This is one of the facts about the Great Tribulation that has been ignored!
Opening The Gates of Hell
The fourth seal in Revelation six states this clearly: “And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” (Revelation 6: 7-8)
Please reread those words, “And Hell followed with him.”There is only one place named hell, and its inhabitants are part of this unleashing of horrible judgment on the earth. We will see this clearly in Revelation chapter nine.
Before the Gates of Hell
Before the Gates of Hells are opened, His saints will be removed and the sacred dead resurrected. Our God has never judged the righteous with the wicked, so this dark period called the Day of the Lord cannot begin without His saints being safe in His secret place. The bride and all the hosts of saints from six thousand years will be well beyond the reach of Satan and his vicious horde. The earth and its atmospheric sphere will be the scene of unfettered wickedness. Satan will be allowed to act almost without limitation until he has finished his last rampage.
The four horses and their riders in Revelation six present the first pictures of what is in store for the earth and its inhabitants. These horses and occupants clearly show us that nothing is normal any longer but that our world is in for a rough ride. A white horse, a red horse, a black horse, and a pale horse are all delivering a woeful picture of this world gone berserk. Nothing about this world will ever be normal again. Some voices have suggested that the first three and one-half years would be great peace and prosperity, but I thoroughly disagree. These four horsemen suggest the exact opposite. The seven years begin with these horses and their riders, and nothing about this picture is peaceful or prosperous. This is one of the main reasons to disprove the mid-Tribulation doctrine of the Firstfruits Rapture. The Lord is not going to leave His Bride here to suffer the effect of these horsemen.
The first horseman is a conqueror and it certainly is not a peaceful takeover. The second horseman takes peace from the earth and hatred and slaughter results. The third horseman is black and famines engulf the world, while the fourth horse is pale and its rider is called Death and Hell (so much for three and one-half years of peace and prosperity). The fifth seal is a picture of a multitude of people who have already been slain by the Antichrist because they embraced Jesus Christ and His Word in the face of having missed the Rapture. By the time the sixth seal is opened, the world is fleeing for a hiding place because the wrath of God has exploded in the world. I believe that by this time in the seven years every living soul will know that the great God of the Bible, the Father of Jesus Christ, is indeed the one and only true God.
“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Revelation 6:12-17)
Invasion From Below
The seventh seal was opened and there followed this seal, seven angels with seven trumpets. Everything that is occurring originates in Heaven where Jesus Christ Himself, along with His sainted elders, is directing the events. At the same time all of it is affecting the earth, the atmosphere above, and the world of hell beneath. It’s almost as if there is no separation between Heaven, the earth, and beneath the earth. The activity of the saintly elders and the heavenly host are clearly unhindered in movement between these three spheres of God’s universe. Satan has been cast down with his fallen angels, and they are certainly limited to the earth and beneath the earth.
The earth is about to get a picture of Satan’s real kingdom. He has been a cockroach for 6,000 years, hiding in the dark and fleeing for cover. His cover is about to be blown and his time to hide behind human shields is ending. The world will see the real devil, not a masquerade behind an angelic facade.
First, we need to look at Joel’s prophecy of this future revelation. He wrote by the Holy Ghost, “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.” (Joel 2:1-3)
Can you believe that the Charismatic deceivers are calling this army, “saints, a new breed of saints,” establishing the kingdom of God on earth? The doctrine of Dominion Theology, a hybrid form of post-millennialism, left them with no choice but to twist this account into some kind of a “criticized army,” much like the “Catholic Crusaders” of the past. My friends, these are devils, demons out of Satan’s kingdom invading the earth. This picture in Joel chapter two is an Old Testament preview of Revelation chapter nine. When the gates of Hell are open, the earth will be turned into a wilderness.
The following activity of this army leaves no doubt to their purpose and character. “Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness. They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks: Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief. The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?” (Joel 2:6-11)
The same scene is vividly revealed in John’s Revelation received from Jesus Christ our Lord. “And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.” (Revelation 9:1-4) This army out of the bottomless pit is evil spirits, fallen angels that have been reserved in hell and prepared for this future dark hour. Jude stated, “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” (Jude 1:6) Apostle Peter also gave testimony concerning these fallen angels and their future, reserved for the Day of the Lord or judgment time on earth. “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.” (II Peter 2:4)
The fallen angels make up the entire world of evil spirits and the total host of Satan’s army. It is clear that this army is divided into two groups. One group, probably the largest, is free to roam with Satan and carry on his business. The other company, which has been bound because of dark despicable deeds, are awaiting judgment of this earth. The second group is comprised of those we see in Jude verse six, II Peter chapter two and verse four, and in Revelation chapter nine. These spirits are reserved for judgment and will be loosed on earth to vent their festered wrath on earth’s godless multitude.
Please remember that the kingdom of Satan will be in utter disarray. His fallen angels that rebelled with him will turn on the host of men and women who have given allegiance to him on earth. The creatures out of the bottomless pit cannot attack men, women, and children that have the seal of God in their forehead so they attack the rest of the population. Look at a deception of their powers to torment and work havoc. “And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.” (Revelation 9:5-7) The Tribulation Period is not going to be a free ride for the wicked. The wrath of God is manifest on one side and the anger and vented wrath of demons is manifest on the other side. It will literally be “hell on earth.”
The demons fit the developing character of our present world. They appear to be half-men and half-women and the male population of the earth and even the church is well on its way to fitting that mold. The Word of God says, “And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.” (Revelation 9:8) Notice their activities, “And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.” (Revelation 9:9-11) These are clearly demons, fallen angels under the leadership of a satanic lieutenant, named Abaddon or Apollyon. The name of this ruler of darkness as Apostle Paul called him is frightening in itself.
Immediately, the Holy Ghost issues a warning to the earth’s population, “One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.” (Revelation 9:12)
The Study Notebook below is entitled, “Jerusalem: God’s Chosen City”. It is a college level study on the single city in all the world that God Himself chose to be His eternal city. There are three large charts at the beginning to trace the history of Jerusalem from 3500 B.C. to the ultimate fulfillment in future prophecy. This notebook is 222 pages with color pictures. To me it is a treasure trove of Biblical importance.