‘Do or Die’ may sound ominous, but rightly so. The final three and one-half years of the seven-year Tribulation period will be like no other time in human history (Mt 24:21). God has ‘drawn a line in the sand’ from which there will be no return. It starts with a blast of the fifth trumpet at the “mid-tribulation” point when the treaty between Israel and her enemies from the ‘Ezekiel War’ is finally confirmed and accepted by all parties.
After the certified treaty is accepted the seventh seal is opened on the scroll in heaven and there is silence in heaven followed by a cataclysmic warning to the earth (Rev 8:1-5). The fifth trumpet is sounded. During this short time Israel will be invaded and conquered and the Two Witnesses will be killed (Rev 11:7-8). The Antichrist will assume power, occupy the Third Temple, have his image erected in the space of the ‘mercy seat’ (Mt 24, Dan 12:11), declare his authority and (most importantly for those who are still not followers and devotees of his), have his false prophet (the ‘one world’ religion leader) declare institution of the “Mark of the Beast” worldwide (Rev 13:16-17). This will literally be the final eternal life or death decision required by every individual alive.
Let me say this again. This is God’s ‘line in the sand.’ Every living person on the planet who accepts and takes the “Mark of the Beast” is declaring their commitment to worship the antichrist and Satan as their god. For this declared acceptance each and every one with the ‘Mark’ will be condemned to eternal damnation with Satan, the Antichrist, and the False Prophet.
All those who deny and refuse to take the Mark of the Beast will be hunted and killed during this three and one-half year period. There will be no other options. You take the ‘mark’ or are marked for death. In addition to the tyrannical and dictatorial worldwide rule by the Antichrist, the Wrath of God by ‘Last Days’ events will continue and intensify, also taking many lives.
It will be during these years that trumpets 5, 6 and 7 are blown with the plagues and ‘Bowls' 1, 6 and 7 are poured out upon the earth’s inhabitants. Just the thought of this devastation should be bone chilling. The death and destruction globally will be horrific and terrible. Most of the world’s remaining populace will be killed by the armies of the Antichrist or by the consequences of the “Wrath of God” plagues.
If you do not take the Mark of the Beast, believing in Christ or not, most likely you will be killed. If you take the Mark it’s likely you will be killed by the destruction and environmental calamity wrought upon the earth by God’s decrees. If you are still alive towards the end of this period and prior to the battle of Armageddon (Rev 16:16), you will most likely be killed by the massive army moving from east to west toward Megiddo.
Accepting and taking the ‘mark’ will not guarantee your life will be saved. It will however guarantee your absence from God eternally and your spiritual damnation. This final three and one-half years will be focused on the redemption and spiritual reconciliation of the Jews still alive who recognize and declare Jesus as their Messiah. God will leave all those not Jewish to their fate of captivity or death (Rev 13:10). God will no longer have time for ‘church age’ believers and converts. His entire focus will be on salvation of the Jews still alive who choose to accept Jesus as the Messiah.
When the fifth trumpet sounds and the abyss is opened whereby the demons of Satan are let loosed upon the earth, the Antichrist will assume power as the inhabitants of the world must accept his dictatorial rule and through him, Satan as their god, or go into hiding in an attempt to survive every day for the following forty-two months.
Join me next time when we explore what happens to Christians and new believers before the mid tribulation fifth trumpet blast in, “Where did all the ‘Jesus Freaks’ go”?
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