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Revelation Examples
The Tribulation Slaughter - Revelation 6 says that the Tribulation will begin with a series of judgments that will result in the death of one-fourth of mankind. The world's population is approaching six billion. That means one and a half billion people will die in the initial judgments, reducing the world's population to 4-1/2 billion. The next series of judgments, recorded in Revelation 8 and 9 will kill another third of mankind. One-third of 4-1/2 billion is another one and a half billion. Thus, in the first 3-1/2 years of the Tribulation, a total of 3 billion people will die. That's half the population of the world! Is this possible apart from the use of nuclear weapons? Only if it is a supernatural intervention of God. But God normally works through natural processes.
The unparalleled carnage of the Tribulation seems to me to point to nuclear weapons. Revelation 8 speaks of one-third of the earth being burned and one-third of the seas being polluted (Rev. 8:7-8). Later in the Tribulation, near the end, we are told that people will suffer from “loathsome and malignant sores” (Rev. 16:2). That sounds like one of the effects of radiation poisoning.
The advent of nuclear weapons makes possible for the first time the overwhelming Tribulation carnage portrayed in Revelation. I think nuclear power was what Jesus referred to in His Olivet Discourse when He said that the end times will be characterized by “men fainting from fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken” (Luke 21:26, emphasis added).'
The prophecies concerning the Tribulation carnage have clearly depended upon a major technological breakthrough for their understanding. That breakthrough occurred on July 16,1945, when the first atomic bomb was exploded in New Mexico. When the first hydrogen bomb was exploded in 1952, we entered the era when, for the first time in human history, we could inflict upon ourselves the kind of carnage described in the Book of Revelation.
The Army of 200 Million
Chapters 9 and 16 of Revelation state that an army of 200 million soldiers will march “from the east” toward Israel. Daniel 11 indicates that this will be an army representing nations in revolt against the Antichrist.
Demographers estimate that the total population of the world at the time the apostle John wrote Revelation (A.D. 95) was only 200 million. How could an army that size march out of the east? It made no sense. In fact, it took 1,650 years for the world's population to double to 400 million! At the beginning of the 20th century the total world population was only 1.6 billion, still too small for an army of 200 million to march from the east.
But the 20th century witnessed an exponential increase in population. The population count is now at 6 billion, and just one country to the east of Israel - namely, China - could field an army of 200 million.
Here we have a clear example of a prophecy about the end times that could never be understood apart from historical developments.
The Two Witnesses - Revelation 11 reveals that two great witnesses of God will preach in the city of Jerusalem during the first 3-1/2 years of the Tribulation. Then, in the middle of that terrible period, the Antichrist will kill them.
We are further told that their dead bodies will lie in the streets of Jerusalem for 3-1/2 days and that all the people of the world will look upon them. How could that be? Prior to 1957 that prophecy was not understandable in natural terms. There was just no way that all the people of the world could look upon two dead bodies in the streets of Jerusalem.
All that changed on October 4, 1957, when the Russians sent up the first Sputnik satellite. Today, 43 years later, our planet has many man-made satellites circling it, making possible all sorts of instantaneous communication.
When those two prophets lie dead in the streets of Jerusalem, all someone will have to do is point a TV camera at them, send the signal up to a satellite, and all the world will be able to look upon them. Once again, modern technology has made an ancient prophecy understandable for the first time.
The Image of the Beast - Revelation 13 says that the Antichrist's religious leader, the false prophet, will make an image of the Antichrist that will appear to come alive and speak. This trickery will amaze most of the world's population and will cause many of them to give their allegiance to the Antichrist.
What is the explanation of this event? Many have concluded that Satan will empower the false prophet to give the image life. But Satan does not have the power to create life. Satan is a liar and a deceiver.
So, again, how can the false prophet give an image life? I don't see any way for him to do it apart from modern technology. The illusion can be created through the use of modern robotics.
When I was a kid I went to Disneyland. We went into a theatre, and when the curtain opened, we saw a man who looked exactly like Abraham Lincoln sitting in a chair in the center of the stage. He stood up, walked to the edge of the stage, grabbed the lapels of his jacket, and proceeded to quote the Gettysburg Ad-dress. When he finished, a lady behind me exclaimed, “Wasn't he a good actor!” He was not an actor. The “actor” was a robot. That was 30 years ago. Think what could be done today with the advances that have been made in robotics and computer technology.
The Mark of the Beast -Another prophecy in Revelation 13 that is dependent on modern technology is the famous one that states the Antichrist will control the world's economy by requiring people to bear his mark or name on their hand or forehead in order to buy or sell anything.
Again, how could this be possible before the invention of laser and computer technology combined with the positioning of orbital satellites?
Such technology is already greatly advanced. In London, taxis are being tracked by satellite. Semi-trucks here in America are being tracked in the same way. Veterinarians are advertising that they can implant microchips under your pet's skin. These chips can be read by a scanner in the event your dog or cat gets lost. It will only be a matter of time before a more advanced chip will enable your pet to be traced by satellite.
We have almost become a cashless society, with most purchases being made by credit card. The problem with the cards is that they can be lost or stolen. A good solution would be to use a laser to put your credit card number on your hand in such a way as to be capable of being read by a scanner.
The point is that for the first time ever the technological tools are in place for the Antichrist to exercise control over the world's population.
The Euphrates River - As mentioned previously, in Revelation 9 and 16 we are told that an army of 200 million led by “the kings from the east” will march across Asia toward Israel during the Tribulation, most likely in revolt against the Antichrist. Revelation 16:12 indicates that this army will be held up at the Euphrates River until its water is suddenly dried up, enabling them to cross and proceed to the Valley of Armageddon.
Now, the Lord could miraculously dry up the water of the Euphrates River without any trouble at all, just as He parted the Red Sea for Moses and dried up the Jordan River for Joshua. But I think it is very interesting that this can now be accomplished overnight through man-made means. In 1990 Turkey completed the construction of the massive Ataturk Dam on the Euphrates, and they in fact cut off the flow of the river in order to fill up the lake behind the dam. This action almost resulted in a war with Iraq.
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