eye the Lord’s coming. It is not as glorious as it will be, but if I anticipate it, and I know I will be there as will all of us who have put our faith in Jesus Christ.
David Reagan: Tell about the prophecy of the Eastern Gate.
Tim Moore: The prophecy of the Eastern Gate obviously is the Eastern Gate would be sealed we were told, and it was sealed by Suleiman the Magnificent.
David Reagan: In the 1500’s.
Tim Moore: In the 1500’s he didn’t want a Jewish holy man to be able to get in.
David Reagan: A direct fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
Tim Moore: But we know that when the Lord comes back He will blow open that Eastern Gate. As a matter of fact in 1967 some of the Israeli soldiers were trying to get into the Old City thought that they would blow open the Eastern Gate. And Messianic Jews said, “No,” not Messianic Jews, but Orthodox Jews said, “No, you can’t do that! Only the Messiah can come through that Eastern Gate.” Well, we know He will when He comes back to earth.
David Reagan: And what a day that will be. Wow! And if you want to read about that, folks, about the coming of the Lord and the opening of that gate, in Ezekiel 44 is where it talks about the gate is going to be closed. But if you want to read about the gate opening just turn over to Psalm 24, we all read Psalm 23, but if you read Psalm 24 you will read about the gate being opened. I was trying to find it here right quick, and there it is Psalm 24. And it says, “Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, O Ancient doors, that the King of Glory may come in! Who is the King of Glory? The LORD strong and mighty.” He is coming.
Tim Moore: Amen.
David Reagan: Well, one last questions fellows, we don’t have much time. Chapter 19 there is a reference to two banquets, one in Heaven and one on the earth. Nathan, contrast these for us.
Nathan Jones: Marriage Supper of the Lamb, celebration of the Church reunited with Jesus Christ.
David Reagan: I want to be there.
Nathan Jones: Right. And then you also got the Supper of God, that is the Sun Angel comes out, he calls the carrion birds to come and prepare for the dead who will die at Armageddon, when Jesus Christ returns and destroys them all.
David Reagan: So, at one banquet you are the guest, and at the other banquet you are the meal.
Nathan Jones: You’re the dinner, right.
Tim Moore: Feast with the saved, or feast on the damned, it is one or the other.
Tim Moore: Well, folks, that is our program for this week. I hope it has been a blessing to you, and I hope, the Lord willing, that you will be back with us next week when we will continue to respond to questions you’ve asked about the book of Revelation, and the Millennium, and the Eternal State to come.
David Reagan: Until next week, this is Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb & Lion Ministries, saying, “Look up, be watchful, for our redemption is drawing near.”