Having we hope provided both the historical and the scriptural account of the rise of the Beast “THAT WAS” and “IS NOT” (i.e. the reasons for its subsequent disappearance), the next question naturally is, when will it “COME AGAIN”, when will it makes its appearance a second time?
According to what we have learned thus far 1/10th of “the great city”, BABYLON THE GREAT (Rev 17:5, 18; 18:21), likewise spiritually referred to as Sodom and Egypt,” (Rev 11:8) fell during a “great earthquake” Rev 11:13 (the French Revolution). The other 9/10ths of this city would not meet its demise until the final trouble of the Laodicean period.
It is during the Laodicean period of the Church that the Seven Last Plagues take place, the final trouble of course being the SEVENTH PLAGUE the last of the seven bowels of the wrath of God (Rev 16:1), specifically, ARMAGEDDON.
NOTE: Remember the Seven Last Plagues do not follow in the same sequence as did the Church’s, Seals, and Trumpets. In other words each of the first six periods of the church only experienced their perspective seals and the trumpets. It is only during the seventh or last period of the church, the Laodicean stage that the seven last plagues are poured out. The seven last plagues as you recall are the just consequences of previous lessons unlearned, thus because the world didn’t listen to the trumpets, felled to heed the lessons, now the truths of the trumpets must be forced upon them by the plagues.”
In Rev 6:12 and 11:13 we read of “a great earthquake” which we have come to understand represented (the French Revolution) when 1/10th of “the great city” Babylon the Great fell, thus leaving 9/10ths of the city remaining. The Scriptures however imply that in due time what remains of this great city will likewise meet the same fate, viz.
“Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore.” Rev 18:21
This finale demise of Great Babylon will occur during another great earthquake, the likes of which the world has never seen.
“And the seventh (angel) poured out his bowl upon the air; and there came forth a great voice out of the temple, from the throne, saying, It is done: and there were lightning’s, and voices, and thunders; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since there were men upon the earth, so great an earthquake, so mighty. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nation’s fell: and Babylon the great was remembered in the sight of God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And great hail, [every stone] about the weight of a talent, cometh down out of heaven upon men: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof is exceeding great.” Rev 16:17-21
This will be the time of trouble which both the Prophet Daniel (Dan 12:1), and our Lord spoke of saying,
“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” Matt 24:21, 22
The severity of these times as in comparisons with any which had occurred previously is expressively implied in both texts, viz. such an earthquake “as was not since there were men upon the earth”, such great tribulation (trouble) “as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time.”
“Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” Rev 16:17
AND THE SEVENTH ANGEL POURED OUT HIS BOWL ON THE AIR: The AIR, of course, is a symbol of spiritual control (Eph. 2:2). This plague will disrupt and foil the plans, which the demons instituted in the sixth plague. This plague (the Seventh) IS ARMAGEDDON – the destruction of the mountain (Zech. 4:7; Matt. 21:21) what it will fully consist of is yet to be seen.
AND A LOUD VOICE: — an important announcement of an important event.
CAME OUT OF THE TEMPLE: — out of God’s plan; out of the Most Holy condition
FROM THE THRONE: The temple has no throne. The mixed symbolism is apparently to show us how important this announcement is. It is LOUD; it is part of God’s plan (temple); it is from the Most Holy (Rev 15:5); and it is The Throne — THE Authority, God Himself. This all gives special weight to the next three words, the announcement itself:
IT IS DONE: There is only speculation as to what “IT” is. But all saints must feel instinctively what is meant. This is so close to Jesus’ own words on the cross when His sacrifice was completed (viz. “It is finished”). This “it is done” is surely the glorification of the last members of the body. What else demands the LOUD VOICE from THE THRONE? Other things (Verses 18-21) are NOT DONE at this point. These three little words are among the most blessed in the Bible.
“And there were noises and thundering’s and lightning’s; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth.” Rev 16:18
Remember what was said in our study of the Sixth Seal that although the four angels who were holding back the winds (strife, war, anarchy), were allowed (to a certain extent) to release the winds, they were nevertheless forbidden to allow the trouble to go beyond that which the Lord deemed would hinder in anyway the work of completing the church.
The things that occur from now on however CAN occur BECAUSE the Church is gone. There is nothing in the way now of the peaceable kingdom save the total disintegration of the old order.
AND THERE WERE FLASHES OF LIGHTNING: This is the first of the collection of symbols portraying the elements, which when combined, will be causing the mass confusion of Armageddon. Lightning is blinding flashes of light. Hence, maddening exposures of truths on many planes will be one of the irritants in the trouble.
AND SOUNDS (or VOICES): All kinds of excuses (denials) and explanations will be flying about — all to no avail.
AND PEALS OF THUNDER: Thunder represents controversy. This will be a time when controversy erupts into violence:
AND THERE WAS A GREAT EARTHQUAKE: Not just an earthquake, but a GREAT one — the end of the one begun in the French Revolution (Rev 11:13) and the same as the one of Ezek 38:19, 20 — another testimony that Babylon’s fall is inseparably linked to Israel’s deliverance.
SUCH AS THERE HAD NOT BEEN SINCE MAN CAME TO BE UPON THE EARTH: This is to let us know that “great” is an insufficient modifier for earthquake. It worked for the French Revolution (Rev 11:13), but the last 9/10ths of the city will be a revolution unprecedented.
SO GREAT AN EARTHQUAKE, SO MIGHTY: Yet more is said to make the impression! Those who think that transition to the peaceable kingdom will be gradual or smooth should take note!
We will continue with Verse 19 in our next post.
Excerpts taken from the New Albany Notes on Revelation