• Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Painting by Viktor Mikhailovich Vasnetsov (1848–1926) Painted in 1887 | Photo: http://lj.rossia.org/users/john_petrov/166993.html from Wikimedia Commons

Apocalyptic Riders – Part 2 Short Version

Rev Willem J.J. Glashouwer - 5 January 2023

When the four Apocalyptic horsemen ride out over the earth, they leave behind a trail of destruction. And also a stream of martyrs. These martyrs are calling for revenge to God from their place of rest. For justice. For reparations. For retribution. These innocently killed victims call: “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until You judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Revelation 6:10. (Bible verses from NIV 1984).

That vengeance is not ours. The apostle Paul writes in Romans 12:17-19: “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is Mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.” So, that vengeance is not ours. No personal revenge. Leave that to God.

Because one-day the Most High will bring in ‘the wrath of God and of the Lamb’. Finally reckoning and rightful justice. Revenge. That great reckoning is yet to come. But it will come. And the result will be terrible for those people who caused the earth to suffer and who spilled rivers of innocent blood of their innocent victims. Revelation 6:15-17 says: “Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” Not just the wrath of God, but it will be also the wrath of the Lamb.

“One-day the Most High will bring in ‘the wrath of God and of the Lamb’. Finally reckoning and rightful justice”

The souls of the martyrs are located in Heaven beneath the altar. So, there is a personal existence after death. They are aware of themselves and remember how their innocent blood was shed. The Bible doesn’t teach soul-sleep. Even though thoughts about the after-life are not completely and distinctly present and worked out in the Old Testament, there is certainty about the continuation of life after death, as well as about the bodily resurrection of the dead. These things become clearer in the New Testament. But look for example at Job 19:25-27. The translation in the NIV is beautiful: “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes – I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” How beautifully did Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759) sing in his Oratorio ‘Messiah’ composed in 1741: ‘I know that my Redeemer liveth. And that He shall stand at the latter-day upon the earth. And though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God. For now is Christ risen from the dead, the first fruits of them that sleep.’

Their souls are resting ‘under the altar’ in Heaven. But in their bodily resurrection they will be completely be set free: spirit, soul ánd body. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 says: “May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” And 1 John 3:2 says: “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” We shall be like Him, having that same glorious resurrection body that He has!

“Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed.” Revelation 6:11.

Who are these martyrs? When we continue to draw the parallel with the Olivet Discourse of Lord Jesus about the last things (as we did in our article ‘Apocalyptic Riders – part 1) then the Great Tribulation is yet to come. So this is about those who died during the past centuries. Are these the souls of slaughtered Jews and slaughtered Christians? One group being butchered because of the ‘Word of God’ (Jews), the other group for the testimony of Jesus and the Word of God (Christians)? These people address the Lord with “Despotès” (Lord and Master), not with “Kurios”, so with “Lord and Master” and not with just “Master”. They call for revenge, like in the Imprecatory Psalms of the Old Testament. Psalms that cry out for Gods revenge upon the innocent blood of His people Israel that was spilled upon the earth.

Since they ask that their blood be avenged on those who live on the earth, i.e. their executioners, the villains and perpetrators, the murderers, one could think of the last great stream of martyrs by the end of this stage of world history as well. The six million of the Holocaust, the murdered Christians in Russia and China of this century and the last one. Murdered in the lands of Islam and of Christendom. Under communism, fascism Hellenism/humanism and under whatever ideology, left-wring, right-wing or middle-of-the-road. Under dictatorships and democracies.

They cry out: How long, o Lord, can You witness this godforsaken injustice of your children? These are acts of blasphemy against Your holy Name! Please bring in finally justice and revenge. Not for our sake, but for Your name’s sake. The answer that is given to their cries is: just wait a little longer. Another short while. First the full number of the innocently slaughtered martyrs must be reached. First there must also be the ingathering of the one hundred and forty-four thousand of those who will be sealed from all the twelve tribes of Israel. And also the Great Multitude that no one could count, and then…justice will be done. Read Revelation 7.

Revelation 6:12-17
“I watched as He opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red.”

In the existing parallel between the Olivet Discourse by Lord Jesus on the Mount of Olives (Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 17 and 21) the signs in sun, moon and stars, now the shaking and staggering of planet earth and the Universe, of Creation itself are coming into view. Matthew 24:29-30 says: “Immediately after the distress of those days ” ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.” Cosmic catastrophes. The end of the world seems to have begun. The entire Old-Testament, the prophetical background of the descriptions of the “Day of the Lord” resonates in it.

“The Day of the Lord” is a Biblical term and theme used in both the Hebrew Bible (יֹום יְהוָה Yom YaHuWaH / Jehovah / Adonai) and the New Testament (ἡμέρα κυρίου, hēmera Kyriou), as in “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible ‘Day of the LORD’ come” (Joel 2:31, cited in Acts 2:20). In the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament, the meaning of the phrase ‘Day of the Lord’ refers to temporal events such as the invasion of a foreign army, the capture of a city and the suffering that falls upon the inhabitants. This for instance appears much in the 2nd chapter of Isaiah (especially verses 6-22) which is read in the synagogue on the ‘Sabbath of Vision’, immediately before the 10th of Av. The fires that consumed the first Jerusalem Temple began on the 9th of Av, and continued to burn until middle of the following day. The Talmudic sage Rabbi Yohanan stated, “Had I been alive in that generation, I would have fixed [the day of mourning] for the 10th [of Av], because the greater part of the Temple was burnt on that day.”

The 9th of Av, Tisha b’ Av, commemorates a list of catastrophes so severe it’s clearly a ‘Day set aside by God’ for suffering. Seven historical events that took place on Tisha b’ Av, the Jewish day of mourning are observed by the Chabad.

  1. The Spies Returned With a Bad Report. The year is 1313 BC. The Israelites are in the desert, recently having experienced the miraculous Exodus, and are now poised to enter the Promised Land. But first they dispatch a reconnaissance mission – they send their 12 spies – to assist in formulating a prudent battle strategy. The spies return on the 8th day of Av and report that the land is unconquerable. There are even giants in the land. That night, the 9th of Av, the people are starting to murmur and cry. They insist that they’d rather go back to Egypt than be slaughtered by the Canaanites. God is highly displeased by this public demonstration of distrust in His power, and consequently that generation of Israelites never enters the Holy Land. Only their children have that privilege, after wandering in the desert for another 38 years.
  2. Both Holy Temples Were Destroyed. The First Temple was also destroyed on the 9th of Av. It was the beginning of the 70-year Babylonian Captivity for the Jewish people between 600-500 BC. Five centuries later (in 69 AD), as the Romans drew closer to the Second Temple, ready to torch it, the Jews were shocked to realize that their Second Temple was destroyed the same day as the First Temple.
  3. The Battle at Beitar (or: Betar, Jerusalem) Was Lost. When the Jews rebelled against Roman rule, they believed that their leader, Simon bar Kochba, would fulfill their Messianic longings. But their hopes were cruelly dashed in 133 AD as the Jewish rebels were brutally butchered in the final battle at Betar. The date of the massacre? Yes, the 9th of Av!
  4. The Romans Plowed the Beit Hamikdash, the Holy House upon the Holy Hill. One year after their conquest of Beitar, the Romans plowed over the Temple Mount, the holiest site of the nation of Israel.
  5. The Jews Were Expelled From England. The Jews were expelled from England in 1290 AD on Tisha b’ Av.
  6. The Jews Were Banished From Spain. In 1492, the Golden Age of Spain came to a close when Queen Isabella and her husband Ferdinand ordered that the Jews be banished from the land. The ‘Edict of Expulsion’ was signed on March 31, 1492, and the Jews were given exactly 4 months to put their affairs in order and leave the country. The Hebrew date on which no Jew was allowed any longer to remain in the land where he had enjoyed welcome and prosperity? Yes, the 9th of Av.
  7. Both World Wars Began. World War II and the Holocaust, historians conclude, was actually the long-drawn-out conclusion of World War I that began in 1914. And yes, amazingly enough, Germany declared war on Russia, effectively catapulting the First World War into motion, on the 9th of Av, Tisha b’ Av.

In 2005, on the 10th of Av, the government of Israel began the Gaza Disengagement, where 9,000 Jewish residents were evicted from their homes. Despite mass rallies against the disengagement, and an orange-ribbon campaign, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon implemented the plan with the hope of reducing security concerns and diffusing the demographic problem of Gaza’s 1.5 million Arabs. Upon completion of the evacuation, all 21 Jewish communities in Gaza were bulldozed and destroyed. Only the synagogues were left standing; these were then torched by Arab mobs. And the list could be much longer!

“The ‘Day of the Lord’ will come for all the nations and for planet earth and for the Universe as well”

But after these examples in the history of Israel of these ‘Days of the Lord’ for Israel and the Jewish people, let us look at the future. Because the ‘Day of the Lord’ will come for all the nations and for planet earth and for the Universe as well.


‘The End of the World’, also known as The Great Day of His Wrath by John Martin. John Martin (19 July 1789 – 17 February 1854) was an English Romantic painter, engraver and illustrator | Photo: Wikimedia Commons by Tate,London,2011

‘The End of the World’, also known as The Great Day of His Wrath by John Martin. John Martin (19 July 1789 – 17 February 1854) was an English Romantic painter, engraver and illustrator.

Didn’t Joel 2:30-31 already prophecy: “The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the Coming of the great and dreadful ‘Day of the Lord’…”

And Joel 3:15-16 “The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine. The Lord will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the sky will tremble. But the Lord will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel…”

And Jeremiah 4:23-28 sees and says: “I looked at the earth, and it was formless and empty; and at the heavens, and their light was gone. I looked at the mountains, and they were quaking; all the hills were swaying. I looked, and there were no people; every bird in the sky had flown away. I looked, and the fruitful land was a desert; all its towns lay in ruins before the Lord , before his fierce anger. This is what the Lord says: “The whole land will be ruined, though I will not destroy it completely. Therefore the earth will mourn and the heavens above grow dark, because I have spoken and will not relent, I have decided and will not turn back.” The Hebrew expression is also found at the beginning of the Bible, during the Creation in Genesis 1:2: “formless and empty”.

Horrifying words. And no more delay. No more patience and compassion by the Lord, as in Nineveh when the city repented after Jonah’s message. We read in Jonah 3:9-12 “Then he (the King of Nineveh) issued a proclamation in Nineveh: “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let any man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from His fierce anger so that we will not perish.” When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, He had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction He had threatened.”

“After the great distress/tribulation (Matthew 24:21-22) and the persecution of the believers, after the innocent blood of the martyrs, there is no escape anymore”

But after the great distress/tribulation (Matthew 24:21-22) and the persecution of the believers, after the innocent blood of the martyrs, there is no escape anymore. Also the heavenly star-signs will abandon this depraved mankind in the latter days. The zodiac, astrology, cannot help any more. These constellations of the stars and their occult explanations and fortunetelling by the astrologers never could help, but at this time they are not even visible anymore. [Before the Tower of Babel/Babylon and the distortion of the true worship of the One and only true God, the Creator of heaven and earth, by Nimrod and his priesthood, there once upon a time there has been a positive message coming from the star-signs and going to the ends of the earth – visible but not audible. Look at for instance at the book of Francis Rolleston (1781-1864): “Mazzaroth”, published 1862, quoted in my Dutch book: “De Sterren Vertellen” – “The Stars Tell Their Story”.]

But at this stage in time the stars and the constellations of heaven are not visible anymore. Darkness is on the face of the earth, The heavenly bodies do not show their light, the sun is darkened at sunrise and also the moon at night will not give its light, says Isaiah 13:9-13. “See, the ‘Day of the Lord’ is coming – a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it. The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light. I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless. I will make man scarcer than pure gold, more rare than the gold of Ophir. Therefore I will make the heavens tremble; and the earth will shake from its place at the wrath of the Lord Almighty, in the ‘Day of His burning anger’.”

“Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you. Surely, they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up. They cannot even save themselves from the power of the flame. Here are no coals to warm anyone; here is no fire to sit by.” Says Isaiah 47:13-14.

The night, when no one can work has dawned. Jesus says in John 9:4: “As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who sent Me. Night is coming, when no one can work.“ The time of grace is over. The long-suffering and His patient waiting are over. The wrath of God is dawning, compare Romans 2:5-6: “But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when His righteous judgment will be revealed. God “will give to each person according to what he has done.” To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil…” Repentance is no longer possible. Scripture knows about conditional and unconditional judgments of God. In the case of Nineveh repentance was still possible, read the Book of Jonah. Yes, even for Sodom and Gomorrah it would have been possible if in those days ten righteous men (the number of a Jewish ‘minyan’) would have been found among the thousands of immoral and corrupt people, Genesis 18:22-33. But in the final days and ages mankind is running out of time. Repentance is finally not possible anymore.

These final days with God’s wrath showing itself in trials, tribulations, plagues and judgments has not yet arrived. But it will come. And now that Israel is coming home (the Jewish State will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2023) we understand that the end of the time of God’s grace upon the earth is coming soon. Do we use the time of grace that God is still giving us to put our lives in order with Him? There is only one refuge, only one safe shelter: (the finished work of) the Savior, Psalm 91, Matthew 23:35-39. Jesus says: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in Heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the Coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the Flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the Flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the Coming of the Son of Man.”

Peter mentions these phenomena in the sky and on the earth also in his address on the Feast of Pentecost, Acts 2:14-21. There he quotes the prophecy of Joel 2:28-32. The part about the outpouring of the Spirit was partly fulfilled then, at that Feast of Pentecost. But the Coming of the great and terrible ‘Day of the Lord’, of the wrath of the Lord, not yet. Does Peter, by the way, also indicate a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Israel (read Zechariah 12:10-14), shortly before the ‘Day of the Lord’ dawns? So that then the prophecy of Joel will be fully fulfilled and ‘all Israel shall be saved’? The “latter rain” about which Joel 2:23-32 and Hosea 6:1-3 are speaking, the winter rain?

Be glad, O people of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God, for He has given you the autumn rains in righteousness. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before… “And afterward, I will pour out My Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on My servants, both men and women, I will pour out My Spirit in those days. I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the Coming of the great and dreadful ‘Day of the Lord’. And everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the survivors whom the Lord calls.” (Joel 2:23-32)

Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but He will heal us; He has injured us but He will bind up our wounds. After two days (one day is as a thousand years, so after  2000 years) He will revive us; on the third day (during the 3rd millennium, today?) He will restore us, that we may live in His presence. Let us acknowledge the Lord ; let us press on to acknowledge Him. As surely as the sun rises, He will appear; He will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” (Hosea 6:1-3)

“And the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind.” Revelation 6:13. A strong wind, and all of a sudden, the figs fly massively through the air, like a sudden swarm of hailstones.

A foretaste of this event cannot only be found in the seventh plague in Egypt, (Exodus 9:13-35), but also in the events that Joshua describes at the battle of Gibeon, Joshua 10:13-14. “O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O moon, over the Valley of Ayalon.” Says Joshua. “So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Josher. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a man. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel!”

This solstice (natural scientists would explain in the worldly view of Galilei and Copernicus with the stationary sun and the earth revolving around it that this slowing down of the speed of rotation of the earth around her axis, plus the slowing down of the earth’s orbit around the sun, caused by whatever natural phenomenon) was accompanied by the falling of ‘great stones’ from the sky. These stones are called in various Bible translations “Hail stones”. But are they ‘hail stones’ of ice? Or could they be the meteorites from a  comet’s tail that penetrated the atmosphere like a swarm of fiery rocks, when the earth nearly collided with the head of this comet, so that its speed of rotation abruptly decreased and the sun, as it were, seemed to have stopped in its rotation around the earth? Stones of “Barad” it says in Hebrew, just as during the seventh plague in Egypt, of which the Talmud says that they were glowing, and thus not ice-hail. “So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.”, Exodus 9:24 KJV.

Scholars speculate about the extinction of the dinosaurs and suspect cosmic catastrophes in the past history of the earth. The earth has been hit by huge meteors from space, asteroids, that break through the atmosphere like swarms of falling stars. The image of the flying winter figs shows that it happens suddenly and “stormy”. And that the consequences are terrible. If what is described here is the result of an oncoming comet (“stars that fall burning from the sky”), or multiple celestial objects, then the earthquakes and the darkening of sun and moon (shrouded in dust in the atmosphere, so that a crimson, a dark-red, glowing effect occurs) will be the immediate result. Be that as it may, the wrath of God will then have come. Read about these phenomena in my daily devotional book “BEHOLD HE COMES”, a day-to-day, verse-by-verse explanation of the Book of Revelation, ISBN 978-967-16537-3-9. In Dutch: ZIE HIJ KOMT, 12th printing ISBN 978-90-8897-173-0.

Enormous quantities of pulverized stone are thrown into the atmosphere when nuclear explosions take place above the earth’s surface. The energy from each A-bomb of the kiloton class is capable of pulverizing and vaporizing approximately a thousand tons of rock. Each H-bomb of the megaton class can do the same to a million tons. Liquefied rock and dust from the pulverized rock is hurled into the air by the force of the explosion up into the stratosphere, where it spreads out above every continent. A simple volcanic eruption such as that of the Krakatoa at the Sunda Strait (in Indonesia between Java and Sumatra) in 1883 produced peculiar changes of color and a veiling of the sun that was visible for several years, even in Europe. This is child’s play compared to what these atomic bombs can do to the atmosphere. A thirty per cent reduction in luminosity is certainly not out of the question; nor is blood-red changes of color of the dust. We hear in the Book of Revelation the sun will become black like sackcloth made of goat hair and the moon will be turned into blood red.

And if a whole series of these rockets fall back blazing and burning into the atmosphere of the earth, at the end of the night or early in the morning, they look like stars falling out of the sky.  They first reflect the sun’s light, like ‘planets’. Then they rain down on earth like a rain of meteorites, with terrible consequences. For ‘only’ a 3rd, fortunately.

“The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.” Revelation 6:14. Lord Jesus says that there will be signs in the sun, moon and stars, and on the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea (which can also mean ‘the sea of nations’), while people will faint from terror and fear apprehensive of what is coming on the world. For the heavenly bodies will be shaken. Luke 21:25-26.

While  scholars in ancient times used to assume a reliable Universe, a precision clockwork that imperturbably continues to tick, modern scholars have discovered that the Universe is much more unstable than they thought. Stars can expand enormously all of a sudden with an enormous increase in size and heat radiation and then all of a sudden, they can shrink into “dwarfs”. Energy storms rage through space. “Black holes”, enormous gravity concentrations of “shriveled” stars can pull in and roll up entire worlds. Even light disappears in them. Asteroids and similar other debris are roaming the Universe.

According to some theories the Universe is expanding like a balloon you blow up and galaxies at the edges of the Universe appear or seem to fly away at enormous speed. Albert Einstein (1879-1955) and other scholars discovered that the particles that make up the material world are in fact a form of concentrated energy. Time, or what we experience as time, is closely related to space and can be considered to be a 4th dimension. Like the Universe, space, or parts of it, can expand and shrivel, thus appears that time too can expand and shrivel under certain conditions.

The sky appears to be rolled up like a scroll, the Apostle John observes in Revelation 6:14, thinking of Isaiah 34:4 “All the stars of the heavens will be dissolved and the sky rolled up like a scroll; all the starry host will fall like withered leaves from the vine, like shriveled figs from the fig tree.”  Tremendous changes take place on the surface of the earth. Everything that seems certain, staggers. Like a drunkard swaying on his feet.

But what worldwide will cause terrible disasters, is often used by God to be a blessing for Israel. The solstice with Joshua must have resulted in enormous catastrophes on a global scale, earthquakes and tidal waves, but Israel was delivered from its enemies.

The prophet Zechariah speaks of the splitting of the Mount of Olives on the eastern side of Jerusalem, so that a very large valley is created and Israel can escape. Then the Lord, my God, will come and with Him all the saints, says Zechariah 14:3-7.  “Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. On that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two

from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. You will flee by My mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with Him. On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost. It will be a unique day, without daytime or nighttime-a day known to the Lord. When evening comes, there will be light.“ Darkness does not have the final word, but the light.

“Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains…” Revelation 6:15. When the cosmos and nature, yes, earth itself is going to stagger, swaying on its feet, its foundations, man loses the last of the certainties on which he believes he can build his life. As long as one e.g. has a healthy body and one still has all mental faculties, you can be on top of the world. But if you end up, finding yourself on your sick-bed or having to undergo brain surgery (as I once did), and your natural abilities are affected, you lose your certainties that you took for granted and you look to the future with worries and anxiety, and sometimes fear. How to carry on? What will the future hold? Anxiety and fear for the things that come. And if violence breaks loose in nature, upon planet earth, there is no escape.

Defenseless against the eruptions of volcanoes, against earth- and seaquakes, tidal waves and hurricanes. When the Lord really starts shaking His Creation, there is no escape. And then it doesn’t matter whether you are king or slave, general or an enlisted soldier, poor or rich. Mankind is like a swarming anthill fleeing everywhere to escape the disasters, to save their lives. And all of this combined with incredible wars and state-of-the-art modern weaponry, nuclear and conventional, poisoning the waters, the air and the green vegetation? No place to hide.

How would mankind have felt in the days of Noah and the Flood? Then ocean floors rose up too and mountains down, the torrential rains fell uninterruptedly down on the earth, the vortexes of the subterranean reservoirs broke open, Genesis 7:11-12 “ In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month-on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.” and Psalm 104. The highest mountain- and hill tops were their last resorts, but they became enormous mass graves of which the fossil finds still bear witness.

Pompei and Herculaneum show how life was suffocated and stifled during the sudden eruption of Mount Vesuvius, on August 24 of the year 79 AD. A rain of ashes and slags covered the small towns under a five-to-eight-meter-thick layer. There was nowhere to go. Crawl away in burrows, grottoes and caves in the rocks – compare Isaiah 2:10-22. Maybe one can survive there, or…? But no one survived.

The full pride and utter arrogance of man arrives at their greatest height just before the fall. Science and technology, human organization- and information systems can’t help anymore. The Lord will arise for battle, He will make His enemies far and wide, flee, scattered, sigh, says Psalm 68:1-3: “May God arise, may His enemies be scattered; may His foes flee before Him. As smoke is blown away by the wind, may You blow them away; as wax melts before the fire, may the wicked perish before God. But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.” But the righteous people will rejoice before You, will be glad, happy and joyful, since they obtain fulfilment of their wish, says verse 3!

Often in the Book of Revelation one finds seven-fold expressions. Here is another example of a sevenfold in the Book of Revelation 6:15: the multitude of the wicked is presented sevenfold: “the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man”. History of mankind doesn’t end in a classless society (Karl Marx), nor in a salvation state ruled by an elite, nor in an empire of “Übermenschen” who rule the earth and the Universe with their space technologies. The dictators and those who grovel and crawl for them now will then be hiding together in the caves of the earth. Like in a bush fire the predators and their prey mix together to find protection from the flames.

“They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” Revelation 6:16-17.

The house seems to be collapsing. The sun with her light and warmth and the moon with her glow are enshrouded. Summer and Winter, heat and cold, every season in its time, sowing and reaping, high mountain peaks with “eternal” snow, islands in the seas and oceans that resisted effortlessly the fiercest storms and hurricanes in unapproachable majesty, stars arching over the earth in fixed patterns, in short, all these certainties in Creation that we take for granted seem to disappear. The ‘Day of the Lord’ is dawning. Yet, it is good to see that the natural phenomena under the sixth seal are strongly related to Israel in a positive way. What will happen to the world will not happen to Israel, but to the enemies of God and of His people.

John was in the Spirit on the island of Patmos on the Lord’s Day, Revelation 1:10. The Book of Revelation is about this ‘Day of the Lord’. This is the great ‘Day of their Wrath’, of the wrath of Him, who sits on the throne, and of the Lamb. The anger of the gentle Lamb, who allowed Himself to be slain for the sins of the world, is now kindled against the enemies of Israel and His Church.

When Joel prophecies that the sun will be changed into darkness (like sackcloth in Revelation 6:12 as the black goat hair used to weave tents) and the moon like blood, then he speaks of the “Day of the Lord” as over the final judgment over Israel’s enemies. Joel 3:15-17.

When Isaiah prophecies that the heavens will be rolled up like a scroll and that their starry host will fall like shriveled figs from the fig tree, then that is connected to the judgment over the Gentiles, the non-Jewish nations, particularly Edom (Esau), Israel’s arch enemy, Isaiah 34.

When Isaiah prophecies that the earth will be moved from her place (Isaiah 13:1 and 9-13) then that is associated with the judgment upon Babel, that is in the Book of Revelation, the grand total of all satanic and human injustice, the arch enemy of the believers in Jesus Christ and of Israel (Revelation 17:1-6 and 18:1-4): Babylon, the capital of the anti-Christian power in the end times.

When Haggai prophecies about the final judgments, about the trembling of heaven and earth, then he also sees the very notions of the big role Israel will play, because he prophecies about the trembling nations who will come to the new Temple, Haggai 2:7-10.

So does Isaiah who combines the swaying of the mountains and the staggering of the hills with the glory of restored Israel, Isaiah 54:10 and 64:1-4. When Gog raids Israel, the mountains will be overturned, Ezekiel 38:17-23, and the earthquake will be great. Also  according to the judgment upon Samaria, Micah 1:2-6.

How do, by the way, these catastrophes stand in stark contrast to the evolutionary thinking that indicate a gradual development of the Universe and the earth in the course of billions of years. A flood here and a volcanic eruption there, besides an occasional earthquake, but no worldwide catastrophes. Combined with a rock-solid confidence that this will continue for millions of years! Compare 2 Peter 3:3-10.

In Joel’s prophecy there is a combination of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the phenomena of the 6th seal: heaven trembles, sun and moon become black and as blood, stars retract heir brilliance, Joel 2:28-32. This was fulfilled partially on the Day of Pentecost, Acts 2:14-21, a pointer to what will come later for “all of Israel”. Compare Zechariah 12:10-14, Romans 11:25-27, Ezekiel 36:24-27, 39:28-29; Jeremiah 31:31-34 and Isaiah 44:1-5. Precisely in view of Israel it is striking to see that John “so” now also is going to speak of the one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed servants from Israel! (Revelation 7:1-8). Although mountains and islands will be moved from their places, they do continue to exist under the sixth seal!

So, the Book of Revelation follows this “schema” of our Lord Jesus about the end of times in Matthew 24 – His Olivet Discourse – and each time more details are revealed. The Book of Revelation is written in a typically Semitic narrative style of succeeding events, but in which time and again there is a return to the previous to reveal ever more details. This sometimes creates a chronological suspense! This jumping to and fro in time, in the order of things, is sometimes confusing for our logical western brains! But, when you are used to it and stop thinking in logical schemas, it is breathtaking to experience how this intensification in the narrative edge, as the end approaches and Christ’s Second Coming is getting closer and closer, you long more and more intensely “till that day will dawn, and the Savior will return on the clouds with the sounds of the trumpets”. Then the suffering is over. Then the real new age is dawning.

So, instead of reading the Book of Revelation like: first seals 1-7, then trumpets 1-7, and then the scales 1-7, followed by the Second Coming of Christ, you can also read it like: seals 1-7, more revelations in trumpets 1-7 and a further intensification in scales 1-7, followed by the Second Coming of Christ. The Book of Revelation zooms in, as it were. More and more details are thus revealed. See for  further details my book: “Behold He Comes”, the Book of Revelation from day to day, also available at the Israel Center in Nijkerk, the Netherlands.


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