Immediately after the world-astonishing Rapture of the Church, with the Holy Spirit no longer present restraining wholesale evil, Russia, Iran and several other nations will invade Israel seeking to capture her gold and silver riches.(1)
This massive invasion using nuclear weapons(2) will rock the world. With the entire planet watching, God will use this occasion to show things have hugely changed, a new dispensation has begun, and now Israel will once again be His primary world-focus.
“You will come from your place out of the remote parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great assembly and a mighty army; and you will come up against My people Israel like a cloud to cover the land. It shall come about in the last days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me when I am sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog.” Ezek. 38:15-16
God Himself will repel the multi-nation onslaught against Israel. He's been relatively quiet for some 2000 years, no huge visible miracles have occurred like the "parting of the Red Sea."
But now the world will be dumbfounded, seeing first-hand that He's again actively protecting Israel.
“I will magnify Myself, sanctify Myself, and make Myself known in the sight of many nations; and they will know that I am the LORD.”’ Ezek. 38:23
Since becoming a nation again in 1948, Israel has always been somewhat militarily restrained by the United States, who promised she'd be protected.
But with the Rapture having decimated both the political and military forces in the U.S. due to the massive humanity exodus, Israel will be left standing alone.
On the heels of this momentous victory and figuring this was her opportunity to take out the rest of her surrounding enemies for a very long time, Israel will begin to systematically destroy them, one by one.
“In that day I will make the clans of Judah like a firepot among pieces of wood and a flaming torch among sheaves, so they will consume on the right hand and on the left all the surrounding peoples, while the inhabitants of Jerusalem again dwell on their own sites in Jerusalem. Zech. 12:6
The powerless Arab nations will scream bloody murder for any kind of help as they are no match for Israel's military might. Israel will be on a military roll.
It's at this point in time, seemingly out of nowhere, a man who is brilliant and a military genius will burst onto the world scene.
Seizing the moment, this man will somehow be able to coax Israel into making a 7-year peace treaty(3) with 10 nations—five European and five Middle East (see inset image from Daniel 2).
This fast-talking man will give Israel whatever she wants to stop the carnage.
Israel, being re-energized by God Himself repelling the multi-nation invasion, will negotiate the right to rebuild her beloved Temple so she can return to blood sacrifices on Mount Moriah.
Then Israel will get another ego boost as Elijah shows up as prophesied in Malachi 4:5. 2900 years earlier Elijah had been whisked away in basically a UFO (unidentified flying object).
John also will show up with Elijah(4), and they will measure out where the Temple is to be built on the Temple Mount—which was due west of the ancient location of the Eastern Gate.
Then there was given me [John] a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, “Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months." Rev. 11:1-2
The Jewish Temple building location laid out by Elijah and John will leave the Dome of the Rock and the two mosques in place to the south and room for the Pope to build a Christian church to the north.
The three top religions in the world could then be located on the top of Mount Moriah.
Plus, Israel making a treaty with her pagan enemies was not what the Lord had in mind either. He prefers conquering God-less nations, not throwing them a lifeline.
“You shall make no covenant with [your enemies]Ex. 23:32
But Israel was not framing this situation Biblically and the decision will come back to haunt her.
Not being able to offer sacrifices for their sins for almost 2000 years, the Jews will immediately begin planning to make their sacrifices even before the Temple itself is completed.
Blood sacrifices will horrify the rest of the world, but that will all have been agreed to in the 7-year peace treaty.
The agreement put in place by the New World Leader will be a masterpiece. His true intentions will be hidden and quite evil—he will actually be just acquiescing to buy time.
But Israel will buy the lie and the world will wildly celebrate the peace treaty because certainly World War III will have been avoided.
This is where Revelation 6 picks up...the first of the four horsemen—our New World Leader will come riding in like a knight in shining armor.(5)
While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. 1Th. 5:3
This will be the beginning of birth pangs, getting worse and worse for Israel and the world. Over the next 3 1/2 years, 50% of the earth will die to famine and disease.
I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence ... Rev. 6:8
And the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released, so that they would kill a third of mankind. Rev. 9:15
Needless to say, by the middle of the Tribulation, it's a miserable time to be alive. The New World Leader has to blame someone and, true to form, Israel will be the scapegoat.
With more and more of the UN blue-helmeted troops stationed in Israel, purportedly for Israel's 7-year treaty protection, he will secretly and deceptively organize his army for a surprise strike.
After he has arrived in Jerusalem to watch first-hand his plan unfold, he will die of a head wound. The Bible doesn't tell us exactly how he's killed, but he will be left with one eye and a withered right arm.
I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, Rev. 13:3a
“Woe to the worthless shepherd who leaves the flock! A sword will be on his arm and on his right eye! His arm will be totally withered and his right eye will be blind.” Zech. 11:17
The world is shocked at the death of their leader. It's at this time that Satan's thrown from heaven to earth with the other fallen angels and join the worst of the demons that had been released from the bottomless pit.
And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. Rev. 12:9
He opened the bottomless pit, and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit. Rev. 9:2
Since Satan is an angel, a spirit, he needs a body to indwell. So on the third day after the death of the New World Leader, Satan takes over the body, bringing it back to life.
...and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; Rev. 13:3b
Now that Satan has a body in which to live, He boldly claims/lies that Jesus was not the Messiah. He claims he alone is God's Messiah/Redeemer. His proof is the fact he rose from the dead on the third day.
From this time onward he is no longer the New World Leader, rather, he is the Anti-Christ, or false-Christ.
The first thing he does is kill the two Jewish witnesses, John and Elijah. They had been causing a lot of the pain and suffering by stopping the world's rain and calling fire down from heaven on the people of earth. So the people of earth celebrate their death!
When they [The 2 witnesses] have finished their testimony, the beast [Satan] that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city...where also their Lord was crucified. Those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. Rev. 11:7-10
But the world's celebration was premature. By not burying the two men, the world sees them come alive, stand on their feet and slowly rise into the clouds above.
But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” Then they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them. Rev. 11:11-12
Undeterred, the Anti-Christ (Satan in human form) marches down to the new Jewish Temple. The Jews watch closely, knowing if he blasphemes in the Temple, God will strike him dead.
He immediately stops the sacrifices. Then he not only goes into the Temple, he also marches behind the curtain, into the Holy of Holies where no one but the Jewish High Priest is allowed to go once a year on the Day of Atonement.
Once there, with the cameras rolling, he raises his fist and proclaims, "I am God!"
This fulfills these verses written to the Jews:
“Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house. Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath. For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. Matt. 24:15-21
“Forces from him will arise, desecrate the sanctuary fortress, and do away with the regular sacrifice. And they will set up the abomination of desolation. Dan. 11:31
So begins the last half of the Tribulation when Satan gets 3 1/2 years as the self-proclaimed Messiah. It doesn't go well.
In 30 AD, Jesus spent 3 1/2 years on earth healing people. Satan will also get 3 1/2 years on earth, but he'll be killing people.
Satan's reign ends with Jesus' 2nd Coming, but the entire world will have been mostly destroyed. Most people will have died.
Therefore, a curse devours the earth, and those who live in it are held guilty. Therefore, the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left. Is. 24:6
Quite a contrast between the work of Jesus and Satan on earth.
So there you have the difference between the New World Leader and the Anti-Christ. In the first 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation, it's the all-human New World Leader. In the second 3 1/2 years, it's the Anti-Christ—Satan in a human body.
And by the grace of God, we'll miss all of it!
2) Zech 14:12
3) Dan. 9:27
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