The Scorching Sun:
The Third Woe
The Three Great Woes Page 5
The Great Tribulation Part II
From the Main Message of
Bread Upon The Waters Ministry;
The Scorching Sun: The Third Woe
Following the deaths and resurrection of the Two Witnesses, there will probably be another period of respite during which the Beasts and their surviving followers will believe that they have won and the trouble is over. But something is coming that will make them wish they were back with the Two Witnesses.
In Revelation 16, we find seven "bowls" or "vials" (depending on the translation) of God's wrath being poured out. Like the different events in Revelation 8:7-9:2, these are different aspects of the same event. Again, you have to know the scientific basis of what happens to be able to see and understand it. And this is knowledge that still hasn't been popularly distributed. Only those who have at least a far better-than-average layman's awareness of astrophysics, and other relevant science subjects would understand it. But like Revelation 8:8, the verse that gives the key to understanding what will happen is verse 16:8.
One of the bowls is poured out on the sun!!!
One otherwise normal day, not long after the Two Witnesses ascend to Heaven - perhaps even that very day, though that seems unlikely - people will notice that the sun seems to be getting brighter and hotter than usual. At first, they may tell themselves that they are imagining it. They will not do that for long! The temperatures will soon rise to a point such that it will be impossible to stay in direct sunlight for more than a few minutes without being killed. Even brief exposure of bare skin to sunlight will result in horrible sunburn. People will start getting skin cancer on an epidemic scale. This will be the fulfillment; a literal fulfillment, in fact, of Revelation 16:8-9;
8 The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was given power to scorch people with fire.
9 They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him.
For the people who go through it, this will be the worst part of the Great Tribulation. Fortunately, this catastrophe will last an absolute maximum of three to four months. If it lasted longer, as Jesus implied in Matthew 24:21 & 22, all life on earth would be exterminated.
What has happened?
The sun has "gone nova"!!!
Note this: there is a difference between a "nova" and a "supernova". A supernova, which is a star exploding, would be the end of the sun, and it would vaporize the earth. A "nova" is simply a great, sudden increase in a star's - the sun's, in this case - output of energy. The Bible, in Isaiah 30:26, indicates that it will be a 7x increase. Actually, what the Book of Revelation prophesies is a very low power "nova". But it nevertheless will be hell on earth while it lasts.
The "nova", also called a "helium flash" will be caused by a helium fusion reaction spontaneously igniting in the sun. The sun, as you may be aware, gets its energy from a hydrogen fusion reaction that goes on deep within it. This reaction generates a lot of helium, which builds up deep within the sun. When a critical concentration is reached, a helium fusion reaction will spontaneously ignite. This will cause a big increase in the sun's output of energy. But the reaction won't last long because the helium will soon be used up, and then the sun will go back to something at least close to the previous normal.
The nova won't exterminate all life because of the massive evaporation of water that will occur. The evaporated water will quickly form a cloud blanket around the earth which will shield the surface from the full intensity of the light and heat. Nevertheless, all the icecaps and glaciers will melt. This will cause flash floods at first (Isaiah 30:25). But then the streams and rivers will dry up. The heat will also produce a bloom - that is, sudden massive growth - of red algae, and probably bacteria, which, combined with the putrefication of the remains of the marine creatures, will make the sea appear to turn to blood. Like the events in Revelation 8, in some cases what John describes here is appearance, not substance. The melting and evaporation will also absorb quite a lot of the heat. Then the lakes and the oceans may literally boil. That's why all life in the sea dies (Revelation 16:3).
The heat will ignite many fires. The result will be that the sky will be filled with smoke to the point that in spite of the power of the sunlight, the daytime sky will become dark, in fulfillment of Revelation 16:10.
For those who go through it, this, materially, will be the worst part of the Tribulation. It will be worse than the aftermath of the asteroid collision will be for those who survive the collision.
Note that all Christians will probably receive Divine protection during this period. This seems to be promised in Revelation 7:15-17. It is likely that some unsaved children will be similarly protected. But they will still suffer.
It will be during this time that people will suffer from heat, hunger and thirst, and be "struck by the sun" (Revelation 7:16). Direct sunlight will be deadly. Again, to be directly exposed to sunlight even for a few minutes may result in severe sunburn and/or skin cancer, if not outright death.
It will be virtually impossible to find a cool place, except perhaps deep underground, such as in deep mines or tunnels, for the few who can find shelter in such places. Even at night, it will not get cool. One of the effects of the cloud blanket will be to even out the temperatures all over the world, around the clock. So there will be little difference in temperature from day to night or from north to south. The temperature will be over 100º at the South Pole, normally one of the coldest spots on earth.
There will very likely be severe shortages of drinking water. Extreme thirst is a hellish experience, especially in hot weather. This will also be the time that is the worst for "those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing" (Matthew 24:19, NKJV). It is probable that everyone will suffer from dehydration during this time. Dehydration is especially bad for a pregnant woman or a nursing mother - and the baby. That is why people will "gnaw their tongues in agony" (Revelation 16:10).
There will also be mass starvation during this time. Food may be available, but people may be unable to travel to get it. People may actually have to resort to eating their children. This happened in both sieges of Jerusalem, that is, during the Babylonian and Roman sieges. During the Third Woe it may happen all over the world. Only Christian children will be safe from their parents. Heaven help any children who do not have Christian parents to watch over them!
Many people will go mad during this time. The combination of stresses already mentioned will do that to them. There will be a further maddening problem in that many people will be unable to sleep during this time because of the heat, their hunger, and their thirst, not to mention pain from skin cancer and severe sunburn. It is known from the field of psychology that people who are deprived of sleep for prolonged periods go insane. During the Third Woe, many will.
But fortunately, in keeping with the Promise of Jesus in Matthew 24:22, that "those days will be shortened", the nova will end after at most 3 to 4 months of this hell on earth, and probably sooner. The sun will begin to dim and in a few days go back to something close to its former state.
The End of the Nova
The "nova" will end, from the standpoint of the earth, with a thunderstorm such as has never been known in recorded history, in fulfillment of Revelation 16:18-21. The cloud blanket can only exist as long as it is supported by the energy from the sun. When the Sun goes back to normal, the cloud blanket will at least partially collapse. As the cloud blanket collapses, there will be rain such as has not fallen since the Flood. This will produce enormous flash floods. The storm will include huge literal hail stones as in Revelation 16:21. (No meteor phenomena this time.)
There will also be enormous, multi-billion volt, lightning bolts, as in Revelation 16:18. The intensity of the radiation from the sun during the nova will cause the water molecules in the cloud blanket to be highly ionized - that is, highly electrically charged - practically a plasma state. Therefore, the collapse of the cloud blanket will be accompanied by massive electrical discharges; the lightning bolts. And deafening thunders such as no living person has ever heard.
The storm will be accompanied by a global earthquake, again as in Revelation 16:18, that will be caused by the tectonic stresses on the earth's crust that are indirectly caused by the nova. All the melting and evaporation will have caused big changes in the distribution of weight on the earth's surface. This will be mainly due to the melting of the Arctic (including Greenland) and Antarctic icecaps. This will have in turn caused stress on all the geological fault lines. During the "nova", the earth may literally be heard groaning from the stress. Such sounds have been noticed before in earthquake-prone regions. Under the shock of the thunderstorm, the faults will all let go at once.
If you are not on relatively high, level ground, with some solid cover, you may need extra protection from God to survive this storm.
When this has ended, it will, for most of the world, be the end of the worst of the Tribulation, insofar as the direct outpourings of God's wrath is concerned.
The Fall of Babylon: Revelation 18
When the nova is over, there will be a serious falling out between the Beasts and the leaders of traditional Islam. It will be triggered by the fact that the Beasts won't be able to do anything about the "nova", in spite of the king's claims to divinity. This will result in the Beasts doing away with traditional Islam (and probably Catholicism, too). Traditional leaders and "true believers" in Islam and Catholicism will be arrested and killed or imprisoned. This will fulfill Revelation 13:10.
The destruction of "Babylon" described in chapter 18 will probably be Mecca getting nuked. Although the Tribulation will have caused the loss of most of our technology by then, and there will be no widespread use of nuclear weapons during the Tribulation, the Beast will have at least one big nuke at his disposal. When the falling out with traditional Islam occurs, he will use it on Mecca. Afterwards, the spiritual headquarters of the new "Islam" will be Baghdad, as the military and political headquarters will already be.
"Alas, Babylon!" Or "Good Riddance To Bad Rubbish!"
When this phase of the Tribulation is over, the Beasts will be firmly in control of what is left of the human race. Islam, as it is now, will be gone, and so will all the other false religions. Christianity will also have virtually disappeared (See Daniel 12:7). Those few Christians who are still alive and free will mostly be in hiding. In fact, they may be starving to death. But they will be praying in unity as Christians have not done since the day of Pentecost. And they will all have but one prayer:
"Come, Lord Jesus!!!
Their Prayers Will Be Answered!!!
The answer to their prayers will be presented in the next page of this series;
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Contact Author, William D. Brehm