Does the Bible predict that in the end times, Ecclesiastical Babylon will execute an overflowing scourge campaign of murder upon non-conformers?
I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement. (Revelation 17:6)
“Therefore hear the word of the LORD, you scornful men, Who rule this people who are in Jerusalem, Because you have said, “We have made a COVENANT with DEATH and with SHEOL we are in agreement. When the OVERFLOWING SCOURGE passes through, It will not come to us, For we have made lies our refuge, And under falsehood we have hidden ourselves.” (Isaiah 28:14-15, NKJV; emphasis added)
In one of its more cryptic apocalyptic passages, the Bible predicts the coming of an OVERFLOWING SCOURGE. This scourge is so overwhelming that it prompts the political leaders of Israel at the time to make a covenant with the apparent perpetrator of whatever this bane scenario is. According to Daniel 9:27, this covenant triggers the start of the seven-year Tribulation Period, (Trib-period).
These will be the final seven years on the present earth’s timeline. This timeframe is reserved for the LORD to pour out His wrath on a wicked Christ rejecting humanity! What in the world is coming that leads Israel to enter into a covenant, which they do under the pretenses of lies and under falsehood, that initiates the worst seven years in the world’s history?
In a May 1, 2017 article entitled, “The TRUE CONTENT of the FALSE COVENANT of the TRIBULATION,” I provide the three biblical clues that support the likelihood that this covenant enables Israel to build their Third Temple and perform their religious sacrifices and offerings therein. The Jews will expect that their temple, coupled with these ceremonial acts, will hasten the coming of their Jewish Messiah.
This spiritual mindset will prove to be abhorrent to God, Who had previously revealed His only begotten Son, the Messiah Jesus Christ, to the leaders of Israel about two-thousand years ago. At that time, Jesus Christ came to die for their and our sins collectively.
“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Also read John 3:16 and 14:6.
Although the False Covenant will be extremely important to its two primary signatories, which are Israel and Death and Sheol, it will not provide an ounce of security to non-Jews and Gentiles that are not members of whatever entity that Death and Sheol represents. Therefore, this article intends to warn the world at large, which is presently unaware, that an OVERFLOWING SCOURGE is COMING!
Was the Overflowing Scourge Fulfilled Historically?
Before presenting the case for a future fulfillment of the Overflowing Scourge prophecies, it’s important to explain why it hasn’t already been fulfilled historically. Some Bible expositors teach that the Isaiah 28:14-18 prophecies were fulfilled at the time of the Assyrian Empire.
In their book entitled, The Bible Knowledge Commentary Major Prophets, John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck,write the following about this scourge.
“The Jerusalem leaders were trusting in other gods to save them from the coming scourge, the Assyrian invasion.”[i]
Unfortunately, this one-line assessment doesn’t tell the entire story, nor adequately explain how the Assyrians even remotely fulfilled the scourge. In fact, the historical facts and biblical accounts argue against the possibility that the Assyrian Empire fulfilled Isaiah 28;15-18.
Before being defeated by the Medes and Babylonians around 612 BC, the Assyrians conquered the kingdom of Aram-Damascus in 732 BC and the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 722 BC. Subsequently, around 701 BC the Assyrians advanced against the Southern Kingdom of Judah and attempted to besiege Jerusalem.[ii]
The biblical accounts of this miserably failed Assyrian military campaign are provided in 2 Kings, chapters 19 and 20, and in Isaiah, chapters 36 and 37. We are told in the passage below, that the Assyrian siege was thwarted in one night by the Angel of the Lord.
“Then the angel of the Lord went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses—all dead. So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went away, returned home, and remained at Nineveh.” (Isaiah 37:36-37)
Isaiah 37:38 goes on to state that the Assyrian king Sennacherib was killed shortly thereafter. The facts below preclude that Isaiah 28:15-18 was not historically fulfilled by the Assyrian Empire.
1. Assyria never entered into a covenant with the rulers of Jerusalem. There is no historical account of this occurring and it is unlikely that any such document ever existed.
- The unidentified “many” of Daniel 9:27 covenanting with Israel is “Death and Sheol,”
- The reason Israel covenants is to avoid “the overflowing scourge,”
- The covenant is deceitful, it is based upon “lies” and “falsehood,”
- The covenant is made “hastily,”
- The covenant will be “annulled,”
- Israel will not avoid “the overflowing scourge,” but will be “trampled down by it.”
2. Likewise, Israel did not seek a covenant to avoid a potential scourge from an Assyrian invasion. Rather, according to Isaiah 37:14-20, King Hezekiah sought the Lord’s protection in this matter, and as Isaiah 37:36-37 points out above, the Angel of the Lord single-handedly destroyed the Assyrian army and prevented it from trampling upon Jerusalem.
3. The scornful rulers in Jerusalem of Isaiah 28:14 did not exist at the time of the Assyrian advance against the Jerusalem. As was just mentioned in point #2, the primary ruler was the repentant good King Hezekiah.
4. Hezekiah’s actions were predicated on truth and trust in God, and not based upon lies and falsehood in a covenant with Death and Sheol.
5. Assyria never annulled a covenant and then proceeded to pass through Jerusalem and trample upon the scornful leaders therein.
6. Isaiah 28:19-22 states that the scourge will indeed come upon Jerusalem like a terror, and not retreat in defeat like the Assyrian army did.
In my book entitled, The NEXT Prophecies, I provide more detailed information about why the overflowing scourge was not historically fulfilled. This important commentary is contained within the chapter entitled, “The False Covenant of Death in Agreement with Sheol.”
Thus, if the Overflowing Scourge remains unfulfilled, then what is it and why is it important? Concerning Isaiah 28:14-15, Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum explains,
“In verse 14, (of Isaiah 28), God calls the ones making this covenant scoffers. Verse 15 gives the reason for this and provides God’s viewpoint of the covenant itself. It is obvious that the leaders of Israel will enter into this covenant to obtain some measure of security and to escape the overflowing scourge. Hence they will believe that entering the covenant will free them from further military invasions. However, God declares that this is not a covenant of life, but a covenant of death. It is not a covenant of heaven, but a covenant of hell.”[iii]
The Identity of Death and Sheol as End Times Ecclesiastical Babylon
Since Death and Sheol are a party to the covenant that triggers the Trib-period, it’s important to unmask them to discover their true end time identities. In the Bible, death deals with the material departure of a being from its body and hades is concerned with the immaterial aspect of a person after death, which is their soul. Presently, when someone dies their soul is delivered to its destination, which is either heaven if they’re saved or hades if they’re not. It’s important to clarify that Hades is the Greek word for the Hebrew word Sheol.
However, the fact that Israel signs a security agreement with Death, which is in agreement with the undertakings of Sheol, means that these are not merely intangible nonentities concerned with the hereafter, but rather they represent tangible and identifiable entities that can covenant. Since Death and Sheol are aware of and involved within the afterlife, it seems safe to suggest that whoever or whatever they represent, this tag-team has spiritual and religious ramifications.
Therefore, at this part of the article, I’m going to pin the tail on the donkey of Death and Sheol as end times ecclesiastical Babylon, which is primarily written about in Revelation 17. How I arrive at this conclusion is explained point by point as the article progresses.
The Role of Death and Sheol in the OVERFLOWING SCOURGE
If Israel enters a security agreement with Death and Sheol in order to avoid the overflowing scourge, then it implies that Death and Sheol are either perpetrating the scourge, or at the very least can protect Israel from it. In order to determine whether this devilish duo is perpetrating or protecting, it’s important to look at the primary participants and their specific roles within the false covenant.
“Then he (the Antichrist) shall confirm a covenant with many for one (seven-year) week; in the middle of the week (after three and one-half years) He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.” (Daniel 9:27; emphasis added)
Daniel informs us that the Antichrist will confirm a seven-year covenant with many, meaning between Israel and some other party or parties. Moreover, the confirmer of the covenant will also be the one who annuls it by ending the sacrifices and offerings in the middle of the seven-years. Daniel provides some important facts, but we turn to Isaiah to ascertain additional pertinent prophetic information.
“Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death, And with Sheol we are in agreement. When the overflowing scourge passes through, It will not come to us, For we have made lies our refuge, And under falsehood we have hidden ourselves.” Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not act hastily. Also I will make justice the measuring line, And righteousness the plummet; The hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, And the waters will overflow the hiding place. Your covenant with death will be annulled, And your agreement with Sheol will not stand; When the overflowing scourge passes through, Then you will be trampled down by it.” (Isaiah 28:15-18)
Isaiah points out the following crucial details:
Between Daniel 9 and Isaiah 28 we can determine that the primary parties involved with the execution and ratification of the lethal Tribulation covenant are:
- The Antichrist as the confirmer of the covenant,
- Israel as signatory #1 of the covenant,
- Death and Sheol as signatory #2 of the covenant.
Thus, all three of these participants must be on the end time scene at the same time in order for the false covenant to be established and the seven-year Trib-period to start. Israel exists today and the Antichrist will literally exist when the symbolic White Horseman of the apocalypse of the First Seal is opened in Revelation 6:1-2. However, at what point does Death and Sheol show up and when does their dominant role within the overflowing scourge campaign begin?
If the Antichrist is one of the horsemen of the apocalypse, could Death and Sheol also be side-saddling among this four-horse stampede? The answer is yes!
“When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades, (Sheol in the Hebrew), followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.” (Rev. 6:7-8, NKJV; emphasis added)
Hold on to your horses, Death and Hades (Sheol) ride onto the scene when the Fourth Seal gets opened. These two horsemen have authority over a quarter of the world’s population to kill people via multiple means, with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.”
Most all expositors interpret Rev. 6:8 to read that Death and Hades kill one-fourth of mankind, but when you compare the text of the Sixth Seal Judgment to that of the differing Sixth Trumpet Judgment that follows later and is quoted below, you can observe that this is not precisely what is being said.
“So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind.” (Rev. 9:15)
The four angels that get released in the Sixth Trumpet are clearly responsible for the death of one-third of mankind. This is confirmed two times in Rev. 9:15-18. Conversely, the killing of one-fourth of mankind by Death and Hades is not confirmed with certainty even one-time in Rev. 6:7-8.
Death and Hades could use their powerful grip over a quarter of the earth to kill one-fourth of mankind, or they could actually kill more than one-quarter of the world’s population. What is certain though, is that this killing spree could easily qualify as an overflowing scourge that Israel would seek to avoid.
Whatever death toll results when the Fourth Seal is opened, it’s important to note that among those being killed are Christian believers. This is confirmed in the verses below concerning the Fifth Seal Saints.
“When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.” (Revelation 6:10-11)
These individuals appear to be slain by Death and Hades. These saints have been martyred for believing and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, which must contradict the counterfeit gospel being presented by Death and Hades. Whoever Death and Hades represents, and whatever counterfeit gospel they are preaching, it is not a message that the Fifth Seal Saints agree with. However, according to Isaiah 28:15, the scornful leaders of Israel will be in agreement with it, at least for their politically expedient purposes. They will agree, even if it involves lies and falsehood, to avoid the overflowing scourge being perpetrated by Death and Sheol/Hades.
Death and Hades is sovereign over a quarter of the earth and they are methodically killing many people, which includes a campaign of Christian martyrdom. These facts provide and important clue as to who Death and Hades are.
The Two Christian Killing Crusades in the Tribulation Period
If Death and Hades are executing a Christian killing crusade, then which of the two such end times campaigns of this type of religious martyrdom are they involved with? Unless Death and Hades represents a third campaign of Christian martyrdom after the Rapture, which is not likely, then it must find association with either the ecclesiastical Babylon or the Antichrist. These killings of ecclesiastical Babylon are identified in the verse below.
‘I saw the woman, (ecclesiastical Babylon) drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.” (Rev. 17:6, NKJV; emphasis added)
This verse points out that ecclesiastical Babylon is killing the martyrs of Jesus. This process begins after the Rapture and carries on until the ten kings put an end to her religious reign.
“And the ten horns, (ten kings), which you saw on the beast, (the Antichrist), these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire.” (Rev. 17:6, NKJV, emphasis added)
Once ecclesiastical Babylon is dethroned from spiritual power, the Antichrist takes control over the world. Revelation 13 provides the details about this ensuing period, which takes place in the last 3 ½ years of the Trib-Period. The False Prophet and the Antichrist will kill everyone that refuses to worship the Antichrist.
“He, (the False Prophet) was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast, (Antichrist), to be killed.” (Rev. 13:15, NKJV; emphasis added)
It is from this point forward that the beheadings of Christians takes place as detailed in the verse below.
“And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” (Rev. 20:4)
From this information above, we can for two reasons logically deduce that Death and Hades represent ecclesiastical Babylon and not the Antichrist.
1. The Antichrist is the White Horseman and Death and Hades are the Pale Horsemen of the Apocalypse. These two horses carry distinctly different riders who operate independent of each other. The Antichrist is given a crown and instructed to go out conquering and to conquer. Death and Hades are given authority over a quarter of the earth’s population to perpetrate an overflowing scourge and to kill believers.
2. The Antichrist’s killing crusade doesn’t start until the middle of the Trib-period, but Death and Hades and the Harlot world religion begin their targeted murders beforehand.
Therefore, based upon the minor premises above, the major premise is that Death and Hades seemingly finds association with the Harlot world religion. Or, more boldly and explicitly stated: DEATH AND HADES are associated with “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”
Why will the Jews Covenant with Ecclesiastical Babylon?
Considering all of the above, we can conclude that the Jews want to avoid the killings taking place at the hands of ecclesiastical Babylon. They don’t want Revelation 17:6 revised to read,
“I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus and the BLOOD of the MARTYRS of the JEWS!”
Therefore, even in lies and under falsehood, they will hastily enter into a covenant that they believe will insure the continued security of Israel. The Jewish state will be a force to be reckoned with at the time. The IDF will have likely won the prophetic wars related to Psalm 83 and have proven itself as the “exceedingly great army” of Ezekiel 37:10. The IDF roles in these related wars are found in Isaiah 11:14 and 17:9, Jeremiah 49:2, Zephaniah 2:9, Obadiah 1:18, Ezekiel 25:14, Zechariah 12:6, Psalm 83:9-18 and elsewhere.
Additionally, the nation will be gaining renown according to Ezekiel 39:13, in their aftermath activities that follow the supernatural defeat by God of the Gog of Magog invaders. These events are described in Ezekiel 38 and 39.
Ecclesiastical Babylon will strike a deal with the Jews for at least two primary reasons. Reason #1: they won’t want to follow in the same failed footsteps of the Gog of Magog invaders. These Ezekiel 38 invaders are destroyed supernaturally by the God of the Jews as per the events described below:
- Great Earthquake – (Ezek. 38:19),
- Every Man’s Sword Against Brother – (Ezek. 38:21),
- Pestilence and Bloodshed – (Ezek. 38:22),
- Flooding Rain, Great Hailstones, Fire and Brimstone – (Ezek. 38:22),
This supernatural defeat of the most formidable Mideast invasion of all time will have God’s fingerprints all over it. It will likely cause ecclesiastical Babylon to be extra cautious in all of their dealings with Israel. Although ecclesiastical Babylon does not appear to be religiously tolerant, which is why they are killing Christians, they will apparently tolerate the existence of Judaism to parallel their religion so as not to test the power that took out the Gog of Magog invaders.
Reason #2: they will want unrestricted access through Jerusalem and into the outer court of the Third Temple. This second point is discovered in Revelation 11.
“Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, “Rise and measure the, (Third Jewish), temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles, (of ecclesiastical Babylon). And they will tread the holy city, (Jerusalem), underfoot for forty-two months.” (Rev. 11:1-2, NKJV; emphasis added)
This false covenant of convenience becomes politically expedient for both signatories because it enables each party to perform their religious pilgrimages and practices without crossing lethal paths unnecessarily. The Jews will tolerate the overflowing scourge of killing Christians, so long as they can reinstate their ancient Mosaic Law and operate freely within their Third Temple. This blind-eye and deaf-ear policy toward Christian martyrs will also not bode well with God on Israel’s behalf.
Why Should Christians Today Care about the Overflowing Scourge?
If you are a Christian today that gets Raptured into heaven before the Tribulation, then you won’t be on the earth when the Fourth Seal gets opened and the overflowing scourge gets going. That’s great news for you, but if you have anyone you care about that is not presently saved, then this article should be of grave concern to you on their behalves.
The return of the Lord to catch up His Bride the Church is imminent. It could happen very soon! Your unsaved loved ones are flirting with facing the overflowing scourge that will likely kill them, that is unless they are a Jew or member of ecclesiastical Babylon. As this article points out only the Jews and ecclesiastical Babylon are protecting themselves through the means of the Tribulation Covenant.
Moreover, what this article has yet to point out, is that the overflowing scourge gets taken over by the Antichrist after the desolation of the Harlot world religion by the ten kings. Then, the Antichrist fulfills the rest of Isaiah’s related prediction below.
“Your, (Israel), covenant with death, (Ecclesiastical Babylon), will be annulled, And your agreement with Sheol will not stand; When the overflowing scourge, (Jewish genocidal campaign of the Antichrist) passes through, Then you will be trampled down by it.” (Isaiah 28:18, NKJV; emphasis added)
Zechariah 13:8 informs that during the genocidal campaign of the Jews by the Antichrist two-thirds of the Jews in Israel will be exterminated.
Therefore, in the end analysis, after the Rapture, Israel and the Harlot world religion of ecclesiastical Babylon will have obtained some temporary security as a result of covenanting together, but your unsaved loved ones that get left behind have no protective clauses integrated into the false covenant on their behalves whatsoever. They will run the high risk of facing and being overcome by the OVERFLOWING SCOURGE!
If you would like more information about this topic and many more related to the unfulfilled prophecies between now and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, then pick up your copies of the NOW Prophecies, NEXT Prophecies and LAST Prophecies books and DVDs at our www.prophecydepot.com bookstore.
[i] The Bible Knowledge Major Prophets – Published by David C. Cook – Colorado 2018
[ii] Information taken on 7/28/20 from this weblink: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assyrian_siege_of_Jerusalem
[iii] Dr. Fruchtenbaum quote taken on 12/7/16 from this website: http://chafer.nextmeta.com/files/v6n1_3.pdf